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My girlfriend has been looking for cheap transportation to take to grad school for awhile now. While looking through marketplace for old Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas that were both above her budget and total piles my family found her a little white S40:



It was within the stimulus check budget and had a laundry list of maintenance from all 3 previous owners so it seemed like a decent choice. It also turned out to be rather clean for a Midwest car:





Normally I wouldn’t involve myself with these Nordcar (I think that’s this generations name?) S40’s, but the 3 other cars we looked at either sold when we got there, had structural rust damage, or had interior mold from water intrusion. I know white block maintenance like the back of my hand at this point so I was pretty confident in this car lasting the minimum of 3 years that she needs for grad school. So that’s why she bought it and took it home a couple days ago:



When we got back I looked into fixing the passenger side headlight that was out. The PO said he replaced the CEM to fix a headlight error that caused the headlights to go out (I’ve never heard of this issue before but apparently it’s a Nordcar thing) so I was kind of worried about the repair but it turned out to be a corroded connection. Spliced some alligator clips on and it works like a charm. I should have ordered the $2 connector but shipping would have taken too long so I’ll redo it when it needs it. However, after the headlight replacement I stumbled upon this:



That sucked to see, but I should have seen it coming, especially at the mileage. I considered selling it off but because it’s so clean we decided to tackle the timing belt. Picked up the timing components and a serpentine belt and fixed it, but not without issue:



When reinstalling the water pump I over torqued the bolts and pulled the threads from the engine block.... luckily they were at the left side, or 9 o’clock position, of the WP. Those are all through holes so I got some high grade longer bolts and got them snug enough for no coolant leaks! Very happy that solved the issue. But if you notice, there’s also a small but apparent oil leak. I cleaned the engine bay as best I could to figure out the location of the leak. I thought it was front main seal at first but I’m fairly certain it’s exhaust cam seal now, so that’ll get done once she gets sick of checking/adding oil. You can kind of see it here, but this is pre-cleaning:


After the timing belt I chased a squishy brake pedal. I managed to crack open all 4 seized zerc fittings on the calipers to bleed the seemingly original brake fluid out of the system in favor of new dot 4 fluid. Only partially fixed the squishy pedal, so I think the pistons within the caliper are partially seized. All 4 calipers function, but there’s just corrosion within the piston.

And that brings us to present day, she got it insured today and it’ll be taken to pass emissions testing soon! This thread will be for the (hopefully) occasional repair and to look back when it’s all over and see how far it’s come.
 

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NICE! Very happy to see you found something for her. That timing belt was in dire need of r/r. Good thing you caught it, I've heard these cars can be really reliable. We had a 01' V40 that was our first Volvo ever, sadly it got tboned at low mileage. Those VW wheels caps, pure class!

I have a squishy pedal on the R, I plan on replacing the last two calipers soon. I believe it's a front that will cause it more than a rear, so check there first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
NICE! Very happy to see you found something for her. That timing belt was in dire need of r/r. Good thing you caught it, I've heard these cars can be really reliable. We had a 01' V40 that was our first Volvo ever, sadly it got tboned at low mileage. Those VW wheels caps, pure class!

I have a squishy pedal on the R, I plan on replacing the last two calipers soon. I believe it's a front that will cause it more than a rear, so check there first.
I’m glad we found something nice too! She’s very happy about the clean interior. My family had a 2000 s40 1.9T many moons ago that was also plagued with a weak braking system, my sister ultimately rear ended someone as a result of it. Which is why I’m rather stressed about fixing the braking system for my gf. She does drive muuuch more conservatively than I do, but a good braking system is always needed.

I’ve read that 2000 Nordcars have unique parts (which I’ve already encountered) but I’m not really worried about it because rockauto and partsgeek seem to have all the suspension components that would go bad and for really cheap prices (being the pinnacle of a cheap car lol). *knock on wood* My plan is to replace the front calipers first because that is where most the breaking occurs and would result is the most drastic improvement in less feel.

We’ll have to grab a beer when all this sh*t is over to show it to you! It looks actually decent in person lol


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The s40 made it 6 hours back from my parents place (where I replaced the timing belt) to Milwaukee without any hiccups! No coolant leaks from the WP, but the oil leak has persisted, at a very slow rate. The PO stated 0.25 quarts between changes at 5,000 miles, which I hope is true, but we’re keeping a close eye on it to determine when that cam seal needs to be replaced.

However, there was one thing that was discovered after her arrival:



I removed the passenger side headlight and turn signal assembly to fix the wiring to the low beam bulb. When putting the turn signal assembly back on the car, which was held on by a concrete screw, I must not have tightened it enough or got it in good? Idk, but regardless it for off! Luckily the bulb and socket remained, so a $23 assembly is set to arrive this week and I’ll figure out a better mounting setup.

But the lesson learned is that a turn signal assembly appears to be unique to the MY2000, which some others might need to know at some point.


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LOL this is gonna be entertaining.

Also it's "NedCar" not "Nordcar." These cars were built as a joint venture between Volvo, Mitsubishi, and the Dutch government.

I doubt highly that any of this stuff is specific to MY00. These things went into production in 1995, and we didn't get them until it was almost time for a facelift lol. Make sure she washes it in the winter; these things rust horribly. They may say Volvo and have a whiteblock, but they are lacking in a lot of the qualities that you're certainly used to in your P80s.
 

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LOL this is gonna be entertaining.

Also it's "NedCar" not "Nordcar." These cars were built as a joint venture between Volvo, Mitsubishi, and the Dutch government.

I doubt highly that any of this stuff is specific to MY00. These things went into production in 1995, and we didn't get them until it was almost time for a facelift lol. Make sure she washes it in the winter; these things rust horribly. They may say Volvo and have a whiteblock, but they are lacking in a lot of the qualities that you're certainly used to in your P80s.
Entertaining is I think the best way to describe my time with this car LOLOL

I've already experienced some of the shortcomings compared the P80's, VIDA doesn't seem to work on them at all, nor does Vol FCR which makes sense. Regardless, I'm very confident that it will be cheap transportation that will last her the three years she needs it for
 

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Entertaining is I think the best way to describe my time with this car LOLOL

I've already experienced some of the shortcomings compared the P80's, VIDA doesn't seem to work on them at all, nor does Vol FCR which makes sense. Regardless, I'm very confident that it will be cheap transportation that will last her the three years she needs it for
LOL yeah well I mean it's not exactly a real Volvo. This thing has cable throttle, right? I don't even know what the EMS is in these; maybe peek in the ECU box and see what you find? Might offer some clues as to what you need to diagnose it. Is it fast? I've heard these things make like 20psi of boost lol. Although idk if that's the 1.9T or the T4.

Also if it has the old school temp sensor, save the thermostat housing off this thing when you're done with it.....it's like the only useful thing on here for building P80s. Need it for any RN swap that's using the ME7 intake manifold since it has the boss for the coolant port and the old style temp sensor.
 

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LOL yeah well I mean it's not exactly a real Volvo. This thing has cable throttle, right? I don't even know what the EMS is in these; maybe peek in the ECU box and see what you find? Might offer some clues as to what you need to diagnose it. Is it fast? I've heard these things make like 20psi of boost lol. Although idk if that's the 1.9T or the T4.

Also if it has the old school temp sensor, save the thermostat housing off this thing when you're done with it.....it's like the only useful thing on here for building P80s. Need it for any RN swap that's using the ME7 intake manifold since it has the boss for the coolant port and the old style temp sensor.
It's badged as a 1.9T, engine code is B4204T2. It is zippy. I don't want to admit it but it feels much faster than the VR, and it probably is. Only weighs like 3000 lbs, 800 pounds lighter than my wagon :facepalm:
 

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I mean it makes 200 hp and has a twin scroll turbocharger. That’s why it’s zippy.

I have no personal interest in nedcar stuff but having driven one it drove like a p80 but felt like a p2. Weird.


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Subscribed. This should be fun. You need to get her those LSE wheels like these. They look like Tethys but are 4 lug.

 

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It's badged as a 1.9T, engine code is B4204T2. It is zippy. I don't want to admit it but it feels much faster than the VR, and it probably is. Only weighs like 3000 lbs, 800 pounds lighter than my wagon :facepalm:
Well, yeah, you bought a AWD P80 lol.
 

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I had an '02 S40 before my first '05 V50 and my son has an '01 S40 now. He really doesn't take care of it but I'm surprised how well it holds up. It is pretty easy to work on, though parts are getting harder to find. It is safe and reliable and somewhat fun to drive. What more can you ask for at the low price.
 

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I mean it makes 200 hp and has a twin scroll turbocharger. That’s why it’s zippy.

I have no personal interest in nedcar stuff but having driven one it drove like a p80 but felt like a p2. Weird.


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This thing is far from sorted so it neither drives nor feels like either. But it goes and stops! :p
 

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Subscribed. This should be fun. You need to get her those LSE wheels like these. They look like Tethys but are 4 lug.

I showed her that picture saying "look at these cool wheels!" she responded with "does that make my current wheels uncool?"
 

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I had an '02 S40 before my first '05 V50 and my son has an '01 S40 now. He really doesn't take care of it but I'm surprised how well it holds up. It is pretty easy to work on, though parts are getting harder to find. It is safe and reliable and somewhat fun to drive. What more can you ask for at the low price.
When we found this it was hard to say no, especially at such a great price. We really couldn't have asked for more!
 

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Well, yeah, you bought a AWD P80 lol.
Yeaaaaaa, I'm pretty wishy washy on my VR at this point. It's an awesome car with all of the goodies I want, but a laundry list of things to fix. Most of that list is expensive or simply not made anymore (@ an aftermarket downpipe). I'd love a p80/p2 v70 t5m, but then I'd have to source all of the nice R bits for that, and that would be expensive too. Of course finding a red one is hard too, but I do kinda have eyes for one rn

I switch opinions on it pretty regularly though, going from loving it to wanting to sell it LOL
 

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The bbs wheels for these are sweet. And come up semi often


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Yeaaaaaa, I'm pretty wishy washy on my VR at this point. It's an awesome car with all of the goodies I want, but a laundry list of things to fix. Most of that list is expensive or simply not made anymore (@ an aftermarket downpipe). I'd love a p80/p2 v70 t5m, but then I'd have to source all of the nice R bits for that, and that would be expensive too. Of course finding a red one is hard too, but I do kinda have eyes for one rn

I switch opinions on it pretty regularly though, going from loving it to wanting to sell it LOL
P2 T5M doesn't need R parts to be epic. My S60 currently has no R specific parts on it whatsoever. P80 R parts can be had. Either way, still cheaper to build a T5M than any AWD R.




The bbs wheels for these are sweet. And come up semi often


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oh yeah those are epic
 
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