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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    100

    Default 4 in lift complete

    I just returned from the maiden voyage on the 4 in lift. We took a float trip down a portion of the lower Colorado River from Mayflower County Park a few miles north of Blythe, CA to Walter's Camp about 40 miles down river. The drive was about 500 miles round trip, and it went without a hitch. First attached pic is from a previous outing to Death Valley National Park with just the Bad Swede springs, so 2 inches of lift. Second pic is the current stance with about 4 inches of lift. The front is actually a bit less for reasons that I'll describe. I've got 215/70/R16 tires on it now. They're 1 in oversize (about 28 in). I'm planning on getting 235/75/R16's (about 30 in), so ultimately, I'll be running 3 in oversize tires most of the time. I may keep the smaller tires for winter tires because I'm not sure I'll have clearance from the struts to put on chains if needed. I also put on Cross Country Performance 1.25 in wheel spacers. Third pic shows the tire profile relative to the wheel wells.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2532.jpeg   IMG_3437.jpeg   IMG_3360.jpeg  
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 04-14-2021 at 11:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Some details on the lift. As mentioned, I was running Bad Swede springs front and rear. That gave 2 inches all around. However, I swapped the front Bad Swede springs for XC90 springs because the Bad Swede springs didn't fit correctly. They bowed out when mounted on the strut and rubbed the inner wall of the fender well. I was getting this groaning sound when turning the wheels that I couldn't figure out until I took out the struts and noticed the rubbing. See the first pic. That's the Bad Swede spring on the strut. The second pic is the same strut with the XC90 spring. You can see the difference pretty clearly. With the XC90 springs, the car sat about 1/4 in lower, so I lost a little bit.

    I decided to put the XC90 springs on my XC70 struts. You can also just bolt on the complete XC90 spring and strut assembly for 2 inches of lift up front. But, I pulled an XC90 and XC70 strut at the salvage yard and compared them side by side. It turns out the XC70 strut's shaft is 2 in longer than the XC90 strut, and so it affords 2 inches more downward articulation of the wheel. For off-road capability, I wanted maximal suspension articulation, so I transferred the XC90 springs onto my XC70 struts. The downside is that the XC90 struts are made for the slightly larger stock tires on the XC90. There's about 1/2 in more distance between the spring perch and the lower mounting holes on the strut. So, I don't have the extra tire clearance afforded by the XC90 struts, but I'm pretty sure the Cross Country Performance spacers will give enough clearance for the 30 in tires I want to run.

    To get 2 more inches of lift up front, I fabricated strut top spacers using 4 salvage strut mounts collected from XC70's and XC90's at the local yard. They are identical. I cut the bearing out of the strut mount that would be the lower plate on the spacer and welded the mounts to a section of 1/4 in wall steel pipe that I cut to 1 3/4 in. The strut mount plates are 1/8 in thick so I figured I'd have a total of 2 inches of height gain with the strut mounts welded to 1 3/4 inches of pipe. After grinding out recesses in the pipe to conform to the pressed profile of the strut mounts and welding things together I didn't quite have 2 inches for the spacer. Closer to 1 7/8 in or so. So, between that loss and the loss of 1/4 with the XC90 springs, I'm a little under 4 inches of total lift up front (I think, anyway). I measured the stock height a long time ago, but I don't remember what it was, so I don't know the actual number relative to stock height. Pics of the strut spacers are below. I removed the studs from the lower mount, widened the holes so the strut's studs could pass through, and bolted the spacer to the strut. Then, the top mount on the spacer is bolted to the car as usual.

    I used 1.5 in subframe spacers up front that I made from aluminum to correct some of the driveline angles. From what I could tell this is the maximum amount of subframe spacer you can run without needing to modify the steering linkage. The linkage was able to accommodate the change in length OK as far as I could tell, but the rubber boot at the firewall was rubbing on the shaft really badly due to the angle change. The rubbing made a terrible squeaking noise and was actually preventing the steering wheel from self-centering when exiting turns. So, I had to make some relief cuts in the boot to stop it from rubbing so bad.

    In the rear, I fabricated brackets to lengthen the struts at the bottom by 2 inches. That plus the 2 inches of lift from the Bad Swede springs gives 4 total inches. Nothing is welded to the strut. It's all removable so the brackets can be moved over to new struts if I want to replace them. I've seen the strut top spacers by Cross Country Performance and others, but I didn't think it would be simple for me to make 2 inch spacers up top. It's an odd shape to create around the perimeter of the strut top hat. I dropped the rear subframe with 1 1/8 in spacers made from aluminum.

    The last thing for the rear was lengthening the rear trailing arms by about 3/4 of an inch to allow the rear wheels to stay closer to centered in the wheel arches. The design of the rear suspension forces the rear wheels to move forward quite a lot as the suspension articulates downward. So, if you raise the ride height by pushing the wheels down by making the struts longer, the resting position of the wheels is far forward of the stock position, and this creates clearance problems between the body and tires at the front of the wheel arch if you want to run larger tires. So, I cut the trailing arms in the middle and welded it back together with some extra metal to make them longer which allows the wheel hub to sit farther back at the new ride height. I may still have to do a little work at the front of the wheel well to make room for 30 in tires.

    For alignment, the rear was massively toe-ed in after doing the lifting, so that needed some adjustment. Up front, surprisingly, I didn't need to make any adjustments to the toe from where it was with just the 2 inches from the Bad Swede springs. I don't have camber angle checking tools, so I have not checked camber. I did have a professional alignment done with just the Bad Swede springs, and front camber was right close to 0 degrees with the adjustment set at maximum negative setting. There probably is a little positive camber now, but the car didn't have any handling issues on the trip I just took, so I'm not going to do anything at the moment. There's not really anything I can do short of major work. It's already adjusted maximally negative.

    Brett
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_3347.jpg   IMG_3353.jpg   IMG_3345.jpeg   IMG_3346.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,955

    Default

    Thatís some serious fabrication, Brett!

    Where do you intend to take the car that the extra lift is needed?

    Any driveline modifications?

    I would worry about transmission heat if youíre driving slow, off road, with an unlocked torque converter thatís turning wheels that are 10% bigger - which is a 10% gearing disadvantage for the car.
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    100

    Default

    The goal was a mildly capable desert terrain and mountain road overlander. The idea was to be able to get to remote areas of desert and mountain locations within a few hours of San Diego. Without a transfer case it's not a serious off-roader, but the all wheel drive system can help with soft sand/loose gravel situations in desert terrain, and extra clearance helps get in and out of dry washes. I've actually done quite a bit of terrain with just the Bad Swede springs. I don't know that I needed another 2 inches of lift, but it's a fun project that gives me an excuse to do some welding.

    No driveline modifications, and I share your concerns about running oversize tires. No doubt, it's going to stress things, and it will break sooner than normal. Hopefully, I get a couple good years out of it before facing a costly repair (Transmission will probably go first.) and needing to make a decision whether to fix it or dump it. And, hopefully, I'm not out in the boondocks when something does break.

    Brett
    Last edited by Brett San Diego; 04-13-2021 at 02:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,955

    Default

    In your climate, I would add a stout transmission oil cooler. Something thatís made from stacked plates, not tube and fin.

    Like this: B&M 70264

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Iím sure youíve seen this thread:

    https://www.volvoxc.com/forums/showt...sh-From-Bottom

    Now, itís so mild where you are that you could skip the thermostat, but I recommend the rest of the set up along with a fluid change. Iíve used Toyota T-IV, Mobil 3309, Valvoline Import Multi-vehicle (thatís not Max Life, but the stuff in a blue jug) and AMSOIL ATF with success.

    By the way, the red Volvo in the pictures soldiers on in service of a doctor who drives it in the mountains skiing, and then short-trips it to the hospital at all hours. It leads a hard life, but still drives great. I credit the transmission cooler/filter/thermostat set up for a lot of that.
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    100

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    3,955

    Default

    Ah! I had forgotten. That integrated thermostat and filter mount is very nice.

    Looks great, Brett. Time for some pictures of the XC in the back country. Cheers!
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

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