The racer gets, um, racier.
I spent the better part of two weeks, and with huge help from Steve Nelson and Jimi Willett, installing all new suspension parts into the 242. I spent quite a few months researching suspension upgrades. There are quite a few for the 240, and many are very similar to stock parts but better built, and many are completely different parts that can be adapted to fit. Obviously you could spend a small fortune on this stuff, and serious racers do, but I wanted to make sure my money would be well spent and would last quite a while. I’m one of those people who will definitely spend more up front to get something that will last and also be able to adapt with me as I progress. So I ended up going with a company called Kaplhenke Racing that is located on the east coast. The owner has been racing Volvo’s since 2000, and from what I could tell from countless hours of searching on forums and websites, he makes high quality well engineered products. I didn’t go for his high-end stuff which is mostly all different components and involves lots of suspension geometry knowledge and commitment.
I went with coil-overs in the front corners with an adapter he calls the quick steer roll corrector. As you lower a 240, and really any car, it will change the geometry of the suspension and how those parts work, so the adapters compensate for the lowering of the car while increasing the quickness and response of the steering rack.
In the rear I went with new firmer springs that essentially just bolt into existing spring location, and Koni racing shocks. I also bought some reinforced rear unequal arms and replaced all the rear bushings. I also replaced the torque and panhard rods with adjustable ones from IPD.
Of course while doing this I ran into a number of existing parts that were completely worn out and needed replacing. This included: ball joints, front bushings, front rotors, pads, calipers, and a tie rod end. I also put new to me seats in along with a new steering wheel, now I won’t be sliding all over the place in the car. Its really hard to drive from the passenger seat.
So now the car sits 2 inches lower in the front, 1 3/4 in the back, and it turns super flat and smooth. There is hardly any body roll or brake diving. So what’s next? Putting the 15″ wheels and Toyo RA1’s on. My wheel spacers shipped yesterday and will be here in time for this weekend’s race, so I will finally get to try out some sticky rubber. Now all I need is some power. A 2.3 liter turbo motor out of a 90 or later 740/760 or 940 Volvo.
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