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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is now serving as an update/install thread to catalog various happenings with my S60

The intro post is below, but here is how the car currently sits (updated January 2021):





Intro Post:

Hi everyone! New owner of a 2012 S60 T6 in Vibrant Copper. Got it in excellent condition with everything but the technology package installed, 52k miles, and a bargain price.

I've been in many vehicles in the past, but this is my first Volvo. I almost purchased an S40 T5 AWD prior to purchasing my most recent vehicle, a Subaru WRX hatch. At the time it was what I needed, burly, fast, ugly, and loud. And until a week ago, I still loved, it even with it burning 1 qt/1000 miles these past six months...

However, I've gotten somewhat older in the past eight years, and could not stand the loud droning exhaust and road noise on my two hour/day commute from DE to MD, so I went searching for an alternative that was near the performance of the WRX, was AWD (for those Mid-Atlantic snow days) but with all the creature comforts (leather, sunroof, etc), and not having to mod heavily (like baking out headlamps, HID projector swaps, cutoff tuning I don't have time for those things anymore). Since Subaru doesn't offer a true GT car anymore or the Levorg wagon, I had to look elsewhere, and decided to give Volvo a second spin. I've always been in love with the S60 and V70 R's, so I looked at those first, but since many of them were getting a bit old in the tooth, I checked out the newer S60's.

It came down to this S60 and a 2012 R-Design in Passion Red, which curiously were both at the same price, same mileage, and had same installed packages. I strongly considered the R-Design, but was worried about the stiff setup (the WRX had upgraded sway bars, PU mounts, etc and it was getting on my nerves), so I ultimately went with the standard T6. I can't say I'm in regret on the decision...this car rocks! I was quite surprised at how smooth the engine ran through the rev range and how deceptively quick it is. While the "magazine numbers" aren't the same off the line, this feels just as quick as the WRX in pulls on the highway and overtaking. The suspension is tight and balanced but very comfortable, and I really like the adjustable steering force. The metallic finish is amazing in the sunlight.

While I'm going to keep this one pretty close to stock, I know that a P* tune is in the near future, and some exterior and interior styling upgrades (rear spoiler, R-Design rear diffuser, LED bulb swaps).

This forum has helped me out so much already (was lurking through and looking at posts while researching vehicles, common issues, concerns), so thanks a lot already for the great information! NASIOC was a great place during my WRX years and I'm looking forward to experience the same great community here.





 

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Congratulations on your choice, in a hard to find -and beautiful- color.

I struggled with a choice between the WRX and the S60 and based my decision substantially on the feedback from other forum members in this thread Subaru WRX vs. Volvo S60 V60 XC60 . I loved driving the WRX driving experience, but to me there was nowhere near the refinement, fit, finish, structural integrity, and content that you find in the S60. The main draw of WRX to me was the manual; pity that Volvo didn't offer a stick in the current generation S60 like they did in the previous R. But on the other hand, traffic in my area to a large degree negates the advantages of the manual. Otherwise IMHO the cars are in a different league, and to me the S60 T6 and R-Design are a logical progression from the WRX. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 2012 S60 R-Design, and the fact that you came to the S60 from the WRX only confirms the decision between the two.

I can highly recommend the Polestar upgrade. When you shift into the sport mode with Polestar tuning, the car comes alive and almost seem like a different car, for those occasions where you have opportunity or mood to enjoy the increased performance. Deceptively quick, indeed.

I would also highly recommend you get the IPD sway bar. I have them on my XC60, S80, and S60. In all three cases the handling improved with no negatives in ride. In the S60, the handling becomes remarkably neutral in all but the most extreme limits, and its neutral balance belies the car's FWD roots.

I look forward to reading about your mods. You'll find the community here very helpful, constructively positive as a whole, and often entertaining.

Again, congratulations on your choice.
 

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Very nice and even better pics. Congrats and welcome aboard!
 

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Congrats.. I too was a big NASIOC fan and ran through three Subarus... Tribeca, Impreza Outback Sport and 3.6R Legacy. You'll learn a lot here about your P3.
 

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Congrats, and welcome! You'll probably find it's a little harder to get some of the easy access to info you've come to expect from a bigger forum community on a car that has been more fully developed by its fans, because only a handful of people have really dug into these things and there's a comparatively limited pool of knowledge to draw from, not to mention less traffic on these subforums by far. Nevertheless it's a helpful and friendly crew, and the more active and enthusiastic contributors we get, the better this forum becomes! Can't wait to see your car come along and have you contribute to our discussions!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks! Look at some of your signature lists for all the cars you all have, I'm envious!

I wanted to keep the WRX, honestly. However, we live on a city street and it's bad enough with the cars on the block now for parking, so taking up three spots with my Volvo, the Outback, and a WRX would be asking for a neighbor revolt.

I'm curious about the IPD sway bar, but the roads up here in the Philly metro region are terrible. I had a stiff setup in the WRX with a 25mm/22mm front/rear sway and upgraded endlinks and every highway gap or hole was met with a big "thunk". I'll have to give it some thought.

First "mod" already coming in a few days... I had a full retrofit in the WRX that I put together, STi projectors, TSX-R clear lenses, a custom curved cutoff shield, Matsu****a Gen V ballasts, and OSRAM CBI D2S bulbs. The S60 lamps are no where near as wide and sharp as the retrofit, but I have on order a set of OSRAM D3S CBI's and have raised up the headlamp height (thanks again for the tip, I would have not noticed the 6 mm set screw underneath the front cover if i hadn't searched for it here).

Synesis, thanks for all the links in your signature. Pouring over them now.

More pictures! I can't get enough of this car.





Here's one of my WRX a week prior to trading it in. I bought it a few months out of grad school; it was my first brand new vehicle. I had a solid 7.5 years of fun with it.

 

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The S60 lamps are no where near as wide and sharp as the retrofit, but I have on order a set of OSRAM D3S CBI's and have raised up the headlamp height (thanks again for the tip, I would have not noticed the 6 mm set screw underneath the front cover if i hadn't searched for it here).

Interested in your thoughts on your HID replacement vs. stock.. I'm still running OEM 2011 stock bulbs and find them a tad "yellow". Also I've never felt a need to raise the height since the lamps are self leveling. Does it make the light spread that much better?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interested in your thoughts on your HID replacement vs. stock.. I'm still running OEM 2011 stock bulbs and find them a tad "yellow". Also I've never felt a need to raise the height since the lamps are self leveling. Does it make the light spread that much better?
The lamps are self leveling, yes, but as with all other car's I've had with adjustable headlamps, the baseline height setting is way too low from the factory.

What you want is a beam pattern that is straight as possible. If you can see the cutoff hump on the ground 30-40 ft. in front of your vehicle, the lights are aimed way too low. What you want to aim for (pun intended) is a nice clean projection line that is horizontal or slightly sloping down over a large distance alongside a wall or jersey barrier. Take a look at this thread for example. https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/fo...789-hid-retrofit-installed-did-i-aim-it-right

As for the bulbs, if you're still running the bulbs from 2011 and you use the headlamps somewhat regularly, you really need to replace the bulbs soon. Lumen output drops over time, to the point that after a few years, they're nearly 30% lower in intensity. The graph below is somewhat quantitative, I don't recall who made it, but its been around for years and is based on some data somewhere. I drive nearly 2 hours in darkness during the fall and winter, so I made it a habit to swap my bulbs out about once every two years.



The bulbs from that era (2012 and prior) also tended to color shift over their lifetime, from the stock 4150-4300K temperature to either a brighter yellow (<3800-4000K, such as halogen color) or super blue/pink as they transitioned into the dying phase. Philips made a non color shifting version of their bulb (the + models, they have since added that salt formulation to their standard bulb and eliminated the "+" moniker) so the issue is less prevalent. In any case, the OSRAM Xenarcs (66340) the car came with (I assume you have the same that are in my housings as I'm sure the previous owner probably didn't change them as well) are rated around 4150K, which is pretty yellow-white, even new.

The cool thing about the OSRAM CBI bulb is the fact that the color (5500K) comes at no loss to lumen output. Prior to that bulb, all 5000 and 6000K bulbs were lower lumen output than the standard 4300K color (no one could figure out the right halide salt mixture to get the color and intensity). Now both OSRAM and Philips have a 5500-6000K bulb with high lumen output at equivalent or near lumen output of 4300K. For the D3S versions (that fit our S60's), there's the Osram Xenarc 66340 CBI (5500K, 3400 lumen) and the Philips 42403 WHV2 White Vision (6000K, 3000 lumen).

I have the CBI's on order, and they should arrive in a few days.
 

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I have a simple but effective way of aligning the head lights...

Find a building at night with a level parking lot and a blank wall, and park about 20-30 feet away from the wall, shining the headlights on the wall.
Take a yard stick (or tape measure) and measure right in front the bumper the distance from the ground to the cutoff of the headlight beam (shining the beam on the flat face of the yardstick).
Walk to the wall and measure from the ground to the cutoff there.
The distance should be the same at most, a bit lower is better, so that the beam doesn't shine in the eyes of oncoming traffic if you are going over slight rise in the road.

Adjust the cutoff height using the info in these links.

Adjusting Xenon Headlights
Adjusting Headlights

I find this gets me maximum illumination of the road in front of the car, and I have never had anyone flash at me for the lights being aimed too high.
 

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My favorite colour on the S60! Quite jealous! But congrats!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The lamps are self leveling, yes, but as with all other car's I've had with adjustable headlamps, the baseline height setting is way too low from the factory.

What you want is a beam pattern that is straight as possible. If you can see the cutoff hump on the ground 30-40 ft. in front of your vehicle, the lights are aimed way too low. What you want to aim for (pun intended) is a nice clean projection line that is horizontal or slightly sloping down over a large distance alongside a wall or jersey barrier. Take a look at this thread for example. https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/fo...789-hid-retrofit-installed-did-i-aim-it-right

As for the bulbs, if you're still running the bulbs from 2011 and you use the headlamps somewhat regularly, you really need to replace the bulbs soon. Lumen output drops over time, to the point that after a few years, they're nearly 30% lower in intensity. The graph below is somewhat quantitative, I don't recall who made it, but its been around for years and is based on some data somewhere. I drive nearly 2 hours in darkness during the fall and winter, so I made it a habit to swap my bulbs out about once every two years.



The bulbs from that era (2012 and prior) also tended to color shift over their lifetime, from the stock 4150-4300K temperature to either a brighter yellow (<3800-4000K, such as halogen color) or super blue/pink as they transitioned into the dying phase. Philips made a non color shifting version of their bulb (the + models, they have since added that salt formulation to their standard bulb and eliminated the "+" moniker) so the issue is less prevalent. In any case, the OSRAM Xenarcs (66340) the car came with (I assume you have the same that are in my housings as I'm sure the previous owner probably didn't change them as well) are rated around 4150K, which is pretty yellow-white, even new.

The cool thing about the OSRAM CBI bulb is the fact that the color (5500K) comes at no loss to lumen output. Prior to that bulb, all 5000 and 6000K bulbs were lower lumen output than the standard 4300K color (no one could figure out the right halide salt mixture to get the color and intensity). Now both OSRAM and Philips have a 5500-6000K bulb with high lumen output at equivalent or near lumen output of 4300K. For the D3S versions (that fit our S60's), there's the Osram Xenarc 66340 CBI (5500K, 3400 lumen) and the Philips 42403 WHV2 White Vision (6000K, 3000 lumen).

I have the CBI's on order, and they should arrive in a few days.
Can you link me to the bulbs you're buying? My HIDs are being used as DRL's for the past 6 years. So they are on whenever the car is on.
 

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The main draw of WRX to me was the manual; pity that Volvo didn't offer a stick in the current generation S60 like they did in the previous R. But on the other hand, traffic in my area to a large degree negates the advantages of the manual.
I hear you on that one. Although the other day my own car was in the shop for routine maintenance, and the loaner they gave me was a 2017 V60 with BLIS, adaptive cruise control, road sign information, lane keeping and all the other stuff that goes along with it. The adaptive cruise control itself was kind of nice in moderate traffic - I could just set it and the car would speed up/slow down as needed with no intervention. I think my next car will probably have it :).
 

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I hear you on that one. Although the other day my own car was in the shop for routine maintenance, and the loaner they gave me was a 2017 V60 with BLIS, adaptive cruise control, road sign information, lane keeping and all the other stuff that goes along with it. The adaptive cruise control itself was kind of nice in moderate traffic - I could just set it and the car would speed up/slow down as needed with no intervention. I think my next car will probably have it :).
The manual shift gate in combination with the car being in sport mode, especially if you have a model with the paddle shifters, is the next best thing to a manual. In my area the traffic is normally heavy enough where you seldom have opportunity to really take advantage of a manual, and indeed the same conditions make an automatic advantageous.

I have the electronic nannies and radar cruise control on my XC60 and S80. They are pretty seamless and make road trips much easier. I treat these devices as additional telemetry to my own awareness and do not depend on them. When you understand how they work and what to expect of them they can be a useful tool to use to make driving safer and easier. Unfortunately when I was looking for my S60 I was unable to find one with this ACC package on it and seemed to be pretty rare to find one with this equipment.
 

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congrats! welcome to the family
 

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The manual shift gate in combination with the car being in sport mode, especially if you have a model with the paddle shifters, is the next best thing to a manual. In my area the traffic is normally heavy enough where you seldom have opportunity to really take advantage of a manual, and indeed the same conditions make an automatic advantageous.
I like manuals mainly because they are bulletproof. They just work without a whole lot of fuss - I can get over 200K on a factory clutch, and have never actually needed to replace one. When an automatic goes bad, you are stuck with expensive repairs. The 8-speed in the V60 is OK so far - as long as it never needs repairs I guess I will be satisfied with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Synesis: glad to help! Hopefully I'll be able to contribute more along the way.

Coming from having owned all manuals in all my cars, I'm still not really used to, or have gotten the feel for the geartronic. It seems a bit foreign to me. I think it's the fact that you have to go through all the gears quickly to get to the gear you want to be in (instead of just going from one gate to the one you want in manual) and because I don't really have a sense of the correct speeds in each gear, much less an understanding of what gear the car is in to begin with to know what gear to go to. Maybe it will get better eventually.

I will say though, I love putting it in gate for sport mode and going at it. I did a 0-60 mph run this morning with my Dashcommand app and my OBDLink and in one try got a 5.8 sec run, which pretty much matches what the magazine rags got. It's too easy. The WRX was of course quicker...I was able to hit 4.9-5.0 sec in my WRX in best cases...but then again I ended up usually in the low to mid 5's due to the WRX transmission bogging during launch. The center differential hated the hard launches, so it was always a pain having to finagle the clutch to get a good time without shocking the drivetrain (and you always ended up with the burnt clutch smell no matter how well you did).

Also got to drive in pouring rain here today, and am quite satisfied with the stability of the car's AWD system.
 
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