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Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

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
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1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
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plumsmooth
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plumsmooth

Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by plumsmooth » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:59 pm

Well it is time for me to try and address this issue. Because I don't drive that much, and because I have learned to make the adjustments (2) I have put it off -- but I know I need to check it out...

I even bought a Floor Jack last year and still haven't used it. I only have a very small almost level area of my packed driveway and have been scared to try to jack the vehicle...

Anyway I have narrowed down the problem to either 1. A stuck (open) left caliper piston. 2. A bad control arm bushing? Aren't there three of those?

I'm even more confused because the control arms seem to have a ball joint.

I could swear my mechanic charged me a fortune just to replace ball joints without ever even mentioning the control arm?

Just to recap my Wagon pulls to the right during braking then corrects when the brake peddle pressure is removed...

I'm starting to really see professional mechanics in retrospect as a big rip off...

Anyway I decided to treat myself to an oil change and a tire rotation at my local Vianor.

I decided to start my quest toward front suspension and brake work without standing on a iron bar trying to loosen frozen lug nuts.
They even said they torque their nuts to Vehicle specs meaning I think I'll get 81 ft/lbs meaning I'll be able to get my wheels off to start my training.

I might even ask them to put some anti seize on the threads -- maybe even clean them.
Maybe they could do a quick diagnostic at least tell me if the caliper piston is stuck? Since the wheels will be off anyway...
I don't want to cheat but I'm still only around 50 bucks I think... before the extra requests?

This to me is the way to spend money on mechanics!

P.S> I almost bought an electric impact wrench from Harbor Freight with a coupon this weekend but figured I should at least have the experience of removing lugs by hand once in my life.

I have never had to change a flat tire!

MadeInJapan
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MadeInJapan

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by MadeInJapan » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:09 pm

I doubt a control arm....you would have horrible vibrations while braking if it were that...but you didn't mention that.
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difflock54

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by difflock54 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:01 pm

Seized or sticking brake caliper piston on the left side sounds likely from your description.

plumsmooth
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plumsmooth

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by plumsmooth » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:53 am

Yeah no vibrations at all. However the vehicle does tend to drift a little on the road especially during wind -- but I think that is normal for an old wagon with worn suspension components on Vermont roads?

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rspi
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rspi

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by rspi » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:57 am

When my car was doing this, it was the control arm bushing at the frame of the car.
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plumsmooth
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plumsmooth

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by plumsmooth » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:47 am

When my car was doing this, it was the control arm bushing at the frame of the car.
Aren't there 3 of those bushings per control arm?

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Clemens
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Clemens

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by Clemens » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:26 pm

Nope, 2 that connect the control arm to the frame.
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plumsmooth
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plumsmooth

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by plumsmooth » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:49 pm

Thanks, I just watched the FCP repair video and decided I could easily pull this off if needed.

And I see now two musings one ball joint...

And for 100 bucks for a pair of control arms who would want to if they could.

IS it possible to just replace a ball joint.

I'm almost certain my former mechanic did this and charged me a fortune...

But I might be remembering one of my beater pick up trucks...

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erikv11

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by erikv11 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:07 pm

On a 97, the ball joint is not separable from the control arm. It is on a 93 850 and on some other cars, but on your car the mechanic may have said "the front ball joints are shot" and what he meant was, that he was replacing the control arm(s).

Moreover, if the mechanic used any of the widely available, fairly cheap control arms, which he would have charged you a fortune to install, it is very likely that one of them could be ruined already, only 8 or 10 months or whatever later.

The best control arms for your car, the ones that won't break anytime soon, are made by Lemforder and they run about $90 each from RMEuropoean. The Meyle HD ones may be acceptable at closer to $50 each. Control arm swap is a perfect introduction to suspension work: easy access, a few beefy bolts but only a few, guaranteed but minor frustration with rust at the ball joint pinch bolt, get a big hammer in the to pound the old one out and the new one in, be sure to pre-load the arm before tightening the bushing fasteners. Wipe your hands, move to the other side, and do the second one in half the time. Seasoned DIYers can do them in 20 minutes per side. That's after the front end is up on jack stands.
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plumsmooth
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plumsmooth

Re: Wagon pulls to right During braking then adjusts after brake is let off...

Post by plumsmooth » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:41 pm

pre-load the arm before tightening the bushing fasteners
I think you mean like in the FCP video at 3:54



It amazes me how much money one can save doing-it-yourself!

To think an hour even a two hour job could save 300 dollars.

Between the cost of the parts and the mechanics clock I'm guess a two control arm replacement would cost at least $400...

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