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Old 04-18-2020, 01:17 PM   #1
CRatcliff
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Default Volvo 140 Suspension Upgrade

Hey All!

Any advice on some good springs for the 140? Vintage Performance purportedly has some progressive rate springs, buuut that's Vintage Performance. IPD doesn't carry 140 springs any more, and the only things that vp-autoparts has seem to just be stiffer springs.

http://212.247.61.152/US/main.aspx?p...e&artno=167100

Considering I'm going to be doing this work and redoing the alignment after, I'd like to go with the best springs I can for the job.
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:15 PM   #2
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Vintage Performance as in Vintage Performance Developments? I would not shop from them unless you can walk into the shop, lay hands on the springs and walk out with them after having purchased them. JP is legendary for non delivery after taking the money. Also, do a Mr. Google search. There are postings on the web about problems with his progressive springs sagging after use.

I had the Leejofors springs for the 140 that just about every vintage Volvo specialist sells. Very stiff, probably very good for autocross. Very, very uncomfortable if your city streets are less than table top smooth. If you try the Lesjofors, start with the OEM sway bars because the high spring rate on the Lesjofors will do an excellent job of eliminating body roll due to spring compression. My 142 is lighter than normal. The Lesjofors combined with the relatively high compression rates in the Bilstein HD shocks plus the supplementary spring rate associated with the IPD sway bars was shaking the car badly on our city streets. Hitting speed bumps at any speed could get the rear air-born.

I removed the Lesjofors and installed the Amazon Cars UK fast road springs for the 140. They list them as progressive on the front and single rate on the rear; but, they look more like dual rate on the front. The spring rates are significantly softer than the Lesjofors and the car is much more pleasant to drive on city streets. The body roll is more present than with the Lesjofors (which pretty much demonstrated no body roll). I still have the IPD anti roll bars with the Amazon springs; but, I am considering ditching the IPD bars in favour of returning to the OEM bar up front with no rear bar. The increase in negative camber associated with compression of the outside spring during cornering is not exactly a bad thing. The down-side is that Amazon Cars does not appear to be exporting their springs anymore and when they did they were quite expensive. Contact them to find out what the current status is. The packing info that came with the Amazon cars springs indicates that they were supplied by www.coilsprings.co.uk. You may be able to get the same springs directly from them.

The Amazon Cars springs have a ride height that is about 1 cm + higher than the Lesjofors.

Classic Swede lists springs for the 140. I have no experience with them. They appear to be single rate; but, they do state that they can do custom orders
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Old 04-18-2020, 05:37 PM   #3
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I can't help you find them, but I have IPD 164 front springs and they're perfect. They are progressive rate. I also have 240 lowering springs (essentially IPD) and the rear, you just have to add a 240 upper perch.
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:54 PM   #4
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I have some NOS 5" x 11" x 350# hipercoil 'blue' springs I'd sell for $85 shipped.
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:32 AM   #5
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I stock a selection of 140 and 164 spring kits. What does the suspension need to do for you?

https://www.classicswede.co.uk/Sprin...5_1625018.aspx
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:45 AM   #6
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Awesome, thanks all! Yeah I'm familiar with JP. Had a couple orders just never ship.

Mblue, that sounds like it might be a good option.

Redwood, what are the hipercoil blue springs like? Progressive or fixed rate etc?

Classicswede, that's excellent news! I'm looking to lower it SLIGHTLY and get better suspension for canyon carving etc. It doesn't need to be anything crazy - I'll have sway bars in the front and rear, but better than stock. Honestly the springs from VPD are perfect for what I wanted if it weren't for VPD.
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:56 AM   #7
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Stock cars use constant rate sprigs since there's no such thing as a progressive rate shock.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:08 PM   #8
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Stock cars use constant rate sprigs since there's no such thing as a progressive rate shock.
Sorry, I'm confused by this.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:13 PM   #9
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Progressive rate springs suck.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:33 PM   #10
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Progressive rate springs suck.
Why do you say that? Seems like for a car that I want to be able to comfortably take on a road trip but also corner well in, progressive rates would be ideal. Also living in a city with lots of potholes. Also the wife's parents live 5 miles up a dirt road.

I feel like linear rate springs would either be way too stiff for the dirt road or way too soft for the corners
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:35 PM   #11
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Why do you say that? Seems like for a car that I want to be able to comfortably take on a road trip but also corner well in, progressive rates would be ideal. Also living in a city with lots of potholes. Also the wife's parents live 5 miles up a dirt road.

I feel like linear rate springs would either be way too stiff for the dirt road or way too soft for the corners
They are neither fish nor fowl.

And yes the old 500# IPD lowering springs ride like a 3/4 ton pick-me-up truck as do the late 164 springs.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:42 PM   #12
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All progressive springs do is give more travel. Comfort is only slighter better than a fixed rate lowering spring. If you want to drive on rough roads then I would suggest gravel rally springs. They lift a little but give great comfort and handling on all road surfaces. They are no race track spring but for day to day driving they are great
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:46 PM   #13
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Or weld lowering cups into the lower front control arms, use stock springs and stress the steering box with bad drag link geometry.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by classicswede View Post
All progressive springs do is give more travel. Comfort is only slighter better than a fixed rate lowering spring. If you want to drive on rough roads then I would suggest gravel rally springs. They lift a little but give great comfort and handling on all road surfaces. They are no race track spring but for day to day driving they are great
Softer taller springs?

Heresy!
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:08 PM   #15
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Not sure I'd want to go TALLER, but I also don't need to go lower. I have zero understanding of how these springs compare. Between the hipercoil springs or the options classicswede has what seems to fit best my goal to have something that handles better than stock while still not being miserable to drive in the city etc?
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:24 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CRatcliff View Post
Not sure I'd want to go TALLER, but I also don't need to go lower. I have zero understanding of how these springs compare. Between the hipercoil springs or the options classicswede has what seems to fit best my goal to have something that handles better than stock while still not being miserable to drive in the city etc?
That's what I was shooting for on my 145.

Trying to mimic the ~10% stiffer 79 GT springs & overloads that are on my 245 which still rides comfortably, carries a load and doesn't scrape all the time in normal daily driving.

Just never got around to putting them in and / but I already have 245 Turbo rear springs installed.

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Old 04-19-2020, 01:59 PM   #17
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Handles better? Need to quantify that a bit more.

Give consideration to the anti roll bars that you have already installed. Anti roll bars tend to increase understeer on the end of the car on which they are installed. They do this because they reduce the increase in negative camber that occurs as the suspension compresses on the outside (loaded side) of the car as it goes around a corner. Putting just a big ass front anti roll bar on tends to make the car run wide on corners or require additional steering input. If you want to be able to break the rear end loose to drift around a corner in a very tight auto cross course, then a lot of rear anti sway with less front anti sway might be the ticket.

If you are looking for flat out increase in your ability to pull Gs going around a corner, then perhaps you should be giving consideration to what rubber you are wearing on the car. If you want to get extreme in DOT approved tires, you might be able to fit something like a BF Goodrich G Force Rival S 1.5 in the 205/50 15 fit. Rolling radius will be significantly smaller than the more common 140 tire fits so your speedo will be screwed; but, tires wouldn't be your limiting factor. The G Force is a 200 ATQ tire so don't expect long life, don't drive in really heavy rain and don't even think about driving in the winter. In the tire sizes that easily match up with the 140 you are exceedingly limited in your performance tire options. The Michelin Premier A/S which is a favorite for the 140 in the 185/65 size is not a high performance tire. How radical do you want to go. If you put a sticky tire that can generate a lot of Gs at some point you need to consider stiffer springs to reduce the suspension compression under high cornering force or start playing with anti roll bars.

How fast do you want to go? Are you planning on heading to a track? As you increase your speed you need to increase your spring rates. Hitting a deflection in the road surface at 50 km/hr may cause a mild compression in the front suspension. Hit the same deflection at 150 km/hr may have you on the bump stops.

You need to figure out what you dislike about the handling right now. If you are looking for slightly better steering response, increasing the negative camber on the front and fiddling with toe may be a start - along with making sure the steering box and front suspension bushings aren't clapped out. Outright increases in roll stiffness, stiffer springs, higher spring rates and higher damping rate shocks will definitely give you the feel of a firmer ride. That does not necessarily translate in to a vehicle that gets around corners better.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 142 guy View Post
Handles better? Need to quantify that a bit more.

Give consideration to the anti roll bars that you have already installed. Anti roll bars tend to increase understeer on the end of the car on which they are installed. They do this because they reduce the increase in negative camber that occurs as the suspension compresses on the outside (loaded side) of the car as it goes around a corner. Putting just a big ass front anti roll bar on tends to make the car run wide on corners or require additional steering input. If you want to be able to break the rear end loose to drift around a corner in a very tight auto cross course, then a lot of rear anti sway with less front anti sway might be the ticket.

If you are looking for flat out increase in your ability to pull Gs going around a corner, then perhaps you should be giving consideration to what rubber you are wearing on the car. If you want to get extreme in DOT approved tires, you might be able to fit something like a BF Goodrich G Force Rival S 1.5 in the 205/50 15 fit. Rolling radius will be significantly smaller than the more common 140 tire fits so your speedo will be screwed; but, tires wouldn't be your limiting factor. The G Force is a 200 ATQ tire so don't expect long life, don't drive in really heavy rain and don't even think about driving in the winter. In the tire sizes that easily match up with the 140 you are exceedingly limited in your performance tire options. The Michelin Premier A/S which is a favorite for the 140 in the 185/65 size is not a high performance tire. How radical do you want to go. If you put a sticky tire that can generate a lot of Gs at some point you need to consider stiffer springs to reduce the suspension compression under high cornering force or start playing with anti roll bars.

How fast do you want to go? Are you planning on heading to a track? As you increase your speed you need to increase your spring rates. Hitting a deflection in the road surface at 50 km/hr may cause a mild compression in the front suspension. Hit the same deflection at 150 km/hr may have you on the bump stops.

You need to figure out what you dislike about the handling right now. If you are looking for slightly better steering response, increasing the negative camber on the front and fiddling with toe may be a start - along with making sure the steering box and front suspension bushings aren't clapped out. Outright increases in roll stiffness, stiffer springs, higher spring rates and higher damping rate shocks will definitely give you the feel of a firmer ride. That does not necessarily translate in to a vehicle that gets around corners better.


Hard to beat what the guys in the white lab coats laid out.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 142 guy View Post
Handles better? Need to quantify that a bit more.

Give consideration to the anti roll bars that you have already installed. Anti roll bars tend to increase understeer on the end of the car on which they are installed. They do this because they reduce the increase in negative camber that occurs as the suspension compresses on the outside (loaded side) of the car as it goes around a corner. Putting just a big ass front anti roll bar on tends to make the car run wide on corners or require additional steering input. If you want to be able to break the rear end loose to drift around a corner in a very tight auto cross course, then a lot of rear anti sway with less front anti sway might be the ticket.

If you are looking for flat out increase in your ability to pull Gs going around a corner, then perhaps you should be giving consideration to what rubber you are wearing on the car. If you want to get extreme in DOT approved tires, you might be able to fit something like a BF Goodrich G Force Rival S 1.5 in the 205/50 15 fit. Rolling radius will be significantly smaller than the more common 140 tire fits so your speedo will be screwed; but, tires wouldn't be your limiting factor. The G Force is a 200 ATQ tire so don't expect long life, don't drive in really heavy rain and don't even think about driving in the winter. In the tire sizes that easily match up with the 140 you are exceedingly limited in your performance tire options. The Michelin Premier A/S which is a favorite for the 140 in the 185/65 size is not a high performance tire. How radical do you want to go. If you put a sticky tire that can generate a lot of Gs at some point you need to consider stiffer springs to reduce the suspension compression under high cornering force or start playing with anti roll bars.

How fast do you want to go? Are you planning on heading to a track? As you increase your speed you need to increase your spring rates. Hitting a deflection in the road surface at 50 km/hr may cause a mild compression in the front suspension. Hit the same deflection at 150 km/hr may have you on the bump stops.

You need to figure out what you dislike about the handling right now. If you are looking for slightly better steering response, increasing the negative camber on the front and fiddling with toe may be a start - along with making sure the steering box and front suspension bushings aren't clapped out. Outright increases in roll stiffness, stiffer springs, higher spring rates and higher damping rate shocks will definitely give you the feel of a firmer ride. That does not necessarily translate in to a vehicle that gets around corners better.

This is SUPER helpful. I already have the front anti-sway on, and gonna add the rear. Main things I'm addressing are:
  • The current springs are completely shot. Back end is way lower than the front and it feels like it just flops around corners.
  • While I'm replacing those springs, I'm curious what the good options are.
  • Looking to get it to not flop around corners. Right now the car almost feels like it's going to roll as I corner on it. Definitely not taking it to a track, but would like to be able to go through a mountain pass at a respectable speed and not feel like the car is fighting me.
  • Going to be replacing the tires as well. Right now the alignment is completely buggered, and the PO put oversized tires on so it feels like utter **** on the highway.
  • I've replaced all the bushings that weren't solid, and replaced the steering box and steering arm.
  • Honestly want a car that feels safe to drive. Currently feels like the steering is a mess at high speeds, and cornering is super tough. My wife's 1997 Toyota Camry corners a million times better.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:35 PM   #20
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Put on some JY 244 rear springs and see where you are?
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:44 PM   #21
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Put on some JY 244 rear springs and see where you are?
My understanding is changing springs will require the alignment to be redone. I'd also like a little bit stiffer than stock probably? How do the hipercoil springs you have compare to stock? Are they just for front or all 4?
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:52 PM   #22
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Front springs.
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:29 PM   #23
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Really appreciate the help y'all. Honestly this is way out of my depth.
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by CRatcliff View Post
Main things I'm addressing are:
  • The current springs are completely shot. Back end is way lower than the front and it feels like it just flops around corners.
  • While I'm replacing those springs, I'm curious what the good options are.
  • Looking to get it to not flop around corners. Right now the car almost feels like it's going to roll as I corner on it. Definitely not taking it to a track, but would like to be able to go through a mountain pass at a respectable speed and not feel like the car is fighting me.
  • Going to be replacing the tires as well. Right now the alignment is completely buggered, and the PO put oversized tires on so it feels like utter **** on the highway.
  • I've replaced all the bushings that weren't solid, and replaced the steering box and steering arm.
  • Honestly want a car that feels safe to drive. Currently feels like the steering is a mess at high speeds, and cornering is super tough. My wife's 1997 Toyota Camry corners a million times better.
If the rear springs have fatigued and compressed and the front springs are not 'as compressed' this will increase caster which tends to make the car steer slower at speed - more specifically it will want to stay in a straight line. As per your plan, fix the spring issue before alignment.

Flopping around corners - not sure what that is specifically. The 140 has a fairly high seating position so you are always going to notice body roll - just like you do with a pick-up truck. If body roll really bothers you stiffer springs will reduce body roll due to compression of the 'outside' suspension going around a corner. So will anti roll bars. My preference would be stiffer springs first then try the anti roll bars if you still find roll excessive.

Volvo lists test values for accepting / rejecting the springs; but, does not list the spring rates for the OEM springs, so even if you can find spring rates for the new springs its hard to make a relative comparison. Perhaps Classic Swede can provide you with relative guidelines as to how their various springs compare against the OEM springs in terms of spring rates. Since likes can be personal it may be a case of buy and try and buy and try again if you didn't like the first option.

If the springs you install give you a change in ride height that will alter camber. The 140 OEM specs are 0 to slightly positive camber. Shorter springs will cause the camber to go towards the negative so you may end up at zero or slightly negative relative to OEM specs. That is not a bad thing. Most modern vehicles run with a slight amount of negative camber (more negative camber if you don't mind high tire wear). - 0.5 deg is a reasonable point to start at for an experiment. You can also play with toe settings which will alter the steering response of the vehicle. However, too much toe out will give you a vehicle that is quicker to respond to steering; but, can tend to dart back and forth like a wired haired terrier that has had a couple of espressos. More toe in tends to make the vehicle track in a straight line; but, tends to reduce sensitivity to steering input. The best settings depend on your preference.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:25 PM   #25
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Remember to grab the 240 upper spring perches when you're in the JY picking your 244 rear springs.
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