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Subject Topic: Volvo Removable Towbar Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by daleswalker28/1/2021 at 10:33am
Outfit:  Unicorn Valencia and Volvo XC70     Location:  Sunny Donny!!
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Hi all,

We've just bought a new (to us) Volvo XC70. It's a lovely car and when it got delivered there was an unexpected bonus in that it came with a factory fitted removable towbar that wasn't on the spec list. Now, in theory I've worked out how to fit it but try as I may I can't get it to fully lock in to place.

I start with the indicator showing red(unlocked), I then slide the unit into the receiver and give it a "sharp" downward pressure the unit gives a positive click into place, but the indicator only shows half red/half green and it's definitely not fully locked in.

I'm hoping someone out there in UKCS land can offer some advice!!

Thanks all!!

Message posted by Fiona W via mobile 28/1/2021 at 10:46am
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Volvo has YouTube videos of it. May be the key needs a slight turn first in case itís slightly locked, but Iím guessing.

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Message posted by tango5528/1/2021 at 1:49pm
Outfit:  Coachman Amara 450 2 + Volvo V50     Location:  Sutton Coldfield
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There should be a plastic cover over the port where the towbar engages. If it's missing there is likely to be surface debris inside which has accumulated so it's best to spray some WD40 inside and leave it for a few minutes to soak in. You then need to get a hose pipe or better still a pressure washer and thoroughly flush it out and do the same with the detachable towball. When that's done, apply some grease to the mechanism and keep engaging and disengaging the towball and see if that frees up the mechanism. Also apply some WD40 to the locking key and barrel as well as it may be partly seized if it's been left standing for a length of time.

Message posted by Monty1528/1/2021 at 5:47pm
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Quote: Originally posted by tango55 on 28/1/2021
There should be a plastic cover over the port where the towbar engages. If it's missing there is likely to be surface debris inside which has accumulated so it's best to spray some WD40 inside and leave it for a few minutes to soak in. You then need to get a hose pipe or better still a pressure washer and thoroughly flush it out and do the same with the detachable towball. When that's done, apply some grease to the mechanism and keep engaging and disengaging the towball and see if that frees up the mechanism. Also apply some WD40 to the locking key and barrel as well as it may be partly seized if it's been left standing for a length of time.



My Brink detachable swan neck towbar instructions specifically say "The use of grease or any other type of lubricant and/or oil must be avoided anywhere in this tow bar system"

I do use a dry PTFE spray (that doesn't cause dirt and grit to stick to it) on the moving locking mechanism otherwise it seizes and becomes unusable!

Instructions also say "The housing should be kept dirt and corrosion-free on the points of contact. The surfaces only require cleaning with a cloth." IMHO optimistic in the very least! Needs something like a bottle brush to reach into the receiving socket.

I suppose other brands may vary, but I'd check before slavering it with oil and grease!

Message posted by daleswalker29/1/2021 at 10:16am
Outfit:  Unicorn Valencia and Volvo XC70     Location:  Sunny Donny!!
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Quote: Originally posted by tango55 on 28/1/2021
There should be a plastic cover over the port where the towbar engages. If it's missing there is likely to be surface debris inside which has accumulated so it's best to spray some WD40 inside and leave it for a few minutes to soak in. You then need to get a hose pipe or better still a pressure washer and thoroughly flush it out and do the same with the detachable towball. When that's done, apply some grease to the mechanism and keep engaging and disengaging the towball and see if that frees up the mechanism. Also apply some WD40 to the locking key and barrel as well as it may be partly seized if it's been left standing for a length of time.



Sounds like good advice Tango. Thank you!


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Message posted by tango5529/1/2021 at 10:04pm
Outfit:  Coachman Amara 450 2 + Volvo V50     Location:  Sutton Coldfield
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You're welcome but some good advice from Monty15 as well regarding not using grease or any type of lubricant. The advice I was giving was just to free any seized parts first then you can use a degreasing agent afterwards and then dry the parts out to be on the safe side. I find that all sorts of locks can start to seize especially padlocks so even though the mechanics of the towball need to be dry a quick spray of WD40 occasionally in the barrel lock would be beneficial.

Message posted by daleswalker30/1/2021 at 4:02am
Outfit:  Unicorn Valencia and Volvo XC70     Location:  Sunny Donny!!
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Noted Tango, sound advice again. Just going to give it a good de-gunge and a quick spritz of WD40 on the moving parts. If that fails I'll take it in to a tow bar specialist for a proper servicing. I can then start my own preventative regime.

Thanks again!

Message posted by tango5504/2/2021 at 2:12pm
Outfit:  Coachman Amara 450 2 + Volvo V50     Location:  Sutton Coldfield
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Did you by any change have any success in getting the detachable towball to lock in place?

Message posted by daleswalker06/2/2021 at 6:12am
Outfit:  Unicorn Valencia and Volvo XC70     Location:  Sunny Donny!!
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Hi Tango, not yet. I'm out of the country at the moment (working unfortunately!!) and now it looks like I won't be back home until the end of April. I promise I'll update everyone once I've had the chance put your advice in to practice.

Thanks again!!

Message posted by NoviceNorris via mobile 07/2/2021 at 1:04pm
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Speaking of Volvo tow bars has anyone heard of volvo factory fitted towbars being fitted too high and causing issues with ride height etc ?

Only reason I ask is I would love to consider buying a V90 for our next tow vehicle ??!!

Thanks

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Message posted by tango5508/2/2021 at 1:32am
Outfit:  Coachman Amara 450 2 + Volvo V50     Location:  Sutton Coldfield
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Quote: Originally posted by NoviceNorris on 07/2/2021
Speaking of Volvo tow bars has anyone heard of volvo factory fitted towbars being fitted too high and causing issues with ride height etc ?

Only reason I ask is I would love to consider buying a V90 for our next tow vehicle ??!!

Thanks



A factory fitted Volvo towbar is likely to be either a Witter or Brink so I doubt whether there would be any issues regarding the towbar height. However, Volvo only make vehicles like any other car manufacturer does so all towbars are supplied to the factory and fitted specifically for the customer via the corresponding Volvo dealer when ordering. Volvo will only supply and fit detachable towballs which increases the price tremendously especially through a dealer so it's best to contact a professional towbar fitter and have the same job done saving a couple of hundred quid in the process. I have a Volvo and when I asked for a fixed towball the dealer said then that only detachable towbars are fitted. The only thing that you might have to have done at the dealer is the software downloaded for the 13 pin towing socket to be dedicated with the vehicle's computerised circuitry.




Message posted by NoviceNorris via mobile 08/2/2021 at 8:26am
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Thanks Tango. I cannot remember where I read it now but someone was having trouble with a tow ball that was too high and was in dispute with volvo over it !?

Message posted by IainM08/2/2021 at 10:52am
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Have now had 4 Volvos all with factory brackets ... no issue with the height of the bracket on any of them.

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Message posted by Monty1508/2/2021 at 11:26am
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Quote: Originally posted by NoviceNorris on 07/2/2021
Speaking of Volvo tow bars has anyone heard of volvo factory fitted towbars being fitted too high and causing issues with ride height etc ?

Only reason I ask is I would love to consider buying a V90 for our next tow vehicle ??!!

Thanks



Often overlooked, but the towball height (to centre line of ball NOT top of ball!) should be measured in laden conditions!

EC Directive 94/20/EC stipulates that a vehicle in Ďladen conditioní should have a towball height of between 350mm and 420mm. The problem comes in that no one has defined 'laden condition', is it just trailer attached at recommended noseweight, or is it entire train of trailer nose weight plus max capacity fully laden car at the other extreme! You'll find endless opinions it seems, but no definitive statements from any authority!

Then again you could interpret Directive as meaning that height MUST fall within declared limits under ALL laden conditions, from potentially lightest to heaviest, which is the way I look at it. Seems obvious to me, but others take a different view and are looking for a stated load!

One thing for certain, measuring an apparently 'too high' towball without any load is pretty pointless unless it's extreme!

Can't say I ever recall seeing what appears to be a too high tow hitch on regular cars, sometimes look suspect on pick ups, vans, 4x4 etc., certainly needed a drop plate on my Land Rover 110.

Bit obvious perhaps, but it's more than just complying with a measurement number, too high a hitch and you will likely drag back end of trailer, especially a long one like a caravan, on ground over uneven surfaces. Too low and tow bars, jockey wheels etc. near front of trailer will ground. Speed Control humps and hump back bridges are generally the greatest risk.



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