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DIY Smoke Tester Tool

When your Volvo has vacuum leaks, often your time gets decimated looking for a cracked hose or broken vacuum hose elbow, and it can even affect your wallet if you take your Volvo to a shop.

Long ago someone, somewhere, discovered that vacuum leaks can found more quickly by using smoke. Smoke will be pulled into a crack on a vacuum line. Just run the engine, create smoke, and watch for it getting pulled into the affected area. Whoa, things just got easier. (Read about other ways to find vacuum leaks.)

As you might expect, smoke machines — while prevalent in the 1980s big-hair rock ‘n roll world — are not exactly widespread or cheap. So MVS Forums user aquamann71 does what we do around MVS… he made his own:

I made my smoke tester out of a plastic bucket that has a rubber o-ring inside the cover. I got it from the grocery store. It had pickled meat in it but any bucket with a gasket in the lid will work. I drilled two 2 inch holes in the lid. I used 4 quick connects that are used on pneumatic tools, 2 male thread and 2 female thread. Applied a bit of Teflon tape to the male ends first and screwed them down tight.

DIY Smoke Tester Tool

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OBD-I LED Code Reader & DIY Instructions

Volvo Forum Contributor and all-around DIY uberguru Ben850 fabricated an OBD-I code reader. OBD-I cars are typically model year 1988 to 1995, and have a more crude way to display codes… by displaying a series of light flashes (like Morse code) rather than storing and outputting codes in a more “human readable” fashion that OBD-II does.

OBD-I cars’ diagnostic boxes that display the flashes are small and black, and found in front of the shock tower on the driver’s side (LHD markets).

OBD-I LED Flash Code Reader

Ben’s DIY OBD-I code reader.

I made this a couple weeks ago to read the ECC codes from the OBD II port on my ’96 Turbo Wagon.

It is documented in my ongoing thread (at this point) to determine my intermittent ECC failure, but I thought it could be mentioned in the tool section.

I was going to do a simple momentary switch, LED and three lead wires. Not needing it until the next day I was bored and decided to repurpose a garbage item.

How to make an OBD I LED Code Reader.

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1998 V70 33-Step Timing Belt Replacement w/Pics

Tools for the 33-Step Timing Belt Replacement

MVS Forums member (now Contributor) deepsouth turns the DIY knob to Maximum and shows us how to do a timing belt in 33 steps. As well as each step, he lists tools used, photos and his deepest timing belt thoughts. And if you have any deep timing belt thoughts or questions, please ask!

  1. Remove spark plug cover and metal fuel line holder (T25 and T30).
  2. Remove two bolts from upper timing cover (10 mm).
  3. Remove coolant reservoir and level sensor and set on top of motor.
  4. Use serp belt tool to lock belt tensioner in place with hex wrench and remove serp belt.
  5. Remove locked belt tensioner (12mm). Set belt, tensioner and two bolts aside.
  6. Remove lower timing cover bolt (10mm) and lower timing cover. Keep upper cover in place.
  7. Take off front right wheel and clip back fender skirt (10mm bolt), exposing crank pulley and hydraulic tensioner.
  8. Remove timing belt guard behind crank pulley (two 10mm bolts).
  9. Locate timing tick marks on intake and exhaust cams (I used white out to enhance the marks).
  10. Rotate crankshaft using 30mm socket until intake and exhaust cams line up with notches on upper timing cover (I also enhanced these with whiteout). Will take up to two revolutions for them to line up.
Click on the Read More link below to see the whole enchilada!

1998 V70 AWD 33 Step Timing Belt Replacement with Photos

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Volvo XC90: The Next Generation

photos of the 2016 Volvo XC90

Car & Driver writes about the upcoming 2016 XC90, which is the long-awaited, all-new Volvo SUV. My comments on C&D’s points:

Based on the design language introduced by a gorgeous trio of recent concept cars, the next-gen model is slick and smooth…

Bravo. After the concept cars, this is really not a surprise.

the XC90 has a central LCD screen above a single knob flanked by three buttons on each side—plus the start button adjacent to the steering column. It’s very much in the Bang & Olufsen “less is more” control philosophy, and it looks clean, elegant, and attractive.

Fewer buttons and simple design promote safety because the driver spends less time looking down at controls while driving,

You can pinch, expand, and swipe the screen to do various tasks, and these gestures deliver responses that are slick and smooth, just as they are on the best tablets

NICE. This means many drivers will know how to use the system before ever sitting in this SUV. Again, safety.

the XC90 will be among the first vehicles to offer Apple’s iOS CarPlay integration.

CarPlay is a way to use your iPhone through your car’s screen. I’m guilty of having looked at my phone while driving once or twice. There’s probably no need to let you know that text size seems even smaller while moving, so doubling or tripling it will make a big difference. Also, there’s the physical aspect of using a phone in a car, even if it’s only voice commands: you don’t need an extra hand to hold the phone. Just keep it in your pocket while driving and you have essentially a virtual phone on the car’s infotainment screen.

As an admirer of Apple tech and iPhone owner — albeit an ancient, original 2007 iPhone that I’m certain won’t work with CarPlay because of its age — this is great news.
Continue reading Volvo XC90: The Next Generation

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Shift Points on S/V70 T5, Interesting Discussion

Shift Points on S/V70 T5

Q: If your Volvo is shifting at 3500 RPM with much less than 50% throttle in 1st, is it normal?
A: No! So let’s talk it out. :-)

SHIFT SPEED SPECIFICATIONS
SHIFT SPEED SPECIFICATIONS (2.3L TURBO) (1)
Application MPH
Economy Mode
1st-2nd ……………………………………… 25
2nd-3rd ……………………………………… 51
3rd-4th ……………………………………… 76
4th-3rd ……………………………………… 53
3rd-2nd ……………………………………… 31
2nd-1st ……………………………………… 16
Sport Mode
1st-2nd ……………………………………… 36
2nd-3rd ……………………………………… 69
3rd-4th …………………………………….. 106
4th-3rd ……………………………………… 62
3rd-2nd ……………………………………… 47
2nd-1st ……………………………………… 26
(1) – With shift lever in “D” position and throttle valve
open 60 percent.

Shift Points on S/V70 T5

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Repair PDFs for Many Older Volvos

They’re not downloadable, but Volvotips.com has a nice set of PDFs for the following Volvos:

- Volvo PV 444, 544 and Duett
- Volvo Amazon
- Volvo 140 and 164-series
- Volvo 1800-series
- Volvo 240- and 260-series
- Volvo 740, 760 and 780
- Volvo 940 and 960
- Volvo 850

Repair PDFs for Many Older Volvos

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Heater Hose Firewall Coupler Delete w/pics

MVS forums member burnout8488 writes a very good DIY piece on fixing a cracked heater hose:

I, like many, had a cracked heater hose junction at the firewall. This came in a lot cheaper than a new one.

Cut the hose to the proper lengths in the cabin (total guesswork, it’s so cramped), install the pipes onto the heater core, and clamp it down! Worm gear clamps will NOT work here, as there is no room between the gas pedal and the heater hoses. You will need to get some clamps like the ones shown. I stole some off of a family member’s Corolla. :)

Heater Hose Firewall Coupler Delete

Your gas pedal mounting bracket may need to be trimmed if using different clamps. Nothing a Dremel can’t solve.

Heater Hose Firewall Coupler Elimination w/pics

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Who Repairs 2004-era S80 ABS Modules?

MVS forums member Crawfish details his plans for a failing ABS module:

I have read the great 21 pages on this repair in another forum on this site. I am inspired to attempt the same repair on my 2004. Most of the posts, however, seem to pertain to slightly older model cars than mine.

Will an abs module repair work on a 2004 S80?

(The dealership wants $1221.00 for a new module, plus $200 install, plus $200 to reload software.)

Who Repairs 2004 S80 era ABS Modules?

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Android Torque app for OBD2 Volvos

An overview of the Torque app installation, used with an ELM327 (OBD2 <-> Bluetooth) module, by tjts1, and some helpful Q&A by other members:

Got my Chinese E237 CARB to BT adapter for $16 from eBay. With the free app from the Android market on my Tab I could not get the BT to connect, so I decided to look inside the CD before I throw it away.

I only unpacked the Torque App that comes in it and installed on my Tab, and I got connected almost immediately. So far everything works on my 02 S60 n/a. Tested good on a 2004 Chrysler Sebring as well. Real time monitoring is fine, but since neither of the cars had problems, I could not get to pull any faults. There is a built in quick reference database with the codes.

Android Torque app

As far as a trojan on the CD, I cannot say I found one. In reality, most intrusion detection products designed for Windows OS would declare false positives as soon as they see an .apk filetype. I scanned the CD with Symantec’s Norton Security Suite (one of the most popular Symantec products) which I have on my Windows machine, and it found a total of 4 unresolved threats inside the Chinese s/w folders and labeled them ‘viruses’. (BTW, the Torque App is among those four.)
I remember having similar experience when I first tried to install VADIS and later on the same thing happened with VIDA.

If anyone has any specifics regarding malicious code residing on the CD, please post back or PM; I would really appreciate your input.

Android Torque app for OBD2 volvos

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