IPD - Volvo Parts SpecialistsVolvo PartsVolvo Salvage: Used Volvo Parts and Over 50 Years ExperienceSouthern Vo Vo sells genuine used Volvo parts

Please use this Amazon link ... and help keep MVS on the Web. Thank you!Amazon.com

Advertise here via Google

Login

Not part of the forums? Register. It's free.

Need help? See our Help Page.

Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby ajwgator » 13 Nov 2009, 04:50

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.
ajwgator
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 27 Oct 2009, 15:38
Location: Lexington KY
Model and Year: V70XC AWD 1998

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » 13 Nov 2009, 05:49

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
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
User avatar
Ozark Lee
MVS Moderator
MVS Moderator
 
Posts: 11941
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 14:24
Location: USA Midwest

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby FCPGroton » 13 Nov 2009, 14:27

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.
Image
FCP Euro - European Car Parts Specialists
sales@fcpeuro.com
Quality & Service, Guaranteed for Life
155 Hill Street, Milford, CT 06460
User avatar
FCPGroton
Senior Forum Member
Senior Forum Member
 
Posts: 2385
Joined: 17 Jun 2009, 15:57
Location: Old Saybrook, CT
Model and Year: 2004 S60R

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby JRL » 13 Nov 2009, 14:45

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, 122,000 miles (Wife's).
2006 XC70 White only 61,000 miles. New daily driver.
2000 V70R Silver, 36,200 miles!!! SOLD (I will regret this)!

Contact info for purchases: jrl1194 (at) aol (dot) com
User avatar
JRL
Longtime Member
Longtime Member
 
Posts: 8006
Joined: 22 Nov 2005, 21:07

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby KEWROCK » 15 Dec 2009, 01:24

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?
Please log in or register to see attachments.
1999 V70R T5 AWD Red
User avatar
KEWROCK
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 118
Joined: 25 Sep 2007, 16:59
Location: NYC
Model and Year: V70R 1999

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » 15 Dec 2009, 03:37

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
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
User avatar
Ozark Lee
MVS Moderator
MVS Moderator
 
Posts: 11941
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 14:24
Location: USA Midwest

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby KEWROCK » 15 Dec 2009, 05:08

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
User avatar
KEWROCK
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 118
Joined: 25 Sep 2007, 16:59
Location: NYC
Model and Year: V70R 1999

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » 15 Dec 2009, 16:19

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
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
User avatar
Ozark Lee
MVS Moderator
MVS Moderator
 
Posts: 11941
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 14:24
Location: USA Midwest

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby 850 Turbo1 » 22 Dec 2009, 00:36

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--
850 Turbo1
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 265
Joined: 19 Jul 2009, 01:25
Location: Toronto (Mississauga) ,Canada
Model and Year: 1996 Volvo 850

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby Ozark Lee » 22 Dec 2009, 00:48

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
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
User avatar
Ozark Lee
MVS Moderator
MVS Moderator
 
Posts: 11941
Joined: 07 Sep 2006, 14:24
Location: USA Midwest

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby 850 Turbo1 » 22 Dec 2009, 02:48

Thanks Lee..For anyone who wants to know how to install a camber kit...Youtube is amazing!



Follow the link and self install your own camber kit!!!

I will update after mine is completely(Properly :? ) aligned !

In case anyone is interested in what mine looks like...I've attached the picture and an ebay description of what I have bought ...

OBX Camber Correction KIT Volvo 1993-97 850 Front
Camber Correction Adjustable Kits prevents pre-mature tire wearing and balding. These are adjustable alignment correction kits. Main use is for vehicles with after market wheels
2 PCS ( 1 PER WHEEL) FRONT

Guarantee Fitments:

1993-1997 Volvo 850 (Front ONLY)

Adjustable alignment correction kits
# Adjustable -1 To +1 Degree
# For vehicles with after market wheels
# Baked paint treated to prevent rust and corrosion
# Prevents pre-mature tire wearing and balding

.

Design And Quality Of OBX USA.
Please log in or register to see attachments.
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--
850 Turbo1
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 265
Joined: 19 Jul 2009, 01:25
Location: Toronto (Mississauga) ,Canada
Model and Year: 1996 Volvo 850

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby rcannon » 31 Dec 2009, 02:44

I've gotten to the point that I just do the toe in myself using a couple methods. They always seem to toe it in too much otherwise, and there is a slight drag and tire wear. So I either just to it out a but, maybe 1/4 turn and see how it feels. Or better yet I do what I saw a shop do years ago. They would set toe in to 0 for maximum tire wear if you asked them to. This was back when bias ply was still common. You need less toe in with radials anyway. This is how they set toe in.
- spray paint (white) a stripe around the middle of the tires while spinning
- scribe a line in the middle of the tires while spinning, using a nail in a board (a bit tricky- I need to make a spring loaded one)
- lower the car, move it back and forth a bit, then measure the toe in directly using a tape measure and an assistant. Measure the distance across the front, then the rear of the tires as high as you can. The difference is the toe in/out. I like to set them at 0 or maybe toe in about 1/16" max. It rolls nice and wears even.

I also did this on the rear tires as well my Toyota Camry and it really drives and rolls nice now. Rear tires were really off for some reason, tires were wearing badly. Probably because it was serviced at Goodyear (was my mother's car). They probably sabotoged it.

Haven't checked my 97 850 yet- got it recently- lots of other issues to tackle first. Tires are wearing OK though. But it may have a bent front rim or something- steering wheel wobbles at low speed.
rcannon
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 20 Nov 2009, 23:52
Location: Peoria, IL
Model and Year: 96,7 850 T, GLT Wgns

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby ajwgator » 17 May 2010, 04:44

JRL wrote: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


JRL I know its been a good number of month since I my original post but I wanted to come back and state that you are completely correct. I did notice wear starting to show on my left front not very long after the strut replacements. Took it in and the toe was messed up. Had it corrected and tires rotated to the rear and now after 5 months no unusual wear showing at all. Thanks for your and everyone elses input.
ajwgator
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 27 Oct 2009, 15:38
Location: Lexington KY
Model and Year: V70XC AWD 1998

Re: Front Strut Replacement & Alignment Issue

Postby xb corp » 17 May 2010, 05:42

i dont know, but i think i have to disagree with all inputs regarding using the camber adjustment kit to correct the bad alignment. (sorry, no insult)..

basically the mechanical assembly of the struts and lower arm are all related.
i am very much against using of the camber nut (as what they call it in Malaysia) or camber adjustment kit...UNLESS, your car chasis has moved/ twisted/ deformed sooooo much that you can see you car tires sit like a "drift" car..

well, starts with checking the subframe. there are 4 main bolts securing the subframe to the chasis. each side of the subframe has 2 mounting area to secure the lower arm's bushings. It make sense if the subframe is off to the left, you would have negative camber on left tire and positive camber on the right. because the lower arm is mounted to the subframe, and the spindle or knuckle, sits on the lowerarm, lastly, the strut absorber sits on the spindle. check this first.

if you satisfy that the subframe sits where it should be seated and the bolts are all at the center of the subframe mounting bushings, go to the next one.

the struts are mounted to the spindle by 2 big bolts (M12 size). the lower bolt is fixed, but the top one actually you can move by max 3degrees..that means you can tilt you strut up to 3degrees inside/ outside...

next, at the top, where there are holes where the mounting should be mounted. see properly and you will notice that the hole is actually bigger than the studbolt size. to adjust it, check the alignment value for "camber" first, loosen the nuts that secure this mounting to the chasis.
then with your own judgment, slot prybar between the chasis and the mounting, move it accordingly. once you got the position, tighten the nuts and check again.
you can get another 3degree on it.
so intotal you can get max of 6degrees adjustment. try it first!
'96 855GT5 324hp 386lb-ft
Nissan 16V turbo, HKS w/g, SS 2.5" d/p+FGK 3" exh, HKS Evo9 FMIC+2.5" piping, K&N, Apexi BOV, NA cams & t/b, portd head, 5 sub-injctrs, Mocal coolers, AMG 4pot 325mm, AVS 18", Bilstein B6/Vogtland
xb corp
Forum Member
Forum Member
 
Posts: 131
Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 02:02
Location: Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Model and Year: 855GT5 '96

Next

Return to Volvo 850, S70, V70, C70 & V70-XC Forum (1992-2000)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: abscate, Bing [Bot], drnordin, dsbreuer, erikv11, fiat 124, jblackburn, mecheng, MMT51, rspi, RussB, Scratchy2000, SpeedyPete, tourspin69, xHeart, Yahoo [Bot], Yodaman626 and 156 guests