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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've just made my most questionable car purchase to date - a 1997 850R with hail damage, missing lugs, leaks, and creaks. I've been lurking here for some time and on the lookout for an R as a daily driver and DIY fixer-upper. I love projects, so this fits the bill.

Car history

  • PO hadn't driven the car in years and was 3rd owner
  • Car was in a hailstorm and got a beating
  • Paint on roof is MIA
  • PO had two front tire blowouts, which shredded the fender liners, and the driver side fender
  • Totally unknown and questionable service history
  • A few Snaab and other performance parts added to it
  • Suspension...what suspension? Rears are shot and front is on the way out
  • Brakes need a full refresh
  • Steering needs a full refresh
  • Interior is dirty, and electronic system highly suspect. Driver seat tilted forward, but won't recline
  • Dash lights and other interior lights need help - only about 1/2 function

What have I done so far?

  • Bought a highly questionable car that most of you are probably rolling your eyes about right now
  • Washed it
  • Vacuumed it
  • Ordered parts for a stage 0 - thanks IPD!
  • Regretted my decision to buy this car

The plan
As you can see I've got my work cut out for me - this is likely years of work to get it where I want it to be. Ideally this guy becomes a mechanically sound, cosmetically-challenged daily here in Colorado and can live out its life ripping around the mountains, hauling skis and fishing gear, and going on adventures. I fully believe in trying to give this R a new life. It didn't deserve to be neglected, and nothing would make me happier to be able to give it another 23 years on the road.

  • Much of this list will be dictated from how the car does like after it's had fluids changed, real wheels put on, and a deep interior cleaning
  • Timing belt + water pump + pulleys
  • New windshield
  • Full brake system refresh
  • Suspension refresh
  • Body panels from Pick-n-Pull (hood, fender)
  • Paint roof and other areas of bare metal
  • AC evaporator
  • Head gasket replacement
  • Heater core
  • Clean PCV
  • Chase down electrical gremlins
  • Perhaps a spoiler for good measure

Obligatory pictures
  • And it would appear I do not have permission to post attachements...
 

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Sedan or wagon?
 

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This is gonna be entertaining. Tony, it's a Black/Tan estate.

I like to host pictures on Flickr.

You should be buying wear items from FCP since you get the lifetime warranty if you're planning on keeping it for a while. You're also definitely going to need the 302mm front brake upgrade. The driver's seat is either a bad switch or the cable disconnected itself. Both are common. The dash lights are probably just burnt out.

For almost everything you're not upgrading to performance parts, want to be using the OE suppliers for all parts when available and Genuine Volvo when not. Most of the non-performance aftermarket parts are really bad (there are even a lot of bad aftermarket performance parts out there). I see too many of these cars that are super broken and people try to band-aid the experience by throwing all the performance parts at them. Don't go down that road. These cars are very nice to drive in fully fresh stock form and need only a few tweaks to bring out their full potential. And, whatever you do, just say NO to ceramic brake pads. I run a mix of Genuine Volvo and Hawk HPS in my fleet.

Is there a problem with the head gasket? Don't mess with it if it's not leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is gonna be entertaining. Tony, it's a Black/Tan estate.

I like to host pictures on Flickr.

You should be buying wear items from FCP since you get the lifetime warranty if you're planning on keeping it for a while. You're also definitely going to need the 302mm front brake upgrade. The driver's seat is either a bad switch or the cable disconnected itself. Both are common. The dash lights are probably just burnt out.

For almost everything you're not upgrading to performance parts, want to be using the OE suppliers for all parts when available and Genuine Volvo when not. Most of the non-performance aftermarket parts are really bad (there are even a lot of bad aftermarket performance parts out there). I see too many of these cars that are super broken and people try to band-aid the experience by throwing all the performance parts at them. Don't go down that road. These cars are very nice to drive in fully fresh stock form and need only a few tweaks to bring out their full potential. And, whatever you do, just say NO to ceramic brake pads. I run a mix of Genuine Volvo and Hawk HPS in my fleet.

Is there a problem with the head gasket? Don't mess with it if it's not leaking.
What all do you consider wear items? Timing belt? Water pump? Plugs? I’d consider just about everything I’m about to do to this car a wear item


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This is gonna be entertaining. Tony, it's a Black/Tan estate.
Okay, I went back through the threads and found the one he bought. Andrewck, as I said before, you need to keep the C4S because you will miss it. A $5,000 budget is a little low for the car you bought (IMO). I'm $4,000 into my project (plus purchase price) and still haven't done the suspension refresh and the paint work yet.
 

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What all do you consider wear items? Timing belt? Water pump? Plugs? I’d consider just about everything I’m about to do to this car a wear item


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Definitely. I'll take a free timing belt and water pump in 7 years/70k plz.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Placed a nice big order today. Can’t do upgrades until the basics are taken care off.

Need to find some OEM wheels because what’s on there right now is horrifying.

Didn’t see the FCP 302mm brake upgrade kit. Will look into it more, but it looks like just a standard rotor change using existing calipers.


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Placed a nice big order today. Can’t do upgrades until the basics are taken care off.

Need to find some OEM wheels because what’s on there right now is horrifying.

Didn’t see the FCP 302mm brake upgrade kit. Will look into it more, but it looks like just a standard rotor change using existing calipers.
You don't want that kit, anyway; so much junk in there you don't need, and most of them come with terrible pads. All you need is the bracket 8251319, pads 9485267, and brake line 9191400.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Smaller win today. Found somebody local selling a set of Neptunes with summer tires, and Satelites with brand new winter tires. Both sets together cost me less than one snow tire on my 996!

One of the summers is flat so installed the Satelites on my car. What a dramatic difference - OEM just looks great! While the wheels were off, I surveyed the damage underneath. I’m deffinitly going to need, hubs, wheel bearings, rotors, pads, full suspension, bushings, brake lines, wheel sensors, steering rack, and I’m sure some other doodads. The list continues to grow.

Tore the broken rocker panel off so it doesn’t grind in the wheel when I’m turning. Will have to get a new one and fender liners at the JY. Also my front bumper isn’t black....it’s navy. Go figure.




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You should do an engine-out service. Drop the subframe out the bottom with the engine/trans on it. This will all go so much faster working out of the car. Especially a no-brainer given that you need to drop the subframe anyway if you need a rack. Split the wiring harness at the ECU box (this will make sense once you open it up) and you don't even have to dewire the engine. Put Delrin subframe bushings on your list for while you have the subframe out. Rear main seal would probably be smart, too, if you're disassembling to that level.

We are getting ready to do the exactly this to my dad's T5 so you may want to watch that thread.
 
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