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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, this is my first post...I posted this over on volvoforums too. Kind of a wild one to kick things off!
:D
I want to lift my 850 Turbo wagon, and make it into a 4x4! I'm talking about a modest lift, something like 4" and get some dirt tires on there. I've talked to a friend who's into custom cars out in Cali, and he says that there is a burgeoning "Lifting" scene out there, especially with older Euros. He said I might want to ask about a body lift, and I was also wondering if I'd have to trim the quarterpanels in order to make the wheelwells more accomodating to larger tires... I really want to hear that I can do this, and make it look cool, and be functional without spending more than $1,000. My other question is...is it even something that would be worthwhile since the car is front wheel drive?

I don't want to sacrifice handling, but I want to have the option to leave the road if I need to.

Like this:

Or this (but better):

Or this (but not so high):

THIS is actually almost perfect (I know I know...Subarus suck! But the wheels and lift):


Colin
 

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your also going to want to look on volvospeed for a thread about modding the oil pan. A few 850 owners have lost motors due to the oil pan not feeding oil to the pump on sharp high speed turns... I would assume doing stuff off road would also bring this issue to light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So basically if I could find an 850 Turbo AWD wagon, it would be a much better platform for what I want to do?

I really love the handling on my car, I love the gas mileage, I love the interior and storage options, I just want more ground clearance and off-road options. would I be better suited starting with an older AWD Subaru?
 

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IMHO, you'd be better off with a truck.
2 outta 4 of those lifts are wagons on
truck frames anyway.

And any serious lift to a P80 platform,
97 850 AWD, '98-'00 V70 AWD/XC, etc.
is gonna cost well over a grand before
it's all over.
 

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You would probably spend as much lifting an 850 or XC as you would buying a 25 year old 4Runner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've pretty much given up on this idea...but have you guys seen this?!

I've made up my mind to sell the 850 and get a Subaru, but if I could somehow get my hands on a 945 I would go for it with the Volvo...sadly they're not available in the US as far as I know, and if they are, they're rare and pricey. Not to mention that AWD 850's. Oh well.
 

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AWD isn't a 4x4 -- though I saw an AWD rally equipped Mazda once that had a button on console you could press to lock the center differential and make front and back spin together. You can't rock crawl with an AWD and when you hit the mud bogs you need to be able to sling dirt out of the tire treads to make them bite. Without a locking center diff you'll get stuck in the mud... it's also why you shouldn't use 4x4 on dry pavement.
 

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if I could somehow get my hands on a 945 I would go for it with the Volvo...sadly they're not available in the US as far as I know, and if they are, they're rare and pricey.
Are you serious? I'll sell you a 940 wagon for $4000!

Lol, all this sounds like pipe dreams from someone daydreaming in class for a week. If you haven't done enough research to know 940s are all over the place, you may not need to be planning a lift project.

AWD will work for offroading and trail riding like in the video, but it will not be a "four wheel drive" or 4x4. Like others have said, for serious situations, you need diff locks and a real transfer case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's not pipe dreams, and it's pretty condescending to imply that I'm some idiot school kid.

I was referring to the 945.

Moving on, I was deciding on whether or not to move to a Subaru Outback, to pursue my lifted wagon plans, as there's a lively scene. I drove one today, though, and it was pretty sluggish. Kinda turned off on that front.

Would I be better suited looking for a v70 XC Turbo? What's the scene like, do alot of people lift those and put AT tires on them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
For example, I know that Outback's consistently get fitted with Forester Struts and Springs for a 1.5"-2" spring lift, and strut top spacers for body lift.

Is this possible using, say, XC90 strut/spring assemblies in a v70? Then spacers for a body lift?

I'm not looking for rock-crawling 4x4, but I do want to be able to leave the road, drive on the beach, hit some mud, etc...
Check this guy out:
http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/topic/139500-bye-bye1999-volvo-xc70-it-was-fun-while-it-lasted/

He lifted his car using a 27" tire.
 

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945 is a 940 wagon. (Implication here is 5-door)
944 is a 940 sedan. (Implication here is 4-door)

My offer stands on the $4k! I found a nice one local to me I'll even sell you for $3k!!

Also, as you may imagine, outbacks came with multiple engine options over the years. They were also a package you could order on an Impreza wagon, and hence were the Impreza Outback for a while. Don't let one car's slowness ruin your perception of the whole brand.
FYI, Before say, '05 or '06, just about all Subaru running gear parts were interchangeable between models (except obvious stuff like body panels).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the offer.

I do know about about the different engine options on the Outbacks, including the later turbo options. I guess I'm just spoiled coming from my 850 turbo. I also prefer the look of the Volvo styling (who wouldn't!).

As to my other question, a common practice in lifting the Outbacks is to install '04 Forester struts and stiffer springs in the 1st and 2nd gen cars. Is this possible with Volvo parts for a v70 XC? As I said, maybe XC90 struts (which may be wayyyy to tall, but just brainstorming)?
 

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I watched the modded "945" dirt road video and the roads shown do not look any rougher than the dirt road that our 940 wagon (945) drives over every day. Our 945 is not modified in any way and runs on standard 185 tires. A little winter mud, pot holes, deep ruts, or a 10-15 slope does not faze it. I would not run it over tree branches or rocks more than 10 centimeters diameter though. Modded as in the video a 945 should put up with more abuse. As others say there are plenty of RWD 940 series wagons out there in the $2000-4000 range.
 
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