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S90 rear suspension upper control arms rusty

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Old Apr 14th, 2018, 18:32   #1
capt jack
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Default S90 rear suspension upper control arms rusty

I've started to take a closer look at the "new" 1997 S90, and so far so good, until I took a rear wheel off to have a look at the brake pads. The pads are fine, but I'm a bit alarmed at the poor state of the upper wishbone control arm. The car has the IRS with transverse leaf spring set up. I've only looked at the drivers side one, but it is very rusted. The control arm itself is a very substantial forged steel item, so maybe the rust I can see isn't significant.

I've had a look at the various spares websites and no-one appears to stock these arms. I've also googled various combinations of the words "rusty suspension control ams Volvo" and have turned up precisely nothing.

Nothing was mentioned at the car's last MoT in November, and the car has a full main dealer history, so logic would say that if it were a problem then surely it would have been spotted before now.

The last MoT came up with an advisory for a diff oil leak, which in reality is no more than a misting of oil, so the tester must have had his fine-tooth-comb specs on that day.

Also, a couple of weeks ago and just after buying the car, I asked my trusted local garage to change a noisy front drop link. Whilst the car was on the hoist I asked them to check the suspension and steering generally. The only comment was that a front wishbone bush had a tiny split, so again, I have to assume that they were being very thorough.

Am I worrying unnecessarily?

Jack
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Old Apr 14th, 2018, 20:20   #2
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Its fairly normal but if the car is a keeper then a good clean up and rust protect would be a good idea. I have a complete rear end if you wanted a spare to rebuild and put on
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Old Apr 15th, 2018, 11:59   #3
Laird Scooby
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If you're really enthusistic about it, you could make it a weekend job along the lines of :

Sat am - remove upper wishbones from car and stick them in an electrolytic derusting bath :

http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/t...leaning.12686/

Sun am - remove, rinse with water, dry thoroughly and then paint in your chosen colour after priming.

Sun pm - once dry, refit to the car and spray with something like Waxoyl or one of the modern versions (eg Bilt-Hamber products)

Electrolytic cleaning/derusting works very well. I've used it many times and one of the things it worked really well on was the rear tracking adjusters on my 800s - they are an eccentric bolt mounted in the rear trailing arms and have a habit of rusting solidly in the arms. Took a few days of soaking in the electrolytic bath but it shifted them. It also converts "latent rust" back into good metal as it reverses the oxidisation process.

Another thing it's useful for is if you have a wheel bearing rusted to a hub - it removes the rust from between the two components making it much easier to remove.
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Old Apr 15th, 2018, 12:47   #4
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Thanks both!

I do feel a bit better about it now. The car is otherwise so totally perfect that I really was taken aback by the state of these wishbones.

I think that some wire brushing and a coat of hammerite with everything in situ is my preferred first step, working on the basis that it's all 20 years old and so to start pulling things about too much might not be a great idea.

As a back up I reckon that the suggestion to source spares to recondition off the car is an excellent idea. I've not really got the room or facilities to take and keep a complete rear end assembly, but Dai, would you be willing to sell me some selected bits off the one that you have?

Now that I've had the S90 a few weeks I'm beginning to find a few bits and pieces that I hadn't spotted when I bought the car. For example:
  • When it rains there's a bit of paint bloom around the rear upright of the drivers door window frame. When I look closely I can see that the trailing edge must have been caught at some time. It's been touched-in very neatly, but the lacquer coat is been damaged enough to let a bit of moisture in. When the sun comes out it all looks perfect! Overall the paintwork looks fabulous, but there are a few odd very minor nicks, and a few touched-in chips. It passes the 1-metre test easily, but do I accept those little imperfections as a part of the car's character, or do I invest in paintwork perfection?

  • I've found that from cold, the first upshift from 3rd to 4th on the autobox is marginally noticeable, whereas every other shift is absolutely seamless. Once the car is warmed up all the shifting is perfect. I checked the fluid - it's clear and pink. So do I contemplate a fluid change, or do I just accept that at 21 years young, the car has a bit of "personality"?

  • Similarly, the front suspension can give the odd random knock and groan. The drop links are now new, and that has improved things a lot, but as with the shift, it's an old car and unless I start replacing every bush and ball joint, I'm probably never going to eliminate every potential noise.

  • In the same way, the bit of misting around the diff, and for that matter the (very small) wrinkles in 3 of the 4 door cards. Do things like this merit a quest to return things to "as new", or should the car bear these badges of longevity with pride? What the poets call "patina" probably covers it!

It's a beautiful car and a joy to drive, and one that I plan to keep. It's in better condition all round than our 1998 S70, and we wouldn't change anything about that car - we love it just the way it is! And am I daft to think that an older car is actually better for a few honest imperfections? I bought the S90 to use it everyday, not lock it away and cover it with a dust sheet.

Owning and driving this car is reminding me just how much of the quality of design and engineering that is to be found in an older vehicle just doesn't feature in more modern offerings. That, and the refreshing re-discovery that it is perfectly possible to own and drive a car that isn't overly burdened with computerised gizmos!

Cheers

Jack
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Old Apr 15th, 2018, 14:14   #5
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I like going to car shows and wandering among all the shiny highly polished cars on display.I admire the dedication of the owners to get them and keep them in that sort of nick,however there is a lot to be said for the careworn examples they have a dignity of their own.I'd possibly sort the paint/ laquer issue you mention leave the touch ups alone but touch in any other chips.The door card wrinkles..do they really matter to you?If so then replace with better but accept these too may wrinkle in time.If not then that's part of the charm of the car.Can't comment on the gearbox changes though.In general particularly for an "everyday" car and not a show stopping concours entrant I'd have the patina
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Old Apr 15th, 2018, 15:08   #6
Laird Scooby
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There are many good videos on YouTube that explain how to repair minor paint damage such as crazed/lifting or otherwise damaged clear-coat lacquer, this one covers a similar repair to what you've described :

https://youtu.be/lbSIjsUeWZQ

As for the gearbox, do 3 or 4 "part-changes" (aka "sump-dumps") of the ATF using this stuff :

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Carlube-A...QAAOSwBEpZpY7F

Not sure what the capacity is on yours, someone should be able to tell you but i'd guess in the region of about 3L so if you buy 2 of those it will probably be enough for 3 part-changes. Do them about a month apart then do one a year thereafter.

Doing it this way is beneficial for a whole number of reasons, one of which is it introduces the new, thicker fluid more gently than the "flushing method" and uses less fluid overall. It's also more effective at removing dirt from the box which helps to keep the filter cleaner as well.

After the final part-change out of the 3 or 4 you do, reset the fault code memory on the gearbox ECU (and preferably the engine management ECU as well) and you will be surprised!
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Old Apr 16th, 2018, 13:14   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt jack View Post
Thanks both!

I do feel a bit better about it now. The car is otherwise so totally perfect that I really was taken aback by the state of these wishbones.

I think that some wire brushing and a coat of hammerite with everything in situ is my preferred first step, working on the basis that it's all 20 years old and so to start pulling things about too much might not be a great idea.

As a back up I reckon that the suggestion to source spares to recondition off the car is an excellent idea. I've not really got the room or facilities to take and keep a complete rear end assembly, but Dai, would you be willing to sell me some selected bits off the one that you have?

Now that I've had the S90 a few weeks I'm beginning to find a few bits and pieces that I hadn't spotted when I bought the car. For example:
  • When it rains there's a bit of paint bloom around the rear upright of the drivers door window frame. When I look closely I can see that the trailing edge must have been caught at some time. It's been touched-in very neatly, but the lacquer coat is been damaged enough to let a bit of moisture in. When the sun comes out it all looks perfect! Overall the paintwork looks fabulous, but there are a few odd very minor nicks, and a few touched-in chips. It passes the 1-metre test easily, but do I accept those little imperfections as a part of the car's character, or do I invest in paintwork perfection?

  • I've found that from cold, the first upshift from 3rd to 4th on the autobox is marginally noticeable, whereas every other shift is absolutely seamless. Once the car is warmed up all the shifting is perfect. I checked the fluid - it's clear and pink. So do I contemplate a fluid change, or do I just accept that at 21 years young, the car has a bit of "personality"?

  • Similarly, the front suspension can give the odd random knock and groan. The drop links are now new, and that has improved things a lot, but as with the shift, it's an old car and unless I start replacing every bush and ball joint, I'm probably never going to eliminate every potential noise.

  • In the same way, the bit of misting around the diff, and for that matter the (very small) wrinkles in 3 of the 4 door cards. Do things like this merit a quest to return things to "as new", or should the car bear these badges of longevity with pride? What the poets call "patina" probably covers it!

It's a beautiful car and a joy to drive, and one that I plan to keep. It's in better condition all round than our 1998 S70, and we wouldn't change anything about that car - we love it just the way it is! And am I daft to think that an older car is actually better for a few honest imperfections? I bought the S90 to use it everyday, not lock it away and cover it with a dust sheet.

Owning and driving this car is reminding me just how much of the quality of design and engineering that is to be found in an older vehicle just doesn't feature in more modern offerings. That, and the refreshing re-discovery that it is perfectly possible to own and drive a car that isn't overly burdened with computerised gizmos!

Cheers

Jack

If you only want some of teh bits I can separate.

The gearbox I would not worry too much about, ATF change will not harm but probably will not help, might pay to pull the sump and clean the filter.

The odd slight knock I'd not worry too much about and wait for it to get worse and do a full rebuild
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