Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

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ajwgator
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Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby ajwgator » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:50 am

Just completed replacing my front struts, upper spring seats, upper strut bearing mounts, and my rear Nivomat self leveling rear shocks on my 98 Volvo V70XC AWD. Not a bad project execpt for the 1k price tag on the parts. When removing the old front struts I noticed that the a couple of the lower strut to steering knuckle bolts were streched in the middle some so I installed all new Volvo hardware (bolts & lock nuts) during the repacement. There are no caster or camber adjustments (offsets or shims)in the lower strut mounting points, although the steering knuckle will shift very slightly before one tightens them to the 48ft lbs + 90 degree torque specs. The upper strut mounts don't have much in the way of adjustments either. Once the three upper mount studs are mounted up in the body they are pretty much the same position as they were before taking the old struts out.

Thinking all of this over; about the streched lower strut mounting bolts, I thought I should talk to someone about alignment before I put the final torque on the new mounting bolts. I first called the Volvo dealer today and asked to talk to their alignment man. Once I got through to him, I discussed the above and asked if I should just put the 48ft lbs of torque on the lower mounting bolts and wait to let them do the + 90 degree more once the alignment was completed. His answer really shocked me! He said, "It doesn't make any difference because there are no camber or caster adjustments on your model Volvo" He went on to say that the only thing that can be adjusted on it was the toe in. Doesn't that just blow your mind?

Although I believed his answer, I thought it would be good to check somewhere else too. I called one of the independent tire and alignment places that I have used for both and presented them with the same data and questions. The alignment man there told me pretty much the same thing execpt one small important tid bit. He said be sure and put the weight of the car down on the newly installed struts before you torque the lower mounting bolts. That way the steering knuckle is set in its normal/designed position. Other than that no camber or caster adjustments are possible.

My question to you all concerns the issue with alignment. After reading this post, do you all think that an alignment is nessesary after the front struts are replaced? I'm not sure if this same infomation applies to 97 and older 850's. I know that the books call for an alignment after this job. I have always had alignment done after a new set of tire are installed. I have never had any tire wear in the past before new tires or after new tires with the alignments that have been done. 140k miles and counting. Thanks for any and all input or thoughts on this issue.

Ozark Lee
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:49 am

Your alignment guy gave you pretty much the straight poop. Out of the box there is no camber or caster adjustment on either the front or the rear short of slamming the car into a curb or a frame machine.

Camber can be dealt with (+ or - 3/4 degrees or so) if you buy a "camber kit". The camber kit is basically an eccentric bolt kit that replaces the lower strut mount bolts.

My son tried to get an alignment on his car at some shop near his school and the camber was off - they wanted $80.00 per side for the kits and he said "thank you very much" and headed for the exit door. I just need for him to be home for a weekend and buy them either locally or via mail order and set him up to go back. Unintelligible cell phone calls from the Frat house notwithstanding, I think he said he was getting a 4 wheel alignment for around $60.00 which is OK fine in my department.

I have my doubts on those folks getting the rear wheels aligned properly but I have the same doubts at any other alignment shop no matter what the price.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
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'96 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

FCPGroton
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby FCPGroton » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:27 pm

Ozark Lee wrote:I have my doubts on those folks getting the rear wheels aligned properly but I have the same doubts at any other alignment shop no matter what the price.


I think the dealer is the only one that can do a good four wheel alignment.
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JRL
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby JRL » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:45 pm

I absolutely DISagree with that statement, any GOOD alignment shop can do an alignment and yes you always should do an alignment after rebuilding a front suspension.
While you may have put it back together very close, the struts being removed will almost always mess up the toe
2000 V70R Black, 129,000 miles (Wife's R, getting up there, she won't sell it)!
2007 XC70 White/Oak over 100K perfect. New DD, sold the 06
2000 V70R Silver, 36,200 miles!!! SOLD (I will regret this)!

Contact info for purchases: jrl1194 (at) aol (dot) com

KEWROCK
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby KEWROCK » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:24 am

At the top, under the big nut (18mm I think?) and rubber cap there's a gland nut (A yellowish nut with a cross shaped head) that holds the bearing and bushing together. When I took mine apart the cross was at the top with the round part at the bottom. Ordinarily I reassemble things the way they come apart. But this car has had so much bad work done over the years, I don't trust anything. I found this pic on Ebay for the removal tool(don't really need), And the cross part appears to be at the bottom. I don't see how it would matter, but which way is correct?
Attachments
MK_VOLVO_STRUT_TOOL.jpg
tool
1999 V70R T5 AWD Red

Ozark Lee
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:37 am

The top of the Cross shaped nut should be up towards the top with the bushing or collar built into the nut being down toward the spring seat.

That is a nifty looking tool, I just used a couple of pipe wrenches when I have changed my struts.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
Previous:
'96 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

KEWROCK
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby KEWROCK » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:08 am

I have no idea why anyone would spend money on that when a channel lock plyer is pretty foolproof. Actually, I have no idea why volvo uses a fastener like that when they could just use a hex nut.
1999 V70R T5 AWD Red

Ozark Lee
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:19 pm

Actually the design of the cross shaped nut is important. If it were held in place with just a standard nut the entire strut assembly would blow apart while you are trying to remove the strut after a spring seat failed.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
Previous:
'96 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

850 Turbo1
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:25 am
Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
Location: Toronto (Mississauga) ,Canada

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 am

Hi Everyone,

I went out(or rather went online..hehe) and bought a camber kit off of Ebay...My alignment is very off(driving at 30 Degrees)...and brand new tires are now completely bare on the insides(less than 7,000 Miles :o :o :o :x )...and hydroplaning isn't very fun...let alone sliding all over during the Canadian winters.

I bought the camber kit without knowing if it will be required or not, However I didn't want to go to an alignment shop ( somewhere reputable) and have them tell me "OMG u need a camber kit..and it costs $80.00 per side plus tax!!!!"...Like they did to Lee's son(some corrupt ppl).

So I got it off of Ebay for 20 dollars shipping and taxes included(both sides)....vs $85.00 on IPD's site..for these Eccentric Bolts...I feel I did well???

I don't know much about camber kits, let alone know how to install mine....Can I install the camber kit before the alignment by myself..or do the alignment guys need to do it.

IF I can do it by myself...please point me in the right direction with the right instructions :lol: :lol: :D

Also would anyone suggest against the people who installed and sold me the tires(A Goodyear Center)...They seem like real thugs(the words they have spray painted in their garage....not family friendly AT ALL..and sales tactics come tire rotation time..AH OH!!!)...but I did get a good price for my tires ,Dunlop SP-60!!! :lol: :lol:

Thanks in advance!
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--

Ozark Lee
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Posts: 14075
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Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:48 am

You can put them on yourself but you can't really set them properly. If you put them on right before you go to the shop you can keep them from screwing you out of the money to install them and then listening to them complain since they didn't sell you the parts.

They should be angle torqued for the final setting so I would just torque them down to stage 1 torque settings (Like the goobers at the average Goodyear shop even know what angle torque is).

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
Previous:
'96 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe


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