S80 front suspension needs work

Discussion in 'Volvo S80' started by Lyle Beaulac, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Lyle Beaulac

    Lyle Beaulac Guest

    I've just recently moved up to a 2002 S80 (previous Volvo experience was a
    much-loved 1982 240). Took it in for the 82,500 mile service and asked the
    dealer to check out the front suspension bushings because I could hear some
    thumping on rough pavement. They came back with: split bushings, worn
    sway-bar links and excessive play in the inner tie-rod ends. Estimated cost
    of repair: $2500, which is an appreciable fraction of the purchase price of
    the car. I told them I'd get back to them... :)

    Now I'm pretty handy working on cars: I wrenched on my 240 for 14 years.
    Replaced the struts twice, so I know my way around a McPherson strut
    suspension. I pulled one wheel off the S80 and was amazed at how accessible
    everything is. The control arm looks like it comes out with just four bolts,
    and the strut unbolts from the steering knuckle with two bolts.

    I see that all of the parts I need are readily available on the internet at
    a fraction of the dealer-quoted price. Compared to my 240, this looks like a
    piece of cake, but I'm wondering if there are any "gotchas". F'rinstance,
    the control arm is aluminum, and the taper on the ball joint is about 45
    degrees, compared to the 6 degrees or so of traditional ball joints, so I'm
    wondering what torque to use in tightening the ball joint nut. I'm pretty
    sure that tightening up the ball joint nut to what I'm used to using will
    pretty effectively wreck the control arm.

    Also, the top end of my struts stick up about 1/4" when the car is resting
    on the wheels (ie. there's a 1/4" gap between the rubber disk bolted to the
    top of the strut and the strut bearing.) Is this normal, or is my strut top
    carrier bushing hosed?

    Also wondering if there are any decent shop manuals for the later Volvos, or
    do I need to pck up one of those VADIS DVDs I see advertised on E-bay?

    Thanks in advance,
    Lyle Beaulac, Oct 24, 2006
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  2. Lyle Beaulac

    Roadie Guest

    I would spring for the Volvo product. The after market stuff from
    Haynes and the like isn't detailed enough in my experience.
    Roadie, Oct 24, 2006
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