How to replace the front side wing on Volvo 850

by: ShadeTek


I replaced my front near-side wing on a fine sunny spring Saturday morning, it was almost a pleasure. Both my front wings have rusted and so will yours unless you rustproof them now. I reckon they rust due to a wing mount rubbing against the wing itself and removing the enamel coating, causing the rust to start at the front of the wing. There is also a gap in the front of the liner where wheel spray can enter. See pic below.

When fitting the replacement wing on I fitted a neoprene spacer to limit any friction between the mating surfaces.
Before starting I Waxoyled the replacement wing which was of an identical colour code, 420-21, so no spraying was needed. The old one fell apart around the edge when it pulled it off.

1. Jack the car up safely and remove the wheel.

2. Grind or snip the old plastic arch liner rivets off.

3. Loosen the rear nuts which hold the arch liner in place and then remove the liner. This is what it looks like
when it is out.

4. There are two bolts at the back of the wing accessible from a half opened door using a UJ on you ratchet set.

5. Four bolts on the top of the wing come off very easy.

6. Remove the indicator and remove the long top bolt at the rear of where the indicator sat and then access from below, the second front bolt, (ringed in red in the above picture). There are two other bolts accessible from below at the front on stands, 10mm if I remember correctly, using a ratchet spanner is the best way to take these off. One goes into a caged nut attached to the wing and the other self taps into the stand-off.

7. Your wing should now be loose. Now, I read somewhere online that you have to be careful when working around the wings that you can set an airbag off. Can anyone confirm this is a potential problem? So I treaded carefully anyhow just in case. According to the Haynes manual, you have to remove the spoiler and the bumper! I found I didn’t have to do this. The cowling which holds the indicators and headlamps goes across the front of the car and also supports the relay pack and radiator/condenser. This was obstructing the removal of the wing. The cowling was now a bit loose and can be pulled carefully forward without wrecking the radiator or the AC condenser. You can angle the back of the wing up and manoeuvre the front of the wing out of the cowling. When all was clear I waxoyled the inner wing and surrounds for good measure.

8. Angle the replacement wing into position and lightly tighten all the bolts, close the door and bonnet to align the edges of the wing to the door and the bonnet with no tapered gaps.

9. Tighten the bolts and refit the indicator..

10. Put the wheel arch liner back into position and sit the catches on the arch lip, then tighten the liner retaining nuts on the inner wing.

11. You should have obtained, prior to removal, replacement plastic rivets pictured above. I got mine from partsforvolvo online at £0.35p each. These are to re-attach the wing liner to the wing and to hold on the mud flap. The same rivet size is used for the mud flap btw. I found half of the rivets exploded on tightening and one hit me in the face! Maybe I am doing something wrong here? N.B. Wear safety goggles when doing this.

The finished article will look like this.

I also injected some Waxoyl rust proofer around the wing liner edge and around the mudflap to reduce any future water ingress. The replacement breakers wings I obtained all had rust in the same place at the stand-off mount and as far as I can see, it will be inevitable that all these cars will suffer from this same fault.


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

– 1991,1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 Volvo 850