See Figures 1 and 2
All 140 series, 164, and 1800 series model Volvos use a coil spring, independent front suspension incorporating upper and lower control arms bolted to each side of the rigid front frame member. The coil springs and telescopic double-acting shock absorbers are bolted to the lower control arms at the bottom and seat in the crossmember at the top. A pair of steering knuckles are carried in ball joints between the upper and lower control arms. A stabilizer bar is attached to the lower control arm and to the body.
All 200 series and later model Volvos use a coil spring independent front suspension with a pair of MacPherson type struts located between a sheet metal tower at the top and the lower control arm at the bottom.
The MacPherson strut design incorporates the coil spring, shock absorber and wheel spindle into a single assembly, eliminating the need for an upper control arm. The MacPherson strut design provides for generous vertical suspension travel allowing the use of softer springs. The strut design is, however, extremely sensitive to front wheel imbalance and the slightest imbalance often leads to front end wobble.
On the earlier cars with front struts, the caster angle of the front suspension is fixed and cannot be adjusted. (The angle is determined by the placement of the components; if the caster is found to be out of specification during an alignment, bent components must be identified and replaced.) Later cars including the 700 Series have slotted upper mounts which allow a small range of caster adjustment.