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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have and specs for the front toe in? I've a few jigs and plans coming together to get the toe settings back after replacing the control arms o my 2011 3.2L. Wouldn't mind getting something numbers to compare with.

I did find a copy of the Tech Order that VIDA references, but the values inside are not in "shade-tree speak".

Any help would be great! I'm not really blessed with having shops I trust in rural Ohio, so I may need to push a proper alignment off by several weeks.

Thanks!

-Ryan
 

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Get two plates of steel or aluminum about 18" square. Cover one with grease and use the other plate to make a grease sandwich. Put the car on a flat surface and put the grease sandwich a few feet in front of one of the front tires. Push the car forward and fool with the steering wheel to get it to roll straight. Push it forward over the grease sandwich. If the top plate moves outward you need more toe out. If it moves inward, you need more toe in. Repeat until the top plate doesn't move as the car rolls over it.

You can repeat for the other side, but it shouldn't require any further change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! This is the doc I referred to above.

It makes more sense when I read the whole document:
Toe 2.JPG

So positive values are toe *IN*. Based on the below, that means I'm looking to arrive a toe-IN of 0.16 degrees.

Toe.JPG

My plan of attack is going to be to do one side at a time, after careful measure of the "before" condition of both camber and toe, and then set each rotor/hub back to those measurements after replacing the control arm and loading the ball joint with the trolley jack. Just need to remember trigonometry to convert degrees to linear measurements. It's been 30 years since I last used SOHCAHTOA. :)

Thanks again!

-Ryan
 

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The optimal toe value depends on where in the range of acceptable camber your wheels are. (Assuming they're in the range). If you use the greased plates method, it automatically takes that into consideration. And, no math or precision measurements required. It'll even give you best tire wear if your other settings are out of whack. The ideal solution for your situation: to push a proper alignment off by several weeks.
 

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The ideal solution for your situation: to push a proper alignment off by several weeks.
This! If you go ahead with the backyard mechanic route then you are brave. I've tried had to do "emergency" alignment before, but not on a daily driver.

As you already know, a complete 4 wheel (laser) alignment should be done well or you could make driving worse.

Just as an FYI. What I did to improve tire wear and handling, I used the 2009+ specs on my 2008 and I reduced total toe-in on both the front and rear. Here are my alignment specs:
Front total toe: +0.12° (spec is +0.16° +/- 0.2)
Rear total toe: +0.24° (spec is +0.3° +/- 0.2)

Reducing just 0.1 degree of toe-in on each wheel can help reduce tire wear and improve handling. If you want 100% factory safety for other drivers of your XC90, then go the full toe-in from factory spec. Otherwise, I do like the balance of the reduced toe-in for handling and straight line stability. Lastly, if you haven't done already, loosen those lower 2 strut bolts and push that area in (or use a jack to raise the spindle to help) to try to get the most negative camber. At first when I did my struts I did not push that in and I had one side at +0.2°. After I pushed it in, it was at -0.2°.
 

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This! If you go ahead with the backyard mechanic route then you are brave. I've tried had to do "emergency" alignment before, but not on a daily driver.

As you already know, a complete 4 wheel (laser) alignment should be done well or you could make driving worse.

Just as an FYI. What I did to improve tire wear and handling, I used the 2009+ specs on my 2008 and I reduced total toe-in on both the front and rear. Here are my alignment specs:
Front total toe: +0.12° (spec is +0.16° +/- 0.2)
Rear total toe: +0.24° (spec is +0.3° +/- 0.2)

Reducing just 0.1 degree of toe-in on each wheel can help reduce tire wear and improve handling. If you want 100% factory safety for other drivers of your XC90, then go the full toe-in from factory spec. Otherwise, I do like the balance of the reduced toe-in for handling and straight line stability. Lastly, if you haven't done already, loosen those lower 2 strut bolts and push that area in (or use a jack to raise the spindle to help) to try to get the most negative camber. At first when I did my struts I did not push that in and I had one side at +0.2°. After I pushed it in, it was at -0.2°.
Do you recall what your camber settings where?
As you know the outside edges of my front exhibit excessive wear. Sometimes in tight low speed turns at near full lock, I can feel the front end scrubbing the tires and pushing through the turn.
 

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the outside edges of my front exhibit excessive wear. Sometimes in tight low speed turns at near full lock, I can feel the front end scrubbing the tires and pushing through the turn.
Mine did the same thing, despite several alignments, until I replaced the lower control arms. Stick your head up under the front and have someone rock the steering wheel back and forth. Mine were moving around like you wouldn't believe.
 

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My camber settings were around -0.1 and -0.2. Camber is usually not done during the alignment because it requires the wheels to be removed to adjust those two bolts. There isn't much camber to these vehicles, so it is a situation where you try to set as much negative camber as possible before the alignment. Ironically, I have seen camber at -0.3 for my cousin's (non-sport) XC90 2.5 without sport springs and my XC90 sat higher than his and your (ShadowDancer) XC90. So, my thinking is the sport springs sag less over time/use due to the higher spring rate. This means less potential for negative camber for those with sport/RD springs.

Like John C was saying, probably your bushings if you feel scrubbing and/or if you can notice feathering of the tread. Hopefully, RyanR can get some good miles on the new iPd control arms to review them so it might be an affordable option.

ShadowDancer, have you ever gotten an alignment? If so, do you have those specs?


Another FYI: There is a trick to check for proper tire pressure and tire roll. With the high center of gravity of the XC90 (and many other factors like camber, crossover/SUV tires, etc.), there should be tire wall roll expected so this might not apply well. We would mark the sidewall corners of the tire then do a hot lap. Come back to see where the mark wore out and if the tire pressures needed to be adjusted. Like Goldilocks, the middle pic is just right...but with the XC90, the left one might be better suited. The right pic has too much tire pressure. And remember, the first step to all alignments should be setting proper tire pressures.
Tires.jpg
 

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ShadowDancer, have you ever gotten an alignment? If so, do you have those specs?
No, I haven't done an alignment yet.
Control Arms are nearing their replacement period, so, I plan to do these, new tires all around, brake pads, and tires at the same time. I'll have to remember the tire paint trick. Right now I set the fronts at 45 psi and the rears at factory recommendation (I think 41 psi).
 

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Mine did the same thing, despite several alignments, until I replaced the lower control arms. Stick your head up under the front and have someone rock the steering wheel back and forth. Mine were moving around like you wouldn't believe.
Well that's probably the issue then. My mechanic at VS said they weren't terrible, but they were about to enter their replacement period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, y'all.

I've had good luck doing front end alignment on my live-axle RWD Volvos... but front toe is the only adjustment possible, so the XC90 is a different kettle of fish.

I've a jig coming together that should allow me to get pretty darn close to what I have now post LCA replacement. The nearest Volvo dealer is 100 miles away, so I'll likely dial things in the best I can and then get it up to the dealership for an alignment, software updates, and probably a replacement key.

Alignment options locally are limited to the box stores, and I learned long ago that their business practices are pretty sketchy, and in the end... the dealership is probably more cost effective.

Thanks, gang!

-Ryan
 
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