The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Suspension Upgrades Step by Step

2019-01-15 - ipd Staff

Disclaimer: Direct from ipd’s Tech Tip archive!  This tech tip contains information from previous publications.  Products mentioned may not be available or the information may not be accurate due to changes in supply, manufacturing, or part number association.  Please contact ipd Customer Support if you have further questions  info@ipdusa.com

One of the most common calls we get is regarding the sequence of suspension upgrades. There are over 10 upgrades available for some models and to the inexperienced the choices can be confusing. The first thing we like to do is determine what kind of improvements you're looking for and what characteristics of your Volvo's handling you like and dislike in its present condition. This will often alert us to other possible problems with the car that need to be addressed before performance upgrades are made. As with any performance upgrade it is important that you are starting with a sound chassis in good operating condition. For example, installing a set of anti-sway bars to correct for worn out shocks, springs or other suspension components is not only ineffective, it can also be dangerous.

The first step is to assess the current condition of your Volvos suspension. Check all suspension bushings, shocks, struts and strut mounts, ball joints, tie rods and steering gear, wheel bearings, wheels, and tires. If you don't have the skills and experience to perform this thorough chassis inspection, seek the skills of an experi-enced Volvo repair shop. Nothing is more frustrating than installing a new and expensive suspension part to correct a problem only to find that the problem still persists. Experienced shops are familiar with the common component failures and problems found on your model and should be able to do a thorough inspection and assessment in 1-2 hours.

Once you've determined that your Volvo is in good operating condition or have replaced any worn out com-ponents of the suspension, you can now safely begin to consider performance suspension upgrades. Our staff of trained Volvo suspension specialists can really be helpful in assisting you with upgrades to provide the improvements in performance and ride quality that you're looking for. Invest a few minutes studying the upgrade guide below and then give us a call. We'll be glad to help with any further upgrade and application questions you may have.

Keep in mind that you may need to deviate from the suggestions below if you find that your Volvo has worn out parts such as shocks or bushings. You'll want to take care of any worn parts first. It also sometimes makes economical sense to do upgrades out of the below sequence when a considerable amount of labor can be saved such as installing sport springs or overload springs, which are a drop in when shocks and struts are being replaced. Consider this during each upgrade project.

Once you've read and understood the above information you can use the following guide to help you make effective suspension upgrades to suit your needs.