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Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/8/20 11:40 a.m.

Today, we'll be hunting the elusive parking brake...

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/8/20 12:23 p.m.

We’re also going to fix some other mistakes while we’re in here. 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/9/20 12:50 p.m.

I pulled the rear brakes apart yesterday. The main reason for this was that I've never really had a reliable parking brake on this thing, but I was also getting tired of looking at the sloppy paint job on the brake calipers and all the associated overspray.

I ordered a full brake kit, with new rotors, pads, parking brake shoes and hardware. I went with ATE pads, because they made the calipers on this car, and Volvo rotors, because I wasn't really sure if the parking brake issue was related to the cross drilled rotors that were installed shortly before we bought the car.

I have tried adjusting the parking brake in the past, but without success. I think part of the problem lies with the rarity of this car, and the fact that the only shop manual available for it is the Haynes book for the 1996-1999 European S70, V70 and C70. The parking brake system shown in there is completely different as what is on this car.. Also, it's not the same as the earlier 850s or the later V70s. Our car is a 1998, which I think was released mid year, and part way through 1999, the V70R got completely different brakes. Fortunately, I was able to get all the correct parts from IPD, using the VIN.

I struck out when I looked for videos on You Tube. I found videos of older and newer cars, and watched them all to see what I could learn, but ultimately, it was a matter of just taking things apart, looking everything over and figuring it all out myself. I took a bunch of pictures for reference.

I started with the passenger's side, and almost immediately, something looked fishy. One of the parking brake shoes was sitting in there a little weird and the top and bottom shoes were fastened differently. After scratching my head for a bit, I realized that there had been some hackery going on in here at some point, probably around the time that the previous owner's "Volvo Expert" installed the blingy rotors backwards and then sprayed blue paint everywhere.

After comparing what I found on the car with my new hardware kit, I discovered that the retaining clip for the upper shoe was broken (but still there) and someone had drilled a hole in the old shoe and used a retaining spring from a newer Volvo to hold it (almost) in place. At first, I thought my new shoes were missing a hole for the spring, but everything looked so wrong that eventually I figured out what was going on.

Wrong:

And wrong:

After replacing the broken clip, I was able to install the new shoes and wrestle the springs back into place.

 

I used the wire wheel on my bench grinder to remove the blue paint from the caliper mounting bracket and dust shield. I figure that I'll just let the bare metal rust and it'll still look better.

I decided that I kinda like the blingy cross drilled rotors, and since they only have about 5000 miles on them and no detectable wear, I reinstalled them, along with the new pads.

 

There were no real surprises on the driver's side, just labor, and it went much quicker this time. Both of the original retaining clips for the parking brake shoes were intact, but I replaced them with the new once just to be safe.

I'll drive around on them a bit before I start messing with the adjustment of the parking brake cable, just to let everything settle into place.

 

I feel much better about myself now when I look through the spokes of the wheels. 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/14/20 5:10 p.m.

"Only the Volvo dealership can make the Service reminder light go out", they said...

Ha! Nice try, Olaf!

Pretty sure that thing's not coming on again.

 

Shaun
Shaun Dork
11/14/20 6:23 p.m.

Very nice V70R!  I have owned a 1995 T5R wagon for close to 20 years now- bought it with 95k on the clock in Stamford Connecticut  (Ebay) and drove it to then home California.  It is at 225k now and still sounds pulls and and shifts pretty much the same as it did after sorting all those years ago and uses the same amount of oil as it did then- 1/2 a quart or so every 5 thousand miles.   The very very similar motor and fairly kissing cousins transmission to yours have never been opened. You will be rolling in that wagon for awhile  lucky dog!  

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
11/15/20 9:30 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

"Only the Volvo dealership can make the Service reminder light go out", they said...

Ha! Nice try, Olaf!

Pretty sure that thing's not coming on again.

 

FWIW, that has not been true for some time; there is an Android app that you can use to read/clear Volvo-specific module trouble codes, log data, and reset Service/SRS lights on '95-98 models in concert with a Bluetooth ELM327 OBD-2 dongle. The guy that wrote it is very active in the community and the app is well worth the price of admission.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xiaotec.fi.obdii&hl=en_US&gl=US

There are also a few $50-ish dip switch tools out there that will do it but they've largely been rendered obsolete by the Android app.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/15/20 9:35 a.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture :

Another reason I wish I had a 98 or earlier instead of 2000.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
11/15/20 9:42 a.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

Based solely on the merits of the vehicles I think the '99-00 models really have a lot going for them, but yeah, the <'99 cars are definitely better for DIY types like us.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/15/20 5:35 p.m.

In reply to pointofdeparture :

For $700 I wasn't passing it up, at least it keeps me from getting distracted modding the DD.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 3:31 p.m.

The dog park is only about eight miles away, but we usually take the highway to get across the river. The highway entrance is two miles from home, and the steep on-ramp is really the first place where I have the option to put my foot down and make some boost. But I'm always mindful of the engine temperature before doing so. Fortunately, this engine warms up pretty quickly.

As we hit the entrance ramp on Tuesday, I looked down at the temperature gauge and it seemed unusually low, so I accelerated modestly up the hill. Even out on the highway the car didn't seem to be coming up to temp, but it was only 24 degrees out, so I just figured that there was so much cold air coming through radiator it was going to take a little longer than usual. I didn't think too much more about it, because by that time, we were almost there.

After our walk, we got back in the car and headed back home.

Doodle, we have a problem...

The Check Engine light came on shortly after we left the parking lot. The engine felt fine, and I didn't want to get stranded with the dog, so I just continued on back to the house. We take the back roads home every day because Violet likes to go over the iron bridge, along the river and past the Big Wall. (She loves the Big Wall. I have no idea why). The temperature gauge was still reading low and the car wasn't making any heat, which I don't usually pay much attention to anyway, because she likes it cool and I just use the heated seat.

Anyway the ride home was otherwise uneventful, but when we pulled into the garage and turned off the engine, the electric fan stayed on for about five minutes.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 3:51 p.m.

I grabbed my code scanner and up popped P0116. According to the Googles, that equates to Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor, and it seems to be a fairly common point of failure. The general consensus seems to indicate that it's wise to pony up for a Genuine Volvo replacement part, as the the aftermarket sensors tend to have a pretty short life span.

Surprisingly, FCP Euro (local) didn't have the part listed. IPD does, but they're all the way across the country... as we roll into a holiday weekend, during a pandemic, with a failing postal system.

I called the Volvo dealership and they had the part in stock for about $10 more than IPD, which seemed like a fair price to pay. They had it waiting for me when I arrived. As a bonus, when I got to the parts counter and told the guy what kind of car it was, he asked if I had a keyless entry remote for it (I don't) and then dug around under the counter, pulled one out and gave it to me. He said that they had ordered the wrong one for someone a few years ago and it had been sitting there ever since. I'll have to get it programed, but it will be a nice thing to have.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 4:15 p.m.

So it had already been a pretty busy day. I dropped the kids off at school, walked the dog, discovered that there was a problem with the car, went to the dentist and picked up the new part(s) by noon. 

I never even had a chance to find the old sensor, peek at the shop manual, or look for a how-to video online. It's a simple little sensor, and I know that these things are always near the top of the system where the coolant is hottest. Can't be too hard, right?

Let's have a look under the hood...

 

Well damn, that seems inconvenient.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 4:37 p.m.

The old sensor (green thing) is tucked up under the thermostat housing. This isn't a big deal if you're also replacing the thermostat. But the thermostat is less than a year old, as it was done along with the timing belt and water pump, just before the system was refilled with Really Expensive Volvo Coolant. 

I was hoping i could remove the old sensor with a regular old box end wrench, put my thumb over the hole and then pop the new one in there without making a huge mess or getting a lot of air in the cooling system. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way to get a normal wrench in there without at least removing the hose and probably the housing as well. 

What I need is something like an O2 sensor socket, but in 19mm instead of 7/8". 

It seemed to me that such a thing would be easy to find, but after checking my tool box and then three different auto parts stores...not so much. They don't appear to exist, at least not locally.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 4:42 p.m.

The closest thing that I could find was a pair of Line Sockets on Amazon.

 

 

It seemed like it would probably be good to have them, so I placed an order but they won't be here until Sunday.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/15/21 4:58 p.m.

The shop manual indicates that the car will throw a code if the temperature is more than a degree or two outside of the ideal parameters at the sensor. 

That sounds like an electrical resistance deal to me.

I'm not even sure if the line socket will fit in there, and the dog still wants to play at the park twice more before the tool gets here, so I decided to listen to my own advice that I give to anyone who is messing around with old European cars or Honda motorcycles:

Clean every ground and every electrical contact.

So I unplugged the old sensor and took a look...

Yuck.

Fortunately, inside the plug I found some nice big, fat terminals. Clean up was a snap.


 

These are the handiest little wire brushes I've ever used.

 

I polished everything up, added a little dielectric grease, reconnected the wires and grabbed my code scanner. When I checked the code on Tuesday, the scanner wouldn't even let me clear it. When I plugged it in today, there were no codes to be found.

Today's trip to the dog park was a great success: The car came up to temperature, we had heat and no Check Engine light.

The tools will go into the toolbox, and I'll hang onto the new sensor just in case.

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/18/21 2:06 p.m.

Minor Update:

Three trips to the dog park, and still no check engine light, so it looks like the electrical cleanup was all it needed, at least for the short term.

The line sockets arrived, and just for kicks I checked to see if one would do the trick if needed. Alas, it will not.

The hex head on the sensor is really shallow, and it's surrounded on three sides by the intake manifold, the thermostat housing and a bolt that holds the bracket for the power steering pump.

So...in the event that I do actually have to replace the sensor, I'll have to drain the coolant and remove the thermostat housing, just like they say to do in the shop manual.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/18/21 2:14 p.m.

You don't really need to drain all the coolant to remove the thermostat housing. You will lose a little when removing the housing so it makes a small mess but not terrible. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/18/21 2:33 p.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

I'm really more concerned about creating an air pocket up high in the system.

Rocambolesque
Rocambolesque Reader
1/18/21 10:29 p.m.

I did that repair before on my N/A S70. I just undid the hose and a bit of coolant came out. Replace sensor, connect hose, top up coolant. Didn't have an air bubble problem. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/29/21 2:31 p.m.

It wasn't a huge surprise, but about a week later, the Check Engine light came back on and showed the same code. This is exactly why I kept the new sensor that I had bought.

So to refresh everyone's memory, I had the timing belt and water pump changed last winter (maybe February?). I didn't really want to remove the thermostat housing and then reuse a gasket, so I decided to just suck it up and replace the thermostat too. After doing a little research, the general consensus is that, once again, it's worth paying for the Genuine Volvo one. The dealer had one in stock, but didn't have a new upper hose, so I grabbed one at Advance Auto.

And I've never done this before, but after watching a few videos, draining a gallon of the old coolant into a clean container and reusing it actually looked like a viable option.

Here's where we started:


 

I didn't get any pictures of the underside of the radiator, but there's a vertical plastic plug that you loosen with an allen wrench. It doesn't need to come all the way out and then coolant drains right from the center when you remove the wrench. You can control the rate of flow by leaving the cap on the overflow reservoir until you're ready. The plug is close enough to the plastic undertray that I could have left it in place and drained it through the tiny access hole, but I didn't really know how it all worked until I got a a good look at it. I was afraid of getting dirt in the coolant, but it wouldn't have been an issue.

With the coolant below the level of the thermostat, the next step was to remove the upper hose and thermostat housing. The hose came right off, but the hose clamps were noticeably crusty. Hmmmm...

The thermostat housing is held on by two steel Torx head bolts, that go into the aluminum head. Even though "they came out less than a year ago", I was still nervous about stripping them or breaking a bolt. The outside one is easy to access, but the inner one is really hard to get to, between the thermostat housing, valve cover and hard fuel lines. I disconnected a clamp at the rear of the valve cover to allow me to move the fuel lines just a little, and then since my T40 socket still wouldn't fit down there, I rigged up a combo of skinny bits from a nut driver set, an extension and some adapters.

I knew better than to try to just a breaker bar on there, but I was a little surprised when the bolts wouldn't budge with a Snap-On impact driver and a big hammer. Then I tried a 12v 1/4" drive cordless impact. Still nothing, so I moved up to the 20v 3/8" gun. Nope.

Hmmm....

As a last resort, I got out the big gun. The two lowest settings still did nothing, so I moved the switch to the 1200 ft-lb position, and with a couple of very quick and very, very cautious pulls of the trigger, the bolts finally broke free.

I'm not proud of this...


 

 

Once I pulled the thermostat out, I immediately saw that it was broken and figured that they had put a cheap aftermarket one in there.


 

After cleaning it up and taking a closer look, I saw the word Volvo and what appeared to be a date code. September 1997.

Hmmmmmm.....looks like this was the original thermostat. Good thing I bought a new one.

 

The old sensor came right out with a box end wrench, which was really the only option, even with everything out of the way.

Installation of the new sensor was uneventful. I carefully poured coolant in through the thermostat opening until it came up to the top, installed the new thermostat, the new hose (along with a fancy red spring clamp that probably came off a Miata), and filled the rest of the system through the coolant reservoir.

Those of you playing along at home may recognize thei Genuine Volvo Torx driver from the GRM Néw Year's Game 2020. Thank you AAZCD!

All in all, it was not a bad job, even though it was 24 degrees out.

So far, so good: No lights and no leaks, so we should be good for another 23 years.

 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
2/25/21 8:42 p.m.

This popped up in one of my news feeds tonight:

Not mine, etc...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1998-Volvo-V70-R/193916388586

It doesn't look quite as nice as my dog's car, and it has a few more miles on it, but I'm curious to see where this goes. It still looks like a pretty nice car, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another at this mileage.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
2/25/21 8:56 p.m.

That thermostat is how Volvo thermostats fail pretty much every time.  Doesn't happen super often, but thats how it goes.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/25/21 9:14 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

That thermostat is how Volvo thermostats fail pretty much every time.  Doesn't happen super often, but thats how it goes.

I had three 'stats fail by the rubber ring on the valve (why does it even exist??) breaking apart, causing it to both bypass all the time, and prevent it from opening.

 

A new one is only available for the P2 as part of the housing assembly for $160ish.  But it does come with a new sensor smiley

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
2/25/21 9:17 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Streetwiseguy said:

That thermostat is how Volvo thermostats fail pretty much every time.  Doesn't happen super often, but thats how it goes.

I had three 'stats fail by the rubber ring on the valve (why does it even exist??) breaking apart, causing it to both bypass all the time, and prevent it from opening.

 

A new one is only available for the P2 as part of the housing assembly for $160ish.  But it does come with a new sensor smiley

I thought about adding "That style of Volvo thermostat", but didn't bother.

I've seen the rubber seal failure on the newer ones too.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
2/26/21 6:07 a.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

That thermostat is how Volvo thermostats fail pretty much every time.  Doesn't happen super often, but that's how it goes.

I'm glad that I was keeping my eye on the gauges and caught it when I did.

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