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Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
volvooh
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Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by volvooh » Wed May 13, 2020 12:33 pm

Starting this job this weekend. I've read write-ups and watch some videos. One video in particular literally only removed the control arm and ball joint, and then later replaced the sway bar link. So my first question is this: If the control arm and ball joint are both being replaced, is there a reason to separate them for removal? As I watch the video I have to ask if after removing the three bolts holding the control arm is it possible to use the air chisel and remove the ball joint while still attached to the control arm?

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xHeart

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by xHeart » Wed May 13, 2020 1:25 pm

This may help a little:
Image
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volvooh
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Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by volvooh » Wed May 13, 2020 2:09 pm

Thanks- thats a great graphic. Has anyone done a control arm/ball joint replacement and not separated them for removal? I am certain the ball joint would come out easier with the control arm separated, I am just wondering if the two pieces would bind the other up if removed at the same time as one piece?

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amblerman
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amblerman

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by amblerman » Wed May 13, 2020 3:23 pm

" If the control arm and ball joint are both being replaced, is there a reason to separate them for removal? "

I have not done that complete job on your car, but I have replaced that type of control arm before.
You need to be aware that those type of control are are under a lot of upward tension. It may be difficult to remove the arm and/or remove ball joint from hub without separating them first.

In the videos that I've watched, the ball joint needs to be tapped out of of the knuckle. That may be more difficult with the arm still attached.
It might work fine. I just don't know. I suspect it would be more difficult if you don't separate them first.

Also, getting the ball joint back in control arm can be tricky because of that upward tension.

In this videos I've watched people sometimes use a pry bar or tow strap to pull down the control arm.
I've used a tow strap connected to opposite side of frame to do this.

The tension in that control arm is significant. You can't just use one hand to push down the control arm while you use the other hand to pop the ball joint in. That just won't work. Having a second person for this step of the job would be a big help
Last edited by amblerman on Wed May 13, 2020 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SuperHerman
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Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by SuperHerman » Wed May 13, 2020 3:26 pm

The ball joint is not an easy removal while the control arm is. If one is replacing both then a pickle fork is your tool of choice for a stubborn ball joint to control arm (many times a solid wack on the side of the arm is enough). Pickle forks are destructive and destroy the ball joint most of the time, but they are efficient.

Removing the ball joint takes pounding and wedging, sometimes an air hammer to get it out of the knuckle - remove/access is not great.

I don't see why one couldn't remove them together, but it may be more difficult. You have to remember the control arm will cause some tension. With an air hammer it may work slick though.

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xHeart

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by xHeart » Thu May 14, 2020 6:15 am

SuperHerman wrote: ↑
Wed May 13, 2020 3:26 pm

Removing the ball joint takes pounding and wedging, sometimes an air hammer to get it out of the knuckle - remove/access is not great.
Agree with SuperHerman and amblerman!

Spindle/knuckle suspended to strut would make it impossible to remove ball joint, even after LCA is disconnected. I removed the spindle and took it to the bench.

After removing ball joint, installing takes breathing fresh air. Critical part, I would not use aftermarket ball joint.
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volvooh
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Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by volvooh » Thu May 14, 2020 7:35 am

Thanks for the advice all. I might head to Harbor Freight and get that pickle fork. I have a standard air chisel/hammer but it sounds like a pickle fork will make the job that much easier.

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shiloh51933
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shiloh51933

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by shiloh51933 » Thu May 14, 2020 8:07 am

volvooh wrote: ↑
Wed May 13, 2020 12:33 pm
Starting this job this weekend. I've read write-ups and watch some videos. One video in particular literally only removed the control arm and ball joint, and then later replaced the sway bar link. So my first question is this: If the control arm and ball joint are both being replaced, is there a reason to separate them for removal? As I watch the video I have to ask if after removing the three bolts holding the control arm is it possible to use the air chisel and remove the ball joint while still attached to the control arm?
I haven't seen this style of LCA come in the package fully assembled with the ball joint. The reason being the ball joint needs to get pressed into the spindle first, you can't do this properly if it's already attached to the lower control arm. I hope that answers your question.
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amblerman
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amblerman

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by amblerman » Thu May 14, 2020 8:26 am

volvooh wrote: ↑
Thu May 14, 2020 7:35 am
Thanks for the advice all. I might head to Harbor Freight and get that pickle fork. I have a standard air chisel/hammer but it sounds like a pickle fork will make the job that much easier.
Go ahead and buy the pickle fork but before using it or taking it out of the package, see if you can pop the control arm off the ball joint by banging on the control arm itself.

When I helped a friend replace that style control arm, we did not have a pickle fork and we got the control arm and ball joint pretty easily.
That way you can return the pickle fork if you don't use it. Maybe we just got lucky.

<edited to remove mention of a steering stops because OP's car is an XC90 and they don't exist on the XC90 appraently>
Last edited by amblerman on Thu May 14, 2020 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

wanderdĂĽne
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wanderdĂĽne

Re: Starting replacement of control arms and ball joints on 2005 XC90 2.5t this weekend

Post by wanderdĂĽne » Thu May 14, 2020 9:03 am

Here is my thread from when I did this job: https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthrea ... -need-help
Most of it is a progression, and read the whole thing, but If you look at post #20 and reference photos for a DIY on the job; that is pretty definitive on the best way to do this.
Here is a link to a DIY ball joint install tool, also can do in metal: viewtopic.php?t=83915
-Without the ball joint removal tool mentioned, there are two places of the ball joint flange where the flat of the ball joint protrude inboard of the knuckle. You can use a flat punch or chisel and/or hammer to tap out the joint after you remove the bottom nut under the control arm or after unbolting the control arm.
-I used a long pry bar and put a knee on it to lower the control arm while guiding it to the new ball joint. It is under a lot of upward pressure.
-You will need new axle bolts, these are stretch bolts and a low torque value. Very possible to snap off if re-used or going over torque value.
-You would be well served to get new fasteners all the way around, including the strut bolts. You can find part#s here: https://www.volvowholesalepartsdirect.c ... ering.html
-It's likely possible to unbolt the two upper screws on the ball joint and hammer down on the LCA to remove it all at the same time, but that's up to you.
Last edited by wanderdĂĽne on Thu May 14, 2020 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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