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Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive "P2" platform cars.

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moonweasel
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moonweasel

Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by moonweasel » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:54 pm

I could use some of your wise counsel, fellas…

The passenger-side control arm on my 2002 S60 (2.4L base/non-turbo) busted while I was driving over the weekend.

Thankfully it happened right when I was turning off the road, and after a long, stressful day in which the axle also came out while hauling the car up onto a flatbed, I was able to get the car towed and dropped off at a reputable European car mechanic nearby.

As I suspected, the car needs the front control arms and ball joints replaced on both sides, plus the passenger side axle assembly, and of course an alignment. They want $1600, which they said breaks down to about $740 parts and $760 labor.

Looks like with good quality parts from rock auto, I can get control arms, ball joints, tie rods/ends and the CV half shaft assembly for about $450 (maybe another $100 for a ball joint tool) and spend a weekend doing it myself (which of course would mean paying $150 for the diagnosis and getting it towed a second time).

What I'm wondering is… when do you decide to pull the plug on a car like this? It also needs brakes done, probably new tires soon, and has miscellaneous electrical issues (ignition gets stuck and won't turn, window and auto lock don't work on driver's door, LCD status panel is garbled, radio randomly flips stations…).

It's 16 years old, has 115,000 miles, and can't be worth more than maybe $2500, although I can't imagine anyone buying it in the state that it's in in the first place…

Do I keep putting time and money into it and drive it into the ground? or get to minimum drivability and sell for the best price I can get? or try to sell it as-is and look for something a little newer/in better shape? Is there another option I'm not considering?

What would you do if you were me?


2002 S60 non-turbo, 114k

Cookie-the-Swede
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Cookie-the-Swede

Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by Cookie-the-Swede » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:59 pm

I'd keep it if it were turbo.



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mrbrian200
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Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by mrbrian200 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:31 pm

Personally I'd fix it, but it sounds like you're ready for something newer/much lower mileage that you mostly just need to worry about keeping the oil changed. Most cars, and Volvo is no exception, become maintenance heavy around/after 100k miles. The issue with these cars, if you consider it an issue, is if you're picky: You're gonna have trouble replacing a P2 Volvo with anything notably newer/nicer for less than $15k and up...Ahem...way up. If you're ready to spend the $ then go for it. If you go that route let us know what you end up buying.
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oragex
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Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by oragex » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:59 pm

$750 labor only for that job is very, very expensive. A garage who works on Volvo must be able to do this job in less than 2 hours for both sides. You can even find a video on Youtube with FCP I believe, the video is not continuous, but clearly it's not a 5h job or so.

They are ripping you big, big time on the parts as well. For control arms and ball joints, Lemforder is the only brand to go - do not put anything else or you will be replacing them next year again. Here's a link just informative
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... s60cakit1l

That already pulls a red flag on the garage you found. Checking local.google.com for a better place or local craigslist for a Volvo tech that works for home is a good idea.

The ball joints may not be an urgent job. With a pry bar you may see if there is play or not.

The axle, don't buy aftermarket new ones, too many problems with the steering wheel vibrating from these. The best is to hit the scrap yards and grab a used one with the dust boots in good condition. You'll need one from a non turbo engine. Ebay also has them used.

As for the questioning on the repair, you may well just do the control arms - perhaps the other one is also in a bad shape, and just go with that is needed to keep the car another 2 years or to sell it now in running condition.
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abscate
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Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by abscate » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:28 am

If you have maintained it an S60 with 115k on it has a lot of life left in her, like another 7 years

The sales value of a car is not relevant to its repair cost in the long ownership game.

This one definitely calls for good used parts and Lemforder control arms though
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chrism
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Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by chrism » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:25 am

Do you really need to buy a new axle, or can you re-grease it and install a new boot. I'd look into that possibility way before I'd install a cheap aftermarket unit. Unless it was irreversibly damaged, an OE Volvo (GKN) axle should be good for about 150,000-200,000 miles.
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crlande

Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by crlande » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:13 pm

(maybe another $100 for a ball joint tool). Autozone has extensive tool loan program. Free as long as you return the tool.
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moonweasel



moonweasel
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moonweasel

Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by moonweasel » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:16 pm

Thanks guys. This is what I've decided to do:
  • ask the shop whether the axle assembly is able to be rebuilt or needs to be replaced for sure
  • order Lemforder control arms and ball joints (and look for a used OEM half shaft ass'y if it can't be rebuilt)
  • call around town for a couple more labor-only quotes for comparison
  • either pick another mechanic to do the labor with my parts, or decide to go for it myself (and potentially hire a freelance mechanic off Craigslist to help)
You all are right, there is plenty of life left in this car, and putting a couple grand into making it last a few more years is still a hell of a lot cheaper than a ‘new’ used car.

I think I was just feeling discouraged, but I've taught myself to do brakes on my sister's Lexus, and replaced the rear struts and other suspension parts on my girfriends' Outback, this doesn't look too much more difficult than those things (except maybe getting the ball joints in and out of the knuckle). It's only the passenger side axle, so I don't have to worry about the circlip.


2002 S60 non-turbo, 114k

moonweasel
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moonweasel

Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by moonweasel » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:17 pm

I used a loaner spring compressor from O'Reilly’s when I had to do the struts on my gf’s Subaru — there is an Autozone nearby too, I'll check them both for a ball joint press!


2002 S60 non-turbo, 114k

moonweasel
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moonweasel

Re: Busted control arm, needs new CV Half Shaft too… worth the work?

Post by moonweasel » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:39 pm

Ok, a couple more questions on parts:

I had heard elsewhere on this forum that Beck/Arnley are essentially re-labeled OEM — is that not true? RockAuto sells Beck/Arnley control arms for $72 each, is it definitely worth it for Lemforder instead ($104 each from FCP Euro)?

I don't know what shape they are in, but if parts are around $80 more to get tie rod links/ends too, would it be wise to just do those at the same time since I imagine there's some labor overlap?


2002 S60 non-turbo, 114k

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