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Exciting Torque Steer!!

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

Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby SimLyons » 01 Apr 2012, 19:37

Suspension and steering are probably the greatest weakness I have about my cars.

My 1997 850R Has new tires, relatively new Bilstein struts and upper bearings and runs true on the straight and level. Hitting the brakes beyond moderate causes a slight pull to the left.

But hard acceleration from a stop causes a wild ride! The torque steer runs it right nd left and right with constant quick corrections to keep me in my lane. In the meantime, my wife is all white knuckles with terror in her eyes. It's time to fix it!

I had it in to my local (excellent) tire shop for a full alignment. Then I asked then to check out the torque steer by driving it. The report was "it's all those grooves in the rods from the tractor-trailers and studs/chains". He also said there was no sign of looseness in the ball joints Well, my 2006R doesn't do it, no does my daughter's Prius. This is WAY beyond the norm.

I don't want to just replace everything willy-nilly. I would appreciate help! Thanks!

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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby jblackburn » 01 Apr 2012, 20:45

I don't think a Prius can accelerate fast enough to pull in any direction besides straight. In the left lane of the highway. At 20 under the speed limit.

That feeling is usually is caused by bad ball joints or bushings on the control arms. If you have never replaced your control arms on this car, it's a pretty good bet. Jack the car up and check for any play at 12 and 6 o' clock shaking the front tires up and down (putting your hands on it and trying to push it back and forth towards the inside of the car). This will indicate that the ball joints are indeed bad

Do you see any uneven wear on the tires (usually on the inside edges)? This would point to bad tie rods, which can also cause pulling to one side under braking. These will show play shaking the tire side to side at 3 and 9 o clock.
'98 S70 T5 218K miles
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A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

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Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby D_V_ENT850R » 01 Apr 2012, 20:48

Wow alot of $$ will be wasted. The car in question is an R and that means front wheel drive turbo. The S60R is (I believe all wheel drive!) The Prius just does not have the power to create alot of torque steer! If you replace all the suspension it's still not going to correct the issue. The issue is you have a powerful car that is front wheel drive. The traction control in the older models I believe only worked under 25mph. The newer S60R has a system that will start working over 5mph all through every speed. So the car and suspension is fine as the shop has informed you already. Keep your foot out of it and it won't do it. Or if you want to waste money give me that car and go buy another Prius.!!!! All front wheel drive cars have an amount of torque steer, the more power the more torque steer..


I'm on the 12 step plan..... 12 beers in a case...... Coincidence? I think not!!!
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby tjts1 » 01 Apr 2012, 20:49

With 295 lb/ft of torque starting at 0 rpm, you bet your sweet ass a prius can burn some low rolling resistance rubber. Problem is most prius driver's wouldn't know how to defeat the traction control.
Ambitious but rubbish
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby JRL » 01 Apr 2012, 20:52

Brakes pulling should tell you something
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby jblackburn » 01 Apr 2012, 20:52

Nope. A Camry hybrid could though.

'98 S70 T5 218K miles
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby SimLyons » 01 Apr 2012, 21:48

Thanks guys! It's no coincidence that the torque is much worse this year than last, or 3 years ago, etc. I'd say it verges on dangerous.

I'll jack it up tomorrow and give it the checkover (wheel movement at 12-6 and 9-3 o-clock.) Won't hurt. And I checked those parts pricing at IPD. Not bad.

I suppose I am really comparing to all the past 850s I've had, mostly the T-5 and the 2006R. Of course, the grooves in the roads are all much worse and who the heck will fess up to having a budget to resurface them? It will only get worse.

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Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby D_V_ENT850R » 01 Apr 2012, 23:15

But the R has more boost than T5! Therefore more torque steer! If everything is ok just drive it!


I'm on the 12 step plan..... 12 beers in a case...... Coincidence? I think not!!!
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Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby jblackburn » 01 Apr 2012, 23:20

Not much. A s70 t5 has about the same power as an R. The only time I get torque steer is flat on the floor in first gear; it will not ever torque steer at highway speeds even flat out. Something's worn out.
'98 S70 T5 218K miles
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby SimLyons » 01 Apr 2012, 23:55

First Gear getting lined up on the on-ramp..... I'm pretty gentle with it. When I'm certain I have the space I need to move out to traffic lanes I gun it (2nd gear) and away we go!! Hit those grooves in the pavement and it's wild west time! Mary is dead certain I'm on the way to the median strip, or in the next millisecond heading for the semi to my right!

I just want to tame it some, not kill it!
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby BKM98 S70 T5 » 02 Apr 2012, 01:56

Are they Michelin, size and are they directional?

Blessings,

BKM
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EDIT: Adding to a problem in the Suspension System per JRL - "Brakes pulling should tell you something"
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Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby matthew1 » 02 Apr 2012, 02:06

My gut says tie rods. I'm about to put new TRs in my 850 T after a. having similar behavior and b. replacing everything else.
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1997 850 T5, MBC, tune, strut brace, dying paint
2004 V70 R [gone]
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby jimmy57 » 02 Apr 2012, 02:28

The toe should be set faintly toe out. On lots of FWD volvos over the years they reduced toe-in and then on some they changed specs to a very slight toe out. The lower control arm bushings being worn makes pull under brake and drive much worse as it lets settings change under stress.
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Re: Exciting Torque Steer!!

Postby SimLyons » 04 Apr 2012, 22:19

I just put the Michelins back on until the Snow flies again in late Fall. They are asymetrical 215/45R17 I think. My wife is using it today. The tires I used for Winter are studless Hankook Ice Bears and they behave exactly the same. So I can fairly well rule out tires. With the slight mods to the specs for alignment can anyone send me specs to give the tech when I have it done next? I'll replace a few other pieces first (see above).

Thznks for everything, guys!
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