Oz Volvo Nationals 8-10 November - register today! ozvolvo.org/nationals

940 & 960 Making the RedBrik handle better on a budget

Hi rollers,

OK, so the redbrik has typical Volvo handling - good for a range rover or Citroen 2CV. I do find myself desiring less body roll though or I'm going to have to repaint the door handles! For those in Adelaide, I live up Greenhill Rd and travel down then up again everyday. For those outside of here; 10kays long, lots of corners, mostly well surfaced. I do attempt to stick to the wildly optimistic speed limit of 80kph but it's not always possible.

The good

Front end bushes actually seem to be pretty good, no clunks, no looseness, shimmies or weirdness under brakes.

A previous owner has fitted the 960 underbody brace. Very kind of them. (I intend to pilfer the other 960 front braces this weekend.

I've not measured it yet but the front anti roll bar is a fatty.

I've done the camber mod - such a simple thing for such big results!

I'll get around to the castor mod some time soonish.

The less good

Front & rear springs are probably rated grams/cm not kg/cm. So soft. So much pitching, rolling...it's like a dingy in heavy seas. The shockers seem to control it, kind of, but it's just annoying.

There's no rear axle anti sway bar. There needs to be!

I don't know the condition of any of the rear bushes. Ok maybe, soft but still functional with no clunks etc.

The questions

Do Falcon sway bars fit the rear end of a 945? If not, I know the 940 sedan bars will fit, I've just got to find one.

Is the Colin Chapman approach feasible on a Volvo wagon? (ie: soft springs and firm shocks/sway bars)

The great dive under brakes i guess is a result of super soft front springs?

What suggestions are there for budget handling improvements?

Stuff I get from wreckers? Possibly not volvo parts but stuff that fits and works?

I've read a thread on here from a fella that put a 1uz into a 245 and did do a few handling things but that's a 2 series not a 9.

Anywho, all suggestions will be gratefully received!





  • I have a rear anti roll bar

  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.

    Any turbo 740 sedan sway bar will help.

    I had king springs with bilstien hd shocks for years on my 760 sedan then 740t wagon. 24mm 760/960 front sway bar. Always been happy with Thier handling for a large red sedan.

    Last year I fitted Gaz shocks to the front and it improved the dampening over the Bilstein shocks, that has failed and were no longer available.

    I bought them from classic swede and they also do springs that have a better spring rate than the king springs. Thats the direction I would go.

  • edited July 10

    My 940 estate has yellow koni struts/shocks, ipd hd springs in the back, standard springs in the front, ipd front and rear sway bars, and a chassis brace under the gearbox bellhousing.

    The replacement front struts made a huge differance in mitigating 'brake dive' and the combination of rear shocks and 'hd' rear springs stopped me bouncing off the bumpstops when the car was full of people and cargo.

    Hard to say what differance the sway bars made to cornering ability, my feeling is they may be slightly firm for my road car application with fuel saving tyres.

    If I had to do it again I would start with high quality shocks/struts, the firmer rear springs (for my application), and add an oem rear sway bar. Also check wheel alignment.


  • Is the Colin Chapman approach feasible on a Volvo wagon?

    The Colin Chapman approach to anything is ill-advised. Unless you have pockets so deep, they reach into other people's pockets on the other side of the earth. That is, unless you also believe that race cars that can manage a cool down lap are "over engineered"....

    YMMV, but I prefer firmish spring and shocks, and adequate sway bars. As VQ said, a rear sway bar will help a lot. My '93 945T (The Cleever) got some Bilsteins and King Springs, along with some new front end bushes, and it improved greatly. It's not something I'd take to the track, but it's good enough for daily duties without rattling my teeth.

    By comparison, my '93 945 NA (The Beever) feels a hellava lot bouncier. The Beever needs a rear bar. A bigger front bar. And a set of springs and struts, too.

    I still have yet to fully plow though and digest the 1993 parts book, but I believe the Turbo models got stiffer front sways than the NA models.

    Excessive nose drive under brakes indicates weak springs, or struts with poor bump control, or both.

    Depends how far you want to go, and how much you want to spend. I'm thinking some Kaplhenke Spherical Adjustable Strut Mounts may be in the future for my Seven and Nines, when the existing strut mounts are ready for the Otto bin. At $199 real dollars each set plus shipping though, it may be a while.


  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    YMMV ?

  • I was stumped there too...googled it.

    YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary.

    The implicatuion is that your opinion may differ to mine.

  • And it might, too - some folks like lots of shock and not much spring, or big bars and bugger all spring and shock.

    Going by the parts book, these are 19, 21, 22, and 24mm factory front bars, and two sizes of rears.

    940 / 960 FRONT BARS

    1330221-1 -1992 marked [3] od = 21mm

    1330219-5 1991 marked [4] od = 21mm

    (1359808) 1993- marked [4] od = 23mm

    (3530276)      marked [7] od = ?, 964 to chassis 30926

    3530277-7      marked [8] od = ?

    6819504-9      marked [9] ,, od = ?, on 964 chassis 30927 on

    940/ 960 REAR bars

    3516572-9 = 19mm, marked [2]

    3516573-7 = 16mm, marked [1]

  • Thanks for that info, that is really handy.

    You made an interesting point about preferences that reminded me of some conjecture I'd read in DET117 Cheap Thrills project on the turboBricks forum where he wrote, he and a few others, felt that the larger 25mm rear sway bar from IPD restricted the live axle from articulating properly and with this in mind had switched back to the 19mm sway bars.

    It'd be bloody wonderful to be able to find this coveted hardware so readily, as they do in EU and the US, and then have the luxury of discarding it! There's bugger all Volvo wrecks in SA to be able to even find a rear sway bar.

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    There are springmakers around, usually for truck. Get a swaybar made?

  • carnut222Greg S (@carnut222) Daylesford VIC

    If it were that easy you’d think somebody local would start making ipd replica sway bars for 240s so we wouldn’t have to pay exorbitant USA pricing + shipping + GST for the real deal! :) @AshDVS maybe?

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    edited July 14

    Cos 240 owners are skungy, cheap ,stingy, whiners who want everything for nix, no chance of that getting off the ground....

    And yes,it is that easy, a spring maker can make you one,just ask...

  • carnut222Greg S (@carnut222) Daylesford VIC

    Yes, maybe we are, but I’m just surprised we can’t buy them locally since so many people seem to aspire to ipd sway bars. For my cars I’ve carried them in my luggage, or had them shipped and gotten stung, or bought through VP Tuning etc, but sure would be nice to have other options. The ipd price for the bars themselves probably isn’t bad but the shipping sort of kills it for most people when you add tax on top now...not to mention the exchange rate isn’t favourable like it was a few years ago. I’ll stop whining now! ;)

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Try Kmac?

  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.

    Whiteline do a very nice 24mm front sway bar for the 740 actually. Much heavier than a 760/960 sway bar.

  • do the 760 turbo have thicker bars than 740 turbo?

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    If you can find one.

  • I saw this for sale in SA recently looked like a great buy!! Love the redbrik mate it’s a unique car and ticks all the boxes

  • edited July 18

    Just did some research my 84 760 does not. Need 88> 760 960

  • Im a big fan of softer springs and thicker bars on a road car. The Wife’s 240 wagon went from stock bars to 240 turbo bars (bought from the states for ‘nix’) and it made a vert sweet difference. It still pitches on the picks but I dont mind that so much. If your brave (which is silly on the road mind) it can trail brake/slide into a corner nicely. I actually find the 240 to be very balanced (ie similar grip levels when loaded in a corner front to back) and can easily be adjusted on the throttle to tighten a line or vice versa.

    Our 205 Gti race car is setup like this and its brilliant.

    As soon as you start playing with shocks and springs you really need to have them dynoed to make sure they are matched. Too often people buy marketed brands that just make the car feel stiffer or ‘heaps better in the turns bro’ when really theyre not.

    It costs big bucks to get suspension setup correctly and factories, believe what you want, generally spend loads getting it right from the beginning taking into account car weight, wheel rates, stock geometry etc etc.Small changes can make very adverse effects when shits gets real if your over cook it.

    Do one thing at a time and see how you like it otherwise you will never know what actually works. This is how race cars are setup properly. Not just ‘buy this and that and itll be awesome’.

    I would try finding sway bars that increase the % the SAME front to back as the factory has fitted and go from there.

    Increasing the spring rates will help along the way at some point but you will need to control them with a new shocks eventually also fwiw (as im sure u know already). The name DVS come up often on here and I believe they do race cars and know whats what. Maybe call them for a chat.

    If your on a tight budget try the sway bars first and see how you like it, you wont need to brake as much 😉

    There are plenty of spring makers around, the last time I had some made there were $120 for a set of 2. Be warned about having swap bars made, if there not heat treated dont buy them as they will eventually stop working or just bend. (Unless there really fing thick which is usless on the road anyway)

    lots of well setup cars actually roll more than you think ( look at the new renault a110) and dont think about lowering it more than 20-30mm as it will stuff the roll center and make it worse. Common misconception.

    Ramble over. Fire suit on...

Sign In or Register to comment.