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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Sunday 4/7/19 I flew out to NY to buy this 1997 850R estate from Neil (Neil850r) and drove it home to NH. This is my first 850 and the car has been excellent so far. Here is a quick rundown of its current status:

-69,000 miles (no I did not forget a digit)
-Stage 0 service completed aside from transmission flush
- stock aside from Ipd springs and struts
- newer continental tires

Issues:

-Radio works intermittently, sound comes on and off with bumps or cornering but remains powered
- small power steering leak, appears to be from a hose
- dashboard is wavy and a bit loose, should be replaced
- transmission occasionally shifts a bit hard (fluid or mount issue?)
- some clear coat issues with the paint, not too significant currently
-headliner is sagging

Any advice on addressing these?

Aside from that the car drives and looks very good, it has been a pleasure so far.

My plan for the car is to use it as a fair weather daily driver, mostly highway commuting to work. I would like to make modifications to push toward 300-ish hp but focus on keeping it very reliable and comfortable as a daily. My understanding is that is achievable with improved turbo plumbing, catback and a tune but I would like to hear everyone’s suggestions. Very interested in a manual swap at some point but I need to learn more about it.

Like I said, I am new to these cars so I would like to hear what you guys think the proper order of operations are for making modifications, where the best shops are in the NE are, and general ownership advice and guidance. I am looking forward to being an active member, thank you in advance for the help!

More, high quality photos to come. The weather in NH has been garbage since I got the car.





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Wow, nice buy! Can't wait to see the progress you make. I have a extra radio, if you're interested PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, will do. I want to try diagnosing this one first, it seems like a connection or shorting issue but I haven’t had a chance to pull it out to take a look.


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Congrats on purchase! :)

If tape and cd (if it has cd player) work as they should, then it's cold solder joint on fm tuner board. Pretty common issue on aging car electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·


Soo... do I have an amplifier and a disc changer? Where would they be?

Also the single yellow and black wire going into connector on the left looks out of place, should there be more?


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Hey dude. Congrats on the wagon and welcome!

For what it's worth, my transmission kind of jerks a little too much for my liking when I shift it into reverse or drive, not so much a problem when it is shifting up the gears while driving. I did put a new transmission mount and that did absolutely nothing. Besides that, I replaced two of the motor mounts and it's still the same. So it could be the mounts in your case, but I am mentioning this to you because it can very much not be your case at all and something else instead. Maybe when you get a chance, you can visually inspect the mounts to see any tears. As for the manual swap, there are a bunch of dudes here that will give you a wealth of knowledge but also if you are interested, find my long thread because I am in the process right now of swapping to the manual...

Also, my CD changer is located in the trunk on the left side. I have a sedan, not sure if it is different on the wagon.

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Soo... do I have an amplifier and a disc changer? Where would they be?
Also the single yellow and black wire going into connector on the left looks out of place, should there be more?
All the R's came equipped with the amplifier, and some came with the disc changer in the trunk area. In wagons, it's on the drivers side underneath a tailgate panel.

However, while they all came wired for it, it was a dealer installed option. For example, mine is wired for it, but doesn't have it.

That yellow wire looks correct, I'll check my radio setup later.
 

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There are only 2 possible factory locations for cd changer - in trunk, under left floor panel or glovebox. You can unplug the amplifier. Take out all harnesses from radio cage and you will see amplifier bypass cable. Unplug it. Plug speakers right in the radio. If problem goes away, it's amplifier that cuts out sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the responses, great info. It must have been the amp, I bypassed it as suggested and the problem went away. It sounds pretty good so I’ll keep it as is for the time being. Definitely no disc changer in the glove box and I didn’t find anything in the cargo area under the panels so I guess I must not have one. I have a ton of cds so it might be good to pick one up if anyone has any leads.

I am going to do the transmission flush and check the mounts and see if there is any improvement. It isn’t a real problem but definitely noticeable. If no improvement then maybe it’ll be good motivation to do a manual swap . I look forward to learning more about it.

How hard is it to get a good m59? It sounds like those are the best.


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A recommendation: Get a grom unit instead of a CD changer, it allows you to play music directly from your iOS or Android device. I have one in my regular 850 and hands down it's one of the best things I've done to that car.
 

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if your a CD guy get a CD changer. You'll love it. Grom is good but can be annoying. I have Groms and use them but still love the simplicity of CDs and use the changers a lot too.

Swap in a different head unit and see if that fixes it. A SC-901 would be a great upgrade so grab one of those and give it a try.
 

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Nice buy, nice wagon!

I'll be in Rye starting mid-June for a few weeks and will likely be pulling apart some things from my brothers 854. You should pop over and take whatever you need before we crush the car. Among potential interesting parts: (wrong color) R bumper, ecode headlight glass, roof racks, interior is tan so no help there but I do have some misc. extra charcoal 850r seats/components sitting around from swapping 850r seats into my T5, tethys, etc.

Stay in touch and good luck with the car, bring it to the beach in a couple months!
 

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Nice buy, nice wagon!

I'll be in Rye starting mid-June for a few weeks and will likely be pulling apart some things from my brothers 854. You should pop over and take whatever you need before we crush the car. Among potential interesting parts: (wrong color) R bumper, ecode headlight glass, roof racks, interior is tan so no help there but I do have some misc. extra charcoal 850r seats/components sitting around from swapping 850r seats into my T5, tethys, etc.

Stay in touch and good luck with the car, bring it to the beach in a couple months!
Tan you say, I'm in Plaistow and just purchased a new-to-me 96 R wagon that could use a little interior love. I'd be interested in seeing what's available in that regard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice buy, nice wagon!

I'll be in Rye starting mid-June for a few weeks and will likely be pulling apart some things from my brothers 854. You should pop over and take whatever you need before we crush the car. Among potential interesting parts: (wrong color) R bumper, ecode headlight glass, roof racks, interior is tan so no help there but I do have some misc. extra charcoal 850r seats/components sitting around from swapping 850r seats into my T5, tethys, etc.

Stay in touch and good luck with the car, bring it to the beach in a couple months!
That is awesome, I will definitely follow up with you as June gets closer, thank you for the heads up.

What do you guys recommend for AT fluid? I think I am going to start flushing this weekend

I’ll keep my eye out for one of those head units, definitely been going enjoying the simplicity of the stock system.


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What do you guys recommend for AT fluid? I think I am going to start flushing this weekend
Dexron iii ATF. You can find it just about anywhere, I get mine from Walmart, and so far it's great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What do you guys think about the IPD Turbo back exhaust? I am putting an order together and it caught my eye. Is this the standard for turbo back upgrades? I don't mind paying more for something that is higher performance but I don't know what is out there... Also is a tune recommended immediately after swapping from the stock exhaust or will the factory R ecu handle the change in exhaust flow without problems?
 

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What do you guys think about the IPD Turbo back exhaust? I am putting an order together and it caught my eye. Is this the standard for turbo back upgrades? I don't mind paying more for something that is higher performance but I don't know what is out there... Also is a tune recommended immediately after swapping from the stock exhaust or will the factory R ecu handle the change in exhaust flow without problems?
LOUD AS F*CK. Not in a good way either.

It's probably the worst option there is although OBX might be worse only because it fits horribly.

ECU doesn't need a tune to have an exhaust help performance.

The best performance exhaust would be a swap to an angle flange turbo hotside housing first then get a 3" downpipe made that'll fit the 850 nicely. There's several great aftermarket cat back systems on the market for not much $ about $500 delivered that will sound good at wot, fit perfect and not make your car unbearable to drive on the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LOUD AS F*CK. Not in a good way either.

It's probably the worst option there is although OBX might be worse only because it fits horribly.

ECU doesn't need a tune to have an exhaust help performance.

The best performance exhaust would be a swap to an angle flange turbo hotside housing first then get a 3" downpipe made that'll fit the 850 nicely. There's several great aftermarket cat back systems on the market for not much $ about $500 delivered that will sound good at wot, fit perfect and not make your car unbearable to drive on the highway.
Thank you for the heads up, I do mostly highway driving so that definitely won’t work. What do you suggest for a cat back after making the down pipe changes?


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