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Thread: Bad Swede springs and XC90 axles going in

  1. #1
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    Default Bad Swede springs and XC90 axles going in

    Hopefully the XC90 axles are going in. Set of shocks and struts, front spring seats, ball joints, front control arm bushings, and a few other suspension bits and bobs, too. I'll report back with explicit details on the XC90 axles.


    Brett

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to how you made out. I'll be doing this project in the future, so following along to see what was easy and what was most difficult.

  3. #3
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    The job is done. Bad Swede springs, new Sachs front struts and rear shocks. Up front, new ball joints, new control arm bushings, new spring seats, new strut bearings. Everything to assemble the top of the front struts is new. In the rear, new spring seats and new shock bumper inside the top hat shock mount. Trying to replace as much rubber as possible. And finally, salvage XC90 axles, said to have about 130,000 miles on them. With 170,000 miles on my axles, the inner tripod joints had noticeable play. The passenger side was pretty bad. The inner CV joints of the XC90 axles had zero play. So, I'm quite happy to get them in. I thought they were a good buy at $70 for the pair. I'll post some comments and a few pictures in the coming days.

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 11-12-2018 at 05:55 AM.

  4. #4
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    Here are details on installing XC90 axles. The issue is location of the reluctor ring for the ABS sensor. In the picture below, the top axle is the XC90 axle, bottom is the XC70.


    You can see the much larger "shoulder" on the axle stub on the XC70. This shoulder is about 6.5 mm in height.

    In the next picture, you can see the XC90 axle does have a small shoulder. This is around 1.5 mm in height.


    If you just stick the XC90 axle into the XC70 hub, the reluctor ring will be poorly located relative to the ABS sensor mounted on the steering knuckle. I didn't test it myself, but it has been said that an ABS fault was observed. There is no possibility to relocate the sensor. You must replicate the shoulder of the XC70 axle on the XC90 axle in order to locate the reluctor ring properly. According to my rough numbers about 5 mm of thickness needs to be added to the XC90 axle's shoulder. I am fortunate to have a neighbor with access to a machine shop as part of his work. He machined some spacers for me out of aluminum. Initially, we didn't notice the small shoulder on the XC90 axle, and he made the spacers 6.8 mm thick. When installed, the reluctor ring wasn't centered to my liking when looking down the ABS sensor hole. It may have been fine, but I asked if he could take some off. So he took off 1 mm to give 5.8 mm, and these have worked fine. I would have preferred closer to 5 mm, but I needed to get things back together, and my neighbor was gone for the weekend, so I went with it. In the end, I'm not getting any ABS issues. So, there's a range of probably 4.5 - 6 mm (maybe slightly thicker even) that would work for these spacers. Also, the reluctor ring is a separate part from the axle, and there is around 1-2 mm of location adjustment of the ring on the axle. Light taps with a hammer and punch around the ring move it easily.

    Below are the spacers.


    And, this is the spacer on the XC90 axle.


    Other than this, the axles are plug and play, but when sourcing them, you must make sure they are from the "base" model first generation XC90. This is the model with the same 5 cylinder turbo engine and AW55 transmission.

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 11-14-2018 at 01:54 AM.

  5. #5
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    Good info, Brett. Any difficulties removing the original driver-side axle? I've read reports that they can be tricky; special tool required.
    2007 XC70, 206,000 miles
    2002 V70XC, 130,000 miles, parts car

  6. #6
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    Yes, you will get an ABS error if the tone ring-to-sensor distance is too great. I had the error come up with just a bit of crud getting in the way of the sensor seating fully in the upright. Drove me crazy trying to figure it out until I re-pulled the sensor and had a good look with a flashlight to see a bit of dirt getting in the way. Probably didn't alter the distance more than a few tens of thousands but it was apparently enough.

    As far as a "special tool" to pull the DS halfshaft, I use a one inch wide, foot or so long flat pry bar. Its the same kind of bar you might use to pull nails. Anyway, I just slip it between the tranny case and the inside CV of the halfshaft with a bit of wood between the case and the bar to cushion the case (I actually use a piece from the thick end of a cedar siding shake). Once positioned, I pop the shaft out with just a bit of a hit with the side of my fist on the bar. Job done. It has worked on all three of my P2s, including the one that still had its original axles at 240K kms. Upon re-installation, I use a healthy quantity of copper-based anti-seize on the splines which makes any subsequent axle pulls way easier.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Last edited by billr99; 11-14-2018 at 06:08 AM.
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-119K mi to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-290K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '98 V70-gone @390k kms
    '91 744GL-killed by son @ 220K kms
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    '90 744T w/Turbo Plus-killed by son @260K mi
    '78 245-killed by wife @166K mi
    '76 265-gas hog gone
    And other misc. Euro stuff

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xfingers View Post
    Good info, Brett. Any difficulties removing the original driver-side axle? I've read reports that they can be tricky; special tool required.
    As Bill says, it just takes a slight bit of persuasion with a pry bar or pickle fork. I bought the "axle popper" tool from fcpeuro.com. It's just a wide mouth pickle fork. I put it in place between the inner tripod joint and transmission case, and a light tap from a sledge hammer was all that was needed. Really easy.

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 11-14-2018 at 08:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have a few things to say about the rear spring installation. For the fronts, there is a DIY article in the resources section which is really good, and things went smoothly on my end. I'll just correct a torque value from that article. The article gives a torque value of 100 Nm for the brake caliper guide pins. This is not correct. The proper torque is 30 Nm. 100 Nm is for the bolts that mount the caliper bracket to the steering knuckle. You don't have to remove these unless you're changing the rotors.

    There probably is a good DIY article somewhere for the rears, but I have an alldatadiy subscription which was adequate. It's actually only 4 bolts to remove the rear spring/shock assemblies.

    So first thing, you're supposed to use a ratcheting strap between the rear control arms to lower the arms to release tension and allow removal and reinstallation of the shock assembly. The strap is under tremendous tension, and I wasn't comfortable continuing to ratchet my strap that tight. I had to use another hooked strap to pull the ratchet handle while sitting beside the car putting my foot on the rear hub and putting my whole body into it. After a couple more clicks that way, I decided that was enough, but I still couldn't reinstall the struts. I turned to my handy small bottle jack. I removed the rear rubber bump stop which gave a nice platform to place the base of the jack on while the piston just fit under the edge of the upper bump stop bracket mounted to the body above the rear axle. There was just enough purchase for the jack to push the control arm down about an inch to give clearance for installation.

    Here's a pic of the bottle jack in place.


    Second, you must take care to assemble the shock “hat” (the top mount) in the proper orientation relative to the bottom mount. Unlike the front struts where the top of the strut is on a bearing which allows you to rotate the strut mount to align the bolt holes, the rear shock hat is locked into place once you release the spring. So, BEFORE YOU DISASSEMBLE THE REAR SHOCK, study the orientation of the shock hat and be sure to install the shock hat with the new spring in the exact same orientation relative to the bottom mount. The bolt holes in the hat are slotted, so you have a few degrees of leeway but not much. If you read the alldata directions, it says to mark the shock hat and spring seat orientation so you can reinstall properly, but if you’re putting in new springs that aren’t identical to the originals, things will be different, and those instructions are invalid. I was also putting in new spring seats so it made no sense to mark the old ones. Releasing the spring is tedious. The lower coil moves around on the lower mount, the upper spring seat might shift, and the shock hat might also move relative to the upper spring seat. I turned the spring compressors a couple turns, rechecked everything, turned again, rechecked, turned, rechecked, etc. until things locked into place with proper alignment of everything.

    So, I clamped the original shock in a vice and picked some reference point on the shock hat and did my best to put that reference point in the same location upon reassembly.

    Here’s one of my original shocks clamped. I used a major rib on the underside of the shock hat as a reference. Hard to see in my pic because everything is covered in dark dirt, but I noted that rib was just a little off the centerline of the shock as I looked straight at the shock when clamped in the vice.


    Third, if you don’t get the shock hat right the first time, you must remove the shock, recompress the spring, and rotate the hat a bit. Be sure to mark the shock hat relative to the spring seat so you can tell how much you’ve rotated it when you release the spring. I got the first one right the first time, but the second one, I had to mark and rotate once.

    Fourth, assemble the shock so that the label on the shock body faces outward on the car. I didn’t pay attention on the first one, and when I put the shock hat on, it was tilted terribly, and the spring was crooked on the shock. I recompressed the spring and rotated the shock hat 180 degrees, and all was well.

    Fifth, even when assembled correctly the shock hat doesn’t fit flush with the frame of the car as you go to install it. Look back at the bottle jack pic. This was taken as I’m installing the shock, and the bottom mount has been put into place, and you can see the shock hat is tilted quite a bit. What I did was line up the forward bolt hole and got the bolt started by hand. Then, I removed the jack and placed it on the ground under the control arm and jacked up the control arm until the weight of the car pressed the shock hat flush against the frame. If the rear bolt hole lines up, you’re good. Install the rear bolt and torque both bolts. If it doesn’t align, then you need to remove and rotate the hat. I couldn’t find a torque value for these bolts, so I used 50 Nm which is given in a table of generic torque values in alldata for M10 bolts.

    Sixth, the bottom shock mount doesn’t align perfectly with the peg on the control arm when reinstalling. I just greased the peg and pounded the shock on with a sledge hammer. The bushing flexes and allows the shock to go on.

    That’s what I can think of at the moment. Hope this helps the next guy

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 11-15-2018 at 02:09 PM.

  9. #9
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    Raising the ride height with springs in this manner pushes the steering knuckles into more positive camber, so you will need to undo that with negative camber adjustment. When I put the strut bolts in upon installing the new front struts, I set the camber at the maximum negative setting. I had an alignment done this morning, and it turns out the camber was perfect with the struts in this position. Very close to 0 degrees on both sides. No adjustment necessary. I read another person's posts saying he had put in camber bolts after putting in the Bad Swede springs, but in my case camber bolts or other "extreme" measures weren't necessary to bring the camber into spec. The only thing needing some adjustment was the front toe.

    I measured the fender well height before and after, and it's pretty much exactly 2 inches of increase at all 4 corners. So that should do it. This job is complete.

    Brett

  10. #10
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    All back together just in time for a little adventure. Headed off tomorrow morning for a camping trip on the Colorado River on the border with Arizona. The destination will be reached via an off-road run through the desert.



    Brett

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