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Well… I caught the bug I guess. I Bought this 1996 volvo 850R in Alabama on 6/22/19 with unknown mileage exceeding 238,XXX, judging by the paperwork I am guessing about 260,000 currently (if anyone knows how to get the true mileage through the OBD port please share). I drove the car home to NH that weekend almost problem free; after about 500 miles I was getting some hesitation on the highway and a check engine misfire code came up so I did a quick plug-rotor-distributor cap replacement and everything has been good since. The engine is not burning any significant amount of oil and pulls strong as compared to my 1997 850R with 74,XXX miles. It is spotting on the driveway so I have a slow leak of what I am assuming to be power steering fluid since that was low but I will confirm shortly. Timing belt was done about 4 years ago but after the odometer stopped so I will probably replace that in the next year or so to be safe. The glove test came back neutral for the PCV system, not inflating or sucking in, and the hose on top is still pliable so it's not an immediate concern but something I will likely address soon. Handles good and is quiet on the highway, all in all it pretty decent shape mechanically.

Cosmetically I am quite happy with it and was one of my main motivations for purchasing this one. I haven’t even washed the car, this is exactly as I got it. The paint looks good (from a distance currently), I think with some restoration work and touch ups it will be really nice. Needs a wing of course. The interior is very clean with little to no damage or squeaking. Wheels are in good shape, very minor scuffs but nothing that bothers me.

My plan for this car is to daily drive it into the ground. I want to do a full stage zero, get the cosmetics tuned up a bit, and just drive the hell out of it. The other 850R will be my fun car and this one I plan to keep mostly stock and enjoy as Volvo intended.

I am already daily driving it and will start the stage zero pretty much immediately, please share any good threads on stage zero or other wisdom, wish me luck.






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Use a REAL ELM-327. There are a ton of knock off ones. I'd recommend an OBD-LX bluetooth reader. That has a real ELM-327 and it's what I used to find the mileage on my R.
 

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My plan for this car is to daily drive it into the ground. I want to do a full stage zero, get the cosmetics tuned up a bit, and just drive the hell out of it. The other 850R will be my fun car and this one I plan to keep mostly stock and enjoy as Volvo intended.

I am already daily driving it and will start the stage zero pretty much immediately, please share any good threads on stage zero or other wisdom, wish me luck.
So I'm super confused here; you got another 850R (nice) in a better color (awesome) that's more valuable (cool) and in better shape (great) than your other one.....and you're going to drive it into the ground :confused:. Why? This car does not deserve to die. Like why not get a car that's not increasing in value to drive into the ground. Get a NA or a GLT. or anything besides a mint R. You're gonna be so fµcked with insurance when someone hits you. Ask me how I know.
 

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Totally fair-let me explain.

First, maybe “drive into the ground” is not the best phrase to use in this case. I want to daily drive an 850R estate because they are awesome and suit my needs really well. I don’t want to drive it into the ground so much as thoughtfully care for and maintain it for everyday use for as long as the original drivetrain can possibly survive (many years?) . I then will look into other drivetrain options/rebuild so long as it makes sense to do so with what is remaining.

Don’t get me wrong this is a nice car and I think it’s going to be great once I get serious about getting everything where it should be, but it is far from being as nice as the the black ‘97 850R I have. For starters the black one has less than 75,000 original miles and the previous owner (a former forum member) did a great job making the car rock solid mechanically. Still needs a bit of cosmetic love but it’s minor. In my opinion the black car feels like a great candidate to do some moderate (reversible) modifications to and have fun with as a hobby car.

I have owned fun cars in both black and red, and in my experience red just gets too much attention from our friends in blue. Might not be real but for my area it certainly felt like it was the case. For me it make sense to have red as the daily since I like it more and when it’s time to mess around I can take the black one out which will hopefully be much more subtle.

It’s important to note that these two cars are keeping me for being an complete idiot and daily driving something like a newer bmw 5 series or Porsche Panamera. I could have gone either way this spring when I started thinking about changing up my transportation and so far I am very happy with the decision.

My plan was not to get two initially, I was thinking I would get something else for a hobby car and daily drive the black one but I couldn’t help myself, these thing are way too fun for the money to pass up getting another. I ended up with the black one at first because red seemed to be completely unattainable with low miles and not beat up, so I jumped when I found the black one. Now here I am daily driving a high mileage red car but my perception has changed and ultimately I think everything worked out nicely.

I think the 850R has an insanely high (fun x practically)/price ratio so i am not too worried about the risks and costs of daily driving the red one.


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My plan for this car is to daily drive it into the ground.
You're in the wrong place for this mentality /s

Congrats on buying one of my dream cars, safe to say I'm incredibly jealous lol. Red wagons are the shiit, but I am also highly biased. I'm glad you clarified your intentions because I got a little salty that you would destroy this beauty. I expect great things haha

I side with a lot of the community based on how I don't really think twice about mileage, as long as a car is maintained. It effects performance sure, but at the age of these cars that parasitic effect is going to happen based on age along, even with low mileage. Plus in the grand scheme of things, a fwd station wagon is never going to perform on a level of a rwd car, but that approaches a rabbit hole of discussion, I'll get off the soapbox. Are you searching for a cheap daily car with the new R?
 

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You're in the wrong place for this mentality /s

Congrats on buying one of my dream cars, safe to say I'm incredibly jealous lol. Red wagons are the shiit, but I am also highly biased. I'm glad you clarified your intentions because I got a little salty that you would destroy this beauty. I expect great things haha

I side with a lot of the community based on how I don't really think twice about mileage, as long as a car is maintained. It effects performance sure, but at the age of these cars that parasitic effect is going to happen based on age along, even with low mileage. Plus in the grand scheme of things, a fwd station wagon is never going to perform on a level of a rwd car, but that approaches a rabbit hole of discussion, I'll get off the soapbox. Are you searching for a cheap daily car with the new R?

Definitely no destruction in this car's future, I hope that's clear now. I think my car search is over for the foreseeable future, These two are going to keep me occupied for a long time.
 

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NH is a crappy state to drive in imo, at least in the populated areas. I hate driving there. I've almost always driven through it in my T-5R which is obivously but I just don't exceed the rate of flow so it's been fine. I have enough chances to go fast in MA, lol.

The miles don't really matter. My T-5R has done 295k and has been the most reliable car we've ever had. The low mile cars often have more problems.


Go look at what clean 850Rs trade for in Europe, especially red ones (it's the most valuable color) and you'll probably change your mind about the financial aspect. I was going to use my red R for my daily, then they got old and skyrocketed in value and got impossible to find so I had to abandon that.

You should definitely get a winter beater at least. Nobody has real tires and you will get hit.
 

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NH is a crappy state to drive in imo, at least in the populated areas. I hate driving there. I've almost always driven through it in my T-5R which is obivously but I just don't exceed the rate of flow so it's been fine. I have enough chances to go fast in MA, lol.

The miles don't really matter. My T-5R has done 295k and has been the most reliable car we've ever had. The low mile cars often have more problems.


Go look at what clean 850Rs trade for in Europe, especially red ones (it's the most valuable color) and you'll probably change your mind about the financial aspect. I was going to use my red R for my daily, then they got old and skyrocketed in value and got impossible to find so I had to abandon that.

You should definitely get a winter beater at least. Nobody has real tires and you will get hit.
I was in a really bad motorcycle accident in NH due to a distracted driver on a country road, there are definitely some issues up here.

Winter beater is definitely a worthy consideration, I guess I haven’t come to terms yet with loosing my 1st gen Tacoma this spring ...I’ll certainly be missing it when the snow flies.


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I'll sell you my 96' Platinum for a winter beater.
 

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I'll sell you my 96' Platinum for a winter beater.
Those are even rarer and also skyrocketing in value. The Europeans are buying them up like mad since it was a US market only color. Bunch of guys in Sweden importing them. I have a friend in the Netherlands who just imported a Platinum sedan and a Platinum Estate for his collection, too. He's been showing them a lot this year at car shows and they have been getting a LOT of attention.
 

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You should save it. Red, White and black! Except it's a sedan, but low mileage and a lot of work!
Nice buy on the red - subscribed.
If I find a decent one I may do the same one day.
I like those platinums, tempting...
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Get a P2 S60 2.5T for a winter beater. AWD if you want because it's super common and works pretty well but still get real winter tires obviously so you can stop. Super super safe when someone hits you and easy to settle with insurance since there's no real collector value and it'll be easy to replace. Ever seen a crashed P2? It's incredible. I know a guy who hit a telephone pole about in line with the passenger headlight in his S60 at like 50mph. No intrusion to the safety cage at all. An 850 wouldn't hold up anywhere near that well in a small overlap crash at that speed. I've seen plenty of other examples of hard hits in the JY equally incredible, although I didn't know the exact circumstances around those crashes.
 

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Get a P2 S60 2.5T for a winter beater. AWD if you want because it's super common and works pretty well but still get real winter tires obviously so you can stop. Super super safe when someone hits you and easy to settle with insurance since there's no real collector value and it'll be easy to replace. Ever seen a crashed P2? It's incredible. I know a guy who hit a telephone pole about in line with the passenger headlight in his S60 at like 50mph. No intrusion to the safety cage at all. An 850 wouldn't hold up anywhere near that well in a small overlap crash at that speed. I've seen plenty of other examples of hard hits in the JY equally incredible, although I didn't know the exact circumstances around those crashes.
Damn sounds like a tank. I’ll have to look more into those. I am missing having a truck bed much less than I was anticipating, you can really load up these wagons.


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