Volvo S80 Rear Shock Absorber and Stabilizer Bar Link Replacement
This article will show you step-by-step how to replace the rear shock absorber and stabilizer bar link on a '99 - '06 Volvo S80 sedan. The parts may be interchangeable with the '01-'09 S60 and '01-'07 V70. The video shows the replacement service being done on a '04 S80 2.5 Turbo.
After I replaced the front suspension on my customer's Volvo S80, he asked me to replace the rear shock absorbers as well, considering the mileage he had on his car. I recommended replacing the stabilizer bar links along with the shocks since they tend to wear out as well.
Best Brands of Replacement Parts
The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) provider for Volvo shock absorbers is Sachs. Other European brands are Bilstein and Koni. KYB is a Japanese OEM provider. They are all high quality and are not cheap. Monroe is American and their OESpectrum brand is very good quality, long-lasting, and reasonably priced.
Stabilizer bar links are inexpensive and any reputable brand part is acceptable.
Video: Replacing the Rear Shock Absorber and Stabilizer Bar Link on the Volvo S80
This 7.5-minute video will provide you with visual step-by-step help for completing the replacement of the rear shock absorbers and stabilizer bar links on a Volvo S80. The steps are also described lower down in the article.
Step-by-Step Instructions: Volvo S80 Rear Shock Absorber and Stabilizer Bar Link Replacement
Step I. Remove the Low Shock Absorber Mounting Bolt
- Remove the 18 mm long bolt that joints the lower portion of the shock absorber to the suspension knuckle.
- Use a pry tool to disconnect the shock absorber from the suspension knuckle.
Step II. Remove the Upper Shock Absorber Stem Nut
- Fold down the rear passenger seat.
- At the corner where the rear seat is upright, pull away the felt plastic liner to expose the rear shock absorber's upper mount. There's a small black plastic tab above the liner that you have to pinch and remove before the liner can be pulled back.
- Glued to the shock absorber's upper mount is a round foam insulator that you must pull off to expose the mount.
- The shock absorber stem is fastened to the upper strut mount by a nut. To remove the nut and to prevent the stem from rotating with the nut, secure the stem with a torx T40 socket attached to a socket wrench while using either a 18-mm box wrench or pass-through socket wrench to remove the nut.
III. Remove the Shock Absorber
- The shock absorber can now be pulled down and away from the rear springs. If there's not enough clearance to pull the shock away from the lower control arm, place a hydraulic jack under the control arm and pump up the jack. The upward pressure on the control arm (which will compress the shock spring) will provide room to pull the shock away from the car.
Step IV. Install the New Shock Absorber
- Position the new shock absorber through the suspension knuckle shock absorber hole. The shock stem should be pushed through the upper shock mount hole. To prevent the shock from dropping down, wiggle the shock absorber's bottom mounting bushing in to the knuckle's mounting bracket holes. The hydraulic jack can be used to apply upward pressure to get it at least somewhat aligned with the bracket holes and prevent the shock from dropping down. Now you can secure the shock stem to the upper shock mount.
- Screw on and tighten the new nut (which should have come with the new shock) to the shock stem. You must use a combination of a pass-through socket wrench or box wrench to tighten the nut while preventing the stem from moving by using either a torx or hex socket (based on the configuration of the new shock you purchased) attached to a ratchet wrench.
- Now you can position the round foam insulator over the upper shock mount and push the plastic felt covering back into place. Move the rear seat cushion back to its upright position.
- Install the shock absorber's lower mounting bolt. A screwdriver or punch tool can be used to align the shock's bushing hole with the knuckle's mounting hole. A small pry bar or screwdriver can be used to help with alignment while pushing on the mounting bolt. Once the bolt has reached the threads of the welded nut on the other side of the knuckle's shock mount, you can use a ratchet wrench to turn the bolt to help the bolt catch the threads of the knuckle's nut.
V. Replace the Stabilizer / Sway Bar Link
- Relieve the initial tension on the stabilizer bar link upper and lower nuts with a powered impact tool. They are on very tight. If no powered tool is available, use a long handle ratchet or box wrench. The center shaft of the link will rotate with the nut. A hex socket attached to a ratchet wrench must be used to prevent the shaft from moving while using either a pass-through socket wrench or box wrench to remove the nut(s).
- Remove the stabilizer bar link. There's a parking brake line in the path of the link that will prevent easy removal of the link. A pry bar can be used to push on the brake line while pulling on the link.
- Install the new stabilizer bar link. Since it's a new link, you might not have the problem of the link's shaft moving while you torque down the link's mounting nut(s). If you do, reverse the procedure for removal to tighten the nut(s).
Questions & Answers
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