New to me 2006 V70R - first question (suspension)
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    1. #1
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      New to me 2006 V70R - first question (suspension)

      Our 2006 V70R arrived by truck late last week, only a little worse for the trip. My wife and I immediately set about detailing it from top to bottom, doing a full Leatherique treatment, cleaning the carpets, etc. The car cleaned up nicely, but desperately needs a clay bar, polish and wax treatment. That's next.

      After cleaning it for most of Saturday, we loaded up the kids and headed to Amelia Island for the 2013 Concours. Picture perfect day and stunning cars as usual.

      As for my question regarding suspension, I come from a long line of BMWs, including many M cars. Im' used to relatively stiff factory suspensions and expected that from the R. What we have though seems to be well beyond "stiff". We live in Florida, so the roads are pretty darn smooth, compared to the rest of the country. That said, the R seems to crash over any pavement irregularity larger than a ripple. In fact, one expansion joint between the road bed and a highway overpass that had a little bit of a lip caused enough deflection in the right front tire that it disengaged the cruise control! And all of this is with the Comfort setting on.

      Granted I am new to this car (and Volvos and their R cars) but the suspension seems way over the top. I had a PPI done before purchase by a dealer, which included a test drive, so I would think they would have picked up on any suspension issues. Still, my "car gut" tells me something is amiss. With so many R experts here, I'm hopeful this is enough information for you all to offer me some insight.

      TIA

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    3. #2
      Junior Member pickle king's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dyintorace View Post
      Our 2006 V70R arrived by truck late last week, only a little worse for the trip. My wife and I immediately set about detailing it from top to bottom, doing a full Leatherique treatment, cleaning the carpets, etc. The car cleaned up nicely, but desperately needs a clay bar, polish and wax treatment. That's next.

      After cleaning it for most of Saturday, we loaded up the kids and headed to Amelia Island for the 2013 Concours. Picture perfect day and stunning cars as usual.

      As for my question regarding suspension, I come from a long line of BMWs, including many M cars. Im' used to relatively stiff factory suspensions and expected that from the R. What we have though seems to be well beyond "stiff". We live in Florida, so the roads are pretty darn smooth, compared to the rest of the country. That said, the R seems to crash over any pavement irregularity larger than a ripple. In fact, one expansion joint between the road bed and a highway overpass that had a little bit of a lip caused enough deflection in the right front tire that it disengaged the cruise control! And all of this is with the Comfort setting on.

      Granted I am new to this car (and Volvos and their R cars) but the suspension seems way over the top. I had a PPI done before purchase by a dealer, which included a test drive, so I would think they would have picked up on any suspension issues. Still, my "car gut" tells me something is amiss. With so many R experts here, I'm hopeful this is enough information for you all to offer me some insight.

      TIA
      welcome to the world of 4c suspension , you may need a suspension (sum) recalibration , but most likely if nothing is broken (strut -spring seat -bearings-bushings) thats just the way the vr's are , well known to "crash" into bumps . dont worry you will get used to it , the wife may not. you will need to post a picture or we will know you are just driving your wifes camry!
      04'v70R titianium atacama -gt

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    4. #3
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      New to me 2006 V70R - first question (suspension)

      In comfort mode it should NOT ride hard. Almost floaty.
      2005 s60R Ti grey, Atacama. 6MT, stock.

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    6. #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Karpiak View Post
      In comfort mode it should NOT ride hard. Almost floaty.
      Yes, especially on an 06. They ride softer than the 04s.
      2004 S60R GT; IPD Stage 2 - Sold...then totalled.
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    7. #5
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      If you are coming from a long line of BMWs then you've probably experienced arguably the best suspension engineering. To be charitable that generation Volvo is behind in that department. Biggest gripe about my R is suspension crash through. That said, what you are describing "crash through with anything larger than a ripple" sounds pretty severe to me and may warrant further investigation. Problem with getting a PPI on these cars is that the R is a pretty rare bird so most shops (even dealers) don't know what to look for.

      I typically leave the 4C set in Sport with the occasional Advanced for cloverleafs or high speed sweepers. My car tends to wallow in Comfort, making it pretty unuseable. One would think Comfort would lessen crash through but it almost makes it worse.

      Tires make a bit of difference as well. I have the DWS on the car - very popular tire for the R and the softer sidewalls seem to work well on these cars though some folks find them too soft.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    8. #6
      Junior Member Slothn's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dyintorace View Post
      Our 2006 V70R arrived by truck late last week, only a little worse for the trip. My wife and I immediately set about detailing it from top to bottom, doing a full Leatherique treatment, cleaning the carpets, etc. The car cleaned up nicely, but desperately needs a clay bar, polish and wax treatment. That's next.

      After cleaning it for most of Saturday, we loaded up the kids and headed to Amelia Island for the 2013 Concours. Picture perfect day and stunning cars as usual.

      As for my question regarding suspension, I come from a long line of BMWs, including many M cars. Im' used to relatively stiff factory suspensions and expected that from the R. What we have though seems to be well beyond "stiff". We live in Florida, so the roads are pretty darn smooth, compared to the rest of the country. That said, the R seems to crash over any pavement irregularity larger than a ripple. In fact, one expansion joint between the road bed and a highway overpass that had a little bit of a lip caused enough deflection in the right front tire that it disengaged the cruise control! And all of this is with the Comfort setting on.

      Granted I am new to this car (and Volvos and their R cars) but the suspension seems way over the top. I had a PPI done before purchase by a dealer, which included a test drive, so I would think they would have picked up on any suspension issues. Still, my "car gut" tells me something is amiss. With so many R experts here, I'm hopeful this is enough information for you all to offer me some insight.

      TIA
      I am far from an expert but I would have to say your "car gut" is correct something is off. The way you describe the ride is how it should feel in advance.
      2007 Magic Blue S60RFull Custom STAGE3|1offTurbo|Projector HID| |Full LED Interior|Tires MPSS|AEM| 4" SNABB Intake|3 1/8" Turboback Exhaust|Bob Vila Mod|IPD Poly SubFrame Bushings|IPD Boost Gauge|IPD Throttle Inlet|Short Shifter| Ipod Adapter|BLACKED Front Grills|BLACKED Wheel Caps|Badge Delete|18%Tint|Gun Smoked Lights|IPD R Door Pins|IPD Poly Engine/Trans Mount

    9. #7
      Junior Member Sachio's Avatar
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      with 130k mi on the chassis on my VR, i've found that anything with rubber on it needed to be replaced. i'm talking suspension bushings and motor mounts. IMHO, i think there was too much focus from Volvo on isolating the driver from noise and vibration. with that being said, the R's are pretty "crashy" over sharp bumps even with new rubber bushes.

      there's a fast sweeper i take every night on my way home and with 10K on new OEM LCA's i could take it at 70mph and the little bumps would trip the DSTC warning light. i replaced the front LCA with poly and now i can sweep through without a warning light at the same speed. much easier to hold a clean line now.

      i agree with others on here - something is amiss to disengage cruise control from a "little lip".
      05 V70R Passion Red : IPD Springs : IPD Track Spec : IPD Rear Camber Kit : TWM Short Shifter : MOMO Shifter : IPD Downpipe : Snabb Intake : Forge CBV : TME Exhst w/Res Delete : PU Rear Toe Link : PU Front LCA : AVIC-x950bh : Aftermarket Subwoofer : Viva Single Mass Fly / OE Clutch : Motor Replaced : Custom Digital Boost Gauge : Hilton Stage 2.5 : Snabb FMIC : Niche Targa 19x8.5 / 19x9.5 : Shimmed Block : Rear Sport Body Kit :

    10. #8
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      Lightbulb Volvo should behave [far more] responsibly!

      Dear dtr,

      PS: It is good to see that you finally got some response(s) from the SS R community to your first question on Tuesday. As far as "don't worry, you will get used to it, the wife may not" goes, this is yet more evidence that, in general, women are far more perceptive than men! Recall that LB Junior Seau, may he rest in peace, is not the only professional player and magnificent physical specimen who got used to experiencing (an insidious accumulation of) sharp g-forces (sub-concussive blows) on the football field, and subsequently took his own no-longer-worth-living life...

      I am sorry -- and apologize -- for your cRashmobile's suspension woes. It is a sad fact -- and evidence of the failure of We The People to avail ourselves of the vast democratizing potential of the internet -- that one can read gigabytes of information in the SS R forum in preparation for purchasing an R and yet still remain ignorant of many aspects of the abysmal abject failure that is Volvo's 4C suspension system in P2 Rs!

      I wish I could tell you why that situation exists. Are there outright Volvo shills heRe? Does it have more to do with the fact that SS makes money (advertising revenues) from ouR sharing and discussion of information, and thus information lauding Volvo is more welcome here than are hard truths regarding Volvo's inept unscrupulous behaviors and technological failures? Are many R owners too ashamed of their caR's dysfunction or of their own inability to endure the cumulative effects of such torture over time without that taking its toll on them? Or is it more directly due to the cumulative effect of 4C's continually torturous abuse? Beats me...!

      I can and will tell you that there at least 3 distinct major technical failures with how ouR suspensions were put into production:


      1. The 4C software in the SUM sucks! It was designed(?), implemented, and approved by people who are not car-lovers, and who have little concept of what a suspension is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it. (You've heard the saying that "to err is human, but to really screw things up requires a Volvo suspension computer!"?) It remains hidden WHY (incompetence? malevolence? sadism?) the Volvo 4C system is so abusive; unlike Volvo's behaviors, Volvo's motives remain hidden. Our caRs' variable dampers have a huge range of damping factors available to them. Controlling them requires a deft touch and a conscience (which Volvo clearly lacks) -- having the suspension computer telling the suspension motion to stop dead in its tracks (sometimes even causing the tires to lose contact with the pavement!) is no less cruel and physically abusive (and unsafe) than is stomping on the brakes (even if only for a fraction of a second) in order to slow down. A bus driver who continually slammed on the brakes in order to slow the bus would quickly be fired, yet the Volvo 4C suspension system continually, under the direction of Volvo's cruel algorithms, does precisely the same thing in the vertical axis. But Volvo's vertical cruelty is worse than slam-braking: when the brakes are stabbed, one's entire upper body and head tends to lean forward, diminishing how hard one's brain is slammed against the front inside of one's skull as a result of the sudden deceleration. OTOH, if one is sitting upright when 4C slams on the suspension brakes, one's skull can not move downward as one's brain is slammed downward (or one's skull is abruptly shot upward). That is what is going on when the suspension "crashes"!

      2. Making matters worse are 2 distinct Volvo errors regarding how 4C was implemented in P2 Rs. Error 1: The computer has been (and is continually being) lied to by Volvo! This lie prevents the computer from feeling as if it can use all of the vehicle's meager-to-start-with suspension travel. And when the SUM prematurely gets the false notion that the suspension is about to bottom out, it can react suddenly, violently, all at once, slamming on the suspension brakes. One might think that this built-in falsehood would be addressed by having the SUM recalibrated, but that is not the case. This Volvo error can make 4C become very uncivilized, and even brutal at times. It also accounts for why most if not all P2 Rs lack normal body motions, which get prematurely truncated by excessive suspension motion braking thanks to the misperceiving and thus misbehaving suspension computer.

      3. Error 2: Everybody knows that Volvo stuffed oversized tires+wheels into these caRs -- witness the bigger-than-a-Suburban oil-tanker-like turning diameter, and the many many complaints regarding tires rubbing the wheel wells at full steering lock. As anyone who understands anything about physics or vehicle dynamics/design well knows, unsprung mass limits suspension performance. The more the tire+wheel (+ rotor, knuckle, strut bottom, control arm and ball joint and sway bar end link...) weigh, the less rapidly that unsprung mass (you can think of it as a sideways pendulum) will want to oscillate. P2 Rs, with their 8" wide wheels, are laden with more unsprung mass than seems to be optimal for 4C -- and that seems to be true even of caRs with 17" Pegs (3 lbs lighter than 18" Pegs) and 22# tires (same as the OEM 17" Pirellis; 18" OEMs weighed 23#...). So caRs with 18" Pegs and/or heavier tires are already saddled with excess unsprung mass straight from the factory! So owneRs who make matters worse by adding wheel spacers (for 'appearance' or to prevent tire rubbing or some other lame reason), thus making the pendulum longer, cannot expect to have full frequency response (which is what is necessary to keep up with sharp pavement breaks), so they can blame themselves for this aspect of the failure, even though it is clearly still Volvo's fault for charging customers extra to equip the vehicle with optional 18" tires and wheels which precluded the factory-mucked-up suspension system from working anywhere near correctly in the first place.


      The same Volvo which claimed, in writing, that Rs make 300 hp from the factory also claims that 4C can react 500 times per second. But primary input devices to 4C are accelerometers attached to the front struts. If the front suspension is too heavy to go up and down 500 times per second ... 4C will, in effect, be blind to higher-frequency road imperfections the vehicle encounters. And this will deliver a double physical penalty to the vehicle and its occupants when the rear suspension cluelessly hits the same sharp pavement break a fraction of a second later.

      Some cars abusively overwork their suspensions, and their dampers need to be frequently replaced from being called upon to do more work (absorb more energy) than they can handle for long. Other cars have correctly designed suspension systems, with the dampers and springs and masses in good harmony; bumps don't upset the vehicle, and the suspension components last a good long time. Our caRs have suspensions that abuse themselves, the rest of the vehicle, and its occupants!

      So no one should be surprised, given the crashy suspension, that our caRs have developed a reputation for munching wheel bearings and control arm bushings at an accelerated (alarming!) rate.

      As for the toll it takes on our selves, Volvo has long smugly demanded proof of harm. Well, here's the good news: NOW THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!!! University of Texas health researchers have developed an i-App that has documented small but consistent degradation of cognitive brain function in people after they've "headed" a soccer ball, something that tends to be significantly less abusive than the harsh punishment served up by ouR caRs' misbehaving clenching shock amplifiers, er, absorbers. This means that, if we can get our act together, and act in unison or at least in harmony, instead of dividing and conquering ouRselves, or simply being too ashamed to talk openly about our caRs' embarrassing painful harmful expensive technological failure (and the resulting harm it can cause to us), Volvo's days of denying all accountability (and liability!) for its failed 4C system are finally numbered!!

      So I hope as time passes that you will not "get over it" regarding this serious issue, no matter how much you will want to pat yourself on the back as you struggle to make one small incremental improvement after another in dealing with the failures and resulting harsh abusiveness of 4C. (FWIW, things could be worse: just be glad that you did not find yourself stuck with a late-build '07 -- they came saddled with the congenital birth defect of EXTRA excess unsprung mass in the form of STEEL -- instead of the correct aluminum -- control arms!!! A Volvo dealer will want more than $2500 just to put the correct parts in... This is yet another example of Volvo's uncaring cruelty and irresponsibile attitude/ineptitude -- something else that should not remain hidden from fellow, unsuspecting innocent, consumers.)

      That said, here are some things you can try:

      Better than free: Unless you are a dedicated follower (slave?) of fashion, avoid 18" (and larger) wheels (and tires) like the plague. They both weigh and cost more, with lower load ratings, making them more fragile, with a smaller performance envelope! Unless you care more about how a car looks than how it works, you should also stick with 22# tires, and avoid using "spacers". (Those folks who insist that 18" performs better than 17" on Rs have yet to explain why the designers of the McLaren F1, who could specify any size tires+wheels they wanted, chose to use 235/45-17s up front...)

      Free: tire pressure adjustment. 35~36 psi in front is high enough for the front strut accelerometers to 'read' the road as 'best' they can, but not so rock-hard as to be maximally painful+harmful when the suspension inevitably crashes. Of course, at this critical inflation pressure, it is incumbent upon the owner to continually compensate for temperature (and altitude) changes. That (plus sadism? apathy? incompetence?) may be why Volvo recommends pounds more air than necessary, which makes a -1 or -2 psi change be of minimal significance, but also makes the tires be rock-hard and unyielding. The SR seems to work best with about (1.5~)2 psi less in the rears. The VR should probably want a fraction of a psi less difference from the fronts than an SR due to having slightly less difference in F/R weight distribution.

      Inexpensive: it is possible to alleviate Error1 (see above). This information was offered, by USPS registered mail, to VCNA (who passed it along to Volvo) in April 2010. VCNA/Volvo has never responded! This seems to indicate that Volvo has long been well-aware of the deficiency/defect, but prefers to "play dumb", feigning ignorance of the situation, and then maintaining that feigned ignorance by choosing to not respond. Though their motives remain hidden, such behavior is consistent with the possibility of bad intentions on the part of Volvo... Unfortunately, Volvo seems willing to do the socially responsible technically correct thing only when so ordered by a court of law. In the interests of hoped-for owneR unity, but depending upon professional legal advice, information on how to alleviate Error1 might soon be published over here. ...meanwhile, check your caR's rear axles <--> position sensor links (they look like 4" long miniature sway bar end links) -- 4C is supposed to monitor for bogus inputs, but if one of those is mechanically disconnected and flopping in the wind, 4C won't warn you, it'll just try to harm you and the vehicle with a ferocity that most R owners fortunately never get to experience.

      Inexpensive: a wheel alignment (aiming for minimal toe in the rear) can somewhat alleviate the infamous nefarious "side-hop" condition, though it cannot correct the multiple serous 4C errors including the suspension "crashing" -- and when the suspension clenches/crashes too hard while the vehicle is subject to centrifugal force due to being in a turn at the time, you can still expect some unwanted side-hop regardless of the alignment of the vehicle's wheels.

      Costly: in order to alleviate Error2 (see above), it is possible to reduce unsprung mass. Lighter wheels are a possibility, but it is difficult if not impossible to find wheels with the correct lug bolt pattern and identical offset -- and once an owner messes up steering and suspension geometries like that, said owner has less (little if any?) right to complain when the suspension misbehaves. So the primary means of adding lightness without adding errors is to replace your perfectly-good front brake disc rotors with 3-lb lighter ones from GiroDisc for about $750. (On an SR still burdened with steel control arms -- Volvo refuses to admit how much additional unsprung mass the alternate set of parts represents -- but using 17" Pegs and 22# tires, switching to the 2-piece rotors made a night-and-dawn difference -- the suspension FINALLY BEGAN to see the light, and began to deal sanely with more, but still not all, common road imperfections: encountering a difficult-to-notice contact-patch-sized pot hole less than 2" deep in the pavement at any appreciable vehicle speed can still cause the fancy expensive computerized suspension system to abruptly go AWOL in the worst way.)

      Still unavailable: Simply correct the 4C SUM software to rarely if ever jab the suspension brakes so damn painfully and injuriously hard. I've spoken to Lucky about this, but he seems to be doing what I'd do first if I were in his position, chasing/taking the easier big bucks that flow from satisfying a small number of hp-mad big spenders, based upon working with software that is familiar and has already been successfully modified... I've also spoken to Volvo about this, but my words have fallen on uncaring faked-ignorant socially-irresponsible penny-pinching willfully-deaf ears.

      Correct: We must stop bickering amongst ouRselves and -- with or without a professional legal champion -- get Volvo to confess and recant and repent and fix their horrific blunder(s). Recall(s)? Class-action lawsuit(s) against Volvo? Collectively financially tempt/lure Lucky to try to come to ouR rescue with revised 4C software? Volvo-4C-self-deprecating bumper stickers? ("Sorry, just pass me; I'm already going as fast as Volvo's blunderbuss suspension system can keep up with bumps in the road!") Combine that with a 4-wide highway traffic slowdown R convoy that makes the evening news? Picket VCNA? Whatever it takes!!! We're the consumers in this, and it is ouR money which makes the world go 'round, and We should not suffer such corporate indignities, injustices, and abuses lying down in silence!

    11. #9
      Member Crito's Avatar
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      Physics?!? What does that have to do with authoritative and official "facts"? Next you're going to tell me it's statistically impossible for three skyscrapers to collapse on the same day in the same place without using explosives. Pft! I don't believe your physics theories! I believe Volvo Corporation! That's why my trans fluid is lifetime, too!

      Seriously though, you should start your own thread with all that stuff instead of hijacking this one.
      Last edited by Crito; 03-13-2013 at 05:11 AM.

    12. #10
      Holy crap; its like the return of turbo country...(what ever happened to him, anyway?)
      Look, when 4c is all sorted, its actually pretty good. My experience is that it actually works a little better on the slightly longer wheelbase of the vr. What tires are on the car? Size? Also, check all of the suspension bushings and the alignment as starting points. Also, see if the dealer can check/confirm that you have updated sum calibration....i think there were 4 versions total, and an early 06 may have v 3 or 4.
      It can work pretty well...and thats from someone who also has a bmw in the garage....
      2004 S60R GT; IPD Stage 2 - Sold...then totalled.
      2006 BMW 750Li - Alpine White Sled....
      2006 V70R GT - Wifeys
      1956 Ford Sunliner
      2002 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

    13. #11
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      Thanks for the feedback so far folks. As admitted, we are new to the R and have only had it for 6 days now, so certainly much more time will be spent with it. I'll play with the other suspension settings to help learn more about them and see if my impression improves or worsens. I should have added above that we have 17" stock wheels on the car, along with newish tires (don't have the specs with me at the moment). The recommendation to check the sum calibration is much appreciated as well. I'll get that done. I'll also start inspecting all the various bits referenced in the various posts above to ensure nothing is damaged and/or broken.

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