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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello friends!
Last week I made an impulse purchase of an 04 C70 2.4T droptop from a coworker. The thing has 205k miles and overall I'm really excited to be a convertible owner. I am not new to Volvo or Swedespeed, but this is my first Volvo on the P80 platform. Looks like I have plenty of reading to do before I have a good understanding of these cars.

Let's start with the good:
  • This is not my daily driver so I won't be stuck if it decides not to run anymore.
  • I paid $1200 for it. Time will tell if that was too much, but I feel comfortable taking the gamble.
  • I purchased from a coworker who used it as a daily driver for the past 3.5 years (until November when he bought a Model 3), which gives me some confidence that it will continue being dependable. My coworker isn't exactly a car guy so I feel like his mentality was to keep it running rather than keep it pristine. There is plenty of evidence of this from the cosmetic damage and decay almost everywhere on the vehicle, but mechanically the engine and transmission feel strong. In the last 10k miles the following have been done:
Replaced engine mounts, replaced water pump, replaced timing belt, replaced ignition coils, replaced spark plugs, power steering fluid changed, transmission fluid changed, and two oil changes.
  • 4 brand new tires
  • it came with seat covers!

The not-so-good:
  • it needed seat covers
  • Dings, scrapes, scratches, and large sections of peeling paint on the boot. Previous owner was a good driver, but not talented at parking.
  • The windshield is pitted. Looks decent during the day, but nighttime visibility isn't great because the pits cause glare.
  • The top is in bad shape. Holes, frayed edges, and worn patches are expected for a car of this age and neglect.
  • The rear window is coming unglued.
  • Auto-dimming mirror has downgraded itself to normal mirror
  • The front strut mounts need to be replaced. There's a clatter when hitting bumps at low speeds, but the car feels remarkably stable at speed. I'll postpone this one for a few weeks.
  • SRS light is on, but I'm 95% sure it's a low voltage fault because it wasn't there before. I needed to jump start the car last week because it had been sitting for almost 2 months.

This past Saturday I took it through an automatic car wash and had a hilarious time. The high pressure water sprayed in from the gap between the driver's side windows, as well as a from the rear window (as I expected). I had a few beach towels with me because I knew what I was getting into. The exterior looks better now that it's washed, but the paint is still bad. Getting that fixed up isn't a high priority for me, but I'll claybar and wax in the coming months. The interior needed lots of love though. I spent an hour with leather/vinyl cleaner and wiped down just about every surface and I swear it looks two shades brighter now that 16 years of grime have been wiped away. I spent the rest of the weekend running errands, finding any excuse to go drive. Top down, volume up, life is good!

I don't really have big plans for the car. I really just want it to be a weekend toy and a car to putter around on. I get a lot of joy from doing small projects on my cars, so I'm hoping to avoid major repairs in the coming months.
Up next is re-gluing the rear glass, resetting the SRS light, and restoring the faded plastic trim. Also planning on removing the headlight wipers. After that, who knows. I'll share my experiences here when I get the chance.

This is my only photo of it so far (ignore the wall clock I bought in the back seat)
116571
 
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Congratulations on your purchase. I bought a black/tan ‘99 C70 coupe w/99k miles here on swedespeed back in the fall of 2019. The owner also owned/owns a cabriolet. Word to the wise, from talking to other cabriolet owners: if the automatic top mechanism has not been replaced, it will need to be replaced. Also, the glue NEVER holds that rear window. The design is simply flawed. I once had a SAAB 900 5-speed, beautiful BRG/tan with a poorly functioning top mechanism which I loved so much, I put the top down on it and just kept it in the garage for sunny days. What I’m saying is temper your expectations of having a working top on it. Unless you wanna spend a few dollars on it, know going in that the top is going to be an issue. I’m not trying to rain on your parade but, these gorgeous cars’ power tops are the reason I crossed over to an early Z3 with a manual top. Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the heads up on the roof failure. I realize it's only a matter of time before the hydraulics fail, but I'm hoping my infrequent use will extend it's life.

I only have 1 key for this car and would feel more comfortable having a second one. Blank keys are available online for cheap, but most state they are only compatible for cars 1999 or older because of immobilizers becoming more common thereafter. I've read many threads with discussions about owners with immobilizer issues, but did not find a clear answer on if they are standard. Do all 2000+ Volvos came with an immobilizer installed from the factory? My C70 does not have an alarm system which is why I am unsure.
 

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Welcome! <knock on wood> My top mechanism has never had an issue (over 7 yrs ownership). Closest it had was it tried to eat one of the defrost wires and I had to fix that by replacing a bit of that wire. Now, my top has had some issues, the window keeps trying to unglue and my headliner is torn on the sail masts and the back right sometimes catches the hook and prevents the top from going down. Best glue I've found is 3M window glue. But it only seems to last a year or so; it's time for a new top.
The driver window letting in water probably means someone at some point has fixed/tried to replace that window regulator; these cars have an inordinately complicated install of them. (And that regulator is stupid expensive.)
My auto dimming mirror has failed, too.
I'd wager the noise from the strut is the upper strut seat, if you're replacing the struts, have a look at them and do them at the same time.
I highly recommend the IPD poly upper strut mount:
And the Snabb intake.

And I'd skip the lower one - makes it way too stiff.
 

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I do not recommend the IPD upper torque mount. a) I've seen those fail catastrophically b) it's automatic so you don't want poly anywhere.

What I would recommend is an OE Hhutchinson mount. My T-5R came with poly torque mounts and reverting to OE rubber was one of the best things I've done to that car.



Use OE parts everywhere except for the extremely small handful of performance parts that are actually good, that is if you care about going faster. Don't cut corners or it'll catch up with you later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the suggestions and advice. I've re-glued the rear window, ordered window repair kits for the front and rear driver's side windows, new front suspension assemblies (though my mechanic, I don't know PNs at the moment), IPD strut tower brace, primer, paint, clear coat, compound, polish, & wax.

All this is sitting in my garage and ready to go, but work has moved me to a project site out of state so I'm not around to work on my new toy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
New front struts are in! No more rubbing at full lock. The car feels more stable now, and no more clunks when going over bumps. The car still wobbles between 45-50mph, but not nearly as noticeable as it was before. LCA bushings are shot on the driver's side so that wheel has a lot of play in it. I'm assuming once I replace both LCAs and add the strut tower brace the wobbles will go away.

New window cables came in from ebay. Driver's side door and rear windows need my help to roll up and down. I can hear the motors when I press the switch, so I assumed the cables had frayed and are binding.
Took off the driver's door panel to try and get a look at the window assembly but stopped when I realized I had no access to anything. On the door, the rear cable was taught so I'm assuming the cable came off the pulley toward the front (but I couldn't see it) Any advice here?
Rear driver's side window only moves when I push or pull it, aka the motor isn't connected to the glass at all. For the life of me I could not figure out how to gain access to the rear window regulator.
Realized that this was going to be too big of a job so I gave up on fixing the windows (for now)

I did throw some H11 led headlight bulbs in. Needed to dremel about 1/8" of the heat sink away on the base of the bulb because the dust cover was pressing against it and disrupting the beam pattern. If I was patient I would have exchanged them for a bulb with a lower profile heat sink, but it was faster to cut it away.
 

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Hard to say w/o looking. On the front window: I've had (and was apparently common) the top most wheels on the front windows are plastic, and they break. Mine broke and we put in bolt with a metal wheel for a sliding door and ground the head off to fit into the door. That solution has worked for me for, I think, 7 years. Here's a write up (not mine) on how to do that:
It also shows you how to remove/replace the front window regulator. I'd check it out; it sounds like your motor is too tired.. (needs new brushes/cleaning or replacing. I've also done that, I think Cardone sells just the motor, and while it's not exactly fun, you can install it w/o removing the regulator from the car.
IMO, the main thing to look out for either way is that Volvo used these tiny little rubber motor mounts for the motor, and they are just rubber with a stud sticking out each side; they WILL rip in half if you don't reach in and hold the rubber - they are hex sized, but I don't recall what size.
As for the rears, I've never had a problem with mine... I do know from seeing other write ups that you have to remove the rear seats, to access the screws for the trim to gain access..
Hope that helps.
 
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I like it! A cheap convertible for a weekend driver is never a bad toy to go with. If you have indoor parking for it, I'd probably just put the top down for good, or at least for the time being. Probably put some moth balls or rodent deterrents around to keep the mice out. My reading has shown they all get a good amount of cowl shake even from new between 45-55, so you might just be experiencing that. Reskin the seats and do some attention to the paint and you'll have a great weekend cruiser. Here in PA you could register the car as a classic since it's over 15 years old (I just did that with my 06 in January). One time registration cost and exempt from emissions inspection, so keeps the cost of ownership down and helps justify having the spare car. Might want to check locally and see if anything is available to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As for the rears, I've never had a problem with mine... I do know from seeing other write ups that you have to remove the rear seats, to access the screws for the trim to gain access..
Hope that helps.
Thank you very much for that explanation and the link! Once I spend more time researching I'll try tearing into it again

I like it! A cheap convertible for a weekend driver is never a bad toy to go with. If you have indoor parking for it, I'd probably just put the top down for good, or at least for the time being. Probably put some moth balls or rodent deterrents around to keep the mice out. My reading has shown they all get a good amount of cowl shake even from new between 45-55, so you might just be experiencing that. Reskin the seats and do some attention to the paint and you'll have a great weekend cruiser. Here in PA you could register the car as a classic since it's over 15 years old (I just did that with my 06 in January). One time registration cost and exempt from emissions inspection, so keeps the cost of ownership down and helps justify having the spare car. Might want to check locally and see if anything is available to you.
Thanks for the advice! I'll need to see what the CA requirements are for a classic car, but I already paid to register it this year. Luckily I had no issues passing emissions this time around, though there's no guarantee it'll do it next time too.
So far I'm loving the dropdop and keep the roof down all the time. I made myself a makeshift wind deflector that really keeps the wind out of the front seats on the freeway (keeps the warm air from the heater in too).
 
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