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REAR Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement — 2005 XC90 2.5T AWD

Sometimes, DIYs in the MVS Volvo Forums come out so well written by their respective authors, I don’t do a thing. I simply apply some tags, paste it into the Volvo Repair Database, and it’s cooked. They’re succinct, concise, and always explanatory. This is one of those, written by MVS Contributor extraordinaire and Omaha resident CN90. Here it is.

cn90 » DIY: REAR Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement (2005 XC90 2.5T AWD with 120K)


  • The usual symptoms: car drives “like a boat” with vague feeling.
  • Difficulty with alignment.
  • Inspection showed cracked bushing.


  • Wrenches/Sockets: 15mm, 19mm, and 22mm (for the Advance Auto Parts Rental Tool).
  • Wheel lugs: 19mm socket.
  • Breaker Bar, the 1/2-inch type.
  • Propane Torch ($15 at hardware store) is a MUST, this allows you to remove the seized bolts/nuts with much less effort.
  • The key thing: heat the “nut: side for 30-45 sec to melt factory Loctite (the rubber bushing may smoke a bit!), then spray some PB Blaster and allows it to be sucked inside the threads as the nut cools down.
  • I used to buy plumbing adapters, grind them to fit etc. etc.
    It is a lot of work to modify plumbing parts to make it work. Plus the M12 bolt does not have enough strength to press the old bushing, which is often stuck with salt corrosion, out.
  • IMHO, playing with plumbing adapters is NOT worth it as we have an alternative…
  • Just go to Advance Auto Parts and rent the tool set called “Powerbuilt 23 Piece Ball Joint and U Joint Service Set – 648617”. Oil the thread during use. If you buy this online, it is $150.
  • When you rent it at Advance Auto, you need to deposit $240, once you return the tool, they refund you $240.
    So it is FREE.
  • Here is a photo of the tool set. You do NEED this “weapon of mass destruction tool” lol…
    This rental tool is the ticket.AdvAutoRental23Pieces.jpg


  • From FCPEuro.
  • Bushing is Volvo 31277893: Volvo $18; Lemforder $11.
  • I used Lemforder.
  • I looked at all the REAR bushings. Only the Trailing Arm Bushing #3 is hollow from factory (it is now solid rubber). The rest of the bushings are solid rubber. So no need to worry about the rest until 250K or so.



  • Cleanliness is the key, wash the car the day before…
  • Do one side at a time and use the other side as a reference. This has proved to be essential for me!
  • Loctite on 15-mm bolt during installation.
  • Use heat to your advantage: I heat around the old busing (where the aluminum part of bushing meets the steel hole) a bit. Lemforder bushing in freezer overnight…
  • NOTE: once all done, all nuts/bolts should be torque in pre-loaded condition (as if you drive the car), so torque the 15-mm bolt at the end when the wheel is attached and car is on the ground.
  • A piece of 2 x 10 wood, about 8 inches long is very useful…
  • Torque values are taken from “internet”, so please verify the torque values yourself. I could not find a good source, so what I include here is from different sources. Feel free to chime in re torque values.
  • General rules in Nm:
    M8: 24 Nm; M10: 50 Nm; M12: 80 Nm, M14: 130Nm
    Remember this is for dry bolt, very often these bolts are coated in salt/corrosion, so clean the bolt first.
    Google “thread file”, about $10. Thread file is a very good tool to clean the threads.
  • AT 100K-120K, I guess it is safe to re-use the bolt, which the dealers do anyway. At 200K + miles, I think it is a good idea to get all new bolt, but that is later for me…

1. Safety first

  • Chock FRONT wheels.
  • Lift the rear end, remove ONLY 1 rear wheel and support with jack stands as shown.
  • For EACH side, I used 1 jack stand + 1 floor jack. No need to crawl under the car for this job.
  • Tire + wood under the car.

2. jack the control arm up

Once you have the car up with jack stand (note that I used screw-type jack for this), jack the control arm up a bit to allow you to remove the 15-mm bolt.

2005-XC90-Tr-Arm-Bushing-01.jpg2005 XC90 Trailing Arm Bushing


3. Piece of wood to create the space

Note that the factory bushing sticks out on both sides:

  • OUTER side: 5.0-5.5 mm or so.
  • INNER side: 6.5-7.0 mm or so.

Make sure you measured it.

– Also, the factory bushing used to be hollow on the fore and aft areas to allow the trailing arm to move back and forth. After thousands of cycles, the bushing cracks. The new Lemforder bushing is all solid rubber. But I line it up with the vertical slot as factory. So use liquid paper or white paint to mark it.


4. how to remove/install bushing

Various configurations of the “WMD” rental tool to show you how to remove/install bushing.

  • Note that the rental tool is not Volvo factory tool, it is just generic bushing tool, so you will have to find the right combinations that work for you.
  • Basic principle of any bushing: pressing a bushing against a hole. The idea is to press against the metal part of the bushing. Do NOT ever push on the inner section (where the bolt goes through), you will damage the bushing. Since I worked alone, it was difficult balancing act, so I used an M12 bolt to help hold the sleeve in place.
  • On the “receiver” side, make sure the sleeve is large enough to accommodate the bushing. Sometimes when the old bushing comes out, it can hit the sleeve, causing the tool to bind, so be aware of this!
  • When the old bushing comes out, it will create some loud bangs from the corrosion over the years. So be ready for this noise. Spray with PB Blaster to help lubricate it. The big bolt is VERY POWERFUL, you should be able to press the old bushing out (with some bangs). If the big bolt is stuck, something is messed up. STOP and verify before you damage the new bushing!
  • The body underpanel partially blocks the big bolt, so if the bushing is slightly crooked, remove it and start again. I sprayed some lubrication to help it in. A bit of heat to warm the steel hole, plus frozen bushing helps reduce the force needed to press it in.

5. Raise the control arm

As mentioned above. Raise the control arm (watch exactly where to place the jack, it can slip any time!) to allow you to insert the 15-mm bolt. Tighten this bolt ONLY after the car is back on the ground.

PS: On the RIGHT side, I installed the new bushing from Outside —> Inward. For the LEFT side, I installed the new bushing from Inside —> Outward (because of tool clearance issue). Do what works for you.

That is all, not too difficult job if you use the correct “WMD” rental tool for free…


Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement — 2005 Xc90 2.5T AWD

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