Suspension upgrades... Volvo or jetta?
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    1. #1

      Suspension upgrades... Volvo or jetta?

      Hello all,

      This is a weird question, and i'm hoping for some non biased advice.
      I have been considering getting an old Miata because I really want something nimble, and responsive, however I decided it would be better for me to do suspension mods to one of the cars I already have.
      My Jetta is in consideration because in stock form it feels a lot more nimble and responsive than the Volvo. Even if it isn't on the numbers, it feels that way. Driving feel is half of what im looking for. Those of you who have coilovers I'd love feedback on how they changed driving dynamics. Whichever car I do, is going to be my autox car moving forward.




      My budget is 2k (not much wiggle room)

      The Volvo is a 2012 s60 t6 with polestar tune (non r design) off brand all seasons that came on it from the dealer. Id rather keep the tires for now since they are basically new.
      Options in mind, Polestar coilovers sway bar and front strut tower brace.


      Jetta: 2015, SE all seasons, but I could replace them for 300 with summer tires.
      Options:
      APR tune 211whp 274 wtq 600$
      H&R adjustable coilovers 1200
      Tires or sway bar 2-300

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    3. #2
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      Suspension upgrades... Volvo or jetta?

      "Polestar Coilovers"???

      Assuming you mean the Öhlins that's well over 3000 right there. Also not sure about fitment on the pre-2015 T6s. Might be some other adjustments to make/parts to buy to retrofit.

      KWs are another option but again, around 2k give it take to get in the door. Ugh.

      Edit: numbers


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      Last edited by Young Satchel; 04-10-2017 at 06:42 AM.
      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    4. #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Young Satchel View Post
      "Polestar Coilovers"???

      Assuming you mean the Öhlins that's Your two grand nearly gone right there. Also not sure about fitment on the pre-2015 T6s. Might be some other adjustments to make/parts to buy to retrofit.

      KWs are another option but again, around 2k give it take to get in the door. Ugh.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      These are the ones im referring to http://www.vivaperformance.com/poles...volvo-s60-v60/
      1500$ From what I understand, they are the equivalent of getting a track package from Volvo.
      The other option in my budget is: http://www.vivaperformance.com/heico...it-s60-v60-t6/

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by 04lss View Post
      These are the ones im referring to http://www.vivaperformance.com/poles...volvo-s60-v60/
      1500$ From what I understand, they are the equivalent of getting a track package from Volvo.
      The other option in my budget is: http://www.vivaperformance.com/heico...it-s60-v60-t6/
      Oh wow. I'm amazed those are actually available for purchase now! Dunno if you've followed the saga that was the release of the Polestar Performance Parts Program but suffice to say they announced their release last April and they are (apparently) finally able to be purchased! LOLZ.

      Anyhow, that could be a good option but I'd be VERY curious to hear ANY feedback on them before committing. If they simply turn stock suspension into R-Design suspension I'd be a bit wary. In that case KWs on sale might be a better move if you could negotiate something with Connor at VIVA. I can't say I really enjoy the RDs suspension characteristics much my self.

      Someone here just installed the Heico kit though. Can't remember username. Perhaps they could chime in with some feedback on that?


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      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    7. #5
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      Yes, check out this link for 30% off Heico.
      Very interesting stuff in there for suspension.
      2012 S60 T5 Savile Gray/Beachwood

    8. #6
      After considering things, I think what I would do to the Volvo is Michelin supersport summer tires, a sway bar and a strut tower brace, and use the rest of the money somewhere else.

      The question is, would this give me the responsiveness I am looking for? How much of a difference are tires, a swaybar and bracing going to make?

      Edit:
      Im really trying to make the steering more responsive and make the car feel less wallowy.
      Last edited by 04lss; 04-10-2017 at 11:08 AM.

    9. #7
      Quote Originally Posted by 04lss View Post
      After considering things, I think what I would do to the Volvo is Michelin supersport summer tires, a sway bar and a strut tower brace, and use the rest of the money somewhere else.

      The question is, would this give me the responsiveness I am looking for? How much of a difference are tires, a swaybar and bracing going to make?
      I can tell you what I did, but it may or may not apply in your situation. I had bought Koni FSD (gold) shocks for my 2001 S60 and it really improved things quite a bit. All other suspension items were stock. I loved them, then when I finally sold the car for a 2015 Golf, the new car drove pretty much the same as the Volvo with FSD.

      So don't discount the dual-rate dampers from Koni, it may solve your problem and you don't have to ditz with the sway bar and bracing.

      Food for thought . . .

    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by JPL Guy View Post
      I can tell you what I did, but it may or may not apply in your situation. I had bought Koni FSD (gold) shocks for my 2001 S60 and it really improved things quite a bit. All other suspension items were stock. I loved them, then when I finally sold the car for a 2015 Golf, the new car drove pretty much the same as the Volvo with FSD.

      So don't discount the dual-rate dampers from Koni, it may solve your problem and you don't have to ditz with the sway bar and bracing.

      Food for thought . . .
      Appreciate the feedback, my only issue is that it seems the coil overs id want are the ones for 2600$

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by 04lss View Post
      Appreciate the feedback, my only issue is that it seems the coil overs id want are the ones for 2600$
      Yup.

      I think arguably you can get further with good rubber, sway bar, a good strut brace, and torque mount inserts than with the suspension ALONE. I imagine many will disagree but whatever.

      Yes of course ALL OF IT would be the best, but all in due time.

      I found the IPD rear bar made a huge difference in handling; both initial turn-in-wise and as far as holding a tight line through curves at speed. Granted I have the wagon version, so I admit the effect may be more pronounced because of that.


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      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    12. #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Young Satchel View Post
      Yup.

      I think arguably you can get further with good rubber, sway bar, a good strut brace, and torque mount inserts than with the suspension ALONE. I imagine many will disagree but whatever.

      Yes of course ALL OF IT would be the best, but all in due time.

      I found the IPD rear bar made a huge difference in handling; both initial turn-in-wise and as far as holding a tight line through curves at speed. Granted I have the wagon version, so I admit the effect may be more pronounced because of that.


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      Any thoughts on the Firestone FireHawk indy 500? I could easily get a set for both cars and stay well within budget. Tirerack reviews seem favorable as well.

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by 04lss View Post
      Any thoughts on the Firestone FireHawk indy 500? I could easily get a set for both cars and stay well within budget. Tirerack reviews seem favorable as well.
      Actually tire shopping myself so I'm in the same boat. I'm leaning towards an ultra high performance all season actually. Comfort, tread life, and shoulder season usage being the predominating factors over a straight performance summer.


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      2004 XC70 2.5T AWD | 149K | Bad Swede 52mm Lift Kit | Sparco Terras BFG KO2s in 225/70r16 | IPD Strut Brace Conversion | IPD Skid Plate | IPD DEM Cover | AEM Dryflow Air Intake 2015 V60 R-Design | Sapphire Black Metallic | 44K | KPAX GT Performance Exhaust | IPD Rear Sway Bar | Powerflex Race Torque Mount Inserts

    14. #12
      Banner Advertiser Connor @ ViVA's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 04lss View Post
      Appreciate the feedback, my only issue is that it seems the coil overs id want are the ones for 2600$
      The T5/T6 Coilovers used to be $2600, but have since been reduced significantly. I can also spit a special deal for anyone looking to snag a set.

      Connor

    15. #13
      One of the members here, mrsideways, autocrosses and has campaigned an S60.
      Google search this and read up on his threads:

      mrsideways s60 site:swedespeed.com
      2011 S60 T6, Flamenco Red / Biege, Polestar Tune, JBL MS-8 DSP and sub-woofer;
      2006 XC90 Ocean Race 'Big Blue'; 1998 V70 T5.
      Previous (sold): 95 855 GLT; 98 S70 T5M; 2000 S40.

    16. #14
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      I would do the Polestar accessory Springs and Dampers, an IPD rear sway bar and the best tires you can afford, leaning very heavy to Pilot Super Sports.

      Coilovers are the best option, but might be out of budget.
      2015 V60 T5e - Various suspension and P* bits

    17. #15
      Member ScottishBrick's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Young Satchel View Post
      Actually tire shopping myself so I'm in the same boat. I'm leaning towards an ultra high performance all season actually. Comfort, tread life, and shoulder season usage being the predominating factors over a straight performance summer.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Check out the new Nokian ZLine AS.

      I should have a set on hand Wednesday and will be doing a review.
      1999 V70 T5 - Emerald/Graphite M56H - 119k - The Garage Queen
      1999 V70 T5 - Pewter/Graphite AW42 - 241k - The Daily
      1995 945 Turbo - 425k, 1994 945 Turbo - 234k, 1993 945 Turbo - 318k

    18. #16
      Junior Member RFicklin's Avatar
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      If you hurry, and are willing to not go the coilovers route, Heico is selling all of it's P3 S60/V60 stock at -30% off. My suspension kit just arrived today, so I can't really tell you how they handle and what not, but it's an option. -30mm drop from stock, so in other words, since your T6 isn't an R design car, it will look -15mm lower than R design height.

      Another consideration is installation cost. The cheapest price I've found in Denver, CO to install my new suspension is $110/hr... I'm holding onto my kit for a while now

      As for the IPD rear sway bar, yes.. DO IT. Makes my car feel like it's on a railroad track and very planted!


      Don't want to make you second guess yourself either, just an idea if you decide to do more to the Volvo than what you stated above^

      Best of luck!!

      Wherever you go with the car, do it piece by piece, not all at once. I think that's the joy of doing stuff to cars, because interests change and it's nice to see a car evolve gradually, and not all at once dramatically.
      2011 Volvo S60 T6 Caspian blue metallic | Ferrita catback exhaust system| Polestar chip/badge | IPD rear anti-sway bar | Heico Sport Suspension Kit (soon ) | Dash camera equipped

    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by RFicklin View Post
      As for the IPD rear sway bar, yes.. DO IT. Makes my car feel like it's on a railroad track and very planted!
      Just installed the IPD rear sway bar and IPD HD rear end links on our Volvo....RFicklin's comment is exactly what I felt on the test "on/off ramps" this morning.
      '15.5 Volvo V60 XC Platinum CPO
      '15 MINI Roadster S
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      OSD June 2005)

    20. #18
      Thread jack... what's a good, cost effective lowering upgrade for my 11 T6? Only has 60k and I'm fairly certain I don't need new struts.
      2011 S60 T6 & 2013 XC60 T6 P*

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by miata13 View Post
      Just installed the IPD rear sway bar and IPD HD rear end links on our Volvo....RFicklin's comment is exactly what I felt on the test "on/off ramps" this morning.
      Just picked up and installed the ipd rear anti-sway bar on our V60 CC. Easy installation...and the handling improvement was immediately apparent. Call me a happy camper!

      The bar is currently ON SALE for $237.96!
      2016 V60 CC T5 AWD, Platinum, Climate, BLIS

    22. #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Magic Marker View Post
      Thread jack... what's a good, cost effective lowering upgrade for my 11 T6? Only has 60k and I'm fairly certain I don't need new struts.
      There aren't many cheap lowering options for these cars. The lowest spring drop appears to be that of the H&R springs, in the $3-400 range. It's a mild drop, but lower than the few other choices I know about. Unfortunately at 60k miles, your stock dampers are well along in their service life already. They may be ok now but may not last very long after a spring change once you have them working with different spring rates and outside of their normal ride-height operating range, both of which are factors that tend to accelerate wear on stock dampers even when they are new. So, it's not the ideal time mileage-wise for you to do a spring drop unless you also refresh your dampers at the same time, otherwise you will be likely to have to replace the stock dampers a short while from now, essentially doubling your labor costs (unless you do it yourself). Sooo, while springs on their own are much cheaper than coilovers, springs plus dampers may be closer in cost to the cost of coilovers than it might seem initially.

      There are very few coilover choices available but they go much lower. They also tend to be on the pricey side. PB Brakes makes a budget coilover system for like $1k but I only know of one person who did those on an S60, so they are a crap shoot in terms of ride and longevity. All the other coilover setups that I know of tend to be like double that cost. The one that most people including myself run is the KW V3. Mine aren't dialed in but their current settings ride super harsh on bumpy roads, to the extent that my wife doesn't like riding in my car any more. Spring drops might ride better, although I've heard mixed things about both the KWs and the various spring reports, so stiffness may be subjective, and can also depend a lot on tire choices and the kinds of roads you have to drive on. I can tell you right now that my KWs do not do well on bad urban pavement (cracks, patches, potholes) but are much more comfortable on smooth roads and at highway speeds.
      2011 S60 T6 with Polestar tune
      13.1 at 101 mph

      Current mods: KW V3 coilovers, DO88 fmic, Ferrita downpipe, Powerflex "race" torque mount inserts, more to come...

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