By on October 6, 2014

YRTAKY5

This week’s AMA features user AlfaRomasochist and his 2004 Volvo V70R wagon.

AR writes

First of all, my user name is AlfaRomasochist which tells you a lot about me right there. I’ve owned at least one Alfa at any given time for the last decade plus, everything from a 1960 Giulietta Spider to a 1987 Spider Quad. I’ve also owned a few fun BMWs, Mazdas, and Datsun Z-cars over the years. With a wife and 4 kids under 12 – including one with special needs – I decided it was time to spend a little less time in the garage. I put the last Alfa up for sale ( http://bringatrailer.com/listing/1971-alfa-romeo-berlina/ ) and started looking for something for a manual V70R. 
The Volvo appealed to me because it would work year round in Denver, fit the whole crew to keep the miles off my wife’s leased CX-9, and still have the potential for a HPDE now and then. Plus there are lots of good independent Volvo shops in town. I found the car on Swedespeed after missing out on a number of cars with lower miles. I decided to pull the trigger mostly due to the remarkably good cosmetic condition considering the miles, plus it already had the 3rd row and integrated booster seats.
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86 Comments on “TTAC Reader AMA: 2004 Volvo V70R Wagon...”


  • avatar
    AlfaRomasochist

    Hi folks! Fire away…

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Having owned an Alfa (’60 Guilietta Sprint) and numerous Brit sports machines, agree fully with the “garage work” comment. However, all were quite fun to drive when they started.

    Still love the Volvo wagons and would gladly purchase a new 245 (hopefully with a turbocharged engine) if such things were made. IMHO, ‘twould make a great family car.

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      Yes, that’s another reason I pulled the trigger. I don’t know if we’ll ever get a performance family car with a stick shift again. To my knowledge the rear facing third row seat is also dead, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get a new replacement at the Volvo dealer anytime soon.

      The new V60 is dead sexy, though.

  • avatar
    handyjoe

    I’ve actually started looking at these for a family car myself. Is there anything to be on the lookout for? They seem like a great idea, but I’m just not sure how they hold up.

    Anything you would have done differently with your purchase?

    Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      I went in with my eyes open. These cars are 7-10 years old now, and they range from $6k or so for a high mile semi-beater to maybe $18k for the nicest one around. I bought one with very high miles but plenty of recent maintenance over one with half the miles for twice the money. I think I did OK, as I was expecting to have a few issues to deal with but there hasn’t been anything catastrophic so far.

      The sweet spot IMO would be a car with around 100k miles give or take for $10-13k or so, with the common issues already addressed; AWD angle gear, struts, timing belt, brakes, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        handyjoe

        Doesn’t sound too bad. What about year to year changes? It looks like the looks got updated a bit over the years, did anything significant change mechanically?

        (Also, there’s some on eBay right now…hmmm…)

      • 0 avatar
        AlfaRomasochist

        The 2004-2005 had a different automatic transmission – 5 speed vs 6-speed – and a torque limiter in the lower gears that seriously hampered performance. The manuals were fine. I think the AWD torque split was different in the ’06-’07 models as well.

        • 0 avatar
          celebrity208

          As a 2005 XC70 owner I suggest you only buy a XC/V70 that has had its PCV system repaired/serviced. In my experience, as documented on TrueDelta.com in addition to the PCV system, on a ~100kmi engine you should watch for: Engine Mounts and the AOC (active on demand clutch, integrated with teh rear diff).

          Oh, and here’s a CRAZY thing too look out for: Squirrels. On two SEPERATE occasions a squirrel decided that the wiring harness on our car was really tasty and pigged out! Insurance helped but paying the deductible still wasn’t fun.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    These were FWD or AWD?

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      Both. :)

      They’re AWD, but the system isn’t exactly Subaru quality so there are a whole bunch of these driving around in FWD only mode.

      One of the more spectacular failures involves the rear driveshaft rubbing against the exhaust resonator / bracket and eventually blowing up.

      That particular bracket is affectionately known as the “Exhaust Bracket of Death”.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I just saw a V70 on the lift last week with a non-functional AWD, and it was being worked on for some sort of exhaust issue. The more you know!

      • 0 avatar
        drivebywire

        Subaru quality?!
        Hahahahahaha

        Let’s set one thing straight.
        Haldex is a Swedish co.
        Subaru and Volvo both use Haldex AWD systems.
        And Volvo doesn’t leave it enabled when you drive to the mall, so your gas mileage doesn’t suffer like in a Subaru.

        So sick of Subaru over-marketing their AWD, that most drivers don’t need.

        • 0 avatar
          rdchappell

          Subaru uses Haldex?

          News to me.

        • 0 avatar
          rdchappell

          Also, gas mileage still suffers in decoupled AWD, because of the extra weight. You can turn a Subaru into FWD with the removal of a fuse, gas mileage doesn’t really get better.

        • 0 avatar
          benders

          Subaru doesn’t use Haldex.

          The opinion that most people don’t need AWD I won’t dispute.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Most people don’t need AWD, and most people don’t need more than 60 hp. But it sure makes driving more enjoyable when your 0-60 time is under 20 seconds.

        • 0 avatar

          Subaru doesn’t use Haldex’s AWD systems, period.

          You can hate on the all-time AWD if you want, but its not a Haldex system and is generally better because it is always sending power to the rear and front wheels all the time (especially if it is a manual) and therefore responds much faster to slip. It’s also a Subaru-developed system that came into being well before Haldex’s system did.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Have you experienced the joy of replacing a headlight bulb in the Volvo, yet? Or are there lots of people roaming the streets of Denver with small hands and freakishly long and strong fingers?

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      No, but now that you’ve mentioned it I expect one to fail any day. Mine has the Xenons, not sure if those are better or worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “How’re you going to make your way in the world, woman, when you weren’t cut out for working?
      When your fingers are slender and frail…”

      I suppose she could get a job replacing Volvo headlights, then…

      • 0 avatar
        vtecJustKickedInYo

        Im sure you can remove the headlight unit from the car without removing too many components. You can remove pretty much every Audi headlight by removing a few plastic pannels and having a T30. Could you guys correct me if that is not the case?

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I had to take the headlight assemblies out of my E46 due to lack of space to get to the bulbs. It’s a ridiculous puzzle with the headlights, a separate assembly for the turn signal, and a painted trim piece. Some bolts were difficult to get to. It was quite the hassle getting everything lined up again. I had to say close enough at a point that does not sit well with my OCD. It’s possible I did it all wrong, but I could take the headlight assemblies out of an E39 with just the glovebox torch for light. I blame BMW for my E46 troubles.

          tl;dr – Why do manufacturers have to make a simple bulb replacement miserable?

          • 0 avatar
            vtecJustKickedInYo

            I guess it varys from manufacturer. One thing VW Audi and Porsche got right was front end removal. Alot of them have a specialty headlight hex key that when you turn the key, the whole unit pops out. Takes 5 seconds, then you can use two torx and a hex socket and remove the front bumper and core support.

            However, then you have to actually work on the car :P

        • 0 avatar
          celebrity208

          I don’t have big nor small hands and I change the bulbs without removing the headlight assembly. It just takes some time “fiddling” and feeling around. I might scrape my forearm some but it is a dooable job.

        • 0 avatar

          nope, on a P2 V70R the whole front bumper has to come off to remove the headlight. Newer volvos just have two long pins (like an F-150 or Taurus) that you remove and the whole light slides out.

          It’s a huge pain to change the low beam on these body style Volvos.

          • 0 avatar
            vtecJustKickedInYo

            I believe C6 Audi A6’s are the same way when the adjusting headlight mechanism fails, you have to remove front bumper. It leaves a hard fault code illuminated on the dashboard and the only way to allieve it is to replace the whole unit. I believe a C6 A6 headlight is 1000+ dollars :D.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I really like the way these cars look, but never liked the ride/handling balance. Or the price new. But kudos for choosing a manual-transmission wagon, you are one of the few and the proud! In your shoes, the only other wagon option with a 3rd seat is an MB wagon, and those aren’t really much fun on a trackday, fine beasts though they are otherwise.

    So as one who sings the praises of the old 745s and 945s, and has owned a bunch of them, how is this P2 car to live with maintenance-wise? I have a sense of them from the Volvo mailing list, but nobody on their has an R.

    I too had my Alfa period, I had an ’86 Spider Veloce and an ’86 GTV6. I found that once I went through and did all the deferred maintenance on the Spider, it was utterly bulletproof for the 4 years I owned it. Ultimately I sold it because it was getting very rusty, and I decided I did not need two convertibles. I seem to have gotten too old to drive a convertible unless the weather is perfect. The GTV-6 was bought just as my work life expanded to take 99% of my wrenching time, so I just never got to give it the going-through it needed. Clarkson hit it on the head with his comment about the engine note though!

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      They’re at the stage now where all their quirks and issues are pretty well known. The most expensive maintenance items are the special 4C computer controlled shocks; a full set runs well into 4 figures even without labor. And there’s no current way to replace them with ordinary shocks without making the computers all unhappy. Fortunately the PO replaced the fronts; the back end is a bit crashy on mine but I’m hoping it’s something cheaper like mounts or sway bar links.

      Only two pedals on the Benz, unfortunately. And no 3rd row on the CTS-V, which is on my “some day” list.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        My 96 850R wagon is very crashy too. Actually it rides like an ’86 Trans Am, complete with similar chassis and cowl flex. You have the P2 chassis and I have the original but I think R’s ride towards the uncompromising.

      • 0 avatar
        liketheword

        You can switch to standard struts or coilovers: http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?202785-Alternative-to-4C-suspension-or-how-to-get-rid-of-it&p=2227466&posted=1#post2227466

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      To me, the E-Class wagon has an “old money” air about it which other wagons do not.

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        I think someone commented here a while back that E63 wagon buyers are the wealthiest around – exceeding the net worths of even exotics drivers. I don’t know if that’s true but I want it to be. E-class wagons and Lexus LX’s both have an understated wealth association to me.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I can’t speak to net worth figures, but the brand with the highest average income in customer base is Land Rover.

          The LX is a bit blingy to be understated (except maybe the very first LX450) – maybe a loaded up Land Cruiser in a dark color.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Does the R series share most common parts with the conventional V70, or is much of it specific to “R”?

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      It’s the same basic car but there’s a surprising amount of “R-only” stuff. The interior is almost totally unique, from the interior colors to the leather slathered everywhere to the unique “spaceball” shifter, which is one of my favorite things about the car.

      The engine is basically a standard 5-cyl V70 motor with the boost cranked up. There are plenty of visual details on the exterior but you could easily attach, say, a tailgate from a V70XC onto an R. In fact I’m thinking of trying to find a set of XC roof rack rails for my car. They bolt right on.

      The suspension is probably the most unique thing. The 4C system works well enough but I’d still prefer a really well tuned single setting to 3 compromised options. It’s not a fair comparison (RWD!) but my ideal is still my old E36 M3 sedan; a great combination of agility and comfort. I hope the aftermarket will eventually figure out the computers and offer an inexpensive kit from Bilstein or Koni that will help.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If I ever come across a manual V70 and manual S60 (so, never) I’d want to look into “R’ing” it from the drive-train perspective. Hearing about this proprietary suspension system instantly takes me to reminiscences of Lincoln’s air ride system and what a headache it was for us in the business. I also imagine the “R” package keeps resale at a higher level than the conventional V70 or S60.

        • 0 avatar
          AlfaRomasochist

          That’s definitely doable – an S60 or V70 T5 can be tuned to make as much or more HP as the R, and you wouldn’t have to worry about all those pesky AWD bits.

          The biggest problem is that 6-speed T5s are about as common as unicorn poop. And I don’t think they had the spaceball shifter.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve had wild notions of importing a gas Euro model and doing a transmission swap. My Volvo guy just shakes his head at me, apparently in his mind it would be easier to just move to Europe and drive it there.

          • 0 avatar
            Jim Yu

            Makes me feel special about my V50 T5 with a 6M.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    Not brown and not diesel. Are you really ready for the B&B?

    Just teasing. Love the R package kit and wheels; they really “stance” the car out better than most other OEM designs. Cars these days need 20″+ to really look aggressive.

    HPDE…you’re going to beef up the suspension, right? What’s the basic set of mods to get it trackworthy?

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      Rs came with Brembos stock, and the “Advanced” mode of the 4C suspension is about as stiff as you’d want it to be. I’ll put in some more aggressive pads and my car already has a front strut tower bar. You can have a lot of fun at an HPDE without going nuts on mods.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        High temp brake fluid is a must if you are going track it. One of the guys that runs with the same HPDE group I’m in has an Audi wagon. Big props to anyone willing to track a wagon!

        Is this same T5 engine that is in the S40 and C30? The wife’s ride is a C30 T5 6-speed, not the “R” version but in the C30 its really only cosmetic differences.

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      I’m definitely not in the “big wheel” club at all. Give me a set of 17 lb RP-F1s over 30 lb boat-anchor dubz any day of the week. My car is still rocking the stock 17″ Pegasus wheels, which I think look great.

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    How’s the engine bay to work in? I’ve heard horror stories about late model FWD Volvos and cramped conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Somewhat true, the P2 S80s I have worked on can be crampt depending on the engine choice (the 2.9 I6 vs the 2.5 I5). Ironically I find the smaller P2 S60 to be slightly better in this regard since only the I5 was available.

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      Access to stuff on the front / back of the transverse motor is pretty easy; I had to swap the downpipe / cat and it was a piece of cake. I imagine things like the timing belt / water pump / other accessories will likely need to be accessed through the passenger wheel well.

  • avatar
    RHD

    I can’t be the only one here that doesn’t know yet what AMA stands for. A style guide tip for authors: always use the name before resorting to the pronoun, and always use the complete phrase once before switching to the acronym.

    Amateur Motoring Assessment?
    Auto Motive Article?
    Already Meaningless Acronym?

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      It’s “Ask Me Anything.”

      I agree; the site really should stay accessible to newcomers. I can just picture linking my friend to this site, he loads it up and has no idea what AMA, Vellum Venom, Avoidable Contact, etc. really mean.

      I’m not sure what some of those mean, either; I only know the nature of their respective articles from reading a lot of them.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    What would you estimate annual running costs are, and is the forum community helpful?

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      I haven’t owned it long enough to estimate annual costs, but I don’t expect Honday running costs.

      The community is helpful and knowledgeable, but at least the Swedespeed crowd can be a bit … immature, maybe? Keep in mind that I’m comparing this to the Alfa crowd, which is borderline geriatric.

      One thing that bugs me about the online community, at least, is this thing many posters do where they capitalize the letter “R” in odd locations; “caR”, “dRiveR”, “owneR”, and so on. I didn’t anything could be more annoying than the BMW guys always typing a bunch of slashes before the letter “M” but there you go. ////?//M3 FTW!

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I have been tempted to spring for a Volvo wagon of this generation because of the seats for a while. And having quite a few engine choices above 150 hp helps a bit too. Not sure if I should go for a V70 awd or XC70, but I think an ‘R’ would be unrealisitc to find at a nice price around here. If only I could find one with a manual…

  • avatar
    turboprius

    The kids are gonna grow. I’ve grown a foot since 2011. Granted, I’ve always been tall (I was 5’4″, 5’5″ in 2011), but those third rows in the Volvos don’t seem very useful. Still a neat find.

    • 0 avatar
      AlfaRomasochist

      My wife is 5’5″ and can sit back there in a pinch. My youngest is 3, so I think it will be a while before we outgrow it.

      Just around town it’s much easier to load all 4 kids in this car than in our crossover. The rear facing 3rd row is actually really handy. Not sure if we’ll ever try to use it on a long road trip, though.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        Alrighty, that’s good. My parents sold their MPV when I was 9 and bought a Rogue, so that was the last time I lived with a third row. As I implied in my previous comment, I’m around 6’5″, so everything is small for me LOL. Except the 2014 Odyssey, but everything about that car is perfect to me (excluding the price).

    • 0 avatar
      pktojd

      The seats are limited use, but a great “have it when you need it” if you’re shuttling a few extra 3rd or 4th graders because it disappears completely when not in use. You get the added capacity without added or compromised volume on the vehicle.

  • avatar
    red60r

    Re: Xenon headlights — They work brilliantly, but because they have a TSA-mandated auto-leveling function EVERY time the car is started unless they are switched completely off, the mechanism can break, causing a $1700 US owie. My ’04 S60R had one fail after about 8 years of service. Add that to leaky AWD transfer case seals, worn suspension bushings that clunk on bumpy roads, and whatever else gets old after 80,000 miles and expenses start to accrue. Just the cost of doing business in a machine that easily tops a buck thirty-five when desired. Find a reliable independent shop for most services and you can save some of the dealership-related annoyances. A souped-up car is never as cheap to own as the base model. Get over it.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The xenon headlamps in my RX8 are “one of those things” that you get to appreciate so much that you don’t want to go without again.

      Are the Volvo’s as good? I’ve experienced varying degrees of success with xenon headlights, depending on the particular make/model of vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I thought xenon was super awesome until I had HiD! So much more clarity.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I was mistaken.

          They’re HID & self leveling.

          They throw pure white light, with no blue tint.

          I had to actually check the window sticker.

          So, agreed. And I want all my future vehicles to have them.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Xenon headlights as refereed to by an car manufacturer are HIDs, so no difference. You can buy regular Halogen bulbs that are filled with some Xenon gas too and light up more blue. These are aftermarket and don’t really count as an actual Xenon headlight.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know there is a difference, just maybe the manufacturer doesn’t differentiate?

            My 01 GS430 had xenons. Looked like a typical headlamp but with very bright light. They came like this from the factory.

            My M has HiD’s, where if you look at the headlamps there’s a magnifying glass effect.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @CoreyDL

            There is no difference in the bulb. What you are describing are two different lens/reflector technologies. The one where you can see the bulb is the older reflector technology that has been around forever. The ones that look like magnifying glasses are projector lenses. Either reflector can be used with HID/Xenon or halogen bulb technology. Though the SAME lens cannot be used with both! My Fiat has projector lenses with halogen bulbs, as did my Saab 9-3. My BMW has a modern reflector setup with no actual lense in front of the bulb at all. My Rover as the older tech of halogen bulbs, a reflector, and a lens in front of the bulb. The difference is that the reflector on the BMW both collects and focuses the light, while the Rover reflector only collects it, the lens focuses it. In theory losing the lens makes for more efficiency, but in reality the biggest factor is the SIZE of the reflector – the bigger the better. The advantage of projector headlights is they can be very small, yet are still very efficient at getting light out there. But more expensive. Of the three cars, the Rover has the best headlights – because they are HUGE.

            HID tech is not inherently better. The overall design of the entire headlight assembly is more important than how you produce the light. There are great halogen designs out there and crap HID designs, and the absolute worst are the idiots who put HID bulbs in housings designed for halogen bulbs.

            @Mbela
            Any blue tint from a non-HID bulb is purely due to a tinted coating on the bulb and is artificial. Actual HID light output is almost pure white, but with a spike in the blue spectrum which gives it that slightly blue look. But it is much closer to pure white than any of the halogens, which are more yellow.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah ha! Thanks, good info. With that in mind, I much prefer the projector style to reflective. I have been very satisfied with Infiniti headlamp technology.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        The problem with my wife’s Volvo xenons are the lenses cracked which lets moisture in. This causes an error code on the dash as the lights turn off. Replacements are insanely expensive, thus I might be converting her car back to the normal lights.

    • 0 avatar
      pktojd

      “A souped-up car is never as cheap to own as the base model. Get over it.”

      What he said.

  • avatar
    BC

    Just curious what cars you cross shopped. I picked up a 2006 Saab 9-5 aero wagon cause I already knew saabs and the R wagons seemed to be exceedingly rare and specialty items. Your description of the suspension confirms my suspicion.

  • avatar
    Smythe

    Not sure how long a TTAC AMA goes on, but I’ll play ball. I own an ’06 V70R. Wanted the car. Found a good one (after a shorter-than-expected search). Paid a bit too much for it, but I was happy nonetheless.

    I’ve had it about a year-and-a-half. It’s closing in on 90k miles, and it’s really been a lot more reliable than I had anticipated so far. Nothing has come up beyond some clicking that was resolved with cheap-and-easy-to-replace axle bolts. Oil changes are simple if you can get a jack underneath the thing.

    Performance is strong for what it is. Car is comfortable as a commuter and as a road tripper. Gas mileage and turning radius are terrible, but I knew what I was getting. Can’t beat the cargo capacity (whether Lowe’s or Costco or family luggage).

    It looks great at nearly 10 years old. It’s heavy but fun to drive. I wish I had the stick, but that was a spousal compromise. Online community is as you describe (really knowledgeable but increasingly juvenile as the original owners move on).

    Would I rather have a CTS-V wagon? Of course, if I had the budget. Would I rather have an S4 Avant or MB-AMG wagon of similar vintage? Not as a daily driver. A Magnum SRT-8? Not at all. A new V60 T6 R-Design? Absolutely. I just love the unassuming and practical sportiness of my Volvo. I love the nod from other R drivers and the invisibility to everyone else (read: police).

    I guess I don’t…have a question after all. Ok, how long do you plan to keep it? I don’t think I’ll be a long-term owner. It’s really just the anxiety of knowing that something will go wrong. I know what will break, but I just don’t know when. At any time in the next couple of years, I may need a grand worth of struts (plus labor and other suspension bits), a timing belt, an angle gear, or most importantly: a bevy of really expensive aftermarket modifications that I find increasingly hard to resist.

    To readers who aren’t familiar with this car: try to find one to experience. It’s really what you want and you just don’t realize it.

    DO:
    – Sit in the supple front seats.
    – Turn off the traction control and power through an icy sweeping curve.
    – Get respect from loaders at the lumberyard.
    – Enjoy the stock stereo (with optional factory subwoofer)

    DON’T:
    – Expect techno gadgets
    – Attempt a U-turn
    – Drive in Advanced Sport mode with loose fillings
    – Catch the front lip on a parking lot curb

    Thanks for doing this, AlfaRomasochist. I always like to see the R get a little respect and attention from enthusiasts.

  • avatar
    matador

    I bought an Audi A6 Avant, so they’re kind of similar in idea. I wanted an Audi as my dream car, so I didn’t cross-shop at all.

    If you cross-shopped, what made you choose the Volvo over an S6 Avant, E Class wagon, …

    If a Volvo was your dream car, why was the reason?

    Also, would you buy your V70 again today?

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    I had a chance to test the then-new V70R at a Volvo safety training on snow here in Norway in 2004*. It blew my mind! Never having had the chance to compare it to its German competition, it might be the best car I’ve ever piloted. I know of the issues, but for an Alfa guy a reasonably reliable car should be a perfect choice.

    The reasoning you give for selling the Alfa is something I can relate to, even though I overshot a bit and equipped the family with a Camry and a Honda 7-seater…looking forward to having both time and money for a fun car in the future. GLWS, Jason!

    *what do you know…ten year old pictures still online with obscure URL. The 242 was my ride, the S40 was all-new – one of the very first production models:

    http://home.arcor.de/ungua/hemsedal/FrameSet.htm

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      That is a nice 242. A 78 right? One of my first cars was a ’78, last year with the brick taillights and round headlights together :)

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Yes, a ’78 model build in ’77. Very pretty, awesome interior, incredibly relaxed drive. A year after that photo was taken, I took away all rustspots and the anti rust primer left black spots. Et voilà, I had a lady bug themed Volvo…drove 30000+ km in that thing.

        How long did you have yours?

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Not long enough. Took it off the road to have the rust fixed, and bought a Ford Sierra to drive in the meantime. Long story short, I have owned 12 Sierras since…
          Traded the Volvo for a Taunus 17m that couldn’t be registered because two previous owners couldn’t agree with eachother, and the one who had the papers ended up getting shot by his ex-gf’s new bf.(wild story, I never knew him though )
          And it was a one-owner 242 with ‘only’ 395.000km on it. B19 engine, so not very fast, and no power steering, so it needed a heavy hand to move around, but it didn’t use a drop of oil in the 6 months I used it, and I miss the seats.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            Haha, holy kringels! Is this England? Mine was a basic B19, too. But…it was enough, really, at least in slow-moving, twisty Norway. The seats are something I still miss, too. Had a 19 hour drive home for Christmas after a 10 hour work shift. No back pain.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Isn’t 2004 a scary Volvo time if you’re talking auto trannys?

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      I can’t speak for the OP, but I had a 2004 Volvo S60 2.5T(not the R) for 6 years and never had one issue with the auto tranny. I did a pre-emptive flush and fill of the tranny when I reached 115K miles, and then drove the car till 165K miles, with ZERO trouble with the transmission. The guy who bought the car from me uses it for a long highway commute every day and has also had zero trouble with the transmission.

      If you flush and fill the tranny around 110-115K miles, you’ll likely have no problems.

    • 0 avatar
      vtecJustKickedInYo

      irc, the V70 had an Aisin gearbox that was pretty robust, but volvo decided to have the car shift into netural when it stopped so that it could get better ratings on mileage cycles. Because volvo’s feature was out of the design intent of the Aisin unit, the gearboxes had premature failure because it slammed into gear as you wanted to start moving. A dealer software update relieved this issue but by that point most of the units were starting to fail because of this craptastic feature.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Do you enjoy winter driving? 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 s*deways driving style. 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

    It’s funny that you view the V70R as being a “practical” purchase (AWD, seating for 7, not an old Alfa Romeo) – I think of the P2 V70R as being one of the all-around coolest cars of the 2000’s. Especially in certain color combos! I think part of the appeal is it’s still useable, but it’s certainly exotic in specification and (I think) the way it drives. Gets me excited like no other fast wagon (Legacy GT, B5/B6/B7 S4 Avant, etc) does. Keep it forever.

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