Inexpensive Volvos

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Wilson Lamb, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Wilson Lamb

    Wilson Lamb Guest

    Someone asked about buting an inexpensive Volvo the other day and I advised
    him to get something else, because I have seen so many people disappointed
    by maintenance liabilities. Now, it's happened again.

    A friend was given a supposedly "really nice" '84 by his son.
    Unfortunately it is a diesel. When it finally wouldn't start, after getting
    harder and harder over a few weeks, he did a comp check and saw one zero and
    several way low. Assuming the problem was a headgasket, he spent $25 for
    the special wrench (What the hell is wrong with hex heads, anyway?), spent
    about a day, and got the head off. Guess what: Gasket OK and one scored
    cylinder. He has neither the time nor money to rebuild this monster, so
    there goes another one to the junkie, where it probably belongs!

    Mileage is under 150K.

    Moral: Stick with gassers if you must dabble with Volvos!

    Wilson
    Corolla 175K
    Voyager 203K
    '82 F-150 God only knows
     
    Wilson Lamb, Jun 30, 2003
    #1
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  2. Wilson Lamb

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Weren't the Volvo diesel engines of the 80's made by VW/Audi?
     
    Rob Guenther, Jun 30, 2003
    #2
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  3. Wilson Lamb

    Peter Milnes Guest

    So how much would it cost to rebore and fit oversize pistons? Then have the
    valves reground and you will get possibly a further 500,000miles from the
    engine.

    Cheers, Peter.

    : Someone asked about buting an inexpensive Volvo the other day and I advised
    : him to get something else, because I have seen so many people disappointed
    : by maintenance liabilities. Now, it's happened again.
    :
    : A friend was given a supposedly "really nice" '84 by his son.
    : Unfortunately it is a diesel. When it finally wouldn't start, after getting
    : harder and harder over a few weeks, he did a comp check and saw one zero and
    : several way low. Assuming the problem was a headgasket, he spent $25 for
    : the special wrench (What the hell is wrong with hex heads, anyway?), spent
    : about a day, and got the head off. Guess what: Gasket OK and one scored
    : cylinder. He has neither the time nor money to rebuild this monster, so
    : there goes another one to the junkie, where it probably belongs!
    :
    : Mileage is under 150K.
    :
    : Moral: Stick with gassers if you must dabble with Volvos!
    :
    : Wilson
    : Corolla 175K
    : Voyager 203K
    : '82 F-150 God only knows
    :
    :
     
    Peter Milnes, Jul 1, 2003
    #3
  4. Wilson Lamb

    Wilson Lamb Guest

    Well, it was a bit of a troll, but meant to support the idea that people
    looking for a cheap driver should stay away from Volvo. The guy is a 60 ish
    teacher, with years experience maintaining BMWs, VWs, and others, but never
    Diesels. Unfortunately, he has used his money to help support various
    family members and can't now afford the rebuild, or even the parts. Yes, he
    could have made better choices, but he has been very selfless.

    I'm guessing a shop rebuild of engine and injector hardware will be at least
    $3K. Let me know if that's wrong.

    Then there is the unknown condition of the auto tranny!

    I could have the mileage wrong, so let's let that go.

    We're in central NC, so let me know if this dog is worth anything.

    Best wishes,
    Wilson
     
    Wilson Lamb, Jul 1, 2003
    #4
  5. Wilson Lamb

    Bill Stehlin Guest

    MYOPIC.

    Intellichoice used to (probably still does) publish an objective book
    "The Complete Car Cost Guide". Cars across the spectrum were rated
    for total ownership costs including depreciation, insurance, safety.
    The Volvo 240 was one of the highest rated. Even taking depreciation
    out of the equation for used 240s, Volvos are inexpensive to drive if
    you stop focusing on short term costs such as new parts (and even more
    so with all the salvage parts available). Further, if you assign a
    higher value to safety (in sports requiring helmets, spend according
    to what you think the contents are worth) Volvos are very inexpensive.
     
    Bill Stehlin, Jul 1, 2003
    #5
  6. They were. And as a german from lower saxony (but I think they were
    buildt at AUDI bavaria) Ive shamefully to admit:
    They are oily troublemakers, spoiling the whole car.
    An MB engine would have been a much nicer german choice,
    if Diesels should ve been unavoidable - but perhaps MB wouldnt
    have liked the idea to sell their biggest (in middle class cars the
    only) plus to their hardest foreign competitor at a fair price.

    My girlfriend that days liked it anyway because it used "less gas",
    but I guess that was only because it was such lame to drive.
    She went with it. Since then I liked Volvos again.

    Wilson is right on that:At least 1s and 2s, Ive heard much had changed since then ;-)

    br
     
    Andreas Ehlerding, Jul 2, 2003
    #6
  7. BS

    For many years Id low tide on my accounts for whatever reasons, but
    1 decision saved me from walking all the time and that was to drive
    Volvos, not at least because of that:
    From first signs of warning that something goes wrong (no matter if
    engine, bearings, tranny ...) to the point of breakdown you can
    savely first circle the planet once more. (at least with 1,2,7s)
    I dont know any other make that gives that peace of mind with that
    little costs.
    People who didnt experienced that driving a Volvo, shurely dont give
    a shit for minimum service and oil or had just very bad luck.

    Expemsive repairs? I dont know, apart from - yes - one shitty Diesel.

    If you have not much money but basic skills using tools especially
    the 2s are really a hit. In germany (and perhaps other countries as
    well)
    youve just one problem: The easiest engines for self service (without
    injection) unfortunially cause the biggest taxes.

    But usually there isnt much to "service" anyway. For example I just
    drive a 88 740GLE (16V) and had _no_ repairs in 50.000km/2years.
    Ive known from the beginning that there was a slight "rumbling" in
    the train, a bit rattling brakes and bearing/shocks overall where
    not in perfect state.
    But it hasnt significantly changed since than albeit Im not the
    calmest driver an she goes 190km/h without much trouble.
    On highway driving 150km/h is usual and you dont "feel" it.
    At the end of this year Ive to chnage the timing belt, ok.
    About 400Euro at my garage. But thats it.
    Gas is constantly under 10l/100km. So what?
    If it would dissapear in a heap of rust just now, it _was_ already
    a winner. And its not my first case since 81 - believe me ;-)
    Its nearly "upper class" riding on very low budged in relation to that.
    The only car of that age Ive driven and liked a bit more because of
    its silence, pure power and smoothness, was a MB500SEL.
    But the seats are still better even in my old Volvo.
    Show me an _real_ alternative to that and I will think it over!

    A last remark: Many old Volvos which may dissapoint their (usually
    unexperienced) buyers, do that just because their former owners
    know/feel exactly that they are on their brink and virtually sell
    "repairs" instaed of a car.
    Because of the slow degration mentioned above you can stockpile
    "problems" for years before the car really wouldnt go any further.
    If u use Volvos over longer periods you know about that.
    Because people dont really like to sell their (older) Volvos for
    other reasons than that, you are in fact in danger to buy a heap
    of accumulated problems - if you dont know about them.
    But if your "new" volvo is ok at the beginning, you have usually
    not to fear much trouble for years and many km(iles).
     
    Andreas Ehlerding, Jul 2, 2003
    #7
  8. Wilson Lamb

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Yes my family is also from Germany (baden wurtemburg... hope I spelt it
    right)... right in the heart of the motor industry.... My dad cursed Audi's
    name for years and called them a shame on the German motor industry for
    importing the Audi Fox (I believe it was the Audi 50 in Europe)..... Audi
    seemed to have issues in the 80s.... know what is very funny tho, MB gave
    styling tips and engines, and engine know how to Audi in the 70's.
     
    Rob Guenther, Jul 3, 2003
    #8
  9. our family owned one of the 4 door mid 70's Audi...
    me and my two brothers would borrow if from our
    mom and drive the %$#@ out of it....

    it sounded like a sewing machine @ high revs...lots
    of vibration...plastic started falling off of it after aprox
    50k hard miles...we went from that to a 3series bmw...
    what a difference...i think the bmw went...like 200k miles
    in our family......
     
    ~^ beancounter ~^, Jul 3, 2003
    #9
  10. Wilson Lamb

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Nice... I am glad we don't have any of the secondary cars my dad bought in
    the 80s... lets see the Audi Fox.... it was a company car, abused to shit...
    it ran molds, manifolds, hot runner nozzles etc... to and from the company
    to other small mold builder/plastics companies, and to larger companies
    (every multinational company has to start somewhere and use the one company
    car to carry everything and anything around right?).. next car was a Ford
    Tempo... we had that one two months, then the Westmoreland PA built VW
    Golf... a low Kms car that lasted 6 years (from 1985 on to 1991) then needed
    new brakes, suspension, various engine bits... it was shot in 6 years....
    come on VW of America. Then the 90's came. A 1991 Golf.... its still going
    strong. The 1993 960, same thing. A 1999 Golf in year 2003... it better be
    still going, its only get 62K Kms and its a diesel.

    Of course the Volvo's my family had in that time period were GREAT! 1972
    142 - dad's first Volvo, 1973 142 - after he sold his 72 for more money then
    he paid he got another one... this time with the sport package, 1974
    240DL... had this thing for 11 years, oil leaked and the windscreen let in
    water eventually, but she was a truely reliable craft, this is the first
    Volvo I was ever in. 1985 740GLE Wagon... got a good 4 year run out of her
    easily, bought another one in 1989, this time with the 16Valve motor, got
    another 4 years out of it, got a great trade in from the dealer, and heavy
    incentives to buy this newfangled Wagon they called a 960. Couldn't pass it
    up in 1993.... Finally the Volvo we decided to keep more then the previous
    record of 11 years.

    It funny tho, my dad said he would never buy a new Audi... even now. He
    likes them well enough, and considered a 5000 Quattro in the early 90's
    (used one)... except it had an "incident" while we were borrowing it to test
    it out, so he decided against it.... pretty sure it was just a minor issue.
     
    Rob Guenther, Jul 4, 2003
    #10
  11. Volvos with dead diesel engines are sometimes wanted by those who
    do V8 conversions.

    Has anyone done a TDI (from a 1996-1997 Passat or 1997-1999 Jetta)
    conversion on a Volvo with a dead diesel engine?
     
    Timothy J. Lee, Jul 4, 2003
    #11
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