Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive / R.E.A.D. / READ Rebuild

In January 2014 we did our first Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive / R.E.A.D. unit rebuild. I've also heard it referred to as the Volvo Rear Engine Auxilary Drive and the Volvo READ.  I was not able to find much information on the web about the R.E.A.D. unit, so I thought I’d share our experience for those who are looking to learn more about the Volvo READ. unit and the rebuilding process.

In January 2014, we were contacted by another local shop that had a 2008 Volvo XC90 with a noise coming from the back of the engine near the alternator.  They found the service bulletin number 21–9 that described a noise near the back of the engine.  It said the cause was a failure of the gear drive.  The gear drive is what drives the R.E.A.D. unit by the crankshaft.  They asked if we were familiar with the issue and if we do the job. We had not done the job before, but two of our technicians had recently attended a training session on SI6 or short in-line six cylinder engine.  They were very interested in putting the new knowledge to work.  We discussed the job.  We talked about how it would take an investment of about $2000 in special tools and we would certainly lose money on the job, but we decided the experience is worth it.
 
The vehicle was brought to our shop and we ordered the tools.  Once the tools arrived we began the disassembly procedure to remove the Rear End Accessory Drive / R.E.A.D. unit.  At that time we believe we would just be replacing the gear drive as the bulletin stated.  
 
If you watch the video above you will see that the noise turned out to be the bearing inside the READ. unit and not from the gear drive addressed in the bulletin.  Below is a picture of the Volvo SI6.  I found this picture online and I’ve included it here because with the engine out of the vehicle it’s much easier to see the R.E.A.D. unit. The READ. unit is the box near the back of the engine with a small gear that looks like a timing belt pulley.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service

The name Rear End Accessory Drive describes only half of what the Volvo R.E.A.D. unit does.  While it does drives the alternator and the Accessory Drive Belt, it also connects the crankshaft with the camshafts. In the next image you can see how the read unit attaches to the timing chain.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #2
 
This was our starting point. Most of what you see here on top of this engine needs to be removed to get to the rear and accessory drive unit.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #3


The first step is to remove the right front wheel and move the inner fender out of the way to access the front of the engine. Once that’s done there’s a plug in the front of the engine that covers the crankshaft. This has to be removed so special tools that locks the crankshaft in place can be installed see that here in this image.

Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #4

The next step is to remove the intake manifold and everything on that side of the engine above the read unit.

Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #5

Next the front timing chain cover needs to be removed.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #6
 
Then the timing chain in gears needs to be removed.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #7
 
Then the rear timing chain cover.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #8
 
Once all of this is out-of-the-way we can now see the read unit.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #9

The next step is to remove the R.E.A.D. unit and gear drive. There’s a special tool to remove the gear drive from the block. It’s very critical at this point to inspect the journal where the gear drive sets as well as the roll pin that locks the gear drive shaft to the block. If any of this is damaged, Volvo recommends replacing the engine. The Volvo READ. unit is mated to the block, therefore it cannot be replaced separately.
 
Once we had the gear drive out we found that was not the cause of the noise. What we found is a failed bearing in the Rear End Accessory Drive. In this picture the bearing is shown on the left.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #10
 
There are quite a few special tools required to disassemble the R.E.A.D. unit and reassemble it.
 
This is a picture of the R.E.A.D. unit is disassembled and ready for reassemble. Also in this picture you see the new gear and bearing for the read unit. Volvo sells the bearing here as one assembly it cannot be purchased separately. Unfortunately this is the last picture we took, I wasn’t expecting to make a video or this page.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #11
 
Reassembling the car went pretty smooth.  I'm happy to report that the vehicle has been on the road trouble free for several years now.  We did our second on on 03/2016 and that one is doing well also.
 
If you are considering a used R.E.A.D. unit, please check out my eBay add for another option. ebay/rebuildREAD
 
Update April 12, 2016.  
 
I was contacted today by a owner of a 2008 Land Rover LR2.  It turns out that the same engine was used in his Land Rover.  I did a little more research and it looks like it was used in some Jaguars as well.  So there may be some issues with the Land Rover R.E.A.D. or READ and the Jaguar R.E.A.D. or READ.  
 
Update April 04, 2017. 
 
We are now producing and selling the tools to remove and reinstall the sprocket from the READ unit.  The Volvo part numbers are (9997329 / 999 7329 / 999-7329) and (9997317  / 999 7317  / 999-7317).  You can purchase them on ebay at https://tinyurl.com/l6cjyrp   We produced and are selling these tools because we can sell them for less than 1/2 of what Volvo is selling them for and the last time I checked, there was about a 30 day wait to get them from Volvo.  The tools are a little different in design, but they work just as well.  See picture below.  Below the picture is also a list of all the special tools required for the job, with the prices the last time I checked.
 
Volvo Rear End Accessory Drive Rebuild | Scott's Automotive Service image #12
 
 
9997260 Large Seal Tool $31.46 Large seal tool 
9997317 Counterhold $499.59 Tool to hold the READ shaft while tightening the gear with tool 9997329
9997329 Counterhold $292.80 Tool to tighten the timing gear on the READ unit.
9997258 Backstop / Anvil Block $26.51 Tool to hold alternator drive pulley on READ
9997263 Counterhold $19.94 1/2 of the tool to lock the timing chain gears
9997264 Counterhold $27.59 1/2 of the tool to lock the timing chain gears
9997275 Crankshaft locking tool $25.15 Crankshaft locking tool
9997266 Position Sensor $11.22 Front timing cover seal guide lower
9997262 Position Sensor $145.82 Tool to align the compressor bracket
9997271 Support $14.54 Tool to elevate the engine in place of the mount
9997261 Position Sensor $48.89 Tool to lock crankshafts
9995760 Anvil Block $37.91 Tool to remove the accessory drive pulley
9512926 Torx Bit 50 $9.29 Torx to remove pulley
9997265 Seal installation tool / Drift $25.15 Small seal tool
9997272 Torx Bit 60 $38.56 Torx for camshaft pulleys
9997267 Position Sensor $27.59 Front timing cover seal guide upper
9995670 Pliers for removing  $151.18 Pliers for seperating unit from block
9997315 Puller 87.31 Puller to remove main gear from block 
9997259 Puller $15.63 Pulls the alternator drive gear off