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Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

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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Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by BackRoadSeeker » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:28 am

First off, YES I have researched this topic and I've heard conflicting stories on the Bilstein strut/ride height deal. I installed Bilstein TC struts along with XC90 spring seats this weekend and am curious if this ride height is "factory". I haven't been able o find stock measurements for the S70 anywhere. I know HD's raise the front because of the increased gas/monotube pressure but I don't see any reason why the twin tube TC should.

This is really just for curiosity's sake - I'm thoroughly happy with the TC ride quality and plan on adding IPD overload coils to bring the rear end up to where it should be. No real desire to lower the car with crappy local roads. BTDT. Car handles quite well already and this is before adding IPD sway bars.

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- James
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1998 S70 T5, Auto - Sold
2001 Toyota 4Runner, 298k miles and counting!

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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by JRL » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:47 am

Yes, they DO raise the ride height about 1/2" or so
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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by BackRoadSeeker » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:02 am

JRL wrote:Yes, they DO raise the ride height about 1/2" or so
Thanks, JRL. I remember seeing you post that somewhere else. Does anybody have the factory height measurements available?
- James
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1998 S70 T5, Auto - Sold
2001 Toyota 4Runner, 298k miles and counting!

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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by mecheng » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:36 am

I have Bilstein TC struts up front, I can measure mine to compare and someone else can measure with stock Sachs shocks.
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - SE - 240km - Sold July 2018
1997 Volvo 850 GLT - 190km
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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by erikv11 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:52 am

The gas tube pressure can not possibly raise the ride height. OK it is possible, but then the strut would be basically incompressible. Front ride height is determined by two things: the coil springs, and where the coil springs mount on the strut. That's it. The latter is why the TC was reported to raise the ride height, because the shelf/plate of the lower spring seat was mounted about 1/2 inch higher.

Somebody already started a thread about this a couple months ago, and it includes some of the measurements you are interested in. Try a quick search. OK, here ya go http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... hp?t=77013
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 286k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by oragex » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:03 am

For some reason the aftermarket companies got the wrong measurement of the lower spring seat of the strut. I put on my S60 some Boge struts, and again the front raised by about 1/2". Or maybe these measures came from the struts on the XC models which might sit higher. It's not very good because more weight goes on the rear shocks which are softer, thus handling is degraded at higher speeds.

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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by BackRoadSeeker » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:37 am

erikv11 wrote:The gas tube pressure can not possibly raise the ride height. OK it is possible, but then the strut would be basically incompressible. Front ride height is determined by two things: the coil springs, and where the coil springs mount on the strut. That's it. The latter is why the TC was reported to raise the ride height, because the shelf/plate of the lower spring seat was mounted about 1/2 inch higher.

Somebody already started a thread about this a couple months ago, and it includes some of the measurements you are interested in. Try a quick search. OK, here ya go http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... hp?t=77013
It IS possible to search and miss a particular, specific, forum thread... Thanks for the link regardless.

Those struts he installed were from 2009, and I've heard that Bilstein may have made changes to the struts since then. I put the B4's side by side with the old Sachs strut and couldn't tell any difference between the two. Granted, I did not measure.

What I was interested in is a factory ride height measurement, from bottom of wheel to fender or something of the likes. I'm used to BMW Bentley manuals that have these measurements readily available, haven't been able to find that for the S70.
- James
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2001 Toyota 4Runner, 298k miles and counting!

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Re: Bilstein TC's installed - Ride Height?

Post by erikv11 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:22 pm

Oh I know about not finding everything in a search, sorry I wasn't trying to chide you just to point out the thread in case it helps.

Another thing you will want to know just as an FYI is that the 850 spring seat is now exactly the same as the XC90 one, it has been that way for about 4 years now. Same part number, same part. Volvo figured that one out, eventually. So as long as you buy it from Volvo, you don't have to dig for the part number etc.

For ride height measurements, maybe some people with bone stock suspension rebuilds can chime in.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 286k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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