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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought my '06 V50 T5 auto a few weeks ago with 89K on the dash. Took it in today for 90K service. Got to find out it has a front CV boot leak, dealer wants to replace the axle ($900), front rotors are warped, dealer wants to replace pads and rotors ($700). I think there was one other thing, but I zoned out screaming expletives in my head.

Here are my questions. I have never replaced my own rotors before, and the last brake job I did myself was replacing brake calipers on a '92 Volvo 240. How hard is doing brakes and rotors at home? I'm sure I can do it for much less than $700, but I get a little nervous working on the parts of the car responsible for stopping me.

As far as the leaky CV boot, my previous '08 C30 had the same thing, and the dealer tells me they no longer repair the boot, they just replace the axle. I find that strange, but maybe that's how it works these days. Is this true, and if not, is this a possible DIY with someone with little mechanical experience? I have a friend who is a mechanic who has always offered to help me out, but if this will involve actually dropping the axle, I'll just fork over the $$$.


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Brakes- easy. R1 concepts. I'm getting my 2nd set of drilled/slotted for under $300 and that's all 4. Ebc pads are $100 a set. Easy afternoon job.


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Brakes are fairly easy. Everything is outlined in the Sticky. Centric high carbon rotors & Akebono pads from RockAuto make a great economical, better than OEM, choice.

Your dealer may not do boots but they are certainly available from Volvo. The question becomes "how long has this boot been torn". If there are no noises & lots of grease flying it's perfectly acceptable to clean out the joint & re-boot. If it looks dry or there are any noises you will want to replace the axle. They are expensive but you could tackle the job yourself & save some $$. If you aren't fully confident about doing brakes then I wouldn't try changing out the boots yourself. I guess you'll need to find an Independent if the dealer won't do it. I'm sure the dealer has had a bad experience with re-booting. Someone came back & said "Ever since you changed the boot my CV makes noise". It's just easier not to deal with this kind of complaint & replace the whole works. If that goes bad they can just warranty the axle.
 

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Brakes are simple. Takes a half hour. The axle you can buy a rebuilt for cheap, thats about a half hour too almost as easy. My mechanic has a thing called a quick boot that he can slip a boot into the axle without taking the cv off. Call around and see if you can find a mechanic to throw a boot on it. Take the axle off, clean it and bring it in and they can do that for you a lot cheaper than paying the labor to remove and install it.

I don't know about the v50 but the s40 has 2 different front brake setups. Mine ended up being a mix of the two. I recommend buying the parts local to make sure you get the right diameter discs and correct pads. Maybe someone can chime in on if there are different setups like on the s40.

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Your dealer may not do boots but they are certainly available from Volvo. The question becomes "how long has this boot been torn". If there are no noises & lots of grease flying it's perfectly acceptable to clean out the joint & re-boot. If it looks dry or there are any noises you will want to replace the axle.
^^ THIS. It's perfectly acceptable to just do the boot. When the CV boot on our Jetta tore, I caught it early and we just replaced the boot. Many more miles were put on the vehicle subsequently and we had no issues with the axle.
 

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Great cars, but they have some weak links (suspension). Your issues are maintenance only and can be expected from a used car purchase. Any decent indy volvo mechanic can reboot the axle with genuine volvo stuff (even autozone has reboot kits) - the brakes aren't that easy but can be done if you've got any mechanical experience, a decent amount of hand tools, and 3-4 hours of leisure time / enough beer to keep you entertained. Lots of options via rockauto.com, drilled and slotted rotors are a good upgrade.
 

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Great cars, but they have some weak links (suspension). Your issues are maintenance only and can be expected from a used car purchase. Any decent indy volvo mechanic can reboot the axle with genuine volvo stuff (even autozone has reboot kits) - the brakes aren't that easy but can be done if you've got any mechanical experience, a decent amount of hand tools, and 3-4 hours of leisure time / enough beer to keep you entertained. Lots of options via rockauto.com, drilled and slotted rotors are a good upgrade.
Lol 4 hours? Must be the beer. I can bang them out in under an hour in a parking lot. It's just 2 bolts plus the lugs!

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Like most have said, both aren't bad, the CV will require the most time and most tools.

Brakes are not bad, but you still need to clean them, lube them, and torque all your bolts back to spec. It will take some time, especially if you haven't done them before. I would set aside some time for them. Follow the sticky!

The CV has a sticky as well. Someone replaced the boot here. I've done both boots and the axle and it's much simpler to just do the axle. But the boot is cheaper if you need to save money and think you can save it. You have to take the axle out to do the boots properly. Not really a way to avoid that.
 

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Yeah, don't expect to spend under an hour doing your front brakes if you've never done them before. They totally are easy to do, but even myself, who has done countless brakes jobs, will not try to rush the job even though I could. Take your time, do it right. The biggest concern is do you have all the right tools? Nothing extreme is needed, but having a 3/8" ratchet and metric sockets is required, a 1/2" drive set is even better with a longer ratchet for better leverage on those tough-to-remove bolts. I also like to have a small bungee cord to wrap around the caliper and hang it from the coil spring while removing the rotor. A brake piston tool is also handy (cheap at auto parts store) to gently push the piston back and fit in the new pads. Sometimes I need a rubber mallet to get the tire/rim off since they can get a little stuck on the hub bearing.
 

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Yeah, don't expect to spend under an hour doing your front brakes if you've never done them before. They totally are easy to do, but even myself, who has done countless brakes jobs, will not try to rush the job even though I could. Take your time, do it right. The biggest concern is do you have all the right tools? Nothing extreme is needed, but having a 3/8" ratchet and metric sockets is required, a 1/2" drive set is even better with a longer ratchet for better leverage on those tough-to-remove bolts. I also like to have a small bungee cord to wrap around the caliper and hang it from the coil spring while removing the rotor. A brake piston tool is also handy (cheap at auto parts store) to gently push the piston back and fit in the new pads. Sometimes I need a rubber mallet to get the tire/rim off since they can get a little stuck on the hub bearing.
All good tips! Yes. While some can do it quickly, don't rush the things that make the car stop.

To sub a brake piston tool you can place the old brake pad over the piston and use a c-clamp or large channellock pliers to push it back in. Just make it flush with the housing. Don't over push it.

You should use a bungee cord or something to hold the caliper up. Don't let it sag. Then you'll need to replace brake lines too. Also, throw on a pair of gloves. Brake dust is nasty and sticks everywhere.
 

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Yep, the wife is a nurse so I always have plenty of latex gloves on hand :) Get yourself a can or two of brakes parts cleaner as well. In the sticky the OP shows removing the caliper by removing the bracket bolts, however I like to remove the slide bolts first, pull out the caliper, remove the pads, compress the piston, then hang the caliper out of the way. I haven't done the front on my S40 yet but on my P2's the slide bolts are 7mm hex, not sure what the P1 cars are, could even be torx? The reason I pull the slide bolts out completely is so I can examine the rubber boots, clean off the bolts, and re-grease them with Sil-Glyde (get some at the auto parts store). Then obviously unbolt the caliper bracket from the knuckle since you can't replace the rotor without doing so. I like to spray the bolts and bracket down with brake cleaner. Also like to put a small wire brush bit on my cordless drill and knock the rust off the part of the hub that goes into the wheel and spray a little WD or PB blaster on it. That will make it easier to remove the wheel the next time.

You can easily do this job yourself and feel good about saving a lot of money. $700 for a front brake job is borderline criminal :facepalm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. The only noise I notice from the front end is I do hear some friction when I frost start the car up. I hear some noise turning the wheel when pulling out of the driveway and driving down the road, but then it disappears within a minute or two.


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Lol 4 hours? Must be the beer. I can bang them out in under an hour in a parking lot. It's just 2 bolts plus the lugs!

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Well... I can't do both axles in under a hour and I'm not sure anyone can (safely). Especially, not if your rotors are seized to the hubs; not if you torque things to spec; not if you're meticulous cleaning the new rotors; not if you're careful with the calipers; and not if you have to jack the car up with a jack stand a floor jack. I guess, I need to be taking some tips from you :)
 

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Floor jack? 3 pumps, lower onto the stand. Shouldn't take even 2 minutes. Torque wrench, thats what notes are for. Set, twist, next. But I never do that. Once bolts are at the 100ft/lbs mark, I don't see the point. Seized rotors? Yeah then you have some banging to do. I had to cut my girlfriends rotors off her hub with an angle grinder on her s40, the rears. They were seized and broken. Took an extra 20 minutes or so, and 5 minutes of banging before I gave up. Didn't want to ruin the hub. I use a wire brush on a drill to clean the hubs, doesn't take long at all. 4 hours for a brake job is a bit extreme, and I wouldn't say that every car will take that long. Brake cleaner and a rag really doesn't take that long either. And careful with the calipers? I have them on bungee cords from the front strut or rest them on a jack stand in the back. That shouldn't really add to your time at all. I dunno.. If you want to take your time and enjoy the process, thats one thing... Lol

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I did my dad's ebrake shoes on his v70 the other day. Might as well have been an entire brake job in the back since everything came off, and it took me an hour flat from when I started jacking to when I was lowering it. The hardest part was one of the springs in the drum just wouldn't go back in, I had to find my needle nose vice grips at the bottom of my toolbox.

I think everyone should do their own brakes. I see too many mechanics beat the heck out of rotors to the point of damaging the hubs, they hang the calipers by the lines, I even had one mechanic not tighten a caliper at all and I lost the slide bolt entirely. And I've had them not install the retention spring as well. You'll always treat your car better than the average mechanic. I'm not saying all are bad, but I've seen some really terrible stuff.

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I think everyone should do their own brakes. I see too many mechanics beat the heck out of rotors to the point of damaging the hubs, they hang the calipers by the lines, I even had one mechanic not tighten a caliper at all and I lost the slide bolt entirely. And I've had them not install the retention spring as well. You'll always treat your car better than the average mechanic. I'm not saying all are bad, but I've seen some really terrible stuff.
Exactly why I do as much as I can myself!
 

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"New" car woes

Floor jack? 3 pumps, lower onto the stand. Shouldn't take even 2 minutes. Torque wrench, thats what notes are for. Set, twist, next. But I never do that. Once bolts are at the 100ft/lbs mark, I don't see the point. Seized rotors? Yeah then you have some banging to do. I had to cut my girlfriends rotors off her hub with an angle grinder on her s40, the rears. They were seized and broken. Took an extra 20 minutes or so, and 5 minutes of banging before I gave up. Didn't want to ruin the hub. I use a wire brush on a drill to clean the hubs, doesn't take long at all. 4 hours for a brake job is a bit extreme, and I wouldn't say that every car will take that long. Brake cleaner and a rag really doesn't take that long either. And careful with the calipers? I have them on bungee cords from the front strut or rest them on a jack stand in the back. That shouldn't really add to your time at all. I dunno.. If you want to take your time and enjoy the process, thats one thing... Lol

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Lol no need to defend yourself dude. This thread is for a person that is doing their brakes for the first time ever on their car. If you tell people it should be done in a certain period of time, people tend to get more stressed if it is taking longer, and there is no way someone that is new to doing something on a car is going to go as quick as you. (Don't stress the guy out! Haha)

Also, doing brakes is an ideal time to check the car for issues all over. You have the whole tire, brakes, and sometimes rotors off. You should be getting under at that point, removing the splash shield, and checking for other damage and wear on all suspension parts, bushings, cv joints, leaking on oil pan... Etc.

So ya, you can do it quickly, and be done in a jiffy, but one of the main reasons people do work on their own (beside saving money) is because they simply don't trust that a mechanic cares as much about their car as they do. (Which you stated in your latest post. Most mechanics have to follow the time laid out for them to do a job by Volvo. If they do it quicker, more money. )
 

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See I look at it the opposite. If you tell someone it's a 4hr ordeal they're less likely to even attempt it, even though our disc brakes are no different than any other standard disc brake out there. Simple installation and basic tools, nothing out of the ordinary. I think we have the same objective with different methods of getting there lol.. But yes you should look over the car while you're in there. But the basic overall parts swap is as simple as can be.

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Haha in defense to mercdude, he said leisure time and time for beer! But yes, agreed. 4 hours is a ton of time and I can see your point.

OP, just do it and post pics along the way if you are lost. We all have no lives and are on here to help you haha. Good luck.
 
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