AWD - 201K on a GIFT '96 wagon!

Volvo AWD 850 Forum

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201K on a GIFT '96 wagon! 850

Hello again,
I hesitated to tell you the outcome but the satisfaction of closing out this story outweighs my shame.

On Tuesday, June 12, pouring 5 gallons of fresh fuel into the 850 started my day.
I installed the odd battery the owners had laying around. It had been on a trickle charger for days-as per my instruction-and the engine leapt to life. My gas was enough to extinguish the LOW FUEL light. I let the engine run throughout my "fun morning".

The borrowed "200 PSI" mini-compressor did a fine job raising all 4 tires to 45 psi. I spent the time vacuuming acorns and winding spider webs like cotton candy. I also rubbed silicone spray into the door weatherstrips. I'm so good.

For giggles I removed the 3 right hand screws on the cowl to see if there was an aftermarket frame holding an air filter onto the HVAC port. There was none but there was the expected pile of sticks which I also sucked up.

This is where a small $30 jack comes in handy. I removed the front wheels in turn and found hellacious rust. Banging the rotors and calipers produced piles of rust. Honestly, the rotors looked like the surface of the Moon. I drove the car up and down their long, gravel driveway and afterwards couldn't detect where the pads contacted the rotors. Oddly, the flexible hoses showed no cracks. I was amazed by that. Had they been replaced or had they been made that well? The same goes for the leak-free shocks and struts. No spring was broken.

Unfortunately, the long gravel driveway was no place to stab at the brakes repeatedly. I sure didn't want to rut up a drive shared by three households. Their neighborhood was not too heavy with traffic but I just didn't want to risk meeting the local police by taking the dust covered thing onto a public road.
Perhaps I should've doused the calipers with spray Aerokroil.

The "crank pulley motor mount" was completely torn, crushed and ineffective. The engine and frame banged predictably as I went from D to R. Both front fender liners were shifting about.

Touching most anything was accompanied by a staccato of falling acorns. The open garage I was in filled with the pleasing smell of roasted nuts as the morning progressed.

The shocker was revealed upon opening the oil filler cap as well as pulling the dipstick. The smoke huffed like a train of old. That, coupled with the extreme amount of black, oily mud all over every bit of the engine compartment tempered my mood.

Earlier in their mere 27,000 mile ownership of this car the radiator was replaced. The installer stacked pipe fittings which I hadn't seen before. The lower cooling line was leaking albeit manageably.

I was still so into this car I washed the windshield for real and vacuumed the front interior. The rear of the wagon was filled with an in-law's possessions so I let them be.

Then I estimated the costs and travel times involved. Going with good to OE parts the brakes landed at $220 per corner. Assuming a smooth installation and no brake line leaks the only fear I'd have is parking brake hardware condition (I forgot to try them) and remaining life in the brake booster and master cylinder.

The inoperative A/C would add a lot of expense.

At one point there was CV joint clicking. One of Connecticut's foreign parts sources sells only Volvo branded rebuilt axles-a good thing-and they're $540.

Remember to add adding a car to my insurance policy. It all makes the $21 fee for the temporary transport tag seem like a tip.

The cheerful chattering of some pulley or tensioner reminded me that both accessory belt hardware and timing belt hardware were urgent chores.

A man in Ridgefield, CT-a moderator on volvoforums.com- offered his 850 timing belt tensioner compression tool and a set of carpeted floor mats. Again the pendulum of desire to need gathers energy.

As mentioned above, the PCV system was understandably and expectedly deteriorated. There's no telling which or how badly the seals were punished... no telling how much oil the thing would leak, burn or ooze.

I gifted the couple the small shop vac I brought as it had been given to me by a friend clearing his garage.
Also, there were needs I saw which needed filling so I brought them a few energy efficient lamps and a 2-step ladder. Everything was well received.

With tears in my eyes I declined the car. However, it's in better shape than when I found it. It starts and is drivable. I mailed them a FOR SALE sign with "RUNS written in bold letters beneath the words "'96 850".
They can decide to add their phone number and/or price. I suggested $400. I later emailed them and mentioned donating it to the local vo-tech high school.

You don't know the "mixed hit" my ego took that evening after the 110 mile drive back home....to realize that not being 18 any more has such serious impact....to imagine a fun conclusion to a free car story then to realize spending over $2,000 and many hours on a car which'd sell for only $750 to $1,000 mightn't be so fun.

Had I needed a car myself, I would've gone for it. I can live with no A/C and a missing recirc button.

Thanks for reading. George (& Kira)

ps You people are the best. Owning my 3 V70's wouldn't've been possible without your help and encouragement. In fact, the owners of this 850 actually asked to stay in touch so I could help find them a suitable Volvo in the future. Y'all've educated me.


New 201K on a GIFT '96 wagon! [850]
posted by  Georgeandkira  on Fri Jun 8 06:20 CST 2018 >

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