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 Post subject: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:21 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Saskatoon, Sk
I'm putting together a suspension recipe for moderate hooning on my '87 745ti.

I have cut aftermarket springs (unknown spring rate, looks a little thicker diameter than stock) for the fronts, and 300# uncut for the rears.

Now i'm looking for a good shock/strut combo.

Anyone have any experience with Bilstein Economy Touring class? They seem reasonably priced from FCP.

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94' 944t "The Good One"
87' 780 5.0L V8


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:17 pm 
First volvo in outer space
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 1648
Location: East L.A.
I had them on a 86 744 and thought they handled nice without being as stiff as the HD's I currently have on my wagon. We just put some on the front of our 90 244 and so far they are similar to the 744 experience.

My only complaint is in the rear, the top mounting point is slightly oversized for the bolt and they clunk over almost any bump. If you check TB and BB this has been discussed at length with pretty much everyone experiencing the same thing. I will never run them in the rear again b/c of this, the fronts are fine and I like them. I currently have some KYB's in the back of the 240 that I will probably replace with Boge Turbo Gas when required to go with the TC's in the front. All of these cars are/were on stock springs so I can't comment on how you will like them with cut springs.

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Jim

66 122S (Garage Queen)
89 244 (Hers)
90 745Ti (Mine)
89 744 (SOLD/Bought back for other daughter)
78 242GT (Project... LOL)
91 244 (Don't Ask!!)


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:19 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
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Location: Calgary, Ab
I just swapped from Billy HD to Billy TC on my 780 - it's got cut stock springs in front.

The HD were very stiff, waaaay too stiff for Calgary streets, IMHO. Actually they wouldn't have been too bad with stiffer rears. I have old/modified Bilstein HDs in the rear of my multilink 780 and I had newer HDs in the rear of my 740 wagon. The rear of the wagon was stiffer than the rear of the 780, the wagon has less weight sitting on the springs if you can believe it... Overall the front was race car stiff and the rear was sporty stiff, maybe closer to sports car stiff in the 740.

With the TC fronts and the HDs in the rear, the balance is just about perfect. The TC fronts are stiffer than I expected - I guess I expected them to be pretty soft - but they're quite a nice balance between compliance and control. Definitely stiffer than stock, and they seem to be a very good match for the cut springs. I can't remember how much I've got cut off - 1.25 coils comes to mind. We cut 1 coil off Dale's car and it rides slightly higher than mine, but it's also got a taller tire/wheel combo.

I'm very happy with the TCs in front! Now I'd say the fronts are sports car stiff and the rears are sporty stiff, a closer match than before. I could do with a bit more rear stiffness, but I'll live with what I've got.

KYB Gas-A-Just in the rear would be a good choice too, I'm not sure how stiff they are compared to Billy HD rears but I think they're pretty close. I wouldn't put them in the same quality category, though - the Bilstein last and last and last.


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:58 pm 
First volvo in outer space
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:46 pm
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Location: East L.A.
^^^ Interesting thought with TC's in the front and HD's in the rear, I usually feel like it's the rear that rebounds so harsh around town. I agree the HD's can be punishing around town at times, but they sure are nice on the highway (if it's reasonably smooth). Correct me if I'm wrong but the KYB's can't be used with a cut spring right?

While we're on the subject do the aftermarket lowering springs spring rate and shorter shock travel work any better with the HD's vs the stock springs (also keeping in mind the stock springs have 330K on them)? I would like to get some lowering springs for the wagon but the ride is about as stiff as I can tolerate now. If the lowering springs are no worse for ride quality I'll probably do it, I definitely don't want to go any harsher than it is now.

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Jim

66 122S (Garage Queen)
89 244 (Hers)
90 745Ti (Mine)
89 744 (SOLD/Bought back for other daughter)
78 242GT (Project... LOL)
91 244 (Don't Ask!!)


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:19 pm 
Vmax 200mph w00t!
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:21 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Saskatoon, Sk
I have billy HDs all around on my 940, lowered on coilovers, and i just love em. I prefer a stiffer ride, as i'm kind of prone to sliding around corners, lol.

I want to try something other than billy's on the 745 just so i can compare the ride of the two cars.

I think, based on what's been discussed, i'll try the Gas-a-justs on the rear and the TCs on the front.

Y'all rock by the way.

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94' 944t "The Good One"
87' 780 5.0L V8


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:24 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:14 pm
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Location: Missing my garage in Sunnyside
I still have billys on the rear of the 940. On the front, they *raised* the car almost an inch over the weak stock shocks (made it look like a damn 4x4!) and stock springs and I found it too stiff for my liking, even though I put up with it for 4 or 5 years. I fitted IPD lowering coils and, surprise, the ride didn't get any softer. One of the billys was bad, which didn't help, so I fitted turbo-gas on the front. The ride is WAY better.

Oh, the IPD anti sway bars didn't really help the ride either.

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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:01 pm 
First volvo in outer space
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 1648
Location: East L.A.
^^^ That's what I was afraid of, I'm still on the little stock front sway bar and no rear with 1" bars in the shed... Your experience sounds like mine, the HD's are definitely a love/hate relationship. Sounds like a change is in my future as I really would like to lower the car as much for looks as performance. I put the Turbo bars on the 240 as it's Lisa's DD and she made it clear not to have it ride like the wagon on HD's. :lol:

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Jim

66 122S (Garage Queen)
89 244 (Hers)
90 745Ti (Mine)
89 744 (SOLD/Bought back for other daughter)
78 242GT (Project... LOL)
91 244 (Don't Ask!!)


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:51 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3482
Location: Calgary, Ab
I've had stock height stock springs, modified Crown Vic rear springs, IPD lowering springs, and cut stock springs, all damped by the same HD struts. They all kind of sucked with the HD, ride-wise. The stiffest springs (the Crown Vics) handled best, not surprisingly, but I never found a reasonable combination for the rear to match the front. I had dual sways in the rear (IPD 25 and a sedan stocker) and the IPD bar in the front, and cut down 240 wagon springs in the rear of this 740 wagon, but it still pushed when you finally found the limit. The IPD springs were an improvement in the ride and didn't kill handling too bad, but the IPD springs in the front of the 780 were a bit of a sore thumb with the smooth riding multilink rear. I switched to cut stockers and it improved, but now it's really good with the TC front struts. I will make note that my strut bearings and supports were shot, and I replaced them with the strut cartridges. I'm not sure how the TCs would handle the IPD or Crown Vic springs, but I assume for anything but a really aggressive driver (which I'm not anymore) they'd be fine (for the IPDs anyway).

Dale came around this another way: He had these goofy purple springs on his 740 - not sure what brand they were, but they're dual-rate. He had Tokiko blue struts in front (I believe) when he got the car and it rode quite firmly. One of the Tokikos packed it in (surprise surprise) and he replaced them with the same Boge/Sachs struts that Athal has. The ride went from firm to ugly - for the first part of the travel it was much improved, but once the springs stacked the softer coils the car would slam over bumps and bounced all over the place. We swapped the dual-rates with cut stock springs, and now he's happy with the feel in front. He still needs to turf the dual-rates in the rear though.


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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:08 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:03 pm
Posts: 2859
Location: T2C
I've had the shock/spring matching discussion with Matt and Craig and we all feel similarly. There is no way a dampener can match 2 spring rates so progressive coils are always going to be a compromise, regardless of the shocks you choose. Matt already commented on the front setup in my 740. The Boge shocks were happy dampening the softer coils in the progressive rate springs but the stiffer coils acted like pogo sticks. There may have been some compression dampening but they could not control the rebound. They're much happier with cut stock springs.

When we went to Portland last May I had a pair of Koni Sport adjustables on the rear and they controlled the stiff coils well but were really harsh on the softer coils where, even on their softest setting, were too much dampening on both compression and rebound. With some luggage and/or passengers in the back, the soft coils were bound so we were riding on the stiff coils and it was fine. I also found that unloaded they would improve drastically as they started to load up in a corner. It sort of made you want to take corners on two wheels to lose the harshness. I've heard the Konis can be a little harsh but I always wonder if that is with stock springs or some progressive setup. When I swap out the crap springs that are in there I'm going to try the Konis again and see how they ride.

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 Post subject: Re: Bilstein Touring Shocks/Struts
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:50 am 
Vmax 200mph w00t!
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:21 pm
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Location: Saskatoon, Sk
So if i'm reading this correctly...it's better to match the valving of a strut based on the spring rate of the coils?
Lots of variables here...and everyone has their own preferences
...seems the best thing to do for me is to 'just try something' and see how i like it

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87' 780 5.0L V8


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