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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every day we're getting slightly closer to the purchase of another C30 for Bailey. Originally we were looking for a Tit Grey R-design (classic) and going with a clean Euro-tuner build, but now I'm starting to lean towards taking a V1.0 to new heights (literally) and building a sadly FWD XC30.

Rough photoshop, but let's get some more ideas for bits to add!



I'd probably do LED bars instead of the round rally lights, but being careful not to look like a cop car with the bull bar.
Roof basket, Rally Armor mud flaps, 17x8 Pegs with meaty tires and spacers for the offroad poke.

I'm still not completely sold on this idea, but it's something to play with for the next few months while we continue car searching.
 

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That looks down right rally inspired! Stickers, man, it's what the car is missing! That and white letter tires. :)

I can't imagine turning it into a AWD would be economically feasible at all. Simplest thing would be to clone a S40/V50 into a C30, change all the computers, change and the wiring, and on and on. I mean, it would probably all fit and the only full on custom item to be fabricated would be the drive shaft and maybe the exhaust. Though, I have never looked to see if the engine cradle of a c30 is different from their AWD cousins to see if could accommodate an angle gear.


On your current speculation, why not make a V50XC instead? I don't know that it would be easier/harder to find lifting spring than on the C30, but it could be had in AWD. Have you a potential source for the lifting springs for either application?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That looks down right rally inspired! Stickers, man, it's what the car is missing! That and white letter tires. :)

I can't imagine turning it into a AWD would be economically feasible at all. Simplest thing would be to clone a S40/V50 into a C30, change all the computers, change and the wiring, and on and on. I mean, it would probably all fit and the only full on custom item to be fabricated would be the drive shaft and maybe the exhaust. Though, I have never looked to see if the engine cradle of a c30 is different from their AWD cousins to see if could accommodate an angle gear.


On your current speculation, why not make a V50XC instead? I don't know that it would be easier/harder to find lifting spring than on the C30, but it could be had in AWD. Have you a potential source for the lifting springs for either application?
The AWD conversion has been done by a few companies for show cars. Polestar also swapped in a V50 AWD setup for their 400hp C30. But it's still a bit too much work to really be bothered with at this time. Not from a mechanical standpoint, but from a software standpoint. There is a guy in Europe who is undertaking the project from a DIY perspective, so we'll see if he has success!

Like you, we're content with coupes for this point of our life. Plus, my wife really wants a C30 and this would actually be quite practical for her.

My photo shop is a little extreme. Stock V1.0 ride height is already pretty tall, so maybe just some meaty tires and wheel spacers could give the stance I'd like.
I have been told that there are spacers which can be installed between the top of the front struts and the strut tower brace.
The rears would actually be fairly easy, just using the adjustment cups from coilovers to bring it up an inch.

There are also a lot of coilover options that can adjust from .5" higher than stock down to nearly slammed, so that's another alternative.
I would definitely invest in adjustable struts/shocks to at least stiffen up the ride a little and get the dampening set appropriately.

Here's stock ride height for the V1.0s (non R-designs). Almost looks like an XC already.

 

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Yea, the software was the place my mind went to first too. I know I've cloned a p3 xc70 (with Xemodex's help) in an attempt to sort out a complicated problem. I don't remember all the details, but by swapping all computers from one car to the next it ran and drove, but in that case both cars had the same wiring. In theory you could swap CEM, ECM, TCM, REM, complete wiring, and everything else in the CAN BUS and use the keys from the v50 for a match. In theory it would require no programming.

It would be a lot of work, but if you had two cars and several hundred hours of free time...

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Even with swapping computers, there's still the car's confusion with the V50 having 2 more doors.
It would even require having the same audio package.

Elevate and Shark both seem to have the ability to rewrite a tune for the car so that the ECU knows it's AWD. It's just not a mainstream product at this time.
We'll see what happens in the next few years! I would love to convert my current C30 to AWD if it would still be a reliable daily afterwards.
Totaled AWD P1s are getting cheaper and cheaper. Though, I'm still not a huge fan of Volvo's P1 AWD setup where it's basically front wheel drive until it needs that extra bit of traction in the rear. The AWDs are actually slower than the FWDs.
 

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I know it's complicated, getting everything in the CAN to communicate would be a chore. I would think you could trick the system into believing it still had two doors by leaving the latches in the care somewhere. A little ghetto, but probably fully workable if you took out the rear seats like you have done and tuck them under the cover somewhere. I have made CAN loops before to take systems out of communication when sorting out issues, but I don't know if you can do that for doors...

I keep thinking the real trouble would be the REM, CEM, and the BCM being different for the AWD set up VS FWD. I was looking up some part numbers, and I could be wrong as the hardware seems to be shared between different models (at least the CEM is the same). I know Xemodex can swap coding from one module to the next, but I don't know if they can be selective about what information they swap, i.e., clone over vins but not all software, therefor not requiring completely identical cars. Haha, it's more work than I would want to take on, that's for sure!

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P1s though, are you sure you would want to do that? I would think that inclines toward the bottom of the reliability scale for a AWD choice. They can be had for very cheap, but I personally rank those first gen XC70s as one of the least reliable Volvo made in the past 20 years. Some people love them, and maybe my disdain is built from seeing to many trashed examples. I dunno.

My personal ranking of worst Volvos

1: XC90 T6
2: first gen C70 Convertible
# 3/4/5 slots are shared between the pre-face lift S80, the p1 AWDs, and the first Gen S40, and sometimes I really wonder if one of those slots should be include 01-02 XC70s too.

Seems unfair as some of those rankings are due just to age and the kind of abuse they were subject to, but I groan most times I see one roll onto the lot. Haha, or I see a long sting of dollar signs because of the service I know they will need. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to make sure we're on the same page, the P1 chassis AWDs were the S40s and V50s. I'm not talking about the P80 AWDs which I know had lots of issues.

Having owned two P1 S40s and my C30, these have been some of the most reliable cars that have ever been in my family; all three were FWD T5s.
Honestly, the main problems that have come up (mostly premature bearing and mount wear) I blame on the extensive modifications that I have done. If I had left these cars stock, I doubt they would have had any problems. Only recently have I started to see problems with the P1 AWDs come up on the forums, but these cars are crossing that 10 year mark, so it's time for stage 0 maintenance anyway.
 

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You're right, I was mixing up the p1 and p80. Silly me. I knew something want lining up.

Yea, I have nothing bad to say about the p1 awds either. Maintenence is maintenence, cars have a right break, expecially hitting that 10 year mark.

I'm looking for one in a manual to replace my brother in laws's 01 A4, because I love him to much to leave him in a old Audi/VW. :)

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Take care of the ones that we love! I sold my S40 to my best friend (after reverting it to stock) to prevent him from spending twice the money on a used bottom of the line Ford Focus (also on the universal C1 platform) and to finally deter him from a confusing love for the new Camaros. I sold him the car with the handheld tuner and a stage 1 tune, he finally understands why I modify my cars. He also dislikes the bulky modern american muscles car now, since he thinks the S40 is one of the best handling and fastest cars he's ever driven. Coming from a 1999 Ford F150 and his wife's 2002 Focus SE, they're very happy with the purchase, especially since they just started a family.

He was the best man in my wedding, so it was nice to see both cars back together and I still get to see it frequently. It's really funny when our other friends see him, they can't believe he's driving my old car, or that his car is a 2004.



It's weird to think this is over 11 years old.



 

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Deterring from "confusing love for the new Camaros." Hahah! Yes, it is a confusing love indeed. I don't out and out hate them, American muscle has certainly come a long way from where it used to be, but at the end of the day, meh. Those of us that have grown up in Volvos, we're a Euro snob crowd.

As you saved him from that, I'm trying to save my brother in law from buying an S4... Life is about compromises, and an S4 will cost a fortune to keep on the road as a daily driver. A Volvo will never be an S4, but with some slight modification won't be so far off for massive savings at purchase and in maintenance costs even if a grand or two is spent in modifications. Haha, the Audi S line cars are badged by some as the everyday supercar, but that would put your yearly budget for maintenance from $800-1,600 to something like $2-4,000. Not to mention, oh, probably another grand more for yearly insurance.

But I'm getting off subject again... P1 AWDs prices are really coming down. A friend of mine was just pricing his 05 S40 T5 Manual and it sat in the $4-5,900 range with 120K on the clock. I would suspect one could be had far south of $8,000 depending on what year and how much of a scratch and dent you were willing to put up with. Could an R-Design be had for $10,000?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I personally respect the power of newer muscle, they're fast cars! But I think the Challenger is a little too old-school looking and the Camaro is just puffed up plastic and nearly a lane wide. At least the Mustang slimmed down this year.
My problem with those cars is that you can spend upwards of $60k for the top of the line, but to the uneducated, it can look identical to a $20k entry level model with a loud exhaust.
That's also something that confuses me... Why spend close to Corvette money on a Camaro with a big engine, when you can just get the Corvette? Then again, why would somebody modify a Volvo? Everyone has their love for a particular car.

But I had to convince my friend that not all Camaros are fast or Transformers. Once he realized that a tuned 5 cylinder S40 could out run the 6 cylinder Camaro in a straight line, and obviously outhandle it through any turn, he understood the joy of the sleeper.


I sold my 2004.5 FWD S40 T5 in 2014 for $5600, it was reverted to stock with 150k miles on the clock and I included a Stage 1 Elevate tune and lowering springs. He knew the abuse I put the car through, but he also knew how well I took care of it (we lived/commuted together for over a year). Most of the parts on the car had been replaced, so it was practically a brand new car underneath and the interior/exterior were in great condition.
We have since reverted it to stock ride height for his wife and baby. He had to buy 2 new hubs (which are from previous shops having stripped the studs with impact tools) and it needs new LCAs, but still not a bad deal. Plus it came with my lifetime assistance with maintenance.

If you're looking at the facelift S40s (2008-2011) you can find a lot in the $8-$15k price range. Be patient and I'm sure you'll find a nice AWD M66 for less than $10k.

I personally don't like the S80s. They are pretty and great to ride in, but I'm more about the driving experience and those feel a little numb / too luxurious.
 

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I have been thinking about how to answer to this question all day. My mother always said of all her children developing an interest in cars, I was the one she least expected it to happen to. Me and cars is a little bit of an odd relationship, because if were to put my life experiences into a college degrees it would be a double major in art and philosophy, and double minors in automotive and psychiatry. Me weekends are an odd combo of watching art house movies no one has heard of and doodling with cars while listening to obscure music.

My mind works in constant conflict with itself arguing form, function, and economics. Generally I go far left field with this.

American Muscle: in some regards, I don't like the very principle of the thing. Cheap power readily available to all without effort. I like the idea of sports cars costing real money to obtain or the earned exclusivity of a custom vehicle. My thinking takes two parts: the first part something I strongly support as necessary of safety, and the second part being a purely subjective opinion.

A) Some nations (for some reason New Zealand comes to mind) require cars to pass a extra safety inspection if it has been modified, and though I realize it would be a very difficult thing to manage, I definitely support it. If I remember correctly if the power output of the engine is increased by more than a certain amount, it is required to have the brakes upgraded. This takes thousands of stance hazards and want to be monster trucks off the road that were not safely fabricated.

B) I'm a form over function man, and believe that in the heart of gear heads the driving need for exclusivity. The thought you touched on about the generic-ness of American Muscle is disheartening to me. A MX-5, Mustang, or Corvette is in it's own right a very nice car for the dollar, but I could have one because there is no exclusivity in it. To me it would be like, "hey yo, my car is individualized now, 'cause I plastidipped the wheels!" But what options do you have? There are hundreds of thousands of them on the road, and serious car people desiring exclusivity they have to look elsewhere if they want to stand out from all the sheep/lemmings with racing stripes.


The other side of me argues that my kind of thinking is taking away from the fun of car culture and turning it into an elitist snob fest. What can you do when car driving is a necessity, and a luxury at the same time? This is probably a discussion philosophy should stay out of, or I should just realize some of gravitate towards say Volvo modified car culture to distance ourselves from less reputable car culture groups and call it a day. There's no need to write papers on it, it just is what it is.


Haha, see what I mean about going left field? Haha, we'll put it this way, if Han Solo was here today in modern car culture, I think he would be driving a highly modified Jaguar XJS and not a riced up WRX, like the one you see below. Classy, yet still 100% a scrappy rogue.

*Photo borrowed from oldiscool_kelly on Instagram
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it would be a lot of fun to have lunch with you. I love reading your take on all these things!

As TopGear always says, the American Muscle is great for the blue collar worker. Affordable daily driver to work, put it on the drag strip at night.

America is great for letting us do just about anything to cars, but we also have very dangerous roads and drivers. It's not like the 60s, when you could "safely" race by going out at midnight when there weren't millions of other cars on the road. I know my dad saw his fair share of trouble with the law and his cars.
My pastor is probably the worst of them all. Some of his story from 60s and 70s racing... Drifting around the courthouse in his small country town, the sheriff walked out and knew it was him, just shook his head and told him to stop.

Nowadays, you see people trying to recreate Need for Speed or Grand Theft Auto on the real roads, putting people in danger. Powerful cars can be purchased for cheap, maybe too cheap? I will admit to having spent many hours watching mustang burnout fails on youtube, so I do agree that powerful cars should be a little more exclusive to the more matured. But that's also completely against the roots of Nascar.

Times are changing though, and unfortunately, people are dying.
I have a lot of friends in Europe, while I pity the trouble they have to go through just to change a headlight bulbs and have it reinspected, their strict rules help keep people safe. But the other side of the coin is that strict rules discourage modification creativity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Something I love about the C30 is the uniqueness of it in stock form. It's such a rare car on the roads in the US, every time I go to the gas station, someone walks up asking me what it is. The fact that I have received a :thumbup: from a line of Ferraris and Lambos, tells me that they know Volvos can be cool and they also appreciate seeing a rare car.

The first time I went to a local car meet, my car was flocked by the crowds. No one had ever seen one before, no one could believe it was a Volvo AND manual, and everybody wanted to drive it. Sometimes I'm sad that the C30 never really took off in sales, but it wouldn't be as special if it had.
 

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Thanks, mate! Let me know when you are in town, and I'll show you the most dull eating choices available in my little college city.

I ran across and article on Jalopnik that made me think about this theme quite a bit, especially concerning my hatred of the idea that the stance crowd represents car culture to many people.

In regards to that, cars equal a form of artistic expression. But the same way graffiti is cool on one wall, it's incredibly hated on the next. It seems a real shame to spoil the fun the kids have with those P.O.S. cars, but it also seems a terrible idea to share the road with them or hear them drive by without some form of ear protection. A little mentor-ship from real car people could help temper things a bit, but I can't help but see it as lazy car specialization with question financial backing. Is it judgmental of me that when I see these wanked out cars I think of "bald tires, unsafe suspensions, and problems with authority?"

For the younger crowd I interact with I try and point them towards a different path. The conversation goes something like this.

1. First get a number of how much money you have to spend. Something like $4,000 is a good start.
2. Don't look to go new. Go old school, something that's got a body you can do something with an a fairly reliable drive-train.
3. Buy the car in reasonable condition for about 1/3rd of your budged.
4. Expect to have to spend another third of your budget making sure the car is running correctly and road worthy.
5. Spend your remaining third of budget on personalization.

With DIY one third of a budget makes personalization go a respectable way: e.g. a cheap Maaco paint job is actually a reasonable paint job if you do the prep-work yourself before hand.

I repeat over and over again that money put into this car will not be gotten back out on re-sale. They HAVE to be ok with loosing this money and spending A LOT of time on the car. This is way an older car is perfect. They can be purchased reasonably, aesthetic mods can be adapted in pretty cheaply with some know how, and once finished nicely the finished product can get respect from the custom car community and the older crowd - read those who were the target audience when the car was new - who always liked the car. I aim to enforce that being the "best" at something is a silly goal to reach for, as there will always be faster, nicer, more niche cars for the super wealthy that can be had for the right amount of $$$$$. I try to teach that the goal in this exercise is to build your own mobile man cave, tailored to you specifically. It's the same way that a $2,000 suit can look cheap if it doesn't fit, and a $25 suit from Good Will can look spectacular if properly tailored.

I'm trying to start a car club of sorts where the qualifier is the car has to be 20 years old or older and preferably European. Currently there are three members. We have a 1992 Mercedes 300CE Sport, a 1988 325E, and a 1993 Jaguar XJS, all in varying stages of repair and road worthiness. The club is tentatively called "The Dust Bunnies." I've been trying to come up with a logo, so it can become official, but I'm still working on it.


FYI: the XJS is my car. It was born out of a long love affair with old Jags and my following the rabbit hole down to the core of my "individualistic automotive soul." Haha, I was watching Jim Jarmusch's Only Lover's Left Alive and the main character was driving an XJS coupe. It clicked as the car I could build for me, and there was no reason I could not retro-fit into it all the modern tech I want into it since there is no complicated electronics.*

My dream is to to fit in a custom instrument cluster/infotainment center that's made up purely of old school computer 80's green and black colors only. Haha, THIS original in car GPS has me salivating, and I'm just waiting for someone to make a conversion mod to replicate the style for our modern cell phones. I little know how, a little electronic mimicry, and I'll have my retro-80's future car that will be everything I want it to be. It won't be fast, but I don't care at all.



* Complicated electronics that can't be bypassed or ignored. I have the 6 cylinder, not the v12. Pretty simple stuff compared to modern cars
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·


While I have to agree that the stanced scene is a little overdone, especially since it's for some reason cool to keep a tally of how many oil pans you crack... I'm not really one to talk with my static ride height just 2" above the pavement. I like a bit of camber and a lower ride for improved handling; but I may have lowered it just a little bit further to stand out. ;)

It's almost not even about the car anymore. I'm not saying "I told you so," but it's fun proving my family and friends wrong that having a lowered car makes it unusable. I know it's ridiculous, but I just can't bring myself to raise the car. Especially since the roads in GA are pretty smooth, I might scrape occasionally, but I used to drive this car nearly 1000 miles a week and never had any problems.

This last week I went in for an alignment; I'm really disappointed in the shop I went to. Kaffman tire and Firestone both turned me away. I understand not wanting to touch a modified car, but to flat out turn down business for an alignment means they've now lost my business for anything else. I might be lower than a Corvette, but with the length of the nose on those cars, they scrape on the alignment racks too. They were just too lazy to get out the plywood ramps for me. How much do you want to bet that they still align their employee's slammed Miata and Jetta? Both cars lower than mine.

So the place I ended up going to, smaller "major" chain store... My rear camber is set at -2°, that's within factory spec for the C30! I tell them I would like an alignment, but not to change my camber. If they were to alter the camber, the tires would rub my fenders. The shop manger looks at my car and says "I can tell you right now that your alignment is bad your wheels are at an angle." Me, "I know, it's set up that way for improved handling." The manager, "No, that's not right. Your car is messed up." Me, "It's fine that way, I just need the front wheels aligned and pointed straight. I just replaced the front control arms and disconnected the steering tie rods, it got loosened when I hooked them back up and now the car pulls to the side."
They take my car back and aligned it. Once they pull back around he says, "Your wheels are pointing straight but don't expect it to stay that way for long with your camber being so far out. Here's the parts you should buy to fix that. By the way, your tires are going to get chewed up." I know my way around a car and I'm familiar with a wrench, but I don't know everything about alignments... How is my toe going to get messed up by my camber being at the extreme end of factory spec? I know the tires will start coning, even at -1° there's uneven wear in the rears, as you've mentioned previously with C70s.

1 year or 12k mile warranty on their alignments, but he didn't mentioned it as they were checking me out. I asked him, "so this is good for a year or 12k miles, right?" He said, "No, we won't warranty work on a car that's messed up."

I don't like the price, but I'm going to the dealer for alignments in the future. At least they have respect for their customers, I just don't like their ignorant techs who take lazy shortcuts and prove themselves incompetent once you double check their work.

Rant over.
 

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This thread turned out to be completely different than what I expected, but has been a pleasure to read :)
 

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If you had come to my shop and we didn't have a pre-existing relationship, or I didn't have a good working knowledge of Volvos, I wouldn't have done the alignment either, especially if I had to get boards out to get it on the lift. I won't think it fair to my techs to take on the hazard of damaging a customer's vehicle getting it onto the lift or have a complaint for a come back one something not working correctly because of incorrect suspension modification due to something the customer. Your car is very likely to be an exception, but the modified car world is a hazardis one for a shop since we are held liable and have to face the wrath of the general public if something goes badly. A ranting review, regardless how stupid sounding the rant, to the general public sounds like, "I just wanted them to do an ALIGNMENT, and then they ripped parts of the under side of my car, it doesn't drive in a straight line, and now I have to buy 4 EXPENSIVE TIRES. They refuse to do anything about it!!!!"

Meh, I won't take the risk or put my tech through it unless I know the customer. I won't even take off an aftermarket wheel that's non-hub centric or has a mis-match bolt pattern if I can help it, and if I do, I note it on the receipt that I do not guarantee the wheel is balanced or that it will stay on.

We all know the story of bad ball joints, broken power steering racks, stripped lug nuts, and all the rest. On a personal level I like modified cars. As a business? 7 out of 10 modified cars is a P.O.S. that's a ticking time bomb that I don't want to go off on my lot. Lolz, two grand examples: VW owner destroyed his manual transmission by putting it in reverse in an attempt to slow down faster (it punched holes in things!) or the Viper owner who put washer fluid in his master cylinder and is experiencing clutch failure... Not my monkeys, not my circus.


Haha, I have a couple mates with heavily modified Nissan 240s with more than a bit of extreme negative camber and stretched tires. I make them do their own alignments, on their own time, and I sort of giggle to myself at the hour it takes them to get the car on and off the lift.

That said, I would never insult the customer's vehicle to their face. The more angry I get, the more polite I am. There is no logic to the general public.



Haha, this is almost like the potAtO vs PoTatO sort of thing. We know what the other means, we are annoyed at stereotypes, yet realize we sort of exist in the same stereotype, yet wish to avoid association. Lolz, maybe we should get back on topic for the C30 rally car? I can see it with some meaty bit tires, DON'T FORGET WHITE LETTER SIDE WALLS, that's kind of a rally trademark and so very cool....
 

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This thread turned out to be completely different than what I expected, but has been a pleasure to read :)
Haha, yes, Prolix is involved. For some bizarre reason most conversations he joins, the conversation goes way off track. No. idea. why. Someone should alert the mods.

Karma police, arrest this man! He buzzes like a fridge. :)
 
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