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XC60 Towbar fitting guide

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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 10:49   #1
anthv50
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Default XC60 Towbar fitting guide

This guide is to show you how to fit a tow bar to a XC60. The car used for demonstration is my 61 plate XC60 AWD D3. I believe for the parts that are involved it is the same across the range but their maybe some slight differences between years. The R-Design bumper is significantly different and I don’t have one so I can’t advise on this. This guide if for informational purposes only, I take no responsibility for damage you may do to the car and/or trailer. If you are unsure get a professional to fit it for you.

The kit used was bought from eBay for around 130 for a detachable ball and a 13pin universal electrics kit. It fits the XC60 and the V60 but this guide is aimed at the XC60.

The first step is to check over the bar you have, make sure there are no cracks or marks that might weaken it. Once it is on the car you can’t see much of it to check it. Also make sure you read the fitting instructions supplied with your tow bar and these instructions. Make sure you have all the tools you need before you start. The sizes for the car's nuts and bolts should be the same but don’t go off the sizes for my tow bar as yours maybe slightly different so check the ones you have and can access in advance.

Tools I used:
T25 Torx bit
Small ratchet wrench
Large ratchet wrench
Torque wrench
13mm, 19mm, 22mm x2 sockets
13mm, 19mm spanners
Small flat head screwdriver
Hack saw
Stanley knife

Next you need to remove the rear bumper. There are 5 Torx screws in each rear wheel arch. I found this easier to use a ratchet wrench with a Torx bit, which means you don’t need to take the wheels off for access.



There are 2 more Torx screws which are hidden inside the rubber stops. One each side of the boot opening.


Finally there are 2 push clips at the bottom. I found these tight and got covered in trapped stones when I took them out. You have to push the pin from the back of the clip then you can pull the clip out.


Once all of them are out the bumper will still be quite solid. There are a lot of clips round the wheel arches and under the rear light clusters. It does take some persuasion to get those clips out. Be careful as once those are out the bumper will fall to the floor and might get scratched.

Separate the wiring loom for the rear sensors and lights if you have them. Set the rear bumper to one side on something soft so it does not get scratched on the floor.

Next remove the rear panel. It is to be replaced by the tow bar so will not be refitted. There are six 13mm bolts, three on each side




You should now have this. I refitted those 6 bolts and kept the rear panel in case the tow bar was ever to be removed.


Remove the exhaust hangers on both sides, it is a 13mm bolt for this. It will drop the exhaust by a couple of inches and give you much better access.


Offer to tow bar up to the chassis holes.


My bar fits both the XC60 and V60, the instructions show which holes to use on each car, yours may have this or may not. Put the supplied bolts in one side loosely. Mine were 22mm bolts. You will find it easier to bend the heat shield a little to get better access, this is why it is easier to remove the exhaust hangers and they hold the heat shield in place.
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Once all four bolts are in loosely, tighten the bolts using a 22mm socket on either side. Your tow bar instructions should have a torque value. Refit the exhaust hangers.
There is a rubber grommet in the boot floor for you to feed the wiring through, use a Stanley knife to cut this open and feed through the wiring. You should see the cable to the left of the exhaust heat shield.


It was at this point that I tightened all the bolts holding the bracket for the electrics plug.


Feed the cable to the 13pin plug and use this diagram for wiring the plug. Make sure you feed the cable through the rubber back panel, I made this mistake and had to redo the plug.


Fit the plug to the bracket using the three supplied nuts and bolts.
Now the nervous part. Trial refit your bumper and see how much you need to remove so it clears the new tow bar and wiring plug. My bumper had a small line marked from the factory so I followed that with a hack saw and it worked out pretty nicely. Keep the piece you remove in case you ever want to remove the tow bar, you can fibreglass it back on. Refit the bumper as a reverse of removal, not forgetting to connect the wiring.

You should now have your tow bar and wiring plug on the car, looking something like this.


This took me about 2 hours, most of the time was figuring out that the bumper was so securely held on by clips and there were no more screws as I didn't want to be too rough and damage it.

Now we will move onto the electrics. Because the XC60 has sensors for when a bulb is out we can’t just run a parallel line to a bulb in the trailer because the resistance will be too high so it will show as a blown bulb even though it is not. Instead the kits use a relay that need a cable running from each light, then the negative from the chassis and positive from the battery positive terminal. You also need a switched live which means it is only live when the ignition is on, one of the 12v sockets is ideal. The live from the battery and from the ignition need fuses which should be supplied with your kit.

There are some negative chassis connections on either side of the boot floor, so most of the wiring will be done in and around the boot.

I will be wiring mine in, in the next few weeks so I will post a part two of this guide then.
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Last edited by anthv50; Feb 9th, 2016 at 12:03.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 18:03   #2
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Many thanks for taking the time to give others the benefit of your experience.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 19:42   #3
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As above, thanks for the write up.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 19:59   #4
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No problem, I was doing it anyway so take a few photos and doing a quick step by step wasn't too time taking. Hopefully it'll save some people some money. I was quoted 350 so that's 220 saved. I know Volvo quote over 600 to do it that's over 450 saved!
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 20:03   #5
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towbars on anything vaguely modern are easy, the bolt holes are all there from the factory.

Possibly except the audi TT which doesnt ahve them so its illegal to fit a towbar, too new, eu bollx.
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 00:40   #6
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Interested to see what you are planning with electrics. Bypass?

I'm going the OEM Volvo route. Car under warranty and would like to have the stability control feature.

Have everything fitted to the car, the car hasn't been told there's a towbar fitted yet and it hasn't had the software update applied for the stability control.

This is where it gets confusing. I've found some threads that suggest you will get basic light function but no parking sensor or lights mute, and I've also found some threads that tell you, you get nothing until the car is programmed. I get nothing.

Anyone know for sure which is right?
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 12:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somersetcamper1 View Post
Interested to see what you are planning with electrics. Bypass?

I'm going the OEM Volvo route. Car under warranty and would like to have the stability control feature.

Have everything fitted to the car, the car hasn't been told there's a towbar fitted yet and it hasn't had the software update applied for the stability control.

This is where it gets confusing. I've found some threads that suggest you will get basic light function but no parking sensor or lights mute, and I've also found some threads that tell you, you get nothing until the car is programmed. I get nothing.

Anyone know for sure which is right?
If you go down the Volvo route and fit the official electrics kit you then need to have the software downloaded at the Volvo dealer. You can fit the electrics kit yourself and as wiring is in the car connecting to the car main system you have all the safety aspects covered eg stability control, parking sensors etc, switched off when towing.
I fitted the Volvo towbar and wiring kit myself and had the software loaded at the dealer - cost of software and download was 1 hour labour.

I also noted that the OP did not fit the rear bumper protection shield when fitting his towbar. This is part of the crash protection of the car and he may find that if he is in an accident his insurance will not cover any rear end shunt as the car is not to the manufacturers spec. When fitting the Volvo towbar (and some other makes) this protection is put back on the car and therefore is returned to full Volvo sppecification.
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Old Feb 12th, 2016, 14:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkennedy View Post
If you go down the Volvo route and fit the official electrics kit you then need to have the software downloaded at the Volvo dealer. You can fit the electrics kit yourself and as wiring is in the car connecting to the car main system you have all the safety aspects covered eg stability control, parking sensors etc, switched off when towing.
I fitted the Volvo towbar and wiring kit myself and had the software loaded at the dealer - cost of software and download was 1 hour labour.

I also noted that the OP did not fit the rear bumper protection shield when fitting his towbar. This is part of the crash protection of the car and he may find that if he is in an accident his insurance will not cover any rear end shunt as the car is not to the manufacturers spec. When fitting the Volvo towbar (and some other makes) this protection is put back on the car and therefore is returned to full Volvo sppecification.
Thanks for the reply.

This is what I imagined. The car is in today having the towbar bolted on. I've pre installed the electrics. The garage thinks they will be able to do the software which will be a bonus, if not I'll have a chat with the dealer.
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Old Feb 12th, 2016, 16:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkennedy View Post
I also noted that the OP did not fit the rear bumper protection shield when fitting his towbar. This is part of the crash protection of the car and he may find that if he is in an accident his insurance will not cover any rear end shunt as the car is not to the manufacturers spec. When fitting the Volvo towbar (and some other makes) this protection is put back on the car and therefore is returned to full Volvo sppecification.
I think you'll find that refitting that bumper protection shield is impossible and as stated in the guide the tow bar is doing the same job anyway. The fitting guide that came with the tow bar said to do it like that.

Regarding the electrics, the kit that comes with it will not have the stability control, my caravan doesn't have it anyway, nor will it have the ability to disable to rear parking sensors, but I can do that with a press of a button on the dash. I am quite happy to press that button to save myself several hundreds of pounds by not going the volvo route.
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Old Feb 12th, 2016, 17:40   #10
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Your caravan doesnt "need" it - Trailer Stability assist is part of the cars Stability control and it uses that to try and stabilise the unit through independent wheel braking or reducing power. It does need to know that there is a trailer affixed though, which is where the software \ wiring package comes in.
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