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Hello,<P>I just joined, mainly for one reason. I am considering purchasing a used Volvo for the purupose of towing a boat. I have noticed that many Volvos have tow ratings up to & slightly over 3,000 lb. I have a boat that weighs 2,800 lb. loaded. Can anyone provide me with advice as to how suitable these vehicles are for towing? I don't want to be struggling up hills and, frankly, the rating seem as if they would be highly optimistic. Can anyone recommend a particular model? I would like a wagon and want to spend in the $10K to $15K range.<P>Thanks,<BR>Mark
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B> Can anyone provide me with advice as to how suitable these vehicles are for towing? I don't want to be struggling up hills and, frankly, the rating seem as if they would be highly optimistic. Can anyone recommend a particular model? I would like a wagon and want to spend in the $10K to $15K range.<P>Thanks,<BR>Mark</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Mark,<P>all Volvo models (the only one I am not sure about is the 240) are rated to tow 3,300 lbs. with the exception of the S/V40s. Now, would towing 2,800 lbs. be as enjoyable with an 850 non-urbo as compared to what it would feel with an 850 Turbo? Certainly not. So, I would definitely recommend a turbocharged model and/or a 960 wagon (6 cyl. non turbo but rated 197/201 HP). I would also recommend switching to synthetic fluids and also consider installing a transmission cooler. Pretty inexpensive add-ons and they are great preventative maintenance. For the money you want to spend, you should be able to find either one of these models, just make sure that you check them out thoroughly before you buy one.<P>Good luck and welcome to "Schweetspeed"!<P>Yannis<P><P>
 

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Yannis, <P>Thanks! That was definitely "Schweetspeed", I just posted this a few minutes ago. A few quick questions if you don't mind (or for anyone else). Are you SURE a turbo is okay to tow with, I've always been told stay away from gas turbos for towing (turbo works too hard). Can I tow this much with a manual? Lastly, do you have any personal experience towing this much with a Volvo? Sorry to sound like such a skeptic, they're just aren't any cars of this size rated to tow this much and I want to make sure I'll be happy.<P>Thanks again,<BR>Mark
 

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My 2 cents...<P>My brother has a 2500 lb boat and pulls it with his 92 240. It isn't the easiest to pull with that car, but it works. Personally I would recommend, like Yannis, either a 960 or 850. Both push a good amount of torque (esp the 850 turbo). Speaking of turbos, unfortunately I cannot answer your question about turbos being bad for pulling boats.<P>On a side not, I'm selling my 96 850R for $16,500 OBO. I know it's higher than what you're looking for, but it's well worth it, esp if you want to use this car as a daily driver as well.<P>Matt<BR>[email protected]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B>Yannis, <P>Are you SURE a turbo is okay to tow with, I've always been told stay away from gas turbos for towing (turbo works too hard). Can I tow this much with a manual? Lastly, do you have any personal experience towing this much with a Volvo? Sorry to sound like such a skeptic, they're just aren't any cars of this size rated to tow this much and I want to make sure I'll be happy.<P>Thanks again,<BR>Mark</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>No problem, I understand your skepticism. I, personally, do not have anything that needs to be towed (our bikes fit very well on the roof! Hehe!) but I know way too many of our customers who tow anything from little U-Haul trailers to 19' (5.8m) boats!<P>Just make sure that the <I>combined</I> weights of the boat/trailer do not exceed 3,300 lbs. (1,496 kg). The turbocharged engine of a Volvo should do very well just make sure that you do add the transmission cooler and definitely find a car that was meticulously maintained. If it's a very high mileage car, I am not sure I would switch to synthetic; use an excellent quality dyno oil. Otherwise, a full synthetic oil would be great.<P>Yannis<BR><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B>Yannis, <P>Are you SURE a turbo is okay to tow with, I've always been told stay away from gas turbos for towing (turbo works too hard). Can I tow this much with a manual? Lastly, do you have any personal experience towing this much with a Volvo? Sorry to sound like such a skeptic, they're just aren't any cars of this size rated to tow this much and I want to make sure I'll be happy.<P>Thanks again,<BR>Mark</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>No problem, I understand your skepticism. I, personally, do not have anything that needs to be towed (our bikes fit very well on the roof! Hehe!) but I know way too many of our customers who tow anything from little U-Haul trailers to 19' (5.8m) boats!<P>Just make sure that the <I>combined</I> weights of the boat/trailer do not exceed 3,300 lbs. (1,496 kg). The turbocharged engine of a Volvo should do very well just make sure that you do add the transmission cooler and definitely find a car that was meticulously maintained. If it's a very high mileage car, I am not sure I would switch to synthetic; use an excellent quality dyno oil. Otherwise, a full synthetic oil would be great.<P>Yannis<BR><P>
 

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Thanks for the prompt response guys. I'm starting to think pretty seriously about this. I do need to take some time and get acquainted with all of the Volvo models and specs. I'm a 26 year subscriber to Car & Drive but for the last 15 years have been more truck oriented. I have to do a lot of driving now for my job and want to conserve fuel (and have a fun car to drive). If I could find a car that meets all the criteria (w/o being a big tub like a Crown Victoria), that would be great. Sounds like a Volvo may just be that car!<P>Thanks again,<BR>Mark
 

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Mark,<P>Welcome to Swedespeed!<P>Are you looking for a sedan or a wagon? For Volvo's, there are a ton of different options in the 10K-15K range. The 940 Turbo Wagon in particular might be a good option since they are very inexpensive and easy to maintain. They use a bullet-proof 4-cylinder Turbo (B230-FT) rated at The 162 bhp and 195 lb. ft. of torque. <I>ipd USA</I> has a good selection of parts for this car to make it an excellent tow vehicle.<P> <IMG SRC="http://pongo.net/upload2/tony1963tony/91940f1.jpg"> <P>Another option would be to get a 95+ model 960. They use a very smooth normally aspirated 2.9 liter inline-6 (B6304-F) making 181 bhp and 199 lb.ft of torque. The 95+ model year and later cars have very good torque characteristics down low, due to a different camshaft profile. Another nice thing about these cars is that all of them came pretty much fully loaded, if you want some extra luxury. They are comfortable daily drivers as well.<P> <IMG SRC="http://www.prosperpoint.com/146/8324-4147.jpg"> <P>I hope this helps a little!<P>-Drew<P>
 

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There are only 2 cars I'd consider for this kind of towing. The 700 series <BR>Turbo {740('85-'92)/760('84-'90)} Turbo and the 940 Turbo ('91-'95).<P>I really wouldn't want a FWD car for heavy towing, plus the 850 is known <BR>to warp rotors fairly easily. Otherwise, the 850 is an excellent car.<P>The 960 may be full of luxury, but it comes at a high price to buy, and a <BR>higher price to maintain/replace. Broken timing belts seem to be a <BR>frequent occurance with the 960, mostly because owners don't change <BR>them soon enough (every 30K). The head then has to be rebuilt and the car <BR>may never be quite right again. The 960 is a risk, and if you can find one <BR>cheap with low miles that has a documented history, it might be worth it.<P>The 700 and 940 Turbo both use the same transmission, the AW71, which <BR>is very strong and it will last a long time if properly cared for. Add <BR>synthetic fluid and a larger cooler, as was mentioned above.<P>With a 2.5" exhaust and a manual boost controller, it's quite simple <BR>to add another 20-30hp to the B230FT engine. I would recommend a '90 or <BR>later model because of an improved engine, and in the 940, the '93-'95 <BR>engine is even better (w/piston oil squirters), and '95 is the best <BR>because it has a reinforced block as well. The '90-on models had a smaller <BR>Mitsubishi turbo and a better flowing exhaust manifold which combined for <BR>better low end performance and very little turbo lag. A Garrett T3 was <BR>found on '89 and older 700 turbo models.<P>The 940 has very large brakes and the 700 can be upgraded to these "jumbo <BR>brakes" with a kit from MVP if it doesn't already have them. IIRC, the <BR>jumbo rotors are 11" diameter and 26mm thick, compared to some 700 brakes <BR>that are 11.25" diameter, but only 22mm thick. With slotted rotors <BR>and a good semi-metallic performance pad, these brakes should have no <BR>problem with slowing down a fully loaded tow vehicle. Stainless steel lines <BR>are available from IPD and ATE Blue brake fluid would be a good choice, <BR>available from CFI Motorsports.<P>I would expect a very clean low mileage 940 Turbo to fall at or below the <BR>price range you specified, even with a few upgrades. Add a better trans <BR>cooler, install IPD sway bars, and think about adding overload coils <BR>which are also available from IPD.<P>Good luck.<P>
 

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Hey guys,<P>Thanks for the informative reply. Now that I'm getting a bit more familiar w/ the product thanks to you, I can say I'd probably avoid the 850 considering it's FWD. Interesting they would rate it to tow that high. Also, I like the idea of having inline-6 low-end torque and have to admit I like the lines on the front of the 960 better than the 940 (hey, looks count for something).<P>I think I'll spend some time looking at the specific model posts and checking auto trader on-line to get a better feel.<P>Thanks again!<BR>Mark
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> So, I would definitely recommend a turbocharged model and/or a 960 wagon (6 cyl. non turbo but rated 197/201 HP). <BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>The 960 may have more HP, but I hear its prone to a larger number and more exspensive mechanical problems? My mom has a trailor hitch on her 940 turbo wagon. We have gone from around the chicago area to Virgina beach with a small U-Haul trailor. No problems. We are hauling my sisters stuff back from FSU this summer. I'll tell you how it goes.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B> Also, I like the idea of having inline-6 low-end torque and have to admit I like the lines on the front of the 960 better than the 940 (hey, looks count for something).</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Looks certainly do count. My dad has a 940 turbo sedan. It doesn't have the egg crate grill like the 940 wagon. Instead, it has a chrome grill like the one on the 960 sedan(a 964, 4 being number of doors, 960 series wagons are 965, that goes for all series, 244(sedan),245(wagon),744,745,944,945 etc to clearify and making things easier to type out.) I am sure you can find a 944 or a 945 with a chrome grill that will look a lot better than the 940 egg crate grill.
 

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Here is my/my dads car. Partly mine cause he uses my hatchback to drive to southern Illinois for work because he doesnt like to put miles on the 944. Here are some pics. <BR> <A HREF="http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=0f2a921780321f55bcd7f5b942a8f2f7&attachmentid=48465" TARGET=_blank>http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=0f2a921780321f55bcd7f5b942a8f2f7&attachmentid=48465</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=0f2a921780321f55bcd7f5b942a8f2f7&attachmentid=48466" TARGET=_blank>http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=0f2a921780321f55bcd7f5b942a8f2f7&attachmentid=48466</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=601877f2c5799d42eae448df05a63a33&attachmentid=48467" TARGET=_blank>http://forums.paintballcity.com/attachment.php?s=601877f2c5799d42eae448df05a63a33&attachmentid=48467</A>
 

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Hey thanks, I guess when I'm referring to grill, I actually mean the whole headlight, marker light & grill set-up. On the pictures of the 960 posted above, the heaadlights are narrower and the corner lights wrap-around the fender more. I think the headlights on the 940 (which look like they are also on some older 960's) look too big. Can anyone tell me when they when to that headlight style on the 960's (940's also?)? Also, did this correspond to any other major changes (e.g. interior). I do that, in general, the newer the interior on a Volvo, the more I like it but I have to emphasize the "general" part.<P>Thanks,<BR>Mark
 

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I am not positive, but I believe the narrowest headlights for the 960 /S90 appeared in the 95 model year with the updated engine, and front suspension (they changed the design of the front suspension to be very simialar to the 850, supposed to have given a much better driving experience). As for the reliability of the 6 cyl. the earliest models did cause some problems but these were sorted out in the next year or so, and the 95 on models were very good. Having towed a u-haul from New Brunswick to Ontario (about 1000 miles) with my 89 740 GLE (the 16 valve engine) I can tell you that even with the extra power from the 16 valve the car was not really happy. It drove fine(handling and braking), but struggled a bit with the load, I would definately recommend the six for it's extra torque (the turbo's would be better in that respect than the 16 valve too, but I think the 6 would be even better). In any case avoid the non turbo 4 for towing, it just has to work too hard (it will do it but...). As I said above stabilty with a trailer is not a problem, so Volvos do make good tow cars if you get the right engine. Good luck <BR>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B>Can anyone tell me when they when to that headlight style on the 960's (940's also?)? Also, did this correspond to any other major changes (e.g. interior).<P>Thanks,<BR>Mark</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P> <IMG SRC="http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3724837/1021917929355_97_960_5.jpg"> <P>1995 was when the 960/S90/V90 got major changes, including the exterior, interior, engine, and suspension. The most important consideration when finding one used, it to make sure it has complete records.<P>-Drew<p>[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 05-21-2002).]
 

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Hey guys,<P>Thanks again for all you help. I would say me tentative choice would be a 95 or newer 960. Conincidentally, there was a letter to the editor in Trailerboats magazine in the June issue about a guy who had a 740 (turbo, I believe) and who towed a 19' fiberglass boat (over 3,000 lb.) and had put MANY miles on it so the testament for Volvo durability is pretty much there.<P>Mark
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by biederboat:<BR><B>Conincidentally, there was a letter to the editor in Trailerboats magazine in the June issue about a guy who had a 740 (turbo, I believe) and who towed a 19' fiberglass boat (over 3,000 lb.) and had put MANY miles on it so the testament for Volvo durability is pretty much there.<P>Mark</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>See? How that 4-cyl. engine was enough? A "little" turbo will do wonders for a small displacement engine! I, personally, would still go for an 850 Turbo. The 960 has a lot less leg/head room in the rear and it will not be as sporty as thhe 850 Turbo. You should also get a little better gas mileage with the 850 Turbo and it is...FWD! Just in case you are going to be traveling (sans the boat, of course!) in snowy areas.<P>Yannis<P><P>
 

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Okay okay, I promise to check them out. The points you make are important as I will be using it as a ski vehicle.<P>Thanks again,<BR>Mark<BR>
 

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Wow Drew, that is one pristine 960 interior! Wow, that is spectacular, where do you pull these photos up? Hey, this is off topic, but... (I'd got for the RWD car for towing, fwiw, biederboat)<P>Is the dash on the 960 the same as the 850? Also, the door panels on that 960 in your picture are beautiful. I suppose there's no chance those fit in the 850, eh?<P><P>
 
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