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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Before I got the T-5R, I got this 850R. Before I got this 850R, I got a red/tan 850R estate from just north of Albany, NY, but, while it was sitting in a huge snowdrift in our yard last February, it got picked up by a front end loader that was supposed to be clearing the street, but ended up doing some off-roading in our front yard instead. This meant I needed another caR, so I bought this one off of the Atlanta Craigslist in April, 2015 with a blown engine and had it shipped up here. I was looking for another red/tan to replace the other one, but, given its cosmetic condition, what the guy was asking, and the fact that it was probably going to get parted out if I didn't buy it, this was simply too good a deal to pass up.

What's the history of this car?

  • 1996-08-01: OSD order placed. Original owner was a one star general in the Ohio Air National Guard.
  • 1996-09-17: Temporary Swedish registration issued.
  • 1996-09-23: Departed Sweden on M/S ATLANTIC CONCERT.
  • 1996-10-15: Arrived in Baltimore with 16 miles on the odometer.
  • 1996-10-22: Registered in Canal Winchester, OH.
  • 2010-07-30: SOLD to second owner in Atlanta, GA, at 253k miles. The original owner took incredibly good care of it.
  • 2014-05-29: "Sold" to 3rd owner at 262k miles. I say "sold" because this guy never actually transferred it to his name. I believe he had blown the engine by November, 2014.
  • 2015-04-06: I agreed to buy it at 269k miles. This got complicated because the guy never transferred it into his name.
  • 2016-01-27: Finally got a bill of sale from the 3rd "owner." Yay for VT's lax title laws. Luckily I have a copy of the title signed over to him and bill of sale from when he got it, so I can document the full chain of custody and that it wasn't stolen if I ever need to.


It's an odd history since the original owner sold it. I have to wonder what the story is with that second guy who owned it for 4 years and only did 9k miles in it.


What have I done so far?

  • Vacuumed and washed it. This thing was a mess. The guy left tons of junk in there and the car was covered in pine pollen. It was bad...and there is still pine pollen coming out of the panel gaps.
  • Somebody thought it would be a good idea to put in some really crappy Kenwood speakers in the front doors and take the tweeters out of the dash. Did a speaker swap from the wrecked R. Sounds good now.
  • Aired it out. Still airing it out, actually. 3rd "owner" was a smoker.
  • Bought some 850R floor mats on ebay. Pretty clear that there were some OEM Volvo mats in there until recently before I got it, but who knows where they went.
  • Started process of engine removal. Got everything ready to pull the engine, but then we discovered the engine was seized when we tried to turn it over to pull the torque converter bolts. Bolted a steel bar on to the end of the crankshaft where the serpentine belt pulley attaches and broke out one of the bolts trying to get it moving. Going to pull the head and try to get it going from inside, and, if that fails, then I guess we'll pull the engine and transmission together and put the M66D in the this one now and do the T-5R later.



What does it still need/what am I planning on doing? (in no particular order)
  • Needs a working engine!!
  • MANUAL SWAP! Obviously...this will eventually happen even if it doesn't happen at the same time as the engine swap. Going to use a M66D. Going to to turn the sport/econ button into a boost controller as part of the swap.
  • Need to buff out the paint. It is pretty badly oxidized from living outside in Atlanta, and I haven't been keeping up with the wax, either, since it was already bad when I got it.
  • Needs a new headliner. The fabric was falling, so the previous owner tried to use some thumbtacks. That didn't work, so he just ripped it off and the fabric was in a big ball in the back when I got it. Oh, yeah, I got a lifetime supply of thumbtacks out of this deal, too.
  • E-code lights.
  • Needs a rear spoiler. Thinking about adding roof rails, too.
  • Driver's door was damaged and replaced at some point. It was clearcoated when it was repainted, so I need to either find an original 609 door from a R that's getting parted, or have it repainted again in single stage. The clear that is on there is starting to show signs of failure.
  • Might put in a SC-901 at some point.
  • Maybe get another dash pad from somewhere and try to mod a dolby center speaker into it (anyone done this in an 850 yet?).
  • Needs a new glovebox door because some clown tried to pry it open at some point.
  • Needs to spend a day with a PDR guy. Surprisingly, there aren't any door dings, but there is a pretty good dent in the port A pillar, a small dent in the roof, and a crease that is only noticeable from certain angles in the starboard fender.
  • Front bumper has a couple cracks. Hopefully I can address those without a full bumper respray but I think it probably will need a respray.
  • Probably going to put in some heated rear seats and maybe some other goodies for the people in the back, like maybe an aux jack for the music management system I have planned, a P2 style armrest with the little storage bin, and some floor lights like the front seat gets. Maybe some P2 style B pillar air vents if I really go nuts.
  • Going to add a music management system that has enough space for all of my music. Can't fit it all on a phone so this is going to have to be something clever....and I'm going to use a stock HU because I want to keep that '90s feel. Hoping I can do something where I can hook it up to my wi-fi network and sync music directly from my computer.
  • Need to call up the original owner and see if he still has the OSD plates. Managed to track him down, but he's moved to AZ since he sold the car, so I'm not feeling optimistic. Failing that, maybe I can get some repro OSD plates. I have the temporary registration form with the reg number and expiration date on it.


Pictures!

This is what it looked like right after I vacuumed and washed it.

IMG_6903 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6904 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6909 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

The odometer works. Gear was replaced by the original owner at the dealer. Dealer pulled the mileage from the computer when they did this.
IMG_6911 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6938 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6939 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6941 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6947 by Jared R 945, on Flickr

IMG_6951 by Jared R 945, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And here is where it's at currently.


Valve cover is off. Need to go to Sears before next weekend to get a ½" drive 14mm 6 point socket to pull the head bolts. Not sure how we've survived this long with only a 3/8" drive 12 point 14mm socket.
DSC04497 by Jared R 945, on Flickr
 

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Man, two project cars for you, I am jealous!

This one looks really clean for the miles. Funny it still has an OH plate on the front!

Good luck with your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Man, two project cars for you, I am jealous!

This one looks really clean for the miles. Funny it still has an OH plate on the front!

Good luck with your build.

It is amazingly clean. I would say, aside from the engine, it is in better shape than the T-5R, but I don't want to judge 19 year old Volvo plastics before taking a ride down a moderately bad road in it. The OH plate is quite amusing, especially because I don't think the car was ever registered under that reg number. According to all the service records I have that I've looked at (there are a lot, the original owner had vanity plates on it, so I have no idea where that plate came from.

I actually got this one with the intention of it becoming my DD. Right now, I'm still in college (living at home) and taking public transportation to school (driving into Boston sucks), so I really don't need a car at all at this point. I got the first 850R thinking I would pick up a cheap R while I still had time to restore it and set it up the way I wanted before I actually needed it, and so I would already have a car I'd be very happy to DD for at least the next 10 years when I graduate so I can start saving for retirement instead of dropping $$$$$ on a "decent" car that would probably only last 10 years total. When the first one got wrecked, I got this one with the same intention, except that now I essentially got both of them for free because of the excellent insurance settlement I got; all that's coming out of my pocket on this car is the manual swap, stage 0 on the engine from the wrecked caR, and the few other relatively low cost mods/repairs I have planned.

The T-5R just kind of fell in my lap. I knew I wanted one someday, but had planned on waiting until they turned 25 and then importing one from Europe given how impossible they are to find here. When mine came up for sale, I just happened to have the money sitting around thanks to that insurance settlement. The price was right and nice T-5Rs are trading now at €12-18k and rising in LHD European markets, so I decided it made sense to go for it. My plan at this point is to set both of them up similarly and for daily service so that the T-5R and the R can split the work on dry days and back each other up should either break. If the galvanizing on the R doesn't hold up as well as my experience with P80s says it should, I might eventually try to pick up a really cheap P80 or P2 as a winter DD when/if space allows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Progress has been slow the last few weeks, but I pulled the head a couple weeks ago and finally pulled the turbo to inspect it today. Not surprisingly, the shaft play is pretty bad. I need to either rebuild it or get a different one.

I'm thinking about going with the full factory manual 850R setup with the 16t, whites, and Japanifold now that I know I need to do something with the turbo. I know the 15g vs 16t debate is a pretty hot one, so I'm curious to get some 850 specific feedback on this swap. I want to stay with the stock exhaust (don't like the tone, drone, or volume with the IPD system that came with my T-5R), am not particularly interested in going to a track or impressing the guys at the dyno, and don't care about Vmax as I almost never have any reason or opportunity to go over 75-80 mph in the driving I do. Boston does, however, have a lot of fun entrance ramps thanks to all the pre-interstate limited access highways. There are even a good number of ramps with stop signs entering into traffic moving at 55-60 mph, and some of those are on pretty steep uphills just to make things even more fun. I don't use any of those regularly, but would like to have a decent 0-60 time without a ton of turbo lag for the few times a year that I do use one of them. I am not planning on rebuilding the engine at this point, so I'm setting my human rev limiter at 5,500-6,000 rpm for now.

Basically I'm looking for usable power below 80 mph. Given my expected usage, is a 16t right for me?
 

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I've never seen rear mudflaps, neither my 855R nor 854R had them when I acquired them. What's the deal there?

I'm thinking about going with the full factory manual 850R setup with the 16t, whites, and Japaifold now that I know I need to do something with the turbo.
Seems that now is the time. What gearbox?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've never seen rear mudflaps, neither my 855R nor 854R had them when I acquired them. What's the deal there?
They were an option. I believe there is some stuff in the paperwork I have from when the original owner bought it relating to those. I'll take a look. They seem like a fantastic idea to me, especially in climates with winter. The amount of slush that collects under the bumper in the V70 is crazy.

Seems that now is the time. What gearbox?

M66D. It may not make it over from Europe in time (delays in setting up shipping) to go in with the engine swap, but everything I've heard says that a 16t will work ok on a 628 ECU if I have to keep the AW50-42LE for a little while. I really want to get this thing running well enough to at least move it into the street and back before I go back to school in May because it is blocking in the wrecked R which we are really getting sick of having in our way.
 

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This is an awesome find! Looks so go for the mileage. Well worth the effort to resurrect it.

I say 16T is the way to go. Our S70 T5 always felt a little quicker/faster than 850 Turbos with the 15g.
 

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A little tweaking on a 16T and you should get sub 5 second 40-80 times. Its a great turbo for the 2.3 engines
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Yeah, I saw that.....oh boy.....another part out I don't have room for. could use the 609 rear wind for my R and the rear mud flaps for my T-5R, though. Better stop now before I convince myself that this is a good idea....

I quite like that red/tan 855R on Titans that needs front suspension work and/or a subframe, too. Probably a better deal considering the work needed.
 

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Parts!


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Yeah, I saw that.....oh boy.....another part out I don't have room for. could use the 609 rear wind for my R and the rear mud flaps for my T-5R, though. Better stop now before I convince myself that this is a good idea....

I quite like that red/tan 855R on Titans that needs front suspension work and/or a subframe, too. Probably a better deal considering the work needed.
Yeah, I think that one in Philly is fixable. We're at the point where we need to start saving these cars...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Yeah, I think that one in Philly is fixable. We're at the point where we need to start saving these cars...
This. If I had a barn I would be all over JRL to get that one for me. Super rare (and best US market imo) color combo, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Success! I got my plates from VT today! Once they send me my registration, I can use that to transfer to MA when I am ready to actually start driving it. VT does not require insurance to register a car, so this is costing me zero to have this registration just sitting around ready to go when the time comes to transfer. No title, no problem!!!


 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This project has taken an interesting turn. The seller stated that water froze inside the engine and cracked the block, but, after finding a few other things that were not exactly as described, I decided to fill up the water jacket with water today to see what would happen. So far, the water doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so I'm not buying that the block is cracked anymore. It looks like I might not have to replace the engine at this point.

New plan is:
  • Remove oil pan
  • Remove connecting rod end caps
  • Remove the rust from the cylinder walls
  • Drive out the pistons
  • Reassemble with a new head gasket if there doesn't seem to be anything wrong.


Still planning on putting on a Japanifold and 16t. Seriously considering the Beüst COP conversion, too.

Questions:
  • If I put this engine back together, I'm thinking about putting a RN head on since I already have the head off. With a RN head,
    1. What kind of fuel economy and power gains would I be looking at?
    2. What would I need to do to get the VVT going?
  • If I put on a 16t with an angle flange, are there any downpipe options/upgrades that will connect to the stock exhaust?
 

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Stock 850 Turbo/R except when floored are 220hp motors. R "over boosts" for 30 seconds.

Stock T5 V/S/C70 motors make 237. That's a function of injectors and turbo. You'll get more low end torque when you have VVT and Beust can tune to have it driven by the rear O2 harness. Any stock exhaust will still work just fine even with the angle flange it's a 2 piece system just join them with a short connector to remove that stupid ball joint.

You can also expect the vvt to boost your mileage, I saw 32 avg on the highway at 75 mph in 5th gear (m56h) on a long road trip using cruise control and keeping just off boost


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Stock 850 Turbo/R except when floored are 220hp motors. R "over boosts" for 30 seconds.
That's only the automatic. The factory manual 850R is 250, but then they have a 16t, Japanifold, and whites, so that's maybe not an entirely fair comparison.


You can also expect the vvt to boost your mileage, I saw 32 avg on the highway at 75 mph in 5th gear (m56h) on a long road trip using cruise control and keeping just off boost
That's impressive. My dad's NA RN gets 32 at about 65 when it is running right. It's down to 29 or 30 at 75. I wonder if some of the additional fuel economy you got has to do with the lower compression of the T5 engine off boost.
 

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Yea that mileage was impressive. It was still climbing into 33+ mpg when i got the the new york metro area and lost all patience with keeping my foot out of it. That was with a passenger and a full load of gear in the S70 (a wagon will be more efficient because it has better aero), ambient was 100 F and i had the AC on too. Mpg was verified by pump/receipt calculation in addition to the cluster avg mpg. Basically i drove from Buena Vista VA all the way back to eastern CT on one tank of gas.

What would make your conversion really easy would be to stuff the entire subframe/drivetrain from my t5m thats in the garage into that 850r. Already manual, 130k, new plugs, motor mounts, turbo, vvt solenoid ect. Its RN (obviously) and would be a perfect plug and play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can see how you might want to use some boost in NYC.

That certainly would be an easy solution, but I still want to put a M66D in this caR. Your subframe would probably make more sense for someone who wants a M56H. I'd also like to use a dual VVT engine if I do a RN swap, although I probably ought to email Beüst and find out if he can tune for dual VVT before I spend too much time looking into that...
 
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