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'98 V70 Control arm question. Topic is solved

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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'98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by Miltown » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:05 pm

So I had my control arms replaced about a year and a half ago. When I was switching to my winter tires i noticed that I could move both of my wheels at the bottom where the ball joint is. It had some play in it. It doesn't look like the ball joint is shot or messed up but there is play. This is on both the left and the right. Is this normal? There are no noises coming from the front end except for the squeaky struts. The alignment is also fine as is the tire wear. Just checking on this as I have never known of play in a ball joint to be a good thing. Like I said both are about a 1 1/2 old.

Thanks
Paul


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by cn90 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:08 pm

You probably bought the $30 control arm instead of the $100 Lemforder ones...


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by jtp » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:11 pm

That’s not normal. What brand control arm was used? These are heavy cars, a lot of generic aftermarket suspension parts are going to have short life spans in P80 applications.


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by erikv11 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:15 pm

Control arm ball joints should have zero play, the car needs new control arms. Go with Lemforder or go with the annual replacement routine.


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by Miltown » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 am

Thanks that's what I thought. Called the shop that did them yesterday . Will be bringing it on tomorrow. Still pissed they will cover them under warranty but I still have to pay labor and realignment. That's kinda BS . I paid a lot of money to have them done. It will probably be less money for me to buy new ones do it myself and then send it in for an alignment .


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by rspi » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:01 am

These cars have very little alignment adjustment with control arm replacement. Usually not necessary as long as they are the same size.

I get mine aligned when I pull the strut to knuckle bolts or do tie rod ends.


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by tryingbe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:26 am

Miltown wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 am
Thanks that's what I thought. Called the shop that did them yesterday . Will be bringing it on tomorrow. Still pissed they will cover them under warranty but I still have to pay labor and realignment.
I'd refuse the alignment.


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by Miltown » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:59 am

Probably why I don't feel any real alignment issue .

Paul


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by jtp » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:32 pm

Miltown wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 am
Thanks that's what I thought. Called the shop that did them yesterday . Will be bringing it on tomorrow. Still pissed they will cover them under warranty but I still have to pay labor and realignment. That's kinda BS . I paid a lot of money to have them done. It will probably be less money for me to buy new ones do it myself and then send it in for an alignment .
Ask them what the parts and labor warranty on their work is.

12 months/12K Miles is standard everywhere I’ve ever worked as a service advisor. Same period warranty is typically extended to the shop from the parts manufacturer. For suspension components I only know of Moog having a longer parts warranty than that, but it’s been a while since I’ve been at an aftermarket shop.

Within the warranty period on the work they performed they shouldn’t charge you a dime. Shortly outside of that warranty period and I’d probably work with the customer a bit on price if they were a regular customer and not a pain to work with.

Sounds like that’s what they are doing and just calling it “warranty.” Customers like hearing something on their car is covered under warranty so I’ve seen advisors do that before.

I realize that sounds rough to the general public but how long can shops reasonably be expected to redo work for free? The parts manufacturer tells us to go pound sand after 12months/12k and we’ve got precisely zero control over what the thousands of cars we fix every year are subjected to once the customer checks out.

They’re not breaking the bank on those control arms, you’re going to be needing them again 12-18 months from now. I’d have the job done at a Volvo Indy shop, they’re more likely to have better quality parts sourcing.


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Re: '98 V70 Control arm question.

Post by scot850 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:48 pm

They are hardly difficult to fit on a FWD. There are only 3 bolts to remove once the wheel is off and the car jacked up. Loosen the 2 nuts/bolts on the sub-frame end and remove the retaining bolt at the ball joint. Remove the 2 bolts at the sub-frame end and gently tap the control arm down. If the alignment was done a year ago and no pot holes hit shouldn't need an alignment but monitor. Buy parts from FCP with lifetime warranty but use Lemforder unless you want to do the job every year.

Hardest part is re-tightening the 2 bolts at the sub-frame end. They are torqued to 65Nm (I think but check) and then they need a angle additional torque. I jack the outer end of the control arm at the ball joint end until it takes the weight of the car as this tightening has to be done with the load on the suspension.

Neil.


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