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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up a 1996 850R auto that had Monroe shocks/struts installed about 100,000 miles ago - it is time for replacement.

How does the 850R suspension (shocks/struts and springs) differ from the base model 850/S70? The Monroe parts installed has a part number that fits all 850s and S70s. I thought the 850 had a sportier suspension?

Did all 96 850R's have Nivomats and is it possible to simply swap them for monroes? How can I tell if my 850R used to have Nivomats if I currently have monroes in there? Is there an option code/sticker someplace or were they standard? I read IPD's explaination here: http://www.ipdusa.com/techtips/10024/what-are-nivomat-shocks-and-does-my-volvo-have-them

IPD sells a kit and they say:
"This kit consists of a new pair of shocks along with a new pair of springs at the proper spring rate so your Volvo won’t sag"

Is it possible the previous owner just installed Monroe shocks and left the nivomat springs, etc and how can I check the conversion was done properly (if I had Nivomats??)?

My 850R seems to have a tighter steering feel compared to my S70 base. The S70 has a lighter feel. Did any steering components change with the S70, or is something wrong with my 850? I like the tighter feel more. Thanks all
 

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The steering feel could be a few factors, but tire size and type makes a difference; alignment will play a role too and of course the condition of all of the suspention components.

From the factory the 96 850R's had different coil springs and anti-roll bars along with gas charged shocks & struts (turbo's did too).

So far as I know, some 850 R wagons had the Nivomats, most sedans did not (you did not say if you had a sedan or wagon). The color of the paint blotch on the rear coils as well as the upper shock mount may indicate if your car previously had the nivomat suspension.

For replacement struts and shocks, it is the same as the 850's and SVC 70 series; just pick your preferred ride.

On my 96 854R sedan, I have IPD's sway bars, a Volvo strut brace, a C70 convertable subframe (it has solid bushings), Kilen lowering springs, and Monroe OE Spectrum shocks and struts - I previously had bilsteins and for the roads around here they were too rough. The Monroe's for the money offered me a good ride I've been happy with them for the last 15K miles.
 

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More or less right except you were not told about the rear springs
Nivomats use a VERY soft rear spring.
If you install a standard style rear shock you MUST change the springs to match
 
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