ChitownV: my front end rebuild/upgrade using OEM & aftermarket parts - Page 2
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    1. #36
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      I put Akebono pads and new discs on all 4 wheels last summer. I have nothing bad to say about them. I won't rave about them, but when I step on the brake the car stops as I expect it to. They have not cured my male pattern baldness, though.
      John C
      ---------------------
      2011 XC90 3.2 175,000 miles and counting...

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    3. #37
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      Quote Originally Posted by ChitownV View Post
      It could be because you're in New Zealand. Jurid and Textar are both brands very commonly used in European vehicles. It's like saying Bosch. The brands can vary based on region, supplier contracts at the time, etc. Often for parts like brake pads or tires, there is more than one manufacturer that can be used throughout the years.
      I got them from FCPEuro! because with shipping it is still cheaper than local dealership who gets them from Volvo Australia. But I'm sure if it's approved by Volvo it should be fine.
      2011 XC90 B8444S R-Design 614 120k km RHD

    4. #38
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      Good to know! Thanks for people's real-world feedback and info, even though we didn't cure John C's male pattern baldness. I will give updates on the Wagner Thermoquiet Ceramics and with the winter season here, can give feedback on the cold/wet braking.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

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    6. #39
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      Footnote: I'm reading people in the SPA XC90 who have being dealing with a double whammy of squealing brakes and easily warped rotors, moving to Centric brand cryogenic brake rotors and Akebono pads as a solution to the problem.
      2009 XC90 3.2 AWD l Oyster Grey / Bi-Xenon / Dynaudio / BLIS / VNS / RSE / THULE Aeroblade

    7. #40
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      Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDancer View Post
      Footnote: I'm reading people in the SPA XC90 who have being dealing with a double whammy of squealing brakes and easily warped rotors, moving to Centric brand cryogenic brake rotors and Akebono pads as a solution to the problem.
      One application I used Akebono Euro Ceramics on a Mercedes S class, I got a lot of squealing because the much-less friction in light to medium brake pedal pressure meant I had to push even harder every time I broke. So, the Akebono pads glazed from the increased pressure needed every time. I will say this though, in 80% or more of pedal pressure, it had more grip than OE Mercedes pads, but for everyday driving it was a pain. The Mercedes came stock with 4 piston calipers up front.
      Last edited by ChitownV; 11-10-2019 at 09:04 PM. Reason: changed OE Volvo to OE Mercedes pads
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    8. #41
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      I used Oem.Volvo first years and had only problems. Warped disks vibrations shaking squeeking like killing pig. Than i use Ate and last much longer and never ever 1 single sound or problems at all. Volvo no thanks any more for nice blue box from India.

      Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
      XC90 2.5T VOR AWD 2006 320.600 km
      Proudly GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS and VOR XC90 2.5t Nr. 615 from 1574 Volvo's 31.03.2019 UK
      + 5704 km longest distance traveled to #Volvo600 UK meeting.

    9. #42
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      Just to throw my two cents in: I got Blue box 228mm front rotors and rear rotors when I did brakes a year ago. They say "Made in Sweden"... I believe the blanks may have been cast in Germany.... since they say "Germany" on them. Things are definitely variable. The blue box was the same price as the aftermarket stuff when IPD had their sale a year ago.

      As for the Akebono pads, my comparison is usually with OEM pads. I never found them to be lacking in initial grip or needing more pedal to get them to stop. That said, EBC's are famous for their "bite". I think it depends on one's point of reference. The wife's Fiat has some sort of super grabby organic pads from the factory. I'd love to know what they are.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    10. #43
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      Long-Term Update...
      I'll also update the original post.

      Here is a long-term update on the suspension components and hope this helps. I understand that some components I recommend may be updated due to accumulating mileage and time. I have put between 33,000-38,000 miles on the suspension (roughly 2 years) and 9,000 miles on the current Wagner brake pads with Bosch rotors. While you can certainly go for all original Volvo parts, I try to see if there is equivalence and better in aftermarket alternatives.

      -The control arms with the poly forward bushings and Volvo rearward bushings are going strong. Going polyurethane for the forward bushings is still THE BEST upgrade and it is better than original Volvo for the XC90 (IMHO, but others who have done it confirm also).
      -The Bilstein Touring B4 struts are doing very well.
      -The Meyle sway bar links are still going strong.
      -The Lemforder ball joints are going strong.
      -I changed the brake pads to Wagner Thermoquiet Ceramic pads. They perform better in cold, wet, and hot compared to Bosch Quietcast and Centric Posi Quiet Semi-Metallic. The Wagner TQ Ceramic does not have the dark brake dust.
      -I changed to Bosch rotors and they rust less than the Zimmermans. I now only recommend the Bosch Quietcast or original Volvo rotors.

      Now to some pics and replacement information. At about 17k miles, I started to get a creak when I turn the wheel at slow speed, like out of a parking spot. Around 30k miles of use, it changed to a small pop. Around 35k miles, I removed one front wheel at a time with the front on a jack stand, then I placed one hand on the strut/spring and the other on the control arm. I had a 2nd person turn left and right. I could feel the pop in the upper area and not the control arm, signaling it is not a balljoint, but the strut mount.

      -I can no longer recommend Lemforder for a strut mount. While it did not completely break, it did make noise creaking and popping. There are other accounts of this in the forum too. The bearing also made [scratchy] wear noise at 38k miles when I checked it after removal. If you also look at the rust, I am good about washing the undercarriage. I have now switched to the Corteco strut mount and the noise is gone. Corteco comes with nuts rounded at its upper area, so have a wrench or deep socket ready, otherwise you can strip the nuts.
      -I still recommend the Rein spring pad/perch. If you look at the zoomed picture of the bottom of the center, there is wear where the rubber meets the metal. On top (and middle) it is fine and I cannot wiggle the center tube. So with almost 40k miles, these still perform well.

      *A note. I drive the crap out of my XC90 and it gets beat up from Chicago road construction, to Pennsylvania Turnpike twisties, to Baltimore potholes, and rust belt winter salt. I hope this helps you make your suspension decisions.

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      Rein Spring Pad Wear
      Last edited by ChitownV; 05-09-2020 at 11:56 AM.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    11. #44
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      Good stuff ChiTown,
      I was about to order a few bits to refresh my 2011 XC90. I now know not to cheap out on strut mounts I always thought they were irrelevant, I nearly bought Chinese ones! Gasp...

    12. #45
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      -I can no longer recommend Lemforder for a strut mount. While it did not completely break, it did make noise creaking and popping. There are other accounts of this in the forum too. The bearing also made [scratchy] wear noise at 38k miles when I checked it after removal. If you also look at the rust, I am good about washing the undercarriage. I have now switched to the Corteco strut mount and the noise is gone. Corteco comes with nuts rounded at its upper area, so have a wrench or deep socket ready, otherwise you can strip the nuts.
      Thanks for the update! I have these same Lemforder strut mounts installed and am experiencing knocks when turning a hard right (posted about it in another thread). Maybe one day I'll take a look and see if I can isolate the problem to this, or if it's something else like an engine mount/subframe bushing.

      Interestingly enough, FCP now has these mounts on clearance and there are a few recent reviews with very negative feedback. Too bad the labour to replace these isn't trivial.
      2008 XC90 V8 4.4L AWD | LED headlights | iPd Strut Mount Conversion | 197,000 km

    13. #46
      Junior Member BKXC90's Avatar
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      Chitown - you had a table / chart posted somewhere related to suspension setups with different XC90 models and I can't seem to find it. All the information you have documented over the years has been super helpful regarding shock and strut setup. Just want to get your opinion directly since I haven’t seen much on my setup and my goals.

      I have a 2009 V8 that is my daily driver. Typically the family mover - two adults and two little ones. Usually hauling some kid stuff. I don’t pull trailers much, but when I do it’s usually heavy loads over a short distance (camper, car dolly). We drive some pretty curvy roads and I have many years experience driving very responsive cars, both American and German. I love sporty driving. My current shocks are staring to provide some pretty rough ride quality. I believe they’re original from 2009; my car just rolled over 80K miles. I recently put on the Meyle end links, front and rear. Wondering what your suggestion is for what I’m trying to achieve - leaning towards the B6 for front and rear, but wondering if the touring series would be better for my car. I would love your input. Thanks!

    14. #47
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      With your needs, I would keep Nivomat rear shocks since they self-level for loads and passengers. The B6 will be too harsh for the family. For your needs, I would do exactly as I have done in this thread.

      -Front Bilstein B4 Touring struts (along with new strut mounts, spring perch, and lower spring pad)
      -Control arm bushings: Polyurethane forward and Volvo rear will give great turn-in while maintaining suspension geometry (use new bolts)
      -Change the front balljoints for maintenance
      -I don't have it here, but rear trailing arm bushings (updated bushings are now solid, no cut-outs). Do a search and you will find great threads by other forum members along with pics
      -If iPd sells their sway bars or get them in stock, do the sway bars (this can be done at any time, just take caution of the forward front subframe bolts due to rust)
      -Subframe bushing poly inserts (take caution of the forward front subframe bolts due to rust)
      -Upgrade to 255 width tires
      -Change brake pads for increased bite (for safety of course )

      I drive very spirited, yet want some comfort. I also often load the rear of my XC90 with 300-400lbs plus the front passenger. I too needed to keep the rear leveled, the ride comfortable & compliant, but still wanted sporty handling. I believe this set-up is the best of all worlds.

      I am sure others who have installed the Bilstein B4 Touring struts can comment as well on how they perform.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    15. #48
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      Thought I would throw a picture up to show the (non) wear of the forward polyurethane control arm bushing. You will notice there is no sign of wear. I purposely kept the picture raw and didn't wipe anything so you can see exactly what over 35k miles with four-season driving looks like on these bushings. Still the best upgrade for the XC90 regardless of driving style. I used the iPd grease inside the bushing which is thicker & stickier and others have mentioned it could simply be marine grease, which doesn't get washed away like lithium grease.

      The clump of dirt is actually grease covered in dirt. I intentionally put extra grease on the outside to act as a barrier from dirt entering the center of the bushing. Looks like it works, but not necessary.

      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    16. #49
      Junior Member BKXC90's Avatar
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      Thanks for your input! Greatly appreciated. My needs have changed a tiny bit - we took over a Ram 1500 from a family member, so I won’t be towing with the XC90 anymore. I wanted to see if the Nivomats are still recommended. I had no idea they cost so much, but it makes sense. To clarify / reiterate:

      V8 AWD as a daily driver. Usually two adults and two little ones. Curvy roads, LOTS of harsh Michigan roads and gravel roads. Love a sporty / spirited driving experience and want to really get some feeling back from this car other than body roll. I have new Yokohama Geolandars (mild, winter-rated all-terrain) in stock 235/65R18 size on the car that will stay on, so no swapping to winters. New Meyle HD front and rear sway bar links. Short list:

      Front - Bilstein B4 Touring struts, Corteco mount and Rein spring seats. Will start piecing together the rest of the front end rebuild; this is just for struts and shocks for now.

      Rear - Bilstein B4 Touring shocks. Should I bite the bullet for the self-leveling Nivomats instead? Our 3rd row seat is never used and we will have no towing duties anymore.

      Thanks!
      Attached Images Attached Images

    17. #50
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      For some reason, I always put something in the back of the XC90 since it is a daily driver and it is easy to use. I still use my Nivomats and don't see the appeal of using B4s for the rear. The rear does benefit from the updated trailing arm bushings. This made a big difference in the rear tracking on turns and long sweepers. BTW, double-check if you already have the Nivomats since you have a V8 and 7-seater. That's why I am recommending to keep them.

      For your first step, just focus on the front strut assemblies. The next step is ensuring the geometry stays aligned with the front control arm bushings (plus ball joint) and rear trailing arm bushings.

      Keep us updated after you do the B4 Touring struts. You will start noticing a group of small suspension upgrades/updates can really transform the way the XC90 drives and handles. I too drive through some bad roads & lots of twisties. The Bilstein B4 is up to the task...it's a good balance of increased performance and good ride.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    18. #51
      Junior Member BKXC90's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ChitownV View Post
      For some reason, I always put something in the back of the XC90 since it is a daily driver and it is easy to use. I still use my Nivomats and don't see the appeal of using B4s for the rear. The rear does benefit from the updated trailing arm bushings. This made a big difference in the rear tracking on turns and long sweepers. BTW, double-check if you already have the Nivomats since you have a V8 and 7-seater. That's why I am recommending to keep them.

      For your first step, just focus on the front strut assemblies. The next step is ensuring the geometry stays aligned with the front control arm bushings (plus ball joint) and rear trailing arm bushings.

      Keep us updated after you do the B4 Touring struts. You will start noticing a group of small suspension upgrades/updates can really transform the way the XC90 drives and handles. I too drive through some bad roads & lots of twisties. The Bilstein B4 is up to the task...it's a good balance of increased performance and good ride.
      The appeal at the moment is the difference on my poor wallet. I will double-check to see what is on there now before I dive in. I would like to give the B4 Tourings a chance only because they’re a cheaper option. If I hate them, I can go for the Nivomats. That’s my current thought process. I will go for the aforementioned setup on the front with the B4a. I am looking forward to getting this rolling and I appreciate you taking the time to gather these recommendations!

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