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Old 10-12-2020, 10:51 PM   #90
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Originally Posted by redblockpowered View Post
They're in, and I've done some driving with them so here's my thoughts:

1: I need to take more pictures. Install in the rear was a little more fiddly than expected as previous aftermarket shocks or something had pinched the mounting points on both the body and trailing arm just enough that they wouldn't fit as delivered. Checking the width of the eyelets revealed that the KYBs that came out were almost exactly 1mm narrower. My dad and I made a tool to spread the body and trailing arm enough to make the Bilsteins fit without modification. This was an appropriately sized bolt and nut with a big fender washer which could function as a press in reverse, just slightly moving things back into shape. I jacked up the rear axle until the rear was off the jackstands and torqued to spec. Seems fine now.

Oddly enough, the struts were a little more straightforward. I freed the gland nuts with the struts still mounted in the car, original Volvo struts came out (one seems to have some bluing/scoring on the shaft) and the new ones went in. Thanks to the 940's excellent steering angle I was able to torque everything up front with the car on the ground.

I gave the car the squish test afterward. It's really stiff. Oh dear, what did I just do?

2: Driving impressions. The squish test is extremely misleading. The damping rates are excellent for this application and it feels like a completely different car. I did not expect the effect on ride comfort to be so complicated. Mid-speed jolts are felt more in the cabin but on rough roads it is actually significantly more comfortable. I haven't noticed it bottoming out and the handling balance seems a lot more "on the nose" i.e. a lot more front grip than there was. Traction on corner exit seems greatly improved as well. The character of the car is completely different, much less "muscle car" which I appreciate a lot.

My car had the exact same issue in the rear. I was able to clearance the shock spacers a little and they slipped right in. I probably should have used your approach.

There is a right hander into a straightaway by our house that I like to use as a handling benchmark since the straightaway has some really broken up pavement. With the HDs the Wagon handles the corner fine given the carís weight but it just soaks up the broken pavement unlike anything I had driven through there (Fiesta ST, i3, Mazda3, 142s, leaf)
1988 745T
1972 142S
1991 780 Sold
1979 244DL Sold
1986 740+T Sold
1983 242T Sold
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