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2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

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Blacklab467
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2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by Blacklab467 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:04 pm

My XC 70 has started to pull to the left. The steering wheel is centered and I have checked and adjusted the toe in several times with no success in remedying this situation. Total toe is about 4mm, and I've adjusted left and right plus or minus 2mm each way with no success. Essentially, the alignment is well within spec.
Could the problem be originating from bad control arm bushings? Ive replaced the struts and mounts, ball joints, wheel bearings and CV axles and stabilizer link bars all within the year. I have not replaced the tie rod ends or the control arm bushings. Also the car has slowly developed a vibration on acceleration and braking from highway speed. Could this be indicative of bad control arm bushings?
Thanks in advance.

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oragex
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by oragex » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:48 pm

Verify to toe with a ruler
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOEk-BUmNg8
You should measure at same height on front and rear of the tire, choose as high as it gets. Between each adjustment, roll the car a few meters back and forth, flat surface. You should get a difference no larger than 2mm between the front and the rear of the tire
Pulling can also be caused by other things, such as dragging brakes (front or rear), rear geometry, and even worn subframe bushings, especially if you park on an incline. Of course, I assume tire pressure is correct. Also have a look at the springs, the XC can break these and may sag

Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by Blacklab467 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:56 pm

Thanks, Oragex. I watched your video before aligning it using your technique. I put new springs in too with the struts and mounts. I've tried it with anything from zero to 5 mm total toe and still the same result. Brakes are new last year too with new rotors and tire pressure has been checked.
I'm really wondering if one the control arms have worn out their bushings because the acceleration vibration started about the same time the car started pulling left?
Good video on the transmission linear solenoids by the way! I rebuilt them with a Transgo kit last year and the transmission is like new again, night and day difference!

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oragex
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by oragex » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:00 am

Great to hear you fixed your transmission. How many miles on the car ? So if the front wheels spin freely when lifted off the ground, and if the rear tires wear uniformly (good rear geometry), I would indeed look into the control arms, with the wheel lifted it should become very visible if the rear bushing is torn, for the front ones it's less visible but can still show damage are they are twisted inside the arm. You may also look at the subframe bushings with the wheels on the ground this time, look at the small rubber 'bumbs' between the round metal plate and the actual subframe, if these look 'smaller', ie more crushed and one bushing, then these may got soft and I know from my car that sometimes it pulls especially after the car has been parked. Another area would be the right front axle shaft at the carrier bearing, after 200k miles or so this bearing starts seizing and possibly prevent the axle from rotating freely - can be tested by hand by removing the lower bearing bracket (can be stuck), pushing down the bearing to free it from the upper bracket and spinning it by hand

Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by Blacklab467 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:30 am

Car has 272,000 kms. I ordered control arms this week plus a few other things I needed including new inner and outer tie rod ends. I checked the control arm bushings and they appear to be pretty soft, not really torn but are originals and Volvo units. I'm pretty sure thats what the problem is. Axles are also new within the last year and spin freely.
I suspect that the control arms will clean up the problem, also the vibration problem on acceleration and braking from highway speed. Will let you know after I install them. Thanks.

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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by vtl » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:47 am

Rear subframe bushings are also responsible for misalignment under the load. Most important are the two bushings for the toe arm (21) and the big front bushing for the stay/trailing arm (8):

Image
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k

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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by kallekula » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:33 pm

Are the tires of the same brand? If not that can also cause pulling.

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Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by Blacklab467 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:20 pm

Yes they're all the same, and new a couple years ago.

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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by csh » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:48 pm

The problem could be the control arm bushings. Make sure you get quality replacement control arms. There are some cheaper ones out there that will last less than half as long as OE and can have more severe pulling problems when they start to fail. I replaced my front struts a couple years ago and decided that while I was in there I would go ahead and replace the control arms. I don't think they were giving me any trouble at the time and I don't recall the what the condition of the bushings were, but I decided since I was having to get in there to replace the struts I might as well replace the control arms at the same time.
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Blacklab467

Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 Pulls left......alignment?

Post by Blacklab467 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:41 pm

Changed the control arms and the inner and outer tie rod ends and it still pulls to the left! I checked the alignment and tweaked the toe in a few times and simply cannot get rid of the pull.subframe mounts appear ok and so does the rear suspension and bushings. Everything in the front is literally brand new, any ideas?

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