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1989 Volvo 240 Sedan: Rear passenger side wheel rubs when active suspension.

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  • 1989 Volvo 240 Sedan: Rear passenger side wheel rubs when active suspension.

    1989 Volvo 240 Sedan, B230F AW70 aprox 318xxx KM

    Hello guys,

    I am already in touch with IPD trying to sort this but I also thought that posting here would bring further clarity for everyone alike.

    I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada... winter world let's say, and I brought my 1989 Volvo 240 sedan with me.

    Moving to Manitoba means you need a safety inspection in order to register (insurance) your car. Needless to say, it did not pass.

    There was a lot of suspensions and steering work to be done. and a plethora of smaller jobs like rear light issues, headlight bezels lose, etc.

    The main issues were ball joints, tie rod outside ends, and main differential bushings or whats call, I believe, trailing arms rear bushings.

    To my luck I had all of these with me, from a long time ago when I got to buy a lot of IPD goodies to install when possible... then time goes by in the way you seem to be in a subway ride.

    So needless to say I took this great opportunity to install EVERYTHING I had brand new waiting... except for some bushings that were in pristine conditions and can still wait.

    Since I had read the horror stories for those rear trailing arm bushings needing a big press I delegated that task to the shop that did the inspection and since they were in the area I gave them two adjustable torque rods to put in as well, they were amused with the blue and yellow. They explained they matched the length of these rods to the ones that were there already. I might think there could be a few mm errors since the bushings inside these rods had a certain degree of wear, but the car drove home well so no complaints.

    Here are some more things I installed my self back home: Ball joints, Tie rod ends, lower chassis braces (blue), and higher strut tower braces (golden), 25mm H&R TRAX+ Wheel Spacers attaching them to the car with the original imperial lugnuts, and some metric chrome lug nuts holding the wheels in place.

    In the previous years, I had installed a full lowering kit from IPD (shorter sport springs and Koni struts and shocks.) as well as their blue thicker sway bars.

    My car rides on Virgo 15" wheels, on Standard size tires for this Volvo... although I may want to install bigger winter tires in a couple of steelies 14" for when things get heavy here.

    With all that been said, after all the work was done I went to be reinspected. But to my dismay, my passenger side rear wheel was rubbing quite enough in the wheel well. It's like never-ending with these cars, some times I feel a little bit defeated if I may say. I was very reassured that this would be the greatest the car has seen since brand new, but then here we are.

    I understand after all this reinstalling the steering and tracking may need alignment and it might sort out the problem, but the same reason giving me the time to sort out and have fun doing Volvo Mechanics is keeping me from having an income so I am in the pit financially and can not afford to pay the shop any more money, also can not afford to buy an adjustable Panhard rod in order to regulate the way wheels are located in the wells.

    I need to insure and drive the car in order to work so I can pay for the things I need to get done in the car, it's a catch 22 since I can not drive like this, I could just remove the spacers and call it a day but that is not the objective of this post either, they were like 200CAD after buying the wrong type of lugnuts, etc so I really want to use them.

    Rolling the fenders out is also another solution in order to avoid rubbing and I might try that as a last resort thing.

    My question is has anyone experienced this problem with a setup like mine? Is there any favorable course of action in order to improve this without expending extra money and in a DIY kind of way?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,


  • #2
    By the way, this did not stop me from passing the inspection, so I am able to insure my car and the only thing stopping me from driving around would be specifically this problem I am having now. Then again I don't mean to insure it if I will not drive, I am in saving mode currently and until I find some work.


    • #3
      Well, I got to read around today and found this thread in turbobricks that explain a lot of what's going on in my car.

      Lowering these Volvos with the standard Torque rods makes the axle to be pushed in the lower portion of its circumference making it "roll" further back and the Panhard rod brings the wheels a little bit towards the passenger side by pushing the points where it's anchored. By exaggerating the distance between wheels with the spacers I was looking for trouble. I guess I will have to readjust the Torque rods to the right distance to make the transmission out shaft out of the tranny and input axles into the diff parallel so the whole drivetrain behaves as a CV joint and its efficiency with no weird rubs, but then this will also allow the rear axle to move slightly forward and away from the read end of the wheel well which is where it's rubbing now. Then also adjust the Panhard rod (I will need to purchase the adjustable version from IPD when I get a chance) to get the wheels more centered and see if that makes things better in this case... I hope it will.

      Here is a very concise comment on that thread that made me realized all this:

      "When those parts wear, you end up with a loose rear end - and nobody wants to be accused of that

      The torque rods and trailing arms hold the axle in place at the top & bottom, respectively. These parts are responsible for transferring the driving force of the rear wheel into the car body, and keeping the axle from twisting about its axis. The trailing arms are primarily for axle location, the torque rods for twist resistance, but they each do double duty to some extent. Loose bushings here generally cause clunks and contribute to the loose feeling you describe - driveline lash, a 'pull' (really a 'push') to one side under acceleration, etc...

      Adjustable torque rods help center the axle front-to-back under the wheel arches. One downside to the trailing arm/torque rod setup is that it works within a limited range of motion, and it is set for stock ride height. Lower the car and the geometry forces the rear wheels to move closer to the rear of the wheel wells. That just happens to be where 240s will rub when fitted with big tires - bummer. Shorter torque rods will pull the axle forward slightly, recentering the wheels within the wells. If you lower your 240 and have wide wheels/tires, the adjustable torque rods are a good idea. The adjustable rods seen on this site are also normally stronger than the stock pieces, which are known to bend/split/die under big power.

      The Panhard rod locates the axle laterally. For similar geometry reasons as above, a lowered car will push its axle center to the passenger side. The adjustable piece keeps the wheels in the middle of the car, away from the wheel arches. No other benefit to it that I know of."

      Thanks to Turbobricks board member 11110000 for this comment 15 years ago.

      Thanks for anyone reading and I am still open to any good advice...


      • #4
        Very interesting read. I hope everything works out well with your 240 and life in Manitoba. Just did a lot of suspension work on mine but haven't done torque rods yet. It's stock height so may just do the bushings when needed.