WhyteSky

Suspension refresh - what to go for?

12 posts in this topic

Evening everyone.

Again, like my thread in the engine tuning section, I'll try to keep it simple.

2005 V70 T5 Geartronic. A few suspension bits need renewing. No point in paying to have it dismantled, a few new bits put in and then putting 120k mile shocks back in there. I therefore figure I may as well invest in a comprehensive refresh.

I wouldn't mind improving the handling of the barge but I don't want a ride that's too crashy or firm. Some sort of happy medium would be ideal.

I've read good things about Bilstein B6 shocks paired with Eibach Pro springs - lowering the ride by 30mm. Does anyone have this setup? How do you find it? What would you change about it?

What decent alternatives are there? 

I'm not after budget kit. I'd rather spend on premium kit and only have to pay out once than try to save money buying cheap only to have to do it all again prematurely.

Of course, I could always go OEM but I think it's a good opportunity to try something different.

All comments, suggestions and ideas welcome.

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What Volvo kit is fitted at the moment? Nivomat rear self levellers?

What do you use the car for?

One mans perfect is another mans too hard, so subjective!

 

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Haha, good question - kind of important information I missed out.

The garage have advised that I don't have Nivomat and don't have the dynamic sports chassis. What ever that means. So I think I'm all standard on the suspension front.

It's just about the only option box that wasn't ticked on the option sheet. 

Car is mainly used as a child, dog and bike bus. Wife will occasionally commute in it on the motorway but prefers her smaller V40. 

It no longer covers loads of miles - probably 6-8,000 a year. We've got a static caravan in Wales so plenty of country road journeys and an trip up to Scotland and one down to Cornwallis each year.

It's the country road journeys I'd like to improve. The car corners terribly and ships across bumps. I'm sure any replacement setup will improve things but I'd like maximum results for my money.

Edited by WhyteSky

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I dropped mine by an inch on Bilstein and eibach's but still needed it to lug a load. It would sometimes be too low with five folk in it.

Anti roll bars, drop links and wishbones should be looked at while you are at it. Bottom mount inserts were probably the best mod  I did to a car too.

 

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3 minutes ago, V70D5 said:

I dropped mine by an inch on Bilstein and eibach's but still needed it to lug a load. It would sometimes be too low with five folk in it.

Anti roll bars, drop links and wishbones should be looked at while you are at it. Bottom mount inserts were probably the best mod  I did to a car too.

 

That's useful to know - the car is often used four up, with two dogs in the boot and a roof box. Sounds like the last thing I need to do is lower it!

Anyone know if the B6's are any good with standard height springs?

V70D5 likes this

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8 hours ago, WhyteSky said:

That's useful to know - the car is often used four up, with two dogs in the boot and a roof box. Sounds like the last thing I need to do is lower it!

Anyone know if the B6's are any good with standard height springs?

My 2003 V70 D5 had 'Dynamic Sports Chassis', basically T5 kit; lower springs than standard, front and rear ARB's and nivomat self levellers.  When newer, less than 100K miles, this set up was spot on.  I then changed to Bilstein B6 HD front shocks with the original springs and fitted front and rear IPD ARB's.  The B6's when new were amazing when new but mighty expensive.  I tow a camping trailer once a year and last year drove home scrapping along the tarmac, not good, the nivomats had had it.

I'm now on BC coilovers and am waiting to see if I can still tow the once a year I need to.  BC coilovers set up by Tim are sublime on fast smooth tarmac, in the centre of Bristol not so good, they don't like speed bumps and pot holes. 

It really is difficult to suggest something as I don't mind a hard ride, you may say it was unacceptable.  The wife hasn't complained so they can't be that bad.

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The fronts are a minefield for choice. On the rear I wouldn't like to be without the Nivomats now, I run them with standard springs so to give very high load carrying capacity. 

 

The increased damping on Ng in the rear gave far better turn in and stability. 

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I replaced my front shocks with new Sachs shocks (same spec as factory). Kept the rear Nivomats. Did the front and rear IPD ARBs, IPD drop links,, poly wishbones, IPD inserts and front and rear strut bars. Love it :) 

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Cheers all,

I think I'm all but sold on the Bilstein B6's with genuine springs.

I think anyway.

Parts for Volvo do the B6's @ £549 for the four corners. FRF can supply genuine shocks for a bit less but I'm thinking I'd like to try something different. ECP do Sachs shocks for considerably less than the genuine Volvo parts and I believe Sachs are OEM. I can't help but wonder why there's such a big difference in price though.

So, B6's it is. 

Springs will be coming from FRF with a good discount over standard pricing. I've got one snapped spring and the temptation is to reuse the three unsnapped ones, replacing just the broken one. However, I think that could be a false economy with a labour bill in the future to replace further failed springs.

I think I'll buy new spring seats too but other than that the garage have advised to not worry about any other parts just yet. If anything is worn out they'll call me when replacing shocks and springs.

Thanks again for the replies. I'm looking forward to a smoother, less bouncy and more compliant ride. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Standard springs arrived the other day. Brilliant service from FRF and great prices too,

Just waiting on the Bilstein B6 shocks from PFS. Equally good service. They're a non stock item so PFS have to wait for their delivery before they can send to me. As it happens, I may be down that way this coming week so may be able to drop in a pick them up anyway.

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On 2/11/2017 at 11:41 PM, WhyteSky said:

Cheers all,

I think I'm all but sold on the Bilstein B6's with genuine springs.

I think anyway.

Parts for Volvo do the B6's @ £549 for the four corners. FRF can supply genuine shocks for a bit less but I'm thinking I'd like to try something different. ECP do Sachs shocks for considerably less than the genuine Volvo parts and I believe Sachs are OEM. I can't help but wonder why there's such a big difference in price though.

So, B6's it is. 

Springs will be coming from FRF with a good discount over standard pricing. I've got one snapped spring and the temptation is to reuse the three unsnapped ones, replacing just the broken one. However, I think that could be a false economy with a labour bill in the future to replace further failed springs.

I think I'll buy new spring seats too but other than that the garage have advised to not worry about any other parts just yet. If anything is worn out they'll call me when replacing shocks and springs.

Thanks again for the replies. I'm looking forward to a smoother, less bouncy and more compliant ride. I'll let you know how it goes.

This is NOT advisable as springs sag with age. 

If you just replace one spring, you risk alignment issues and the car will track and may not drive in a straight line. You'll be lucky if you can find a decent garage that will just change one spring....it's really not the done thing mate. 

If your changing to B6's then why comprimise by only replacing one spring? You should be replacing all 4!

New springs, new shocks and also consider poly bushing the common ones that fail regularly or cause the most movement with alignment, like the front wishbones and definately the rear training arms and center rear toe bushes. Changing these can make a car feel brand new again, all tight and positive with no vagueness. 

Please make sure the garage replace the front spring support plates and spring seats. The seats commonly crack and the support plate bearings become graunchy and noisy over time. Even if they appear ok! 

The bearings, when worn, can massively affect the positive castor and self centering. Do not replace these with parts from Euros. Get Genuine. 

Edited by Lee[R AWD]

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Cheers Lee,

I did get all four springs changed - didn't see the point in only changing one.

I also had the spring seat and other upper bits changed. Figured that anything that was above the springs and shocks should be changed whole they were out.

All the lower kit was fine and so I've left it as is for now. It wouldn't have saved anything in labour having it changed at the same time so I'll have the lower bits changed as and when they fail.

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