By on September 29, 2014


After the success of TTAC‘s first AMA (featuring contributor Jim Yu and his VW Phaeton), we are proud to announce that the second AMA has been lined up for Monday, October 6th.

Our first participant will be one of our very own readers, and the featured car will be a 2004 Volvo V70R wagon. Yes, it has a stick shift and a rear-facing third row of seats. It is not brown.

Following that, we will be hosting AMAs on a regular basis. I was proud to say that the response was overwhelming (my inbox was inundated with volunteers), and we have lined up everything from a DeLorean to a Previa to a 100,000 mile Elise to a Ferrari and all points in between. Thank you to the readers who have volunteered their time and their sanity to help make this feature happen.

For those of you who have an interesting vehicle but have not stepped up yet, email me, derek at ttac dot com. We will need a short blurb on your vehicle, a photo or two, a time that works for you and your TTAC user name to schedule you in.

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29 Comments on “Announcing Our First Reader AMA...”

  • avatar

    I saw one of these the other day at the gas station! The owner and I stopped and talked for, like, thirty minutes. I can’t wait to read the AMA.

    • 0 avatar

      The V70R is a dream car of mine. The hard part is that if they’re not cared for, they age like milk. They can be a hoot, but also very civilized.

      Clarkson did a very good review of the S60R on Top Gear back in 2004-2005 time frame.

      • 0 avatar

        I wouldn’t doubt that “Chip Tunes” do a number to their longevity too.

        I just wonder how they are to work on as well, coming from 2 used Volvos you gotta be mechanically inclined to get a used example going, or wealthy.

        • 0 avatar

          Having worked for a Volvo dealer during the “real” R years, they’re not bad. No worse than any V70/XC70. The biggest thing with them is that the control arms are unique to the R’s so if they bend, they’re going to be hard to get replacements for soon. Not that it happened often but it did every once in a blue moon.

          They weren’t a “cringe car” like anything wearing an early T6 badge. Plus, the white motor is nearly bullet proof as long as you keep the PCV system clean.

          • 0 avatar

            Having to swallow that pill, how does one “keep the PCV system clean”, particularly without having to remove the intake? Some sort of procedure? Oil additive? Volvo Vudu?

          • 0 avatar

            There’s a “flame trap” (PCV valve) that’s servicable as recommended every 15k IIRC. It’s a < $10 part and I can't honestly recall where it is located but it was usually done as part of the 15k maintenance services.

            Also, removing the intake on a white motor is surprisingly easy. Electronic fans make accessing the manifold not too bad. The hardest part is getting to the bolts underneath, that is easily done with 12" extensions and a swivel head socket.

  • avatar

    If I thought for a second that anyone would want to read about an Xterra (supercharged, stick shift, brown too!!!!), I’d do an interesting write up. I have a very turmultuous relationship with it… and I love it.

  • avatar

    AMA is going to be one more feature in addition to Jack’s (and others’) rental vehicle reviews that catapults TTAC far above the Car-And-Driver-Fawning-Over-Every-Vehicle-Advertised business model yellow automotive journalism.

    There’s a Tony Swan comparison review of the outgoing Hyundai Veloster against the new Volkswagen GTI where he gives the win to the Hyundai by TKO – it’s at newsstands now.

    Next week he pits a Lingenfelter tuned Nissan Versa against a C7 Stingray.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you seen Regular Car Reviews? He’s done the Veloster Turbo, and the C7 Stingray, and the C3, and a K-car New Yorker, and a Toyota Echo, and an S2000, and a Cayman, and a V6 Mustang, and a DeLorean. And dozens more.

      But my absolute favorite has to be his take on the Toyota Tacoma.

  • avatar

    Former owner of a 06 V70R 6 speed manual.

    On paper or from afar this car seems like the dream family man’s performance wagon. In reality it has many shortcomings which make daily life hard. The suspension was never quite right. soft and flinty or hard and flinty, your choice. The turning diameter of 43+’ made Suburbans feel downright maneuverable in tight spaces. The 4″ of ground clearances didn’t mix well in an urban environment. The tight rear seat room really diminished the practicality of this practical wagon. The headlights on high beam absolutely sucked as Volvo converted the halogen pencil beam into a DRL (at least in Canada). Anything over about 60 mph was driving way over the lights.

    On the plus side: great brakes, seats and stereo.

    • 0 avatar

      The headlight aim issue was common on anything that Volvo made in the mid-late 00’s equipped with Bi-Xenon’s. It was odd that to turn on the hi-beams- placed the lights in perfect aim for where the low beams should be. It was easily fixed by having the dealer manually aim them and then reprogram the REM (rear electronics module) to accept that position as default. This reset the auto aim adjustment for rear end sag/load.

      The DRL in the normal high beam spot was the same in the U.S. as well.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes the problem was compounded by aiming the bi-xenon lamp low but how Volvo felt that deleting the high beam halogen was a good idea? The xenon was simply not focused or powerful enough to be a stand-alone high beam. For a company that wraps itself in the safety blanket I cannot think of worse things than diminishing the lights..

        • 0 avatar

          Yes. Oddly, the S60/V70’s and S80’s are the only ones that got that shortcoming. The XC90 and S40 both got halogen high beams that operated in conjunction with the tilt-motorized Xenon low beam. Odd.

  • avatar

    Hm I have an 87 dakota, long box 2wd, auto, and it’s the only year ever for the carburated 3.9, as well as the first year the 3.9 was made. 166000 miles and I’ve never seen another one (that model year at least). Also have a 93 jeep cherokee 2 door, high output 4.0 with a 5 speed. Lifted and a lot of good aftermarket work done. Also a rare bird being a 2 door with all the options.

  • avatar

    um, no, when you asked for submissions for Reader Ride Review you did not even have the courtesy to reply with a No, thank you.

  • avatar

    I have a 2001 B5 Audi S4 with 160k in Nogaro Blue. The biturbo v6 is tuned a little with some german/american go fast bits.

    • 0 avatar

      …..and how many times have you replaced the turbos? No lying now…..

      I had one as well (with some go fast bits) and while it was one of the best cars I owned, it was also the least reliable vehicle I owned.

      Turbos went at 30k
      Dash lights lost pixels at 35k
      Power windows at 40k
      Tiptronic ecu at 41k

      However, the dealership treatment and experience was phenomenal. Once they understood that my car had real problems and that I was not a car hypochrondriac, they never once questioned me. Everything was repaired under warranty without any grief.

      • 0 avatar

        I used to work at Superior Autohaus which is Independent Audi and Porsche Speciality shop in Atlanta over summer semesters and I bought the S4 two years ago from a client because they blew the engine for failure to replace the timing belt. It was odd because the car had an extensive service record except the owner always refused belt replacement.

        I put in a used 2.7t from a 2000 A6 2.7t manual with 115k including turbos so presumably 115k turbos in good nick. I replaced all the problem bits on the engine (spider hose, engine mounts, secondary water pump, vacuum hoses, valve cover gaskets etc).

        Things I have done also was replace the sagging headliner with black suede, rear right window regular, put on light weight 17″ bbs rk wheels, h&r prem performance coilovers, control arms, Akebono/Textar Brakes, APR stage 1 to 13 psi boost pressure, APR bipipe to elimiate ttb boost leaks, and AWE Tuning twin 2 exhaust.

        So to answer your question, yes I am still on original turbos, but you have to warm up the 2.7t at 2000rpm and wait for the oil temp to be over 200 degrees F before you can boost. Thats why K03s fail early is because you have to warm up and cool them down religiously.

        Overall I have only 8 grand in it including the car and I have put over 10k on it with multiple 8 hr road trips. I believe Audis are reliable cars because we frequently see S4s with over 200k but they have to be really well taken care of to almost an anal level. Also my presepective of Audi reliablity is screwed because I have a place to take it to to work on.

        Also my pixels are still dead :(, but I have no CELs :)

  • avatar

    I suppose this post would be interesting to me if I had any interest whatsoever in some 2004 Volvo or another.

    I’m not.

    For this reason, I assume 16.593 people have zero interest in the car I drive, and maybe, just maybe, three or four do. I therefore don’t see much point in publicly preening in detail about the choice I made. Who cares?

    Am only interested in new or less than two year old models still on the market.

    That’s me – YMMV.

    • 0 avatar

      Some people, myself included- will mostly enjoy reading owner reviews of their cars. As long as the article is halfway well written and well edited, I think reading reviews of cars from an owners perspective will be much more reliable than reading buff book reviews of the same car, albiet a little newer. You never know who’s got their hands in the pockets of the the mainstream mags.

      As far as TTAC reviews are concerned, there’s only so many articles the current pool of writers can contribute before going stale. This idea of “reader/owner reviews” not only serves to bring a new segment (that you’re welcome to not read if you’re not interested), but also brings a potentially welcome source for new regular contributors should their skills be deemed fit.

  • avatar

    I’ve got a ’99 BMW M Coupe currently at 275k miles with full service, fueling, and registration documentation from the day my father took delivery at the factory in South Carolina. I drove it daily for four years until finally getting fed up with getting 20 MPG on premium gas and buying $700 in new rear tires every year. Oh, and I’ve done all my own maintenance since 2009. It’s been an adventure, but I’m still absolutely in love with the car.

    On the other side of my garage is a ’05 Jaguar X-type Estate (wagon) with all-wheel drive, 5-speed, and the 3.0L.

    If anyone’s interested in knowing more about either of these relative unicorns, AMA.

  • avatar

    Interesting car. I’d ask a question, but I can’t seem to get around the spam filter, even after removing all manufacturer names.

    • 0 avatar

      I figured out the evil words.

      Do you do much winter driving? If so, how do you like the winter performance of the AWD system?

      My buddy was cons*dering one of these to replace a Legacy GT sedan, in order to improve cargo capacity. I figured that the FWD-biased Haldex AWD system wouldn’t suit his style of frequent and extensive s*deways winter driving. Are you into that sort of thing at all? If so, how does it perform in that regard?

      Another buddy recently bought a wrecked VW R32 with Haldex AWD that he plans on putting back on the road someday. When I brought up that issue he said that he’ll buy a controller and set it at full-time 50/50. So maybe that would be enough to eliminate any possible shortcomings.

  • avatar

    I should suggest that once these articles become large in number, a dedicated section on the navigation pane would be useful. “I wanted to look at superchan7’s review of his sweet 2008 Camry and digest his hot-blooded passion for vanilla…..”

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