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Front Subframe Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Subframe Removal

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm socket, 15mm wrench, 21mm wrench, flathead screwdriver, two floor jacks, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench, small pick, ball joint separator

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Hot Tip:

Follow the directions completely

Performance Gain:

Access to remove transmission

Complementary Modification:

Replace axle assemblies

The Volvo C30 uses a variety of space saving features that help to provide a roomy car on the inside and a small footprint outside. While this makes for a compact design and ease of manufacture, it also has the downside of making certain items on the car difficult to access when repairs are needed.

The C30 uses a subframe to hold the bottom part of the engine as well as providing the mounting points for the steering and suspension systems. There's just no way around it. For some jobs, the subframe must be removed from the car. In this article I will go over the steps involved to remove and lower it down.

Begin by jacking up the car. Support it on jack stands and remove the front wheels. See our article on Jacking up Your C30 for more information.

Left and Right sides: Loosen the 21mm nut (green arrow) holding the ball joint to the wheel hub.
Figure 1

Left and Right sides: Loosen the 21mm nut (green arrow) holding the ball joint to the wheel hub. You'll also want to hit the part of the wheel hub (yellow arrow) that holds the ball joint. The threaded part of the ball joint is a taper fit. Hitting it will help to free up the joint. If you still can't get it out, you'll need to use a ball joint separator

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the steering rack to the front subframe.
Figure 2

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the steering rack to the front subframe.

Loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts holding the upper arm of the rear transmission mount in place (green arrows).
Figure 3

Loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts holding the upper arm of the rear transmission mount in place (green arrows). Also remove the 13mm nut (blue arrow) holding the bracket in place. Pull the bracket off and set it aside. Finally, loosen and remove the 15mm bolt holding the upper arm to the lower mount.

Loosen and remove the remaining 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the upper arm to the transmission and set the arm aside.
Figure 4

Loosen and remove the remaining 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the upper arm to the transmission and set the arm aside.

Loosen and remove the 15mm bolt holding the transmission mount to the subframe.
Figure 5

Loosen and remove the 15mm bolt holding the transmission mount to the subframe. Remove the mount and inspect it for damage. Replace the mount if needed. 

The front sway bar needs to be unbolted from the sway bar in order to clear the steering rack when lowering the front subframe off the car.
Figure 6

The front sway bar needs to be unbolted from the sway bar in order to clear the steering rack when lowering the front subframe off the car. Begin on the right side (looking towards the rear of the car). Loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts (green arrows) holding the sway bar mount to the front subframe. 

Move to the left side of the car and pop the plastic nuts (green arrows) off the tops of the bolts.
Figure 7

Move to the left side of the car and pop the plastic nuts (green arrows) off the tops of the bolts. The nuts help secure the wiring harness for the rear oxygen sensor in place.   

Now loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts (green arrows) holding the sway bar mount to the front subframe.
Figure 8

Now loosen and remove the two 13mm bolts (green arrows) holding the sway bar mount to the front subframe.

Use a small pick inside the small slot (green arrow) to open the red, plastic lock on the oxygen sensor wiring harness connector.
Figure 9

Use a small pick inside the small slot (green arrow) to open the red, plastic lock on the oxygen sensor wiring harness connector. Once unlocked, use a small screwdriver to pry the locking arm all the way out. This will separate the connector.

You'll also need to pry the orange rubber exhaust hangers (green arrows) off the guide arms welded to the front subframe.
Figure 10

You'll also need to pry the orange rubber exhaust hangers (green arrows) off the guide arms welded to the front subframe. This may take a little effort to achieve.

Place a pair of floor jacks under the subframe as shown here.
Figure 11

Place a pair of floor jacks under the subframe as shown here. This will take up the weight of the subframe once the mounting bolts are removed.  

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 15mm bolt (green arrow) holding the upper subframe arms to the chassis.
Figure 12

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 15mm bolt (green arrow) holding the upper subframe arms to the chassis.
 

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 21mm nut (purple arrow) as well as the two 13mm nuts (green arrows) holding the cover plate and lower subframe arms to the chassis.
Figure 13

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 21mm nut (purple arrow) as well as the two 13mm nuts (green arrows) holding the cover plate and lower subframe arms to the chassis. At this point you are ready to carefully lower the subframe down off the bottom of the car. Take care to maneuver the front sway bar over the steering rack when lowering the subframe.  

And here's the final result with the front subframe removed.
Figure 14

And here's the final result with the front subframe removed. Installation is the reverse of removal.  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 03:02:57 AM