21’s and no air suspension
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    1. #1
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      21’s and no air suspension

      New owner of a 2016 T8 inscription, picked it up for a very good price with 29k miles on it. Love almost everything about it other than the incredibly bumpy ride. Is there any common upgrade to soften the ride if you do not have air suspension that people usually do around here? I’ve read that the pirelli’s are half the problem, but are any other suggestions that people have settled on around here?

      Thanks!

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    3. #2
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      Can confirm that the Pirelli's are awful .. even with the air suspension!!
      2016 XC90 T6 First Edition (66k)
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    4. #3
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      The ride on this thing is more harsh than my F150, that can't be right

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    6. #4
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      I mean, you have 21s with no air....were you expecting to be floating?
      I have 19s for winter with air and it’s still bumpy.
      I don’t think there’s much you can do besides get a smaller wheel and better tire

    7. #5
      Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      What ever you do will cost you some money. You can start off with smaller wheels which will give you a taller sidewall. Going to either a 19 inch wheel or an 18 inch wheel and then running tires with larger sidewalls so that the diameter stays relatively the same (no change in the speedometer) should give you a softer ride. You can probably find some aftermarket Coilovers or at a lower cost a set of shocks that might result in a less harsh ride. Adding air suspension would probably be expensive, though you might be able to find the parts used from a car that was wrecked. There are a couple of online shops that cater to Volvo that sponsor our forum or at least are on the forum frequently. Check them out. That is an unusual setup for a T8 not to have gotten the air suspension as a option? I would not blame the tire? There are some options on tires for 21 inch wheels. Most people seem to like the Michelin tires. Costco has them at a good price as does Tire Rack. At 29,000 miles your tires if original are long on the tooth. That could be part of the issue as well. The tires will run you around $1200 and that is probably the least amount you will end up paying to soften the ride.
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    8. #6
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      This was a lease I did not spec the vehicle, just got it last week. I am just surprised that the ride is as hard as it is (why would they even sell it this way).

    9. #7
      Junior Member hudi82's Avatar
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      there's not much you can do with 21". I have the same setup and unfortunately you'd just have to get used to it and avoid bumps.
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    10. #8
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      I've got 21s and no air suspension - I drive around NJ and NYC and the ride quality is great. It's super comfortable.
      I also have positive things to say about Pirelli tires. There are a lot of negative notes out there about them but I can't relate. I bought them new and I'm super pleased.
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noonzio View Post
      Can confirm that the Pirelli's are awful .. even with the air suspension!!
      I have 22" rims with summer Pirellis and 22" rims with winter Pirellis along with air suspension and my rides are fine. We live in New England and have zero complaints. (MY2019T8i)
      Last edited by likeXC90; 12-16-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by likeXC90 View Post
      I have 22" rims with summer Pirellis and 22" rims with winter Pirellis along with air suspension and my rides are fine. We live in New England and have zero complaints. (MY2019T8i)
      Great
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    13. #11
      Junior Member Midnight's Avatar
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      I had 21" on my 2016 T6 with no air. First thing I did is swap them for 20". Not only you get better and cheaper selection of tires, but the ride is also a bit better. Got my wheels as take off (with new tires on them) sold on eBay.

    14. #12
      Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
      I had 21" on my 2016 T6 with no air. First thing I did is swap them for 20". Not only you get better and cheaper selection of tires, but the ride is also a bit better. Got my wheels as take off (with new tires on them) sold on eBay.
      Yes a great way to save money and get OEM Wheels with tires. Often seen prices for 4 wheel and tire combos 18", 19" and 20" for $1200 to $1600 shipped. Hard to beat.
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    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
      I had 21" on my 2016 T6 with no air. First thing I did is swap them for 20". Not only you get better and cheaper selection of tires, but the ride is also a bit better. Got my wheels as take off (with new tires on them) sold on eBay.
      We went the opposite route. Our 2018 T6 was delivered OSD with 6-spoke 19" wheels. Although I love the wheel design, they always looked a little small. I was looking for a set of 20" wheels, but ended up finding a set of 21" take off wheels & Pirelli tires (still had the nubs on the center of the tread) from a Volvo dealer for $1200 shipped. It was too good to pass up. So far, very happy with the ride.

    16. #14
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      As for why... different buyers have different triggers. For some it's style, and for others its comfort, some will pay for both, but not everyone. There are so much buying triggers!
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    17. #15
      Junior Member Heimdall's Avatar
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      21’s and no air suspension

      You could be having a case of hardened tyers.
      IMO ~30k miles is about it for 21” life span.
      Tread might be great but sometimes they become very hard and lose rubber/ soft characters. Seen it happen mainly with Michelin in hot weather


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    18. #16
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      What air pressure are you running?

      Every tire manufacturer has pressure load tables for tires. Determine the weight on each axle and set according to tire mfr recommendations. I run a pressure just above the TPMS nag warning which is consistent with tire mfr recommendations.

      If you're worried about ignoring the door placard tire pressures know that Europe has two tire pressures at different loads, one for light and another for fully loaded. Cars in America seem to specify tire pressures at max load. Better fuel mileage perhaps, but not the best for either ride or wear.
      2016 XC90 T8 Inscription w/Air Suspension

    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by sconnors11 View Post
      What air pressure are you running?

      Every tire manufacturer has pressure load tables for tires. Determine the weight on each axle and set according to tire mfr recommendations. I run a pressure just above the TPMS nag warning which is consistent with tire mfr recommendations.

      If you're worried about ignoring the door placard tire pressures know that Europe has two tire pressures at different loads, one for light and another for fully loaded. Cars in America seem to specify tire pressures at max load. Better fuel mileage perhaps, but not the best for either ride or wear.
      I have to second this. Using tire pressure close to what's listed on the tire (ie the max psi) will lead to a very bumpy ride as the tire becomes too stiff to help absorb any road bumps.
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    20. #18
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      Just had a chance to check pressures this morning, all tires at like 47-48psi, that's probably my issue, supposed to be 42, and I have heard 38-40 is not bad to run (based on what I have read around here?)
      Last edited by videian; 12-18-2019 at 09:48 AM.

    21. #19
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      I'll take those 21's on off your hands if you don't want them.
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    22. #20
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      Going from 20s to 19s with Blizzaks definitely feels less harsh. Still looking to smooth the ride out further. I hate braking hard and avoiding the never-ending parade of potholes here in Chicago. I somehow imagined the XC90 would have so much suspension travel that it would float like a caddy. I don't give a damn about feeling the road and trying to pretend like I am riding in a sports car. I am waiting for the warranty to run out so I can change out the shocks and or springs to smooth things out. Does anybody know of aftermarket shocks that temper the firmness of the ride?
      Last edited by TheWhiteWhale; 12-18-2019 at 05:12 PM.

    23. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by videian View Post
      Just had a chance to check pressures this morning, all tires at like 47-48psi, that's probably my issue, supposed to be 42, and I have heard 38-40 is not bad to run (based on what I have read around here?)
      Try 36 psi. That's what I run in my 21" tires. Take the time to google your tire and load pressure rating to be sure.
      2016 XC90 T8 Inscription w/Air Suspension

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