Nivomat conversion?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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kcodyjr
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Year and Model: 1997 850 GLT
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Nivomat conversion?

Postby kcodyjr » Sat May 07, 2011 10:01 pm

I had four colleagues in town this week, and willingly played chauffeur with my 97 854 GLT. Mostly it went well, aside from a run-in with an insane taxi driver who tried to give me an expired registration which listed a different insurance company.

It started making a really nasty pulley bearing noise, even though both belts were just serviced. My indy did a complete timing kit including water pump from FCP, and the serp, and didn't note anything wrong with the tensioner and idler. It was fine at pickup. The noise started about 120 miles after he worked on it. The sound changes but doesn't go away when I turn on the AC, so I'm thinking it's just developed the compressor clutch problem. Sound right?

It also hesitated a lot with so many people in the car - right back to normal good behavior with the load removed. I also got a CEL that I've yet to read out, that felt just like the old wastegate solenoid code, which had gone away with the replacement of several vacuum lines. I'm thinking either it needs a fuel map reset, or the actuator or TCV is bad.

It also sagged in the back like an old tired dog with 3 full grown adults in the back seat, and I do mean the tire was up above the fender. I've never noticed any handling shortcomings in that car, so I'm thinking I really was approaching its design load limit. Still, I'd like more graceful behavior, and I know the Nivomats deliver just that.

I understand that usually people are converting the other way, and I also note there seem to be several different rear suspension assemblies listed for that model on volvopartswebstore.com. Questions follow:

* How do I determine which set I need?

* Are there known kit part numbers?

* Do I need anything besides the springs, shocks, and upper shock mounts?

* Is there an upper spring seat I should be replacing, and if so, should that also come from an XC90?

* Am I correct about it needing a rear sway bar with Nivomats, and if so, is it different than the one in the R?


Thanks,
- Kevin
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash

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kcodyjr
Posts: 972
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:48 am
Year and Model: 1997 850 GLT
Location: Massachusetts, USA
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Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby kcodyjr » Tue May 10, 2011 4:31 am

Perhaps I rambled too much and hid the questions...

Followups: I've found a pair of rear springs from a 1998 V70R AWD.

1) Did the 98 V70R AWD definitely have Nivomat?

2) Will these springs be suitable for a 97 850 FWD sedan?

Thanks,
- Kevin
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash

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JRL
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Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby JRL » Tue May 10, 2011 9:23 am

Yes they did
No they wont
2000 V70R Black, 129,000 miles (Wife's R, getting up there, she won't sell it)!
2007 XC70 White/Oak over 100K perfect. New DD, sold the 06
2000 V70R Silver, 36,200 miles!!! SOLD (I will regret this)!

Contact info for purchases: jrl1194 (at) aol (dot) com

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kcodyjr
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Year and Model: 1997 850 GLT
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Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby kcodyjr » Tue May 10, 2011 2:13 pm

Ha. Right to the point as usual, thanks JRL.

Does anyone have information about which Nivomat-compatible springs I need for a 97 850 sedan?
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash

Ozark Lee
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Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby Ozark Lee » Tue May 10, 2011 3:57 pm

Call IPD, they can set you up with any Spring/Shock/Strut combination that you want.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
Previous:
'96 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

anmartin44
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:28 pm
Year and Model: 1994 850 n/a
Location: Chehalis, WA

Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby anmartin44 » Tue May 10, 2011 11:36 pm

I just switched my 94 854 to the nivomat setup a couple of months ago. I got the front springs, rear springs and nivomats from 96 850 R wagon FWD. With nivo shock mounts and appropriate spings it is just plug and play. I don't have a rear sway bar but I also don't drive like a bat outta hell. They definately stiffen up the ride and decrease the body roll.
So it looks like you need Nivomats and the rear springs that are made for them from an R FWD car. The used shocks I got had 136k on them but they last a really long time and I got the whole setup for under 50 bucksnot including mounts so I tried it. Otherwise you can try the Bilstein HD's with stock springs.

I like my setup but i wish I would have got better struts for the front springs.

Good luck and feel free to pm me for any questions.
Andrew
1994 850 na green 187k on body, 275k on motor(backwards?), unrestricted airbox, 960 TB, persus wheels, Lowered, IPD poly upper and trans mounts.
1974 144 k-jet m40 satin black, 250k on body, 25k on rebuilt motor(running...usually)

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kcodyjr
Posts: 972
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Year and Model: 1997 850 GLT
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Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby kcodyjr » Wed May 11, 2011 1:00 am

Why the front springs?

Also, doesn't the R have a lower suspension than the others?

Any oddness from having wagon springs in your sedan?
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash

anmartin44
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:28 pm
Year and Model: 1994 850 n/a
Location: Chehalis, WA

Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby anmartin44 » Wed May 11, 2011 2:34 am

front springs are stiffer than stock. not much lower that I can tell. I thought the wagon setup might raise the back end but it didn't at all. I haven't noticed anything besides a stiffer ride.
1994 850 na green 187k on body, 275k on motor(backwards?), unrestricted airbox, 960 TB, persus wheels, Lowered, IPD poly upper and trans mounts.
1974 144 k-jet m40 satin black, 250k on body, 25k on rebuilt motor(running...usually)

User avatar
kcodyjr
Posts: 972
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:48 am
Year and Model: 1997 850 GLT
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Flag: United States of America

Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby kcodyjr » Wed May 11, 2011 3:06 am

I wonder if the ride would still be stiffer if you'd left the fronts alone.

And, therein is the rub. Mine is a GLT, which (for anyone browsing by the site through Google) means "Grand Luxe Touring". It's meant to be supremely comfortable on the longest and harshest of roads. I want the self-leveling function so it's just as comfy with a full trunk as an empty one; otherwise it would be a set of Koni FSD's with the factory springs, or for that matter just leave it be with the Boge/Sachs.

Ideally, of course, I'm looking for a 97 854 GLT that came from the factory with Nivomats, wasn't modified, and found its way into the junkyard by rust, neglect, or engine failure.

Failing that, the task at hand is to figure out what part numbers the 97 854 GLT would have had with the Nivomat option, then cross-reference everything else that's gotten those same part numbers, so as to broaden the search.

I'm not against buying the shocks themselves through FCP at $300 apiece, if I can confirm they're the right ones for the car, though that would move the timeline back quite a bit. Likewise with ordering the springs and seats through oemvolvoparts.com. I do, however, want the particular Nivomat setup that's correct for that car, as though from the factory.

There are a great deal of multiple references when searching through volvopartswebstore.com, as though some later setups will also fit into the 97 854. I don't want that, unless there's a compelling reason to pick the newer hardware, such as dramatically lower failure rates.

Thanks for all the answers thus far,

- Kevin
1997 850 GLT sedan, 152K and WHOOHOO!
RIP 1996 850 wagon, 201K, hit by a runaway 4-wheeler
RIP 1996 850 GLT sedan 5spd, 260K, rearended someone
RIP 1986 245 boring, 200K, rusted beyond inspectability
RIP 1981 242 turbo 5spd, 300K, serious teenage crash

anmartin44
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:28 pm
Year and Model: 1994 850 n/a
Location: Chehalis, WA

Re: Nivomat conversion?

Postby anmartin44 » Wed May 11, 2011 4:30 am

I do attribute the stiffer mostly to the front springs. I did a whole front suspension overhaul at the same time so everything is much firmer than it was I don't think the nivo's by themselves make a stiffer ride but coupled with the R Springs in front the overall ride is not as wishy washy as it was.
1994 850 na green 187k on body, 275k on motor(backwards?), unrestricted airbox, 960 TB, persus wheels, Lowered, IPD poly upper and trans mounts.
1974 144 k-jet m40 satin black, 250k on body, 25k on rebuilt motor(running...usually)


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