How to replace the Drop Links (Anti Roll Bar Links) on 1996 – 2004 Volvo S40 and V40

by: Alexandra M.

If you are experiencing an irritating rattle when you drive over rough surfaces but no rattling noise when on smooth surfaces, then most probably, your drop links (also known as Anti Roll Bar Links) are shot and need replacing. Also you should change the drop links if the rubber boot is perished.

I had no rattle on mine, but the rubber boots/gaiters were split and it was time for them to be changed. I normally go for Volvo original parts as they last a lot longer than some of the aftermarket rubbish out there. However I have read a lot of positive comments about the MEYLE HD drop links and they come with a 4-year guarantee and cost me only £35 for both sides. The Volvo part number for the Phase 2 S/V40 (2001 – 2004) is 30884179 and the MEYLE part number I bought is HD 516 060 0009/HD. They are 267mm in length.


Tools that you will need:
15mm spanner
T30 torx key
wire brush
WD40 or similar lubricant spray/penetrating oil
Jack and axle stand
Additional things you might need if you can’t get the bolts off
Blow torch
Angled grinder
Loosen the wheel nuts and jack the car up and support it on an axle stand
Remove the wheel and you can now see the drop links (highlighted in yellow in the photos). If they are covered with dirt, use the wire brush to clean it up and spray some penetrating oil on the drop links screw threads and let them soak for a bit. Time for a cuppa or a beer. Ideally, you could spray them the day before, as it will make things easier.
The drop links are held at each end by a self locking nut/bolt. In order to undo the bolt you need to use a T30 torx key in the centre of the screw thread so you restrain the screw whilst undoing the bolt.If you are lucky enough and the thread of the screw is not very rusted, you will undo the bolt easily. If the bolt starts to get hard to turn, then stop and screw it back in. Try not to force the bolt too much because you will most probably round off the torx thread, or bend the hell out of your T30 torx key like I did.If you are still struggling with it, then you can use the blow torch and if this fails too, then use the angle grinder. In my case, 3 bolts came off nice and easy but one of them bend the hell out of my Cr-Mo impact socket torx….. I had to use the angle grinder to get it off.
Another method is to rip the rubber gaiter and use some mole to hold the screw while undoing the bolt.

Old drop link with split gaiter

Old vs new drop links

Fit the top part of the drop link first using the T30 torx to secure the middle and tighten the nut

You will notice that the bottom part of the drop link is a bit lower than where it’s meant to go (see photo above. Place the jack under the wishbone and raise it until the bottom part of the drop link is level with the hole it is meant to go into and screw in the bolt…… Job done!!!

MEYLE drop link part number for Phase 2 cars (2001-2004) (same for either side)

This tutorial was contributed to by it’s author “gatos”. Original posted in Volvo Owners Club Forum

The instructions in this tutorial will work in the following models / years:

– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Volvo S40
– 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Volvo v40