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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I guess it's way past due for me to make a dedicated post about my car since I comment on other's posts. I bought my wagon about 7 years ago from the 2nd owner. He had a large family and at one point was able to get him, his wife and all 5 kids in it. LOL. Perfect car for a family. By the time I got around to purchasing it, he and his teenage son were begining to make "upgrades" to it. There were some defferred maintenance items that really needed attention though. As you read on you'll see how that created a chain reaction of bigger repairs. All fun stuff we all know being owners of old Volvos.

My original goal was to own a T-5R or 850R wagon. After one slipped through my hands I decided that I'll settle on a Tubo version and make the "conversion" as a fun project. The purist may scoff at me for doing it, but I don't care. :D The one I ended up with had a good enough history for me to build upon. The original owner leased it from a local CA dealership for 3 years, then the family I bought it from bought it used off the same dealer's lot. They maintained it well enough over the years until they bought a new car and decided it was time to move on.

So here's how it looked when I bought it. It came with 18" Voxx wheels that looked nice but rode terribly on rubberband tires. Also aiding to the rough ride are Bilstein HD shocks & struts and unknown sport springs. It looks nice from a distance, and from the sides. But the paint has completely failed on the roof and hood. :(

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Once I took ownership, I began a list and started chipping away at it to get all the needed repairs done and finally get it to a proper Stage 0. Some of the highlights are:
  • PCV
  • Full tune-up
  • Both axels
  • And a variety of smaller items like vacuum lines and brakes lines

One item I found out was bad was the heater core. That turned into a bit of a mess because it was causing coolant to flood the footwells. One day I decided to clean up the engine bay and that included touching up the faded plastic of the wiper cowl. Once removed I saw why the heater core was toast...

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As you can see from the last pic I cleaned it all up and ordered a cabin filter. Still haven't installed it as it wasn't until very recently that I got my climate control working again. I had to replace the blower motor and fuse and found a bunch more leaves inside the dash. :mad: Of course it wouldn't be an 850 repair thread w/o the dreaded permantly locked glovebox. Repaired all those items, recharged the AC and I've got a functioning HVAC again.

More details to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After driving it a couple years I had to get it to a SMOG Check facility. Unfortunately, it started to produce the dreaded blue smoke and immediately failed inspection. It simultaneously started overheating during that time and since it was an expensive set of repairs I decided to park it in my garage until I could figure out what to do with it.

After it sitting for a couple years (and me accumulating parts) I found a group of local enthusiasts and reached out to them for help and guidance. After some organizing, I was able to get a few guys to give me a hand. I was able to disassemble most of the parts before they arrived. They helped remove the head and I took it to a shop to have them skim the head and install new valve stem seals. A couple weeks later I had a bunch of people over for a garage party. I had a long repair list and got people to jump in. That list included:

  • Replace head gasket
  • Replace 15G w/ 16T
  • Replace heater core
  • New fuel filter
  • New Akebono brake pads on all corners
  • Install MSD ignition coil & spark plug wires
  • Variety of hoses that were found to be cracked during disassembly

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Discussion Starter #3
Since then, I have replaced the ECU with a T-5R ECU for added fun. I also changed the wheels from 18" to 17" Pegs. I still want to get Titans for the right look I'm going for. I had the transmission fluid flushed and had some suspension/handling upgrades installed such as: Delrin subframe bushings, IPD anti-sway bars & end links, XC90 Spring Seat and Strut Mount kit.

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I most recently installed a cone filter that I had ordered some time back from an IPD sale. The P.O. had an oiled K&N filter that I wasn't thrilled with. I haven't noticed any performance issues - likely because it was installed with all the appropriate parts and not just the cone filter by itself.

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I still have a variety of parts that I have in my garage that I will continue to update this thread with when the time comes.
 

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Looks great.

Bet it feels good to get all of that wrapped up and the car back on the road. (And getting a bunch of parts off the bench!)

Kind of envious of having a bunch of helping hands. I'm usually turning wrenches solo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks great.

Bet it feels good to get all of that wrapped up and the car back on the road. (And getting a bunch of parts off the bench!)

Kind of envious of having a bunch of helping hands. I'm usually turning wrenches solo.
Thanks. It does feel good to get it driving again. After all the fixes and updates it feels more solid and reliable than it ever has.

Honestly, without their help, it still would be sitting. There is no way I could afford everything to be fixed by a mechanic. They are a life-saver.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quick update: I was able to change the oil yesterday. And while I was wrapping up I decided it was time to install the cabin filter and adapter. I also thought it was time to clean up the faded wiper cowl too. So I tackled that job as well.

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice find with the headlights, eBay? What did you use on the cowl? Looks really good!
Thanks. Not eBay, but from another for sale ad I responded to - Facebook I think. The product I used is called "Solution Finish." I bought the kit that comes with it's own prep cleaner. The key is to clean the surface thoroughly before you apply the product. Here's what it looks like...

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's a one month update on how the wiper cowl looks. It's not the best pic with the lighting. For a single application it's holding up decently, and considering we had a steady rain storm last weekend followed by hot Santa Ana winds this week it still looks good . I'll probably put a plastic coating like CQuartz DLux on top of it to give it greater longevity after another even coat.

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Discussion Starter #11
I got a few more things done to the car over the weekend.

1) Replaced the tired old trans torque mount
2) Replaced a noisy tensioner and installed a new serpentine belt
3) Installed Snabb Fresh Air J-pipe
4) Swapped in a lightweight pulley

Immediately noticed an improvement in power delivery. Plus my CEL for a P0400 code didn't come back on driving home from my friend's house.

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Discussion Starter #14
I got bored and had some extra daylight left last night, so I decided to do something with this ugly bumper cap. It still needs to be replaced for a nicer, unblemished one. But it's a little less ugly now.

I used the same product on the bumper cap that I did on the wiper cowl. Here are the before & after photos.

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