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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Out West
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    1,284

    Default Rear wheel alignment

    I recently replaced both of my front drive shafts, I scribed make on the struts to get everything back as close as possible as when I started. That was good enough for then, as I was going to replace the tires too. New tires are on, and now I need an alignment.

    I've only had it aligned once in 193K miles, and it's driven nice and tread wear has been pretty OK. When I did the one alignment, I went to the dealership because I figured they would be good at Volvo's, right? I saw the monkey doing it trying to loosen the tie rod cinch nut without holding the tie rod, he was just levering against the rod's ball joint. I ran out in the shop and stopped him, made him get a wrench to hold the rod. I stood there and told him which way to turn the rod to get the adjustment right. It was incredible that I was paying for that... Anyhoo, he told me that there are no adjustments on the rear, you can only check and hope it's close. At that point, even if there had been a way to adjust, I wouldn't have let him try. Fortunately, mine came out within spec.

    Sooo... Can you actually adjust the rear suspension? I put the car on my lift to quirt down all possible rear bolts and screws with Kroil penetrant, but didn't see any joints with cams or slide joints. Looking at the suspension from the bottom, it seemed like a bunch of linkages that looked like there were too many to actually move like a 4-bar! If it's possible, does someone have a link to instructions? I would print them so the tech would have a starting point.

    Thanks.
    '04 XC70, Ice White, Taupe. Original owner (193K miles as of may20). 6 wheel bearings, broken ignition, broken turbo downtube flange, and a myriad of weird crap. Still my favorite car ever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    96

    Default

    The rearmost linkage allows toe adjustment. It has an eccentric bolt at the end attached to the subframe. That's it.

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 05-26-2020 at 10:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Out West
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    Default

    D'oh! I see them now, thanks!!! I had put Kroil on everything, including them. I already cracked loose the front tie rod cinch nuts and strut clamp bolts. I'll have to give these bolts a try before taking the car in. I would rather finesse them myself than have 500ft*lbs by an impatient someone else break the head off. Do I sound untrusting?
    '04 XC70, Ice White, Taupe. Original owner (193K miles as of may20). 6 wheel bearings, broken ignition, broken turbo downtube flange, and a myriad of weird crap. Still my favorite car ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gibbons View Post
    I would rather finesse them myself than have 500ft*lbs by an impatient someone else break the head off. Do I sound untrusting?
    Seems to be harder and harder to trust service "techs" anymore. We've been covering this topic ever since I've been here, and things are not getting better.

    So indulge me again with case in point: I still do all the regular service on the XC70, but I am no longer young and enjoy doing it less and less, so since I bought another new "domestic" make vehicle six years ago I've been having the dealer change the oil on it. They have a convenient separate drive-up fluid service lane with no appointment required and the price is reasonable, so I figure why not?

    And here are the answers!

    Whenever they do the oil change they also hang their measurement gadgets on all four wheels to check if alignment is in spec. At last year's service they show me that the readings indicate toe is slightly out. Even though the car still tracks extremely well and tires are wearing evenly, I figure it's been five years, so why not have them tweak it? Well, when I get the car back and drive a bit it doesn't take long to notice the the steering wheel isn't centered when going straight. So the next day I take it back in and ask them to realign it. It takes them 2 hours, and when I get the thing back it is hardly any better. Enough is enough, so I take to an independent shop I have confidence in. They get the alignment correct. The steering wheel had been installed at the factory off one spline and apparently the factory alignment "solution" was to compensate with offsetting the toe adjustment, so while total toe from the factory had been correct, only because the individual front wheels were offset out of spec. So when the dealer set each wheel's toe "correctly", of course the steering wheel was off center. Only they weren't sharp enough to figure out why. The indy also found that the rear sub-frame wasn't installed true either, and fixed that for me as well.

    So this year, with limited service hours at the dealer due to the COVID 19 situation, they have no drive-up oil change, also I'm still aggravated with them from last year, so I decide to change the oil myself. It should be super easy compared to the Volvo, as the oil filter is top side and there is an easy-open hatch in the drip pan to access the oil pan drain. So I put the 13mm 12 point socket I've used for decades to drain oil on the drain bolt and the 3/8" one foot breaker bar I always use to loosen it and pull as usual. No movement. Pull harder, then HARDER and it finally moves, only not the bolt. All I've achieved is rounding off the points on the bolt! So now I have to remove the drip pan (12 bolts) and pound on a six point impact socket. There is no room though for my cheap impact tools, so I put on the my two foot 1/2" breaker bar, which easily removes wheel lugs tightened to 105 ft lbs, and it still won't move. I have to put a piece of pipe on the end to get enough torque with all the pull I can apply in the limited space with the car up on ramps, and it finally comes free. The torque spec is 20 ft lbs, but the dealer monkey who changed the oil last had to have it torqued over 100!! I'm surprised he didn't strip the threads in the aluminum pan's drain. Before I can finish I now have to go out and buy a new drain plug bolt. Bottom line, the most time consuming, aggravating oil change ever (and I've certainly done over a hundred of them) because someone who is supposed to be trained to do a job, either wasn't or didn't care to follow the training.
    Last edited by Pennhaven; 05-27-2020 at 11:35 AM.
    '04 XC70, Ash Gold / Taupe, Premium, Touring, Tinted Rear Glass, Rear Skyddsplåt, Wing Profile Load Bars, USA Spec 11,
    StonGard Light Protection, Yokohama YK740 GTXs, Moog Sway Bar Links, ipd HD TCV, subframe & top brace poly bushing inserts,
    TitaniumTim XC Cup-holder Coasters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Out West
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    1,284

    Default

    Pennhaven, LOL!!! I'm sorry to take comic relief from your rounded plug, but you made my day. Glad you got a tech who could figure out the spline, that's wild. It seems like something like that should have one blind spline in the set so they can't get it wrong.
    '04 XC70, Ice White, Taupe. Original owner (193K miles as of may20). 6 wheel bearings, broken ignition, broken turbo downtube flange, and a myriad of weird crap. Still my favorite car ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    I seldom do wheel alignment in shop. For the front toe I have Trackace, which is totally sufficient. Rear toe also needs a thrust vector set within limits, which is still doable, but needs a few iterations. I was going sometimes to the nearest shop for rear toe alignment, but since I've got Nivomats in rear, the guy could not align rear the right way. I figured out he had my car sitting for a few hours before placing it onto alignment rack, and that time was enough for Nivomats to naturally sag. He was aligning rear wheels for the suspension height that the car only had for a few hundreds feet.

    So I align rear by hand now. It is not 100%, maybe 99%, but the car drives straight and tires wear out uniformly. Good enough for couple of beers consumed during alignment

    IPD adjustable rear toe rods help a lot for precise alignment, when they are not rusted in threads (and they are develop rust there very quickly).

    I may bite a bullet and spend dollars for 4WD Quicktrak rack. Around Boston alignment is $120 to $180, and, as mentioned, modern techs are not that great.
    2002 V70 (sold)
    2005 XC70 (Telos Road took it. Did a chassis swap)
    2016 XC60

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