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240 Coilovers: The Kyote Way

kyote

Living The Dream
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
La Porte TX
A Coilover suspension with decent dampers is an excellent addition to any Volvo 240. This guide will teach you to put together a serious suspension on a shoestring budget, in the true spirit of TurboBricks.

-Estimated cost:
~$300 without a strut upgrade (the ultra-broke ass budget option), add $240 for Boge Turbo Gas (the ghetto alternative, from fcpgroton.com), add $379 for Bilsteins from shox.com (A better approach), add $537.60 for Konis from shox.com (RMO (Rich Man's Option)). If your vehicle doesn't already have upgraded swaybars, it would be a good idea to upgrade them while it is apart, using either IPD Safety Swaybars or Dual Sways if you're on the Turbobricks budget (http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=9587).

-Materials:
2x 7" Coil Over Kit (2.08" ID) http://www.colemanracing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1528
2x 2.5"x10" Coil Springs in the rate of your choice (in my case 275lb Suspension Spring Specialists springs)
http://www.colemanracing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=4097
2x 5"x11" Coil Springs in the rate of your choice (in my case 250lb Hypercoils springs)
http://www.colemanracing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=6207
4x Shocks/Struts of your choice (in my case Bilstein HD's from shox.com)
2x Volvo 240 Upper Rear Spring perches ($4 each from the local Pick-n-Pull, save the bolts)

-It should be noted that a little welding and grinding and drilling may be required; If you were a VolvoSpeeder you might pay someone to do the work necessary for this project, but that is not the turbobricks way. The only tool necessary other than Sockets and Spanners is an angle grinder (a $20 Harbor freight unit will suffice), and a welder (a local welder/exhaust shop is a cheaper approach).

-We begin by removing the strut assembly from the vehicle.

Picture092.jpg


-Remove the brake caliper and disk, the coil spring and strut mount (you can borrow a spring compressor from the local autozone or torch the spring until it relaxes), and the strut insert. At this point you should have this in front of you:

Picture087.jpg


-Using your angle grinder, carefully grind out the welds on the factory spring perches, apply BFH if necessary, leaving you with this:

Picture088.jpg


-At this point you can either have the strut tubes milled down a few hundreths (RMO), or use your Angle grinder to shave the strut tube down enough to allow the threaded sleeves to fit over them (The TurboBricks way, and my choice; However, this job used up almost a whole brand new grinding wheel.). Leaving you with this:

Picture089.jpg


-Now you can either weld on stop rings or have a shop do it for you (I had my little brother do it in his Welding class).

Picture111.jpg


-Next, drill out the holes in the upper spring seat to fit the slightly larger volvo strut.

-Reassemble strut as shown:
(more, better photos coming soon)
Picture090.jpg


-Reinstall front strut assemblies.
(photos coming soon)

-Moving on to the rear, jack up the car using jackstands on the jacking points, remove wheels, and then lift from the pumpkin again until the tension comes off of the lower shock bolt, then remove it. Release jack and allow rear suspension to droop. Unbolt stock springs, keep the nuts. Now, remember those bolts that you saved at the junkyard? Using them and the nuts you just removed, bolt the stock 240 upper spring perches where the spring retainers were previously located. Insert your new shiny springs, lift up rear end and replace lower shock bolts, reinstall wheels, take the car off the stands and thats that.
Upper Spring Seat
Picture116.jpg

Lower Spring Seat
Picture117.jpg


Well, that should be a pretty good guide to coilover suspension on a budget, and I will be adding more photos soon. If you have any edits/suggestions, just post that schizzz below
-<3 kyote
 
Last edited:

towerymt

the real Towery
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
VA, USA
In the turbobricks way, you should have put a cut off wheel on your angle grinder and carefully cut through the tabs on the strut that support the brake lines. Bend tab out of the way to release the brake line and hang the caliper. No need to open the brake lines that way. Reinstall is reverse of removal.

You could also knock the welder out of the list of requirements by leaving a little bit of the stock spring perch for the lower stop. Just buy 5" sleeves. This also guarantees that you don't have any wheel/tire fit issue up front since you wouldn't be adding anything below the stock seat. Mount longer sleeves lower, and you've slightly reduced space to the inside where the tire may rub the strut tube (rare situations, but I've rubbed the stock strut tube before my coilovers when I used really wide tires).

15x7 ET12 MSW wheels with a normal 225 width street tire or narrower should clear the spring seat if you did lower it all the way down next to the tire. My 225/50 Bridgestones JUST touch the spring seat, but they're extremely wide for a 225. 205/55 is a safe bet on those wheels. With a 205 on a Virgo, I can't run the spring seat next to the tire. But I also can't drive the car when mine is adjusted that low, so it doesn't matter. You'd probably need 14" springs to put the lower mount that far down anyway.

Otherwise, looks good. I used a belt sander for the "precision strut tube adjustment", but I'm sure the grinder works well too. A 24grit flap wheel on my angle grinder (<$20 @Harbor Freight) works great on metal too and maybe it would be easier to control than the grinder wheel. Install the fronts yet?
 

VolvoPunch

Active member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Location
Bend, Or
I need to try this out. It's the only way i could afford coil overs on my car. Anyways how do to like them? Are the holding up well? Can you post more pictures?
 

SteveMD

Membro
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Location
Well, I switched baristas.
I used evil genius (Ground Control) sleeves, etc. They are a loose fit over the strut tube, about 2mm loosey so I returned to Home Depot for some of those metal plates used in deck framing, bent them roundy to fit the tube and got a nice tight fit with the sleeves. I also filled the strut tube with ATF per the instructions from evil genius for heat transfer from the Koni. One PITA with doing that is you have to make sure the ball joint seals good against the bottom of the strut tube. My left one has a slow ATF leak :grrr:

I paid a shop $40 to weld on stop rings. The guy knew what he was doing, did it nice, slow, and staggered to avoid the tube tweaking out of straight from the heat.

+1 on Towery's suggestion to slot the brake line tabs on the struts so you don't have to disconnec the lines. I did that.
 

Josepilove

New member
Joined
Mar 29, 2006
Location
Grafton, WI
what kind of height does this allow for? highest? lowest? what height is the rear at with those springs? can i see a picture of how the car sits? thanks, i am really considering this!
 

towerymt

the real Towery
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
VA, USA
I also filled the strut tube with ATF per the instructions from evil genius for heat transfer from the Koni. One PITA with doing that is you have to make sure the ball joint seals good against the bottom of the strut tube. My left one has a slow ATF leak :grrr:
When my Bilstein HD struts started to leak fluid, I noticed it because the ball joint holder was wet. I don't think I'd have dumped fluid in there on purpose because of that.

I paid a shop $40 to weld on stop rings. The guy knew what he was doing, did it nice, slow, and staggered to avoid the tube tweaking out of straight from the heat.
Right on par with the $30 I paid for slow welding. He cooled the weld with a wet rag. But it's really more effort than it's worth. I don't think it needs a full bead all the way around. When I replaced a tube, Rob and I did the swap and I had him tack a few welds onto the tube to hold the collar and it's been fine.
 

blkaplan

50 shades of beige
300+ Club
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
Rockville, MD
When my Bilstein HD struts started to leak fluid, I noticed it because the ball joint holder was wet. I don't think I'd have dumped fluid in there on purpose because of that.

It wouldn't make sense to fill a strut tube using a bilstein with ATF.
 

Mueller

Active member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Location
Antioch, CA
what kind of height does this allow for? highest? lowest? what height is the rear at with those springs? can i see a picture of how the car sits? thanks, i am really considering this!

it really depends on the insert used and it's travel (as well as picking the correct spring length)

for super low, a shorter insert allows you to get more travel without worring about bottoming out the insert...for my car, I am using Koni inserts which are 3" shorter, so I cut my struts 3"...this is not really needed for most applications and is slightly overkill for me as well :roll:

cutstruts.jpg

cutstruts01.jpg
 

rclark

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Location
Eugene
probably a stupid question, but i want to make sure i'm going to buy the right thing if/when i do this: it says in the bottom section of the sleeve part to specify the type of shock:
"NOTE: Specify type of shock (above kits with perm, mold tops)"

Do I want the permanent molded tops or w/e they are saying? is the link to the sleeves the exact ones you used?
 

towerymt

the real Towery
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Location
VA, USA
My only point was that fluid leaked out of both of mine, so I would not expect ATF or shock oil to be held back.
 

blkaplan

50 shades of beige
300+ Club
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Location
Rockville, MD
My only point was that fluid leaked out of both of mine, so I would not expect ATF or shock oil to be held back.
if you are planning to add a fluid, i would think you might add some RTV or some other sealant to prevent embarrassing leakage.
 
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