Koni FSD/Eibach Springs on D4 AWD R Design
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    1. #1
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      Koni FSD/Eibach Springs on D4 AWD R Design

      I bought my 2013 XC60 D4 AWD R Design about a year ago and have been very pleased with it except for one issue – the ride quality.
      It was a highly specified ex-Volvo staff car with just about every extra in the options list and as part of the deal the garage added a Polestar tune to get it up to D5 power.
      All the reviews I read were very complimentary so after a short test drive I signed on the dotted line, paid up and drove home a very happy bunny.
      However, I soon realised that the test drive had only been on smooth roads and when subjected to the pot holes and scabby tarmac that pass for roads where I live, the ride quality was abysmal.
      Despite having the more forgiving 18” tyres, the car crashed into every bump and all road imperfections were faithfully transmitted to my rear end.
      I dread to think what it would have been like on 20” wheels.
      I hoped that I would become more tolerant of the ride over time but it became clear that I was rapidly falling out of love with this car and I was going to have to do something.
      Things came to a head over Easter when we loaded her up and set off for the north Norfolk coast with some friends. After a 40 minute drive over country roads there were some very green faces in the back and I don’t think it was just my driving.

      I decided that enough was enough and started to look for alternatives - Q5 (too expensive), VW Toureg (too big), X3 (too ugly) etc.

      I also researched if there was anything I could do to the car to improve matters. I thought about retro fitting Active 4 C but this was neither practical or financially viable. I didn’t want to revert to standard XC60 suspension as I feared it would be too much like my old wallowy Freelander 2. While Googling, I came across Koni FSD shocks which apparently had been fitted very successfully to BMWs and Audis where owners had complained of too harsh a ride.
      According to the Koni website they have dual valves which allow for a softer ride around town and then firm up when under load.
      People also recommended partnering them with Eibach progressive springs which again are softer at low speeds but get stiffer as you press on. I had used them in the past on my tuned Saab 9/5 Aero estate where they made a big difference.
      After a bit of dithering I decided to make a leap of faith and ordered the parts.
      I got the shocks from Larkspeed ( Koni part number 2100 4141) and the springs from ebay.de which was much cheaper than sourcing via the UK (Eibach part number: E10-84-013-01-22) . Total cost was about £650. The parts arrived within a few days and I got stuck in...

      Fitting the rears was easy - only took about 90 mins.
      The fronts were more of a challenge!
      Although they are conventional struts and should have been easy to remove and replace, the lower steering knuckle joint was an absolute sod to remove. According to VIDA, there is a special tool which should allow it to be removed by just pulling down but I’m sure it wouldn’t have worked with mine, they were stuck fast. After spending a day and a half wrestling with it I resorted to a lump hammer and piece of 4x2 which finally shifted it. Once this was free it was easy to take out the strut, remove the old spring and shock and replace with the new ones. Refitting wasn’t too bad and I made sure I put some copaslip on the offending joint!
      I couldn’t face going through all that pain again for the other side so decided to try a different approach. I compressed the road spring in situ and then jacked up the strut which allowed just enough clearance for the bottom of the strut to pull clear of its lower fitting. Re-fitting was easier as the new springs are about 25mm shorter than the originals so require less clearance. No faffing about with ball joints made the job much easier this time.

      So, having finally fitted the kit, was it worth the effort/cash?
      Well obviously its early days and I haven’t driven many miles yet but so far, so good.
      I’m having the suspension set up next week so that any issues with camber, alignment and toe in can be addressed.
      The ride is definitely smoother with none of the crashing and shuddering over rough roads. You can still feel bumps but they are “rounded off” and the result is much more pleasant experience.
      There is a certain amount of jiggling over short undulations but nothing too unpleasant.
      I was surprised at how effective the new setup is at preventing excess roll through roundabouts, perhaps the 25mm lower stance helps here.
      I’d imagine that things will tend to settle down after a few miles and I will report back in due course.

      If anyone else is considering this mod and can get themselves to Norwich, I’d be happy to take you out for a run over some of Norfolks finest pot holes so you can judge for yourself.

      Russ

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    3. #2
      Junior Member PhilGood's Avatar
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      Thanks for sharing, always looking for a way to improve the ride!

    4. #3
      Junior Member Slipperyb's Avatar
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      ^^Glad things are working better for you now. The eibach lowering springs are certainly what has reduced body roll for you. I've heard mixed info about pairing the FSDs with lowering springs, some saying they are optimal at stock or sport-stock heights, and many others certainly pairing them with modest lowering coils and liking it. With your intent to soften the ride, I'm surprised the eibach springs are helping your cause, as they are known for not adversely compromising ride quality, I haven't heard of them softening it, so the results of your suspension mods are intriguing. Nice work on the mod, definitely looking forward to your extended review of this setup. ...And post some pics of the new drop!!!
      2010 XC60 T6 ~ 2009 S40 2.4 ~ 2001 V70 2.4 (buh-bye) ~ 2002 S40 1.9T (buh-bye)

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    6. #4
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      Very good info. As I often re-ports every few months, I swapped just the rear shocks and springs to the factory touring units on our 2012 RD - we too fell out of love on the ride home from the dealer with the ride quality. We only made in 90 days before I did that swap after I assessed whether it was the front or rear causing most of the issue. At some point, we will need to do the fronts. At that time, it sounds like the FSD struts would definitely be worth considering.
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
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    7. #5
      Junior Member Azlkk's Avatar
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      I'm glad to hear that you can source Koni FSDs are available for the XC60, didn't think that they were. I put them on the wife's old Mk 1 Audi TT and really liked their combination of low speed comfort and firm when you want them to be. Have used Bilsteins for over 30 years but may have to change.
      Volvo: 2015.5 XC60 RD Plat. arrest-me red w/ Climate, BLIS & OEM trailer hitch. IPD skid plate & rear sway bar
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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by cab View Post
      Very good info. As I often re-ports every few months, I swapped just the rear shocks and springs to the factory touring units on our 2012 RD - we too fell out of love on the ride home from the dealer with the ride quality. We only made in 90 days before I did that swap after I assessed whether it was the front or rear causing most of the issue. At some point, we will need to do the fronts. At that time, it sounds like the FSD struts would definitely be worth considering.
      It was your story that got me thinking about changing the suspension!
      I had the full alignment done today (camber/castor/toe in etc) and was surprised to see how far out it was after changing struts etc. Much better now and back to Volvo spec.
      Looking forward to putting some miles on it...
      Russ

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Slipperyb View Post
      ^^Glad things are working better for you now. The eibach lowering springs are certainly what has reduced body roll for you. I've heard mixed info about pairing the FSDs with lowering springs, some saying they are optimal at stock or sport-stock heights, and many others certainly pairing them with modest lowering coils and liking it. With your intent to soften the ride, I'm surprised the eibach springs are helping your cause, as they are known for not adversely compromising ride quality, I haven't heard of them softening it, so the results of your suspension mods are intriguing. Nice work on the mod, definitely looking forward to your extended review of this setup. ...And post some pics of the new drop!!!
      Eibach recommend FSDs (or was it other way round?) and they certainly seem to work well together.
      The car ain't no Rolls Royce but is much more comfortable now and I suspuct will improve further as the suspension settles and beds-in.
      I'll try and take some photos soon.
      Russ

    10. #8
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      If anyone is interested I've posted some photos of the car on this thread:

      http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=227868

      Russ

    11. #9
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      Russ:
      We can't see the pics - without a login for the site.
      2014 XC60 T6

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Princeton View Post
      Russ:
      We can't see the pics - without a login for the site.
      Aah, sorry about that. Its a bit late right now but I'll post them direct on here tomorrow.
      Russ

    13. #11
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      Understood - thank you.
      2014 XC60 T6

    14. #12
      Junior Member Slipperyb's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      If anyone is interested I've posted some photos of the car on this thread:

      http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=227868

      Russ
      Looks great Russ! Great work.


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    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      Aah, sorry about that. Its a bit late right now but I'll post them direct on here tomorrow.
      Russ
      I don't have permission to post attachments...
      How can I get this changed?
      Russ

    16. #14
      Junior Member Slipperyb's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      I don't have permission to post attachments...
      How can I get this changed?
      Russ
      Pics need to be hosted by another site like photobucket or imageshack or similar, then you use the image URL in your post.


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    17. #15
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      OK, this should work...

      http://imgur.com/a/feh4t

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      It was your story that got me thinking about changing the suspension!
      I had the full alignment done today (camber/castor/toe in etc) and was surprised to see how far out it was after changing struts etc. Much better now and back to Volvo spec.
      Looking forward to putting some miles on it...
      Russ
      So what's your final assessment regarding the ride after almost three weeks Russ? As an aside, I put Koni Sports on my 2005 GTO and felt the minor "undulations" all the time, but with MUCH improved ride control (they were the first struts that I was ever "impressed" with).
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
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    19. #17
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      I haven't had an opportunity to do a long trip in the car yet but local drives have confirmed that this is a great mod.
      The ride has settled down a bit now and is less jiggly than at first with most small bumps being smoothed out. There is still a thump when hitting sharp ridges but none of the crashiness that irritated me before.
      The biggest surprise is how well the car handles down our local country lanes. I found myself doing a good 15-20mph faster than usual down some fairly twisty roads without really trying. I guess the lowering must have helped a bit but the car seems so much more planted now and is far less prone to being deflected by bumps mid-corner. I'd say that the Koni FSD/Eibach claims of a smoother ride at low speeds without sacrificing body control and handling at speed are pretty much confirmed. Well worth the cost in my opinion!
      Russ

    20. #18
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      Thanks RussJ - great info again.
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
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    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      I haven't had an opportunity to do a long trip in the car yet but local drives have confirmed that this is a great mod.
      The ride has settled down a bit now and is less jiggly than at first with most small bumps being smoothed out. There is still a thump when hitting sharp ridges but none of the crashiness that irritated me before.
      The biggest surprise is how well the car handles down our local country lanes. I found myself doing a good 15-20mph faster than usual down some fairly twisty roads without really trying. I guess the lowering must have helped a bit but the car seems so much more planted now and is far less prone to being deflected by bumps mid-corner. I'd say that the Koni FSD/Eibach claims of a smoother ride at low speeds without sacrificing body control and handling at speed are pretty much confirmed. Well worth the cost in my opinion!
      Russ
      Russ, what was the outlay if you don't mind me asking? I had eibach's on an S60 10yrs ago and loved them
      Last edited by Lloydy76; 05-10-2015 at 10:14 AM.

    22. #20
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      Springs and shocks were about £650 - see first post.
      If you want a garage to fit them, then allow 3-4 hours labour on top.
      Russ

    23. #21
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      Koni FSD/Heico Springs

      I had the Koni FSD shocks installed two weeks ago. Just got back from a 1200 mile trip a lot of which was on secondary roads. I can report the difference between the R-Design OEM shocks and the Koni FSD shocks is immediately noticeable. The Koni's handle bumps much better with no harsh jolting or rebound. Expansion joints created about the same amount of noise and feedback as OEM. Steering response is precise with no hint of wandering. Body roll was already good with the addition of the ipd sway bar. Now, it just seems flatter and more planted through corners and curves. Overall ride quality seems smoother. I have not yet had any experience with potholes or extremely rough pavement.

      I purchased mine through Tire Rack. There is a 25% discount through August 31, 2015.

      At this point, you can count me as very satisfied with this upgrade.
      2015.5 V60 Polestar BSM #46
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    24. #22
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      I've now put some more miles on the car and as promised, thought I'd share my experience...

      Pros:
      Much better low speed ride
      Good handling
      Doesn't crash into bumps as before
      Comfortable at motorway speeds
      Lowered stance looks good

      Cons:
      Expansion joints/road repairs still felt but less intrusive.

      Like Penguin, I'd say this is an excellent upgrade and well worth the cost.
      I'd really like to try an IPD sway bar as well but sadly they don't have a European distributor and the cost of shipping from the US is prohibitive.

      Russ

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      Penguin / Russj - Any more info? I assume you guys are still satisfied with your Konis and would continue to recommend them to address low speed ride quality with little to no sacrifice in handling? I've been driving my wife's XC60 a bit more lately and the general "jostling about" at low speeds over bumps is still more excessive than I would like. As a comparison, we had a loaner with the new T5 4 cylinder (non-RD obvioulsy) for a week and even that seemed to have more movement than I would like despite its softer suspension and smaller wheels - indeed, I thought our RD rode better in that it had similar low speed bounce w/o as much high speed movement.
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    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by cab View Post
      Penguin / Russj - Any more info?
      Still very happy with the upgrades. The vehicle has much better presence when maneuvering at higher speeds. Virtually no sway. It holds the line chosen very well throughout the duration of a turn. Imperfections in the roadway are almost completely absorbed with very little unpleasantness transmitted to the cabin.

      When my wife drives it on trips, she raves about how much fun it is to drive. (You can't get a better recommendation if the wife is happy.)
      2015.5 V60 Polestar BSM #46
      2014 XC60 R-Design Passion Red/Off Black, OSD, Savini BM7, lowered, swaybar, Koni FSD
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      ElecSilver/Nordkap, 18" Pegs, Bell FMIC
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    27. #25
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      Ordered!

      Quote Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
      Still very happy with the upgrades. The vehicle has much better presence when maneuvering at higher speeds. Virtually no sway. It holds the line chosen very well throughout the duration of a turn. Imperfections in the roadway are almost completely absorbed with very little unpleasantness transmitted to the cabin.

      When my wife drives it on trips, she raves about how much fun it is to drive. (You can't get a better recommendation if the wife is happy.)
      Well, for better or for worse, I went ahead and ordered a set of the Koni FSDs from Tire Rack ($668 shipped - on sale through the end of this month). I will probably wait a few weeks until the temperatures drops before installing them myself (note: it is about 100 degrees here these days - except for our one freak cool day yesterday). Honestly, our combo isn't had now, but I'm forever looking for "perfection" in the driving experience! I am sticking with the factory springs, but as a reminder (like anyone needs reminding) I had already replaced the rear coils and shocks with the base touring units. At the end of the day we will have three different combos out there:

      1. Russj - FSDs and Eibach Springs
      2. Penguin - FSDs and R-Design springs
      3. CAB - FSDs + R-Design springs in front and FSDs + touring springs in the rear!

      As my wife can confirm, if, for whatever reason, I decide I don't lik the FSDs, I will yank them off and go back to what I have now.

      Honestly, my own very positive experience with Koni's sport yellows on my 2005 GTO are also factoring in to my decision here...they were the first strut/shock swap I was ever impressed with after-the-fact. Hoping to experience the same here. More to come...

      As an aside, I still think most of the harshness is the RD setup comes from the rear on the original RD springs/shocks. Russ / Penguin - I don't suppose either of you drove your car with just the rears on FSDs before you did the fronts by any chance did you?
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
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    28. #26
      Member Penguin's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by cab View Post
      1. Russj - FSDs and Eibach Springs
      2. Penguin - FSDs and R-Design springs
      3. CAB - FSDs + R-Design springs in front and FSDs + touring springs in the rear!
      Just so you know... I have Heico lowering springs.

      FSDs were installed in one job.
      Last edited by Penguin; 08-21-2015 at 05:18 PM.
      2015.5 V60 Polestar BSM #46
      2014 XC60 R-Design Passion Red/Off Black, OSD, Savini BM7, lowered, swaybar, Koni FSD
      2006 V70R 6M
      ElecSilver/Nordkap, 18" Pegs, Bell FMIC
      2004 S60R 6M TiGrey/Nordkap, 18" Ti Pegs, Bell FMIC, IPD Stage II, Eibachs, Quaife LSD

    29. #27
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      No, I did the whole job in one go.
      Russ

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
      Just so you know... I have Heico lowering springs.

      FSDs were installed in one job.
      This is what I get for not reading your sig! So the correct version is:

      1. Russj - FSDs and Eibach Springs
      2. Penguin - FSDs and Heico springs
      3. CAB - FSDs + R-Design springs in front and FSDs + touring springs in the rear!
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
      2013 Tesla Model S P85+ - Multicoat Red / Black
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    31. #29
      Cab. Looking forward to see what you have to say about the fsd. I'll likely place my order once I hear about your experience.

    32. #30
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      For what it's worth, I had the Eibach sport springs and Koni FSD set on my '05.5 Audi Avant, and my opinion is that the Koni's did not soften things as much as I had hoped. I assumed that I wasn't getting the complete benefit of the valving technology because the springs were lowering things a bit too much, not allowing enough travel for the shocks to perform optimally. Prior to this, I had H&R w/ Bilstein sports, which weren't horribly harsh, but a bit too low in the rear causing rubbing at times with any added weight in the car. This example probably doesn't help anyone's decision, but I believe that the FSD's will not work as well with lowering springs, or at least those with more drastic drops that won't allow the shocks enough range of compression. Consider this combined with the price.

      Great post Guys!
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    33. #31
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bmo Pete View Post
      For what it's worth, I had the Eibach sport springs and Koni FSD set on my '05.5 Audi Avant, and my opinion is that the Koni's did not soften things as much as I had hoped. I assumed that I wasn't getting the complete benefit of the valving technology because the springs were lowering things a bit too much, not allowing enough travel for the shocks to perform optimally. Prior to this, I had H&R w/ Bilstein sports, which weren't horribly harsh, but a bit too low in the rear causing rubbing at times with any added weight in the car. This example probably doesn't help anyone's decision, but I believe that the FSD's will not work as well with lowering springs, or at least those with more drastic drops that won't allow the shocks enough range of compression. Consider this combined with the price.

      Great post Guys!
      You may well be right with regard to some lowering springs but Eibach Progressive springs are recommended by Koni, so I 'd guess they will work well together.
      I would agree that they don't give a very soft ride - there is an underlying firmness which I prefer.
      I found the loose body control in my previous Freelander with its swaying around even more unpleasant than the standard R-Design crashiness.
      This business of car "ride" is a very subjective area and everyone has their own view and tolerance. My wife thinks I'm completely nuts to have changed out the suspension and says she can't feel the difference! But of course you can...
      Russ

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      I guess I will find out soon enough...arrived today (enjoy the crappy cell pic):



      Soonest I would likely do the install is the weekend of 09/05 so don't get your hopes up for a quick review!

      This was my own experience with Koni Yellows and a beefier spring on my 2005 GTO:
      http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/showthr...e+quality+part
      Last edited by cab; 08-25-2015 at 06:58 PM.
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    35. #33
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RussJ View Post
      You may well be right with regard to some lowering springs but Eibach Progressive springs are recommended by Koni, so I 'd guess they will work well together.
      I would agree that they don't give a very soft ride - there is an underlying firmness which I prefer.
      I found the loose body control in my previous Freelander with its swaying around even more unpleasant than the standard R-Design crashiness.
      This business of car "ride" is a very subjective area and everyone has their own view and tolerance. My wife thinks I'm completely nuts to have changed out the suspension and says she can't feel the difference! But of course you can...
      Russ
      Actually had one of those Eibach springs (front) break on me. They did send me a replacement set without any hassle, though I decided not to put them on and went back to the H&R's.
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    36. #34
      Cab. Any chance you had time to install your fsd's? Just checking in. Thanks.

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      The good, the bad and the ugly

      All,

      My apologies for the delay in replying. Here's my background, install, and impressions:

      Background
      Our XC60 is a 2012 RD (U.S. Spec) with the 20" rims. We purchased it about 3.5 years ago and like RussJ realized pretty quickly it rode too rough for us. I painstakingly examined every ride in the car to determine where I felt the roughness was coming from (i.e. tires, front suspension, or rear suspension - or a combination of the three). I determined, I feel correctly, that most of the harshness was coming from the rear suspension. Indeed, if I recall correctly, Volvo seemed to highlight the rear suspension being a focus on the RD in the their literature back then (I think).
      Anyway, 90 days after purchase I ordered a set of the factory rear touring springs and shocks and swapped them over. Success! Search for psts from me from about 3 years ago on this forum for details of that install.

      However, I felt there was still some room for improvement so I went ahead an ordered the Koni FSDs from Tire Rack a few weeks ago. Please note, they were on sale through the end of August and have now gone back to regular price!

      The Plan
      Install the front struts ONLY initially and determine how much of a difference, if any, they make over the course of a few weeks at which point I would swap out the rear touring shocks for the Konis and see how much of a difference they make. That is still the plan.

      Front Strut Install
      I have done a few strut swaps in my life including: 82 Firebird, 95 Maxima, 2000 Honda Odyssey, 97 BMW 328i, 05 Pontiac GTO, etc. This was BY FAR the worst strut swap I had ever done. I had 17 hours in it over three days and had my son come over and help me finish up on the last day (mostly for a separate set of hands to hold or push on something while I maneuvered something else. I have a pretty decent selection of tools including air tools.

      The big issue is that the steering knuckle clamps onto the strut instead of using the more common two bolt/bracket design. You can loosen the clamp easily enough, but you then have to lower the knuckle away from the strut and there really isn't room. On both sides I ended up removing the entire lower control arm and steering knuckle. Pain in the butt!

      I honestly don't know that I would do it again. RussJ was EXTREMELY helpful as I pinged him with questions repeatedly. He warned me the job was a pain, and recommended getting a shop to do it, but when a local shop quoted me $400 for just the labor I knew I would be tackling it myself. As a bonus, it was over 100F degrees every day...ugh.

      Anyway, the removal and install was something like:

      1. Jack up car and place on jackstand
      2. Remove wheel
      2a - mark the strut mount/bearing, spring and old strut with a dab of white paint straight down the spring so you can see how it all lines up. You will need this when swapping over the spring and mount to the new strut.
      3. Unclip brake hose from strut
      4. Remove brake caliper bracket from steering knuckle (two big bolts) - note: you cane leave caliper and pads in tact in caliper and attached to caliper bracket...set on a bucket or something (don't let dangle by brake hose)
      5. Remove brake rotor torx screw that holds rotor onto knuckle and remove rotor...will take a little hammer persuasion to free it up.
      6. Remove axle bolt holding axle into steering knuckle.
      7. Axle will be stuck in hub pretty good so I used an air hammer to free it up (note: pace a large washer over end of axle so as not to damage axle). Note, there isn't enough clearance at this point to pull the axle out yet.
      8. Remove tie rod from steering knuckle. You can use a special tied rod press to try and get it out or an air hammer does the trick too...don't use a pickle fork or you risk damaging the boot (note: I have used them in the past myself w/o damaging the boot, but it is a crapshoot).
      9. Remove sway bar link from strut...you may have to jack up the control arm or use a pry bar...pry bars are your friend on this job!
      10 Remove the steering knuckle to strut clamp bolt. The strut will still be clamped tightly as it is an interference fit. Now faff about with various small screwdrivers, etc. hammering them into the clamp gap to try and free up the knuckle from the strut.
      11. Remove the lower control arm ball joint bolt and try to free the stuck balljoint shaft from the knuckle. It could be really tight in there...I used the air hammer to try and loosen it. Please not the control arm is under tension from the control arm bushings and will be pushing upward, so you may free it and not be immediately aware. Again, use you pry bar to see if it is free.
      12. Now the Volvo manual says you can use a big stinking pry bar to pry down on the control arm to free the balljoint shaft from the knuckle. My prybar wasn't big enough and I didn't have a pipe. In addition, you kind of need 4 hands to pull the knuckle to the side, pull out the axle from the knuckle and pull the lower balljoint shaft free of the hole. So I ended up unbolting the three bolts that hold the lower control arm in place to the frame and removing it entirely. Again, air tools were my friend here with my impact gun.
      13. Removal of the strut is then easy as you just remove the top three bolts from under the hood (note: you do need to remove a coupl of plastic clips and lift up the plastic cover up there to get to them).
      14. You then need to swap the spring over to the new strut. You will use some spring compressors (again, air tools on the bolts are a must), and swap everything over lining it up as it was originally (see step 2A).

      Reinstallation is the reverse of above with the big pain being that you do indeed have to insert the control arm and pry down on it to get that dang lower balljoint shaft into the knuckle! Another set of hands is very helpful here!

      Some pics:



















      My Impressions
      So, my results are mixed. I have NOT experienced the big overall ride quality improvement I had hoped for or that RussJ and Penguin reported. I would say that on some roads the ride actually has improved whereas on others it is worse - a bit odd and I can't quite put my finger on the deltas. In addition, the ride is generally a bit more jiggly over regular minor undulations. The latter mirrors my experience with Koni's sport shocks on my GTO so that wasn't too surprising. As speed increases (say above 35 mph) the ride improves and this is where I see the Konis start to outshine the RD struts. Indeed on one local road that sort of tossed me about before now definitely feels more level. On others I get a more solid hit and my wife noted it as well. Some bumps are more rounded off. Uneven expansion joints still stink as always (I feel that is a basic suspension design and bushing firmness issue). The FSD's ae supposed to be able to sense sharper hits/changes in elevation and "relax" to absorb bumps, but again, just where that threshold is seems tough to identify consistently. I did read on another forum one user commented that it was important to keep he tires inflated at the proper number to ensure the "second valve" in the Konis would trigger on a hit (as opposed to having the tires partially absorb it and the Konis remain "stiff").

      Were Russj and Penguin wrong??? NO, I don't think they were wrong. What I believe is that this further validates my belief that an inordinate percentage of the RD suspension's harshness is coming from the REAR suspension. Both RussJ and Penguin installed both the front and rear Konis at the same time so they don't have this front/rear one at a time experience. While I have yet to install the rear Konis. I did grab my old RD rear shocks off the shelf (the ones I removed 3 years ago) and compressed them by hand and compared their stiffness to the new Koni rear shocks. The old RDs feel stiffer to me than the new Konis. Now, OBVIOUSLY, I am not a human shock dyno so this is hardly scientific, but I remember when I replaced the rear RD shocks with the touring shocks I have on there now I felt the same difference. If I had to guess I would say the stiffness rating softest to hardest will be: Volvo Touring, Koni FSDs and then Volvo RDs. This leads me to believe that the rear Konis may actually make the ride rougher still over the touring shocks I have on their now and if that is the case I will just swap the touring shocks back in.

      There are other variables too. RussJ has the Eibach springs which may be progressive. Penguin has the Heico springs. I have the RD springs (front) and touring (rear).

      I feel the FSD's are, as advertised, a "performance" shock that tries to minimize ride quality impact. I feel they meet this cirteria as they are not "harsh" or brutal like some struts (Bilstein, I'm looking at you) or crazy coilover setups and instead preserve much of the normal ride quality the car came with. I do find myself hooning about a bit more with the new struts. Some of that is likely psychological, but it does seem the car takes a set and holds it.

      Next Steps
      So, as noted above my next step will be to swap over my rear touring shocks to the Konis to see what the change looks like there. If I had to predict the outcome, I would guess it will handle a bit better at the expense of ride since I am starting with the softest Volvo option there now.

      Will I swap the front struts back to the RD units, try the touring springs or Eibachs/Heicos, or touring shocks? NO WAY. For starters, I am NOT doing this job again...too much pain. Beyond that, I expect the Konis to soften a tad (they tend to a little bit over time), and they aren't horrible by any means (I could tell right away they weren't rock hard or anything like that) from a ride perspective and they are a good performance shock for sure. In my case, from a pure "improve ride quality" perspective only they don't seem to have done that trick with just the front suspension.

      More to come as I drive a bit more on them and get the rear shocks installed.

      Again, my thanks to RussJ for all his assistance and feedback!
      Last edited by cab; 09-17-2015 at 12:52 PM.
      2012 XC60 R-Design - Passion Red / Off-black/Cream Accents, Platinum, Polestar, & Climate
      2013 Tesla Model S P85+ - Multicoat Red / Black
      1997 M3 - Alpine White/Black

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