Hey @PaulG welcome to Ov Zolvo!
So I've been playing with the 850's front suspension trying to get rid of some scrub. In the process I discovered the front shocks are Koni 1350 sports shocks, which should be adjustable. @Ash, you might be the best person to ask this, are the 1350's better suited to a stiffer-than-stock spring? Also, I might just adjust them up 5-10mm.
Those are single adjustable shocks (damping). Mostly you adjust to the right point and only adjust again with wear to get back to that point. I had them and used to screw with them like a toy and gave me shitty handling til I got them set by someone who knew what they are doing and left them alone.
The Koni Sport is quite good but as @egads said you really dont adjust them much - they are a set-and-forget arrangement.
However, as many of the aftermarket springs for the 850 and P1 x70 offer quite different rates (different markets have different acceptance levels of what is 'too hard' or 'too soft' and also have varying levels or road maintenance), you can compliment this with adjusting shocks to suit.
They are only a single adjustable though.
Many people complain about the ride being 'too firm' with this shock. 'Too firm' can be a matter of personal taste but a lot of people do mention it, and people that are quite contrasting between each other too.
They are better suited to a 'sports' type spring with more rate.
How many turns do you have from full 'soft' to full 'firm'?
It should be either 2.5 or 5.
If its 2.5, I'd wind them to fully soft and then come back half a turn.
If its 5, wind them to fully soft and come back a full turn.
Okay so I am used to S13s with about 20mm suspension travel and hard bucket seats and no sound deadening where every bushing has been replaced by rose joints. Does that give you an idea of what my NVR tolerance is? I want the guards to stop taking chunks out of the tyres, I'll worry about harshness some other time.
I put 5mm spacers on the front to see if it would effect a difference, and it has helped the rubbing while turning a little bit, but it's still scrubbing on the guards. So either I roll the guards more, or just live with a shitty turning circle. As yet undecided. If I raise the front suspension a few mm though that would definitely help. I think it definitely needs a higher rate spring on the front. The Konis are too stiff for the stock spring.
Twin-tube Konis only really adjust rebound dampening, with a small amount of cross-over into the compression dampening.
Typically, Konis have far too much high speed compression dampening, which makes them horrible on bumpy roads. This is largely a product of the twin tube design, but even so, Koni builds them with a lot of HSCD.
What this all means is that the adjustment is not a fix-all.
Too much rebound dampening will stop the suspension rebounding (derr!), which then makes the car still low in its travel, particularly over a succession of bumps. This then makes it harsh and unpleasant to be in, and makes it feel like the springs and/or compression dampening are too hard.
Too little rebound dampening feels like the shocks are buggered - that floaty/wallowy feeling.
You won't get it right (and know it is right) without getting it wrong first...
Just remember that there is no perfect setting - just a best compromise.
Hmm that's interesting. Yes, what led me to think the stock springs were too soft was the fact that they seemed to get overwhelmed by sudden bumps. Under normal driving the front feels firm, but around my place where the roads are complete trash the front appears to bottom out a lot.
Hmm, Do those wheels normally scrub? Does the tyre size match the placard? Strut top wear lets things move a bit more and allow some scrub.
Also, I think this would benefit from being a thread otherwise useful info may get lost.
This discussion was created from comments split from: Bruces in January Truece the duece....
The tyres it's running are 215/45R17.
So there's two issues here as I see it.
1. There is scrub on the wheel well wall (say that quickly 10 times) at lock, which in my head can be solved with spacers.
2. There is contact under front susp. compression between the tyre and the guard. In my head more guard rolling will solve this.
1. If the strut tops are old, renew them to help the situation
2. Consider firmer springs with the Konis or switch to different shocks.
@Ash are you interested in a pair of Konis? I'd be interested in swapping them + some money for a set of Bilstein B6.
The rear tyres are 205's i believe (don't know why) perhaps try them on the front and see if there is any improvement. Those front tyres are very bulky looking for their size.
That's a good idea, gonna go try that now. I'm going to remove the 5mm spacers too.
I can't find an aus manual to confirm but 205/45/17 is the stock size in the US so switch should help.
The rears were 205/50R17 so I didn't end up swapping them.
They scrub largely as the tyre size is incorrect. Standard tyre size on the 850R is 205/45/17 (Its 215/45/17 on Comets on the 1997 - 1999 V70R)
Combine this with some 215s being wider than others and some 45 series sidewalls being taller than others and this sort of thing can happen.
T5 models run 205/50/16
What sort of condition are they in? do you know how old they are?
Adjust the steering lock out of it. Has too much. Live with fwd levels of turning circle.
They don't look too old. Plenty of tread on them. I'm going to fit the fronts with some Kumho KU31 in 205/45R17 and see what happens.
See if the steering stop still has its Teflon block on it , these crack and slip down and are available from fcp , ipd , partsforvolvo online or just get some yourself and rivett it back on. Rs had more steering limit on those blocks cos the suspension is lower than stock 850 (der) This will make grinding noises too on lock.
205/50/17 will be a good more comfortable ride. I had 205/40/17 at one point with my R on Koni shocks like yours... Not good , it changed the gearing shorter with the manual which won't be a problem with auto.
I ran 215/45/17 and had a little scrub at lock but more grip from wider tyre although nothing is gonna stop wheelspin in thevwet on these...Not even Toyo T1R semi track tyres I tried stuck in the wet , very annoying when you wanna give it a bit from the lights and you are left standing spinning...