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How to Replace Front Lower Control Arm 2002-14 Volvo XC90

Created on: 2019-08-29

Watch this video for a step by step tutorial on how you can replace the front lower control arms on your 02-14 Volvo XC90!

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Raise the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Loosen the five 19 mm lug bolts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug bolts
    • Remove the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Lower Control Arm
    • Remove the 21 mm lower ball joint nut, and replace it loosely
    • Separate the ball joint from the lower control arm with a pickle fork
    • Remove the 21 mm nut from the 18 mm inner control arm mounting bolt, and remove the bolt
    • Remove the two 17 mm control arm mounting bolts
    • Remove the lower control arm
  3. step 3 :Installing the Lower Control Arm
    • Install the lower control arm rearward bushing
    • Install the 18 mm bolt with the 21 mm nut
    • Install the forward bushing with the two 14 mm bolts
    • Torque the two 14 mm bolts to 48 ft-lb
    • Torque the 18 mm bolt to 77 ft-lb
    • Remove the ABS wire from its retaining bracket
    • Remove the two 21 mm nuts from the 18 mm lower strut mount bolts
    • Remove the two strut mount bolts
    • Remove the knuckle from the lower strut mount
    • Insert the lower ball joint into the lower control arm, using a pry bar if necessary
    • Install the knuckle into the lower strut mount
    • Install the two 18 mm strut mount bolts with the 21 mm nuts
    • Install the 21 mm lower ball joint locking nut
    • Torque the lower ball joint locking nut to 74 ft-lb
    • Torque the lower strut mount nuts to 77 ft-lb plus 90 degrees
    • Install the ABS wire into the retaining brackets
  4. step 4 :Installing the Wheel
    • Hold the wheel up on the hub, or use a stud pin to help
    • Install the 19 mm lug bolts
    • Tighten the bolts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 19 mm lug bots to 103 ft-lb

Tools needed

  • 21mm Socket

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench

    18mm Wrench

    Wheel Stud Pin

    17mm Socket

    Jack Stands

    19mm Socket


    Floor Jack

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

Hey friends, it's Len here at 1A Auto. Today we're working on our 2004 Volvo XC90 this is the all wheel drive and I'm going to be showing you how to do a left front lower control arm. It's going to be easy peasy. I can do it, you can do it too. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us 1aauto.com, thanks.

Okay friends, so just a quick note, we're going to be doing a lot of videos and replacing parts on this particular vehicle. So if you happen to notice in the video that you're watching, all of a sudden a part just, it's brand new and it wasn't brand new before. Odds are we cut out, we were doing another job, we replaced that part, we cut back in and we're just showing you the stuff that you need to know to be able to do your particular replacement.

Okay, friends, so now what we're going to do is we're going to loosen up the wheel. I've got my vehicle supported from the ground, but the wheel's still touching so that it can't spin while I do this. I'm just going to use my 19 millimeter. I have a thin wall socket on there so it can squeeze in between the rim and the the lug nut. I'm just going to break it free. It's a tight one. That's the reason for doing it while it's still in the ground. If you tried doing this up in the air, the wheel, of course it's going to spin.

Okay, so I've got three out of my five lug bolts out. This is what they look like right here, they screw directly into the wheel bearing. So once you take off this one right here and then you go to take this one off, there's going to be nothing holding this wheel on, so you need to pay attention to that. I'm just gonna take this one lug here, lug bolt, put it in a couple threads and that's just so the wheel won't be able to come off and potentially hurt me. Push my wheel up against, just grab it. I'm holding the wheel so it can't fall down at this point and we'll just grab it and set it aside safely.

So we're going to take off this lower ball joint nut right here. I'm just going to use a little bit of penetrant. Now I'm going to continue with my 21 millimeter socket and I'm going to remove the nut, safety glasses on, hand protection of course. Here we are, I'm just going to give this a little spray with my penetrant. I love this stuff, whatever makes my job easier, always beneficial to me.

Now you could use something like a pickle fork, if you want to. Just put it in there, bonk, bonk, bonk. The only thing to remember with that is of course, you're going to damage your boot for your ball joint. So unless you're doing your control arm, your ball joint, whatever, and you know that you're replacing the ball joint, don't use a pickle fork. You know what I mean, because it's just going to rip the boot. So that'll be our last resort.

I'm going to bring the vehicle down and I'm going to try and give this a couple of loving bonks and see if I can get it to break free. Okay, so I'm going to use my tiny hammer here. I'm going to give this a few loving bonks up here because this is where I can get to nice and easy. And we're going to just watch down here and see if the control arm moves.

Cool, all right, so now that we know it's moving, we can move ahead to the next step. We'll come over here. We have an 18 millimeter headed bolt, goes straight up through, and then on top there's a 21 millimeter nut. So I'll just grab my airgun. I'm going to put my 21 up there. Maybe I'll come around from this side, it's a little bit easier to get to. There we are. And safety glasses, blast away.

There's our nut, there's our bolt. We'll set these aside. So now we're going to remove these bolts right here, 17 and a 17, that's going to hold in the forward part of the lower control arm, okay. So once we break these free, there's a possibility that this could want to move and do whatever it wants to do. So just make sure you're safe. We've got our nut on here. If you don't have your nuts started on there, just go ahead and do it for me please. And that's just gonna make it so when this does come free, if it does decide it wants to do something, we're going to have a point holding it so it can't fall down and hurt you.

That's what our bolt looks like. There we are, both the same. We could set these aside. All right, so let's get our ball joint nut off of here, set that aside. Let's try and bring this down now. There we go. Give us just enough room without pulling too much on this because we don't want to separate our axle, right? So we've got the ball joint out. I'm just going to try to... There we are. Cool, all right, so now I'm going to come in here and I'm going to try to pry that out of there. Come right in between the subframe and the control arm. There we are, here's our left front lower control arm.

Here we are friends, a quick product comparison for you. Over here we have our original lower control arm out of our 2004 Volvo XC90, we just removed it. And over here, we have our brand new quality 1A Auto part. Both these parts are created the exact same. You've got the same dimensions, all right? You've got your mounting area here, mounting area here for your ball joint. And then of course the area that comes through the sub frame and into the lower control arm bushing area there. As you can tell the angles are the exact same, right? You got to kind of scoop them. If for some reason you had one and it angled the other direction, more than likely you've got the one for the other side of the vehicle. That would be the difference on these.

With that said, I don't see any reason why this wouldn't be a quality part to install into the vehicle, so I'm going to go ahead and do it. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us 1aauto.com, thanks.

Okay, so we cleaned up our three bolts here. We've got the thick one, the thick one goes through this, the hockey puck bushing. Then you have your other two that match up, they go through your subframe and then into the screw holes in the control arm. And then of course you get the ball joint hole over here, but that'll be the last thing that we do more than likely. So we'll put down the two bolts that we're not going to be using yet because I'm going to start with the hockey puck bushing. Let me see if I can get this to work its way in there. Just got to get it lined up. Seconds just to get it lined up perfect. But once you do, going to be all set here.

Let's see if that's going in, feels like it's going in. Make sure we got a couple of good threads going up through there. Oh yeah, I can feel it coming up through the top so I know it's definitely going up. All right, it's all the way up there. Okay, we've got our 21 millimeter headed nut. You could use some thread locker on these bolts if you'd like to. We'll say it's your prerogative. I'm going to use my other two bolts. I'm going to come through here. Should want to go right through. It's going to come through this side right into there.

You might have to just kind of wiggle the control arm around a little bit, there here we are. Just going to snug these up using our 17 millimeter. So now we'll just snug up this bolt right here. We're gonna use our 21 millimeter wrench on the top on the nut side and then an 18 millimeter right here on the bolt side. There we are.

All right, let's grab the torque specs and move along. So we're going to torque these two bolts right here to 48 foot pounds with our torque wrench, with our 17 millimeter socket. Just going to hit them one more time. Tight. So let's torque this rear wheel bolt up. We're going to go 77 foot pounds once again with my 21 millimeter wrench up the top there. I got my 18 on the bottom here. All right, I'm gonna hit it one more time. Tight, and those two are tight. Let's move along.

So now what we're going to do, because we can't obviously lift up on this with a strut holding it down to be able to get the control arm over the ball joint stud. We're just going to create a little bit of slack here for the ABS cable. To do that, I'm just going to grab right here and try to roll it out of here. Just going to try to grab it, get it out of there. We want to make sure we have plenty of slack because what we're going to do is we're going to want to take out these two nuts. Take the bolts out and we're just going lift up on the knuckle a little bit, drop the ball joint stud into the lower control arm and then remount all this.

Going to be a pretty easy, this just rolls out of here. Now we've got plenty of slack for in case, God forbid, something happens. Something to remember once we get these out is that we still have the axle attached to the knuckle and of course you know the outer tie rod end and stuff and the hose. But anyway, so when you're moving the knuckle around, you want to be careful not to pull too far out because you could separate your axle boot right here. There's a joint in there and there's one up in the outer portion of the axle as well. So if you pull too far you could separate it and cause yourself some axle issues down the road, which would be bad.

We'll use a 21 and an 18, use my 18 wrench to hold it. My 21 on my airgun, safety glasses on, hand protection. That's what the nut looks like. That's what the bolt looks like. Let's put them both together. Same thing for this one. Okay, so once I take this out, what's going to be holding it in? The axle and a couple other really not very strong things, so just keep that in mind. All we want to do now is just lift this up and get the ball joint stud, which is right here, to go into the control arm hole, which is up a little higher. There we are. See if I can get this, there we are.

There we are. Get this bar out of here. I used the bar to pry down on the lower control arm and then brute strength to lift up on the knuckle. Now that it's in there, we can continue by relining everything up here. That's so close, there we go. Once I get the lower bolt in here, I'll be able to do whatever I want with it. It's just getting things situated is the hardest part. There we go, it's going in. Get my bar out of here.

Well that part right there is going to be your test. I'm sure you can do it. Give this a bonk. There we are. It's your prerogative if you want to use a little bit of threadlocker on these. For the purpose of this video, I'm not going to worry about it. It's just gonna go right on here. All right, let's move ahead to the next step. So we're going to take our neoprene locking nut. We'll start it right on here. Okay, we're going to use our 21 millimeter and I'm just going to bottom this out and then we'll go ahead and torque it down.

Let's torque it. So here we go, we're going to go ahead and torque this down to 74 foot pounds. There it is. I'm gonna hit it one more time. We know this is tight. We know these two are tight, these two are tight, and this is tight. We know that those up there are tight. Everything's tight. Let's move along to the next step. I'm just going to snug this up to 77 and then we'll continue on to the second step. 77 foot pounds, by the way, not inch pounds, big difference. There we are, break it free. Do this one, there we are.

Okay, so now I'll leave that on there. What we're going to do, we're going to use an angle gauge and we're going to bring it all the way to 90 degrees. So I'll put this up here and I'll put this kind of like this. I'm gonna bring it over, set it up against here so it's resting. Now I'm going to use my ratchet. I'm going to try to bring this around to 90 degrees. There we are. Get my tool out here, cool. I went just a little bit past because when I first started, the wrench was turning. I zoned holding onto it. So anyway, we'll do the same to the lower one, and then off we go.

Okay, now that we have those both torqued, we'll get our ABS wire back on here. Just going to slide it through like this. Just kind of roll it as I push, it should want to slide right in. This one right here, I'm going to come from the backside, get it up on there. Now I'm going to roll it, slide it right in. Give them a nice little tug. Those are going nowhere. We know our ABS wire is secured. We can move along to the next step.

Okay, so that was a really fun job. We got it all done and we've got everything torqued down the way it's supposed to be. The only thing that's left to do of course is to get the wheel on and get that torqued down. And of course drive it down the road and make sure everything feels good. Lastly, make sure you get your alignment. Other than that, great job, down the road you go.

Okay, so now to make it easier to get the wheel up on here, where we don't have the lug studs that are sticking out and you put your wheel up on and just kind of holds the wheel nice and easy for you, you don't have to stand there and hold it forever. Volvo decided to make it fun and interesting and make you work your muscles a little bit. Well, 1A Auto sells this awesome tool and basically all these are is they're gonna give you a lug stud. So when you're putting your wheel on, you just slide your wheel right over this and it's going to kind of hold it there so you don't have to sit there and try to muscle it the whole time while you try to line up the holes and put your lug stud in, or lug bolt.

So I'm going to set that aside. I'm going to grab my wheel, bring it right over. Hold on one of my lug nuts. I'm just going to bring this up, slide it right over that. Boy oh boy, that made it easy. So now we just take our lug bolt, put our wheel up against there, start this in, hopefully. I should've grabbed one of my sockets, it would've made my life a little easier here. There we are. And even though I was holding the wheel steady that whole time, I didn't have to have my whole body holding it, try to line it up while I'm staring into the hole and put this through. Thank you 1A Auto.

So we'll just start all these lug nuts in and then we'll bottom them out, torque them down. Okay, we've got all the lug nuts bottomed out. Now we'll just bring the vehicle back down so the wheels touching the ground but without full force of the vehicle's weight on the wheel and then we'll torque down these lug nuts. So here we are friends, we've got our torque wrench out, it's set to a 103 foot pounds. I have my thin wall 19 millimeter socket because there's limited space to get in between these lug bolts and the wheel.

When we tighten these down, we're going to go in a star pattern here, here, here, here, here. And then if we decide to go around again, we'll do the same thing. But anyway, the reason for going in to star is essentially, so as we're going around, if the wheels cantered a little bit, it won't get stuck that way and maybe the torque wrench thinks it's torquing it down to 103 like it's supposed to be, but it's a little bit cocked off to the side. Then you drive it down the road, hit a bump or whatever, everything starts up, your lug bolts come out. Long story short, just tighten them in a star pattern.

There we are. I always like to go around twice. It doesn't cost me anything. It doesn't hurt me any, and it's a small price to pay for safety. Okay, all torqued up. Great job everybody.

Thanks for watching. Visit one 1aauto.com for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

2003 - 2014  Volvo  XC90

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