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From my experience, the suspension on the 850s compared to the S/V70 is quite different. Volvo made some considerable improvement between the generations, and even though my R, made in the last year of 850 production, has a sport suspension, it's a little harsh without being improved in performance environments. <P>That said, I'm thinking of upgrading the R's suspension and have been considering several options including Volvo's own Ohlins system and the IPD Bilstein setup.<P>Anyone have experience with either of these or another option?
 

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I have tried 3 sets of lowering springs and here is my thoughts.<P>IPD -- lower the car quite a bit, IPD claimed to lower the car 1" front and 0.8" in the rear, but when I used them with the stock shocks, all four wheels are tucked beneath the wheelwells. The springs are not that much stiffer than stock. Comfortable for everday driving and is the softest of the 3 I've tried.<P>Intrax -- Claims to lower the car by 1.75" but my car looked like stock ride height when I put them with Bilsteins. Very very stiff. I sold them after using them for a while and I've seen the same set of springs resurfacing back onto the IPD classified board a couple of times.<P>PI -- Don't know much about them. Only knew they were made in Germany. Bought them when I was in Hong Kong. Lowers the ride height nicely and the stiffness is between the other 2. Been using them with Bilsteins and stock shocks, I have to say I am very happy with them. Will be pairing them up with Koni adjustables soon (The konis should have been installed last week, but my shop screwed me over, I am still pissed about it)<P>As for the Ohlins adjustables, I have never seen them in person, but for the price Volvo charges, they better be good. I would say H&R springs and bilsteins or H&R and Konis would be a good setup. From what I've heard, Bilsteins seems to be the better shock, however Konis are adjustable, so I think it's a toss up between them. Let us know what you are going for <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"><P>
 

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I've used Bilsteins before on other cars and love them, so that's a natural. I'll have to ask IPD, because while I wouldn't want a drop, I don't want to go that low.<P>Any idea what Volvo is asking for the Ohlins? I spoke to someone who'd tried both the IPD/Bilstein and the Ohlins and they said that the Ohlins was marginally better, but a better overall ride when in upper settings. <P>Hmmmm.
 

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Just got my Konis installed. Holy $%^&, I felt like driving a go-kart after flying around the side streets. Even with my gripless Pepboy tires, the car sticks to the ground like it's on rails. Definitely stiffer than my Bilsteins. Steering response is so much improved, now I am like point and shoot during turns. And the behavior of the car acts differently with the turn on the knob. I have the current front setting at almost to max stiff and rear is about 75% stiff. Pretty good. Didn't want to go too stiff in the rear because the rear tends to snap oversteer if I enter the corner too hot. Also with the stiff front, I have solved my tire rubbing problems. Awesome!!<P>
 

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Well, harshness is a very personal thing. But I have to say while the car is stiff, it is not rough. The shocks absorb the bumps nicely without the "crash" feel with the stock shocks. It feels like a BMW or a Porsche. But again, I am running 205/55/16 tires now, so the tall sidewall really soften the ride. But all it all, they are great. When I first got my Pepboy tires, I thought I made a big mistake because the car handled horribly. But now, I can push the car quite hard with ease. Granted, I only got the car back for like an hour, so give me a couple of days to test them out and I will be able to do a better report <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"><P>
 

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Just as sort of a benchmark, how would you rate the stock ride of the car? Mine is a bit rash on the sharp bumps and sounds like the struts want to come in and join me on the inside of the car when I drive in DC. Other than that, the ride is nice and european feeling.
 

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Your description about the stock shocks is spot-on. I made the mistake of using them with lowering springs (well, it was just a combination of a lot of things that happened) and they were too soft for the springs. The car floats like a Lincoln towncar on freeway bumps, the front dips easily during braking and cornering. I also have problems with grip during take off because the front lifts during hard accerleration, I would be smoking tires even with half throttle from standstill. When I was using the 17" summer tires, because of the tremendous grip from the tires, I was still able to tolerate with the handling during fast driving, but once I switched to my winter tires, the handling was just too scary for me to go fast. With the breif test drive I took just now, the front doesn't dip or lift that easily anymore, the car doesn't float like a Lincoln, and I really like the turn-in response.<P>Remember, the Konis are adjustable, and the softest setting is OEM stiff while the stiffest setting is rock hard. So I am sure you can find a comfortable setting for DC driving. The best thing about Bilsteins or Konis is that they do eliminate the sharp "crash" feel during bumps. And that alone is worth the $$, not to mention the tremendous improvement in handling. Ok, been talking too much about my Konis, time to hit the back roads again <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"><P>
 

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So, if you don't mind me asking, about how much do you have invested thus far? (springs, shocks, labor) Also, what about ride height and wheels/tires. I would like to keep my stock 16" turbo wheels as they do look nice IMO. Do your wheels/tires come up inside of the wheel well or do they stop just a little bit shy of sitting in? (Sort of like the new Beemer 5 series look) Did you have to repalce or change any of the suspention components to get this setup to work right? How about the alignment and caster/camber? Anyhow, sorry to be picking your brain, but it looks like you know what you are doing. That and I would like to do this myself and want to see what I am in for <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"> Thanks for the info.<BR>Prospero
 

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The Konis are $470 to my door. The PI springs were about $250. Minekie charged me $175 for the install. The ride height is just right IMO. I can put 1.5 of my small fingers between the tires and the fender. No other changes were required. Actually, if you check out my supension section on my page, there is a couple of close up pic of the wheels and that should give you a rough idea about my current ride height.http://hometown.aol.com/tlui99/mods.html<BR><P>
 

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Thanks, I will visit your site.
 
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