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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed Bilstein B6 shocks on my 2005 Volvo S60R over the weekend.

Here's some instructions, since it doesn't seem that anyone has made a clear tutorial, and photobucket's paywall is hiding photos on the threads that are out there.

Parts needed:

Qty 2: Bilstein 24-018050, $95 each at FCPEuro.com with a 5% off coupon
Qty 2: Allstar Performance 2.5 in. Coil-Over Kits ALL64143, $39 each at SummitRacing.com (OR Bilstein B4-BOA-0000117 for $63 each)
Qty 1: Energy Suspension 9.6119/G Coil Spring Isolators, $9.77 per pair at SummitRacing.com
Qty 2: 10mm x 30 mm fender washer
Qty 4: 10mm hex nut, 1.00 pitch

Tools needed:

Lathe for machining new grooves in the shocks (no one has this-- you'll need to farm this work out to a local machine shop)
Rotary tool for boring out the spring isolators
Scissors for cutting the lip of the spring isolators
Small flathead screwdriver for removing dust boots
Metric socket set for assembling new shock (17mm for disassembly, 14mm for assembly)
Spring compressor for assembling new shock (you'll need it with the Bilsteins since its an inch shorter than OE) -- free loaner from O'Reilly Auto Parts

Optional: CV boot clamp, for re-attaching dust boots. I used "Lisle 30800"
Optional: Caliper for setting proper ride height before installation
Optional: Coilover spanner for adjusting ride height after installation. I'll post a part number once I do this.
Optional: Ratchet tie down strap (with a steel body ratchet) for pulling suspension together to install the shock
Optional: Impact wrench for getting top nut on shock after assembly
Optional: Skunk2 Adjustable Sleeve Coilover Spanner Wrench - 917-99-0930, to adjust the spring perch height (I haven't actually tried using mine yet, but both shaun and maronha say it works)

Instructions:

Here's a quick look at what we get with the Bilstein 24-018050. This shock is originally made for a Jaguar XJ, so it comes with a few parts we don't need-- primarily the bump stops.



And here's the fundamental issue with the Bilstein 24-018050-- the circlip used for the lower spring perch is way too high. We will want to cut a new groove, so that we can move the circlip down.



Let's start off by disassembling the shock. You can use a small flathead screwdriver to push the dust boot off. Don't destroy the clamp, as we will recycle it.



All disassembled:



After removing the circlip, we stick the shock in a lathe and cut a groove identical to the one which already exists. You want this groove to be as low on the shock as possible, to give you the most possible height adjustment:



All done machining!



Now, for Arch Stanton's personal contribution to this project. The coil spring isolator! I ordered a bunch of these, and this is the one that works best for our purposes, although it still requires some modification.



Since our OEM style springs have a "pigtail" like ending, we use a coil spring isolator to make an effectively flat bottom, to mate with our new "flat" lower spring perch. There is currently an effort out there to source a pigtail style spring perch for this application, but for now I will just use a coilover sleeve + spring isolator, as it gives me adjustability needed for getting the ride height correct with this non-OE shock.



Unfortunately, this isolator doesn't quite fit the coilover sleeve perch. The inside diameter is a bit too small.



So, you'll want to bore it out with a rotary tool. I did a bunch of brainstorming, but this was the only solution that worked. It doesn't need to be pretty, you just need it to fit on the spring perch.



Now, as a minor side-track, it seems that my coilover sleeve didn't quite fit on the shock properly. I suspect that my circlip was slightly too big. I bored the inside of the sleeve out slightly, so that the circlip meets the inside shoulder, as intended.



Back on track: you'll probably want to trim the upper lip of the isolator with some scissors, so it looks like this:



Clamp that dust boot back on! It's there for a reason!



Now, we want to make sure that we set the height of the spring perch as close to the OEM height as possible. I used calipers to measure this.



Set your Bilstein's perch height as close to OE as possible. When in doubt, err on the side of TOO HIGH-- this will make it easier to adjust after its been installed in the car. It's easier to lower the perch than raise it!



Always good to double check the perches look close in height. Once you've confirmed, tighten the nut in the perch:



One final snafu: the shoulder on the shock rod is way too low. We need to raise it, otherwise there will be so much play in the shock that it won't be allowed to do its job.



My solution was to buy some nuts and washers.



Assemble like such. The washer may not be 100% necessary, but it's not hurting anything.



Here's what the shock should look like before we add the spring / top mount.



Assemble the shock. You'll probably need a spring compressor due to the shorter overall length of the Bilstein shock, compared to OE (its about 1 inch shorter).



Try to get that top nut on WITHOUT letting the shock rod rotate too much. I used an impact hammer to do this. It's difficult since you won't be able to grip the shock rod due to the dust boot being in the way.

maronha used the following method, which is different than my method:
how I actually ended up getting the top nut on is I made sure the spring was compressed to the point that the shock mount would sit on the double nut. I left the rubber boot off so the I could get a pair of visegrips on the shaft. I was able to tighten the top nut without the impact. To put the boot back on I just used a flathead screwdriver to carefully push the clamp back down by working my way around the clamp until it was down to the sleeve. ( I actually did not use the washer. Forgot it on the first one so I left it off the other side). Then I just removed the spring compressors slowly making sure the mount lined up properly and was seated correctly. .


A quick tip for installation: use a ratchet strap to pull your suspension together, like such. Once that's done, getting the shock assembly out/in is no problem. Use a steel body ratchet! You'll bend an aluminum one!



All installed!



As mentioned above, I am involved in an effort to procure Bilstein lower spring perches that will work perfectly with this B6 shock, and our pigtail style springs. Once we have these, you will no longer need to use the coilover sleeve or the spring isolators. You will just need to machine the circlip groove at the right height (which is T.B.D.) and use the Bilstein lower spring perch. Please PM me if you're interested in purchasing a pair.

After installing the shocks, you may find that you need to adjust the ride height to suit your preference. You can use Skunk2 Adjustable Sleeve Coilover Spanner Wrench - 917-99-0930 for this. I have not done this yet. maronha tried to do this with everything installed in the car, but was unable to-- he ended up having to remove the shock assembly from the car in order to adjust the height. shaun was able to do adjust his, but he did not use the coil spring isolator (he instead just cut the surface on his springs to make a flat mating surface). I think the problem is the adjustable perch "sticks" to the polyutherane coil spring isolator, making it difficult to rotate. I suggest putting silicone grease between the spring perch and coil spring isolator to make it easier to spin, but I haven't confirmed that this works yet.
 

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Excellent!

I'll venture a guess you like driving the car more. I'll add that the Billies ease up after awhile on the low speed rate they add.
 

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Very nice and congrats!
Perch/spring plate correct hight is 75 mm from the eye of the bushing. According to the information received from Bilstein you can adjust it 8mm steps up and down - if you wish.

Regarding the Bilstein spring perch/plate - please connect with Arch Stanton.
We have a confirmation that the perch can be shipped from Bilstein Germany without issues.

Many thanks to Arch Stanton to complete this excellent tutorial, to Dougy for pioneering the way to have a proper alternative of the 4C shocks & Shaun who completed the very first coil over sleeve install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perch/spring plate correct height is 75 mm from the eye of the bushing. According to the information received from Bilstein you can adjust it 8mm steps up and down - if you wish.
I would caution others against blindly following the 75mm specification--it all depends on how you measure it. You are more likely to get the height correct if you measure your original, then set your Bilstein's height & measure using the same method. That way you can be confident both measurements were taken in the same fashion.

Also, you may notice that I was measuring slightly higher on the perch, just to allow some wiggle room. As mentioned in the thread, I think it's better to be slightly high than low. It should be easier to lower the ride height using a coilover crescent wrench.

When we get the proper Bilstein pitched perches, this will be more important, as in order to adjust ride height with those, you will need to disassemble & move your circlip to a different groove (which you've hopefully already cut!).
 

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Great job and nice write-up. I’m interested to see how the car rides with that spring preload with the shorter shock.

I suspect you’ll want to reduce preload with the lower mount to improve the ride. Those B6 shocks probably don’t have enough rebound damping for that preload.


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That long spacer washer thing slides over the rod to space the shoulder to the correct height. All you need to do is put some washers on top of it where it contacted the the shock mount. Obviously your method works as well, but I noticed you didn't use that spacer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That long spacer washer thing slides over the rod to space the shoulder to the correct height. All you need to do is put some washers on top of it where it contacted the the shock mount. Obviously your method works as well, but I noticed you didn't use that spacer.
Yeah, I thought about using the provided bump stop spacer with some washers, but I didn't like the idea of having to make discrete height adjustments with washers, and risking the possibility of having to listen to rattling sounds if there was a tiny bit of play. With the jam nut approach, you can adjust the height to **exactly** what's needed.
 

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Adding to what Arch has already documented this is what I did so far.

EDIT: DO NOT CUT THE GOOVE AT 85mm the top of the original circlip groove. D o as Alex did in his picture and put it lower. This will give you more adjustment to lower.

I also had to bore out the sleeve in order for the sleeve to sit on the circlip.



I used a Dremel to bore out the spring isolators.



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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Adding to what Arch has already documented this is what I did so far.

I had my circlip grove lowered 85mm from the top of the original circlip groove. This will leave enough area to get the dust boot on and your sleeve placement will be up away from the lower shock mount.

I also had to bore out the sleeve in order for the sleeve to sit on the circlip.
I used a Dremel to bore out the spring isolators.
Excellent, maronha! It looks like you found the perfect place to machine the new circlip groove, and I'm glad you were able to measure it at 85mm below the original groove. This will make it easier for others to "farm out" this machine shop work to companies such as Bilstein, who will make the cuts for $10 per shock.

It's interesting that we both needed to bore out the Allstar Performance coilover sleeve to get it to fit on the shock properly. That confirms that I didn't just have a manufacturing defect with the pair I bought.

It is possible the Bilstein version of this coilover sleeve, Bilstein B4-BOA-0000117 will fit the shock without needing to be bored. In my case, I went with the Allstar ALL64143 because it significantly cheaper ($39 each, vs $63 each at Summit Racing), but if anyone is unable to bore the coilover sleeve, perhaps you can try the Bilstein B4-BOA-0000117 instead. Please report your results here if you do give it a try!

Edit: After consulting with maronha after he finished installing his shocks, 85mm is NOT the measurement to use. Instead, try to cut the new circlip grooves as low on the shock body as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
As mentioned above, I am involved in an effort to procure Bilstein lower spring perches that will work perfectly with this B6 shock, and our pigtail style springs. Once we have these, you will no longer need to use the coilover sleeve or the spring isolators. You will just need to machine the circlip groove at the right height (which is T.B.D.) and use the Bilstein lower spring perch. Please PM me if you're interested in purchasing a pair.
After much thought, I believe that the coilover sleeve method described in this thread is a better option than using the Bilstein lower spring perch that I alluded to earlier. My reasoning is as follows:

1) We were unable to obtain the Bilstein lower spring perch, part number E4-FT1-Z021A00, which we think might work for this application.
2) Even if we are able to obtain it, there is no guarantee that the Bilstein lower spring perch will actually fit
3) The Bilstein lower spring perch still requires that a new circlip groove be cut in the shock body. This is the hardest part of the project.
4) The Bilstein lower spring perch is not height-adjustable. You would have to cut the new groove at a certain height to keep your ride height balanced between the front and rear shocks. We do not know what height the new groove would need to be cut at, and it would take a bit of experimentation to figure that out.

With the coilover sleeve method described in this thread, you simple cut the new circlip groove at 85mm below the original groove (measured by maronha here) as low as possible, and make ride height adjustments using a coilover spanner.

Edit: Do not cut the new circlip groove at 85mm below the original groove. maronha used this 85mm measurement, but found it to be too high to allow for him to get the ride height to stock ride height. Instead, do what I did, and try to cut it as low as possible on the shock body. This will allow you more height adjustment.
 

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what depth do we cut the groove in the strut? machine shop asking this.

also, anyone know if the Bilstein coilover sleeve fits without boring it out?
 

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Perfect. Which model best used for fronts? From what I remember there's no modification needed? Not sure I haven't looked into the bilstein method in a while because it was never to clear for me with too many revisions and others chimming in. This seems to be the best clear instruction.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Perfect. Which model best used for fronts? From what I remember there's no modification needed? Not sure I haven't looked into the bilstein method in a while because it was never to clear for me with too many revisions and others chimming in. This seems to be the best clear instruction.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
I used the B8 up front, as I went with TME lowering springs at the time of install. B8s are identical to B6s, except meant for "lowering springs". Shorter stroke, I believe.

The car drives great with B8 up front, with a bit of oversteer in the snow (which may be caused by my IPD track-spec swaybars).

I have noticed the ride seems softer when riding in the backseat. So B6 up front would probably be a more "even" ride.
 

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I still have a few Bilstein lower spring perch, part number E4-FT1-Z021A00,




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