Author: Luca

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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.


The standard handling of a Volvo 940

Soft springs cause poor handling

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.

The standard tyre size is aimed at comfort

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.


Improve the handling of a Volvo 940

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.

Lower a Volvo 940 with 30mm of lowering springs

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.

Lowering a Volvo 940 with a BC-Racing Coilover kit

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)

Larger rims and flatter tyres

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.

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De Mazda MX-5 is in Europa veelal geleverd met de 1.6 motor welke een vermogen heeft van 90 of 116pk. Dit is leuk voor het bochtenwerk maar wil je ook betere acceleratie dan is de 1.8 swap een leuke budget vriendelijke upgrade. De NA versie van de 1.8 heeft namelijk 130PK; een upgrade van 14 tot 40pk en uiteraard neemt het koppel ook aanzienlijk toe.

Wat is er nodig voor de 1.6 naar 1.8 swap in een MX-5?

Het grote voordeel van het Mazda MX-5 NA en NB platform is dat vrijwel alle delen uitwisselbaar zijn. Zo ook de 1.6 en 1.8 motoren. Wel zijn er een aantal kleine verschillen waar op gelet dient te worden bij het uitvoeren van een motorswap.

  • Gasklepadapter
    De 1.6 en 1.8 motoren hebben een andere gasklep, het grote verschil zit hem in de stationair regeling en de gasklepsensor. Een simpele oplossing hiervoor is om gebruik te maken van een gasklep adapterplaat. Deze zijn verkrijgbaar via Flyin Miata in de verenigde staten en maakt het mogelijk om een 1.6 gasklep op de 1.8 motor te monteren.
  • Bobine houder
    Gezien grotendeels 1.6 onderdelen op de 1.8 motor gebruikt gaan worden is het ook zaak dat de bobine houder pas gemaakt zal worden voor de 1.8. Ook hier zijn er weer 2 opties; zelf aanpassen of een kant en klare set kopen.

    Als je een lasapparaat kunt bedienen dan raad ik aan om zelf de aanpassing uit te voeren. De 1.6 bobines worden verticaal vastgeschroefd aan het motorblok met bouten en de 1.8 bobines horizontaal. Door simpelweg nieuwe montagebeugels te fabriceren kan de 1.6 houder gemonteerd worden.

    Gezien de ontstekingsvolgorde verschilt bij de 1.6 en 1.8 motoren is het zaak dat de signaal draden voor beide bobines omgewisseld zal worden. Doe je dit niet dan zul je zien dat de bougiekabels net niet lang genoeg zijn.
  • Thermoschakelaar
    Een thermoschakelaar zorgt ervoor dat bij een vaste termperatuur een open contact gesloten zal worden. Hiermee is het mogelijk om bijvoorbeeld de koel ventilator op de radiateur aan te laten gaan.

    Bij de 1.8 motor is dit via de ECU geregeld en bij de 1.6 via de thermoschakelaar. Het makkelijkst is om deze sensor met een sensor adapter tussen een koelslang te zetten. Een andere optie is om een lasmoer van de juiste afmeting op het thermostaathuis te lassen.
  • 1.6 Injector kabelboom
    De kabelboom voor de injectoren zal van de 1.6 motor overgezet moeten worden naar de 1.8 motor. Dit past 1 op 1.
  • Verlengen van de nokkenassensor bekabeling (CAS)
    De CAS/Nokkenassensor zit bij de 1.8 sensor op een andere nokkenas dan bij de 1.6. Hierdoor is het noodzakelijk om de bekabling door te knippen en op een correcte wijze circa 20cm te verlengen.
  • 1.8 Gaskabel
    De 1.6 en 1.8 gaskabel verschillen in lengte. In tegenstelling tot alle andere zaken zal hier wel de 1.8 gaskabel gebruikt moeten worden.


Dit zijn de belangrijkste zaken waar je rekening mee dient te houden bij het uitvoeren van een 1.8 swap. De rest is grotendeels hetzelfde als het vervangen van een 1.6 MX-5 motor.

Video van de Mazda MX-5 1.6 naar 1.8 swap.

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One of the well-known issues with a Mazda MX-5 NB and NBFL (2nd generation) are the chassis rails (chassis beams)in the wheel tubs. These are very often rusted..

If you are told at the garage after doing a maintenance or MOT that the chassis is rusted then of course you are very frightened. The car you love so much can’t be completely rusted, or can it?

A slightly rusted chassis rail..
A slightly rusted chassis rail.. We often find them many times worse!

How does the rust form and why does an Mx-5 NA (1st generation) not rust here?

The rust is created by the design of the chasiss rails that Mazda has chosen. The Mazda MX-5 has 2-layer chasiss rails, which is good for the firmness in case of an accident and the stiffness of the chassis. Unfortunately it also has a downside and that is that there can be water between the 2 layers and then it’s trapped. Standing water that can’t go your way, you guessed it, that’s going to rust!

The MX-5 NA (1st generation with flip headlights) does not suffer at all because it has only 1 layer of steel in the chassis rails Water therefore does not remain ‘trapped’ so that they will not rust.

Patch and bad repairs..

Let me start with how, in our view, it absolutely NOT should be repaired.
1. A so-called cheap MOT solution: Weld a plate over the rust so that it is ‘hard’ again and comes through the mot.
With this method you postpone the problem and you will most likely have problems next year during the MOT. This is a (bad) patch and not a solution.

2. Partial repair: Cut away the rusted part and weld a new plate into it.
The rust has probably been largely replaced but again it is not the solution. There are still parts with 2-layer steel that will rust through sooner or later.

How LucaCarMods is doing this repair

As indicated, it is important that all rust is gone and it cannot come back. The solution is to remove all the 2-layer steel from the front chassis rails and replace it with a repair panel which, just like the Mazda MX-5 NA, consists of only 1 layer of steel.

With this rust repair repair of the chassis rails we start by disassembling the front bumper, crash beam, headlights, wheels, radiator, power steering and many other things that get in the way. During the repair, the engine can stay seated but many attachments are removed. Next, the engine and fuel lines will also be packed with a flame retardant welding blanket. Safety is key with this repair.

After most of the parts are disassembled and the important parts are packed, the cutting can begin. This can look rather intense because a rather large piece will be cut out of the chassis rails. What is often even worse than grinding is the rust that seems to be fine from the outside but is already quite advanced inside.

Then everything needs to be cleaned properly so that it is free of old coatings or wax layers. These easily catch fire and also make for a bad weld. If everything is clean then the repair panel can only be trimmed to fit on the Mazda MX-5 NB. Again, you have 2 ways to do it. A weld where you put the panels over each other or put them against each other with a gap of about 1mm in between. We always choose the last option to have good welding, nicer looks and the steel is only 1 layer thick everywhere.

To spread the heat during welding, short welds are made each time and then you jump back to another point. This prevents warping and there will be less heat in the paint layer of the engine compartment.

After this, the weld can be sanded flat with a flap disc on the right-angled grinder and finally the most important step; apply a good moisture-resistant coating both inside and outside Inside the chassis rails we use Dinitrol 1000, this is a hollow space coating and on the outside a robust Dinitrol 447 anti stone chip coating.

Dinitrol 1000 Coating

After this, the MX-5 NB or NBFL is good again for many years of driving pleasure!

If you want this repair done by us please contact us! In terms of costs, you have to take into account approximately €950.00 Incl. Vat

Of course, you can also do this repair with our repair panels which you can find below.

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Volvo’s 3.0 T6 engines are beautiful sounding 6 in line engines with a turbo. These T6 engines or B6304T are very good for getting a little more power than the standard 285hp or 299hp which are supplied by Volvo as standard in the V70, XC70, S60 or S80. By replacing the original downpipe with a larger 3.5 inch downpipe from LucaCarMods, there is approximately 10-15hp extra power to be gained and a better sounding Volvo!

Replacing the downpipe with a Volvo T6 engine where the car is equipped with AWD is a challenging task where some knowledge of cars is required and you need good tools. Prefer to perform this upgrade on a lift.

In this guide you will see step by step what it takes to replace the downpipe of a Volvo T6 engine.

Repair specifications:
Duration: 4-5 hours
Difficulty: 7/10

Step-by-step plan and equipment for replacing the T6 downpipe

To carry out this repair, you need at least the following tools:

  • socket set/wrenches set with at least 1 additional extension
  • Spanner set
  • Dremel with grinding disc (if the nuts on the exhaust are rusted)
  • WD40
  • Jack
  • Axle stands
  • Patience

Disassemble downpipe

  1. Jack the car up and provide
    a safe workplace
    It is important that there is enough space under the car so that you can lie underneath it yourself to disassemble the downpipe. To create a safe workplace under the car, it is important that your Volvo is in gear or P, the handbrake is put on and it is on axle stands.
  2. Remove the battery, air filter and plastic parts around it
    Modern Volvos have very full built engine spaces, especially the T6 engine because this is a cross-placed 6 in line engine. For this reason, you can only reach some bolts from above and it is necessary to remove the battery, air filter and the parts around it. With a flat screwdriver or cap 7, the hose clamp can be detached from the air filter, sensors are still attached to the air filter, the plugs of which need to be unplugled. The entire air filter housing can then be removed from its rubbers with a small jerk. Next, it’s the turn of that battery and battery tray. Both battery poles can be detached with stab key 10; next to the battery on the left is a long pin that keeps the battery in place, unplug it with cap 10 so that the battery can be removed. If it’s all right, look at an empty battery container which is stuck with 3-4 bolts. Also remove these from the car by loosening the bolts with cap 8. Please note that these bolts can be slightly rusted, make sure the cap is good on them so they don’t spin crazy!
  3. Detach the downpipe from
    the exhaust
    The next act takes place under the car; namely splitting the exhaust and downpipe of your Volvo. This is often easier said than done because the nuts are often completely rusted away… If you’re lucky, you can easily pull them off with a cap and rattle, if you don’t use this luck then (gently) use the dremel to sharpen the nuts.

    As you can see, we weren’t lucky either.
  4. Disassemble
    heat shield
    To get to the nuts that connect the T6 Volvo downpipe to the KKK turbo, a heat shield has to be released which goes over the catalyst. These are 3 bolts and a clip of which 2 are easily accessible from below with a stab key and the other bolt and clip must be approached from above. You can unplug it with cap 10.De upper bolt you will have to find on the touch by holding your hand behind the engine block where the battery has just been disassembled.

  5. Remove 2 bolts
    from the catalyst
    The catalyst is attached to the engine block with bolts in the B6304T engine, which ensures an extra long life of the downpipe because it has less stress on it. However, it is much less pleasant to disassemble the downpipe. These bolts also need to be removed via the “inspection hatch” where the battery used to be. Personally, I found this to work best with a 3/8 rattle, this one is handy but you can put just enough power to get them loose. These two bolts are at the spot where the clip used to sit to hold the heat shield.
  6. Remove lambdasonde plugs and remove the nuts from the downpipe
    The end is beginning to come into view. First, unplug the lamdasone so that they are not damaged later during disassembling the downpipe. From under the car the 4 nuts with which the downpipe is attached to the turbo can be seen clearly, again there is another trick to loosen the nuts. Preferably, you’ll need an extra set of hands from a friend, your wife/husband or anyone else for this step.
    The top one can be added quite easily with a stab key or rattle, the front bottom is a bit more of a challenge but you get out of that pretty quickly! The real challenge is in the nut at the bottom which direction the engine block is, this is only going to get out the next way.

    Grab a 1/2 rattle (the big one) with 2 long extensions and a knee piece, then tape the knee piece so that it is still slightly agile but not limp. This whole construction must then go from above to the “inspection hatch” where the battery sat along the engine block to the turbo. The simplest is when a person is under the car and gives clues about where the ratchet should go. With this solution you should be able to loosen the nut within 5-10 minutes. Please note that this nut only needs a few strokes loose!

    If you only try this, you’ll probably do it, but it can take 30+ minutes to untie the last nut of the Volvo downpipe.

    The one upstairs has a 0.0 view of where the cap is located. With 2 men this goes many times faster.
  7. Remove the 3.0 T6 Volvo downpipe from the car
    Now that all the nuts of the turbo are loose (all but the last one) the downpipe can be removed from under the Volvo with T6 engine. Since all Volvos with a T6 engine are equipped with AWD, the diff and drive shaft are quite in the way. Disassembling and manouvring the downpipe along these parts can also take some time. Make sure you don’t damage the lambdasonde! What makes the whole thing a lot easier is to sharpen the bracket at the catalyst (the one with which you screw it to the engine block with 2 bolts). This gives you a lot more freedom of movement.

Upgrade your Volvo T6 with a 3.5 inch downpipe

By default, the downpipe of a Volvo T6 engine has a short bend that has the diameter of about 3 inches. This is quite hefty for a factory downpipe but unfortunately the party is over immediately because the original catalyst follows and then the downpipe goes to a much smaller size. From a cost and sound, this is a logical decision for Volvo, for the Volvo enthusiast who wants to get more power and sound out of his/her Volvo T6 engine, this is of course less beautiful.

LucaCarMods.com is currently developing a full 3.5 inch downpipe which will feature a High Flow Race Catalyst.

3.5″ downpipe: more power, better sound and MOT worthy

A 3.5″ downpipe has already proven itself several times on the Dyno (power bank) to add up to 15HP power on a Volvo B6304T T6 engine. Moreover, it also sounds very nice!

What we think is important in LucaCarMods.com is that the downpipe does not cause any problems at the MOT either. Achieving the MOT standards should not be a problem thanks to the 200 cell catalyst.

The choice in material is 304 stainless steel which has a high-quality appearance and will also last for a very long time.

In mid-April, the 3.5″ downpipe will be available on our webshop.

Frequently asked questions:

1. How long does disassembling the Volvo T6 downpipe take?

The first time you’re doing this for about 4 hours.

2. What tools do I need for this job?

Basic tools such as a key set, caps set and a jack with axle supports is enough.

3. What power increase can I expect with a 3.5″ downpipe on a T6 engine

Usually about 10-15hp!

De waardering van www.lucacarmods.com bij Webwinkel Keurmerk Klantbeoordelingen is 9.6/10 gebaseerd op 168 reviews.