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Front Control Arm Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Control Arm Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$60 to $250

Talent:

****

Tools:

15mm/18mm/21mm sockets, separator fork, hammer, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

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

Parts Required:

Front control arm

Hot Tip:

Hit the side of the wheel hub to unseat the control arm ball joint

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

Replace front sway bar bushing and drop links

Over time, the rubber bushings inside suspension components will eventually wear out and start to deteriorate. You should inspect the control arm bushings for wear every couple of months. You'll want to jack the car up in the air and inspect the various bushings in the control arm for cracks or wear. I like to use a large breaker bar to physically move the ends of the bushings. If there is excessive play in the bushing or cracking or tearing, it's time to replace it.

In this article, we will focus on replacing the entire control arm for the Volvo C30. However, you can buy the bushings separately and have them installed in the arm by means of a hydraulic press. The difference in cost typically makes it more worthwhile to simply replace the entire arm.

Begin by jacking up the front end of your C30 and placing it on jack stands. Then remove the front wheels and also the front wheel liners. See our articles on Jacking up Your C30 and Front Wheel Liner Removal for more information. You'll also need to do the final torqueing of the bolts with the car's front suspension fully loaded. This means with the wheels on the ground. You just need to get the bolts snug up in the air.

I'd also suggest having the suspension alignment of the car checked after replacing any suspension component. Using our article, the suspension geometry should be "close enough" for the drive down to the alignment shop.

Left and Right sides: Shown here is a control arm for the Volvo C30.
Figure 1

Left and Right sides: Shown here is a control arm for the Volvo C30. The control arm has three connection points to the car. The ball joint (green arrow) connects to the wheel hub while the two rear bushings (yellow arrows) bolt to the suspension subframe.

Left and Right sides: Here is the control arm mounted to the car (green arrow).
Figure 2

Left and Right sides: Here is the control arm mounted to the car (green arrow).

Left and Right sides: Loosen the 21mm nut (green arrow) holding the ball joint to the wheel hub.
Figure 3

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 tool. In my case, they popped out rather easily. When installing the new control arm, snug up the nut and torque the nut to 70Nm ( 52ft/lbs.) with the wheels on the ground.

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 18mm bolt holding the front control arm bushing to the frame.
Figure 4

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the 18mm bolt holding the front control arm bushing to the frame. You may need to slightly move the power steering lines on the left hand side to pull the bolt all the way out. When installing the new control arm, snug up the nut and torque the nut to 175Nm ( 130ft/lbs.) with the wheels on the ground.

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the two 15mm bolts sandwiching the rear control arm bushing to the frame.
Figure 5

Left and Right sides: Loosen and remove the two 15mm bolts sandwiching the rear control arm bushing to the frame. Now carefully maneuver the control arm out. When installing the new control arm, torque the nut to 60nm (45ft/lbs) plus an additional 90 degrees with the wheels on the ground.


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