Wheels and Tires:                                                                                               FAQ Home

Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                     Version 5.0

Tire Size

Maximum Wheel Sizes

Torque Specs on Alloy & Steel Wheels

Wheelbearing Life

Alloy Wheel Stuck on Hub

Wheel Interchangeability

Replacement Wheel Rims

Snow Tire Sources

Tire Size. [What are the largest tires I can mount on stock 15" wheels on a 1992 740? The wheels are 15x6".] A very low profile option is 225/50-15. A moderate low profile option is 215/60-15. Both will mount and function with only minor interference (rubbing between the tire and the control arm with the steering turned to full left or full right lock).

Maximum Wheel Sizes.  [Query:] I have a 740 Turbo Wagon with 195/60/R15 tires. I would like to know the maximum size of wheels/tires I can use safely on this car without making any modifications.   Does Volvo have any guidelines for max sizes on the 740?
 [Response:] On the 700 you should be able to go as high as a 17x8 wheel with a 225/35-18 or 225/40-18 tire. However, this will produce a pretty harsh ride and you will likely experience damage to tires and wheels from normal streeet driving anywhere there might be potholes or pavement damage.  I have found that 16x7 or 16x7.5 rims with 225/50-16 are a very nice combination of ride, performance, appearance, and durability.   Be sure that any wheels that you buy are the correct offset for the 700 Volvos. TSW makes several wheels that will fit, and there are even optional Volvo sport wheels for the 700 series in 16" and 17" sizes. (very expensive!).
 [Response 2:] On my 89 745T with 16 x 7.5 wheels and 225/50ZR16 tires, the front rims come very close to touching the strut spring perches. There is a slight rub on the fender liner at full lock I think my wheels, MMIIs, are only 20 mm offset. 25 mm offset, the standard for 700/900s, would help a bit. Before I bought 17 x 8s, I would test fit them in the fronts. I don't think the rears would be a problem. There seems to be more room back there.
 [Response 3:] Actually, 25mm offset (as opposed to 20mm) would bring the inside of your front rims even closer to the struts. The greater the offset, the farther inboard your rims go.   I have the Volvo 16 x 6 wheels on my 740 (25mm offset) and they come fairly close to the strut as well. If these were 7.5 wide, I imagine there might be a clearance problem.
 [Response 4:] The only figures I have is for the S/V90, but it can take 18 x 8.5" as a max with 225/40R18 as a tire. Don't have the ET value at the moment.  Ride comfort is probably gone, but this sort of wheel already needs a suspension kit for maximum effect (handling/cornering), which usually already destroys most of the 'comfort' factor.   This sort of wheel/tire combination (anyting >= 17 inch) really needs to be used on nice smooth roads and highways. If you have bad pavement where you live, then you should not exceed 16 inch wheels to minimize the chances of damage to the tires and the rims.

Torque Specs on Alloy & Steel Wheels.  [Query:]  Is there any difference in wheel nut torque specs between steel and alloy wheels?  [Response:] There is no difference in the torque requirements for steel or alloy wheels in Volvos. The difference is the studs. The 240s and earlier should be torqued to 85 ft-lbs. The 700/900 should be torqued to 66 ft-lbs, the 850 should be torqued to 81 ft-lbs. [Editor's note: I use anti-seize on each stud to ease nut removal when changing to or from snow tires.]

[Tip from Counterman Magazine]  Wheel lug bolts should be tightened by torquing to one-half specified value in a star or criss-cross pattern. The final torquing should be done in the same sequence to the specified value.  The bolt threads should be clean and free of rust. While it helps to lubricate the threads with light penetrating oil, never use a lubricant that leaves a heavy oil film or that contains a friction modifier. Friction modifiers reduce the friction between the lug nut and bolt and cause false torque readings.

Wheelbearing Life. [Query:] Readying my daughter's 740 for a long road trip. Bought the vehicle with 112k - it has 120k now. Shows no overt symptoms of bearing wear. No noise. Wheels are tight with little play. Should these bearings be greased/replaced prior to road trip? [Response:] The 700 wheel bearings seem to last a bit longer than those on the 200 series. There are a couple of different types. The early ones were similar to the 200 series and could be expected to last 100K to 200K, perhaps with a cleaning and re-packing at some point. If the bearing still has grease in it and the grease is not burned, I would leave it alone. The later 700s use a slightly different bearing that is installed with preloading. These bearings seem to last even longer. Again, if still have grease and the grease is not burned or hardened, etc. leave them alone.

Alloy Wheel Stuck on Hub.  [Query:] In the process of doing a front brake job on my '86 745T, I find myself unable to get the driver's front wheel off....no amount of pulling seems to budge it, and I'm no wimp.   [Response:]  Loosen the lugnuts some, raise the wheel off the ground and then loosen the lugnuts a bit more...enough to keep the wheel on the hub, but not enough to keep it from moving. (1/8" inch is plenty.)  Then *gently* lower the wheel back onto the ground. The weight of the vehicle will break the bond between the wheel and the hub. Then just raise the car up again and remove the wheel as normal.

Wheel Interchangeability.  [Query]  I am looking for a used set of 15 x 6, alloy wheels for my Vovlo (91, 740 sedan). I was told by two Volvo dealers that all I need to find are 15" wheels off of any 700 series Volvo from 1982 thru 1992.  But various sellers of used wheels have some reference manual called Hollander, and claim that it says I can only use certain years of the 700 series for the wheels to fit a 91, 740. Who is right?  [Response: Bob] You can use any Volvo 15" wheel from 81-95 excluding 95 960. [Response: Jim Bowers]  Suspensions on '95 and later 960s and the S/V90 used a different offset, like the 5 stud 850. Otherwise any 700/900 15" wheel will fit.

Replacement Wheel Rims.  [Tip from Joe Fernandes]  Try  http://www.aaarims.com/  for a source of Volvo used and refurbished wheel rims.

Snow Tire Sources.  [Tip from Lee Levitt]  See Pat Greer at http://www.dias.net/~greerent/  for Hakkapellita  and Nokian snow tires.

See also http://www.tirerack.com  for Tire Rack information and Internet order site.

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