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Steering question/concern

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

vovo850
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vovo850

Steering question/concern

Post by vovo850 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:02 pm

My 95 850 steering is feeling almost like I don't have power steering.
I don't hear any whine from the pump and the fluid doesn't look burnt.
It isn't leaking from what I can see.
I need to replace my front struts/hardware.
Would this be a cause of feeling like I lost power steering?
When I make turns I pretty much need to turn the wheel back myself.
It sort of tries to return but I just correct the steering myself.
Going down the highway it almost feels like left is locked in for lack of a better word.
Not sure how to quite explain it.
Normally going down the road, you can move the wheel back and forth easily.
With mine it doesn't really do that unless I manhandle it and than it will move back and forth but I wouldn't call it easy, it feels like manual steering.
This past winter I was feeling it, so I sucked out the fluid and added valvoline max life ATF back in. I did this a couple of times over a course of 2 weeks.
It seemed like it was better for a time but I can't really blame it on the cold now.
Thought about doing it again but I'm not so sure it would help. wouldn't hurt either of course.
Ideas on where I should look?


1995 Volvo 850 GLT N/A automatic wagon

brunocerous
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brunocerous

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by brunocerous » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:12 pm

Are the power-steering lines OK, with no kinks or dents?

My T5's PS pump is bad, and it makes a sad groaning noise when I turn, but I've still got power there.


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tardcart

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by tardcart » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:21 pm

I guess its the rack. slight possibility the strut bearing on the top that lets the strut turn with the steering is bad, but I have never seen that.



vovo850
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vovo850

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by vovo850 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:04 pm

The lines all look ok.
I am kind of hoping it is the strut bearing, it is way overdue in being replaced. I have all the parts, just need the time to do it.
I haven't owned a volvo long enough to know if that would be the issue or if I'm looking at a bad rack.
I've owned very few rack n pinion vehicles and never experienced a bad rack.
From what I have read usually they start leaking when they go bad, which I don't see any leaks.
The only things I could think of was possibly a bad tensioner but I would expect alternator issues as well.
Strut bearing or a bad rack. So I thought I'd ask here.


1995 Volvo 850 GLT N/A automatic wagon

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MoVolvos
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MoVolvos

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:29 am

-
It could be Toe'd In? Toe'd Out will cause the vehicle to dart left or right (squirrely). Toe'd In will bind/feel tight the steering while going straight and after turning the steering will not automatically return. This condition could be caused by any number of bad parts, however less likely loose parts.

Here is a quick way to check it.

1) Park the car with the engine running on a flat surface, as much as possible.
2) Center the steering wheel then gripping lightly wiggle it back and forth rapidly.
See where it is positioned to make sure it is centered. Recenter if needed.
3) Shut engine off and get a measuring tape with a helper.
4) Pick a tread close to the center of the tires and measure the front and back distance.
5) When measuring go up the tire as far possible but equal height on both front and back.
6) The rear measurement should be no more than 1/8" greater than the front (Toe In).


Blessings,

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1998 S70 T5 - Donated
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vovo850
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vovo850

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by vovo850 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:13 pm

Well it's much more serious than I anticipated.
I had to do an oil change so while I had it jacked up I popped off that wheel.
Tie rod boot is cracked and found a nice sling/build up of grease around the wheel well.
But it gets better.
The Ball Joint A-Arm is rocking back and forth.
It appears that the bushing on the rear bolt towards the driver is shot.
I could move the wheel and watch it rock. I thought maybe I could tighten it but it was already pretty tight.
Plus it seemed obvious, no amount of tightening was going to help it unless I crushed the mounts the bolt goes thru
together. That bolt just spins.
It might be my fault, I recall when I installed this I wasn't sure I did it correctly. But it worked for several years so "shrug"
Or maybe it's the aftermarket part I don't know at this point.
How hard is it to replace the bushing> Is it worth doing or replace the whole arm?
Seems like if you have to take the arm off, might as well just replace the whole thing.

Oh edit to add:
Cv boot on passenger side is cracked, how does the community feel about using one of those bolt on kind? I used one before on a old VW van and it seemed to work ok.
URO control arm installed in 2015. Think I'm just going to replace it with a lemforder. Uro wqs cheap, I guess I got my money out of it.


1995 Volvo 850 GLT N/A automatic wagon

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abscate
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abscate

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by abscate » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:34 am

4 years how many miles out of the URO control arm?

Not bad for a cheap parts.


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vovo850
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vovo850

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by vovo850 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:29 am

30k ish give or take


1995 Volvo 850 GLT N/A automatic wagon

vovo850
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vovo850

Re: Steering question/concern

Post by vovo850 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:52 pm

So I don't really want to ask this but I will anyway..
I can't recall and can't really tell with it installed what the mounting point for the control arm looks like.
ie: does the bolt just fit into the hole or is it wider.
Can I drive it without wallowing out anything with that bushing being bad and it moving as I drive.
I have been but I'd rather not create anymore damage to mounting point.
Damage is already done to control arm bushing/tie rod.

I know I should probably park the 850 until I can replace these parts. BUT
I'd rather not drive my backup vehicle unless I absolutely must. It is a gas hog.
I'm confident in the tie rod holding up for a little longer. I didn't feel much play in that.
That is the real issue I see in it being unsafe to drive.
I'm more concerned right now with wallowing out the hole the bolt goes thru for the control arm.


1995 Volvo 850 GLT N/A automatic wagon

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