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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was browsing IAA for a new project and I saw this 2004 S60R for auction, I put in a low bid not thinking I wouldn't win, but I won! I haven't seen it in person yet but the startup video shows it running like garbage, so I've probably got my work cut out for me. I'm not really a volvo guy so would appreciate any advice or things to look out for.

Thanks!
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That’s a deal!
Got any more pictures? Auto or manual? How many miles?
 
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Wow! $1000 is a great deal. Totally worth giving the car a second lease on life for that price. First thing I'd do is give 'er a full detail. See how she cleans up.

If you're new to Volvo, the S60R is a pretty awesome place to start! SOOOOO much potential with that car. Worst case, car needs a new engine (still worth it). Then it's a good excuse to do a manual trans swap while you're at it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow! $1000 is a great deal. Totally worth giving the car a second lease on life for that price. First thing I'd do is give 'er a full detail. See how she cleans up.

If you're new to Volvo, the S60R is a pretty awesome place to start! SOOOOO much potential with that car. Worst case, car needs a new engine (still worth it). Then it's a good excuse to do a manual trans swap while you're at it. ;)
I'm kinda worried it has a cracked block, since it's got some weird service history on the carfax including a head gasket.
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First thing I’d do it give it a solid cleaning to see what’s under all the grime and make it less gross to work on.
You’re gonna want to get a copy of VIDA and a DiCE unit to diagnose the issues. It can be an immense help for figuring out what the dash lights mean and why it’s running rough.
I’d also highly recommend reading through as much as you can on the R subforum. There are a ton of good threads on there about other people’s experience bringing other Rs back to life, as well as general maintenance and repair insight, which can be very helpful.
As far as concern about a cracked block, you can get a tester that tests for exhaust gases in the coolant. If they are present, it’s likely it has a cracked block. It also made it another 6k miles at least since that work, so there’s a chance it could be fine (or a simple error on the Carfax, although the later “coolant checked” report would have me concerned).
Once you get your hands on it and determined the engine is relatively healthy, you’ll also want to do the usual stage 0 stuff (spark plugs, oil change, filters, coolant hoses/new coolant, glove test the PCV and replace if failed, etc).
Good luck! Keep us updated when you get the car with progress
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First thing I’d do it give it a solid cleaning to see what’s under all the grime and make it less gross to work on.
You’re gonna want to get a copy of VIDA and a DiCE unit to diagnose the issues. It can be an immense help for figuring out what the dash lights mean and why it’s running rough.
I’d also highly recommend reading through as much as you can on the R subforum. There are a ton of good threads on there about other people’s experience bringing other Rs back to life, as well as general maintenance and repair insight, which can be very helpful.
As far as concern about a cracked block, you can get a tester that tests for exhaust gases in the coolant. If they are present, it’s likely it has a cracked block. It also made it another 6k miles at least since that work, so there’s a chance it could be fine (or a simple error on the Carfax, although the later “coolant checked” report would have me concerned).
Once you get your hands on it and determined the engine is relatively healthy, you’ll also want to do the usual stage 0 stuff (spark plugs, oil change, filters, coolant hoses/new coolant, glove test the PCV and replace if failed, etc).
Good luck! Keep us updated when you get the car with progress
Yeah, it says cooling system checked like 3 times after the HG job, but I'm still hoping it's not a cracked block. I'll definitely keep everybody updated, car should be delivered sometime this week. If the block is cracked, what's the best course of action if I want to fix it?
 

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If the block is cracked, what's the best course of action if I want to fix it?
Swap in a T5 motor. Done many times and lots of info on it. Pretty straightforward process and not many hurdles that you have to jump through in order to get everything running.

I will be honest though, buying cheap examples of these cars doesn't always go well. If you have the time, money, and patience it will take to get this car back to a road-worthy state then by all means go for it. But based on the pictures it will likely take a lot of work (and money) to get it there.
 
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You sir, are brave and must have some big, honking cohones for taking on a project like that. However, it is possible to make that thing into a real nasty beast (in a good way 😀).
 

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Agree, OP @ascii23. You're bold. However, time, reading, watching, and asking lots of questions is going to be what you're in for. Let alone parts purchases. Lot of them. I have no affiliation but will say that FCPEuro is one of your friends. Buy a part (lots on VIN splits on these so call them and don't simply order willy-nilly) and you'll never buy the part again. Brake pads, rotors, wiper blades, belts, plugs or coils, WHATEVER. It's pretty amazing. Even OIL, which I cannot even believe someone would do, but hey - they'll take it.
Cleaning some of the crap off will let you begin this process of IRAN (Inspect, Replace As Necessary).
Yes, getting a copy of VIDA/DiCE is also going to help you immensely. Lots of Torx, metric tools, a stubby impact wrench and sockets, a breaker bar and you're ready to go. These can be rewarding but needy cars. Is the interior decent? What part of the country are you located within?
BTW - look here too: R Forum - Welcome Thread - Click here if you are NEW to... as it has a lot of R related material in a sticky thread.

Lastly - depending on how much wrenching you do, someone said before the bubble of used car market pricing that every R is an 8K car. Be prepared for that to potentially mean 7K difference for you. Sounds ridiculous, but when you begin to consider what some of the parts cost, it adds up very quickly. In December I refreshed brakes all around on my VR and went OEM except for pads. It cost me ~$600 in just parts and a forum member helped me do it to save time. A turbo is a grand or more with no labor. 4C struts and shocks (not including any labor, tie rods, ball joints, etc.) is about 2K. A set of coils and plugs isn't cheap either. Maybe start with this and see if it helps? Air filter, fuel filter, oil filter, plugs and coil pack all together in one kit for 365 bucks (free shipping over 50 bucks): Volvo Tune Up Kit - VOLVOTUNEUPKITS60R

Again, tons of experience and knowledge here. Ask away and we'll do our best to assist.

Swap in a T5 motor. Done many times and lots of info on it. Pretty straightforward process and not many hurdles that you have to jump through in order to get everything running.

I will be honest though, buying cheap examples of these cars doesn't always go well. If you have the time, money, and patience it will take to get this car back to a road-worthy state then by all means go for it. But based on the pictures it will likely take a lot of work (and money) to get it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You sir, are brave and must have some big, honking cohones for taking on a project like that. However, it is possible to make that thing into a real nasty beast (in a good way 😀).
I figure worst case there is probably $1000 worth of parts here if it's completely hosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Agree, OP @ascii23. You're bold. However, time, reading, watching, and asking lots of questions is going to be what you're in for. Let alone parts purchases. Lot of them. I have no affiliation but will say that FCPEuro is one of your friends. Buy a part (lots on VIN splits on these so call them and don't simply order willy-nilly) and you'll never buy the part again. Brake pads, rotors, wiper blades, belts, plugs or coils, WHATEVER. It's pretty amazing. Even OIL, which I cannot even believe someone would do, but hey - they'll take it.
Cleaning some of the crap off will let you begin this process of IRAN (Inspect, Replace As Necessary).
Yes, getting a copy of VIDA/DiCE is also going to help you immensely. Lots of Torx, metric tools, a stubby impact wrench and sockets, a breaker bar and you're ready to go. These can be rewarding but needy cars. Is the interior decent? What part of the country are you located within?
BTW - look here too: R Forum - Welcome Thread - Click here if you are NEW to... as it has a lot of R related material in a sticky thread.

Lastly - depending on how much wrenching you do, someone said before the bubble of used car market pricing that every R is an 8K car. Be prepared for that to potentially mean 7K difference for you. Sounds ridiculous, but when you begin to consider what some of the parts cost, it adds up very quickly. In December I refreshed brakes all around on my VR and went OEM except for pads. It cost me ~$600 in just parts and a forum member helped me do it to save time. A turbo is a grand or more with no labor. 4C struts and shocks (not including any labor, tie rods, ball joints, etc.) is about 2K. A set of coils and plugs isn't cheap either. Maybe start with this and see if it helps? Air filter, fuel filter, oil filter, plugs and coil pack all together in one kit for 365 bucks (free shipping over 50 bucks): Volvo Tune Up Kit - VOLVOTUNEUPKITS60R

Again, tons of experience and knowledge here. Ask away and we'll do our best to assist.
I've got a budget of about 4-5K and all the time in the world while I'm home from college. The car will be delivered tomorrow so I'll update everyone once it's here. I guess worst case scenario it's a parts car. I've already bought a dice cable, Interior looks ok and I'm in Charlotte NC
 

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Well, you maybe can do it on the cheap. Just don't go into it without knowing. Make a full diagnosis and maybe consult with another SS member if they're nearby and willing before you add anything to your cash outlay. You're already in for the grand plus whatever it's taking to deliver it. It will make for an interesting summer, that's for sure!
I do see your carfax record now. Does seem suspect. That last record is a year old and it looks like that car sat for a while. How many miles on it now?

I've got a budget of about 4-5K and all the time in the world while I'm home from college. The car will be delivered tomorrow so I'll update everyone once it's here. I guess worst case scenario it's a parts car. I've already bought a dice cable, Interior looks ok and I'm in Charlotte NC
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, you maybe can do it on the cheap. Just don't go into it without knowing. Make a full diagnosis and maybe consult with another SS member if they're nearby and willing before you add anything to your cash outlay. You're already in for the grand plus whatever it's taking to deliver it. It will make for an interesting summer, that's for sure!
I do see your carfax record now. Does seem suspect. That last record is a year old and it looks like that car sat for a while. How many miles on it now?
166,420 miles listed, but I can't see it on the cluster. exact same as the last carfax report, which is odd. The last entry on the carfax report is weird also in that the shop is in Huntsville, AL. (Car is from nashville and was serviced there). I'm thinking it was either towed home from that shop and has sat since, or the auction company just used that mileage because the cluster is burnt out and that's their last reference.
 

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Gotcha. Vida will tell you the truth of the mileage matter. I agree with everything Z said above. Some great advice there.

That said, I think for a grand, it was 100% worth the gamble. You just don't know until you get everything cleaned up and start diving into things, BUT you could luck out and it might just be a leaky coolant tank (easy, cheap swap!) and some old coils/plugs, or something else relatively simple. If this car doesn't have a cracked block after all, you might be in for a great car. Even if it DOES have a cracked block, I still think it'd be super fun to poke around with the car, getting it sorted out over time. Just be prepared to play the long game to get there. You came to the right place for help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gotcha. Vida will tell you the truth of the mileage matter. I agree with everything Z said above. Some great advice there.

That said, I think for a grand, it was 100% worth the gamble. You just don't know until you get everything cleaned up and start diving into things, BUT you could luck out and it might just be a leaky coolant tank (easy, cheap swap!) and some old coils/plugs, or something else relatively simple. If this car doesn't have a cracked block after all, you might be in for a great car. Even if it DOES have a cracked block, I still think it'd be super fun to poke around with the car, getting it sorted out over time. Just be prepared to play the long game to get there. You came to the right place for help!
That's what I was thinking. From what i've seen, 1000 is pretty darn cheap for one of these, so I feel it was worth the gamble. It could turn out to be a complete pile or it could be something simple, but I think for 1000 its worth it.
 

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That's what I was thinking. From what i've seen, 1000 is pretty darn cheap for one of these, so I feel it was worth the gamble. It could turn out to be a complete pile or it could be something simple, but I think for 1000 its worth it.
Yup. And if nothing else, if you decide it's too much to deal with or costs will far exceed getting a GOOD example of one, just get it cleaned up best you can and you'll probably be able to dump it in about 2 seconds for what you have in it. Put it on Craigslist for what you paid and somebody will want it.
 

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Gotta keep in mind whatever you put into it will be a salvage or tainted title, so the residual value is lower than a non branded car... but agree with the gamble.
Depending on the Volvo scene near you, there's some good value to be had if the parts are removed, cleaned up and sold individually. It'll take time though and patience. Calipers, OTE pipe, some interior bits, hood and other panels if they're straight, etc. Headlights can bring a pretty penny if they're good, not pitted and have all the tabs and are in working condition. Bumpers if decent can bring some value too. Once you snag all the useable parts, some haulers will come and take the carcass for free but you'd have to potentially have at least some spares on it to have it roll.

Let's hope this is the start of a car saved thread, but you've got work ahead of you for sure. If it scans and checks out as a project you're going to proceed with, there's a guy in TN that repairs DIM modules with two day shipping for 130 bucks. I just did the deed on our 02 wagon and it was 100% dark. NOTHING worked and now it's all good again!

Yup. And if nothing else, if you decide it's too much to deal with or costs will far exceed getting a GOOD example of one, just get it cleaned up best you can and you'll probably be able to dump it in about 2 seconds for what you have in it. Put it on Craigslist for what you paid and somebody will want it.
 
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