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I've been looking at a 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R wagon for sale near me. It looks to be in great cosmetic and mechanical shape despite having 198,000 miles. It has a Motronic 4.4 conversion 5-speed manual swap and an ARD Orange tune. Should I be wary of a car with a swap and this specific ECU tune? The owner said that the swap was performed by a Volvo specialist. The owner originally had it priced at 7500$ and has now dropped the price to 6000$ in hopes of selling the car soon. It sounds like the deal of the century to me because I know how rare these Volvo's are. What would you say, is it worth it?
 

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I've been looking at a 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R wagon for sale near me. It looks to be in great cosmetic and mechanical shape despite having 198,000 miles. It has a Motronic 4.4 conversion 5-speed manual swap and an ARD Orange tune. Should I be wary of a car with a swap and this specific ECU tune? The owner said that the swap was performed by a Volvo specialist. The owner originally had it priced at 7500$ and has now dropped the price to 6000$ in hopes of selling the car soon. It sounds like the deal of the century to me because I know how rare these Volvo's are. What would you say, is it worth it?
There are a couple other people I'm aware of who have looked into that car. Findings were that it needed pretty much everything....suspension, brakes, tires, steering rack, rms, etc. It's not the deal of the century. But realistically if you have to have a T-5R and you're willing to buy into a project, the car is worth however much you are willing to pay. We are at a point in the T-5R market, at least for estates, where there aren't really options and you could be waiting years for another one.

And yeah you should be weary of any ARD tune and any car that has one, but if the engine hasn't blown up already, you can probably save it by driving it gently until you get it home and can have Aaron or SteveO retune it depending on where you live.
 

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+1, the ARD tune is the big red flag here. I don't want to talk down on Lucky, but I know his tunes don't have the best reputation, and I'd feel much more comfortable with a tune from Aaron.

Anyway, if that's the case, I'd make an offer on it. The manual swap is something that's hard to screw up, and if corners were cut you could tell pretty easily. As long as there is no apparent RMS leak and no crappy looking wiring work, it should be okay. Just check all the components, clutch pedal, shift linkages, etc.

I'd go ahead and make an offer on it. But be prepared for a project. Like Jared said, it really comes down to how badly you want a T-5R. Our options for these cars are definitely thinning.
 

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Too expensive for a modified example.
 

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Too expensive for a modified example.
too expensive for a poorly modified example. If it was a clean swap I wouldn't have a problem with the price, but there are problems here, and quite a lot of them.
 
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