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Old 09-08-2020, 12:02 PM   #1
740atl
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Default How much money do I have to spend before my 240 handles well.

I was thinking about this question the other day when I got the chance to drive a basically stock 240 albeit with a 302 v8 in it and nothing but a front ipd 25mm swaybar. Stock ride height, stock mushy shocks, etc. The car moved around a lot but I found the experience to be more predictable handling wise than the ass-heap of a car I have been putting together over the past 15 years.

My 240 however is a different story.


My 240 has front coilovers with 250lb springs and stock height bilstein hd's.
The rear has 200lb 5" springs with s-10 bilstein HD's

25mm front and rear swaybars.

Camber is all the way in towards the engine (stock strut mounts).

The condition...

the car bounces around like a pogo stick. The rear bouncing around is really unnerving. I used to have 350lb springs in the front and that was a joke. It doesn't corner with confidence and leans toward oversteer which for me as a neophyte driver scares the spiss out of me. In other words, all the modifications I've done have actually made the car handle worse and I drive it hard less often.

I am considering the QSRC and after that camber plates and actual koni sport shocks/struts with adjustable rebound but that's another $1100 to spend and I'm not sure of the outcome.

So... How much money did you have to spend to make your 240 handle well? I'm interested in what you did... mods, etc.

I'm not interested in 740s/940s... I feel like those cars have a better designed chassis from the start and even stock handled way better than any 240 I've driven and they're apples and oranges to 240's.

Please keep the comments positive.

Last edited by 740atl; 09-08-2020 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:25 PM   #2
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You need a lot less stiffness in the rear. Try stock/no rear bar and ~150 lb/in springs.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by redblockpowered View Post
You need a lot less stiffness in the rear. Try stock/no rear bar and ~150 lb/in springs.
Ok Thanks! I can remove the rear bar first and then pick up a set of springs.... Aren't the IPD springs supposed to be 150lb/in?
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:37 PM   #4
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Looks like that's what MikeP measured the IPD rears at. Their fronts are way soft for the rear rate. New sets may be different, not sure.
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:49 PM   #5
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What wheels and tire size and air pressure?
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:26 PM   #6
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What wheels and tire size and air pressure?
215/45/17's 17x7's. I usually run near the max air pressure.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:33 PM   #7
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Low profile tires and max air pressure are not good for real world street handling, try letting a few lbs out and try it, you may have to do it a time or two. Going from 30 to 35 in my cars makes a big difference in ride and handling.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 740atl View Post

My 240 however is a different story.


My 240 has front coilovers with 250lb springs and stock height bilstein hd's.
The rear has 200lb 5" springs with s-10 bilstein HD's

25mm front and rear swaybars.

Camber is all the way in towards the engine (stock strut mounts).
Ditch the rear bar and go to a skinny stock rear bar.
Rear springs in the 125-150 lb/in range.
Ditch the S-10 shocks, they're way too stiff for actual grip. A good cheap shock that has decent damping rates are Ganriel Ultra shocks, usually ~$45 each. I've used these in rally cars, drift car, and the the DD 244. They are a great shock for the price. They do not like heavy springs, 150lb/in is about the max they can handle.

Front setup seems decent (rates, dampers, bar, camber). Depending on how low your car is, the QSRC may help. They make a huge improvement if the car is lowered ~ 1" or more.

I use the BNE select strut mounts and add in as much caster as possible. Helps with camber gain when turning, tracking, and wheel centering & self-steering when drifting.

Hope this helps. A bouncy and stiff 240 is not good for handling... been there, won't be going back.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:32 PM   #9
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My '91 245 has stock springs, KYB GR2 shocks in the rear, some kind of strut in the front (never had it apart), and the 240T sway bar combination (23/21) and I can hustle it with confidence.

Our LeMons race car has factory or factory-replacement suspension components (we did cut the springs, which I would never recommend on a street car but it works for what we do) and it can put the Frank Thomas on most cars.

If you're having trouble, go back towards a stock setup rather than trying to modify your way out of your modifications. That, at least, you KNOW is supposed to work in a predictable manner.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culberro View Post
Ditch the S-10 shocks, they're way too stiff for actual grip. A good cheap shock that has decent damping rates are Ganriel Ultra shocks, usually ~$45 each. I've used these in rally cars, drift car, and the the DD 244. They are a great shock for the price. They do not like heavy springs, 150lb/in is about the max they can handle.
Is the S10 shock recommendation just with regard to the Bilsteins or across the board?
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culberro View Post
Ditch the rear bar and go to a skinny stock rear bar.
Rear springs in the 125-150 lb/in range.
Ditch the S-10 shocks, they're way too stiff for actual grip. A good cheap shock that has decent damping rates are Ganriel Ultra shocks, usually ~$45 each. I've used these in rally cars, drift car, and the the DD 244. They are a great shock for the price. They do not like heavy springs, 150lb/in is about the max they can handle.

Front setup seems decent (rates, dampers, bar, camber). Depending on how low your car is, the QSRC may help. They make a huge improvement if the car is lowered ~ 1" or more.

I use the BNE select strut mounts and add in as much caster as possible. Helps with camber gain when turning, tracking, and wheel centering & self-steering when drifting.

Hope this helps. A bouncy and stiff 240 is not good for handling... been there, won't be going back.
all good advice here. I don't have experience with the gabriels but the rest seems to be spot on.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoestring View Post
Is the S10 shock recommendation just with regard to the Bilsteins or across the board?
The S-10 shocks are from the front end application of a s-10. They are way over damped for the rear of a 240. If you like bone jarring suspension dampening, then they're for you!
I had some Monroe s-10 shocks on the drift car for a while. It was brutal. Zero grip if it wasn't a smooth track. With stock rear springs, the tire probably did more deflection than the suspension.

Maybe some blown out ones from the JY have a more appropriate damping curve
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:32 PM   #13
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This is my first 240 and also the lightest car I've ever owned. When I bought the car, the front right anti roll bar link was broken, the trailing arm bushings were sad, and the rear shocks were some old rusty kyb's. Still, though, this thing had spooky grip for what it was. Of course the tires I had were just regular all seasons, but I couldn't actually find the limit of the grip up front save for doing stupid stuff in a parking lot. Every time I thought I was really sending it into the turn, the car was just laughing in my face.

Anyway, I've refreshed the entire suspension to factory specs. Blue box volvo dampers, lesjofors springs, aftermarket (rubber) bushings and mounts. I have the 23/21 front and rear anti roll bars like shoestring. I also have 14x6 enkei 92's with 215/70R14 cooper cobra radial g/t's.

I have to say that this is hands down the best handling car I've owned. Maybe not in terms of outright grip (my 99 v70 had michelin pilot supersports) but the way this car just wants to rotate and comply with the road is outstanding. It's the most fun I've had in a road car save for driving my friend's miatas.

I want to experiment with the stiffer factory front springs (from a turbo car?) and the 19mm rear anti roll bar I have laying around.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:50 PM   #14
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Mine is similar, with 250 lbs on all corners, coil overs with revalved Saab inserts in the front and S10’s in the back- my only objection is the rear is a little bouncy. 28/25 sways, all poly-adjustable Rear IPD stuff- roll center correction by BNE, as are rear spherical bearings. Maybe a little less spring and better rear shocks?
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:47 PM   #15
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Try the tires at 28-30 psi.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:39 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the awesome responses... it's clear I've been cobbling this together.

My next question is this... why run stiffer spring rates and fancy dampers if the stockish stuff will do?
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:06 PM   #17
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It makes the front better, but apparently not the rear while street driving. The rear seems to be touchy, my 242 has stock swaybar, IPD lowering springs, Bilstien Touring shocks, 245/35-17 tires and if you hit certain bumps the rear gets very unsettled, jumps sideways while bouncing. I'm considering removing the rear swaybar to lessen that effect. It is very similar to when I added a large rear swaybar to my 740T wagon that didn't have one. Over expansion joints on the highway the rear would jump a tiny bit sideways.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:30 PM   #18
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Im running 400lb front 250 rear (iirc) with Ben's short strut coilovers. Koni race front and bilstein hd rear. 28/25 sways. Handles great when its not slammed
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aharres View Post
This is my first 240 and also the lightest car I've ever owned. When I bought the car, the front right anti roll bar link was broken, the trailing arm bushings were sad, and the rear shocks were some old rusty kyb's. Still, though, this thing had spooky grip for what it was. Of course the tires I had were just regular all seasons, but I couldn't actually find the limit of the grip up front save for doing stupid stuff in a parking lot. Every time I thought I was really sending it into the turn, the car was just laughing in my face.

Anyway, I've refreshed the entire suspension to factory specs. Blue box volvo dampers, lesjofors springs, aftermarket (rubber) bushings and mounts. I have the 23/21 front and rear anti roll bars like shoestring. I also have 14x6 enkei 92's with 215/70R14 cooper cobra radial g/t's.

I have to say that this is hands down the best handling car I've owned. Maybe not in terms of outright grip (my 99 v70 had michelin pilot supersports) but the way this car just wants to rotate and comply with the road is outstanding. It's the most fun I've had in a road car save for driving my friend's miatas.

I want to experiment with the stiffer factory front springs (from a turbo car?) and the 19mm rear anti roll bar I have laying around.

For the stiffer factory springs you will probably want the ones from the '79 242 GT. If I recall correctly the turbo cars got different struts but similar springs to the regular 240. Lesjofors still makes the GT springs new. I had a set on my 240, it handled nicely with bilstein touring struts.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:54 AM   #20
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Spock,

I couldn't find them on ipd or fcp when I looked
My front springs are the lesjofors equivalent of volvo #1229337
My rear springs are the lesjofors equivalent of volvo #1229052
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:50 AM   #21
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Your problem is springs and dampers that do not match. Just changing the dampers would make a massive improvement.

A 240 on a set of 40mm lowering springs and gaz adjustable dampers (or any other at least half decent dampers) will handle suprisingly well
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #22
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Rear is very touchy in my experience

I had rear bilstein tourings + ipd overloads and it was terrible

With stock rate rears and some different shocks, its perfect for my uses.

Check out mikeP's thread on spring rates. I think volvo purposefully engineered the rear to have a harmonic frequency double that of the front...

~100lb front X 0.95 motion ratio ~= 95# equivalent
~126 lb rear X 1.5 motion ratio ~= 190# equivalent

notice that they're harmonically related (hint: one natural fequency is about half the other, and stock front & rear weights pretty even)... in other words, I think one should try to maintain that fundamental relationship between front & back rates, provided you keep your corner front & rear weight distribution about stock

or put simply,

front rate divided by rear rate should be about 0.7-0.8 for stock comfort

that's my personal conclusion but YMMV

edit: just realized you'd get ridiculous rear rates with that formula if you upped the front springs to 200s.
In that case I'd aim for harmonically similar spring rates, with front/rear rate = 1.4-1.6

so that'd leave you with rears right about stock levels, maybe a hair stiffer with fronts at 200
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aharres View Post
Spock,

I couldn't find them on ipd or fcp when I looked
My front springs are the lesjofors equivalent of volvo #1229337
My rear springs are the lesjofors equivalent of volvo #1229052
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/vol...jofors-1229337

These are the modern option. The 14.5mm springs. Which you seem to already have.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:51 PM   #24
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https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/vol...jofors-1229337

These are the modern option. The 14.5mm springs. Which you seem to already have.

That's great news!


So I have the stiffer springs with the softer dampers. It feels good, but I wonder if it's worth experimenting with firmer dampers.


My front dampers are volvo # 274235
My rear dampers are volvo # 1206641


I'm seeing multiple numbers show up as alternatives, but it's not clear which ones are which.


I'm guessing the bilstein touring dampers are a somewhat direct replacement for the volvo "turbo" dampers which are designed with my springs in mind
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:22 PM   #25
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That's great news!


So I have the stiffer springs with the softer dampers. It feels good, but I wonder if it's worth experimenting with firmer dampers.


My front dampers are volvo # 274235
My rear dampers are volvo # 1206641


I'm seeing multiple numbers show up as alternatives, but it's not clear which ones are which.


I'm guessing the bilstein touring dampers are a somewhat direct replacement for the volvo "turbo" dampers which are designed with my springs in mind
From what I can tell they are similar in stiffness.
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