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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so the last part might be a bit of a stretch, but it does roll quite a lot with highway speed corners.

Currently working on stage 0.5 - and by that i mean all fluid change (M66, bevel gear, AOC/Haldex, rear differential), Lower control arms, both upper and lower engine mounts (went with the revised volvo design hydraulic lower engine mount), transmission brace (focus style), new brakes (akebono ceramic pads and OEM rotors), new front and rear sway bar links, in addition to the plugs, wire/coils, air filter etc. This should make my 05 v50 AWD ride, handle, perform better all around (162,000 miles!) and get it ready for maybe some exhaust, downpipe, intake and a future tune perhaps (depends on budget...). Stock OEM comfort suspension (new shocks and struts after i bought it at about 125,000) and not lowered at all. Not interested in lowering it, i need all the clearance i can get with living on county maintained roads that are a low priority for winter plowing.

The sway bars is what this post is about. While i'm sure replacing the sway bar end links will help alleviate some of the body roll, it is a bit excessive and i'm thinking of going with a stiffer rear sway bar (with the new end links) and just crawl under there once rather than replace links now, and do a bar later.

I have the 21mm rear bar from factory, no front strut brace and i apologize, but i haven't grabbed dimensions of the front sway bar. I would say the stock handling is decent. A little on the side of oversteer, but not so much as to say it plows into corners. I'm not into autoX or racing or etc..., but i do drive mountain roads daily (live in the high rockies) and my real desire with this is to corner a bit more level (even my wife has said that there is a bit too much roll, and she drives a VW jetta wagon from 2004!). I regularly drive with snow and ice, and while the sway is annoying, it does put some good traction on that outside tire. I don't want it to corner so level that it oversteers / gets dicey response on less than optimal roads.

So i'm thinking of one of the adjustable rear sway bars - it gives me options (corksport or the jamesbaronracing bars perhaps) and i can adjust for perhaps a bit more level summer cornering and back it off if needed in the winter. For those that have either the bars above or similar (let me know what you've got, and what setting works for you) how much difference does adjusting it make? Has anyone paired a larger adjustable rear with a front strut brace if it tended towards oversteer? Other things that i should consider?

Thanks everyone!!
 

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I have not tried the adjustable rear bars, but I can say that I am a HUGE fan of the Elevate 25mm rear bar, and I have one for sale in the classifieds at the moment if you're interested! (Shameless plug, sorry!)

But yes, I think I can speak for most of us when I say that a bigger rear bar is something these cars should have had from the factory, and is the #1 mod for these cars, and Volvo did put a 21mm bar on some of the sportier model P1 cars, like yours, and I believe the AWD's with dynamic trim(not entirely sure, someone else will chime in there I'm sure). The standard option was the 19mm rear bar though which is way too small. Start with a rear bar and see how it feels, I know many people like the front strut tower brace too, but the rear bar will be the most noticeable and drastic improvement.
 

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Supposedly I have a V50 with the dynamic suspension (though it doesn't appear lowered), but after reading this I'm going to guess it has the same swaybars as every AWD V50 - 21mm rear and 24mm front. Which, from what I can find, is the same size as the largest swaybars Volvo offered stock on the P1 chassis (dynamic level). IMO, it handles quite well with those bars, so you must have high expectations (did you used to drive a BMW ;)). Check your front sway bar and if it's 20 or 21mm, then you could probably improve the front rolling with a bigger bar. Just in case that is the situation and you want a better front swaybar, I just happen to have an extra one I could sell you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'll take a look when I get back home tomorrow and measure the front. If I recall correctly it might be the 24mm. Strangely enough, my Volvo is the first non jeep vehicle I've ever owned! Very ironic I would accuse it of more roll... but I suppose seeing as it is a sporty car, I like it to handle a bit tighter than my previous vehicles. Handling wise, I think the v50 is great. Even looking at trying to get an and s40 or c30 for the wife.

Sanatarium, if you're selling the elevate (pm sent) what did you upgrade to?
 

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+1

get 25 or 27mm aftermarket sway bar and be done. unless you track regularly, doubt you'll be doing much adjusting

I have not tried the adjustable rear bars, but I can say that I am a HUGE fan of the Elevate 25mm rear bar, and I have one for sale in the classifieds at the moment if you're interested! (Shameless plug, sorry!)

But yes, I think I can speak for most of us when I say that a bigger rear bar is something these cars should have had from the factory, and is the #1 mod for these cars, and Volvo did put a 21mm bar on some of the sportier model P1 cars, like yours, and I believe the AWD's with dynamic trim(not entirely sure, someone else will chime in there I'm sure). The standard option was the 19mm rear bar though which is way too small. Start with a rear bar and see how it feels, I know many people like the front strut tower brace too, but the rear bar will be the most noticeable and drastic improvement.
 

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RAcing Beat 27mm bar is cheaper than all of them and I really like how it made my car handle both in and out of the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So i went with the James Barone adjustable - s40tov50 asked for a review of it, so here is a copy of what i wrote. We'll see how recent changes help, but in hindsight i should potentially have gone with the racing beat.

Definitely no fitment issues - pretty easy to install. I did also buy the machined brackets instead of the strap that comes standard.
I would say i'm partially happy with it. It is almost too stiff, especially for our crappy colorado roads. I didn't anticipate how much choppier the ride is with a stiffer bar - but it doesn't allow the right and left wheels to act as independently as a softer bar does.

I initially installed on the middle setting, and thought it was great as far as controlling body lean. However, i've since moved to the far setting (for the softest setting) and have been happier. At anything other than the middle setting, it cross loads the rear sway bar linkage (i do not know life expectancy, but my guess is much less). I have a set of Moog K750069 to install that matches the style of ours (assuming you have the early style sway bar links), but is considerably more robust. Problem is, the ends are formed with a fixed nut near the ball and not an internal 5mm hex (I have some 1/4" aluminum plate to essentially make a key that will lock down the nut, just haven't had time to cut the hole and install). This is what allows you to tighten the links down and keep them from rattling. Even with the stock links (still have those installed), i have had to crank them down again as the additional strain from the larger RSB has loosened one side up. (that was just last weekend i swapped to far setting and re-tightened the link).

I've almost considered swapping for a fixed (non-adjust) bar that is a little smaller. But, it does ride better with the far setting and a link that is not loose/clunking around. In some ways, i feel that i shouldn't have messed with the suspension, and will make sure i'm very happy with the stock setup on any future car i buy. I've put HD front sway end links, strut tower and the RSB on mine and it definitely rides harsher (however, probably better than the excessive roll that it had from the factory!)

Probably too much info, and if you have smooth roads in Cali, maybe a moot point. I live in a ski town and deal with snow and ice 6mo of the year. And the roads that have with truckers with chains, potholes, dirt roads, etc.
 

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So i went with the James Barone adjustable - s40tov50 asked for a review of it, so here is a copy of what i wrote. We'll see how recent changes help, but in hindsight i should potentially have gone with the racing beat.

Definitely no fitment issues - pretty easy to install. I did also buy the machined brackets instead of the strap that comes standard.
I would say i'm partially happy with it. It is almost too stiff, especially for our crappy colorado roads. I didn't anticipate how much choppier the ride is with a stiffer bar - but it doesn't allow the right and left wheels to act as independently as a softer bar does.

I initially installed on the middle setting, and thought it was great as far as controlling body lean. However, i've since moved to the far setting (for the softest setting) and have been happier. At anything other than the middle setting, it cross loads the rear sway bar linkage (i do not know life expectancy, but my guess is much less). I have a set of Moog K750069 to install that matches the style of ours (assuming you have the early style sway bar links), but is considerably more robust. Problem is, the ends are formed with a fixed nut near the ball and not an internal 5mm hex (I have some 1/4" aluminum plate to essentially make a key that will lock down the nut, just haven't had time to cut the hole and install). This is what allows you to tighten the links down and keep them from rattling. Even with the stock links (still have those installed), i have had to crank them down again as the additional strain from the larger RSB has loosened one side up. (that was just last weekend i swapped to far setting and re-tightened the link).

I've almost considered swapping for a fixed (non-adjust) bar that is a little smaller. But, it does ride better with the far setting and a link that is not loose/clunking around. In some ways, i feel that i shouldn't have messed with the suspension, and will make sure i'm very happy with the stock setup on any future car i buy. I've put HD front sway end links, strut tower and the RSB on mine and it definitely rides harsher (however, probably better than the excessive roll that it had from the factory!)

Probably too much info, and if you have smooth roads in Cali, maybe a moot point. I live in a ski town and deal with snow and ice 6mo of the year. And the roads that have with truckers with chains, potholes, dirt roads, etc.
great write up/review. agree too aggressive of a bar can hurt ride quality. i noticed the same over speed bumps with my elevate 25mm bar. but mostly it's worth it
 

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I had the comfort suspension on my first V50 and installed the IPD bar on the rear and was very pleased with the results for the otherwise stock suspension. I'll probably install it on my now V50. Maybe an even thicker bar would do better but the IPD bar was a nice balance.
 

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So i went with the James Barone adjustable - s40tov50 asked for a review of it, so here is a copy of what i wrote. We'll see how recent changes help, but in hindsight i should potentially have gone with the racing beat.

Definitely no fitment issues - pretty easy to install. I did also buy the machined brackets instead of the strap that comes standard.
I would say i'm partially happy with it. It is almost too stiff, especially for our crappy colorado roads. I didn't anticipate how much choppier the ride is with a stiffer bar - but it doesn't allow the right and left wheels to act as independently as a softer bar does.

I initially installed on the middle setting, and thought it was great as far as controlling body lean. However, i've since moved to the far setting (for the softest setting) and have been happier. At anything other than the middle setting, it cross loads the rear sway bar linkage (i do not know life expectancy, but my guess is much less). I have a set of Moog K750069 to install that matches the style of ours (assuming you have the early style sway bar links), but is considerably more robust. Problem is, the ends are formed with a fixed nut near the ball and not an internal 5mm hex (I have some 1/4" aluminum plate to essentially make a key that will lock down the nut, just haven't had time to cut the hole and install). This is what allows you to tighten the links down and keep them from rattling. Even with the stock links (still have those installed), i have had to crank them down again as the additional strain from the larger RSB has loosened one side up. (that was just last weekend i swapped to far setting and re-tightened the link).

I've almost considered swapping for a fixed (non-adjust) bar that is a little smaller. But, it does ride better with the far setting and a link that is not loose/clunking around. In some ways, i feel that i shouldn't have messed with the suspension, and will make sure i'm very happy with the stock setup on any future car i buy. I've put HD front sway end links, strut tower and the RSB on mine and it definitely rides harsher (however, probably better than the excessive roll that it had from the factory!)

Probably too much info, and if you have smooth roads in Cali, maybe a moot point. I live in a ski town and deal with snow and ice 6mo of the year. And the roads that have with truckers with chains, potholes, dirt roads, etc.
I've also installed the moog rear links - here's how you tighten them: With the car on the ground, use a jack to put pressure solely on the swaybar end that you are attempting to tightened. Jack it up until the car just starts to lift. The weight of the car prevents the link from turning and you can tighten the end link to your content. You're welcome :)

And yes, the increased diameter of the rear sway significantly stiffens up the rear end. I installed a MS3 rear and it is almost too stiff/uncomfortable. As a side effect of the extra stiffness, my rear seats started to rattle on every small bump. Super, super annoying. I fixed it by wrapping the latches with electrical tape for a tighter grab.
 

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FYI, the IPD bar is ONLY 0.5mm thicker than the Volvo Sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks mercdude- I would try that but I ended up cutting 2 pieces of 1/4 plate aluminum scrap to fit inside of the rear cross member. I drilled for the minimum dimension of of square fitting for the link, and did some manual cutting with a jigsaw. Didnt take long, and the alum pieces will rotate slightly when torqing until they bind against the cross member. I'd be afraid of wallering out the holes just by loading with vehicle weight and tightening. Ive found that I need to retorque my links about every 3 months due to the additional stress of the larger bar.

Was in Sac a coupleweeks ago for work, next time I'm there will let you know and maybe meet up for a :beer:!
 
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