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    Thread: Four-C Mod

    1. #1
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Four-C Mod

      Approaching the three year mark with the R and my biggest complaint would be the suspension and how it crashes over bumps and potholes. I'm just tired of feeling like my teeth are being knocked out every time I hit a ridge in the road.

      There have been many discussions of how the 4C stiffens the shocks whenever it detects a bump. So instead of letting the strut absorb the bump, it overcompensates, goes rock hard and goes "BANG".

      Last week when switching back to summer mode, I stopped and looked at the accelerometer and thought if it were mounted on the chassis it would not be able to detect the pot holes. The 4C system would simply think it were running on a smooth road. Otherwise the system should still know when I'm braking or accelerating hard. The baseline settings for the shocks would still be the same when changing from Sport to Advanced. They struts would not stiffen when hitting a bump.

      So I did a temporary relocate of the front accelerometers to the chassis using black outdoor cable ties. I made sure they were mounted in the same orientation and secured the cables away from harm.

      Took it for a test drive and wow! The crashing is gone! I still have control over ride stiffness. Comfort Sport and Advanced feel a bit softer, because the struts don't stiffen up on bumps. The struts do seem to stiffen up when accelerating and braking in Advanced just as before. The system has not thrown any codes.

      I'm not sure if this has been done before, and it's probably not for everyone. But I sure do like it!
      I expect this will also extend the life of the struts and other suspension components.

      I'm going to drive around for a couple more weeks and if I have no issues, then I will be finding a permanent home on the chassis for the sensors.

      I may also try moving the rear sensors at one point, but for now I could not be happier with the R.

      UPDATE: I have added a complete HOW TO on Page 4 of this thread.

      Last edited by RRRon; 05-19-2013 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Reference to HOW TO on page 4
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    3. #2
      Member FORD420diesel's Avatar
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      VERY intriguing!!
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    4. #3
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      Four-C Mod

      This is a great idea, what I wonder is if these accelerometers 'wear' out over time, even tho there electronic maybe the function of them has depleted. Would new ones maybe correct the crashing?
      2005 s60R Ti grey, Atacama. 6MT, stock.

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    6. #4
      Member qwkbrk's Avatar
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      Clever idea Ron! Be sure to update this thread after some driving.
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    7. #5
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      This is an amazing idea. Nice going for thinking outside the box, the front end and crashyness of this car is what i hate the most with roads here.
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    8. #6
      Member o2k's Avatar
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      Re: Four-C Mod

      Mine crashes too.. I'll have to give this a try!

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    9. #7
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Karpiak View Post
      This is a great idea, what I wonder is if these accelerometers 'wear' out over time, even tho there electronic maybe the function of them has depleted. Would new ones maybe correct the crashing?
      Not sure if they wear over time. I can say that the harsh reaction to pot holes has not changed in the three years I've had the R. It's always been there since I picked it up from the dealer.

      Quote Originally Posted by qwkbrk View Post
      Clever idea Ron! Be sure to update this thread after some driving.
      Spent over 2 hours driving around Toronto today. Funny thing is that I was intentionally looking for the worst roads I could find.
      I'll give it another two weeks before I make this permanent and update the thread with the final mounting.
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    10. #8
      Member o2k's Avatar
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      Re: Four-C Mod

      Is it possible the crashing is due to bad software?

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    11. #9
      Member SectorNine50's Avatar
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      Have you noticed any adverse handling effects in sportier driving? My concern is that 4C's reactions are going to be "delayed" by this move since the body moves far after the shocks do, curious if that creates any funny characteristics. Another concern to consider is that now body movement (ie. roll, bounce, etc.) are going to trigger different 4C reactions.

      Anyway, this is a very interesting idea...!
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    12. #10
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      not to poke holes in this..... but, does anyone know if this will accelerate the deterioration of the $400 ea. struts?

      i mean.. they seem to be working harder.. and giving more.... i am in NO way saying this is a bad idea... i just have to wonder... does anyone else have a better answer?

    13. #11
      Senior Member JRL's Avatar
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      They all crash, some more than others, even if your car is at its best (my Sonic was).
      This is interesting. Are your lights still working properly and no codes showing?
      I used to just pull one fuse at the end of the dash on my 04 during the daytime and just pop the fuse in at night. It defaults to a more or less a stiffer sport but that's the way it would remain, no constant changing and the ride was QUIET.
      Not that easy on an 05-07 to just pull one fuse.

      I always found 4C to be quite overrated. Frankly I hated it, the GM metallic ride control is MUCH better, ie: Corvette, Cadillac, FERRARI! (which used a GM license for their metallic ride system)

      It would be interesting to know if you have any stored codes in the system.

      Quote Originally Posted by o2k View Post
      Is it possible the crashing is due to bad software?
      No, the software is not bad, per se, it's GARBAGE, always has been no matter how many variants they made (still five I believe)
      Last edited by JRL; 04-13-2013 at 04:34 PM.
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    14. #12
      Member SectorNine50's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by magicaljake View Post
      not to poke holes in this..... but, does anyone know if this will accelerate the deterioration of the $400 ea. struts?

      i mean.. they seem to be working harder.. and giving more.... i am in NO way saying this is a bad idea... i just have to wonder... does anyone else have a better answer?
      The way these shocks are designed, having them react to sharp bumps is actually making them work harder.

      To stiffen and lighten the dampening of these shocks, they have a valve on the bottom that basically opens a bypass for the shock oil. This means that when the valve is open (soft), no (or very little) oil is forced through the shock's dampening valve, and when it's closed (stiff) it's pushing most (if not all) the oil through the shocks' dampening valve.

      Long story short, less wear should occur when the valve is open.
      2005 Silver/Nordkap S60 R 6-Speed

    15. #13
      Junior Member rotorwash's Avatar
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      Wow! Good for you - eager to try this myself. Probably won't until my next day off from work... in May
      Steve
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    16. #14
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JRL View Post
      ...This is interesting. Are your lights still working properly and no codes showing?

      ...It would be interesting to know if you have any stored codes in the system.
      Everyting is working perfectly so far. After one week, there are no codes that I know of. Unfortunately I don't have VIDA to check for stored codes.
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    17. #15
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post
      Have you noticed any adverse handling effects in sportier driving? My concern is that 4C's reactions are going to be "delayed" by this move since the body moves far after the shocks do, curious if that creates any funny characteristics. Another concern to consider is that now body movement (ie. roll, bounce, etc.) are going to trigger different 4C reactions.

      Anyway, this is a very interesting idea...!
      My observation is that Advanced is not as harsh. It's still a firm ride, but has more give over the bumps. I supose if you are tracking the car, this may not be a good mod.

      I know what you mean that the sensor will now measure body movement instead of wheel movement. But I think the sensor is calibrated to measure fast acting wheel movement. Body roll/bouncel is slow by comparison. So far I have not noticed any funny characteristics. I wasn't sure how this was going to work either, which is why I waited so long before posting.
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    18. #16
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      Re: Four-C Mod

      Scribed, wanna see how this pans out

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    19. #17
      Junior Member 4pownag3's Avatar
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      Im in for the results
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    20. #18
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      OK, this is one I am going to have to try ... great out of the box idea.
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    21. #19
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      Interesting, although you'd be putting more wear on the struts as there will be a lot more compressing/decompressing (in terms of shock travel) and that's what leads to leaky struts, not the valve IIRC.

    22. #20
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by xman04 View Post
      Interesting, although you'd be putting more wear on the struts as there will be a lot more compressing/decompressing (in terms of shock travel) and that's what leads to leaky struts, not the valve IIRC.
      Keep in mind that the struts still have comfort, sport and advanced baseline settings. The ride is still very firm in advanced.
      The only difference I can see or feel is that they don't go rock hard when they hit a ridge or pot hole.
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    23. #21
      Member Paisley Pirate's Avatar
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      Watching with anticipation. We noticed the "bang" a lot, and this would be a welcome and easy fix for that, especially in a road GT car (as opposed to a track car).

      'scribed.
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      OK, not a difficult 20 minute job, although I think it might benefit from resetting the ECU to get all the benefit quicker.

      However, it works as advertised ... I did notice that the front of the car feels a little "floatier" in comfort and the other two modes are less severe.

      With the potholes in our Eastern Nebraskan roads, I am definitely going to give this one a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

      RRRon - thanks very much for the idea
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      The shocks stiffen up over bumps for a reason and obviously it's not for comfort. Abrupt/sudden compression is what especially bad for the shocks and now you're not letting 4C protect them. My suggestion would be to leave them in the stock location.. 4C shocks are so flimsy, just my 2 cents.

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      Are you on 17"s or 18"s? The car crashes about in both, but its worse with 18"s.

      If I was a engineer specializing in vehicle dynamics I would have a smarter, more technical answer. But I'm not. That said, I wouldn't advocate trying to trick the car's suspension. It's an integrated system, it's relying on its sensors for accurate input so it can make intelligent decisions.

      If you were simply removing it to put in coilovers, it wouldn't be a big deal, as the people who have done that are trying to trick the car into removing an error light. The car is not going to react well to inputs. If you brake hard, the shocks would normally anticipate it, and valving would be adjusted accordingly while braking. But with the acceleromometers on the body, theres going to be a slight delay and then the nose of the car is going to pitch further down than it normally would have, because the shocks weren't firmed up. Then the valving will probably close to try to compensate.
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    27. #25
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ABN2 View Post
      ...But with the acceleromometers on the body, theres going to be a slight delay and then the nose of the car is going to pitch further down than it normally would have, because the shocks weren't firmed up. Then the valving will probably close to try to compensate.
      I was not exactly sure what to expect either. Haven't noticed any increase in pitch while braking or accelerating. Feels normal to me. I think it's because these particular accelerometers are only used to detect road conditions. There are three additional sensors that 4c uses to monitor the movement of the car. Two in the front and one in the back I think.

      I'm on 17's as well.
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      Quote Originally Posted by RRRon View Post
      I was not exactly sure what to expect either. Haven't noticed any increase in pitch while braking or accelerating. Feels normal to me. I think it's because these particular accelerometers are only used to detect road conditions. There are three additional sensors that 4c uses to monitor the movement of the car. Two in the front and one in the back I think.

      I'm on 17's as well.
      Hmm, good point. Are you on stock springs? How many miles on your car?
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    29. #27
      Junior Member ksimp88's Avatar
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      I recently purchased new 4-C struts and control arms for the front. Comfort mode is soft everywhere. Sport is still soft over bumps, but corners way better. Advanced basically tells you where every single imperfection is on the road. Advanced mode is for circuit use, IMO. That way you can learn where any imperfections on the road surface are and learn to avoid them. Thus, you gain tread life, and potentially better economy and timing. Advanced is for the Advanced driver. Sport is perfect on the R. I used to have major problems, though. New control arms and struts basically make a new car.
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    30. #28
      Member o2k's Avatar
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      do you think there is any benefits to doing a sum recalibration along with this mod?
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    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by ABN2 View Post
      Hmm, good point. Are you on stock springs? How many miles on your car?
      Stock springs and 48,466 miles as of this morning.
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    32. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by ksimp88 View Post
      I recently purchased new 4-C struts and control arms for the front. Comfort mode is soft everywhere. Sport is still soft over bumps, but corners way better. Advanced basically tells you where every single imperfection is on the road. Advanced mode is for circuit use, IMO. That way you can learn where any imperfections on the road surface are and learn to avoid them. Thus, you gain tread life, and potentially better economy and timing. Advanced is for the Advanced driver. Sport is perfect on the R. I used to have major problems, though. New control arms and struts basically make a new car.
      I purchased the car with about 28,500 miles (CPO from local Volvo dealer) and the crashing was already there. Everything was still fairly new back then.

      As JRL had mentioned, some crash more than others. In my opinion, suspension feel is very judgmental and very much a matter of perception. What feels OK to one driver might feel unaceptable to another. I always found the 4C unacceptable...until now.

      I do agree that an advanced driver may not like or agree with this mod.
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    33. #31
      Member RRRon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by o2k View Post
      do you think there is any benefits to doing a sum recalibration along with this mod?
      Not sure. Maybe someone else can chime in on that one.
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    34. #32
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      This seems like a great mod! Let is know how everything is working in a month to see if there are and negative affects that come of this
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    35. #33
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      Quote Originally Posted by ksimp88 View Post
      I recently purchased new 4-C struts and control arms for the front. Comfort mode is soft everywhere. Sport is still soft over bumps, but corners way better. Advanced basically tells you where every single imperfection is on the road. Advanced mode is for circuit use, IMO. That way you can learn where any imperfections on the road surface are and learn to avoid them. Thus, you gain tread life, and potentially better economy and timing. Advanced is for the Advanced driver. Sport is perfect on the R. I used to have major problems, though. New control arms and struts basically make a new car.
      I don't think you've driven a car that has a truly stiff ride with no body roll. Stiff ride ready for the track is when you're driving on a smooth highway and yet it feels like a crappy back road as unevenness that you can't even see causes a not so enjoyable ride.. something along the lines of an S2000 on coilovers adjusted to max dampening. Stock R or even on Eibachs in advanced still rides pretty soft. I always use advanced as there is too much body roll in sport and I like the faster throttle response. You don't need to be an advanced driver in either of the modes as the car's AWD, 4C, stability control, etc. do everything for you. Advanced might actually be easier than other modes as there is far less body roll and squatting when braking/accelerating.

    36. #34
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      Quote Originally Posted by xman04 View Post
      I don't think you've driven a car that has a truly stiff ride with no body roll. Stiff ride ready for the track is when you're driving on a smooth highway and yet it feels like a crappy back road as unevenness that you can't even see causes a not so enjoyable ride.. something along the lines of an S2000 on coilovers adjusted to max dampening. Stock R or even on Eibachs in advanced still rides pretty soft. I always use advanced as there is too much body roll in sport and I like the faster throttle response. You don't need to be an advanced driver in either of the modes as the car's AWD, 4C, stability control, etc. do everything for you. Advanced might actually be easier than other modes as there is far less body roll and squatting when braking/accelerating.
      If ADvanced is not stiff, I don't want to know what is. every time I go to it I feel like I'm going to be bounced out of my seat. Nonetheless I love advanced. I've found that the faster you go the better it is. Seems to smooth out at speed.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mike A View Post
      If ADvanced is not stiff, I don't want to know what is. every time I go to it I feel like I'm going to be bounced out of my seat. Nonetheless I love advanced. I've found that the faster you go the better it is. Seems to smooth out at speed.
      The R is a sporty family sedan/wagon with uber soft seats not a sports car with stiff seats with performance-only oriented suspension with little to no body roll. Advanced is stiff for a typical sedan but in absolute terms not stiff at all.

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