2004 Volvo S60R 4C Front Suspension "Crashing" Fix
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
As with most people with older S60R's the front end starts to have issues and being that I am one of the lucky ones that has the 4C suspension (or not lucky) and, I do want to keep it, it is going to be pricey. My S60R basically sounded like it was going to fall apart on every bump in the road and lots of rattling, plus the occasional "chassis service" warning on the dash.
After doing a bit of research I realized that living in the city I wanted a bit more suspension. Lowering kits were not an option with all the potholes and speed bumps. Following a post from MnOpRacInG on the swedespeed forum (post here) I decided to go with some HD front coils for a V70. He noted that it will lift the front end a few inches (mine seemed to be 1-2") but fixes the issues with the crashing 4C suspension without loosing the awesome handling of the 4C.
Parts I used for the front end fix:
Tools I used, but not necessarily needed:
-Dewalt Impact Driver (huge help at removing bolts)
-Snap-On 18v Impact Wrench (really expensive version, any impact wrench will help)
-Strut Spring Compressor GET IT! or Rent it, but you really need it.
I completely removed everything from the front end down to the knuckle. Cleaned off the knuckle and then set to assembling the coil-overs.
After the old coil was removed I took it apart and discovered that it was beyond shot, as seen in this picture:
To get my spring to where it is in that picture I had to assemble it with the hardware kit.
Fully assembled both and the spring compressor on loosely. I did this because I felt that the springs were bulging on one side.
Here is a guide to all the front suspension pieces for the 4C suspension:
Make sure the bump stops are mounted correctly... I made the error on the first try, but soon realized that these have them mounted differently than most other struts. Correct way to mount the bump stop:
For reference here is the old spring next to the new HD V70 spring. You can tell the new spring is larger.
Once completed I just reversed the process and reinstalled the coil, lower control arm and all bushing, ball joints, and tie rods. If unsure on this process I would check out the many YouTube videos regarding the process. I had no issue fitting in the larger springs into the car and fitting up the knuckles to them.
The car does sit 1-2" higher than before, which I am really okay with since I live in a city and deal with bad roads. I am still working out kinks (alignment and camber along with bad IPD sway bar end links), but it seems to no longer "crash" and sound like the car is going to break when I go over bumps. I will report back after all the kinks are figured out, but so far so good.
Lastly don't forget to re-calibrate the suspension with VIDA (VIDA thread here). You can also check for any suspension related codes in VIDA and clear them.
Here are some pictures of the front height that the car sits at with the new suspension:
Camber issue: I had to deal with a slight camber issue once the suspension was reinstalled. After reexamining the mounting bolts it appears that there is a small amount of give in how the strut mounts the the knuckle. In order to correct my positive camber (which may fade once the new springs set in), I made sure to push the knuckle up as much as I could before tightening down the top strut bolt to the knuckle. That small difference may get rid of the slight positive camber I noticed.
UPDATE: Took the car back to get alignment checked. The slight adjustment I was able to make with the knuckle bolts got rid of the positive camber and alignment is perfect now. I expect the springs to settle somewhat in the future also.
UPDATE (SEP 2019): After driving for a few month on it the car is still holding correct alignment/camber and feels so much better. Really glad I went with this method especially living in the city and dealing with potholes. Would highly recommend to anyone considering replacing the 4C system, there is something to be said for no dash lights on!