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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

As the title states, I bought my 2.4L V70 (equipped with what I believe is ZERO options) exactly 6 months ago and have so far put on a whopping 18,608 miles! This isn't a show-off thread, and certainly can't be qualified as a build, but I instead would like to share things I've done, plan to do, and double check my choices and options with you wonderful swedespeed folks. Also, this can serve as an example for those racking on miles-a-plenty. Most of my life I've been fairly car-tarded, but for the sake of my dignity, skillset, and wallet, I have been doing everything I can either solo or with help from friends. Although a very rare poster here, I have become a semi-regular lurker... what a great group this forum is! Very resourceful, and all these sexy wagons! ;) Anyway, here's some info...

THE CAR
Purchased: July 4, 2015 (yes, really) - 67,891 miles (easy to remember!)
Currently: January 4, 2016 - 86,499 miles

"ALL THOSE MILES!?"
I clean aquariums and bird aviaries for a living for a nationwide company, and handle the greater "Chicago" area which is a bit over 50 units in about 30/35 locations. For those familiar with the region, the far corners of my territory include...
Freeport, IL to the NW
McHenry, IL to the North
Bloomington & Normal, IL to the South
Michigan City, IN to the East
Ft Wayne, IN to the SE
The clients are serviced either every 4, 6, or 12 weeks depending on their contract. Most clients are in semi-nearby suburbs, but even with careful planning of "I'll hit a few in that area", I have been adding miles like crazy. And to think I was bragging about breaking 20k a year a few years ago

CURRENT UPGRADES/MNTC/STUFF
-Oil changes every 5-7k - I always use full synth and have a home stock of Mahle filters. A change was done before I purchased the car, and I am due for my next which should be in a week or so
-ATF drain/fill - after a newbie flub, all ATF was drained and replaced with Toyota Type4. How often should this be repeated?
-Volvo rubber floor mats
-Weathertech Cargo mat
-Akebono Euro front brake pads - did it myself! (read: with a helper)
-New timing belt, tensioner, idler, and water pump/coolant - did it myself!!! (read: I assisted a very car-savvy friend who was cool enough to lead the project in exchange for booze and cash)
-Window Tint - 35% all sides/rear :cool: this was a bday gift to myself, and Ive been quite happy with the results. I personally hate the "light up front/black in rear" window look and, being too cheap to buy prescription sunglasses, the tint provides some appreciated eye relief
-Scanguage II - this was a xmas gift from my girlfriend, she's so awesome :D I'm hoping between this and my Haynes I can stay ahead of things and keep the car reliable and running myself

FUTURE PLANS (being realistic)
-headlights - I had a headlight go out about a week ago, and when I went to replace it I noticed the sockets black shielding was cracked, and didn't want to bulb swap until that was addressed. I've seen the headlight insulator online, I plan on getting that and replacing it with the bulb
-taillights- my lower left taillight (with the fog light) doesn't light up when I turn on the lights. However, the fog light *does* work. I plan on getting a new socket, I'm hoping that does the trick. Also, the center brake light stops working when I have the lights turned on (functions when lights are off). I'm really hoping the taillight socket will magically fix this, but I'm not exactly holding my breath.... any thoughts?
-tires - I would like to upgrade two of my tires. The front wheels received General Altimax RT43's before I bought it. I plan on keeping those, and replacing the Atlas Tire Touring Plus's in the rear. All four still have decent tread, I would just like to upgrade a bit. I would really, really like to pick up a 5th wheel, and use one of the wheels with the Atlas's as a spare. If I pull out the tray below the cargo area, will a full-sized spare fit?
-Garmin GPS wire - In my last car I had my GPS cord wired into the dash at the lower left corner of the windshield, and I miss it. Badly. The cord snake is so fugly. One day I'll get a voltage converter and tackle it myself this time!
-rear brake pads - I'll for sure get Akebonos to match the front, I'm just wondering how soon? I dont hear any squeals or feel anything funny, but as far as the Carfax mentions, I believe these have never(!) been replaced. Am I beyond the point of just swapping pads, and need to consider rotors as well?
-mud flaps - I already purchased front and rear, HOWEVER... I somehow cracked the front/right pulling out of my icey parking lot *grumble grumble*, and accidentally purchased the rears for the 2005-2007 body style. I then proceeded to be too lazy to return them within the allowed time frame. Although they do a nice job of weighing down crap in my closet now...
-cargo net - I would like to get a OEM net. I know there are a few different options out there, realistically I'll pull the trigger when I find the right deal while simultaneously having some "car cash". So, y'know, never. Just kidding, I hope
-sound system - I have the HU613 and bottom of the line sound. Being a road warrior and a sound/hifi nerd, this has been a rough adjustment. I would like to eventually get the HU813/PA200 and replace the speaker with the nicer OEM options. I would love the sub and center spkr, but I dont think that is exactly realistic. I'm wondering what the best order to do this is? I've heard that swapping the head units makes a big difference, but are the bare-bones speakers capable of handling higher wattage? This has me wondering if I should swap the speakers first. Regardless of the order, this will be based on what I find cheap and ideally local. And done in stages and opportunities arise
-Euro rails/roof rack - I think this would help the look (break up that monstrous white roof a bit), and be handy for hauling/major trips. Because of the size, I'm waiting for a local deal. They pop up from time to time, just never at the *right* time...

PIPE-DREAM UPGRADES ("look at all this money I just found!")
-aluminum skid plate - this maaaay be a realistic item, but that would probably have to be a "I just got my tax return!!" purchase. I currently have no guard underneath, which is a little scary considering my mileage numbers, but the metal may be a bit too ballin' for me. I'm kind of kicking myself for not jumping on IPD's 25% off sale that just ended...
-new wheels - I would love to get me some Tellus rims
-snow tires - ...at least for this year. This winter has been so weak it hasn't even really entered my mind beyond the snow dump we got at Thanksgiving
-fog lights - I have no front fogs, and have always wanted them on a car (I've always missed out!). I would be happy with OEM, but I cant justify the funds/work needed to install them. Some of those hardcore spotlight-types on the bumper would be super cool!
-leather/heated front seats - although there are XC70 and other V70 part-out cars online that pop-up locally, I just doubt I'll ever want to fork over the cash for new seats... is adding just the seat-heaters to my cloth, manually adjusted seats a relatively simple task?
-metal cargo barrier - these are wicked cool, and could haul a mean drunk I'm sure, but I'm guessing I'll settle on the net. I know flying cargo of any type is no joking matter, but most of the junk I haul isn't very heavy or blunt
-XC70 center counsel handle - I love the "oh s#%t!" handle in the center of the XC70's, and occasionally catch my girlfriend using the hinged center armrest to lean on when adjusting, so it would be super cool to have one. But I imagine that woudl require swapping a whole lotta stuff that woudl certainly not be worth it
-IPD sway bars - I reckon my car has no rear sway at all, and I imagine this would really help remove the "driving a boat" factor. But that's a lot of money to make a non-turbo slug a bit more fun to corner in

IDEAL/EXPECTED LIFESPAN?
Not 100% sure here, I'll just leave it at "a lot". I replaced my last car at 191k. It hurt not hitting 200, but I personally added over 150,000 miles which was a cool milestone to hit. If I can repeat that my V70 will be at 217k, which I feel is a good point to shoot for (at least). I would *love* to get Dave Barton's "distance to the moon in this Volvo" sticker, and plan on driving this wagon until I fall through the floor. So stay tuned for some very slow progressing posts detailing the journey!

IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN...
I would for sure get a P2 V70, but I may hunt down a FWD 2.4T/2.5T. The non-turbo model is painfully slow, it quickly became apparent to me that these cars are really meant to be turbocharged. I'm very happy with my MPG numbers with the na engine, but knowing what I know now, I may sacrifice a MPG or two for a gas pedal that actually responds HAH! so I suppose you could add "installing a turbo" to the pipe-dream upgrade list. Although XC70s turn my head, I don't think they would be a good choice for me. They are pretty inefficient for the amount of driving I do, and I actually like the lower look of the FWD models. Plus, I drive all paved roads in what is just about the flattest part of the country. And I choose my own schedule, so if/when a serious winter storm rolls through, I can wait a day for the plows ;) But I must admit, I loooove all that XC black trim!



I think that's it for now. Feel free to comment/suggest/advise/insult any and all of the above.

PICS TO FOLLOW SOON!
 

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VIDA/DiCE will make your DIY life easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now a few pics, taken this afternoon. For those paying attention, keep in mind my dash shot was before my drive home...


I coated the grill myself. I give my effort a C+ and will one day get a dubstop eggcrate replacement.






Im a long time, but not obsessed, fan of the band Lagwagon. Those of the age to remember the early Tony Hawk video games should youtube search 'May 16'. I figured their logo would be a hilariously appropriate choice for the non-turbo... and give hot-heads tailing me in traffic something to cuss about!



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So I will again state for the record that just flushing the HU-613 for aftermarket will really liven up stock speakers. Now for the caveat: IDK if your speaker are the same as they are in a T5, since I expect that you even have the manual climate control and cloth seats. The OE panel (series starts with an 8 (charcoal) not a 9 (gunmetal) for double DIN or with the box for single DIN is near visual perfection, unlike any of the aftermarket choices. I merely have a low-level JVC from 2007 and I can pick up crisp highs and the lows rattle the door panels.
Oh, and cute dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thaxman - I do recall you stating that in a previous thread. I would assume I do *not* have the speakers that came in T5s. I found some specs on the stock audio systems, and IIRC there are 3 tiers of speakers. Having manual hvac, seats and the lack of (insert option here), I would guess I have the most basic. I dont blast music or bass, so I would like to think I could swap units and not damage the speakers. I think(?) they were all 4 ohm, so the load shouldnt be too much different. I would just be bummed if I upgraded one aspect and then unintentionally damaged other parts in the process.

Im slightly picky about keeping a stock look, so odds are Ill just hunt down a HU803 instead of an aftermarket. But I appreciate the info!

And thanks! Davie, aka "Boots", is my girlfriends Yorkie/Poodle. He's a great condo dog and is quite well mannered considering he is the ripe old age of 2

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the OE panel in the correct color is simply not available.

I got two of them sent to me recently.
8xxxxx PN on the box, 9xxxxxxx PN in the box.

much sadness.

You either find one used, or you paint the grey one to match.
Hopefully my 613 replacement happens this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Not 100% sure on what you guys mean by the panel... are you saying the trim around the head unit is different for the 613 vs the 803? Or you mean for fitting an aftermarket into the dash.

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2004 was a one year color (the darker interior plastic) and the cover and mounting plate for an aftermarket radio is unavailable in that dark grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Copy that!

I guess that solidifies hunting down a nicer volvo unit for an upgrade

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Nice update and great work. A turbo engine would be more fun but you cannot deny the reliability of the non-turbo!

How are you for maintenance? Maybe a fresh air filter and spark plugs will help with performance? My fun car has 250whp/275wtq and I've never found my V70 to be that slow.

Some other thoughts:
- ATF: I also flushed mine (with help from your post!) and plan on doing a drain and fill every 25k km. Flushing can be a PITA.
- Headlights: the factory plastic connectors get very brittle. Ceramic connectors can be had for cheap from eBay or Amazon.
- Rear brakes: remaining life depends on pad and rotor thickness. Rotors could be reused if they're still within spec, but might be worth considering new parts at this point. I have Akebonos and I'm not happy with their lack of cold bite but they work alright when warmed up.
- Skidplate: I have the aluminum plate and it's not worth it IMO. Save your money and get a plastic replacement, or spend it on sway bars instead!
- Center console: center consoles are easy to remove and swap. I assume the XC70 one will work without drama.
- Sway bars: an absolute must IMO. Throw in poly subframe inserts and solid strut brace mounts and the V70 handles significantly better.
 

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I have the HU613 in my 2001 V70 T5 with the center speaker. I added an amp and a 10 inch sub connected to the pre-amp outlet on the back of the head unit and I have to say it sounds pretty decent. I wasn't expecting too much out of stock speakers with 175,000 plus miles on them but with the addition of the sub the system really improves. I also added a bluetooth input. The factory head unit makes keeping the controls on the wheel much easier. The equalizer settings on the HU613 are also easily adjusted through the "hidden menus." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQ6bwC1DzM. Clearly, the stock head unit in a 12 year old car can't compete with what the aftermarket offers now but it certainly can be set up to sound pretty nice.

*EDIT - Apparently only the 800 series head units use a center speaker so the grille in my dash is only decorative. Here's a link to a thread that lists the speaker and amp combos http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?2825-HU-613-Sound-System-Upgrades. I must have the base 613 setup with the 25 watt output because I have no factory amp. The amp I have driving the sub is a Rockford Fosgate that I had lying around. It's 300 watts bridged and it's hooked up to a 20 year old n a/d/s RS10 dual voice-coil sub I also had lying around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Maybe a fresh air filter and spark plugs will help with performance? My fun car has 250whp/275wtq and I've never found my V70 to be that slow.

Some other thoughts...
Thanks for the reply! I believe we got our wagons around the same time. I haven't changed the spark plugs yet, those should be on the "realistic upgrade" list. That and a cabin air filter. I checked the engine air filter which looked just about perfect. I guess I'm (unfairly) comparing to my old car... I left an Acura RSX Type-S, which was no rocket, but had a manual 6spd and was waaay more fun is terms of handling and pep. But I suppose a 500% increase in cargo and comfort are worth it. Oh, and getting a getting a car that had 130k fewer miles when I bought it!

I appreciate all the other thoughts! I have been drooling over the skid plate, but I just really liked the badass factor and cutouts for easy oil changes. I suppose I could just get a plastic one and use a dremel to cut out my own holes. I suppose I'll move my mental budget to new rotors and sway bars. I'm fairly certain mine is bare bones enough to have no rear bar, I wonder what the difference would be picking up a stock rear from a part-out FWD v70 should I come across the opportunity? Hmmm time will tell I guess!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have the HU613 in my 2001 V70 T5....

The equalizer settings on the HU613 are also easily adjusted...

*EDIT - Apparently only the 800 series head units use a center speaker so the grille in my dash is only decorative...
Thanks for the info! Most of that confirms what I've researched. Unfortunately because of my cargo/hauling needs I'll probably steer away from aftermarket amps and subs. I suppose I should pounce on a head unit and other volvo equip sooner than later, these parts aren't getting any younger!
 

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The amp I used fit behind the passenger side panel back by the tail light, and if you use an 8" sub you could pretty easily fab up a down-firing enclosure that fits between the spare and the battery that will fit below the rear floor. You could also make something similar to the OEM sub but it wouldn't be as effective.
 

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It's a nice looking car. And I like the N/A 2.4 I just love that lazy, smooth progression with the auto box. Not sure if you guys got the 140 and the 170 but mine's the 140 and there's plenty of go around town and on the motorway. I'll admit it probably lacks something on open roads.

We've only had ours since late summer and strictly speaking it's the car my wife uses so I haven't had chance to go to town on the mods but there are a couple of things I can help you with.
  • The roof rails or "Euro" rails as you call them really do transform the car. Mine came without and I picked some up from a local scrapyard. Really glad I did it and one of the few mods my wife commented on. It's also much easier than you anticipate. I'm terminally cack-handed and managed it in a few hours. Give me a shout if you need any pointers.
  • You did the right thing leaving the headlight socket connectors until you could replace it fully. I changed my bulbs and the plastic just crumbled to dust when I touched it making the job ten times more complicated.
 

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damn I thought I'd found the lowest mileage 04 unit when we got ours.
Not even close
A 2004 XC70 sold wholesale about a month ago, (in CA) with 32,000 miles!!!!!
 

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I have been drooling over the skid plate, but I just really liked the badass factor and cutouts for easy oil changes. I suppose I could just get a plastic one and use a dremel to cut out my own holes.
I discovered that the oil filter cutout isn't big enough on the IPD plate. If the car is at an angle (ie only the front is lifted), then the plate catches oil dripping from the filter mount. I had to remove the plate anyway to clean up the oil. The next time I remove it, I'm going to cut the cutout bigger.

I'll dig up my post about this in my thread later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Augh what a PITA that is, and especially considering the cuts out were probably a selling point for most folks....

Big thanks for the heads up!!

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