Front Suspension Notes

first published Feb 2017 R. Kwas, revisions on-going (mostly when the spirit moves me!)


Toe-In and Toe-Out 


Adding Greasing Nipples to Ball Joints which don't have them. 

My answer to a forum question of what the difference is, between Ball Joints with and without grease fittings.

Ball Joints with greasing nipples are maintainable, without are "maintenance-free", or as I like to call them: UN-MAINTAINABLE (similar to Batteries with and without cell caps, and I feel the same way about those!) ...but that is the way of the modern world. Planned obsolescence...screw that!  Besides, that's not consistent with owning a 50 year old car whose original ball joints have already outlived those unmaintainable ones of a modern car...several times! they can keep it!  When I get Ball joints without greasing nipples now (the only way they are available), I drill and install them, and feel pretty good about having improved them!  What do you think is better, not being able to inject a few CCs of grease every few years vs. letting them dry out or deteriorate even faster when the boot gets damaged or some moisture gets in there (and it will, considering their location)'s a no-brainer for me!


Good Front Suspension info:  I can't for the life of me find who this is or contact info for the author (he looks to be in Australia), but he has put together some good general and specific info for a 122 front suspension.  I left a comment...if the author reads this:  Please contact me per e-mail!

I've made some changes and additions to this scan of the Steering Gear from a 122 manual.  Notice that internal threads of Tie Rod are Right and Left hand! This means that Toe can be simply adjusted after loosening locking nut, by simply turning it...but it also means that R and L Ball Joints are side-specific when replacing!  This is not a big deal, just a minor item to be aware of!  See also additional info below, on machined Brass (Bronze) Idler Arm Bushings available.


My input to Amazon Steering Track Rod Thread: Info not part of the original posting added. "...threads on the Track Rod Ends are right and left-hand...this means that to adjust Toe-In, the TR simply needs to be turned* (after loosening jamnuts [13])...TR Ends do not need to be removed...

HOWEVER, if TR is not centered to the extent that it concerns you, and you wish to change it (this would only concern me if insertion into St Rod was less than about an inch...notice also at that link, that threaded part of Ball Joint is quite long to allow for adjustment, so you may be unnecessarily concerned!), you will need to separate one Ball Joint to turn TR in the direction required...and IF you elect to do this, you should make a reference mark on the Ball Joint ends, carefully measure and record that, so that after reassembly, you can readjust critical Toe-In adjustment to the same exact dimension it was previously.

*...and to make this adjustment, they typically grab the (round) TR with a pipe-wrench, and wrench away, scarring the bejesus out of it...I didn't like that style so much (too rustic for me!), that's why I drilled out a big nut, slipped it over one end of TR, and had it welded in, a proper wrench can be used on the hex, sparing the (painted) TR shaft from insult. Details... Details..."

See also:  Toe-In and Toe-Out


OE Rubber vs Brass (Bronze) Idler Arm Bushings (15A) to replace Volvo part number 671444: 

Have you noticed that the rubber on replacement bushings is not as beefy (in scientific terms:  ...not as high a Durometer as the originals), and just seems cheap...this also explains why replacement bushings last from about 11:00 o'clock until noon!  Here is a really nice alternative...a Brass/Bronze machined bushing, with greasing provision...just like the factory used to install in "the old days".  Available from manufacturer or Skandix, maybe others as well. 

Link to Skandix page for this item:

Ebay listing of user: "boedr"  (  )  This is is presented strictly as info... I have no relationship and received no consideration from (Skandix, or boedr, [Ebay ID] , apparently located in, in Oisterwijk, Netherlands) who makes and offers these, but they look pretty good from where I'm sitting!  Search E-Pay for:  Redesigned idler arm bushings for Amazon, 1800, 140, 164

 The new bushing will fit on the following cars:
•Volvo Amazon 1966 +
•Volvo 1800 1966 +
•Volvo 140 all
•Volvo 164

Thread about this bushing and related matters:  apparently the (rubber) based OE replacement one got pounded out on the not-so-good-roads of Zimbabwe so Maver1ck was looking (and found ) a better solution.

Link to a Skandix info page on installing Bronze Bushing:

A couple of pictures from that page.



Toe-In and Toe-Out.  With a solid rear axle, X is naturally equal to Z, so Tracking (or where the Rear Tires point) is less of an issue. 


Checking Toe can be done with simple tape-measure measurements, while car is on the ground and suspension loaded with vehicle weight, Steering Wheel pointed straight ahead.  X and Z would certainly be expected to be the same, given the solid Rear Axle.  Intereurope 120 Manual specifies the fronts (Y and Z) on the other hand, should have 5/32" (4mm) of Toe-In. 

Adjusting Toe-In/Out: 

Loosen Locking Nut (13) on Track Rod (12).  Track Rod and Ball Joints on either end have Right and Left-Hand threads, so note which direction TR must be turned to get the desired lengthening (for increasing Toe-Out) or shortening (for increasing Toe-In), and turn TR to affect the desired measurement change.  Torque Locking Nut when adjustments are completed.  


Camber and Caster PLACEHOLDER

Link to a thread Camber Adjustment  

Link to an informative article by David A. Hueppchen, on the VClassiscs site:



Single bolt saddle bracket for Anti-Sway Bar vs. two bolt.  (Ancient article by this author.) :

Durometer is a testing standard for materials.  See also: 


External material attributed.  Otherwise, this article is Copyright © 2017 Ronald Kwas.  The term Volvo is used for reference only.  I have no affiliation with this company other than to try to keep the vintage products of both working for me, and to help and encourage other enthusiasts do the same.  The information presented here comes from factory manuals or my own experience, and carefully considered opinion, and can be used or not, or ridiculed and laughed at, at the readers discretion.  As with any recipe, your results may vary, and you are, and will always be, in charge of your own knuckles and future! 

You are welcome to use the information here in good health, and for your own non-commercial purposes, but if you reprint or otherwise republish this article, you must give credit to the author or link back to the SwEm site as the source.  If you don’t, you’re just a lazy, scum sucking plagiarist, and the Boston Globe wants you!  As always, if you can supply corrections, or additional objective information or experience, I will always consider it, and consider working it into future revisions of these article...along with likely the odd metaphor and maybe wise-a** comment, as they come to me... 


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