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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own and work on a P1 S40 AWD T5 and previously owned an 850 T5, but admittedly really never worked on it, so I am also looking for some advice.

I've been searching for a while, and basically I am waiting for one to come up for sale locally in Colorado, I'd rather not have to ship or buy based only on seeing something online.
The reason I posted this here instead of in the wanted ad's section is because I also want your opinions on what to look for when I'm buying; and I see a lot of you p80 guys are always looking at whats for sale.
I want to know which years are best/easiest for an m56 swap, possibly turbo swap and tuning. If these questions have been answered on SS, a link to the thread would be appreciated.
I am familiar with some common problems but not all of them.
I would love an enthusiast or SS member owned car but since my plan would be to start a new build, I'd rather not have a bunch of performance stuff done already before I bought it, but some would be acceptable. So mint condition isn't necessary, not well taken care of and no preventative maintenance would be probably be a deal breaker.
Would prefer a wagon but sedans are okay.
Anyway, any tips for buying or leads/links would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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First, if you haven't read THIS yet, I would recommend doing so.

The 850R/T-5R: Easier to manual swap IMO. An M56 swap is pretty straightforward, everything will bolt right up. You can do a M66 swap if you are feeling more adventurous or want the extra gear for whatever reason. I'm planning on putting a M66D (out of an '06 V70 D5) in mine to get the revs down and mpgs up on the highway. The software is also pretty straightforward. The guys on VolvoSpeed have figured out how to tune the computers ourselves and I plan on doing that when I get that far. The downside of the 850 is you get the N engine block which isn't as good as the RN block (see next paragraph), especially if you're looking to do a build. You can do an RN swap and that's pretty well documented, but there there is a lot involved with that. The engine management system also isn't as good, as long as you're comfortable dealing with the more complex system in the V70.

V70R: AWD adds quite a bit of complexity; you either need a M58 out of an 850 AWD (very rare; none in US, something like 250 in Canada I believe) or an AWD variant of an M66 (much easier to source and lots of ratios to choose from - I'd look into an M66E if I was going to build a V70R for myself but if you're not going to do a lot of highway driving than maybe you'd like the tighter ratios of something like an M66C better. The problem with the M66 is that you need some custom parts for a couple of things that won't bolt up. I'd talk to Hussein about that. I think he has made those parts for some people and I might talk to him about them when I get to the point of needing them. 99+ cars have ME7 which is more difficult to deal with in a manual swap. Maybe Scottishbrick can chime in on that since he seems to have figured out how to deal with ME7. I believe the the RN block arrived in the V70R in 99. Read up on RN engines HERE.

Choosing between V70R and 850R/T-5R really depends on what you're looking for. The 850 will be easier to work on and probably cheaper to run, but the V70R has higher upside if you want to do a serious build. The V70R is a LOT easier to get at this point. I'm seeing very, very few 850R estates in any condition on the market these days (drastically fewer than even a couple years ago) and the good ones are getting expensive. I'd say the 850R estate market is up about 40% in the past 2 years or so; we're definitely past the bottom of the market. 850R sedans I think are at the bottom now but we might be here for a while because there are so, so many bad ones that have to be restored or scrapped before values will move. Even then, there's not much unique about a high performance sedan and I think cars like the E36 M3 and the C36 AMG take a big bite out of the 850R sedan market so they will probably never go as high as the estates. The V70R market has been pretty flat the last year or so; I think we're at the bottom now. There will probably never be a better time to buy a V70R. I think a lot of the less perfect V70Rs that we find in the $1-2k range on the CL thread are being bought by non-enthusiasts and I'm betting a large portion of those will be scrapped within the next 3-5 years. As this happens, I think the prices of all P80R estates will approach the level that the yellow T-5R estates are at currently ($7-10k) which will I'm thinking drive up the decent yellow T-5R estates to around $12-15k before the decade is out (rmorse already turned down a $12k offer on his). As these cars approach 25 and we start being able to bring in UN spec Rs, I think the European market might start to drive up the US market as it is much higher than ours (a nice yellow T-5R estate there is already closing in on €15k; I've seen them listed as high as €18k). The V70R is easier to get in bold colors if that's something you want. The only exciting colors for the 850R/T-5R are 609 red and 607 yellow and I'd guess there are maybe 250 estates left in both of those combined. They are single stage paint so you need to be ok with needing to maintain it more than the V70R. I think the V70R is easier to get in Saffron or Laser Blue. Last I checked there was one of each for sale. If you don't want a bold color, there are a decent number of black 850Rs and V70Rs around, and a huge number of silver V70Rs.


I'll let other people talk about performance mods since I'm more into seeing how high I can get the fuel economy at the stock performance levels (I have to keep my inner car enthusiasts and inner environmentalist at peace with each other somehow). Honestly, our NA V70 has more enough power for driving around in Boston traffic, anyway.


With an S40 as your other car I think you definitely need an estate! But that's just me because I truly don't understand how anyone can survive with a sedan as their only car...I know we would have a lot of problems if we didn't have at least 1 estate car in the fleet.
 

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While the Rs are great, I would also consider looking for the elusive S70 and V70 T5Ms, FWD factory M56.
Then you can spend that transmission swap money on R seats and bumpers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks JaredR, im going to read what you linked...and thank you for the response!
So, for me, taller gearing would be fine, i do drive on the highway and i dont like cruising over 3k rpm. An m66 swap would be better, 4 or 5speed just isnt enough, but i didnt realize you could get those into the p80 v70r's. I noticed there arent many 850r estates for sale so thats why i was also looking for v70's. Whats weird is that i dont like s70's. I really like the v70 and both 850's.
The plans for the build is prettymuch bolt-ons only, and trying to convert to manual.
So which year is best for V70R's? before or after '99?

MNIWT: for a v70 T5M (if you could actually find one) which turbo is used on that and which is used on the V70R?
 

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So which year is best for V70R's? before or after '99?

MNIWT: for a v70 T5M (if you could actually find one) which turbo is used on that and which is used on the V70R?
Many folks don't like the ETM on the '99 and later cars so would tell you that you should get a '98. That said, I have owned three '99s and never had a problem with the ETM on any of them.

Just do a google search and you can find out the turbo that was used in each model.
 

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Thanks JaredR, im going to read what you linked...and thank you for the response!
So, for me, taller gearing would be fine, i do drive on the highway and i dont like cruising over 3k rpm. An m66 swap would be better, 4 or 5speed just isnt enough, but i didnt realize you could get those into the p80 v70r's. I noticed there arent many 850r estates for sale so thats why i was also looking for v70's. Whats weird is that i dont like s70's. I really like the v70 and both 850's.
The plans for the build is prettymuch bolt-ons only, and trying to convert to manual.
So which year is best for V70R's? before or after '99?

MNIWT: for a v70 T5M (if you could actually find one) which turbo is used on that and which is used on the V70R?
1998 T5 & R - 16t strait flange

1999 T5 - 16t angle flange, R gets 18t angle flange upgrade

2000 T5 - 16t angle flange, R gets 19t angle flange, green injectors, dual exhaust, stronger internals.
 

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Many folks don't like the ETM on the '99 and later cars so would tell you that you should get a '98. That said, I have owned three '99s and never had a problem with the ETM on any of them.

Just do a google search and you can find out the turbo that was used in each model.
ETM is easy to diagnose, replace or have rebuilt better than new. You do get ME7 engine management which is far superior (torque demand, actually senses boost) post 99. 99 R is probably best bet since it has a better transmission, 2000 R has the 5 speed that isnt great in terms of longevity unless flushed religiously.
 

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Thanks JaredR, im going to read what you linked...and thank you for the response!
So, for me, taller gearing would be fine, i do drive on the highway and i dont like cruising over 3k rpm. An m66 swap would be better, 4 or 5speed just isnt enough, but i didnt realize you could get those into the p80 v70r's. I noticed there arent many 850r estates for sale so thats why i was also looking for v70's. Whats weird is that i dont like s70's. I really like the v70 and both 850's.
The plans for the build is prettymuch bolt-ons only, and trying to convert to manual.
So which year is best for V70R's? before or after '99?

MNIWT: for a v70 T5M (if you could actually find one) which turbo is used on that and which is used on the V70R?
I will have a V70R M66 ( 98 or 00 your call) for sale at the end of February, starts as stock with ALL OEM parts and seals replaced refreshed engine, bevel gear, 07 P1 tranny.
If you wand upgrades (rods, turbo, fuel pump, injectors etc) I can do that with a deposit. PM me for more and better info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1998 T5 & R - 16t strait flange

1999 T5 - 16t angle flange, R gets 18t angle flange upgrade

2000 T5 - 16t angle flange, R gets 19t angle flange, green injectors, dual exhaust, stronger internals.
thanks for the info man, i really appreciate that.
I will have a V70R M66 ( 98 or 00 your call) for sale at the end of February, starts as stock with ALL OEM parts and seals replaced refreshed engine, bevel gear, 07 P1 tranny.
If you wand upgrades (rods, turbo, fuel pump, injectors etc) I can do that with a deposit. PM me for more and better info.
ohh, that sounds good.. And i used to live in philly and from NJ i may be able to swing a trip back around that way for the right car...
will PM you shortly.
 

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Thanks JaredR, im going to read what you linked...and thank you for the response!
So, for me, taller gearing would be fine, i do drive on the highway and i dont like cruising over 3k rpm. An m66 swap would be better, 4 or 5speed just isnt enough, but i didnt realize you could get those into the p80 v70r's. I noticed there arent many 850r estates for sale so thats why i was also looking for v70's. Whats weird is that i dont like s70's. I really like the v70 and both 850's.
The plans for the build is prettymuch bolt-ons only, and trying to convert to manual.
So which year is best for V70R's? before or after '99?

MNIWT: for a v70 T5M (if you could actually find one) which turbo is used on that and which is used on the V70R?
Has it occurred to you that maybe you don't like S70s because we didn't get the S70R? I agree that regular S70s look pretty weak compared to the V70Rs. I like estates better in general just because they're awesome and can move stuff, but I don't think the S70R is a bad looking car. There's a nautic S70R clone (R bumper, slightly lowered, Titans, I bet the owner is either on here or VS) in the Boston area that I got to walk right by a couple times on my way to work over the summer and I thought it was a very sharp car.

Let's try it:





So if you go with a wide ratio M66 (the D and E are pretty much the same aside from FWD vs AWD), you'll have to import it from Europe because they're all in diesels. The RWD guys have proven this is viable since a lot of them have brought in M90s for their 9 series projects, but you'll have to decide if the awesomeness and extra fuel economy are worth the cost. For me, I figured the payoff period would be about 30,000 miles in increased fuel economy, but I figured that a couple years ago when I expected gas to be back up to $4 by the time I had an M66D in my R. At the rate I'm going gas will be at $1.50 before I get it put together, but reducing my carbon footprint and making the cabin quieter on the highway were also huge parts of my decision to do it, so I'm still ok with it. I think I also estimated in that calculation that shipping would cost more than it looks like it's going to. WARNING! I've had some issues getting mine shipped over, but I think that's mostly a product of the place I got it from. The only real issue I have with them is that they don't seem to be able to tell me whether the pallet is ISPM15 compliant or not, but, if you get into this, you'll quickly find that the customs people will throw a fit if it's not. As long as the pallet is compliant, it should be a pretty smooth experience. Once I get that straightened out, it looks like I can ship it with TNT for like $250. That's not bad.

With a M66D and 215/45/17 tires, you should get 65 mph at about 1870 rpm in 6th with the 3.77 final drive or 1990 rpm with the 4.00 final drive.


The T-5R and automatic 850R use the 15g. Factory manual 850Rs have the 16t, but it's not like we have any of those here.

I agree that the ETM/TPS problems on the 99+ cars isn't a huge deal. My dad just rebuilt his without any issues and I think he said the new TPS was like $120 or something. If you get a 99+ car where the TPS hasn't been done, it WILL wear out eventually. The aftermarket replacements apparently don't wear out. Spending $600 for the one from whatever that place is that sells rebuilt ones for $600 is not necessary for anyone who owns a soldering iron and knows how to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yeah i saw that last night, really nice car, but for me, the fun in owning one of these isnt just driving, its buying parts - upgrading - fixing etc.
Im sort of looking for a project - not a huge restoration but something close to stage 0... I wouldnt mind getting to stage 0 myself but usually sellers here on SS have maintained the cars pretty well and i dont want to start with something thats been neglected. ANd like I said, this^ car is awesome but what would i even do with it, just drive it and park it?

Has it occurred to you that maybe you don't like S70s because we didn't get the S70R? I agree that regular S70s look pretty weak compared to the V70Rs. I like estates better in general just because they're awesome and can move stuff, but I don't think the S70R is a bad looking car. There's a nautic S70R clone (R bumper, slightly lowered, Titans, I bet the owner is either on here or VS) in the Boston area that I got to walk right by a couple times on my way to work over the summer and I thought it was a very sharp car.

Let's try it:





So if you go with a wide ratio M66 (the D and E are pretty much the same aside from FWD vs AWD), you'll have to import it from Europe because they're all in diesels. The RWD guys have proven this is viable since a lot of them have brought in M90s for their 9 series projects, but you'll have to decide if the awesomeness and extra fuel economy are worth the cost. For me, I figured the payoff period would be about 30,000 miles in increased fuel economy, but I figured that a couple years ago when I expected gas to be back up to $4 by the time I had an M66D in my R. At the rate I'm going gas will be at $1.50 before I get it put together, but reducing my carbon footprint and making the cabin quieter on the highway were also huge parts of my decision to do it, so I'm still ok with it. I think I also estimated in that calculation that shipping would cost more than it looks like it's going to. WARNING! I've had some issues getting mine shipped over, but I think that's mostly a product of the place I got it from. The only real issue I have with them is that they don't seem to be able to tell me whether the pallet is ISPM15 compliant or not, but, if you get into this, you'll quickly find that the customs people will throw a fit if it's not. As long as the pallet is compliant, it should be a pretty smooth experience. Once I get that straightened out, it looks like I can ship it with TNT for like $250. That's not bad.

With a M66D and 215/45/17 tires, you should get 65 mph at about 1870 rpm in 6th with the 3.77 final drive or 1990 rpm with the 4.00 final drive.


The T-5R and automatic 850R use the 15g. Factory manual 850Rs have the 16t, but it's not like we have any of those here.

I agree that the ETM/TPS problems on the 99+ cars isn't a huge deal. My dad just rebuilt his without any issues and I think he said the new TPS was like $120 or something. If you get a 99+ car where the TPS hasn't been done, it WILL wear out eventually. The aftermarket replacements apparently don't wear out. Spending $600 for the one from whatever that place is that sells rebuilt ones for $600 is not necessary for anyone who owns a soldering iron and knows how to use it.
the saffron s70'R' looks nice for sure, i see what you mean. I had a p80 sedan already and i was hoping to find a wagon, unless its just something i cant pass up.

I'm unsure how i would work out shipping a transmission (are the US-spec m66's not going to work?)

AND- what do you guys think about buying something online? What would you do or what have you done in this scenario? I'd like to find something local that I can see, but obviously there are a lot more options online. How easy or hard is it to buy sight unseen and ship?
 

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T5M S70 with some carefully selected modifications will walk all over stock and lightly modified V70R wagons because it's lighter, has more appropriate gearing and launches because no AWD. Ask me how I know...


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yeah i saw that last night, really nice car, but for me, the fun in owning one of these isnt just driving, its buying parts - upgrading - fixing etc.
Im sort of looking for a project - not a huge restoration but something close to stage 0... I wouldnt mind getting to stage 0 myself but usually sellers here on SS have maintained the cars pretty well and i dont want to start with something thats been neglected. ANd like I said, this^ car is awesome but what would i even do with it, just drive it and park it?



the saffron s70'R' looks nice for sure, i see what you mean. I had a p80 sedan already and i was hoping to find a wagon, unless its just something i cant pass up.

I'm unsure how i would work out shipping a transmission (are the US-spec m66's not going to work?)

AND- what do you guys think about buying something online? What would you do or what have you done in this scenario? I'd like to find something local that I can see, but obviously there are a lot more options online. How easy or hard is it to buy sight unseen and ship?
A US spec M66 will work; it's just that, since we didn't get diesels, we didn't get any of the wide ratio M66s. Honestly I'd do a M56/58/59 swap before a close ratio M66 because having to shift more for no apparent gain doesn't justify the extra work of a M66 swap. Some people like having closer ratios, so it may make some sense depending on your build.


Shipping a car isn't a huge deal and can definitely be worth it for the right car.
 

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AND- what do you guys think about buying something online? What would you do or what have you done in this scenario? I'd like to find something local that I can see, but obviously there are a lot more options online. How easy or hard is it to buy sight unseen and ship?
I have found cars online and have bought from a distance a few times and it's worked out pretty well. Once I've identified a car I like I have gotten service records, pics, spoken with seller a few times with typical questions, had PPI done or spoken with mechanic that's done most of the work, and then have a price negotiated subject to my satisfaction with an in person inspection. I have done the one way airfare and drive back process and in one case where I was trading the car driven my trade to the dealership (4 hours away) and drive the car back. I suppose I could have shipped it but my long distance buys have been at most 700 miles away and it worked out cheaper to just fly out and drive back. I like to drive and the trips back have been a lot of fun, confirming all the good things you liked about the car and developing a list of the things you plan on addressing when you get it home.

I would not be willing to buy a car sight unseen and ship it to me without me going over it and driving it myself - that's just me. Most sellers are pretty flexible about things like this and if they are not I move on. Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Shipping a car isn't a huge deal and can definitely be worth it for the right car.
I have found cars online and have bought from a distance a few times and it's worked out pretty well. Once I've identified a car I like I have gotten service records, pics, spoken with seller a few times with typical questions, had PPI done or spoken with mechanic that's done most of the work, and then have a price negotiated subject to my satisfaction with an in person inspection. I have done the one way airfare and drive back process and in one case where I was trading the car driven my trade to the dealership (4 hours away) and drive the car back. I suppose I could have shipped it but my long distance buys have been at most 700 miles away and it worked out cheaper to just fly out and drive back. I like to drive and the trips back have been a lot of fun, confirming all the good things you liked about the car and developing a list of the things you plan on addressing when you get it home.

I would not be willing to buy a car sight unseen and ship it to me without me going over it and driving it myself - that's just me. Most sellers are pretty flexible about things like this and if they are not I move on. Good luck with your search.
Thanks, I've shipped my own car before and that's not what i'm worried so much about, its transferring titles and things like that i'm unsure how to do, but i assume a google search could answer most of those questions for me.
Unfortunately i don't have the time or money to really fly out somewhere just to test drive a car-- if it were a higher dollar purchase, i would consider it.

I found a 98 s70 T5M for sale in CONNECTICUT. higher mileage, unsure of the cars history right now though. It looks pretty nice, Looks enthusiast owned (see: dave barton style moose sticker)
i'm going to post a picture of it because I want to see if anyone recognizes the car. Hopefully you all can help, I have this feeling someone will know about the car... its no longer owned by whomever 'built' it, before it was in CONN, it was from MASS. any help would be appreciated. Where are the build plates located on these and is there anything specific i should ask thats not obvious?

here's some photo's of what Im currently trying to negotiate a price on.

 

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Don't buy that. Was for sale all fall, price dropped lower and lower. Disappeared, came back in the market two weeks later on CT.

Go look at the t5m wagon Bob has for $1200. Better bet, cheaper. Needs a fender, hood if you're picky. It's a 98 so R interior from 98s is a easy swap (they're more common)


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^ i figured someone would say that, Usually when somethings too good to be true... thanks man.
edit: which one is bobs?
 
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