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Control arms... what would you do?

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive P2 platform cars sold as model years 2001-2007 (North American market year designations).

2001 - 2007 V70
2001 - 2004 V70 XC (Cross Country)
2004 - 2007 XC70 (Cross Country)
2001 - 2009 S60
2003 - 2007 S60 R
2004 - 2007 V70 R

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Cookie-the-Swede
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Control arms... what would you do?

Post by Cookie-the-Swede »

I have a '03 S60 2.5T AWD that I have been maintaining and upgrading as parts wear out. The control arm bushings were replaced two years ago (with OEM) and are already in need of replacing again (just the rear ones). I also plan on replacing the original outer tie rod ends and ball joints while I'm at it.

Here's my dilemma: Should I buy all new HD versions from iPd or just replace the bushings (again) in my existing control arms? I have already purchased new upgraded bushings ('poly' front / 'HD' rear) for the job but I'm not sure if it would be cheaper/easier/better(?) to just swap out the entire arms instead?

I'd like to stiffen up the steering performance from stock which is why I went with the upgraded bushings.
Any thoughts?

neworleans
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Post by neworleans »

I would buy all those parts from FCP since they offer a lifetime warranty. Does IPD offer a lifetime warranty also?

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Botbasher
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Post by Botbasher »

neworleans wrote: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:48 am I would buy all those parts from FCP since they offer a lifetime warranty. Does IPD offer a lifetime warranty also?
FCP is lifetime. IPD is typically Mfg Warranty (90 day to 1 year).

After finding FCP and their array of budget minded and OEM parts, it's hard not to shop there!!

Cheers!

K "penny pinching" S
Never become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Heinlein

We have met the enemy and he is us.-Pogo

If speed kills, do brakes give life??

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erikv11
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Post by erikv11 »

But I'm interested too in the actual question OP asked, not where to buy, but what to buy. "Should I buy all new HD versions from iPd or just replace the bushings (again) in my existing control arms? "

I would expect it is just fine to continue replacing the bushings when they wear out, but what do others say? That's definitely a cheaper way to go.

OP - don't forget to keep an eye on the ball joint too, this is captive in the steering knuckle on your car, but usually part of the control arm in others. Also what were they symptoms for the bad bushings, did you just eyeball and see failure or is there clunking or noise?
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 135k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k, '98 S70 NA 225k

Cookie-the-Swede
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Post by Cookie-the-Swede »

I like FCP too. The reason I mentioned iPd is because they make aftermarket control arms that have upgraded "HD" bushings pre installed.

I plan on replacing the ball joints and outer tie rods as well when I address my control arm issue.

I noticed one bushing on one side of the control arms was rotting and cracking. I had it up on a jack, so the arm had far more droop than normal, it looked really torn up.
There was no noticeable brake steering or clunking coming from the front end as you would expect from having really bad CR bushings.

I'm thinking that I will end up paying my mechanic to press in the new bushings that I already have instead of purchasing all new control arms.

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Botbasher
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Post by Botbasher »

erikv11 wrote: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:31 pm But I'm interested too in the actual question OP asked, not where to buy, but what to buy. "Should I buy all new HD versions from iPd or just replace the bushings (again) in my existing control arms? "

I would expect it is just fine to continue replacing the bushings when they wear out, but what do others say? That's definitely a cheaper way to go.

OP - don't forget to keep an eye on the ball joint too, this is captive in the steering knuckle on your car, but usually part of the control arm in others. Also what were they symptoms for the bad bushings, did you just eyeball and see failure or is there clunking or noise?
erik...

Unless I am going for max performance, longevity or critical use, I usually stick with a mid-line part choice. There are just somethings that you don't skimp on... and others you can. Sometimes those choices have unexpected side effects!

I don't mind changing hats, bushings, mounts and things like that every couple of years as I see it as a good way to get under the car regularly and inspect all the bits... I don't live in a inspection state.. I have lifetimes alignments and LCAs only take 30 minutes a side! Where other critical parts like timing belts and water pumps I use near OEM quality because failure means big $$ repairs and I don't enjoy doing that kind of work as much as I used to!!

The other aspect of this choice is that HD/performance parts can impact ride quality, so... if you can stand a slightly rougher/louder ride with that longer service interval... HD can be a good option. It's a very subjective topic. What some feel as harsh barely registers to others. What some see as work to change every few years some see as enjoyable.

Good Luck in your choice!

K "YMMV" S
Never become a pessimist. A pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.-Heinlein

We have met the enemy and he is us.-Pogo

If speed kills, do brakes give life??

user17600
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Post by user17600 »

Recently asked my indie the same. His answer was "replace the bushings".

reverend
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Post by reverend »

IN my V70, I replaced the entire LCA with an OEM one. I wanted to replace it fast and not worry about getting new bushings pressed in. If I had gone with bushings, I would have used the XC70 bushings instead.

The OEMs seems to last ok for me, but I am not a "heavy duty" driver. 10K/year these days and the Prius is the city errand runner car.

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mrbrian200
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Post by mrbrian200 »

I didn't like the HD LCAs from IPD. The front bushing they use exerts too much resistance to normal suspension travel, and the rear bush is too stretchy. Because of the geometry of the LCA itself, a near equilateral triangle, that's exactly the opposite characteristics you need to be engineering for. The rear bushing ends up being forced up and down instead of optimally pivoting like a ball joint. I had noise and poor handling characteristics on mine after installing those. Even though the rear bushing was brand new, the control arm at the rear was contacting the subframe over bumps/manhole covers etc. Handling and ride quality was awful on anything but a very smooth road.
The best ready to bolt on design I've seen is the one FCP sells with the greased poly bush on the front and a standard rubber bush at the rear. I'd be happier about recommending that if they stated a very high quality waterproof poly bush grease was pre-applied to the front and used an OE bush used in the rear instead of what I would presume to be aftermarket rubber from the same supplier as the front bush (pro parts Sweden).
The trick to getting these LCAs to behave properly is to minimize resistance to movement of the LCA at the front bush with the rear bush material formulated to exert limits with regard to how far it will stretch. The one from IPD would probably work better if the center post on the front bush that bolts to the subframe wasn't bonded to the rubber surrounding it. It might squeak sometimes but at least it wouldn't destroy front end handling.

Find something rigid shaped as an equilateral triangle you can hold in your hand, imagine it's your LCA and experiment with 'locking' what would be your front bush and you'll see how the rear of the control arm acts when you try to pivot the third corner (where the wheel would be), and you'll quickly figure out what I'm talking about. Ideally for the front bush you want something that acts like a wheel bearing. Greased poly bush is the closest thing to that.

Cookie-the-Swede
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Post by Cookie-the-Swede »

I have actually already purchased the FCP poly bushings for the front and the Meyle HD bushings for the rear of the control arms. Thanks for the input. I'm going with this setup and will have them pressed in.
Does anyone know how many hours this job takes a pro mechanic?

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