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How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
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Volvo Repair Database How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by ecbsykes » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:55 pm

Here is a a guide for anyone who wants/needs to replace their axles on a 2000 V70XC. Through a dealership or other shop, this job costs a lot of money. I recently did it and found it was MUCH easier than I ever thought it would be. Here is my way of doing it in a rough step-by-step for about $300:

Estimated Time: 2-3 Hours

Tools needed:

-Jack + Stands
-Torque wrench
-Breaker bar, long and 1/2" drive preferable.
-Various sockets in metric sizes, some larger sizes will be needed 18mm+
-A short extension for the breaker bar (1/2" drive) will be needed.
-Pry-bar, doesn't need to be huge, but a good heavy duty one is preferable.
-Loctite, Medium or High Strength.
-PB Blaster or other rust remover (I never had to use it).
-Some ATF (you won't need much).
-2 New CV Axles
-Mechanic gloves (lifesavers!)

Where to get new axles:

Two dealers I called wanted about $450 for EACH new axle. I said no way to that and bought mine through Axles Unlimited. $150 each, with $75 refundable core charge each. They re-manufacture OEM ones, and so far I've had no issues with what I got. The other popular place to get axles on this forum, Raxles, does not reman axles for this specific year and model.

AVOID Chinese-made or cheap axles from Autozone or Napa. They may not last very long and you could end up having to do this all over again.

Notes: Before we begin... here is something that I was surprised to find in the repair process when compared to all the other write-ups I've seen. Notably, you don't need to remove as many parts as outlines in some other guides. I was able to do this job: Without removing the brake calipers, control arm joints, tie rod ends, or sway bar links.

Okay, so here we go!

Axle Removal and Installation

Step 1
Apply the parking brake, tightly. Jack up the car (wheels must be off the ground), and place jack stands securely under the car. Remove the wheel on side you will be working on first. Put the wheel flat under the car (emergency jack stand!).

Step 2

Put a long metal bar of some sort through the wheel opposite of what you're working on. This is to prevent the wheel from spinning freely. Make sure when pressure is applied, that whatever you use to stick through it isn't going to damage anything (i.e. brake line, abs sensor, brake rotor). Pressure against the strut or car body is fine.

Step 3

Remove the axle nut. It's the small bolt holding the axle to the spindle. Breaker bar here is useful to get some good leverage. It shouldn't be too hard to get out. Set the bolt aside.

Now remove the ABS wheel speed sensor. It takes a small (10mm) wrench and is the cord that goes on top of the spindle. Remove the bolt and pull out the sensor. Hang it somewhere out of the way.

Step 4
Next up are the two bolts holding the spindle to the struts. You will need a lot of leverage for these ones, they can be hard. The top one is easiest, use the breaker bar on the nut, while using a socket wrench on the bolt itself to counter the spinning motion. Prop the socket wrench against the strut or spindle so you can use both hands on the breaker bar. Take of the nut but LEAVE the bolt in for now. This is so the lower bolt will not have all the pressure as you try to remove it.

Now go for the second, lower bolt. It will be a bit harder because of limited space to work the wrenches in. In the same style as the previous one, get a wrench on the main part of the bolt as a counter, while using a breaker bar with extension to get the nut off. Now you can go ahead and pull out both spindle bolts.

The spindle will now be loose and will sink down a bit. Don't damage the brake line or tie rods by forcefully letting it drop down.

Step 5
With the spindle loose, you will now need to work the splines out of the wheel bearing. It shouldn't be too difficult, but will require a little wiggling and minimal cursing. Once you get it out, you can move the spindle down a bit and towards you, giving just the perfect amount of room to remove the axle.

Step 6

Now to get the axle out. The driver's side axle has a little clip in it, which will require it to be "popped" out with the pry-bar. Scoot yourself under the car with your pry-bar in hand. Gently place it between the transmission and black, square looking part of the axle. Take care here not to jab or pry against the transmission seal. You only need to go so far in as to get good leverage against the axle. Now, give it a good tug and it should pop out with little fuss. Mine was quite easy and it did not leak much ATF at all.

*IMPORTANT* The passenger's side is quite easier: There is no clip on the end, so the the axle will just pull out nicely. However, on the passenger's side (which is quite longer), note that there is a support bearing in place. The bracket is removed easily with a small wrench size (12mm if I remember correctly) for the 2 bolts.

Step 7
Now you can go ahead and angle the wheel-side of the axle out while pulling the transmission-side out of the transmission. You might have to fight a little to angle it out correctly, but it can be done rather easily. This is where it would be *nice* to not have the spindle in the way, but I think that a little fight with it is worth not having to take off the tie rod ends, brake caliper and spindle.

*IMPORTANT* On the old axle there will be a rubber dust cover on the end, near the rim where the spindle attaches. Pull it off and save it to put on the new axle. My new axles did not come with a new cover. The cover will attach only one way, so go ahead and put that on the new ones now so you don't forget about it.

Step 8
Halfway done! Go get a Coke or something and relax for a minute. Now... time to put in that new axle. Lightly coat the splines that go into the transmission with ATF. Remembering the way you got the old one out, angle the new axle in and line it up to the transmission.

*IMPORTANT* You want to make sure you don't damage the transmission splines here. Start off by slowly inserting the axle into the hole, you may need to turn it slightly in either direction to get it to catch. Once it does, continue sliding it in until it will go no further. NOW, for DRIVER'S SIDE ONLY, grab the inner black square part of the axle which you pried against earlier, and with both hands, give it a good, forceful PUSH. You should HEAR and FEEL it snap into position. It is noticeable. To double-check, grab it again and give it a decent tug outward. You should not be able to simply pull it out. You MUST make sure it clips in correctly.

The passenger's side will go through the bevel gear housing into he transmission and will make a little noise once you get it in all the way, but it will no "click" in like the driver's side with the clip. To make sure it is in correctly, look at the support bearing. It should be lined up perfectly with the bracket that connects to the bearing. If the support bearing is too far out (towards the wheel), the axle is not in all the way.

Remember on the passenger's side to not forget to put the bracket back in place for the support bearing once the axle is seated.

Step 9
Now line up the axle splines to the spindle and get the axle nut on to hold it (don't tighten it down yet). Once the axle is attached loosely, put the spindle bolts back on with some Loctite on the threads. This part can be a little tough because the spindle will want to fight you. Now tighten down down those bolts HARD. The spec torque is 77 ft-lbs. I did this with the torque wrench, but then added some more at the recommendation of my neighbor who is a mechanic. He said these bolts should be tightened down very hard.

Step 10
Now with the spindle in place again, you can finishing tightening the axle nut. This one you definitely want to get the right torque on. Spec is 35 Nm + extra 90 degree angle tighten. Use Loctite on the threads of this one as well.

Step 11
Re-attach the ABS wheel speed sensor. Look over everything twice to make sure you didn't miss anything or have any screws left-over. And you're done! Put the wheel back on and you're golden!


I hope this helps anyone who needs it! I was looking at another guide for a 98 S70 and noticed that my repair went quite a bit differently. And this guide is open to any comments/criticism. :mrgreen: I apologize for the lack of pictures, I didn't think of it at the time. This was a relatively easy repair however, and I hardly glanced at the many notes I had written down.

The 2000 XCs don't have a lot of guides written specifically for them, so here's another to add to the small but growing pile. :)

*I take no responsibility for any damage to your car sustained during this repair. This guide is meant to GUIDE you, and what I encountered may not be exactly what you encounter.*

Ed Sykes
2000 V70XC - Emerald Green - 250,000 miles

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by jblackburn » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:21 pm

Excellent job, I think you did a good enough description pictures aren't really needed so much :mrgreen:

I've added this to the repair database, should help anyone in the future with an XC/AWD model!

'98 S70 T5
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A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by ecbsykes » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:30 pm

Thanks! I'm still going to try poking through VADIS and slowly add pictures from it after each step. I realize some people (myself included at first) may not know what the heck "spindle" is or some the other odd parts. :wink:

Ed Sykes
2000 V70XC - Emerald Green - 250,000 miles

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by 98v70GLT » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:57 pm


Glad to hear of an other place to get a better quality re-manufactured axles, I have been looking and only found China stuff that is causing trouble over and over again. As you mentioned the Raxle company does not have anything after 99 or so, yet.

I wonder if you can give us an update on your experience so far, are they doing well, what did you see as far as build quality and what ever else you can share.

Thanks for your write up, did not compare it to my 03 XC70 but will find out soon if there are any differences.


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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by 98v70GLT » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:56 pm

Just replaced both front axles of our 2003 XC70, here is my experience:

First things first: I loosened the lug nuts and the drive shaft bolt with the car on all 4's, safety first. Than jack up the car.

I did not take anything off, but the tire, than loosened the lower ball joints and that gave me enough play to swing the strut out of the way to remove the drive shaft!

The trick is to separate the ball joint from the lower control arm: Thanks to the Haynes manual: Tie a rope or chain around the lower control arm so you can put a long bar through it which slides through it below the arm. Fixate the arm on one side and step on the other side so you pull the arm down. That's the trick the rest is peanuts.
In my setup(see pictures) it ended up being an easy fixation with the end of the jack handle that I use in the frame of the jack stands.

Again, I did not have to take the brake caliper or ABS sensor off or whatever else, it worked like a charm.

The axles I used are also from Axles Unlimited, phone: 704-399-1003. Seems to be a good product and you get rebuild, original Volvo axles. No problem getting them out as with the 'China' stuff!

On a note for all folks that have ft lbs and not Nm indicated on there torque wrench: Torque axle nut at 26 ft lbs, than an additional 90 degrees. For my own torque wrench I used 312 inch pounds(26*12).
And as you might have guessed, I torqued everything with the car back on it's wheels.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words:
Fixation is in the jack stand.

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by digitalshaman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:50 pm

this worked for me!!! it was hard to get the cv side of the axle out of the rotor so i just undid the clamp on the boot on the shattered part, and just pulled it straight out. On the way in, i jiggled the rotor to jiggle the gear end i was sticking back into the transmission. The last 1/4 inch was the hardest, it kept wanting to push out, but eventually i got the bearing bracket back on and that holds it in. You only need to take the half circle part of of that bearing holder. just use a bar or something to push the axle toward the back of the car,, aka away from the bushing... i took the bar off, and it just pulled right out. It slipped back into the rotor and tranny super easy.

i did this on a 2001 Volvo S40 thats a front wheel drive turbo.

Great write up homzzz

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by richyoung » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:29 pm

OK. So I have the driver side on a 2005 XC70 apart, but the drive axle will not " pop" out no matter how much I pry. What is the trick? I need help. It is late Sunday afternoon and I need to complete this today.

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by rmmagow » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:25 am

The Spindle nuts/mounts. No re-alignment required after taking these out? On another car I had the spindle nuts were used to adjust caster/camber, i.e. one of the bolts was off-center and would be used to set that adjustment for an alignment.

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by richyoung » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:40 pm

I replaced one of the two on my vehicle with the offset bolts to correct camber before doing lower arm and bushing replacement. The original bolts were a tight fit and therefore would have little affect on the alignment.

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Re: How to Replace Front CV Axles - 2000 V70XC

Post by Steve Merryman » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:30 pm

I have just replaced the left axle on my 2000 V70XC and thought I would pass on what I found after shopping around. Axles Unlimited, (704-399-1003) at $139.99 per side still had the best price I could find other than used, Core charge was $80.00. Dave at Axles Unlimited was familiar with the V70XC which always encourages me to do business.

Great thanks to ecbsykes for this excellent set of instructions. Pictures would not make it any easier.

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