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    Thread: Volvo 850/V70 (P80 Chassis) Learn me!

    1. Member Provocyclist's Avatar
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      10-14-2013 09:17 PM #1
      So i've searched on here and on swedespeed for a buyers guide for the 1993-2000 volvo wagons, and really haven't come up with anything concrete. Whats the reason for staying away from the AWD systems? Theres a couple non-XC cars with AWD. I know about getting the car Stage 0.

      Turbo vs non-turbo? Any special needs there apart from regular turbo stuff?

      All i'm seeing transmission-wise is autos, I know manuals are out there, but rare as hens teeth. What should I look for with the trans?

      Im handy with a toolset, so I'm not afraid of getting dirty with my cars. How do parts costs compare with a B5 Passat (my current car)? Are they similarly easy to work on? Ill probably have about $3500 to spend.

      Thanks all!
      Last edited by Provocyclist; 10-14-2013 at 09:27 PM.

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    2. Member Fettes Brot's Avatar
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      10-14-2013 10:16 PM #2
      My 98 V70 T5 5-speed


      Ok, where do I start.

      Overall, these are fantastic cars. I prefer the P80(X70) cars to the 850, simply because I think they look nicer, & have a more comfortable interior. Material quality is very good. Other than puckering leather on the door cards, most interiors look great, even after all these years. Nearly everything I'm about to go over applies to both the 850 & X70.

      1998 is the best year in most opinions, as it was pre CAN-Bus network, & therefore simpler overall. 1999 & 2000 gained coil on plug ignition, variable valve timing & electronic throttle (ETM). The ETM is a known trouble spot on these cars. There are suppliers of aftermarket alternatives, but I don't have any first hand knowledge of how those are - supposedly very good.

      All cars by this age need to have the PCV system checked out. A clogged system will set you back a few hundred bucks in parts & labour. Run the car at idle & pull the dipstick out - if you see smoke, it's clogged. The next question is how bad! Most cars just need the oil trap & hoses replaced, but some neglected cars will need to have the oil pan dropped to clean the internal passages correctly. Change the oil on time, & keep the short trips to a minimum, & the PCV system should stay healthy for a long time.

      Most cars will have tired suspension, watch for torn upper strut mounts, worn ball joints, tie rods, etc.

      AWD - there are some trouble spots to watch out for, but I've been working on these cars for over seven years now, & haven't seen what all the fuss is about.
      -Watch for Angle Gear/Bevel Gear leaks - there is a reseal procedure if it needs to be addressed.
      -Listen for banging, or vibrations while driving under your seat. That may indicate a bad propellor shaft joint. It isn't serviceable, so you'll have to either buy a new shaft (>$1k) or get a rebuilt unit.
      -Viscous Coupler: This is the part most people will moan about, but I've only seen one failure in all my years with Volvo. Failure will be noticed with a jerking feeling when making tight turns, & may be accompanied by a banging/clunking noise.

      Turbo cars don't seem any less reliable than the non-turbo cars, but are way more fun. I've never seen a bad turbo on one of these cars.

      Transmissions - manuals are way more fun & reliable, but yes, very hard to find. I was lucky I got mine! The automatics aren't the most stout out there, but failures are few and far between in my experience. It's more common to have a failure of the PNP switch than anything else. Just make sure the fluid is clean & doesn't smell burnt.

      If the ABS/TRACS warning is on, I can 99% guarantee the ABS module is faulty. You can replace it with a new one ($$$$), find a rebuilt ($$), or rebuild it yourself with a soldering iron (free!). There are instructions online.

      The drivers window switch pack is common failure. You'll know its bad when a window won't respond from it, but can be controlled at that door.

      Overall, these are very easy to work on, & don't require too many special tools, unless you're getting into something deep (headgasket, AWD repairs).

      Wheel options are good, within the Volvo brand. Anything FWD/AWD from 1994 - 2007 850/X70/S60/V70/S80 will fit.

      One thing I cannot stress enough, is use OEM parts. The quality of most aftermarket replacement parts in very, very poor. I've seen strut mounts fail within months from an aftermarket supplier. Some aftermarket performance stuff is good though. Do your research and you'll be fine.

      $3,500 should get you a good daily driver that should need minimal work.

      I'm sure I've forgotten something, so feel free to ask more questions.

      Volvo Expert/Master Tech

    3. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-14-2013 10:59 PM #3
      What he said.

      Good online communities. Matthew's Volvo Site is very informative, Volvospeed is like the MKIV forum but some good stuff, Swedespeed is dead for the 850 but good classifieds, and there are a few other forums. Lots of good UK forums too.

      FCP Groton and IPD are good for parts. Tasca Volvo in RI is good for OEM.

      Time has been very kind to these cars. I'd echo the '98 V70/S70 comment but I couldn't help myself and did an 850R for the cool factor. I love my Volvo, and choose to drive it daily.

      While it might not be a priority, Lucky is a software "tuner" in OR and has reasonably-priced software upgrades for these cars. The issue is, and Fettes Brot got most of it, is that your turbo Volvo needs to be at Stage 0 to start with. There is a lot of rubber vacuum lines, as well as radiator and intercooler hoses, to crack and leak boost.

      Any car you look at will need a suspension refresh and PCV system. The good news is it's less than $1k in parts.

      The bodies are incredibly rust-resistant. The upholstery can wear but there is a guy who makes quality leather covers.

      It's hard to emphasize enough how different '98 vs. '99-'00 are.

      In summary, go for it. In a used-car market with some wildly overvalued junk, the FWD Volvos are generally nicely priced. There's a 98 V70 T5 auto with 180k that looks great for $1500 on my CL.

      I've done some suspension work on my 850, did the Eibach Pro-Kit and Koni FSD with great results. I'm chancing it with Meyle HD components along with some Volvo OEM but he's right, lots of Chinese junk on the market.

      Oh, pics

      When I got my 850R:


      Now, still lots to do:
      Last edited by MAGICGTI; 10-14-2013 at 11:05 PM.
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    4. Member Norrlands Turk's Avatar
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      10-14-2013 11:19 PM #4
      My craigslist over here is full of extremely low priced '97 to '00 XC70s. Many of them seem to have transmission issues. Owners do not want to pay big bucks at the shop and dump them for cheap. Any XC70 owners here?
      How would you compare working on these cars to working on a Corolla or Civic? Easier/ more difficult?

    5. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-14-2013 11:49 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Norrlands Turk View Post
      My craigslist over here is full of extremely low priced '97 to '00 XC70s. Many of them seem to have transmission issues. Owners do not want to pay big bucks at the shop and dump them for cheap. Any XC70 owners here?
      How would you compare working on these cars to working on a Corolla or Civic? Easier/ more difficult?
      '00 seems to be a sucky year. See lots of trans issues with the 5-speed automatics for whatever reason.

      I'd stick to '98 or if you find a decent '99 and are ok with CAN-BUS. You can always remove the rear driveshaft and make it FWD. I'd also say a lot of owners are spooked by high repair estimates but don't DIY or have a good shop.

      Never worked on a Civic or Corolla but they're is good room in the engine bay and quality parts. There are service manuals and an online DIY for every job just about.
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    6. 10-15-2013 12:08 AM #6
      had a 98 S70 GLT (turbo)

      A/C failed, auto locks failed, it burned oil, ABS failed...

      On the plus side, loved the turbo sound, it was comfortable, and for some odd reason mine had 2 rear fog lights. Still not worth keeping, most unreliable car I've had.

    7. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 12:12 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by I_like_waffles View Post
      had a 98 S70 GLT (turbo)

      A/C failed, auto locks failed, it burned oil, ABS failed...

      On the plus side, loved the turbo sound, it was comfortable, and for some odd reason mine had 2 rear fog lights. Still not worth keeping, most unreliable car I've had.
      You man you needed an evaporator, door lock actuator (would be my guess), PCV replacement (or valve stem seals, unlikely), and the ABS module resoldered?

      $1500 parts and labor for all of it. This is why these cars get a bad rap.
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      10-15-2013 12:20 AM #8
      Great cars

      They will run with a lot of neglect, so be mindful of inspecting the car thoroughly when you buy one.

      They are easy to work on, much more than VW/Audi IMO, they have great community support.
      They have common problems, but they are well documented by now and DIY friendly for the most part.

      I currently own a awd model and it hasn't given me any problems at all. The bevel gear was replaced about 10k miles ago though(previous owner) so that is a big expense that I didn't have to pay for.
      The trans has been great too, knock on wood.
      Manual transmission swaps are well documented and tuning companies like http://www.ardtuning.com/
      provide software to do a trans swap on the 99-00 cars now also.
      98 tends to be less problematic than the 99-00 cars. Transmission swaps are easier.

      I absolutely love my car. Coming from the vw/audi ownership experience, my v70r is ~75% of what my B5S4 was and ~30% of the maintenance cost.

    9. Member BattleRabbit's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 12:30 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post
      '00 seems to be a sucky year. See lots of trans issues with the 5-speed automatics for whatever reason.

      I'd stick to '98 or if you find a decent '99 and are ok with CAN-BUS. You can always remove the rear driveshaft and make it FWD. I'd also say a lot of owners are spooked by high repair estimates but don't DIY or have a good shop.

      Never worked on a Civic or Corolla but they're is good room in the engine bay and quality parts. There are service manuals and an online DIY for every job just about.
      One of my coworkers did this with his. Apparently it saved him a lot of cost and headaches, and the thing still gets him to work.

      He told me doing the fuel pump in his XC was a royal pain in the butt. I'm not sure if that is true of all years though.
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    10. Member MagicBus's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 08:00 AM #10
      I hope these cars are as good as they say...

      I'm picking up a 1998 V70 tonight to replace my wife's rapidly and unexpectedly deteriorating 1995 Legacy.

      Getting the V70 for well under $1000. Needs work (some exhaust, brakes, some suspension, tune up including timing belt, etc), but is a solid runner - test drove it last week.

      The PCV system was entirely replaced last fall and the car comes with 4 separate mounted snow tires. I'll have to put some work into it, but it seems like a pretty good deal. I've test driven a few in the past year and love how they drive.

    11. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 08:48 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post
      You man you needed an evaporator, door lock actuator (would be my guess), PCV replacement (or valve stem seals, unlikely), and the ABS module resoldered?

      $1500 parts and labor for all of it. This is why these cars get a bad rap.
      $1500?? I bet it could have been fixed for half that by a mechanic who knew what he was doing.

      Most of the good stuff has been said. I prefer the 850 aesthetic, but that's just personal taste.

      If you get leather, the dark stuff seems to age a lot better.

      Very, very good cars for the dollar. I just sold mine, not one thing wrong with it, no rust, ready to go another 200k for $4500. Was really sad to see it go. It was by far the best highway car in our fleet.
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      10-15-2013 02:17 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by BattleRabbit View Post
      He told me doing the fuel pump in his XC was a royal pain in the butt. I'm not sure if that is true of all years though.
      To replace the fuel pump correctly, it is a big job. The entire rear drivetrain needs to be taken out to drop the fuel tank to access the fuel pump on the top. I think it is billed by Volvo as a 10 hour job, it's pretty involved. I don't envy your coworker.

      There is an easier way, which involves cutting an access panel through the sheet metal in the rear hatch area, but it is permanent so there is always that to consider. It take substantially less to replace the fuel pump once doing that though

    13. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 02:55 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by MagicBus View Post
      I hope these cars are as good as they say...

      I'm picking up a 1998 V70 tonight to replace my wife's rapidly and unexpectedly deteriorating 1995 Legacy.

      Getting the V70 for well under $1000. Needs work (some exhaust, brakes, some suspension, tune up including timing belt, etc), but is a solid runner - test drove it last week.

      The PCV system was entirely replaced last fall and the car comes with 4 separate mounted snow tires. I'll have to put some work into it, but it seems like a pretty good deal. I've test driven a few in the past year and love how they drive.
      You'll love it, it's right up your alley. Surprised it took you so long.

      ErieVovo is good for quality used parts if you don't have a yard near you. $99/axle used OE with lifetime warranty.
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      10-15-2013 04:10 PM #14
      For the money you cannot go wrong.

      I still want one for a DD.
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    15. Member mellbergVWfan's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 04:22 PM #15
      My friend picked up an 850 Platinum edition a while back. Then it had some boost leak problems and the title transfer became a mess. He has pretty much everything for a manual swap and the parts to fix the problem. He just lost all motivation for it and wants to get rid of it, but can't because Alabama is still holding the title.

      /csb
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      Oh mellberg is cool, but his car certainly isn't helping that happen.

    16. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 10:11 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mellbergVWfan View Post
      My friend picked up an 850 Platinum edition a while back. Then it had some boost leak problems and the title transfer became a mess. He has pretty much everything for a manual swap and the parts to fix the problem. He just lost all motivation for it and wants to get rid of it, but can't because Alabama is still holding the title.

      /csb
      What a shame, hope he gets it sorted. Tell him not to give up.
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    17. Member Provocyclist's Avatar
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      10-15-2013 11:15 PM #17
      Wow, thanks so much for the information Fettes Brot, MAGICGTI, and bubbagti! Ive been sitting on the fence for a while, but im pretty much convinced that I need to get a Volvo now.

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    18. Member MagicBus's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 01:55 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post
      You'll love it, it's right up your alley. Surprised it took you so long.

      ErieVovo is good for quality used parts if you don't have a yard near you. $99/axle used OE with lifetime warranty.
      Thanks for the tip.

      Drove the "new' car home last night. Suspension is a bit rougher than I would have liked, but was planning on pretty much totally refreshing that, anyway. Has a cat code and an evap code, but I doubt it'll take much to sort those out.

      Other than that, I loved the way it drove, and it's SO COMFORTABLE!!!!! compared to the Legacy (which, don't get me wrong... I do find comfortable and enjoy driving). Definitely has that couch-on-wheels feel I like so much in Mercedes.


      Providing it stays reliable, I can see myself buying more of these.

    19. Member trigtm's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 02:52 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by bubbagti View Post
      To replace the fuel pump correctly, it is a big job. The entire rear drivetrain needs to be taken out to drop the fuel tank to access the fuel pump on the top. I think it is billed by Volvo as a 10 hour job, it's pretty involved. I don't envy your coworker.

      There is an easier way, which involves cutting an access panel through the sheet metal in the rear hatch area, but it is permanent so there is always that to consider. It take substantially less to replace the fuel pump once doing that though
      Even easier way that that. I can do the fuel pump in under an hour without any cutting of the floor or dropping the rear subframe. I have it documented over on volvlspeed.

      Anyway - buy one. Easy and rewarding to work on. No special tools, and super reliable.

      don't buy the AWD model though. Worse gas mileage, more maintenance, less reliable for very little benefit. However, all V70R's in this chassis were AWD.

      Also, only the 5speed auto in the R in 2000 was a problem. No issues with the trans in other cars.

      No 5 speed turbo cars besides the T5's but those are generally hard to find.
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      10-16-2013 03:34 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by MagicBus View Post
      I hope these cars are as good as they say...

      I'm picking up a 1998 V70 tonight to replace my wife's rapidly and unexpectedly deteriorating 1995 Legacy.

      Getting the V70 for well under $1000. Needs work (some exhaust, brakes, some suspension, tune up including timing belt, etc), but is a solid runner - test drove it last week.

      The PCV system was entirely replaced last fall and the car comes with 4 separate mounted snow tires. I'll have to put some work into it, but it seems like a pretty good deal. I've test driven a few in the past year and love how they drive.
      I just bought a very similar car and went through the same thing.

      I bought a '99 V70 NA car with a manual for $900. The suspension was toast, tires were shot as a result, and it has 237k miles. I did the suspension using Koni struts and a mix of OEM and Meyle HD components. All in all the suspension was easy though one of the rear shock mount bolts broke off as I was removing it (beware of this, give them a good LONG soak in PB and back it out two turns out, one turn in, two turns out, etc... the lower threads are exposed to the elements and get corroded and seize in the threads as you unthread them). I had to drill out and tap it to the next size.

      I plan to do my first oil change, PCV update, and timing belt in the next 3,000 miles which should be about another $400 in parts. So, all told I'll be in about $2300 for a high-mileage V70 manual with a lot of new components, which is fine by me.

      The evaporator on mine is toast, maybe I'll deal with that down the road.

      I will say this though, I liked my 940 more. Call me crazy, but the build quality on the 900 cars seems to be of a higher standard than my '99. The car has INSANE interior rattles that I haven't been able to diagnose yet. Granted, it has really high mileage, but my 940 has nearly 300k and is dead quiet on the road. Plus my car hunts for idle while warming up and I suspect I'll need to procure a new throttle body sooner than later. As others have said, if you want the refreshed body work, get a '98 so you don't have to bother with that nonsense.
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    21. Member MagicBus's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 03:43 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by The Igneous Faction View Post
      I just bought a very similar car and went through the same thing.

      I bought a '99 V70 NA car with a manual for $900. The suspension was toast, tires were shot as a result, and it has 237k miles. I did the suspension using Koni struts and a mix of OEM and Meyle HD components. All in all the suspension was easy though one of the rear shock mount bolts broke off as I was removing it (beware of this, give them a good LONG soak in PB and back it out two turns out, one turn in, two turns out, etc... the lower threads are exposed to the elements and get corroded and seize in the threads as you unthread them). I had to drill out and tap it to the next size.

      I plan to do my first oil change, PCV update, and timing belt in the next 3,000 miles which should be about another $400 in parts. So, all told I'll be in about $2300 for a high-mileage V70 manual with a lot of new components, which is fine by me.

      The evaporator on mine is toast, maybe I'll deal with that down the road.

      I will say this though, I liked my 940 more. Call me crazy, but the build quality on the 900 cars seems to be of a higher standard than my '99. The car has INSANE interior rattles that I haven't been able to diagnose yet. Granted, it has really high mileage, but my 940 has nearly 300k and is dead quiet on the road. Plus my car hunts for idle while warming up and I suspect I'll need to procure a new throttle body sooner than later. As others have said, if you want the refreshed body work, get a '98 so you don't have to bother with that nonsense.
      Thanks for the heads-up on the shock mount bolts. The car needs suspension, but the seller already put two new front tires on it and the rears still looked OK. Plus, the snow tires look almost new, so I'm all set there.

      I paid $675 for the car, which feels about right, given the laundry list of items the car needs, including, likely, an exhaust from the header back. I keep totaling up what it'll cost, and I think it'll be worth it in the end. Time will tell.

    22. Member sandiegan's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 04:00 PM #22
      So many threads on these. I had a 94 850 Turbo wagon (which was auto, as were all USDM 850 Turbo's). As a "manual guy", it was still one of my favorite cars I've ever owned, out of things like S2000, Corvette, blah blah blah. I bought it for $1200 with 280k miles on it. Put 20k miles on it, had it two years, it failed smog, retired it to the state of California for $1k. In two years, as I recall, I bought a battery, replaced the PCV with parts from FCP Groton, and did oil changes. PCV clogged again after having done it (probably needed a ton more work). Not sure I could stomach owning one as a real/only car (used it as a beater).

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      10-16-2013 04:15 PM #23
      I am a chassis veteran and can recommend a few things. Find out more about the transmission, when the oil was changed and how well it shifts. One of my wagons started to change shifting behaviors and I changed the oil with the OEM spec, still does it but hasn't gotten worse. My other wagon...the trans is solid, it was shifting smooth and I still replaced the fluid, still strong. I have 5 Volvos. Turbo maintenance is cheap, lots of parts in junkyards. The only difference between the turbos and non turbos is gas consumption and power. I truly enjoy my non-turbo wagon on long journeys - 29mpg regular vs 22mpg with premium.

      Regarding the AWD, a lot has been said but if you want to preserve it just take the driveshaft off and only install in in the winter. It is perfectly fine to do that. My transfer case peed itself to death on my V70R. FWD now.
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      10-16-2013 04:21 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by alex_bgnet View Post
      I truly enjoy my non-turbo wagon on long journeys - 29mpg regular vs 22mpg with premium.
      Are you saying the turbos only get 22mpg highway? My chipped T5 did 26-29mpg highway. Yes, it did like premium.
      1987 Mercedes 190E 16v Cosworth
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    25. Member Provocyclist's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 05:28 PM #25
      I slightly inclined to stay away from AWD, at least for my first volvo, but maintaining that system doesn't down too horrible regardless. Is there that big a difference between the n/a and turbos in gas mileage? My Passat gets 32 highway, but its 5MT.

      If i wanted swap a manual, do any of the transmissions work, or do I have to stay n/a to n/a and turbo to turbo?

      Quote Originally Posted by emmettlodge View Post
      The horn is there to honk. Why wouldn't I honk it? I honk for lots of things. Honk at me? You bet i'll honk back. Honk honk mother****er i'm a Tacoma driver and you better get the **** out of my way.

    26. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 05:38 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Provocyclist View Post
      I slightly inclined to stay away from AWD, at least for my first volvo, but maintaining that system doesn't down too horrible regardless. Is there that big a difference between the n/a and turbos in gas mileage? My Passat gets 32 highway, but its 5MT.

      If i wanted swap a manual, do any of the transmissions work, or do I have to stay n/a to n/a and turbo to turbo?
      Yes, all transmissions of that gen work but 95% of manuals are NA cars. Axles might be different.

      There are lots of threads on Volvo forums on manual swaps.

      Auto uses much more fuel. I average 19 MPG premium in my T5 (well, R, but same thing really in this gen). Once I get a proper alignment and ARD tune I expect 22 MPG average.
      2011 328xiT/6 - 1999 M3/2/5 - 2000 323iT/5

    27. Member rynodyno312's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 05:39 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by zhenya00 View Post
      Are you saying the turbos only get 22mpg highway? My chipped T5 did 26-29mpg highway. Yes, it did like premium.
      My s70 t5 with full bolt ons and a 19psi tune could probably hit 26mpg hwy, but around town it was a gas guzzler. My heavy foot didn't help, but with all the fat midrange torque it was hard to resist giving it the boot. It was a fantastic car, albeit a bit more expensive to maintain than a honda or toyota. I had h&r springs, new shocks and struts, heavy duty sway bar end links and heavy duty strut mounts. With 125k miles on it it was still as tight as a drum and would pull very nicely on the hwy with the extremely long gearing of the 4spd auto.
      Last edited by rynodyno312; 10-16-2013 at 05:41 PM.

    28. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 06:18 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by rynodyno312 View Post
      My s70 t5 with full bolt ons and a 19psi tune could probably hit 26mpg hwy, but around town it was a gas guzzler. My heavy foot didn't help, but with all the fat midrange torque it was hard to resist giving it the boot. It was a fantastic car, albeit a bit more expensive to maintain than a honda or toyota. I had h&r springs, new shocks and struts, heavy duty sway bar end links and heavy duty strut mounts. With 125k miles on it it was still as tight as a drum and would pull very nicely on the hwy with the extremely long gearing of the 4spd auto.
      Yes, around town it would do 18-20 (although my around town is not normal city - lots of 1 mile trips and steep hills). My long term average over many thousands of miles was about 21mpg - but way way better than 22 mpg highway.
      1987 Mercedes 190E 16v Cosworth
      1997 Volvo 855 T5
      2010 Volvo XC90
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      10-16-2013 06:29 PM #29
      I owned three of those generation of Volvo, all wagons: A 2000 V70R, a 1998 T5 Auto and a 1998 T5 manual. Never again.

      First, the good:



      1) Excellent seats. You can drive 12 hours in these cars and get out feeling none the worse for wear.

      2) The 5 cylinder turbos are torquey.

      3) They are excellent highway cruising cars.


      Now, the bad.



      Reliability:

      1) The AWD system is horribly unreliable. Angle gears WILL fail at some point, even if maintained properly and driven sensibly. Driveshafts and viscous couplers don't last long past the 100k mark, either. There's a reason so many of these cars are limping along in "FWD mode."

      2) While the ergonomics of the interior are excellent, the quality of the plastics is poor, and the leather seats simply don't hold up. Puckered door panels and brittle, cracked seat leather are far and away the norm. And good luck getting rid of all the rattles.

      3) The steering rack is another 100k +/- replacement item. Aftermarket/reman units are notorious crapshoots, prone to leaking, and Volvo prices are spendy.

      4) The 5-speed autos in the 2000 models are also a "when, not if" failure. Again, Volvo is your only source for a reliable replacement piece. Again, $$$.


      Performance:

      1) Go back and read contemporary road tests to see how many comparisons were won by Volvos of this era. I don't believe you'll find any. The cars are stable and safe, but they are miles away from a performance car in the German/European idiom.

      2) Torque steer on the FWD models is bad at base HP levels. Add more boost and it becomes ridiculous.

      3) Steering feel and feedback is nonexistent, and the steering boost feels heavy and artificial.

      4) The much sought-after manual gearboxes shift with the finesse of a pickup truck.

      5) The ride is fine on smooth pavement, but falls apart on rough roads. Doubly so if you lower the car, add aftermarket shocks, IPD anti sway bars, etc..


      FWIW, my cars were maintained by the book, complete service records, yada, yada. Didn't seem to matter. My mistake was assuming they would be as reliable as the 740 I owned prior.


      I have pics of two of them:




    30. Member zhenya00's Avatar
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      10-16-2013 06:48 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post
      I owned three of those generation of Volvo, all wagons: A 2000 V70R, a 1998 T5 Auto and a 1998 T5 manual. Never again.

      First, the good:



      1) Excellent seats. You can drive 12 hours in these cars and get out feeling none the worse for wear.

      2) The 5 cylinder turbos are torquey.

      3) They are excellent highway cruising cars.


      Now, the bad.



      Reliability:

      1) The AWD system is horribly unreliable. Angle gears WILL fail at some point, even if maintained properly and driven sensibly. Driveshafts and viscous couplers don't last long past the 100k mark, either. There's a reason so many of these cars are limping along in "FWD mode."

      2) While the ergonomics of the interior are excellent, the quality of the plastics is poor, and the leather seats simply don't hold up. Puckered door panels and brittle, cracked seat leather are far and away the norm. And good luck getting rid of all the rattles.

      3) The steering rack is another 100k +/- replacement item. Aftermarket/reman units are notorious crapshoots, prone to leaking, and Volvo prices are spendy.

      4) The 5-speed autos in the 2000 models are also a "when, not if" failure. Again, Volvo is your only source for a reliable replacement piece. Again, $$$.


      Performance:

      1) Go back and read contemporary road tests to see how many comparisons were won by Volvos of this era. I don't believe you'll find any. The cars are stable and safe, but they are miles away from a performance car in the German/European idiom.

      2) Torque steer on the FWD models is bad at base HP levels. Add more boost and it becomes ridiculous.

      3) Steering feel and feedback is nonexistent, and the steering boost feels heavy and artificial.

      4) The much sought-after manual gearboxes shift with the finesse of a pickup truck.

      5) The ride is fine on smooth pavement, but falls apart on rough roads. Doubly so if you lower the car, add aftermarket shocks, IPD anti sway bars, etc..


      FWIW, my cars were maintained by the book, complete service records, yada, yada. Didn't seem to matter. My mistake was assuming they would be as reliable as the 740 I owned prior.
      I have to believe it does ultimately come down to care. Mine with 180k miles has leather that is still soft and looks virtually new. It does have rattles, I can give you that. My dash and door panels were perfect. At 180k it's on the original steering rack. Original turbo of course.

      With aftermarket shocks, sway bar, and decent tires, the steering feel was one of the best parts of this car. It was perfect on center with a perfect sized dead spot so that you could cruise forever without fighting to constantly correct the direction, yet immediately off center it had a perfectly progressive build-up of weight allowing you to constantly feel exactly what the front wheels were doing. This made for a fantastic winter car because the car was constantly communicating back the available level of grip. I raced this car thousands of miles of winter rally and because of this steering feel and predictable handling it made a great partner.

      Ride quality is not great, but despite 16" wheels, koni fsd's, eibach's and swaybars, my wife never complained. She has complained about the suspension in every other vehicle I've modified.

      These cars would not ever win a handling comparison test, but in the early '90's these were ~3100lb cars with 170-240hp on tap. That's still respectable today.

      Owning it from 120-180k the only time it ever stranded me was when I purposefully launched it as hard as possible and broke a coolant pipe. 100% my fault.
      1987 Mercedes 190E 16v Cosworth
      1997 Volvo 855 T5
      2010 Volvo XC90
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      10-17-2013 01:21 AM #31
      2000 Venetian V70r just like mine, but only a single exhaust, and volans too? What was the history on the car?

    32. Member VWmk3GTI's Avatar
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      10-17-2013 01:34 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by MAGICGTI View Post

      Now, still lots to do:
      Sell it to me i'll relieve your work effort
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
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      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
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    33. Member Giovanni's Avatar
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      10-17-2013 09:55 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Fettes Brot View Post

      If the ABS/TRACS warning is on, I can 99% guarantee the ABS module is faulty. You can replace it with a new one ($$$$), find a rebuilt ($$), or rebuild it yourself with a soldering iron (free!)...
      I just has a bad ABS module on my 1996 855R. I got a used one for $100 but I know a guy.

      I have two of these cars and owned a NA 850 with a 5 speed. The shifting wasn't the smoothest and I would not consider a non turbo one again. They are pretty slow.

      A brake caliper on my T-5R was not releasing correctly and I got a used one for $70. I think the other side needs replacing now too. They are fun cars to drive and I get only around 17 or 18 mpg. I am thinking about selling the yellow sedan because I don't drive it much and the wagon is more versatile.

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      10-17-2013 09:59 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by bubbagti View Post
      2000 Venetian V70r just like mine, but only a single exhaust, and volans too? What was the history on the car?
      That's the 1998 T5 automatic.

    35. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-17-2013 10:18 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post


      Reliability:

      1) The AWD system is horribly unreliable. Angle gears WILL fail at some point, even if maintained properly and driven sensibly. Driveshafts and viscous couplers don't last long past the 100k mark, either. There's a reason so many of these cars are limping along in "FWD mode."
      They're not that great, but not horribly unreliable. Angle gears tend to leak but can be resealed. Viscous couplers will fail quickly if the tires don't have even wear.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      2) While the ergonomics of the interior are excellent, the quality of the plastics is poor, and the leather seats simply don't hold up. Puckered door panels and brittle, cracked seat leather are far and away the norm. And good luck getting rid of all the rattles.
      Leather seats wear decently but most aren't cared for. Volvo tan doesn't wear nearly as well as charcoal for some reason.

      Door panels do pucker on x70 cars. The R panels don't FWIW.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      3) The steering rack is another 100k +/- replacement item. Aftermarket/reman units are notorious crapshoots, prone to leaking, and Volvo prices are spendy.
      Haven't seen this, news to me. I wouldn't go reman, would find a good used one.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      4) The 5-speed autos in the 2000 models are also a "when, not if" failure. Again, Volvo is your only source for a reliable replacement piece. Again, $$$.
      Junk.


      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post
      Performance:

      1) Go back and read contemporary road tests to see how many comparisons were won by Volvos of this era. I don't believe you'll find any. The cars are stable and safe, but they are miles away from a performance car in the German/European idiom.
      With chassis and suspension tweaks you can make them handle decently, but yes, it's not an E36 BMW. Which is why an E36 satisfies my need for German performance.

      My 850R has Koni FSD/Eibach Pro-Kit, 215/45-17 Toyos, and an old IPD/TME strut brace. It handles just fine.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      2) Torque steer on the FWD models is bad at base HP levels. Add more boost and it becomes ridiculous.
      What? Volvo limited power at low speed so the torque steer isn't bad. I've NEVER felt torque steer in my stock 850R, the gearing is also very tall. These cars are soft off the line and will get roasted by a Prius up to 7 MPH. They're lots of fun on the highway.


      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      3) Steering feel and feedback is nonexistent, and the steering boost feels heavy and artificial.
      Not much steering feel, a little feedback but not an E36. You're saying it has light steering? Are you sure those cars are yours?

      What was your other car? A Ferrari with no power steering? Volvo steering is known to be articifial and heavy.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      4) The much sought-after manual gearboxes shift with the finesse of a pickup truck.
      Somewhere between a BMW and MB manual. Not a pickup truck but you're overstating it.

      Quote Originally Posted by vwtool View Post

      5) The ride is fine on smooth pavement, but falls apart on rough roads. Doubly so if you lower the car, add aftermarket shocks, IPD anti sway bars, etc..


      See above post on suspension. There are good shocks and bad shocks. Koni FSD will make it ride like butter. When people get in my car (who know cars) they ask how the ride is so smooth.
      2011 328xiT/6 - 1999 M3/2/5 - 2000 323iT/5

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