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Old 03-11-2020, 12:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Yellowstone, MT
Default Auction 99 V70R - The Saga Begins

Greetings one and all to the sh*t show that comes with buying auction cars for stupid cheap prices!

The story starts like this...

It's February 1999 in Portland, OR and the car was purchased by a person that just wanted to own it for about a year and send it on down the road. In April of 2000, an enthusiast buys the car and loves the car for the next 13 years. In about October 2013, the car was bought by a mom it seems and she started really putting some miles on it compared to our enthusiast friend. At some point in 2016, something goes horribly wrong and it sits. for 3 years. Could it have been mechanical or was it the rear ending incident. We may never know. In 2019, I'm guessing a flipper bought it and thought he was going to put it back together cheap and make a stuff ton of money on the car because it was a 99 R with less than 150k on it. This person found out how much it was going to cost in parts and such so they sent it to Copart North in Portland with a buy it now and I grabbed it. This was in January. I finally get time and money to go get it from my family that lives near there and the work begins... Holy crap did it begin...

I left Montana on a Thursday at 4:30am to drive all the way through to Portland and still have time for dinner. Friday, I started rounding up a new R front bumper in black, 2004 C70 headlights, hood from a 2000 XC70, header panel, a PCV kit, timing kit, oil change, heater core, cam seals, and a power steering pump. Saturday was install day. I mean all day because I started at 8am and stopped at 9pm. I was going to put plugs in it but they looked almost brand new. Turns out that it also still had 2 IPD coils in it. The timing belt was a bit loose and stiff because it was last done in 2010 at 83K. When taking the serpentine belt off, the tensioner pulley was shot too. I went ahead and did the PCV kit to just to be ahead of the game since there was starting to be oil on top of the valve cover. The header panel fits the fenders just fine but where it crosses between the frame horns, I had to shim those bolts out with about 3/4" of washers in the center, 1/2" on the passenger side, and 1/4" on the driver side. When putting the bumper back on, the mounts were totally bent up and I had to straighten parts of the frame horns and these brackets just to get the two bolts that hold the bumper on to line up and bolt together. All of the brackets for the fog lights from the original bumper were bent and needed to be straightened as well as have all new hardware installed. Getting the bumper on was all for Saturday. Sunday I changed the oil, put the hood on, and started packing to get back to Montana.

Putting some miles on it is where I started really finding out what the major issues are.

1) The fuel pump keeps losing prime. Inside the car, the pump sounds fine and normal. But outside the car on the driver's side, it sounds like fluid running through a hydraulic line for a high flow motor. Since I the pump is on the passenger side, I think, what could be causing this noise and loss of prime. It does have it's occasional bouts of not starting at all.

2) Starting at about 65 mph, worst at 70 mph, and tapers off at 75 mph, there is a vibration that seems to be coming from the front joint on the prop shaft or the angle gear. Am I correct about this?

3) The transmission makes this really odd noise at idle that almost sounds like a relay clicking on and off really quick. It also is hit or miss if the transmission will engage forward or reverse after only a few seconds. If you let it run for about a minute or two, you get full gear engagement every time. I've never had a transmission do this. It either works, slips, or doesn't. I put 896 miles on it getting it back here to Montana so I know it shifts fine. Is there a check valve or something that is allowing air to get in something? Clogged screen? The fluid level is good, color is still mostly red, but is smells more burned than 250k fluid. I think that it is over heating the fluid somehow because the level is good cold and good after a spin around the block. But after a few hundred miles, it is way above the hot level.

4) The ignition switch does this odd thing where it will start the car and the engine will run, but none of the other key on electronics will work. If you jiggle the key a little, they all come on and act like normal. Would this be the ignition switch or the lock cylinder?

The rest is fairly minimal. An exhaust leak somewhere under the hood, flat spotted tires, nivomats are shot, and it needs an alignment. The rear hatch doesn't flop, rattle, or make any other weird noises. The right turn signal cam doesn't work all the time to cancel the right turn signal. Most of the paint is good but the bumpers have quite a few battle scars. No check engine light on. No codes that I can see with torque. The ride is nice, and most of ALL, the wife really likes it compared to my other 98 AWD V70 that I have a 98 V70R engine, trans, and computers to go into. Yes, this is on volvospeed as I really need some input on the transmission and fuel pump.
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: S NJ, a suburb of Phila.

Well I would start with more diagnosis so you don't throw a bunch more money at it and not fix thiings.
1. I would check the fuel pressure and see if that is what is actually happening. it could be low fuel pressure or pressure that is too high from a bad pressure regulator. Too high a pressure can cause problems. A flaky fuel pump relay can turn on and off and cause problems.
2. 150k mile awd Volvo? Angle gear is bad and/or you may also have a bad viscous coupling. Remember on these early awd cars the tire diameter is critical to long parts life.
3. I would service that trans asap. Use some synthetic atf since that is a turbo model and makes a lot more heat and stress. Another thing that could be happening is the oil cooler in the radiator can leak coolant into the trans oil. Look for any oily residue in the coolant reservoir and change the radiator if you suspect any mixing. That will kill the trans.
4. I know the older volvos best but what you describe is the usual electrical part of the ignition switch failing.

Hope that is helpful. Some other folks with more knowledge on these cars may chime in.
1982 242 turbo. 338k miles. MVP coilovers and 3" exhaust. Flowed 405 with a V15. Cossie turbine housing with upgraded compressor housing. 90+, IPD remote oil filter. Some other goodness, too. Been lots of fun over 25 years. Restored in 2k. Now ready for a 2nd restoration.

1993 245 Classic, 435k miles, enem V15. IPD bars and chassis braces. Simons sport exhaust from Scandix. sbabbs ezk chip. Been a good road warrior. Genuine Volvo rebuilt leaky M47.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:48 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Yellowstone, MT

1) A fuel filter and pressure check sequence is in order.

2) I have a good trans, angle gear, and DS in my 98 that will be coming out when I swap in the 98 R drivetrain. Can the 98 angle gear and DS be used on a 99 trans?

3) I did some checking on car-part.com and their salvage yard interchange shows that the 4 speed unit from a 2000 also works. In the mean time, I will drain fill and drive this trans. I will also make sure the trans cooler is doing it's job. The coolant has been nice and clear since before I drained it to do the water pump. The trans shifts great and will even hold full boost up a long 6% hill in 4th gear locked up at 65 mph with zero slip indicated by the tach.

4) I suspected either a lock cylinder or ignition switch to be the culprit. Just needed a second opinion.

One of the things I forgot to get in my short parts gathering run was the banjo bolt with the check valve installed for the pcv kit. That is something I am not looking forward to doing again for sure. I am quite surprised that the check engine light was on because one of the evap lines imploded and split all the way down in my hands.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:33 PM   #4
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And has the ETM been changed on that car - because if not put another $500 into your budget for that.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:27 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Columbus, O.

For some reason those cars are prone to fuel pump check valve failures and when that happens it'll behave like yours is. You can add an aftermarket check valve, this thread explains it:

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2006 V50 T5M
Feedback Thread

Last edited by kampman; 03-12-2020 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:57 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Yellowstone, MT

It does in fact have a yellow tag ETM on it. I also found a Xemodex unit in the upull yard for $45. So when this one goes, I have a back up ready to go on. I really need to get a VIDA setup. Don't you have to have VIDA to program keys to the car as well?
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Old 03-16-2020, 10:09 PM   #7
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Location: West Yellowstone, MT

I had it on a lift Saturday. The front joint of the prop shaft has very minimal play but it does have some play I'll be looking for a new prop shaft or finding someone to put a new joint on this one. I drained and filled the fluid on the trans. The fluid was quite silvery but not much of it was ferrous as it wasn't sticking to the magnet on the drain plug or the other magnet in the drain pan. It shifts and holds lockup just fine but still has the occasional lack of gears unless it has idled for a little bit. It does seem to be getting better. I changed the fuel filter and had it running while it was on the lift. The fuel pump was holding a steady 56lbs at idle but it sounded like the regulator was mostly sending a LOT of the flow to the return line near the prop shaft. And after the filter and getting all the garbage old fuel out and good new premium in, it seems to be getting quieter. The nivomats work good for keeping just the car itself up but if you put something weighing about 100 pounds in the cargo area, it easily sits down and never pumps up. The more I drive it, the more I like it over my other P80 car that is getting the 1998 V70R engine, transmission, and computers. So, the 98 might be up for sale this summer after I get it all swapped over. The current T5 computer, 16T, and white injectors that are on the 98 are going too.
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