Stock vs Budget Coilover for AWD V50
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    1. #1
      Junior Member Ninereeds's Avatar
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      Question Stock vs Budget Coilover for AWD V50

      Hi All,

      Recently bought a 2006 AWD t5 V50, and it has a rear shock on the way out. I've been reading all of the past threads about this and largely condensed the info down to a few points:

      1. If you're racing it, KW coilovers, custom Koni's, or somehow finding a Heico kit are the best options,

      and 2. If not, go OE.

      Looking at doing both rear shocks alone in the official Volvo parts seems to be around ~$400 for the kit. Adding Bilstein B4s in the front brings it up to around ~$820. The only reason I'm considering not doing this, is that right now the pound is a bit weak, and I could get a set of PB coilovers for $880 /shipped/. I don't want to slam the car (I live in upstate NY, potholes are a significant part of life), but I wouldn't say no to a 15mm drop or so. I would however like the stiffer handling from upgraded suspension, especially considering the price vs OE replacements.

      My question is, if I got picky about spring rates/install, would I be able to get better handling out of the PB kit without throwing my ride quality straight into the garbage? Considering the price is almost the same it's a tempting proposition, but I've heard some mixed reviews, and no one seems to mention getting custom springs (which PB offers.) It seems like their default springs are probably meant for significant lowering and don't seem to offer any of the original ride quality, which doesn't exactly suit my uses. At most it might see some autocross, but generally I would describe my use pattern as "enthusiastic daily driving". For reference I was looking at a set of Bilstein B6's before I realized the rear shock problems.

      All things being equal, what's a good compromise here? Has anyone been able to customize their coilovers for a more minimal stance w/ better comfort? Is this whole endeavor a bit dumb?

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    3. #2
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      I'm in an identical boat. I put the Eibach Pro-Kit springs on mine just to bring down the AWD's crazy lifted right height, which have done wonders for the aesthetics without hurting ride quality. Though I can't help but feel like my shocks and struts are coming close to the end of their life and that they should be replaced with something to match the lowering springs better.

      I've been eyeing the KW's, but damn, that's some money right there.

      Don't forget there are these KYB adjustables that fit the rear: https://www.amazon.com/KYB-741067-AG...dp/B000C3ZDOS/ I've been debating some Bilstein/Konis in the front, with these in the rear.

    4. #3
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      I've long had these same thoughts. I actually ended up buying a SS user's old set of custom Konis, but have yet to install them. They were cheap enough that I figured I'd give them a shot, but my original plan was to get new Konis in the front and adjustable KYBs in the rear. I was leaning toward this setup because I have a set of used Heico springs that I've been sitting on for nearly three years. Otherwise, I would have given coilovers more consideration.

      But as for coilovers, I always dreamed about finding someone selling used KWs. I've also thought about BCs as a cheaper but still reputable alternative.

      Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
      2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66 (2017 - ) || 1987 Toyota MR2 (2016 - ) || 2002 Lexus IS300 (2016 - ) || 2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD M66 (2016 - 2019) || 2008 Volvo V50 T5 (2015 - 2016) || 2001 Acura Integra GSR (2010 - 2010) Stolen lol

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    6. #4
      Member AutoGeek's Avatar
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      If you suspect your shock and struts are getting worn, they probably are. On both my V50's I was surprised how bad the struts were when I removed them. The ride was not too bad but the struts has lost all gas pressure and compression damping. I don't know how the car rode as well as it did. It was much better when I replaced them though.
      2005 V50 T5 FWD M66 Passion Red (Radio Flyer) Bilstein HD, ECU spacer, Snabb Turbo Pipe

      1998 V70 NA - Sold, 2002 S40 1.9T - R.I.P., 2005 V50 T5 - RIP

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    7. #5
      Member jondevieonS40's Avatar
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      I would just do coilovers for the ease of install and ability to adjust the height. either way you go be prepared to get new adjustable camber arms for the rears to save your tires.
      2008 S40 T5 AWD ("Shadow") |ELEVATE 3" Intake, 2.5" Charge Pipe, Intercooler, Torque Mount, ECU Mount, TCV, Turbosmart CBV, Turbosmart Actuator, stage 3 APC Tune, 3 Stickers (5HP)ea||ClockWorkCalibrations Custom 3" Exhaust||EuroSportTuning 3" downpipe.||CF Cone Filter||De-Badged||custom Mesh Grill||Intercooler Cut out||Porsche 911 Throttle body upgrade||18" Enkie PDC Wheels wrapped in 225/45/18 Sentury UHP||M3 Spoiler|| 8k Morimoto HID Kit|| White LED Fog,City,trunk light|"embody God, then go crazy"

    8. #6
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      The issue for me ultimately comes down to price. $2K for a set of KWs is hard to justify

    9. #7
      Junior Member Ninereeds's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by muppetman342 View Post
      I'm in an identical boat. I put the Eibach Pro-Kit springs on mine just to bring down the AWD's crazy lifted right height, which have done wonders for the aesthetics without hurting ride quality. Though I can't help but feel like my shocks and struts are coming close to the end of their life and that they should be replaced with something to match the lowering springs better.

      I've been eyeing the KW's, but damn, that's some money right there.

      Don't forget there are these KYB adjustables that fit the rear: https://www.amazon.com/KYB-741067-AG...dp/B000C3ZDOS/ I've been debating some Bilstein/Konis in the front, with these in the rear.
      Yeah, I had seen those and I was a bit hesitant due to the fact that they also have a length difference from stock. I asked the super car tech in the family if it would make a difference and they said it "depends on the compressed vs. uncompressed length." I know a lot of people already run these without issues, but some people also claim to run FWD shocks unmodified without issues so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      The new game plan is since I have an extra week of spring break due to Coronavirus I'm gonna order the KYBs and compare them to the stock shocks-- if I have suspicions I'll just return them and report back about any potential issues. I also want to check the rear shock mounts, since there were some claims that those are super durable, so if I can avoid replacing them that takes $180 off the price tag. If the KYBs work, new plan is to get Koni Yellows in front and KYBs in the rear, since that comes to $930 or so (even with replacing rear shock mounts!) and would give me more options for springs.

      Someone else mentioned ease of replacement for coilovers-- could you elaborate? I've never installed them on any car, much less a Volvo. I'll have some experienced helping hands, but if they're easier to do than struts all around that might also be a deciding factor.

      And again, any tips on tuning coilovers for better comfort would be appreciated in case I go that route.

    10. #8
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      Coilovers are considered easier since you don't have to deal with spring compressors to disassemble the front struts. The coilovers just go in and replace the whole assembly. Fwiw, my lowering springs also don't require spring compressors.

      Curious how the KYBs feel, it's hard to get a lot of feedback on how people like them. Looking forward to your report.

    11. #9
      Member thefisch33's Avatar
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      You get what you pay for. Having held KWs in person and installed them, the quality and material is unmatched. 2nd would be BC Racing. I wouldn't go to any other vendor. Also, I am going to be test fitting airlift bags and control arms on my awd s40 very soon. Stay tuned.
      2010 s40 T5 AWD M66 a tribute to Heico's ODIN HS4

    12. #10
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      How do you find the KWs ride compared to stock? I tend to drive on some crap roads. Would hate to drop that money and be uncomfortable.

    13. #11
      Member thefisch33's Avatar
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      Anytime you go lower it's going to be stiffer. I wouldn't say it's uncomfortable though. Not like some static stancey boi Honda but you're going to notice it.
      2010 s40 T5 AWD M66 a tribute to Heico's ODIN HS4

    14. #12
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      I'm not unhappy with the ride my eibach springs give me at 1.5 inches lower. So I figure if I can adjust the KWs to be comparable, that's a win

    15. #13
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      I went with Eibach all around with kyb front struts and rear shocks- the adjustible ones I have no complaints although it is a bit stiff for some people

    16. #14
      Junior Member EricVolvoR's Avatar
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      After using eibach spring and kyb strut for more then one year on my s40 awd,

      I removed it, and put Ceika coilover (around 1500$ CAD)

      Its way more comfortable and the 30 level adjustment click for the rebound and compression is very nice.

      I did adjust the preload this morning (get the springs higher) 1/4*‘’ inch up

      On the front and the ride way better then eibach-kyb




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    17. #15
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      I don't plan on racing my car, but I do want to feel more of the road. To me, the V50 AWD feels a bit too much like a boat compared to say my Mazda3 2014.

      I wouldn't mind lowering it a few cm.. but I like that you can adjust them.

      How would these coilovers (Ceika) compare to the stock setup in terms of lifespan?
      2010 V50 T5 AWD M66

    18. #16
      Junior Member EricVolvoR's Avatar
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      I ordered them in late november and got them during christmass time.

      I installed them late january.

      I took the comfort option (sport low) with the helper spring (only available on the front)

      You can adjust them to close to oem height or 8-12 cm lower

      From ceika website:

      Excellent longevity and fully rebuildable. Our custom shocks, valves, components, seals and high performance oil allow us to have a close to zero amount of rebuild or failure/shock leakage. Even after over 7 years of street or racing use.

      That was my first set of coilover so i wasnt familiar with this.

      When i got them installed the first weekend i was so happy with the ride comfort and stiffness. I went to the ski station with both kids and the wife saturday and sunday and couldnt be happier with the new suspension

      On monday, I leaved the car to the paint shop for 1 week and when i got it back it was so awfull.

      Every bump would hit the frame so hard. I couldnt even pass my fingers between the tire and the frame (the car height dropped so much)

      I was very concerned i thought the paint shop guy stole my suspension and put another garbage.

      After listening to some youtube video i understood that coilovers do drop by themself the first 2 days or so.

      Thats exactly what happened to me.

      So now lets be clear. They give you a tool ( some kind of allen key to adjust 30 level of compression/rebound)

      Thats pretty cool to know you can adjust to these 2 settings with the «*allen key*»

      However i had to adjust 2 other setting to get it back to comfort raisonable height.

      A ) the height
      B ) the preload

      These 2 settings can be adjusted by lifting the car and use the (custom adustable key) that they give you with the kit to A) lower or upper the car. B) adjust the preload (very important) by getting the coil higher so the struts wont be the only suspension you have.

      My mech did it and it took less then 30 min and the car got back like the first weekend (we adjusted the height back to before and adjusted the preload so the coil spring now do their job and help the strut.

      Now after 1 month I can assure you its the ride is better then the KYB / Eibach combo.

      Without being familiar with coilovers, Now I think its very nice knowing you can

      A) adjust the height depending of the season (30-45 min job) with the car lifted

      B) just open the hood and use the «*allen key*» to change the compression/rebound setting (30 level)

      C) having a way to adjust the preload of the spring to help the strut if you ever feel the ride is too harsh (30-45 min job) with the car lifted





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      2007 M66 S60R Custom Interior, Custum Piggyback ECU (AEM Infinity). Project not done yet (In Progress)

      2010 M66 AWD S40 R Design

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      Ceika BBK and Ceika Coilover

    19. #17
      Junior Member Ninereeds's Avatar
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      Hi folks--
      Just wanted to drop back in with an update on my initial situation:
      I ended up going for the Coilovers actually-- The pound dropped again, and the price went down another ~$100, which ended up making the decision for me. I talked to Dan at PB Brakes, and ended up getting their softest spring option (7 kg all around) to retain some comfort. I'll probably make a new thread for a v50 AWD dedicated review on the PB coilovers which will hopefully be helpful to some. I did look at the Ceika coilovers but after the USD exchange rate they came out to pretty much the cost of a set of KW V1s which was a bit out of budget.
      Thanks for all the advice/feedback!

    20. #18
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      Sounds good! If you end up making another thread, be sure to link it here, very interested in your results. Looking at this thread it seems pretty mixed as to ride quality: https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...vers-My-review

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