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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced my suspension recently with Bilstein B4 touring struts and shocks, along with R-Design springs based on a VIN from another thread here on this subject. An online Volvo parts dealer looked up the spring PNs based on the VIN.

Part numbers:

Front struts: Bilstein 22-182869 (without 4C)
Front springs: 31255518

Rear shocks: Bilstein 19-170206
Rear springs: 31255523

After the install and time to settle, I have about three fingers of fender gap in the front, and about one finger in the rear. It's pretty visually uneven and really looks slammed in the rear. I intend to put Volvo 18s or 19s on it which will help the appearance, but I'm still just disappointed that's not closer to being level.

https://imgur.com/UnxgvlR

Any ideas on why this happened? Wrong front struts? Wrong springs? I feel like the front should be lower or the rear should be higher. Should've bought coilovers instead of going the OEM+ route, I guess.
 

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I've not explored these part numbers yet but I am also curious. I've saved myself an "sport" set of s80 springs as well as a R-D set for hopefully my next xc conversion, but at the end of the day, I probably would get coilovers...

I am curious what happened. Which website did you use to decode vins? I never trust a non dealer for stuff like this and call in and speak to someone I know in parts to be 100% sure I'm getting what I want as the Volvo parts catalog is not intuitive at all. It's actually one of the worst/most confusing of the Euro parts catalogs

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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I’m curious what the droop travel looks like if you lift the rear tires off the ground. Is it possible it’s not an issue with spring length but maybe dampers that have too short a shaft? Can you unbolt the dampers from the control arms in the rear to see if the springs pop the car back up to a more level height?

Or maybe you got rear springs that are a sedan part # which technically fit but give you droopybutt with the added weight of the wagon in the rear?
 

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Rear springs are definitely wrong. As others have said, you need to use Volvo to decode spring codes. Don’t rely on any other source.


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did go through Volvo. volvopartscounter.com, which is Mitchell Volvo Cars of Simsbury, CT. But yeah, they must be the wrong springs, which means $230 wasted.

Is this something I can look up myself in VIDA? Is there another trustworthy source who can look them up? Like a Volvo dealer who we know knows their stuff?

Bunnspeed, when the car is lifted up and the wheels are at full droop, there is very little tension on the shocks. About 1/2" of pressure with the jack on the lower control arm takes all the tension off of the shock bolt. There's also not really any variation in rear shocks, like there is with rear springs, so I'm inclined to suspect the springs. They just seem short.
 

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If I remember correctly you need to confirm the suspension code for the vehicle. This is usually found on the VIN plate, something like 4A or whatever. Then you can scan through volvopartscounter or volvowebstore. Suspension code is key.


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
 

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Dealers can tell you your suspension code from the VIN I think, but it's not directly encoded there. I think it would be a lookup in a database like "when we built the car with this serial number we used such and such features/suspension/steering/brakes/etc"
 

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Any updates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For anyone trying something similar, the (much belated) answer to this was that I reinstalled the factory springs in the rear and stuck the supposed R-Design springs in a box. The front R-Design springs are fine, ride height appears correct and probably helped firm up the front end a little bit.
 

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For anyone trying something similar, the (much belated) answer to this was that I reinstalled the factory springs in the rear and stuck the supposed R-Design springs in a box. The front R-Design springs are fine, ride height appears correct and probably helped firm up the front end a little bit.
I would've lowered the front more, lmao
 

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For anyone trying something similar, the (much belated) answer to this was that I reinstalled the factory springs in the rear and stuck the supposed R-Design springs in a box. The front R-Design springs are fine, ride height appears correct and probably helped firm up the front end a little bit.
Thanks for the update. Any pics of how it sits currently? Glad you got it level at least.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
It has a very slight rake which looks appropriate. I'm not sure it's actually any lower in the front than stock, but the new springs theoretically at least helped tighten up the handling a bit along with the Bilstein B4s. If I did it again, I'd not mess with the springs at all.
 

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Sorry for the late response, but this situation really underscores the need to make sure that springs and shocks/struts are paired properly as designed. The spring rate is one piece of the puzzle in order to ensure the springs and shocks will work together as designed. Here is some info on it from IPD:
Coil Spring Rates

However, what is happening in this instance is not that the springs are wrong (those are the correct part numbers for a v70 rd), but that the shocks do not match the r-design specs. The shocks for the r-design are Nivomats, which, unlike typical shocks, are actually designed to hold some of the weight of the car and as such are paired with lighter springs (usually the springs do all of the heavy lifting):
What are Nivomat shocks and does my Volvo have them?

The r-design springs are designed to be softer because they should be paired with Nivomat shocks, which help carry some of the load, so when paired with typical shocks the ride height in the back will be low.

Here are the part numbers for the v70 rd springs and shocks/struts:
Rear Shocks - 31255534
Rear Springs - 31255523
Front Strut R - 31340350
Front Strut L - 31340351
Front Springs - 31255518

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are going to upgrade your suspension then make sure that the pieces are paired properly. Use all OEM for a specific model or use all aftermarket unless they can guarantee that they will work with the OEM parts.

If I were you I would do some research into the front strut & spring combo you are running now and see if bilstein can confirm that they won't cause any problems.

I hope that this doesn't come off as preachy, I'm just trying to impart some of the knowledge that I've picked up over the last few months of suspension research.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, that's really good info. I went about getting R-Design springs by using someone on this forum's R-Design VIN, and didn't know about the Nivomat differences. In any case, over the past two years, I've never had any behavior from the front end of the car that would make me suspect there's a problem or notable mismatch between the Bilstein front struts and the R-Design springs. And that makes sense, because the Nivomat seemed to be an option for the rear suspension according to your link.

Hopefully this conversation will help others who might have a similar idea -- I know it would've helped me.
 

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Sorry for the late response, but this situation really underscores the need to make sure that springs and shocks/struts are paired properly as designed. The spring rate is one piece of the puzzle in order to ensure the springs and shocks will work together as designed. Here is some info on it from IPD:
Coil Spring Rates

However, what is happening in this instance is not that the springs are wrong (those are the correct part numbers for a v70 rd), but that the shocks do not match the r-design specs. The shocks for the r-design are Nivomats, which, unlike typical shocks, are actually designed to hold some of the weight of the car and as such are paired with lighter springs (usually the springs do all of the heavy lifting):
What are Nivomat shocks and does my Volvo have them?

The r-design springs are designed to be softer because they should be paired with Nivomat shocks, which help carry some of the load, so when paired with typical shocks the ride height in the back will be low.

Here are the part numbers for the v70 rd springs and shocks/struts:
Rear Shocks - 31255534
Rear Springs - 31255523
Front Strut R - 31340350
Front Strut L - 31340351
Front Springs - 31255518

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are going to upgrade your suspension then make sure that the pieces are paired properly. Use all OEM for a specific model or use all aftermarket unless they can guarantee that they will work with the OEM parts.

If I were you I would do some research into the front strut & spring combo you are running now and see if bilstein can confirm that they won't cause any problems.

I hope that this doesn't come off as preachy, I'm just trying to impart some of the knowledge that I've picked up over the last few months of suspension research.
That’s fantastic tech info, the kind of specific detail we rarely get access to on these forums. Thank you, and I really hope you chime in with more info like this in other threads. Cheers.
 

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Sorry for the late response, but this situation really underscores the need to make sure that springs and shocks/struts are paired properly as designed. The spring rate is one piece of the puzzle in order to ensure the springs and shocks will work together as designed. Here is some info on it from IPD:
Coil Spring Rates

However, what is happening in this instance is not that the springs are wrong (those are the correct part numbers for a v70 rd), but that the shocks do not match the r-design specs. The shocks for the r-design are Nivomats, which, unlike typical shocks, are actually designed to hold some of the weight of the car and as such are paired with lighter springs (usually the springs do all of the heavy lifting):
What are Nivomat shocks and does my Volvo have them?

The r-design springs are designed to be softer because they should be paired with Nivomat shocks, which help carry some of the load, so when paired with typical shocks the ride height in the back will be low.

Here are the part numbers for the v70 rd springs and shocks/struts:
Rear Shocks - 31255534
Rear Springs - 31255523
Front Strut R - 31340350
Front Strut L - 31340351
Front Springs - 31255518

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are going to upgrade your suspension then make sure that the pieces are paired properly. Use all OEM for a specific model or use all aftermarket unless they can guarantee that they will work with the OEM parts.

If I were you I would do some research into the front strut & spring combo you are running now and see if bilstein can confirm that they won't cause any problems.

I hope that this doesn't come off as preachy, I'm just trying to impart some of the knowledge that I've picked up over the last few months of suspension research.
You should put a different spring on each shock, take the car out for a spin and see what comes of it.
 

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Glad I could shed some light on the situation, sorry it came too late in this instance.
Trying to gain a better understanding of the suspension options for my xc70 is how I've been distracting myself while out of work for the last 6 months. Hopefully gainful employment is on the horizon and I'll have the $ to put my research into practice on my own car.

One last note, just keep in mind that you now have 2 different sets of springs (rd front, original rear) and new shocks & struts, so I'd still watch how they behave, because it is likely that the spring rates are not paired as designed. Just wouldn't want you to discover an issue when you need your handling to keep you out of trouble.
 
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