FAQs about Brakes

  • How do I rebuild my brake calipers?
  • Brake warning sensor light works only one time.
  • Repacking wheel bearings.
  • Information on brake pads.
  • Noisy brakes - what can I do?
  • New clutch spring and Caliper Bolts.
  • When should you turn the brake rotors?
  • How can I tell if my brakes are ATE or Girling?
  • Why do the brakes feel soft immediately after replacing the pads?
  • What is a reasonable life for my brake pads?
  • Old brake trouble and modifications.
  • Has anyone else had excessive, rotor wear?
  • How often should I have the brakes lubricated?
  • You should excercise your ABS brakes.
  • Help with 544 rear drum removal.
  • Problems with the parking brake.
  • Power bleeding brakes.
  • How do I change my brake pads?
  • I get an appreciable pull to the left when I brake, what's wrong?

  • How do I rebuild my brake calipers?

    Received: by julian (5.57/2.1client) id AA20097; Fri, 15 Nov 91 22:33:58 -0500
    Date: Fri, 15 Nov 91 22:33:58 -0500
    To: mm@lectroid.sw.stratus.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Caliper Rebuild, anyone?

    Good afternoon, mike,

    Guess what, chum, I'm doing one at the moment... So what is it that you want to know, how to do it?

    Well, first you have to talk real nice to your Volvo dealer, and get him to order you a rebuild kit. They exist, even though the parts manager will try desparately to convince you they don't. I talk from experience...

    When you have your rebuild kits (please don't buy aftermarkets the Volvo one's are inexpensive and *really are better* - I bought one of each and took a look!) and your new hardware kit (pins and stuff that hold pads in) and Repco pads (Imparts has a sale on at the moment) and some 600 or 800 grit sandpaper (must be waterproof) (600 is the lower limit) you're ready.

    1. Take caliper somewhere where you can sandblast them while the dust seals are still in - if they are in lousy shape just be careful. Especially make sure that you clean up all areas where the pads see contact with the caliper to assure smooth travel. Then paint them up nice (no flourecent greens, please) being careful again with the area of pad contact.

    2. Remove hose connection but leave bleed screw in. Put an airline up to the hose connection and apply boost. Be careful, 'cause the pistons come out with a bang. Put the one that came out back in with an assistant keeping just in and get the other one out in the same manner. Keep pistons in order (I'm not sure why, just seems like a good idea). Don't worry just yet if they look really bad, or if the ATE's are missing their notch from the rust, they are really quite high quality and usually clean up quite nicely.

    3. Take the ultra-ultra fine sandpaper (600 or up) and UNDER RUNNING WATER very lightly sand the pistons, changing your place on the sandpaper often to prevent debris scratches. Sand out light scratches, clean up all rust and other unidentifiable gunk, until they look real nice. Remember that you are removing material, so don't press hard, and be accurate.

    4. Oh, did I mention that you need Brakecleen, too? Sorry to recommend this, but for this job you should try to find the nastiest chemical you can find that leave no residue such as CFC. You cannot separate the caliper halves, and to clean them inside, you need something good that won't kill rubber. Do not use methanol, and isopropyl does not clean well and leaves a residue, acetone can be good but can also dry leaving a mess. Anyway, take out the bleed screw and blast this stuff through all the passages you can, and clean the cylinders (you already removed the inner seal, right?)

    5. Sand the cylinders in the same way as the pistons, and immediately after remove all remaining water in the passages by flushing with cleaner again.

    Get new bleed screws.

    Spray brake line fittings with penetrant for about a week before attempting removal.

    This is usually not an overnight job.

    Mine should be done this weekend, wish me luck (I bought a set of junk calipers so I could just change them out when I got them done - and they are ugly - right now the two front pistons are soaking in penetrant - they are rusted in the caliper.


    Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 10:17:07 -0700 (MST)
    From: Joe Rosse (Joseph.Rosse@colorado.edu)
    To: Simon C Hutchins (legato@comox.island.net)
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake Caliper rebuild

    On Fri, 24 Nov 1995, Simon C Hutchins wrote:
    > Anybody out there ever rebuild a set of Girling Calipers.
    > My (142 S) right rear caliper was sticking on, wearing down the pad and
    > heating up the rim. I went out a bought the kit , Removed the calipers and
    > extracted the pistons, Replaced the seals, and am now having a hell of a
    > time getting the pistons back into the caliper. The Haynes manual says
    > "reassembly is simply the reverse". Good luck !!! The dealer told me that
    > they take the caliper apart and then press the piston in with a vice.
    > Haynes does not recomend disassembling the caliper. I align the piston and
    > slowly start it past the rubber seal than it gets stuck. A silght tap
    > realigns it but it refuses to move past the seal. What do you Bricksters
    > think ? any tricks to getting the piston back in ?
    > Simon Hutchins legato@comox.island.net
    > Vancouver Island Canada
    > '73 142 S > '81 242 GLT


    Well, I've rebuilt calipers a couple times. It's not real easy, though I've usually had the hardest time getting the c-clip to hold the rubber boots in place. As for the pistons, I just lubricate them copiously with brake fluid (very important!) and then ease them in with the aid of Channelock pliers. This usually works. (I did have one caliper leak once, and upon disassembly I found that it was due to a torn o-ring on that piston. I would guess that it didn't go in straight and then tore.)

    Good luck.

    P.S. From everthing I've read and heard you do NOT want to split open the caliper. Special equipment is required to re-assemble it.

    Joe Rosse
    College of Business
    University of Colorado at Boulder

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    Brake warning sensor light works only one time.

    Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1991 14:13:35 PST
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: brake warning light
    To: ront@twg.com
    Cc: Werner.WBST311@xerox.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    The 140 series brake warning sensors are notorious for working once, and only once. Apparently once they have been trigger by an imbalance in the sensor, they don't ever want to reset. One solution is to by a new sensor. Another is to disconnect the sensor. [Personally, if I am going fast, I don't think I really want to be warned about not having brakes. I'd rather not have the time to worry about it :-] Another solution (I think Tim T. suggested to me) is to use a 200 or later series sensor. The problem is that the fittings on the brake lines are different and you have to get adapters.

    BTW: The brake warning sensor on my 140 has been disconnected for quite a while now with no ill effects.

    -- John

    Date: Fri, 15 Nov 91 11:08:57 PST
    From: Ron Tewksbury <ront@twg.com>
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: brake warning light

    I've got a question about the brake system on my 145E. I bled the brakes because the pedal was beginning to feel mushy. Now the pedal is firm enough, but the brake warning light is on. I know that the warning light lights when one side of the brake system looses pressure. I also know that I triggered this by bleeding the brakes. On my former Volvos, I just disconnected the brake pressure sensor switch thingy and the light went out. But I am getting wiser as I grow elder, and I would really like to reset the sensor. I took one apart once and briefly looked at the workings, and couldn't figure out how to reset it. Anybody know? Do I need to buy a new sensor?


    ron tewksbury

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    Repacking wheel bearings.

    From: Roman Ford <ford@me.rochester.edu>
    Date: Fri, 15 Nov 91 22:53:23 -0500
    To: kimsey@cmgm.stanford.edu, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: wheel bearings

    dear, dear, this seems to be my night.

    You can do this job yourself if you know the right swear words. You need a grease seal for each side, an inner bearing and an outer bearing for each side, and some grease remover. Also you need new cotter pins for the castle nuts.

    1. Remove caliper (tie it to spring), rotor, dust cap, and nut. Pull off the hub. Spoon out excess grease, let the bearings fall out. What will remain is the outer race, and that is press fitted in the hub. You will need a "whacker" to get them out (mine is like 1/2 in. bar stock). Place whacker with one edge resting on the bearing race, and tap. Do this evenly around the circumference of the bearing race, making sure it does not get crooked in the hub, or you will surely gouge the hub. Not a pretty sight. BTW my whacker seems to be relatively soft metal, and it gives up before major damage occurs. However, it is not Al - this is probably too soft.

    2. Thats it! Give everything a major clean, tap in new races, grease bearings well before refitting, fill hub with grease (I put so much in that it blew out at speeds over 65 for several months - very messy) put grease seal on spindle and replace hub. Oh, BTW, you will also need a new metal ring that goes on the back of the hub, between the seal and the bearing.

    If worst comes to worst, you can use new bearings with old races provided they are not scored, and this has worked for me in the past.

    Remember the magic words!


    P.S. Use high temp disc brake grease.

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    Information on brake pads.

    Date: Mon, 30 Aug 93 13:23:21 EDT
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: '91 7/900 brake pad saga

    Ok, here's a good one...

    I recently (about 4 weeks ago) put on a complete set of PBR pads (from IPD) on the 91 745t (w/ABS... Girling-frt/ATE-rear).

    Now, the pads that IPD sent, were the correct ones for the rear, but the fronts were the D508DD style.

    As a dummy, who will never again make this mistake, I failed to compare the factory pads with the new PBR ones. After installation, the car was a very sorry stopper, with a lot of brake dust (I mean, a LOT) after only 2 weeks' wear. Now, normally, Girling calipers use the D508DD pads, and IPD's catalog sez so, for cars 88-newer (700/900 series bricks). After looking at the both the factory pads & the PBRs, I determined that they were, indeed, NOT the same. Both have the springs on the top of the pads, but the point of the D508DD pads point down, towards the pad, and slip in nicely on the caliper, but leave gaps between themselves and the rotors (the first set of PBRs were unevenly worn). The factory pads have the spring tips pointing up, and the pads are larger in size, as well as fitting in the caliper, so that the caliper has to compress the spring, which holds the pad in place, flush again the rotor.

    Now, IPD happened to send me the wrong pads, D508DD, both times, because that is what their catalog sez. Well, their catalog is wrong & they now know it. It appears that the pads for all 91-newer 700/900 series cars (with Girlings on the front) call for a pad that IPD has in their catalog as a drawing, but not in their listing... a D1198 pad. I just spoke with Scott & he'll be sending me a new set this time, at no extra charge (even though they are more expensive... $49/axle for the D1198 vs. $45/axle for the D508DD). They are even shipping them via UPS-air, so I can get them on the car before our impending Labor Day trip, this coming weekend. Far cheaper than the $61/axle for the factory pads, BTW.

    Scott mentioned tht they will now include a drawing of each type of pad, with each set of pads sent out, as a precaution to alert those people that make a mistake like mine (not comparing the 2 pads prior to installation). Also, and more importantly, they'll now put the D1198 pads in the catalog listing. Needless to say, they were apologetic & thanked me for being so patient (they shoulda heard me on Sat. & heard my wife when behind the wheel of the wagon, the past 3-4 weeks).

    Scott also mentioned the reason why some 87-89 700's have had front rotor warpage problems... Volvo's experimentation with pad materials that would not allow for any heat dissipation thru the pads, but only via the transfer to the rotor, thus excessively heating up the rotor to an abnormal temp. for a long time, well beyond the specs for the rotors' ability to dissipate the heat. Sounds plausible to me, but this was their theory. I would imagine that by using a non-Volvo pad in these cars, the warpage would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, *if* new rotors were installed as well (or, if the old ones were properly trued/turned, provided there was enough there to work with).

    BTW, on another note, I installed the new Boge Turbo Gas shocks on the rear of the 84 760t & the car rides a lot better, now that the standard-valved Boges are off of it. I get to now do the fronts.

    Happy phibin', fellow bricksters & keep using IPD... they may slip up every now & then (maybe they need a nice db-desktop publ. tool, MAJ? :>), but they do bend over backwards to help out & correct the problems. I will do business with them in the future, because they have good products, with excellent customer relations & technical talk.

    Oh, I also threw in a plug for carbon fibre pads & who knows, maybe they'll take a different look at it now, since it has been 3 years since Scott looked at some expensive carbon fibre pads (much more than the $60 I spent for both axles on the 84 760t, this past year). He was interested... we'll see... I also mentioned the net, which he had heard about from many of us who have purchased their products.


    Date: Fri, 22 Nov 91 12:31:21 MST
    From: Ronnie Parker <PARKER@meediv.lanl.gov>
    Subject: Re: Brake Pads
    To: autox@autox.team.net

    >It has come to my attention that although the stock brake pads on the Volvo have cooling channels in them, the Repco MetalMasters for this application lack them. If "cooling channel" doesn't ring a bell - a picture might help.

    > +------+--------+
    > | || |
    > | || |
    > +------+--------+
    > ^ there is no friction material in this "channel"

    The purpose of the grove is not necessarily cooling, although some may occur. The channel is really to allow gasses to pass out between the pad and rotor. This is needed for the softer stock pads whose temperature is elevated beyond that of normal braking that work at road speeds

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    Noisy brakes - what can I do?

    Date: Thu, 12 Aug 93 12:06:01 EDT
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: Raphael_F._Bov.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: brake noise in general
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Frank, et al.

    My brakes don't squeel either, but I don't use the majic "tube of lube" to squelch the persistent squeeks.

    I use a toothbrush, or, more accurately, I clean the caliper, pads, and rotor, and I bend the rain guards back to get more air, and I file the metal sides of the pads, so they do not have burs on them. A propper bedding as John W. describes, then tops off the pad change...

    The squeeks, comes from a "stacatto" sticking pad... With lots of brake dust accumulation on the rotor and pad surface, the pad will stick, and then rotate with the rotor until it hits the caliper, which unfreezes it from the rotor (about 1mm or less). This sticking/unfreezing process is repeated at a high frequency to produce noise. This can also be felt as a vibration if there is lots of play in the pad/caliper region.


    p.s. Soft drivers, who do not brake hard, will develope squeeks more often then "hard" drivers, but will have longer brake life.

    Date: Mon, 16 Aug 93 10:05:16 PDT
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Brake stuff

    As I pour through a week and a half of email, I see a couple of common threads (no pun intended):

    BRAKE SQUEEL - a few months back, I installed (and posted about) a complete set of *new* brake pad backings that replaced the original stamped pot metal anti-squeel shims. (I was having incessant brake noise that no amount of pad grinding (beveled leading/trailing edges) and sticky goo spraying to the back of the pads could help.)

    I installed the new backings on the existing pads and voila(!), no more noise! What a wonderful feeling...anticipating the noise each time I hit the brake pedal and then, nothing!

    BRAKE COMPOSITION - Many brake mfgrs now make new non-asbestos pads (that's ZERO content) for use in many cars. These are typically sold under house names and come with replacement guarantees. I've not tried them so can't really say how they work. (Repco/PBR still use some asbestos as far as I know.)

    REPCO VS. CARBON FIBER PADS - The common misconception with Repco/PBR Metal Masters is that they fade when cold. Well, they do not fade but do require a slight bit more pressure when warming up. But, they warm up so fast that I'd be hard pressed to trade off the overall performance for the 3 blocks of pad warmup. (Kind of like the turbo/non-turbo argument over turbo cool down periods, I'll take the extra minute or two for the sake of the overall horsepower advantage, IMHO.)

    Have fun stopping your bricks, kids!


    Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1993 07:48:00 PDT
    From: werner.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: sqealing brakes (was Re: 745 brakes)
    To: nick@meaddata.com
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    >Or, get some Repco Metalmasters.

    I think if you check you will find that Repco MetalMasters ==PBR brake pads.

    If the sqealing is just when you brake lightly, you may just need to bed the pads in. This is best done by driving with the brakes on until you can smell hot brake pads. This does 2 things. First, it helps make the pads mate to the discs. Second, and more important to many people, it bakes out the solvents used in making the pads.

    If there are solvents left, you may discover something know as cold or green fade. It happens when you apply the brakes very hard (as in a panic) stop. The pad grips the disc so well that it actually seperates from the backing plate.

    The other thing that may help with the squealing is to have the front rotors planed. The process is similar to turning. The result is a very smooth surface for the brakes to work on. It is part of the standard brake maintenance on Merkurs and Mercedes (and probably a lot of other cars). The process also seems to help stopping power also.


    From italian-cars-request@balltown.cma.com Thu Oct 15 08:54:41 1992
    Reply-To: italian-cars@balltown.cma.com
    Date: Thu, 15 Oct 92 07:45:58 CDT
    To: uunet!balltown.cma.com!italian-cars@uunet.UU.NET
    Subject: Re: Brake Noise
    > I've had good luck preventing those annoying and embarrassing 'stuck-pig' brake squeals by applying a metallic strip to the back of each pad. The strip is self-adhesive and you just cut it out to fit the outline of the metal backing plate of the pad. The strips are sold to fit 4 pads.

    A mechanic I know cuts up beer cans and makes aluminum shims (one layer thick) to slide behind the pads. (It takes 4 beers to do a complete brake job.) He says Bohemian Club cans work the best but Budweiser will do in a pinch.


    Peter J Claybaker i-net: pjc%ssi.uucp@uunet.uu.net

    Supercomputer Systems Inc uucp: {...}!uunet!ssi!pjc

    Eau Claire Wisconsin voice: (715) 839-8484

    From: ahearn@cadence.com (John Ahearn)
    Subject: brake tool squweeking
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu (Volvo Support)
    Date: Mon, 30 Mar 92 11:12:51 PST

    I was hoping someone out there could provide a few points to some questions I have. As a reference I have an 87 240DL with 97k miles on it.

    1) I recently changed the rear pads (ATE's) and soon after a annoying squeak could be heard. Now I knew it wasn't the pads since they don't have the metal clip that usually comes with pads to cause the squeak. I also knew it wasn't the rotors since I just had them resurfaced. The only thing I could think of was that I didn't rotate the piston as prescribed in the service manual. Basically I didn't have the tool.

    I went to a local Volvo place to pick up the tool and the wanted to know why. When I told them why the parts manager asked a couple of the mechanics about the tool. He was told that 2 of the 3 use it although none have had the problem I describe. They did mention that they use a grease (not mentioned in my manual but mentioned on the box for girling pads) on the back of the shims and the pads.

    I tried this and so far this has worked. My question is is this a short term solution (until the grease burns off) and do I have to rotate the piston?

    2) I had a problem recently with the fan. One day while driving along it just quick working on fan settings 1 and 2, although 3 and 4 work fine. I could hear a whirring noise, the kind usually associated with a motor spinning freely.

    Eventually (several weeks later) setting 2 started working again, and now (even more weeks later) position 1 works. I looked through the service manual and apparently the AC system for my car is a single unit. It also appears that it uses two fans, presumably one for 1 and 2 and the other for 3 and 4. What I don't understand is why one fan should fail and then start working again. Any ideas? I realize this isn't important anymore since it works now but I would like to know for the future.

    3) Where can I get the bezels for the directionals, as inexpensively as possible? and the mounting plate for the headlights?

    Thanks in advance.


    John Ahearn Cadence Design Systems / SC3-239

    ahearn@cadence.com 2475 Augustine Drive

    Santa Clara, CA 95054


    Date: Fri, 22 Nov 91 14:13:52 EST
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Noisy Brakes

    On Nov 22, 11:11am, Kaleb Keithley writes:

    > My '86 760 has had uncommonly noisy brakes since the day I bought it.

    > Other than being noisy, they work fine, there is no pulsing in the pedal, so I don't suspect warped rotors. I've checked the pads, plenty of material all around. Other Volvos I've listened to don't make anywhere near the kind of noise mine do, which is kind of a low pitched groan.

    Fellow Netter Pete Chu had similar problems with his '85 DL. We worked on it a few months back, and I discovered that the rear brake rotors were slightly warped - not warped enough to make the pedal kick, but enough to cause alot of squeal, some groaning and a certain "grabbiness" in the brakes. The Volvo should have extremely smooth and progressive brakes - if not something is wrong. Perhaps Pete can tell us how things have gone since then?


    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: pchu_ltd@uhura.cc.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: groaning noise
    Cc: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu


    groaning noise?.. from the brakes? hmm. It would seem that you have a groaning deamon in your car which must be evicted with some good old hard braking. -Volvo Witch Doctor-

    just kidding... this groaning does seem to plague many Volvo's out there.

    The groaning problem seems to be coupled with the steering action on your car. This may indicate that your front rotors (possiblly rear rotors) have some play in them (mounting bolts/axle-wheel bearings/ etc) which is not uncommon. Doing a 'once over' may cure your problems.. get out the 19mm wrench.

    The groaning can be solved by a few steps (some inexspensive, so evalute accordingly);

    1) check pad wear/condition. worn pads can seat funny on worn rotors causing abnormal pad positioning. This may go away during warm-up. During this time it is good to clean out the dust build up with a tooth brush brake cleaner spray (an old tooth brush). [wear a dust mask]

    2) check rotor wear/condition. rotors inevitablly get grooves and lines in them. having them "turned" will make them smooth again. (ATTN: make sure they turn the rotors with the hub (this means new wheel bearings), this will guarantee low wable and warp when they are reinstalled). Ussual cost is $25 per rotor..new rotors from IAB or other PPL sources is ~ $35.

    3) go with semi-metalic pads and propperly seat them with many 40mph to zero stops (or drive slowly with the brakes on). PBR (Repco) pads are known for there durability and good performance. ~$25

    4) check the brake pistons for seizure, (difficult). This may be the cause of more than one groaning problem. This is a hazzardous condition and also an exspensive one to fix. Roman Ford has told us that rebuilding calipers is possible, but obtaining rebuild calipers is also an option to brand new ones.

    On a different note, Shailendra sais...

    >Try changing the bulbs even if they work. New bulbs have a larger solder blob at the end, making a better contact. GE bulbs work best.

    Why, I'll tell the guys and gals down the hall that. Thank you for sponsering our products :) all the best,

    Herman "looking-forward-to-the-Volvo-Net-Meet" Wiegman



    "I can't say I've done enough. Of course I haven't." Bush

    "I can't say I've gone fast enough. Of course I haven't."

    --- Autocrosser Brian Kelley, with apologies

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    New clutch spring and Caliper Bolts.

    Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1991 08:27:15 PST
    Sender: Raphael_F._Bov.wbst311@xerox.com
    From: Frank_Bov.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: 200 Series clutch spring and Caliper Bolts
    To: tech@cs.athabascau.ca
    Cc: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    Richard, and anyone else interested

    1) The clutch spring on our '85 245 was connected to the upper side of the transmission crossmember, and showed signs of being "fatigued" to achieve sufficient length. Works OK that way, though!

    2) Whenever I've gotten new rotors, they always came with new caliper bolts that had "red stuff" on the ends of the bolts. Sort of an encapsulated lock-tite, I think. The old bolts had vestigal remains of similar stuff deep in the threads. While the old bolts held when I put them back in (old, rusted rotors can be nearly impossible to get off!!), I always used the new ones when I actually replaced the rotors. I guess the old bolts are good for a few service actions, but need replacement once in a while.

    Good Luck


    Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1991 07:24:39 PST
    Sender: Darryl_J._Edwards.Wbst311@xerox.com
    From: tech@cs.athabascau.ca
    Subject: RE:You am going to rip apart your rear brakes
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    I have to replace the rear rotors and the emergancy brake shoes.

    Just to warmup for this new game I read the chilton manual, (it was on the top of the pile). Chilton who loves to say use Volvo tool XXXXX tells me to replace the caliper mounting bolts on reassembly as well as some springs or clips that hold in the pads if I remove them.

    How seriously should I take such advice? I was talking to iPD about something else and the fellow on the phone said "What???" when replacing the caliper bolts was mentioned.

    Any notes on my new project?

    Richard Loken VE6BSV : "In England, Justice is

    Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta Canada : open to all, like the

    tech@cs.AthabascaU.CA : Ritz Hotel." - Lord

    {atha|aunro}!cs.athabascau.ca!tech : Justice Sir James Mathew


    There are two (proper) ways that bolts are installed (this is from memory, the numbers may not be exact but the idea is) :

    1) for one time installation only

    2) for repeated disassembly and reassemble

    To do this;

    1) is torqued to create tension in the bolt equal to 90 % of the tensile strength of the bolt material. Maximum tension, not reusable.

    2) is torqued to create tension in the bolt equal to 75 % of the tensile strength of the bolt material. Less tension, reusable.


    applied torque = (k)(D) (S) D = diameter of the bolt

    S = the developed tension in the bolt

    k = an empirical factor which for

    for most situations = 0.18

    1) would use .9 TS

    2) would use .75 TS TS = Tesile strength of the bolt

    For a given required tension this would require different diameter bolts for the different installation intents.

    *Method one creates permanent yield deformation of the bolt. *Method two does not create permanent deformation of the bolt as it is, for most steels, still in the elastic range and the bolt relaxes to it's original condition (length).

    If your bolts were originally installed with method 1) they should be replaced. If your bolts were originally installed with method 2) you can reuse them.

    The bolts of method one have been strain hardened (cold worked) and hence are not as ductile as new ones. (They may break under the installed load or, in sensing them yielding as you tighten them down you may inadvertently install them with not enough tension to keep them tight.)

    Since you don't know how the original installation was intended it Chilton's advice may be right on the nose.

    It is not uncommon to replace bolts after one time use if they are in high stress/load applications. (like holding a flywheel on or similar) It all depends on how lucky you feel.


    Date: Tue, 3 Dec 91 13:45:41 EST
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: 200 Series clutch spring and Caliper Bolts

    Richard, Frank, Darryl et al.

    I have some different experiences with the caliper bolts on 200's.

    Frank, I am interested in the brand of rotors that you purchased which came with the new set of bolts, this seems like a conscientious parts manufacturer. Was it OEM from Volvo? I have never seen the extra set of bolts with new rotors... sounds like a logical idea!... and then you have no excuse to NOT change them.

    I have not had a problem with any of my bolts, but i am usually careful to lightly oil them before reassembly. The red 'lock-tite' has since come off and I have not bothered to replace it.. perhaps I should. The bolts do experience a very wide temperature range and they should have something more then simple friction holding them in. (So far I have not had any bad experiences reusing my bolts, even after several 'driver schools'.)

    The torque spec for the bolts bothers me. Chilton's says something in the 40 ft-lbs range (correct Richard?). I am also sure that what most air guns are set to 125-150 ft-lbs. The bolts should not be reinstalled with the air gun on "10!" I tend to reinstall my bolts with 70 ft-lbs. This seems to be close to the original setting from Volvo.

    Roman, who experienced the sheared bolts, probably had a car which was serviced at a service station before he assumed ownership. I know that he would not let some grease monkey hit-up his bolts with 150 ft-lbs. (Don't you just love it when you have your tires put back on by some garage and you shreak to see them hammering away at the nuts. ouch!)

    I would suggest that 'dry' or rusty caliper bolts be replaced, no matter what the age. If the bolt is still shiny new and was easy to remove, then I would suggest reusing it, and using 'lock-tite' to secure it. When in doubt, get a new set of bolts.

    [ Darryl's comments about Tensile Strength convinced me to consider new bolts.. one comment which did ring a bell was about Flywheel bolts. They are designed for maximum tension, hence are not reusable.]


    Herman L.N. Wiegman -> wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com

    - the Flying Dutchman in the DSP swedish brick -

    Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1991 11:35:22 PST
    From: Frank_Bov.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: Caliper bolts and lug nut torque
    To: wiegman@orion
    Cc: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    >Frank, I am interested in the brand of rotors that you purchased which ;came with the new set of bolts, this seems like a conscientious parts manufacturer. Was it OEM from Volvo? I have never seen the extra set of bolts with new rotors... sounds like a logical idea! ... and then you ;have no excuse to NOT change them.

    - - - - - - -


    You guessed it! They were purchased at our local Volvo dealer!! I hate to sound like a commercial, but I've found the quality of Volvo parts to be worth the extra price. At least for the little stuff; drivetrain components are a little pricey . . .


    PS - I agree about your comment "Don't you just love it when you have your tires put back on by some garage and you shreak to see them hammering away at the nuts. ouch!" I've broken sockets trying to loosen lug nuts tightened that way. Funny, though, the standard Volvo lug nut wrench worked just fine, even with me standing on the handle (about 250 lb. ft. torque).

    From: martebf2@sage.cc.purdue.edu (Brian F. Marten)
    Subject: Re: 200 Series clutch spring and Caliper Bolts
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Date: Wed, 4 Dec 91 13:06:58 EST
    In Reply To Herman L. N. Wiegman

    > Richard, Frank, Darryl et al.

    I have some different experiences with the caliper bolts on 200's.

    Frank, I am interested in the brand of rotors that you purchased which came with the new set of bolts, this seems like a conscientious parts manufacturer. Was it OEM from Volvo? I have never seen the extra set of bolts with new rotors... sounds like a logical idea! ... and then you have no excuse to NOT change them.

    I bought OEM from Beechmont in Cincinatti and they came with Caliper bolts.2 per rotor (all 4). They had the red locktite substance on them. The torque spec for the bolts bothers me. Chilton's says something in the 40 ft-lbs range (correct Richard?). I am also sure that what most air guns are set to 125-150 ft-lbs. The bolts should not be reinstalled with the air gun on "10!" I tend to reinstall my bolts with 70 ft-lbs. This seems to be close to the original setting from Volvo.

    The booklet I got with the rotors said to install the bolts @100Nm.

    WOW! What a Concept! -- Wembley Fraggle




    marten@en.ecn martebf2@sage.cc martebf3@expert.cc (+ .purdue.edu)

    Brian F. Marten (that's M A R T *E* N) fur not feathers.

    Do something you hate, being miserable builds character! ( -- CAlviN )

    Return to the top of the

    When should you turn the brake rotors?

    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 92 15:59:05 EST
    From: wiegman (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: lam@windchime.arc.nasa.gov
    Subject: Brakes
    Cc: wiegman@orion


    To "turn" a rotor means to put it on a laith and "make it true." This is done with a special carbide cutting edge which slowly moves across the turning disk. This gives you a nice flat surface again. Cost? about $25 per rotor.

    Volvo now recommends new rotors if the old ones are not smooth. This is ok if you don't mind spending the $70, but one can "turn" old rotors two or three times before you need to replace them.


    p.s. If the laith is not "true" itself, then it will make your rotor surfaces warped relative to your brakes. I like to have the rotors turned *with* the whole hub assembly. This means putting new bearings in upon reassembly, but the results are better than a normally trued rotor. Unfortunately this method pushes the cost up to the price of a new rotor.

    Date: Thu, 23 Jan 92 10:10:40 EST
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake rotor thickness.


    Someone said that the people "turning" the disks would check the thickness. This is usually so, but here is the data anyway.

    Vented front rotors new 24.0 mm (.94") min 20.8mm (.82")

    Solid front rotors new 14.3 mm (.56") min 13.1mm (.52")

    some aftermarket rotors are not made to these specs. These specs apply to OEM, Girling, or ATE disk rotors.


    Return to the top of the

    How can I tell if my brakes are ATE or Girling?

    From: wiegman (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: D.Watson@loughborough.ac.uk
    Subject: Re: Brakes ATE or Girling
    Cc: wiegman@orion


    The brakes are differntiated as follows.

    (both have markings on the outside with the manufactures emblem)

    ATE: has three bleeder nipples. one which points straight up and should be visible from the wheel holes

    Girl: has only two bleeder vavles. [both types of rear brakes have only two bleeders]

    ATE: they use a disk pad retaining pin which has a oversized retaining washer to keep it from loosening.

    Girl: they use a normal retaining pin with small spring clips to keep the pins from falling out.

    ATE: uses metal pad-retaining springs made from folded steel.

    Girl: uses springs made from small gague wire.

    [both use a metal folded spring for the rear brakes, but the Girling

    springs is rather large and is square in shape, ATE springs are shaped like a cross.] all the best,



    Return to the top of the

    Why do the brakes feel soft immediately after replacing the pads?

    From: scholz@osf.org
    To: damouth@wrc.xerox.com (David E. Damouth)
    Cc: rao@kodak.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake pads for 740

    > Also, why do the brakes feel soft immediately after replacing the pads? Is it just that they need to wear down a bit before they start to catch? If you didn't turn the rotors, the new pads are only touching the tops of the ridges, particularly the big ridge around the outer perimeter. So the pad will probably only make contact at the outer edge, and then will deflect and warp as more pressure is applied. Thus the "soft" feeling. Eventually, they will wear in to the same shape as the old rotors.

    The ridges/imperfections in the rotor will indeed contribute to the soft feel. If the pad actually hit the big ridge around the outside, I'd probably not drive the car until I either:

    1) reposition the pad to seat properly,

    2) get other pads the fit better (like the same brand as the last set), or

    3) have the rotors turned to remove the lip.

    The other reason new pads feel soft is that they still have all the gases in them from the adhesive used to form the material and stick it onto a backing plate. These gases come out when the brakes heat up and will take a few heat cycles to full dissipate. These gases make the pads perform less than optimally. There are all sorts of rituals that people go through to break-in (brake-in?) new pads and it definitely a religious issue. The fact is, just be careful for about 100 miles and they should be fine be then.



    Carl S. Scholz Open Software Foundation

    scholz@osf.org OR uunet!osf.org!scholz Cambridge, MA (617) 621-8996

    "Them that takes cakes which the Parsee-man bakes makes dreadful mistakes." -RK

    [Disclaimer: just me yapping, not my employer]

    Return to the top of the

    What is a reasonable life for my brake pads?

    Date: 09 Apr 92 16:06:29 EDT
    From: Shel Hall <76701.103@compuserve.com>
    To: <swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu>
    Subject: Brake pad life


    Causing a wife-waking outburst of laughter from me, cblpo!matula (Valentine C Matula +1 614 860 2650) writes ...

    >>> Could the reason the Diesel [brake] pads last longer is because they only wear down when used to slow a fast moving vehicle (and the Diesel poses no threat in that catagory?) <<<

    Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Actually, I think it's my driving style; my BMW 732i is _lots_faster, but the front pads on it lasted 80,000 miles, plus whatever the former owner put on them.

    I drove the Volvo for its first 30,000 miles, it's been primarily my wife's car since then. In following her around occasionally, I notice that my wife uses the brakes much more often than I do, so I expect those pads would have lasted a lot longer it I had been the primary driver the whole time.

    To give you an example of the brake lining mileage I've gotten on other cars, here are some other numbers:

    1967 Dodge van: 150,000, one set of front brake shoes.

    1975 Dodge van: 70,000, never needed any brake work.

    1977 Dodge van: 100,000, never needed any brake work.

    1972 BMW Bavaria: 50,000, one set rear brake pads & caliper rebuild

    But, yeah, I think the high speeds the Diesel attains are the key. At least it doesn't get up to [rotor] Warp Speed like the guys on the Honda list do.


    Date: 03 Dec 92 16:52:28 EST
    From: Shel Hall <76701.103@compuserve.com>
    Subject: Brakes: more data points


    Just a couple of datapoints on the brake wear issue ...

    Our '84 240 Diesel went 50,009 miles (exactly) on the original set of tires and front brake pads. At that, the brakes would have lasted a bit longer, particular the rear pads, but while I had the wheels off it seemed like a good idea to change the pads. The rotors were fine, but I don't have them turned unless they have fingernail-catching scoring.

    Ex-list member Carter Martin had the rotors replaced on his 760 (dunno the year, '88 maybe) at about 70,000 miles. He decided against switching to the two-piece hub/rotor combos because the service life of the rotors seemed to make the economics rather marginal. The "advantage" of the two-piece hub/rotor arrangement is that replacing just the rotor is less expensive, but, of course, the original conversion costs more than just putting one-piece units on the car ....

    While Nick was looking for a 745T I checked out a car for him here in Atlanta; it was an '88 with 7x,xxx miles, and a review of the service records (all dealer service through the 60,000 mile check) showed that some sort of brake complaint was on almost every service ticket. I don't recall the pad change mileage, or if the rotors had been changed, but I do remember the substantial amount of initial shake caused by applying the brakes at 50 MPH.

    The front brake pads on my BMW went 80,000 plus whatever they had on them when I bought the car (at 100,000 miles). I drove the '84 Volvo 240 Diesel (mentioned above) for its first 35,000 miles. Traditionally, I've been very easy on brakes, although I am not a particularly slow driver. I've gotten exceptional brake and clutch life from all the vehicles I've driven. For example, my old Dodge truck had 225,000 miles on the original clutch disk when I sold it, and I'd only had to put one set of front brake shoes on it in the 150,000 miles I drove it. The rears went the whole 150,000 plus whatever they had on 'em when I bought it.

    IM humble O, most of it boils down to driving style. Coming down into our neighborhood, my wife's brake lights go on seven times between the main road and our carport. I only use the brakes three times, on the same route, in the same car.....


    Return to the top of the

    Old brake trouble and modifications.

    Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1992 06:42:56 PDT
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: break troubles / modification (1800/140)
    To: MERRILL@stsci.edu
    Cc: bw738@cleveland.freenet.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The old brake systems on the 1800s and 140s were very good for their time, but that was 20 years ago. By today's standards, they are not that great, they are also not that bad.

    A couple of things can happen to these old brake systems. One, which has been mentioned before, is that the rubber hoses collapse because they wear out with age. The rubber actually breaks down. The collapsed brake hose can manifest itself ina couple of ways. One, the brakes may become spongy. When you apply them, your work first goes into re inflating (and possible expanding) the brake hose, and then into stopping the car. The other symptom is what appears to be a stuck caliper. The collapsed brake line may keep the pressure in the calliper from bleeding out, back up the line.

    Volvo sells replacement brake hoses. The problem is they are about $40 apiece, and you need 4 of them for the front. Some people use special, metal jacketed teflon brake hose, but these are not legal for the street use. (The reason is that the rubber gives you warning before it goes, the teflon - which almost never goes - doesn't.)

    The other problem is that the brakes on 140s are solid, non-vented discs in front. It is quire possible to overheat these guys. (I have done it several times in my rally car - nothing like getting to the bottom of a quick hill and seeing smoke poring from the fron wheels.) The easy solution is to replace the hole front brake assembly. 160s came with vented front discs. It is a simple matter of changing the discs and calipers. Nothing else needs to be done. Expect to pay atleast $400 in parts ($100 / caliper + $100/disc). I have done this to my '70 140 rally wagon and have been very happy with it.

    Another thing to check is the condition of the brake fluid. Some people suggest flushing it every year. It is probably good advice. If water gets in the system, it lowers the boiling point of the brake fluid (actually - it boils first, but once you have gas in the line, you are sunk). I believe there is something in the FAQ on how to best change brake fluid. (I learned about this on a rally with John Ackerman -- "John, we have no brakes!" "That's Ok......Oh, you mean you really have no brakes!" as we good skidding by a sideroad.)

    Changing to different brake pads may be a solution, but a hard compound may not be a good answer. I have fiber glass fenders on my 145 becuase I found out that racing brake pads do not do well in panic stops on the street --especially when the pads are still cold.

    A final trick I have heard about is removing the rear brake bias really pressure release) units. They are somewhere on the under body, about at the rear seat. This allows the rear end to do more braking, but may make the car a lot easier to spin because it will allow you to lock the rear wheels easier.

    -- John

    Return to the top of the

    Has anyone else had excessive, rotor wear?

    From: Lori Kaufman <lmk2q@csissun13.ee.virginia.edu>
    Subject: Front Rotors on the 700 series
    To: Volvo Net <swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu>
    Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 12:23:58 EST

    At 62,000 miles, I am now on my third set of front rotors on my '87 740 Turbo, and again, Volvo has paid for the the repair. Even though the rep would not admit to a problem with their rotors, he was very willing to cover the cost. He did say that "there might be a problem with heating" during interstate driving, but he did not elaborate. I found this to be an odd comment considering that my car has the Volvo aluminum alloy turbo rims, as opposed to steel rims.

    My question to the net is has anyone else experienced this excessive rotor wear on their cars, and is this problem only found in the 700 series?

    P.S. The first set of rotors was replaced at 35,000 miles and I am on my fourth set of brake pads.


    Lori M. Kaufman Dept. of Electrical Engineering

    University of Virginia

    e-mail: lmk2q@Virginia.EDU Charlottesville, VA 22903-2442


    Date: Wed, 15 Sep 93 15:40:35 EDT
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: SWEDISHBRICKS@me.rochester.edu, bpaulsen@viewlogic.com
    Subject: Re: 740 disk rotors


    After talking with iPD (Scott), awhile back, he mentioned that Volvo has had a problem with the pad material for the 88-90 700's, using new materials that cause the rotors to wear out at a much higher rate. The solution is to get a new set of rotors (or have them turned/trued, if possible) and to get a good set of PBR or Repco pads. 1991 was the beginning of a new caplier design & new pads were also needed (I found out that one, the hard way), with better/softer material, that doesn't wear out the rotors prematurely.

    I dunno if the above is true, or not, and Scott mentioned it as a second-hand comment, so I dunno as to the validity of it. Volvo may not want to admit it, because it'd cause a lot of grief for them. You may try to get the dealer to give you a set of new rotors & go with the PBR or Repcos, on a trial basis, and then form your own conclusions. I would imagine that if you fuss enough, and claim that this problem is a long-standing one for you, that you'll be able to get them to give you a set of new rotors, just to get you outta their hair.

    Generally speaking, rotors aren't too expensive from a yard & they'll be turned & trued as well. Try Strandbergs for the proper rotor. There's a number stamped on them, that can be seen once the wheel/tire is off. use that number & also the diameter (also stamped, I believe), and you'll be able to get a good match. The rotor for the 2-piece hub-rotor setup, is fairly cheap for our 84 760 (I already converted it over to the 2-piece from the 1-piece assy.)...around $30 for each one.

    Good Luck & YMMV, as always...


    > From bpaulsen@viewlogic.com Wed Sep 15 15:24:14 1993
    > I'm ready for a third pair of disk rotors on my 1990 740 (with ABS), 60k miles.

    > They are warped, and the steering wheel wiggles during braking. Are there other rotors that will last longer and cost less? Which kinds of pads will reduce warping? I have 13 months on the current rotors, which were installed under warrantee by the dealer. But since I replaced the pads myself, and since I'm one month past the 12 month warrantee, he won't replace them.

    > Thanks,

    > Bill Paulsen

    Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 08:42:35 EST
    From: 03-Dec-1992 0831 <corey@cthq3.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: corey@cthq3.enet.dec.com
    Subject: RE: Brake rotors

    Also for the record regarding Volvo brakes:

    1990 245, current miles: 57,000

    The rotors have been fine but I have replaced the front pads twice: once at 28,000 and again at 53,0000. My feeling is that 30,000 is about max on my 240 for front pads and I'm not hard on the brakes. I replaced the rear pads at 53,000 as well. The rears could have gone another 20,000, but one pad was worn out almost to the backing, so I replaced them all. Moral: Check ALL the pads! Don't judge pad condition by a quick check of one or two wheels. This was weird because the caliper doesn't drag and the piston seems fine. Maybe it was dragging early in the life of the car. Local experts tell me the new organic pads don't last like the old asbestos ones. Anyway the short (to me) pad life surprised me because I have always got 70,000 or better from the pads on other vehicles I have owned.


    From: scholz@osf.org
    Subject: Re: Front Rotors on the 700 series
    To: w2iy@hoqax.att.com
    Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1992 10:41:51 -0400 (EDT)
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    > Let the record show that my neighbor's 1989 240 wagon, with 50,000 miles, is on its third set of rotors.....

    I have an '89 245. I am also on my third set of front rotors (rears are original). The first set warped before 30,000 miles (less than 1 year). They were replaced with new pads at no charge. The second set warped by 40,000 miles!! (Yes, in only 10K miles of use) VCNA covered the rotors, but made me pay for the new pads to go with the rotors -about $220 for pads, if I remember; can you say "scam". He couldn't understand why I thought that was a lot of money for four brake pads! This third set of rotors is still on the car at 86,000 miles, as are the pads. I went through a phase for about two months when I'd get a little shuddering/vibration on moderate, high speed braking. I forced myself to ignore it (very difficult) and it has now almost completely gone away. Who knows, maybe it's gone because there is no more pad surface left to vibrate against. :-)

    I will likely replace the next set of pads _myself_ with Repco's - I have them in my old BMW and love them. Is there any catch to changing the pads on this car?



    Carl S. Scholz Open Software Foundation (617) 621-8996

    Tools and Distribution Mgr Cambridge, MA scholz@osf.org

    "Them that takes cakes which the Parsee-man bakes makes dreadful mistakes." -RK

    [Disclaimer: just me yapping, not my employer]

    Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 11:33:08 EST
    From: 03-Dec-1992 1125 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Subject: Brakes, etc.


    On the highbeam indicator, you can do what I did: pull the cluster and remove the bulb and go over it a few coats with a blue magic-marker. It bugged me as well since I run my dash lights real low. This cut down the brightness considerably.

    On the rotors and pads, I notice that the Volvo OEM organic pads have quite a bit of metallic content. Maybe the problem with the rotors wearing out was that they were not hard enough to withstand the semi-metallic organic pads when Volvo switched from asbestos? Maybe they changed the rotors after '89. My rotors are showing minimal wear with my organic semi-metallic Volvo OEM pads. I am of the school that does not believe in turning the rotors unless they need it. Both times I have replaced the front pads I have noticed a slight shimmy when applying the brakes as the pads (front) were nearing the end of their service life. This shimmy has gone away each time I have replaced the pads. I also notice there is a noticeable increase in the pad/rotor noise you hear at low speed when applying the brakes as the pads approach the end of their service life. They start to sound like they are worn out even though there is still a fair amount of pad left. (Scrape sounds) This actually turns out to be a useful wear indicator!


    Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 09:01:49 EST
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: lmk2q@csissun13.ee.virginia.edu
    Subject: Front Rotors on the 700 series
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu


    On our 84 760t, I went almost 100k on the original 1-piece rotor-hub assembly, and 2 sets of pads. Now, I have the 2-piece rotor-hub assy. & carbon fibre pads (with same type of pad on the rear as well), I have an occassional vibration from 45-60mph & on initial tapping of the brake pedal. I have the original shocks on the front. I have yet to put on the new trailing arm bushings on the front end lower arms. I have, though, put on a new sleeve kit for the left front caliper & re-checked & tightened the wheel bearings. A slight improvement, but it (the vibration) still appears from time to time. I'm just about ready to try new rotors, or have these turned & trued & see if that makes any diff.

    I personally think that Volvo has a problem with their 2-piece rotor-hub assy., in some models & I'm gonna try to get newer rotors, if I can, and nothing else I try fixes it (I'll be trying, after having the rotors turned, installing the new bushings, then new shocks... Boge Turbos). From the service tickets on our "new" 91 745t, there are no brake problems & it has 34k miles. Maybe, they fixed it. I wish that we knew what it was that they did... better batch of rotors? Different design?

    Any insights here?


    Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1992 15:55:06 EST
    From: "RODGER LEASURE - CCIT, DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY" <leasure@duq3.duq.edu>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: leasure@duq3.duq.edu

    The rotors on my 83 760 went bad at about 60,000 mile. I had them replaced by Volvo and new "Volvo" brake pads installed. Within 10,000 miles the pads were shot and the new rotors neeed cut BAD!! I had the rotors cut and replaced them with Bendix brake pads. These pads have been on for 33,000 miles with little sign of wear (although they are EXTREMELY dusty) or warpage of the rotors. No more "volvo" pads for me. They are like flint.



    Return to the top of the

    How often should I have the brakes lubricated?

    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Volvo-Net)
    Date: Sun, 7 Mar 93 19:37:21 AST
    From: "Terry J. Deveau" <deveau@oceanroutes.ns.ca>
    Reply-To: deveau@koala.drea.dnd.ca

    This is my first week on Volvo-Net, so excuse me if this subject has been hashed-over in the past.

    I have a 1990 745TGO, which I religiously bring in for scheduled maintenance. On my last visit, the shop foreman explained that my brakes were dry and would have to be lubricated (four wheels totalling $200). I asked him how often this should be done. He said every six months. I asked him why it wasn't on the maintenance schedule. He didn't know.

    What's the scoop?


    Terry J. Deveau Internet: deveau@oceanroutes.ns.ca

    Seimac Limited Phone: (902) 468-3007

    Dartmouth, N.S., Canada Fax: (902) 468-3009

    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    From: "Oyvind 'Lucky Luke'" <OEK@gribb.hsr.no>
    Organization: Rogaland University Centre
    Date: 8 Mar 93 18:29:41 GMT+1
    Subject: Re: Brake lubrication...

    When new brake pads are fitted, there are also mounted a thin steel plate between the pad and the piston, which prevents squealing.

    Despite this, the brakes may start squealing, and that is why the garage "lubricate" the brakes. The stuff contains copper (cu), and has the color of copper. (Actually, there are several formulas and colors on the market, but I use the copper stuff.) It is applied on the sides and on the back of the pad (Not on the surface that is in contact with the disc), and also on both sides of the thin steel plate.

    This procedure is only performed when the brakes is getting on your nerves, which they usually don't do twice a year! I have been driving 20.000 kilometers since I did this, and my brakes are still silent!

    That's my best guess............


    Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 14:40:31 EST
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake lubrication...

    Hmmm... I've never used lubricant between the pads & caliper, and have never had any squealing, on any car I've ever owned. I've always been careful to keep that area as free of any greasy substances, as is possible, ignoring the lubricant's mfgr. advertising.

    I may try it someday, if squealing ever occurs, but with reservations & only small, tiny amounts of the lubricant.


    > To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    > From: "Oyvind 'Lucky Luke'" <OEK@gribb.hsr.no>
    > Date: 8 Mar 93 18:29:41 GMT+1
    > Subject: Re: Brake lubrication...
    > Priority: normal

    > When new brake pads are fitted, there are also mounted a thin steel plate between the pad and the piston, which prevents squealing.

    > Despite this, the brakes may start squealing, and that is why the garage "lubricate" the brakes. The stuff contains copper (cu), and has the color of copper. (Actually, there are several formulas and colors on the market, but I use the copper stuff.) It is applied on the sides and on the back of the pad (Not on the surface that is in contact with the disc), and also on both sides of the thin steel plate.

    > This procedure is only performed when the brakes is getting on your nerves, which they usually don't do twice a year! I have been driving 20.000 kilometers since I did this, and my brakes are still silent!

    > That's my best guess............

    > -Oyvind

    Date: Mon, 8 Mar 93 16:52:38 EST
    From: mike@oracorp.com (Michael Meador)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake lubrication...

    Nick Gough writes:

    > Hmmm... I've never used lubricant between the pads & caliper, and have never had any squealing, on any car I've ever owned. I've always been careful to keep that area as free of any greasy substances, as is possible, ignoring the lubricant's mfgr. advertising. I may try it someday, if squealing ever occurs, but with reservations & only small, tiny amounts of the lubricant.

    I think "lubricant" is a misnomer. I would call it an "anti-vibration coating". Starting with work experience in a mainly-Volvo foreign car garage 20 years ago, I've always applied anti-squeal coatings to all brake pad installations. The (usually blue) viscous liquid is smeared on the piston/pad mating surfaces and allowed to dry before assembly, leaving a thin, slightly resilient permanent layer between piston and pad. I definitely would _not_ call it "greasy". We had very few squeal call-backs and never any brake function problems.

    -- Michael

    Date: Thu, 11 Mar 93 14:18:35 -0500
    From: alfred@nyquist.bellcore.com (Alfred Kwan 21342)
    To: nick@meaddata.com, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Brake lubrication...

    I bought some brake moly grease from the dealer a few months ago. It comes in a small can with Volvo label on it. I thought the floating calipers might need lubrication so they can float easier. I never use that stuff on my 240s (fix calipers). The parts person told me that they use the grease on back of the brake pads, anti-vibration I guess.

    I have not change the brake pads yet, don't know how well that grease will perform.


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    You should excercise your ABS brakes.

    From: werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: ABS
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Cc: werner.wbst311@xerox.com

    Something in one of the mailnotes I got today made me think of this.

    A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of my friends who is a mechanic at a large Rochester dealership that used to sell Volvos. He works in their Honda department. We were talking about maintenance problems and such.

    He suggested something I had never thought about before: Use your ABS once in a while. Why? He suggested that if you don't use it, it will tend to have problems like sticking and such, much like parking brakes. The difference is that the ABS is a lot more expensive to repair. He has actually seen this problem.

    He also said he is waiting for some mileage on the Honda Vortex (variable cam) motor equipped automatics. The special cam stuff does not come in until above 4500 rpm. The automatics like to shift much lower unless really pushed hard. He is expecting the same sort of non-use deterioration to happen with them.


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    Help with 544 rear drum removal.

    Date: Mon, 3 May 93 15:07:34 EDT
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: jjoy@akamai.sps.mot.com
    Subject: Re: help with 544 rear drum removal
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    A brake drum puller can be rented cheaply enough. Use it after you have backed off the shoes a tad (there should be a plug on the back of the drum, like the one you mentioned, but it *may* be very hard by now & kinda stuck in there). You probably have a lot of rust to overcome... try using a penetrating oil, or LOTS of WD-40, or both.

    Some people may advise using a torch on the drum, being careful not to heat up the spindle as much as the drum (heat expands, or so they say :>). But, I wouldn't do this task if I were you... get the car to a shop & have them use a torch & take a chance on burning down their shop, rather than your home. :>) Also, there *may* be a nut of some sort to remove first, or a bolt that may be holding the dang thing together... I dunno, 'cause everyone is a little different when it comes to brakes, it seems.

    I would also try tapping it gently, with a wooden hammer (not just the handle), because you don't wish to crack the drum & then render it totally useless. This *may* help in breaking the seal that the rust has induced. Let the oil do its loosening magic (hopefully) overnight & really douse it on. Put on more after a few attempts.

    An old VW bug of mine once had this problem & after borrowing a friend's puller, it came off much easier, although I had to resort to a lot of penetrating oil and a few solid whacks of a plastic (clear lucite) headed hammer (drove the neighbors nuts with all the clanging & cursing in my parent's driveway... no garage :>). After cleaning the whole thing off with steel wool and oil & the wire bush attachment for the drill, the drum always came off easily after that (diff'rent story).

    Good Luck.


    Date: 04 May 1993 07:39 -0800 (PST)
    From: MCDONALD@slacvm.slac.stanford.edu
    Subject: Re:544 rear drums etc.
    To: SWEDISHBRICKS@me.rochester.edu

    Yes we love our PVs. In this area(N. Calif.) there are quite a few 544 enthusiasts,and last May,7 Duettes(445&210) showed up for the anual 1800 club swap meet. On to the important stuff. I wouldn't recommend pulling the hubs unless you've seen an expert do it. It's true that a puller can be rented easily enough,but the taper is usually extremely recalcitrant. Penetrating oil may help; I've never used it. Heat should be reserved for the last resort, I've never used it either. The technique that seems to work is to install the puller and tighten it up as tight as you can(which almost never loosens the hub) and wait about 5 minutes. Tighten the puller again and strike the screw !!hard!! with a large(~2lb.) hammer. Stand clear of the hub/puller when in the last stages of tightening and striking, because occasionally the hub pops off with good velocity(a friend severely dented the water heater in his garage). Yes I do almost all my own work. I stop at paint because I'm a mechanic, not an artist. By the way, I replaced the self adjusting brakes on my 445 with later style you-adjust-em brakes because parts are easier to get. Studebaker owners have the same problem.

    Good luck

    Jim McDonald

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    Problems with the parking brake.

    Date: Thu, 20 May 93 17:42:40 CST
    From: "Marvin Bausman" < ausman@mcc.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Parking Brake "BANG"


    Finally got around to putting in the rear brake pads and checking out the problem with the parking brake "banging" when moving after releasing it on the 86 240GL Wagon.

    The apparent cause was corrosion in the connection between the cable and the first lever/cam. This is supposed to pivot when actuating/releasing the parking brake-- one side was totally stuck. A little WD-40 and a lot of manually pivoting freed it up, then added a small bit of motorcycle chain lube. Did the same with the second pivot point, cleaned things up, and reassembled. It seems to have cured the problem.

    The cables were not hung-up in any way.

    It looks as though enough moisture gets into the parking brake area to cause corrosion if things are not kept lubricated. Living in the snow/salt belt probably doesn't help.

    Now I have to get back to the front calipers (i.e. the apparent leaking of fluid when I installed the new pads).

    Is it best to rebuild the existing calipers or go for a set of rebuilts????




    Date: Thu, 20 May 93 22:50:09 EDT
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: "Marvin Bausman" <bausman@mcc.com>, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Parking Brake "BANG"

    on May 20, 5:42pm, "Marvin Bausman" wrote:

    } Netters:


    } Now I have to get back to the front calipers (i.e. the

    } apparent leaking of fluid when I installed the new pads).


    } Is it best to rebuild the existing calipers or go for a set of rebuilts????

    I have seen this happen on our other swedishcar brothers, pre-1988 Saab 900's. In the 900, you have to rotate the pistons in order to get them retracted -something to do with the mechanical parking brake adjusters on the front calipers. In any case, I have seen a few drops of brake fluid squeak past the seals when changing pads on these cars.

    In my experience, if the old pads were very worn, a first-time mechanic working on the brakes, etc. etc. it is very concievable to get a few drops of brake fluid past the seals when retracting the calipers. *If* and this is the big *if* the brakes are otherwise "normal" feeling, nothing of consequence has happened. You should bleed the brakes, but you should do that anyhow after changing pads (or once a year - according to volvo).

    The rebuild kits involve new seals and new pistons. If the pistons are not sticky or corroded, then you need only to renew the seals. In any case, rebuilding calipers is best done in a clean place, with the caliper off the car. Of course, you have one serious bleed job to do after a caliper swap.

    Marv, how bout describing to us in greater detail, just how much brake fluid you saw when changing the pads. If it looked like the seals are shot, or your wiggling caused the leakage?



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    Power bleeding brakes.

    From wiegman@orion Fri Jun 14 16:29:15 1991
    To: pwcs!phile@uxc.cso.uiuc.edu
    Subject: Re: power bleeding brakes
    Cc: autox@hoosier.utah.edu

    Yeah Phil! I was just going to bleed my brakes (and my wife doesn`t like to help either!).

    A german mechanic who taught me a thing or two during college, did the same brake bleeding technique as what Phil mentioned. Wolfgang (no shit, that is his real name) used an old resevoir cap with a valve stem out the top and a bicycle pump to "pressurize" the resevoir.

    The procedure is as simple as 1-2-3-4


    1)Fill the resevoir with fluid and put special valve-cap on resevoir.

    2)Add some air to the resevoir with bike pump (about 20 psi).

    3)bleed a caliper.

    4)check the level of the fluid in resevoir.

    Repeat until done with all brake calipers or systems (there are 10 bleed valves on my swedish brick's brake system ... hmm.. where do I start??)


    I have a bicycle tube valve on my resevoir cap... and a handy dandy bicycle pump... (real cheap!)


    p.s. the Italians and Spanish never need to bleed their brakes because they never use them...

    Herman L.N. Wiegman ________

    the Flying Dutchman --------- ---------

    DSP swedish brick | | | || V || | | |

    | =======| |======= |

    wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com ============================


    Date: Fri, 14 Jun 91 16:32:30 EDT
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: msirota@ee.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: power bleeding brakes
    Cc: autox@hoosier.utah.edu

    hey, wait a minute Mark...

    you get the net mail way before me, because i haven`t even gotten my copy of the note i sent out yet. You must have a big magnet there which sucks the mail in quicker, and then can be turned around to spit it out faster...

    I open each bleeder until the color changes, or all of the air bubbles are gone. Usually the air pressure does not run out until most of the fluid is pushed out of the resevoir... so you have to fill the resevoir up again and then pump some more air in. I can do three to four bleeders on one 20psi resevoir.


    Herman L.N. Wiegman ________

    the Flying Dutchman --------- ---------

    DSP swedish brick | | | || V || | | |

    | =======| |======= |

    wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com ============================


    From: southern@neit.cgd.ucar.edu (Lawrence Buja)
    Subject: Re: Power Bleeding Brakes
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu (Volvo mailing list)
    Date: Fri, 23 Aug 91 10:29:38 MDT
    Cc: wiegman@orion.crd.ge.co
    The procedure is as simple as 1-2-3-4


    0)Remove all of the old fluid from the resevoir with a turkey baster.

    1)Fill the resevoir with fluid and put special valve-cap on resevoir.

    2)Add some air to the resevoir with bike pump (about 20 psi).

    3)bleed a caliper.

    Be sure and clearly mark the baster as being unsuitable for culinary uses.

    There is also a ~$35 commercial product called EZ-bleed that does a similar function without running the risk of accidently running the resevoir dry and pumping air into the lines.


    /\ Lawrence Buja Climate and Global Dynamics Division

    \_][ southern@ncar.ucar.edu National Center for Atmospheric Research


    Date: Fri, 23 Aug 1991 08:36:32 PDT
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: RE: Brake Bleading
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    There is another method for beeding the brakes with only one person that does not require a special vaccum system. I learned this method from my father, who picked it up from a Mercedes Benz service manual.

    What you need: A hose that will fit on the bleed nipple of the brake calipers and is also long enough to reach the floor of where you are working. A glass bottle (optional) that has been cleaned and dried. Extra brake fuild.

    The technique:

    1. Place the hose on the bleeder you wish to work with.

    2. Fill the flass bottle about 3/4 full with brake fluid.

    3. Place the free end of the hose in the brake fluid in the glass bottle.

    4. Loosen the bleeder.

    5. Pump the brake pedal until either

    5.a You have to refill the glass bottle because the hose is no longer submerged. In which case fill it and continue with 5 until (see 5.b)

    5.b There are no more air bubbles seen in the brake fluid when the brake is dipressed.

    6. Close the bleeder.

    7. remove the hose and continue from 1 until complete.

    The system works because air is lighter then brake fluid. When the brakes are dipressed. The air in the system is pushed into the hose and out into the jar of brake fluid. When you release the brake, the hose sucks back in brake fluid. (Out with the bad and in with the good.)

    -- John

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    How do I change my brake pads?

    To: wyl@NSD.3Com.COM
    Subject: Re: brake change
    Cc: wiegman


    changing pads is simple..

    I will outline it here and send you the brake wisdom file if you don't already have it.


    Loosen wheel lug nuts one turn (car on ground).

    Jack-up wheel, use frame jacking point and jack stand for safety.

    Remove wheel.

    Turn steering wheel to get good look at back part of brake caliper.

    Remove pad retaining pins and clips carefully. There is a spring loaded

    clip keeping the pads firmly in place. It can come flying out if the retainers are removed too quickly.

    Squeeze old pads against caliper with plyers to push pistons back into caliper (to make room for new, thick pads).

    Remove old pads, sometimes need plyers to yank them out.

    Clean caliper surfaces with old tooth brush. (do not breath dust)

    Clean other surfaces in caliper carefully. (do not break rubber boots on pistons).

    Prepare new pads by filing side surfaces which slide on caliper when brake pedal is pushed. (some bads have rough edges).

    Apply duct tape backing on bads, or other anti squeel material (OPTIONAL)

    Slide new pads into caliper, being careful not to dammage rubber boots.

    Place retaining spring in place and install retaining pins/clips.

    Slowly pump brake pedal once or twice to push piston against pad.

    Reinstal wheel and do other side..

    count on 20 minutes per side. It now takes me 10 minutes.

    The only tricky part is to push the pistons in to make room, and to reinstall the spring and retaining clips. They can be difficult to align propperly.

    good luck,


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    I get an appreciable pull to the left when I brake, what's wrong?

    Subject: Brake Diagnostic Question
    Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 18:08:09 -0500 (EST)
    From: John Kupiec
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Before I ask my brake diagnostic question, thanks to those who responded with lots of helpful advice to my question about the leaky radiator. Turns out I have one of those metal-plastic mutants, so I'll have to purchase a new one. But, thanks to Phibes' advice, it won't be from the dealer, since I would be purchasing another mutant. C'est le vie....

    On to the brake question......

    I get an appreciable pull to the left when I brake -- yes, only when I brake. The obvious suspects seem to be the front calipers and the proportioning valve. My questions:

    (1) Any other suspects?

    (2) Any suggested diagnostic procedure, other than the Neaderthal (replace a part, see if the problem goes away) method? My problem here is, I can't figure a way to differentiate the caliper from the proportioning valve as the cause.

    (3) If the calipers turn out to be the culprit, does anyone have war stories (good or bad) about rebuilding Bendix calipers from that era? (1986)

    Background Info: 86 744T, 137.5k miles

    All suggestions appreciated. Thank you in advance to all respondents.

    -- John

    John Kupiec Voice: 703-824-1612
    Applications Analyst FAX: 703-824-1611
    UUcom, Inc. E-Mail: jkupiec@loon.uucom.com
    4921 Seminary Road Suite 107
    Alexandria, VA 22311

    Subject: Re: Brake Diagnostic Question
    Date: 13 Dec 95 09:38:00 -0600
    From: cblmarti@ihlpo.att.com
    To: jkupiec@uucom.com, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu


    My wife's '82 244DL had this problems and I couldn't get it straightened out...until I finally figured out the brake pads themselves were causing all the problems. Replaced the pads with a set of PBRs from IPD and all has been well since then. Check the pads for free movement in the calipers or if they are sticking.

    Best of luck,

    David Martin ==================================================
    Columbus, Ohio = 'There is nothing so useless as doing with =
    W(614)860.7898 = great efficiency that which should not be done =
    att!ihlpo!cblmarti = at all.' - (from Michael Duley, Nashville.) =
    cblmarti@ihlpo.att.com ==================================================

    '66 122S 212,xxx km '82 244DL 188,xxx mi
    6487 Woodthrush Drive
    Westerville, OH 43081 H614.890.1422

    Subject: Re: Brake Diagnostic Question
    Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 19:42:51 EST
    From: "SESTRAIT"
    To: John Kupiec , swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Well one thing to note is that the proportioning valve is used to control the rear brakes to keep them from locking up under hard braking. The metering valve is used for the front brakes under light braking. I would suspect that your problem is not with the valves at all but with a problem at the wheel/brake assembly.

    *NOTE* Check the tire pressures in you front tires to be sure that they are equal.

    First I would drive the car and apply the brakes several times to note when the car pulls. If it pulls to the left, as you say, does it continue to pull after you have stopped applying the brakes? If the car continues to pull after you have taken your foot off the pedal you probably have a sticky caliper which is not releasing totaly.

    *Note* When front tires are removed, be sure to inspect the various front suspension and brake components for loosness or damage. Also, when putting front tires back on vehicle, be sure to torque to the proper specs. Its also advisable to put some anti-seize compound on the threads to ease future removal.

    However, if the car does not pull after you take your foot off of pedal, I would proceed to checking the brake parts. Raise the front of the car off of the ground, and remove the front wheels. Look at and compare the brake pad thicknesses on both sides. If one side has become more worn down than the other, this may be causing a pull. Also inspect the rotor conditions. If a rotor has become rusty or overheated, its braking properties will be changed and the car may pull to one side or another.

    If hard braking has occured recently where the brakes may have been overheated, be sure to inspect the brake pads for glazing. When the pads become very hot, they can become glazed, and their coefficient of friction will be reduced = lower braking ability.

    All in all, it sounds like your problem is more brake pad related than caliper related. However, it is possible that your tires may be at different psi's, or that you have a stcky caliper.

    I hope this helps a little bit.

    Seth Strait
    69 BMW 1600 (2 sticky front calipers that have overheated to red hot
    conditions, not fun to watch all of the grease as it is incinerated
    into the atmosphere = lots of smoke)

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