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Tie Rods and LCA 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.

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Tie Rods and LCA

Post by redc70 » Tue May 07, 2019 2:47 pm

Hi all, trying to chase down a vibration/shimmy on my 99 C70 LPT cabrio.
So far have replaced the upper engine stabilizer mount as there was little rubber bushing left and the lower transmission torque mount. Not much difference if any, but they are cheap and easy. Just had the tires rotated and balanced yesterday. No change. Have been looking at front engine mount and LCA's. Did the tire test, ie 3 and 9, 12 and 6. No movement at all. Checked the outer tie rod end and I can turn it forward and backward easily with my hand. Now they aren't supposed to move much at all are they?
Vibration seems to be mostly at 80 mph almost like a harmonic. Two seconds vibration and 2 seconds smooth. This happened with my SL500 and new tires fixed the issue. Little wear on the Volvo tires, even wear, good tread.
Any ideas?
Also, window regulator arrived today so reading up again on that and then tomorrow the new one goes in. Wish me luck!



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by erikv11 » Tue May 07, 2019 3:48 pm

Ugh C70's and their constant window problems, I don't envy you ...

The tie rod ball joint should not be floppy, but it's OK if you can turn them by hand.

To check the ball joint in the LCA, in my experience you really need a pry bar. There should be zero play at all in the ball joint. It's tough to tell by feel, better to eyeball it and see if there is any motion. Same for the tie rod really - can you see *any* up and down motion in the tie rod end? Even better you can drop the control arm from the subframe by removing the the two bolts and see if the ball joint is floppy, but that's a fair bit more work.


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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by tardcart » Tue May 07, 2019 6:02 pm

Its very hard to tell front from rear, and moving the out of round/balanced tire around wont cure it. but assuming they all spun up good, and you fell its the front, and soft parts are good on the suspension, that leaves the axel or hub bearing. You have to pull the axel to check the hub unfortunately.



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by redc70 » Tue May 07, 2019 6:58 pm

I did forget to mention that at slow speeds there was a definite side to side wobble in the front end, I truly think I have a bent rim somewhere. I will use the spare tomorrow at all 4 corners and see if that changes anything.
A month ago, my beloved Mercedes 300E was totaled in the driveway, that was my baby, my pride and joy and what I spent most of my time and effort on. With her gone, until I find another MB, the Volvo is my pet project, which is fine by me. After the regulator is done tomorrow, I am taking it to an Indie in Houston for the soft top repair.



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA  Topic is solved

Post by DeadEric » Tue May 07, 2019 8:13 pm

Bent rim should have been noted on the balance, unless an untrained kid did it. Side to side wobble a low speeds is classic tire separation. Goes away at around 25-30 MPH and comes back at higher speeds. Also should have been noted on the balance.

Might be worth getting it on Jack stands and looking at the tire yourself. Oddities and cracking in between the tread are signs of separation.

Let the indie shop know all of your concerns when you bring it in. Be willing to pay for a decent inspection (techs have to earn a living too.) Also let them know you do you're own work, if you do. Saves them on the time to look up parts availability and labor times.



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by redc70 » Thu May 09, 2019 1:44 pm

Window in, not really that much work even for one person. Only issue was taking the rubber motor mounts off old regulator motor to transfer to the new one. Broke one, took it to the Indie for final adjustment and have the top fixed for whatever it costs. No sense in having a convertible unless it converts! Doing front suspension work when it returns.



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by redc70 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:39 pm

Story thus far: In addition to the wobble, the car when hitting a pothole or dip in the road would bottom out badly and really give me a scare. Previous owner put NEW Lemforder springs and KYB shocks thinking that would fix the issue, it did not. So, I purchased the Sachs strut kit from FCP which included everything needed, as I also had a creaking issue while turning. So RedC70 got new strut mounts, strut bearings etc. I also took the time to spin the tires on the back axle to see what/if anything was bent.
Bottoming out problem solved, there were no bump stops...no really...none. Not spongy, not disintegrated, just simply none. I looked at all the boots on everything that had one and played around with the tie rod end links, everything is really good under there. Moved the tires around, did not like the look of 1 or 2 but will do those later.
Took it for an Italian tuneup down a twisty road, hard cornering, hard acceleration and panic stops, Really working well now. Drove down the highway with a 75 mph speed limit much faster than 75, no wobble, no shimmy, no shakes rattles or rolls other than what is expected from a cabrio.
Man, I am happy!!! Did all the work in the driveway, took a few hours, and had to redo the right side as I didn't like the way the strut felt loose in the spring, (slipped its stop on the mount).
Really, many thanks for all those who chimed in, the people here are quite great.
Top still not working as the frame may be bent, and I want to get more acceleration from it, as my Nissan Armada will blow the doors off it, but another day, another paycheck, (or 4 or 5 paychecks)
Once again, thanks guys!



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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by Eddystone » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:42 am

Re tie rods ends: This may be obvious to many, but you can tell if there is play in the tie rods and tell which ones are good and bad by getting both front wheel off the ground and holding the tie rod in your hand as a second person "wiggles" the steering wheel to either side of center. I was able to feel definite play in the inside tie rod on one side and the outer tie rod on the other side. This will confirm if you have a bad tie rod and which one it is. In fact, since two were bad, I replaced all four since they are relatively cheap and I would need to have a front end alignment done anyway.


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Re: Tie Rods and LCA

Post by abscate » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:41 am

Worth repeating

You have to get the car up in the air and the suspension unloaded to check ball joint play, unless it is really worn out.

Bad roads - about 50k lifetime on ball joints, LCA, tierods
Good roads about 100k lifetime.

Less if the boots fail and you let water and grit in there.


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