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Discussion Starter #1
With the promise of good weather on the horizon and many track days upcoming the need for a towbar to lug my track bike around has increased.

I'm going to have a do at fitting a Witter bar and electrics myself for two reasons. Firstly, it's about a third of the price of a Volvo fit and secondly, I don't like the amount of bumper that has to be cut out to incorporate the Volvo horizontal detachable bar. The Witter one (and just about every other one) fits further back so you don't really see the cut and I think that the Volvo part that covers the cut might look a bit iffy on the R-Design...

While I wait for delivery, has anyone else done it themselves or have any hints/tips to help me along the way?

Cheers,
Fro
 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again!

The V40 is beautiful, please, please, buy an old escort van and fit a tow-bar on that!:(
 
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You may find the electrics a bit daunting, modern cars with computer controlled systems can be very complicated. I would see if you can download the fitting instructions and see what they say before buying and having a go yourself. Also I have found in the past that local towbar fitting place is usually a lot less than the main dealer who probably sends the car to the towbar fitting place anyway. They do in the Derby area. Before I retired I worked for a motor factors and we had a towbar fitting place nearby and all the dealers sent their vehicles there. The difference between main dealer and that place was around 40-50%.
 

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I'd seriously suggest you phone around a few local independents for prices before you attempt it yourself. Lots will come out to you or your place of work & fit it for you.
 

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I am surprised you can find prices much less than the Volvo one, and I would be careful about the detail. I had a Volvo one fitted at a competitive price. Especially check the electrics. They are not as straightforward as they used to be.
Have read of this topic http://www.volvov40club.com/forums/7-volvo-v40-general-discussion/351-tow-bar-r-design.html, and check out the Volvo Accessories info, where you will find all the fitting instructions.
http://accessories.volvocars.com/Ac...nt/ShowIiDocument/VCC-430772-1/V40_(13-)_2014
 

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I've fitted hundreds of towbars to all manner of cars over the years of spannering, and it really is a doddle to fit 'bars to most new cars. Hopefully you've done your homework and will be paying far less than £150 for the towbar itself. If you are not 100% happy with going into modern Can-Bus electrics, I'd advise getting the plug in kit, which will keep the trailer assist,park sensors and rear fog cut out active. Worth the extra cost.

My R Design will be getting a bar fitted very soon.

http://www.pfjones.co.uk/volvo-v40-7-pin-dedicated-wiring-kit-sep-2012-on-19260516rc.html

http://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars/v...towbars-1000s-in-stock/volvo-v40-towbars.html
 

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My R Design will be getting a bar fitted very soon.
Is this a deliberate attempt to upset me? No, no, please no! Preserve the lovely V's posterior beauty!
 

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I have the official Volvo fixed towbar on mine, and to me it doesn't mess with the cars look
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've said it before and I'll say it again!

The V40 is beautiful, please, please, buy an old escort van and fit a tow-bar on that!:(
I would have kept the V70 if that had been an optioin but between the other half and me, we just have too many vehicles already. :-( I'm going for detachable anyway so it shouldn't spoil the look. :)

I'd seriously suggest you phone around a few local independents for prices before you attempt it yourself. Lots will come out to you or your place of work & fit it for you.
Fitters tend to add £100-£150 to the cost of the bar alone and I'd rather do it myself and know it's a proper job than have some one connect up the wiring with scotch locks.

Besides, fitting a bar is well withing my capabilities (famous last words).

I've fitted hundreds of towbars to all manner of cars over the years of spannering, and it really is a doddle to fit 'bars to most new cars. Hopefully you've done your homework and will be paying far less than £150 for the towbar itself. If you are not 100% happy with going into modern Can-Bus electrics, I'd advise getting the plug in kit, which will keep the trailer assist,park sensors and rear fog cut out active. Worth the extra cost.

My R Design will be getting a bar fitted very soon.

http://www.pfjones.co.uk/volvo-v40-7-pin-dedicated-wiring-kit-sep-2012-on-19260516rc.html

http://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars/v...towbars-1000s-in-stock/volvo-v40-towbars.html
PFJones was my choice - the detachable flange is what I'm going for. I'm as yet undecided to whether to get the bypass of the plug in... For the sake of £100 I'm teetering on the edge. If it does work with the on board system then it's worth it but if I ned to take it in to Volvo to have the ECU jiggered to make it work then that pretty much puts me off.
 

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I had the Volvo detachable bar fitted by the local dealer at delivery. I too have the experience and ability to fit the tow bar, I have done to the last 3 cars, but I opted for a 'factory fit for 2 reasons:
The price - £550 was not excessive when you price 'like for like components' and fitting
and secondly the 'electrics' and warrantee are now fraught with pitfalls. Having spent over £20K on the car to try and save £150 and have potential issues as who was to blame if something goes wrong is not worth the aggravation.

And a towbar spoiling the looks - well each to his/her own but the Volvo solution is good and I don't spend too much time on my knees looking at the rear bumper.

In summary I am delighted with the factory fit towbar and its looks.
 
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Remember Volvo don't make towbars, they just rebrand so the actual "factory fit" will be a Bosal or Westfalia or whoever else they commissioned to produce the "Volvo towbar" Same with the electrics kit. The mechanics at the dealership won't be trained towbar fitters so will be following the instructions the same as any other mechanic. I started fitting towbars to brand new Vauxhalls in the dealership at 16 ( Mk 2 Astra's and Mk3 Cavaliers..).... Do you think customers would have been happy if they'd paid £550 to have a £120 towbar fitted by a YTS teenager?

So, if you fit a Volvo towbar without Volvo on it, the same electrics kit as Volvo would fit, and fit it correctly,according to the supplied instructions, why would it be any worse than a dealer fit? Some people actually enjoy doing things like this, and take pride in doing a first class job. Some of the towbars and especially electrics I've seen fitted by dealers have been no less than a downright fire risk...

I've been asked to fit 2 bars to friends cars in the next few weeks- a Quashqai and a brand new Jeep Wrangler. Less than 1/3 dealer price and I'm still making enough for a set of V40 mats and mudflaps..

Volvo's to me are practical, family cars bought to enjoy the great outdoors and a Volvo without a towbar is like Wise without Morcambe..... Trailers, bike racks, caravans....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, update...

I ended up buying a Witter detachable flange mount with the V40 specific wiring loom for ~£340 from PF Jones (the loom was ~£110 more than the cut and shut version).

The reason I went for the loom is that I want all the functionality of the parking stuff and stability programme to work and I don't want the dealer to tell me to do one if I take it back with chopped up wiring!

Taking the bumper and cross bar off, fitting the main bolt in part and getting the bumper back on only took about 45 mins.

I ran out of light on Friday so I couldn't get the wiring and whatnot done (this afternoons job if the weather holds) but I found that the bottom of the detachable bracket bit protrudes below the level of the bumper which will require a bit of chopping and will be visible once it's all finished. I'm not overjoyed by this but what can you do? :)

To get things back together on Friday avo, I had to take the lower part of the bumper panel out (with the inner most parking sensors on) as it was fouling the towbar. This will actually make the cutting process a whole lot easier as I'll be cutting a more manageable part and I was able to mock up a bit of cardboard to fit round the protruding bit so I can get the cut bang on.

I'll pop up some pics when it's all complete you can applaud/mock* my efforts. ;-)

*Delete as appropriate.
 

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I've been advised not to use an independent fitter or wire a tow-bar myself: as Volvo will refuse to honour any warranty claim on electrics if an owner or third-party wires the tow-bar?
 

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I found that the bottom of the detachable bracket bit protrudes below the level of the bumper which will require a bit of chopping and will be visible once it's all finished. I'm not overjoyed by this but what can you do? :)
I'm just pleased I have the Volvo towbar. If they didn't know I doubt most people would realise it was there. The cover clips firmly into the fixed part of the bar when the towbar is not in use, and merges with the rest of the underbumper. Absolutely nothing apart from the cover shows.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Okey dokey. Finally got round to taking some snaps of the car avec towbar mount.

As you can see, the nubbin that sticks out is actually quite small and only really noticable if you get down on your hands and knees. :) I re-sited the electrics so that they swing down infront of the towbar to make it a bit tidier and negate the need to cut more of the bumper.





Darren - I can't see how having a non-Volvo bar fitted would impact your warranty if you use the dedicated electrics set as I did as it just plugs straight in to the box under the driver's seat. The only actual "wiring" I had to do was to fix an earth lead to a pre-existing earth point and scotch lock one wire to the brake light.

The worst part of the whole job was to take out the plastic bit on the spare wheel well which took a bit of force and blind faith. :)

All in all, I'm very pleased with the result as I'd probably end up losing the plastic clippy on bit that comes with the Volvo fit and I saved a few quid in to the bargain!
 

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Very good Job there Mr Fro :thumbup:

Looks very acceptable to me.
I may end up doing the same ;)

Can you please post pics of tow-bar connected and ready to use?
 

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Don't forget, if you have the Volvo bar fitted, you get TSA (Trailer Stability Assist) included in the cost. This allows the car to apply brakes to counter any rocking motion. Well worth the extra surely.
 
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