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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I'm making my way through my first Volvo 850 build project and looking for a manual transmission donor car. I'm going to just buy a whole car to swap all the trans pieces to my 95 turbo car.
My question is if I bought a 98 v70 would all the pieces such as shifter, pedals and all the other odds and ends be a direct bolt on or do I have to stay within 850 series to get all parts to work?
 

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Yes they would work. If its a 98 it may be an internal or external slave. 99 and above the shifters and such are different as well as 99 and above are all internal slave.
 

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Yes most everything will work except there are a few caveats. 1998 S70/V70 models were almost exactly the same as 1997 850s - the big changes came in 1999.

As 91shelby said, some 98's had an internal slave cylinder on the transmission, versus external slave for all 850s. You can get a flashlight and look at the front of the engine, near the fan shroud. Below the starter, at about the junction between the engine and transmission, you should see the external slave cylinder. It looks like this: http://s267.photobucket.com/user/DOO13Y/media/Gearbox/Photo014sm-2.jpg.html You can put a internal-slave transmission in an 850, but it's a lot easier to use the normal external slave model, if I remember correctly.

If you are shopping for a parts car, I would try to get a non-turbo manual. The transmission will have seen less heat and torque than a turbo car, and you can also get the non-turbo intake manifold and camshafts off of the donor car.

I would also go for a 1995-98 donor car so you get an M56H vs. M56L found in the earlier years. There aren't huge differences between the two transmissions, but the urban legend is that the M56H is more durable and has better gear ratios than the earlier M56L.
 

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I'm pretty sure V70's pedal box won't work on a 850.
Good point, yes that is true, even if it's a '98.

Some people have said you can take the manual brake and clutch pedals off of the 1998+ box, then attach them to the automatic 850 pedal box (replacing the big auto brake pedal) but who knows if that will really work.

Safer bet is to just find a 1995-97 850 manual car for your donor. That's what I did for mine, got a '97 non-turbo manual with a trashed interior/exterior for $1000. You get to "practice" for the swap by pulling all the parts off the donor car first, then you can work on your own car with a little experience under your belt.

It's an absolutely huge amount of work, it took me about 7 or 8 full days of work to complete - pull everything from the donor car, pull everything from the recipient car, put the donor's transmission, shifter, pedal box, shifter cables, etc. into the recipient, button everything back up on the recipient, then put the automatic in the trunk of the donor car, and put the donor back together enough for it to be towed away.
 

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If you are shopping for a parts car, I would try to get a non-turbo manual. The transmission will have seen less heat and torque than a turbo car, and you can also get the non-turbo intake manifold and camshafts off of the donor car.

I would also go for a 1995-98 donor car so you get an M56H vs. M56L found in the earlier years. There aren't huge differences between the two transmissions, but the urban legend is that the M56H is more durable and has better gear ratios than the earlier M56L.
In 95 NA cars there was a mid year break. I wouldn't use the early intake on your car.

I'm running the M56L and it's a much better choice for me over the M56H . The gear ratio is better depending on how you drive. It has a lower 1st and 2nd and a higher final drive ratio. I've run both and like the cruising RPM of the L and it gets off the line much faster the the H. To each his own, but evaluate how you drive. If you never go over 65 an H will probably be fine. 1st is definitely lower on the L and some may not like that. IIRC the earlier transmissions have the bronze shifter forks which are more desirable.
 

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The 850 pedal assembly is completely different from the 70 series set up. I don't think they will interchange.
 

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Hi!
70 series pedal assemblies will work in 850 models. I did the swap on my 850 with 70 series pedals no problem!
Are you talking about the entire pedal box, or just the 70 series manual pedal? It's a much bigger pain to install the entire pedal box, which to my knowledge is required when converting 850s
 

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Hi!
I swapped out the automatic brake pedal and then added the two new pedals to the assembly. Works great! I don't have a return spring on my clutch pedal as I never got around to installing it though. Still have it new in the Volvo bags! :) Pedal feels great without it so i just left it. Good pedal feedback, and a good firmness. Been running it for about a year now. Swapping out the whole bracket above where the pedal assembly attaches is another project altogether as clearance is very tight and you need deep well sockets for a lot of it. So, yes and no.
 

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Hi!
I swapped out the automatic brake pedal and then added the two new pedals to the assembly. Works great! I don't have a return spring on my clutch pedal as I never got around to installing it though. Still have it new in the Volvo bags! :) Pedal feels great without it so i just left it. Good pedal feedback, and a good firmness. Been running it for about a year now. Swapping out the whole bracket above where the pedal assembly attaches is another project altogether as clearance is very tight and you need deep well sockets for a lot of it. So, yes and no.
Also from what I remember from my old swaps the 98 pedals are actually easier to install than the 850
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In 95 NA cars there was a mid year break. I wouldn't use the early intake on your car.

I'm running the M56L and it's a much better choice for me over the M56H . The gear ratio is better depending on how you drive. It has a lower 1st and 2nd and a higher final drive ratio. I've run both and like the cruising RPM of the L and it gets off the line much faster the the H. To each his own, but evaluate how you drive. If you never go over 65 an H will probably be fine. 1st is definitely lower on the L and some may not like that. IIRC the earlier transmissions have the bronze shifter forks which are more desirable.
This is helpfull info, i wasn't aware of a difference in intake manifolds and one of the reasons im buying a whole donor car is to scavenge the intake as well as all the old trans pieces. i don't care much weather its an l or h trans so just been low balling all the clapped out manual cars that show up on craigslist. is there a vin break in 95 that determines what intake it has and also whats the difference between them? thanks for all the information everyone posted!
 

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If you need an intake manifold for a 850 turbo, I have three. $5 + shipping each.

Early n/a 850 intake have variable length runners that tend to stop working after sometime.
 

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Early n/a 850 intake have variable length runners that tend to stop working after sometime.
I've been wondering about these intakes. I just pulled an M56 from a 93 NA myself and noticed the vacuum actuator on the intake manifold. Does anybody know if there is any performance benefit at all to hacking/ improving that set up for a turbo car?
 

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Thanks for the links! I was hoping somebody in one of those threads would touch on the subject of having the variable intake on a turbo car but no dice. All the conversation was NA cars. D'oh! Hmm, if I had some time to kill (I don't) it could be fun to experiment.
 

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IIRC the earlier transmissions have the bronze shifter forks which are more desirable.
I'd heard the opposite, that the early models had plastic tips on the shift forks that wear out, so you want as late a transmission as possible to get the all metal shift forks. I know there's no plastic on my 2002 m56.

At this point also the style of slave doesn't matter. They're interchangeable as long as you have the bolt holes for them and the internal has been redesigned to outlast the clutch.

I have two manual cars and the H is in one and the L is in the other. The taller one is slower off the line but really gives the car long legs in 2nd and 3rd where I do most of my accellerating. I find the short ratios too short, but I bet if it had a quaife in it I'd prefer it as it would launch better.
 

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I'd heard the opposite, that the early models had plastic tips on the shift forks that wear out, so you want as late a transmission as possible to get the all metal shift forks. I know there's no plastic on my 2002 m56.

At this point also the style of slave doesn't matter. They're interchangeable as long as you have the bolt holes for them and the internal has been redesigned to outlast the clutch.

I have two manual cars and the H is in one and the L is in the other. The taller one is slower off the line but really gives the car long legs in 2nd and 3rd where I do most of my accellerating. I find the short ratios too short, but I bet if it had a quaife in it I'd prefer it as it would launch better.
That could be, I just know you want the bronze if possible.

What final drive ratio is your "L"?
 

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Both mine are 4.00
 
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