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billstein struts

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famfeld
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billstein struts

Post by famfeld »

Hi. I am fed up with Stock struts on my 04 xc70. Got sachs, then OE Volvo struts now installed (sachs supposed to be the same anyway) and I still am not satisfied with performance. All hardware and rest of suspension is new, and still bottom out over speed bumps and right one has developed a clunk again. I am about to go in and tear everything apart to replace the rack and the cv axles and possibly a wheel bearing, but was wondering if anyone knows where I can get better struts or if people have had similar experience with the stock suspension. After swapping out struts and basically "refreshing" front suspension it was tight for 10 to 15K miles but now doesn't feel great anymore.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Feld
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Rattnalle
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Re: billstein struts

Post by Rattnalle »

I did mine with Sachs shocks (silver stickers) and some other springs and it's still fine 70000 km later. But I've had clunks from spring seats since then. Blown shocks usually don't clunk they just don't give any support.

Ive got a V70 though but the difference isn't huge up front.
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Re: billstein struts

Post by abscate »

Feld - I would not rule out spring seats for clunks, as opposed to struts, especially if you don't use OEM Volvo parts on the seats.
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Re: billstein struts

Post by oragex »

Sachs are not the same as genuine. Later genuine are made by Sachs (in Turkey), but have better internal damping. Still, since I also run on new genuine front ones, I clearly can't say it drives or handles like a sporty sedan. I'm sure the original ones sold when the car was new were better quality and offered a much better driving feeling, what Volvo is selling now have surely cheaper internal components, still better than what Sachs are selling on their side. There's more than the struts, the sway bar bushings are also old, subframe ones as well.. doesn't help. Bilstein will be stiffer on poor roads, B4 is what I think it's the better choice
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Re: billstein struts

Post by Rattnalle »

oragex wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:10 pm Sachs are not the same as genuine. Later genuine are made by Sachs (in Turkey), but have better internal damping. Still, since I also run on new genuine front ones, I clearly can't say it drives or handles like a sporty sedan. I'm sure the original ones sold when the car was new were better quality and offered a much better driving feeling, what Volvo is selling now have surely cheaper internal components, still better than what Sachs are selling on their side. There's more than the struts, the sway bar bushings are also old, subframe ones as well.. doesn't help. Bilstein will be stiffer on poor roads, B4 is what I think it's the better choice
My Sachs are made in Germany according to the sticker. They're obviously shipping different parts to different parts of the world.

But these cars like all regular Volvos were designed to be soft and comfortable so don't expect anything else with stock or equivalent parts.

The stiffer sway bars fitted to police versions would probably be my first choice of a handling upgrade. That is unless you drive a NA and are missing the rear sway bar to begin with then the regular one would also be a very noticeable upgrade.
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Re: billstein struts

Post by oragex »

The rear sway bar was a mystery - some cars had it, other didn't. My 2003 S60 non turbo does have one. I have to say, when I bought the car with 100K miles, it was on the original shocks which handled really nicely and flat on the open road. However they were very hash on local streets with cracks. The replacement genuine struts are softer no doubt, but had lost that flat handling - and also sit a little higher.
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Re: billstein struts

Post by famfeld »

Is IPD the easiest to get a better front sway bar. I'm using IPD strut mounts and everything else is new OEM. Thanks for the help. I haven't looked into the subframe bushings or the sway bar itself (the endlinks are new).
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Re: billstein struts

Post by - Pete - »

IPD makes front and rears (swaybars) for the XC. They used to have a package that probably saved a few bucks.

There are several sellers of sway bars though, so shop around. Regardless of which front bar you go with (if you replace the original), you’ll need to lower the front subframe (rear of it anyway) to take out the old & put in the new. The bolts on the subframe are torque to yield & as discussed many times, a good idea to replace these bolts as they use “stretch” to keep them put/tight for good.

https://www.ipdusa.com/products/20815/2 ... gJvMfD_BwE

One thing I’ve done at the same time I’ve replaced front subframe bolts is to install the IPD front subframe bushing inserts. They basically take up the “void” or empty space in the original bushings, the goal is to firm up front end feel. Very inexpensive & I’d say a noticeably positive improvement.

https://www.ipdusa.com/products/8969/12 ... 68-3507923

If you replace the rear bar, you’ll need to remove at least one of the rear struts.

From the sounds of it, I think your shocks are probably fine. I think the noise you’re frustrated with is likely, as others have said, seats, top mounts, sway bar bushings - but do check the tightness of your end links even if they’ve been recently replaced.

For seats, Rein is very reputable. Top mounts, anything that isn’t chineseium and/or Lemforder. Not to say Lemforder is a brand to avoid, just saying it’s a brand to be speculative about & avoid with top mounts. I currently have a couple sets of Lemforders bad at well under a single years use. I purchased them back when they were advertised as being made in Germany, yet Chinese mounts were delivered.

One thing I do add to all the front struts on our cars are “strut spring insulators”. It’s basically a rubber pad that lives beneath the bottom coil on each strut. I can totally tell a difference with them installed.

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Re: billstein struts

Post by Rattnalle »

The insulators can be substituted for any piece of rubber or plastic tube that's about the right diameter cut lengthwise plus a few zip ties. If you're in a pinch.

I find it's a bit of a lottery with the longevity of the parts sometimes. Good thing it's not too much work to do it.
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famfeld
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Re: billstein struts

Post by famfeld »

That's really helpful. Thanks. I am going to make sure the spring insulators are installed. Also I've always noticed play in the metal strut bearing plate once the unit is assembled. This is something I never understood but I double and tripple checked assembly and was sure everything was installed correctly. I tried a combination of old, new, different brands etc and always had that same looseness in the strut bearing. In the 2000 v70 too. Also my suspension setup (new stock) allows struts to bottom out over a speedbump. I can't figure that out. My v70 never did that, nor my 2005 Honda odyssey with 160k. I can live with that, just seems weird. I'll go after strut seats and subframe bushings and check sway bar. Thanks
Feld
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