The Volvo 940 is designed by Volvo as a luxury family car that allows you to get from A to B very safely and comfortably. To this day, they still have this image. Meanwhile, the other character characteristics of a Volvo 940 are also known. With a few upgrades, the comfortable family car can be made into a seriously sporty Volvo 940 with great handling that is up to par with modern cars.
As indicated, the Volvo 940 is designed as a comfortable cruiser. As a result, the car is very comfortable and therefore have a soft springrate and the centre of gravity is relatively high.
Soft springs with the Volvo 940 ensure that all small potholes, stones and other bumps in the road surface are removed. Perfect, you’d say.. For the sportier driver this is rather a disadvantage than an advantage. Thanks to the soft springs, the Volvo 940 also leans enormously when cornering, especially short fast turns or long turnarounds on the highway. By leaning, the centre of gravity of the car will first be moved by the steering input, after which only the car will really change direction. Also, leaning puts a lot more pressure on the outer wheel in a corner and the car loses grip faster.
Most 940’s come with 205/55/16 or 195/65/16 tyres. The first number indicates the width of a tire, the second number is the sidewall height of the band in percentages (i.e. 55% of 205mm) and finally the last number is the inch size.
A sidewall of 55 or 65% again ensures a lot of ride comfort because the sidewall of the tyre itself also acts as an extra damper for unevenness in the road surface. The disadvantage of this type of tyre is that the sidewall is quite soft and during sporty driving can not maintain its shape resulting in loss of grip and/or an indirect steering feeling.
A number of factors have already been mentioned above which negatively affect the handling of a Volvo 940 when it comes to sporty handling. Below are several options to improve the handling of a Volvo 940.
For the Volvo 940 owners who want better handling than standard and sportier looks on a budget, cobra’s 30mm lowering springs are great.
Cobra’s lowering springs give the Volvo 940 a lowering of approximately 30mm and are at the same time considerably stiffer than the original springs volvo has mounted. The lowering reduces the volvo 940’s centre of gravity and, due to the increased stiffness of the springs, the car leans a lot less in corners.
Benefits of less leaning:
- The Volvo 940 responds faster to a steering input.
- Because the car leans less, there is more pressure on the inner wheels/tyres, which increases the grip.
Frequently asked questions:
- How stiff are cobra lowering springs, can I still ride this comfortably daily?
These springs are similar in terms of stiffness to a modern BMW; stiff but comfortable. The handling has therefore been significantly improved but the car still has comfort.
- What about the MOT?
30mm lowering springs are no problem with the MOT. The most important aspect of the MOT is that the springs should not be loose and are properly mounted. Only on 70mm lowering springs you will have an issue with the MOT.
- Can I use the original dampers?
Yes. The original dampers can be used very well in combination with 30mm lowering springs.
The Volvo 940 BC-Racing coilover kit is a fully adjustable lowering kit that allows the car to be fine-tuned to the last detail in terms of driving behaviour. This coilover kit is ideally suited for the real sporty drivers who occasionally do a track day or just want to get the maximum handling out of their Volvo 940.
The Volvo 940 BC-Racing coilover kit makes it possible to separately adjust the following:
- Ride height
- Stiffness of the dampers. (both Ingoing and outgoing)
- The amount of camber on the front
- Spring pre-tension
Because the BC-Racing coilover kit does not determine the ride height by the length of the spring but by the height adjustment of the set, the Volvo can be adjusted very low and still use the entire travel.
Setting damping makes it possible to set up a bit stiffer chassis during track days and a bit stiffer than during the commute.
Is a BC-Racing coilover kit better than Cobra 30mm lowering springs?
This depends entirely on the wishes and requirements you make to your Volvo 940. Would you like to lean less in corners, slightly sportier looks but still drive to work with good comfort? Then the Cobra 30mm lowering springs are the most suitable.
Do you want to get the most out of your 940, do you want to be able to adjust everything and sometimes you also go to the Nurburgring for a day? Then it’s best to choose the BC-Racing coilover kit.
Frequently asked questions:
- How rigid is a Volvo 940 BC-Racing coilover kit, can I still drive it comfortably every day?
This set is quite stiff. There are many customers who drive it daily but you will feel the road surface pretty well.
- What about the MOT?
This should not give you any MOT issues. (please note: if you live in Belgium, this may be a point of disapproval)
Previously you have read that tires have a relatively large influence on the handling and grip. A lowered Volvo 940 with 30mm Cobra springs or a BC-Racing coilover kit will never be able to make the most of its potential with standard tyres.
What tire size do I need?
Tires are the 4 most important things on your Volvo 940 when it comes to good grip and handling. After the lowering, there is still a lot of profit to be made.
For better handling, it is important to choose a tyre that has a flatter sidewall. On the more modern cars with slightly more power or those in the sporty segment you will almost always find tires with a sidewall thickness of up to 45%. Examples are: 245/40/18 and 225/45/17. A flatter sidewall gives the tyre more stiffness, which will improve the steering feel and grip.
The exact tyre size depends on which rim you will use to mount the tyre. It’s best practice to go to some forums and see which size people have the best experience with on your rim.
Don’t save on tires!
Unfortunately, there are many cheap chinese tires that perform very poorly in various tyre tests. A longer braking distance of 20 metres is no exception.
If you are looking for new tyres, always look up the most recent tyre test in your tyre size and make a decision about which one is most suitable. The difference between an A-brand and C-brand band is often only 100 euros on a set of 4.