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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am appealing to you for some wisdom and practical advice.

Long story short, life got hard in 2014 when my mother passed away, and then got really hard when my mentally ill sister became my responsibility. No violins, no plea for sympathy, it was hard, I got through it, and now I would like some sound advice without too much judgmental criticism, pretty please...

I have a 98 V70 T5A with 275k miles (or about that) and a 99 V70 T5M with around the same miles, and they have both been sitting around since 2016. They both needed some mechanical love at the time, and when the family situation got intense, they got ignored.

I can't find the records for what they needed, but let's say they both leak oil, and probably would need new tires from all the sitting. And let's establish that I can wash a car like nobody's business, but I'm not a mechanic, and won't pretend that's my skill set. I know I don't need blinker fluid, it's not all that bad ;)

This is my favorite body style of V70, but I can't see myself fixing these girls up for road readiness without winning a smallish lottery (still taking care of sister). They are in good shape as far as body, interiors, suspension, but they are not getting prettier sitting in the yard either.

Part of me wants to sell them as parts cars, even though I *think* they are fixable. Part of me wants to just give them to anyone who knows how to fix them so they can get back on the road again. I could always just keep them a bit longer, but why? I don't know if they have ANY value while not running, so I'm not looking for pricing advice.

So, would you treat them as parts cars? Or donate to someone who can fix them? Or, some third option I haven't considered? I know, a lot depends on what they need, but with their higher miles, I'm guessing any oil leak issues are not solved simply or cheaply.

Thanks for any constructive input you have on the matter. I hate to see them junked, but I know I'm not going to be the one fixing them.

Also, you rock. I don't post a whole lot, but I completely appreciate all the knowledge and wisdom you're all willing to share.
 

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Short of needing engines or transmissions, nothing on either of these cars is that expensive or obnoxious to fix.

Please do not part them out!

The t5m wagon is 1 of 101 originally brought in and very much worth saving.
 

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I agree, definitely don't part them out unless there is some terminal rust or something like that (especially that rare t5m!).

Do some research about what it takes to do a "stage zero" on these cars, and see if it's something you want to pursue. If not, there is no shame in selling them to someone who can do the work. If I was not mechanically inclined, you can bet that I would be driving something newer with a warranty. It's definitely a labor of love bringing one of these cars back, and it won't be profitable if that's what you are after. But a properly maintained P80 wagon especially with a manual can be a great car and a lot of fun. Just be aware what you are going to be up against from the start.

If you are sourcing the parts yourself, check out fcpeuro.com. They offer most of what you will need including OEM parts and they have a lifetime warranty on everything they sell. It's reassuring to have that if you are keeping the car long-term.
 

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The other thing to try is to find someone in the area (Volvo specific knowledge) who can take a good look and evaluate the situation (especially of the T5M). Once the assessment is made, you can decide how to approach it. Cosmetics aside, if there are some major issues, it may be better off getting sold to an enthusiast. Can you post pictures of them? You may incite some interest and might find with some more thread activity that you have a few SS members willing to come see and investigate with you, and give in person advice.
 

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Depending on condition of the T5M and your location in California, you might find a local enthusiast that would take the MT as trade for helping you get the AT running as a daily driver? You could learn some stuff during the process, they’d end up with a rare vehicle. Just a thought.
 

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Sell em as is and be done with it, let it be someone else's decision
 

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How do you know they don't run?
 

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Depending on condition of the T5M and your location in California, you might find a local enthusiast that would take the MT as trade for helping you get the AT running as a daily driver? You could learn some stuff during the process, they’d end up with a rare vehicle. Just a thought.
This advice, if you have time. I would do that deal if i lived in Cali. And as ZZZZZZZ said, post up some pictures, interior/exterior and engine bay. It will generate more interest
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My fear is, with the oil loss, that I may be facing engine loss/rebuilds. I know the manual is a hot car to have, but they are both a project that is beyond my scope... I'd love to see them back on the road, so I guess a diagnosis is the next step. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
They have been sitting for about two years, and after we charged the batteries and ran them for a short bit. I didn't want to run them with the oil loss problems, and the batteries died immediately (of course) and I haven't done much with them in a year (when I moved them from one spot to another). They might run with new batteries, and a constant supply of oil, but I'm afraid of doing more damage... my ignorance makes me cautious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am told to keep the 98 because it is "pre-computers"
I am told to keep the 99 because it's a rare manual
I am happy to give them up to anyone who wants to make these their project. I love them, but just can't afford to get them in ship shape.:(
 

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If you’re not going to keep either of them, and you’re right about a worse case scenario regarding engine replacement, then paint/interior condition (and off-chance you have any rare options) is what will give you more than scrap value. Again, photos are your friends. Give ‘em a quick wash and take some photos. You’ll get some honest opinions on value. You may not like what you hear, but you get an idea.
 

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What Derek said^

When we get into major project territory, it is the cosmetics of the roof and quarter panels that really matters, at least to me. I bought my white 850R because the roof and quarter panels were perfect; I knew I could fix everything else and the price was right to do it so I got it
 

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Hey man!

I think your situation is not as dire as you think. I was also in a similar spot when I first got my moms volvo and it needed quite a bit of love. The funny thing is, when you know nothing about cars they can't scare you. When you know a little bit, that's when the fear can strike you. Many, many volvo's leak oil, and many, many owners drive them like that. There are a few regular culprits (Oil Cooler lines on '98, Turbo oil return hose, turbo itself, cam seals), and some mechanics will want to tell you it's a rear-main-seal when it's most of the time not that. Do they just drip a little bit, or do you get big splotches of oil? I've owned my car for 5 years and put about $5000 CAD into it, to give you an idea of what it cost to get it call clean from a few years of neglectful ownership
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We are in the middle of this move, but I will get them purdy and snap photos this weekend. Thank you all for your input. I'd really love to get them running... but, cash... ;)
 

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Patience is a virtue, but at the very least, you've come to the right place, man.
Pick one, sell and use the cash to fix the other. There MUST be someone that can swing by for a chat and take an objective look for you.
We are in the middle of this move, but I will get them purdy and snap photos this weekend. Thank you all for your input. I'd really love to get them running... but, cash... ;)
 

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As long as you didn't let the oil leak so much that it was below the bottom of the dipstick for extended periods of time the engines should be fine. If you can't do your own work and you have other demands on your time then don't beat yourself up for wanting to bail. I've thought about doing the same thing with my 2000 V70R project, I went through some serious family stuff and a big move about a year after I bought it and I didn't feel like picking up a wrench for a long time afterward.
 
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