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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a wagon for a couple months now as my access cab pickup does not have room for a car seat, and the recent arrival of our second kiddo made relying on my wife's car to exclusively carry kids around became less reasonable. I was looking at Outbacks, BMW E39 Tourings, and Volvo but I was really hung up on a manual transmission and wanted to keep my out of pocket costs low due to previously mentioned kids. I saw the classified listing on this forum and jumped at the opportunity as it was somewhat close to me and bought it sight unseen.

Almost three weeks later after several delays due to auto transport brokers being the shadiest group of people I have dealt with, I finally said f*** it and bought a one-way plane ticket yesterday and drove it back late last night and crossed over 250K miles right as I pulled into town.

The car drove great the whole way home, and there were no major items that didn't meet my expectations for a $1500 car. A few early thoughts on it....

Most notably, the stick shift is pretty slushy and there is some turbulence between first and second gear. I am not mechanically inclined so I don't know if this is a sign of a worn clutch or not. How easy is it to have this looked at and see how much life is left?

Second, the interior is quite squeaky, which I have read about and thought would be overblown but I get it now. Is seeking out the source of these even possible or worthwhile?

I'm sure there will be plenty more questions as I get more familiar with the car and I look forward to the insight you guys can give



 

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Welcome! You got quite the car! I was wondering if this one would have a thread pop up or not.

You can reinforce the dashboard mounting points/pads to get rid of the creaks, but it’s also something p80 people just have to live with unfortunately.

Regarding the shifting experience, is it only when the car is cold? Or does it shift weirdly after driving for awhile? I don’t think it’s a clutch issue, but maybe your transmission fluid is a little low or some shifter bushings are worn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome! You got quite the car! I was wondering if this one would have a thread pop up or not.

You can reinforce the dashboard mounting points/pads to get rid of the creaks, but it’s also something p80 people just have to live with unfortunately.

Regarding the shifting experience, is it only when the car is cold? Or does it shift weirdly after driving for awhile? I don’t think it’s a clutch issue, but maybe your transmission fluid is a little low or some shifter bushings are worn out.
Thanks! I will likely live with the squeaks as it would likely be a never ending battle which is fine.

I am not sure on the shifting, but I will note today whether I experience the issue both cold and warm. I left the airport, hopped on the interstate came straight home, so not a lot of time in 1st and 2nd gear. I was surprised at how long 3rd gear was. Going to take it for the "post purchase inspection this weekend" and have them do a once over for me.
 

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Good for you, man. I'd have snagged it if you didn't.
Thanks! I will likely live with the squeaks as it would likely be a never ending battle which is fine.

I am not sure on the shifting, but I will note today whether I experience the issue both cold and warm. I left the airport, hopped on the interstate came straight home, so not a lot of time in 1st and 2nd gear. I was surprised at how long 3rd gear was. Going to take it for the "post purchase inspection this weekend" and have them do a once over for me.
 

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Shifter bushings on both ends are large rubber with voids. Replace with delrin for a much better engagement and feel. 100% they’re toast by age
 

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The trans may never have been serviced. Drain and fill with high quality full synthetic oil. Don’t get us into an oil battle please but I prefer Lucas 75/90. Takes a little over two quarts for this unit. Get someone patient enough to let it drain for 30 min if you can’t diy.
 

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Shifter bushings on both ends are large rubber with voids. Replace with delrin for a much better engagement and feel. 100% they’re toast by age
The roller bearings in the two shift cables at the trans need replacing too. I have extra skateboard bearings that squeeze in nicely. Just pay shipping. You can press them out yourself if you at least have some tools and press new ones in with channelocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The roller bearings in the two shift cables at the trans need replacing too. I have extra skateboard bearings that squeeze in nicely. Just pay shipping. You can press them out yourself if you at least have some tools and press new ones in with channelocks.
Thanks for the advice. I will def start with a trans flush. As for the bushings, are the roller bearings and shifter bushings separate parts? This is going to be a learning experience for me as I have never owned an older car. also is a short shifter kit worth looking in to?
 

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Thanks for the advice. I will def start with a trans flush. As for the bushings, are the roller bearings and shifter bushings separate parts? This is going to be a learning experience for me as I have never owned an older car. also is a short shifter kit worth looking in to?
No flush needed in a MT. You drain it out and fill it up.

I have suitable roller bearings for you. PM when you’re ready for them. The shifter housing has four bushings. The Delrin ones Scottishbrick mentioned is what you want. Snabb is where I got mine. Both sets of bushings make a huge difference. It’s a cable system so slop is inherent no matter what.

I don’t even need a short shifter. It’s super nice and tight. Don’t think there’s many good things about the one option the aftermarket has to offer but I certainly don’t need it. Unless your cables are stretched...
 

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Nice ride! jealous of all these 5-speed examples getting bought up.

And yes... the interior squeaks are, well... part of the package. Every time I fix a rattle, a new one appears. I've learned to turn up the radio.
No squeaks or rattles In west coast p80 examples.
Sorry couldn’t resist.
 

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No squeaks or rattles In west coast p80 examples.
Sorry couldn’t resist.
or babied east coasters. we have 3 that are squeak free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
No flush needed in a MT. You drain it out and fill it up.

I have suitable roller bearings for you. PM when you’re ready for them. The shifter housing has four bushings. The Delrin ones Scottishbrick mentioned is what you want. Snabb is where I got mine. Both sets of bushings make a huge difference. It’s a cable system so slop is inherent no matter what.

I don’t even need a short shifter. It’s super nice and tight. Don’t think there’s many good things about the one option the aftermarket has to offer but I certainly don’t need it. Unless your cables are stretched...
Great advice. I am going to see a buddy who is mechanically inclined this week and start list of things I would like to address on the car and will def reach out to you on the bearings. After driving it for a few days the immediate things to work on are slushy shifting and a broken parking brake, and adding an aux or bluetooth connection for handsfree functionality.

Less immediate are an AC that is not blowing cold and a look at upgrading the brakes and shocks. Further down the list are cosmetics like new door inserts, window tint, and maybe new wheels and tires when the time comes to switch the current ones out. I do need to change out the trim along the roof, maybe called drip molding or something of the sorts. Is this something I can order or am I best served hitting a junk yard?

Am I missing anything that others would suggest adding? I will keep posting in this thread as opposed to starting a new one each time so as to track the changes.
 

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My 99 at 145K miles was as tight as a new car
 

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Great advice. I am going to see a buddy who is mechanically inclined this week and start list of things I would like to address on the car and will def reach out to you on the bearings. After driving it for a few days the immediate things to work on are slushy shifting and a broken parking brake, and adding an aux or bluetooth connection for handsfree functionality.

Less immediate are an AC that is not blowing cold and a look at upgrading the brakes and shocks. Further down the list are cosmetics like new door inserts, window tint, and maybe new wheels and tires when the time comes to switch the current ones out. I do need to change out the trim along the roof, maybe called drip molding or something of the sorts. Is this something I can order or am I best served hitting a junk yard?

Am I missing anything that others would suggest adding? I will keep posting in this thread as opposed to starting a new one each time so as to track the changes.
Broken parking break could be a couple of things, there are lots of youtube videos explaining the workings of a p80 parking break mechanism. Might be tricky if you're not very experienced mechanically, and if you don't live in the mountains you'll be ok parking in gear for now, until you've built confidence to tackle the job. But also if you take pictures before you take it apart you'll be fine.

Look to IPD and get a GROM kit for handsfree/bluetooth, people swear by them around MN and from IPD it's an easy install kit. (one of the only times I'll be recommending IPD stuff though so be wary when recommended other items from them)

AC can get expensive REALLLLY quick, so that's up to you. I'd start with checking the system charge, just don't overcharge it.

People around here will highly recommend to upgrade to 302 mm front discs, great upgrade if you're redoing the entire system, but sometimes difficult to source the brackets. Regardless of 302 vs 280 (280 mm is stock) if you order from FCP, zimmerman rotors and hawk/ate pads are the current recommendation I think. Shocks & Struts/suspension depends on what you want out of the car (cost effective vs. sporty), there's differing opinions on those too that others can share.

For the roof trim you should hit a junkyard, unless new pieces (if even available) are local they're uneconomical to order. If you're into practicality you can get a set of roof rails too! There are two styles; pre and post 98. Pre is skinnier and post is chunkier, I had post on my v70 but I think I prefer the pre-98 style. Depending on the cars model year is the style they should have.

As far as if you're missing anything, I'd take the list you form with your mechanic friend and order it in terms of difficulty after you research each repair, then tackle the easiest first to build confidence! That's where all the fun in wrenching is for me, gaining knowledge and being able to share it!
 

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Your lack of cold air could be just the clutch on the AC compressor needing shimming. Google Volvo AC shim, plenty of write ups and videos on this
 

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People around here will highly recommend to upgrade to 302 mm front discs, great upgrade if you're redoing the entire system, but sometimes difficult to source the brackets.
It's also great upgrade if you like to stop quickly when towing trailers or something. 280mm brakes are really weak for that purpose.
 

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You need a new under dash evaporator, a HUGE job. A poor design, every single one fails after 10-12 years or so.
Roof rails gave not been available for YEARS, probably 12-15 years by now
 
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