Replace steering rack on a Volvo 850

Changing the steering rack is a very big job. "My car is 18 years old, and most of the bolts I removed were untouched since new. Furthermore, the lower U joint, where the steering column connects to the rack, is probably corroded together because Volvo put an aluminium U-joint on a steel spine."

Steering Rack4

steering rack

MVS reader Nathan sent me a finely detailed writeup on how to replace  steering rack on an 850… and (probably) all Volvo P80 models:

How to change a power steering rack on your 850

(specifically, a ’97 wagon, p80 chassis S70/V70 should be similar. )

Changing the steering rack is a very big job. Here’s why.

If you live in Canada like me or a similar climate, you’ll know about rust and galvanic corrosion. My car is 18 years old, and most of the bolts I removed were untouched since new. Furthermore, the lower U joint, where the steering column connects to the rack, is probably corroded together because Volvo put an aluminium U-joint on a steel spine.



This means you will need to remove a lot of stuff to get the rack out, far more than the factory manual suggests. Finally, you have to jack the engine up off its side and rear mount and drop the crossmember at the same time because the engine is supported on the steering column and you have to drop the crossmember to wiggle the rack out.


I found an engine support stand and some chains really helped because I could work under the car without a jack or axle stand being in the way. Penetrant and a good impact gun are your friend.

You’ll need a good assortment of tools. Deep and shallow sockets, combination wrenches, 1/2, 3/8 and 1/4 drive ratchets. A breaker bar and an impact gun are highly recommended too. If you need an exact list, you probably shouldn’t do this job.

Obviously, this is how I did the job. If something goes horribly wrong and/or you injure yourself, I will not be held responsible.

steering rack
Continue reading “Replace steering rack on a Volvo 850”

Volvo OEM Amp Install in a 1998 V70

Instructions on installing a Volvo amp part #9452029 in a 1998 V70... description and photos to help you figure out this amplifier install in your V70

1998 Volvo V70 part #9452029 Amplifier Install
As an audiophile, I can tell you that the sonic benefit is well worth the effort.

If that quote isn’t enough to spur you to seek out a part #9452029 amp for your P80 Volvo, I don’t know what will.

This a good post with helpful photos incorporating instructions on installing a Volvo amp in a 1998 V70. The post is by MVS Volvo Forums member nathanso. His post is the most recent in a long, information-dense thread on amps, subwoofers, radios and speakers in Volvo P80 cars, which is an easy way to say 1992-2000 Volvo 850, V70, S70, XC70 and some C70 models.

Some notes on installing the Volvo 9452029 amplifier in a 1998 V70. Easy job once you know about the hidden features and have the right parts. The carpet on the transmission tunnel pulled right out from under the various trim pieces and refit just as easily. As an audiophile, I can tell you that the sonic benefit is well worth the effort. If you have never removed your front seats go on Youtube and learn how to not trigger the side airbag before proceeding!

Amplifier - install photo - part number 9452029
Amplifier – install photo – part number 9452029

Volvo OEM Amp Install in a 1998 V70

If you have questions or thoughts on this install, please share. If you’re not registered for the Volvo forum, it takes about 20 seconds.

Here’s how to register for the forum: Here’s how to register
Here’s where to register for the forum: Here’s where to register

History of the Volvo 5 Cylinder: Part 2

The 5 cylinder engine is a symbol of Volvo's past, but car makers started their iterations of this historically significant engine as early as the 1930s.

history of the volvo 5 cylinder engine part 2

850 Resize

The inline 5 (I5) cylinder engine has come to be a symbol of Volvo’s recent past. But did you know that manufacturers started whipping up first iterations of this quirky engine as early as the 1930s?

While in the US we gave up on the 5 cylinder, the story’s a bit different in Europe, where it flourished. Over the last 90 years, the I5’s been used in everything from WW2 military vehicles, sedans, and sports cars, to our modern SUVs and trucks.

Let’s look at the early history of this iconic engine and exactly how – and when – Volvo joined the party.

The Earliest 5 Cylinders: Ford and Lancia

Lancia 3ro Resize
Lancia 3Ro – the first production 5-cylinder engine

The earliest known 5-cylinder comes from Henry Ford himself (p.64). Ford was famous for near-constant experimenting when he was leader of the Ford Motor Company and many of his ideas, including the 5-cylinder, never left the design table. He experimented with V10s, X-8s (yes, an 8-cylinder engine shaped like an X, with 2 cylinders on each end), opposed cylinder engines, and of course, the 5 cylinder.

The larger designs were meant to compete with the new 6-cylinder engines from competing companies like Chevy, but that wasn’t the vision for the 5 cylinder.

Ford developed the I5 in the late 1930s and early 1940s and, like Volvo some 50 years later, Ford saw the 5 cylinder as an option for a smaller economy car. Indeed, the engine they produced clocked in at just under 2.5 liters and produced a meager 50 to 60 HP.

In the end, Ford simply couldn’t shave enough cost off manufacturing to make a smaller economy car an affordable option and the 5-cylinder was scrapped.

The first production 5 cylinder, on the other hand, came from Italian manufacturer Lancia.

The first production 5 cylinder, on the other hand, came from Italian manufacturer Lancia. In the late 1930s, Italy (and the rest of Europe) were embroiled in WW2 and Lancia was manufacturing a line of transport trucks for the Italian Army.

The manufacturer equipped the first model, known as the Ro, with a petite 2 cylinder diesel engine. After a few years, they tacked on an additional cylinder (lovingly known as the Ro-Ro), until finally bringing it up to the 5 cylinder (the 3Ro) – the first production 5 cylinder (though it was diesel).

Mercedes Steps Up to the Plate

The first true step towards a 5 cylinder passenger vehicle came 35 years after Lancia’s 3Ro.

In 1974, Mercedes introduced their new 3 liter 5-cylinder diesel (known as the OM617), which first saw action with the 240D and now-famous 300D. While not sporty by any means – accelerating from 0 to 60 in 17 seconds – the OM617 is downright reliable, with many 300Ds clocking in over 500,000 miles. Some enthusiasts have even claimed the OM617 as the most reliable engine ever – period!

However, before the 300D became so famous in the 1980s, Mercedes wasn’t alone with a production 5 cylinder.

The First Gas-Powered 5 Cylinder

Audi100 Resize
1976 Audi 100

We’re all likely aware of Audi’s connection to the 5-cylinder and motorsports, most notably as a rally car in the early ’80s, but also through successes in hill climbing Pikes Peak and other US-based racing.

In 1976, Audi introduced the first gas-powered production 5 cylinder for the Audi 100. With the larger engine, the car was considered a step up from Audi’s previous models, though with the 2.1 liter engine producing 136HP it wasn’t up to racing-status quite yet.

Like Volvo, Audi will always be permanently connected to the 5 cylinder, thanks to their huge showing in motorsports

Fast forward to 1980 and Audi has introduced the Quattro, featuring a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine and permanent 4-wheel drive. Clocking in at 200HP, Audi soon entered the Quattro in rally races. Throughout the early ’80s, Like Volvo, Audi will always be permanently connected to the 5 cylinder, thanks to their huge showing in motorsports, especially Group B rallying in the early 1980s. Throughout the 80s, Audi continually updated the Quattro and eventually took home 23 world championships.

Volvo Joins the Party

Volvo 5 Cylinder Engine
Volvo added a turbo to the 5 cylinder for the 1995 850 T5-R

While Volvo only introduced its first 5 cylinder, the Volvo 850, in 1991 – much later than Audi – the actual development of the 5 cylinder started way back in 1978, just two years after their rival introduced the 5 cylinder Audi 100.

In the late ’70s, Volvo wanted to jumpstart their move towards a more modern automobile. They created a new special project dubbed the Galaxy Project, as they were – in their own words – ‘aiming for the stars’ by creating something completely new. Indeed, the project encompassed new ideas everywhere: new body styles, new materials, new safety components and, of course, new engines. It was a long-term investment, with an economic, future-forward car as the ultimate goal.

Over the next 10 years or so, Volvo poured huge amounts of money into Project Galaxy and it eventually ended up becoming the most expensive project Volvo had ever taken on at the time. However, their push into the future eventually birthed two new cars, the Volvo 480 and the 850, the latter of which would go on to define Volvo for a decade or more.

Project Galaxy eventually ended up becoming the most expensive project Volvo had ever taken on at the time. However, their push into the future eventually birthed two new cars, the Volvo 480 and the 850, the latter of which would go on to define Volvo for a decade or more.

The 480 was built in Volvo’s Dutch manufacturing plant from 1986 to 1995. It was the first front-wheel drive vehicle Volvo had ever produced – one of the major goals of Project Galaxy – but the differences didn’t stop there. The 3-door hatchback was a stark right turn to Volvo’s traditional vehicles, with the FWD, low ground clearance, and sleek design (pop up headlights!) aimed at a younger audience. The 480 also enjoyed design elements that we’d later see in the Volvo C30 – most notably the full-glass back hatch.

Unlike the 480, Volvo built the 850 in Sweden. Introduced in 1991, a full 13 years after Project Galaxy first started, the 850 sported many of the ideas Volvo envisioned for the project. First off, the drivetrain was completely front-wheel drive with the engine transversely mounted in the engine bay, a major change for Volvo, but necessary to keep up with other manufacturers that had already switched over.

To keep everything as light as possible, the entire engine block was composed of aluminum, as opposed to heavier cast iron. The 850 also included Volvo’s new SIPS (Side Impact Protection System).

And of course, the 850 also included Volvo’s very first 5 cylinder engine. Why did they choose a 5-cylinder instead of a 4 or even 6?

First off, we can only imagine that, with Audi seeing huge successes with their own I5, Volvo – as well as other manufacturers – were already somewhat open to the idea of a new 5 cylinder engine.

From the very beginning, one of Project Galaxy’s goals was the Modular Engine – an engine design that could easily be converted to a 4, 5, or 6 cylinder with little extra design and production changes, allowing Volvo to produce a variety of engines for less time and money.

During the early years of Project Galaxy, the development group initially developed their transverse engine as a 4 cylinder, with 5 and 6 cylinder models as secondary options. When it came time to test the engines though, Volvo’s engineers loved the 5 cylinder’s performance so much they decided to focus in on this oddball engine, with the 4 and 6 cylinders eventually falling to the wayside.

Keep in mind that the Volvo 850 wasn’t actually the first to feature their modular engine. That honor goes to the Volvo 960 and its I4 engine [In dispute. See this.]. However, the 850 was the first to feature the 5 cylinder version. The modular engine eventually became a mainstay of Volvo automobiles, with the manufacturer using the design all the way up to 2016 in the Volvo XC60, XC70, S60, and V60.

The 850 and Beyond

C70 Resize
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Volvo continually added the I5 to a host of vehicles, including the Volvo C30.

After the 850 proved such a huge success, thanks to their raucous showing in motorsports and the public’s fascination with the boxy underdog, Volvo kept introducing the 5 cylinder in more and more models, with the engine becoming increasingly intertwined with Volvo’s image over the next decade.

Below is a list of each vehicle that Volvo added the 5 cylinder engine to, along with the year they added the 5 cylinder as an option.


After the 850 in 1991, Volvo introduced 3 more models featuring the 5 cylinder engine:

  • S70/V70– Volvo introduced the S70/V70 in 1996 (’98 in the US) to replace the 850. In essence a facelifted 850, the S70 exclusively featured the 5 cylinder engine, both gas and diesel variants, naturally-aspirated and turbo, from a low of 2 liters in size to 2.5 liters.
  • C70 – In 1998, Volvo also introduced the convertible C70 to US markets, also featuring Volvo’s 5 cylinder modular engine along with a turbocharger to add some extra boost. Volvo continued to produce the C70, with the 5 cylinder engine, all the way up to 2013.
  • S80 – Volvo introduced the S80 with both a 5 and 6 cylinder engine in 1998, with 4 cylinder and 8 cylinder options in later years.


Over the next decade, the 5 cylinder became increasingly prevalent, with Volvo throwing the inline 5 in pretty much every car they manufactured:

  • S40 (2nd gen) – With the 2nd generation of the S40 in 2004, Volvo added on a 5 cylinder option to go with the standard inline 4.
  • S60 – Volvo’s replacement for the S70, Volvo only offered the S60 with the inline 5 (either NA or turbo) when first introduced in 2000. For the 2nd generation S60 in 2010, they also offered a turbo and/or supercharged 4 and 6 cylinder options.
  • XC90 – Volvo’s first foray into SUVs back in 2002 also featured a turbo inline 5 as well as an inline 6 and V8. In 2014, Volvo introduced the 2nd generation XC90 that only came with 4 cylinders.
  • C30 – From 2006 to 2013, Volvo manufactured the C30 hatchback, featuring either an I4 or I5 engine.


As engine technology continued to rapidly progress, manufacturers were able to coax major power out of smaller engines, with little effect on efficiency. The popularity of 5 cylinders began to wane and even Volvo moved on to smaller, more efficient inline 4s. Since 2010, Volvo has introduced the 5 cylinder briefly to a couple models, but nothing long-lasting:

  • XC60 – Introduced in 2008, Volvo’s 2nd dip into SUVs also briefly featured a gas-powered turbocharged inline 5 from 2015 to 2016, though Volvo replaced the entire lineup with their new 4 cylinder in 2017.
  • V40 – No, not the ‘90s wagon. Volvo introduced this hatchback in European markets in 2012, though it isn’t available in the US (yet). While the V40 was equipped with a 5 cylinder engine for a short time, the 2017 V40 only comes equipped with a 4 cylinder.

The Future Is Small

Xc40 Resize
Volvo’s 2017 XC40 features an ultra-powerful engine, but it’s not the I5.

The inline 5’s pleasing sound and better NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) generally leads to a more pleasant experience than an I4 engine. Audi continues to use a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine in the 2018 Audi TT, but we can’t say the same for Volvo. The last two cars they’ve introduced, 2016’s S90 sedan and 2017’s XC40 SUV, wowed critics but both only feature a 4 cylinder engine.

In fact, as far back as 2009 Volvo announced they were ditching all engines bigger than 4 cylinders, including the I5 that they – and we – are so fond of. When Ford sold Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely the following year, Volvo took the time to rethink their designs and customer needs and decided that both they, and their customers, would benefit from smaller, more efficient turbocharged engines, like the current widespread trend in the automotive world. The 5 cylinder was toast.

Volvo took the time to rethink their designs and customer needs and decided that both they, and their customers, would better benefit from smaller, more efficient turbocharged engines. The 5 cylinder was toast.

If you’re now pouring out lamentations for Volvo’s 5 cylinder, consider this: the 2017 XC90’s dainty (albeit twin-charged) 4 cylinder engine produces a whopping 316 HP and 295 ft-lbs of torque. That’s a lot more power and better fuel consumption than the V70R.

When Volvo first introduced the 5 cylinder engine way back in 1991, it filled an important niche. It was a midway point, providing greater power than a 4 cylinder, but greater efficiency than an I6 or V8. However, times change. Volvo is moving into the future, and the 5 cylinder engine simply isn’t a part of that future.

Image Credits: Courtesy Volvo Press Materials – 1, 4, 6, Public Domain via Wikimedia – 2, CC via Flickr 3, 5

Crank Marks — The EASY Way to Line Them Up for Timing Belt

Posted yesterday: a method to avoid the headache of lining up crank marks when you're replacing a timing belt on a Volvo 5-cylinder engine.

Line Up Crank Marks

Yesterday longtime MVS Contributor and Volvo DIY author cn90 posted a method to avoid the headache of lining up crank marks when you’re replacing a timing belt on a Volvo 5-cylinder engine.

I just did the timing belt, WP, etc. on my 2005 XC90 2.5T with 110K miles.

I just came up with a nice way to line up the crank and want to share with everyone. This easy trick is true for all Volvo 5-cylinder engines, from 850, S70, V70, C70 to S80, S60, XC90 etc.

On the issue of Crank Marks, there are tons of youtube videos, DIYs showing the tiny tiny marks on the crank that are so hard to see unless you have good eyes or you remove the Crank Pulley.

There is a MUCH MUCH EASIER way to line it up, even with the Crank Pulley in place.

1. Method #1: use the index finger and feel both ridges (RED arrows). This photo is shown with the Crank removed, but you can easily feel both ridges even with the Crank Pulley in place.

2. Method #2: This method is much easier!
– Note the Locating Pin is at approx 1 o’clock position.
– Incidentally, one of the Crank Pulley bolts lines up with the bolt on the Engine Mount (assuming your Engine Mount is still good and not collapsed), as shown in the red rectangle at roughly 8 o’clock position.

MVS Contributor Erik:

Method #1 is a winner, those are well known factory marks. It is not for everyone because you are working blind, using feel not vision, but it works. Nice picture and a helpful tip.

Method #2 I would never trust except to get you in the ballpark to then properly use the factory timing marks. “Approximately” is not a word to use in aligning timing marks, and there are way too many possible variables on the engine mount construction (many different models, many different makes on that part, sometimes the mount is broken, etc.).

And then, no matter what method you use, make absolutely certain you look at those tiny, tiny notches and that they are properly lined up. Those must be confirmed. You can always see them without removing the crank pulley, a good strong light source is your friend in that endeavor. On the P80 cars remove the coolant bottle from its mount when you start, and I like to remove the serp tensioner.

VRD: The EASY way to line up Crank mark for Timing Belt

History of the Volvo 5 Cylinder

More than any other auto maker, Volvo’s name has become almost synonymous with the 5 cylinder engine over the last 30 years. Here's its history.

Volvo's 5-cylinder: Where Did I Come From
Volvo’s 5-cylinder: Where Did I Come From

Volvo’s history is intrinsically intertwined with the 5-cylinder engine. More than any other auto maker (besides maybe Audi), Volvo’s name has become almost synonymous with this rather idiosyncratic engine over the last 30 years. At the time, it was a perfect compromise between the 6-cylinder’s power and the 4-cylinders size and efficiency.

Of course, time soldiers on and today we’ve got 4-cylinder engines that put out 6-cylinder power with great efficiency, leaving the 5-cylinder to the history books.

In 2012, Volvo announced they would cease producing the 5-cylinder, opting instead for the smaller 4.

Let’s look back at the history of Volvo’s 5-cylinder engine, where it came from, and delve a little more into why this peculiar engine flourished for so long.

Volvo 850, 5 Cyl. 2.3 L
Volvo 850, 5 Cyl. 2.3 L

Where Did the 5-Cylinder Engine Come From?

5-cylinder engines have been around a long time. Henry Ford first tinkered with them back in the late 1930s. Fast forward to 1974 and Mercedes has put a 5-cylinder diesel in their 300D. Jump forward 2 years (1976) and Audi has introduced the first gas-powered inline 5 in the Audio 100, the beginnings of a relationship that lasts to today (though with some bumps and gaps along the way). In fact, along with Volvo, the 5-cylinder is forever linked with Audi.

Since Audi’s initial success with the 5-cylinder, seemingly ever manufacturer has introduced their own version at some point: Volvo in 1991, Volkswagen across many of their offerings, Acura, Fiat, Lancia, GM (including even the Hummer H3 when it was first introduced), and others.

Brief History of Volvo’s Inline 5

Volvo’s love affair with the inline 5-cylinder began in 1991 with the introduction of the 850. The offering was part of the Volvo Modular Engine, a family of inline-4, inline-5, and inline-6 engines that used aluminum blocks and heads, as well as aluminum pistons and double overhead cams.

What’s a Modular Engine? Basically, the above 3 engines share many identical parts and components, making the manufacturing process easier and more cost-effective

Volvo began researching and developing the Modular Engine project in the late 1970s, with their first offering coming in 1990 with the new 960 that featured Volvo’s first Modular Engine, an inline 6-cylinder.

In 1991, they released the 850, the first of many vehicles sporting the inline 5-cylinder Modular Engine. The 850 sported the 5-cylinder until its demise in 1997.

Benefits of the Volvo 5-Cylinder

The 5-cylinder is unique and dwindling in popularity, but it does have some legitimate perks:

  • Space. The 5-cylinder fits much better in the compact transverse engine compartments of modern cars than an inline-6, but provides more power than an inline-4.
  • Smooth Power Delivery. Because of the overlapping piston timing inherent within inline 5-cylinder engines, they produce a smoother power delivery than similar inline 4 engines, in which the pistons’ movement does not overlap. Because of this, 5-cylinders enjoy less noise and shaking in the engine. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at this wonderful Engineering Explained video on YouTube on 5-cylinders:

  • Cost. Costs less to build than inline 6-cylinder engines.

What’s Going On with the 5-Cylinder Today?

As more and more automakers turn towards turbos and tweaking to make inline-4s more powerful and efficient, the inline 5 is become more and more redundant.

Volvo stopped producing 5-cylinders in 2014, with the last 5-cylinder going into the 2014 S60, and is testament to the sea change described above: they no longer make any engines larger than 4-cylinders, though they quite like the turbos.

Even up until just 5 to 10 years ago, 5-cylinders were used by the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, Land Rover, Ford (with Volvo’s engine), and Chevy. Today, you’re hard-pressed to find any, although Audi has announced a new 5-cylinder for 2017 that produces almost 400 bhp.

Will Volvo Ever Reintroduce the 5-Cylinder?

In two words. Probably not. Like we said, the 5-cylinder is a thing of the past. During its heyday, it was the perfect meeting point between 4- and 6-cylinder engines: almost as efficient as 4-cylinders, almost as powerful as 6-cylinders.

With today’s modern engine technology, we can squeeze more performance out of inline 4s and many auto manufacturers are even jumping onto 3-cylinder engines coupled with turbos to pack even more power. Just like the other manufacturers, Volvo is moving forward to an era of smaller-but-powerful engines.

850 Resize

Image credit: Creative Commons Flickr

Plastic Welding – Repair Volvo Front Spoilers and Bumpers

Neil plastic welds the front bumper / spoiler of his V70 - it's all chewed up by 17 years of previous owners trying to make the V70 eat parking blocks.

MVS Contributor Neil (scot850) continues to chip away at bringing his project 2000 V70 N/A base up to an aesthetic baseline and mechanical baseline, otherwise known as Stage 0.

For the aesthetics, there is a big problem: the front bumper and spoiler are all chewed up by 17 years of previous owners trying to make their V70 eat parking blocks.

So the endless new saga of the 2000 V70 NA/base continues. Hopefully the majority of the mechanical and interior repair work has been completed. Still some stuff to do, but the last major issue I wanted to tackle prior to returning the car to the road for shakedown runs (to see what else falls off!) was to try to repair some of the damage the PO had inflicted on the poor car’s front bumper. It appears the PO parked by touch in every parking bay she went into. The bottom of the bumper is totally scratched with deep scratches, and also a couple of ‘dog-ear’ tears in the bottom lip from presumably driving it over a stop block in a parking bay and then backing off over it and catching the bumper.

I had removed the bumper to fix the head-light wiper motor and in fact the whole washer system too which included the washer bottle too. As I hate doing body work due to lack of patience, I had thought I’d farm this out to pros, but due to a huge over-run I can’t afford to do that, although, I found that the cost of buying all the materials required to repair an ABS plastic bumper is also high. Anyway, the first task was to rub down the area around the cracks and I then planned to use special plastic 2 part glue to repair the cracks. I had even bought the double syringe dispenser and the 2 part glue and some web to spread over the crack for strength. But a chance reading of a Princess Auto sale catalogue, showed an new item on sale, which was a plastic welding kit for $55 CDN. That was cheaper than the double dispenser unit for the glue pack! So I returned the glue pack and dispenser and bought the welder instead.

Plastic welding isn’t something we talk about often here at MVS, so this is an interesting and novel subject for me. Welding the plastic of Volvo bumpers and front spoilers is best done when they are removed from the car and inverted:

My process included cleaning the area first using wax/surface cleaner, then rubbed it down to key the area around it, but I think the last part is overkill as you will melt the plastic around the damage with the heat anyways. I then ‘V’ notched the split both sides of the bumper (I.e. front and back) and only then added the plastic. It is definitely easier to do whilst working from above the repair (horizontal) or the repair is vertical. Trying to repair it from underneath was a was of time as the plastic tended to fall off before it bonded. I made the mistake of trying to repair the rear from below, and was able to do it, but it will not win any beauty contest any time soon! However, I did make the repair at the back a little thicker for added strength.

If you’d like to read more about Neil’s experience plastic welding his Volvo’s front spoiler and bumper, read more by clicking the link just below this sentence.

Plastic Welding a Volvo Bumper!

DIY: 1998 Volvo S70 GLT Heater Core, Heater Hoses

It's much better to get rid of the whole thing (O-rings, firewall coupler etc. etc.) and simplified the system by using this approach: Core > Pipes > Hoses

heater core heater hoses - DIY on 1998 Volvo S70

We have several heater core / hoses documented repairs, but this guide by CN90 is so good there’s no sense in not including it. It’s really good. Here’s a few related posts:

In the thread below, songzunhuang discussed replacing the two (2) heater hoses etc., only to realize that it is much better to get rid of the whole thing (O-rings, firewall coupler etc. etc.) and simplified the system by using this approach: Heater Core —> Cut Pipes —> Generic Heater Hoses —> Gutted Coupler —> Re-used the barb fittings —> Generic Heater Hoses —> Engine: … hp?t=67217

Make sure you read through the entire thread above.

Another good thread by rspi … hp?t=58733

  • Anyway, this is my experience with ebay Heater Core ($40 incl. shipping), and used standard heater hoses to simplify this whole convoluted Volvo setup.
  • This is strictly preventive maintenance at 167K. The cabin once in while has this very faint sweet smell. The car consumes two (2) cups of coolant every 5K or so (going from Max to Min). Since others have reported the heater hoses can burst, dumping coolant in a matter of seconds and since the heater hoses are 18 years/167K old, it is time to replace them on a preventive basis. This is one job you do NOT want to do in the middle of nowhere, trust me.

  • Budget 4-6h for this whole project.
  • Heater Core, Heater Hoses Parts:

    • Ebay Heater Core ($40) Do NOT use the two (2) O-rings that come with the ebay heater core: when cold they are OK but when you drive the car, the system is pressurized, they will seep a bit. Best is to buy two (2) Volvo OEM O-ring (PN 3545586), about $3-$4/each.
    • Others mentioned the ebay heater core can smell. So I boiled some water, added some DW detergent, then dipped the HC in there to clean all the grease (I removed the foam for this process, maybe unnecessary step), then rinse with water. You can put the HC in the DW but it takes a long time for the whole 2-3h cycle.
    • Standard 5/8-inch heater hose. I used Gates brand (someone told me Gates is better than Thermoid brand), 6 feet is bare bone minimum. I bought 8 feet just in case, it is about $1.50-$2.00/ft at Napa auto parts. In contrast, if you buy Volvo OEM heater hoses, they are about $60/each!
    • Six (6) clamps for the project: 2 inside the cabin, and 4 at the firewall area.
    • Prestone coolant and distilled water.

    Heater Core, Heater Hoses Tools:

    • Torx keys
    • Screwdrivers
    • Pair of pliers
    • Angle Grinder or Dremel tool to remove factory crimp in order to re-use the barb fittings.
      Wear goggles when operating Angle Grinder or Dremel tool!!!
    • Butyl Rope (stuff used seal vapor berrier or older windshield glass, buy it at local auto glass store), this stuff is used to seal the firewall coupler/generic heater hose space. Or you can use your favorite caulking stuff, as long as it can handle engine heat.
    • Latex gloves: there are a lot of sharp edges to deal with!

    VRD: DIY: 1998 Volvo S70 GLT Heater Core, Heater Hoses Rebuild!

    S70 GLT AC Pulley Bearing (also Alternator and PS Pump) Procedure

    MVS Contributor and Volvo DIY wizard CN90 posts another detailed procedure on Volvo P80 maintenance, this one is a DIY for a S70 GLT AC pulley bearing.

    ac pulley bearing diy
    MVS Contributor and Volvo DIY wizard CN90 posts another detailed procedure on Volvo P80 maintenance, this one is a DIY for a S70 GLT AC pulley bearing.

    My 1998 S70 GLT AC Pulley Bearing with 185K miles has been making some faint noise for the last 2 years, I know the AC pulley has been free-wheeling for 2 years. People in the forum say the Zexel compressor should last > 225K miles, this is why I replaced only the pulley bearing and not the whole compressor.

    I did 2 stupid things this weekend: doing a write-up for a 20-year-old-car-with-185K-miles (just kidding) and should have done it differently but it is what it is.

    In retrospect, the AC Pulley bearing would be “a bit” easier if I d/c the oil cooler line and tilt the compressor upward to allow me to use puller etc.

    CN90’s overview notes:

    • The M5 bolt was tightened slowly, but all it did was bending the metal tab on the clutch and the clutch itself did NOT budge. The reason I did it this way (w/o template) is that: a few people in forum said they did not use the template, they simply tighten the M5 bolts and clutch came out. It was not true in my case, the clutch was on so tight that I had to use screwdriver. Maybe I should have used the custom template (holes drilled at radius of 19 mm) as written by “Nathan Bryant” a while back:
    • The custom template (see the pdf above) with holes drilled with radius of 19mm is probably the way to go. Use an old brake pad as mentioned etc. If you don’t want to bend the clutch, then read the pdf above!
    • Initially I did not want to d/c the upper radiator hose, but eventually I had to. It made life so much easier. Just remember to reconnect the rad hose and add coolant later.
    • NA model: easier b/c you don’t have the Oil Cooler hose in the way and you should be able to tilt the AC compressor upward to allow the use of puller. See the posts by burnout8488
    • Anyway, if you want to do my stupid way, read on. Hey, BTW, this DIY is also good for PS Pump and Alternator as it is basically the same procedure.

    VRD: DIY: 1998 S70 GLT AC Pulley Bearing (also Alternator and PS Pump) procedure

    S70 AC pulley DIY

    S70 AC pulley DIY

    S70 AC pulley DIY

    VRD: DIY: 1998 S70 GLT AC Pulley Bearing (also Alternator and PS Pump) procedure

    Just A Guy Who Loves His Volvo

    This isn't a repair, or technical Volvo information, or oil viscosity discussion. Just a nice post from a guy who loves his Volvo. :-)

    A blue 1998 Volvo S70, nothing more, nothing less

    This isn’t a repair, or technical Volvo information, or oil viscosity discussion. Just a nice post from a guy who loves his Volvo. 🙂

    MVS Forums Contributor utilityaudio:

    I’m sure you guys are probably familiar with this feeling, but this is my first car, and it’s spectacular.

    it’s not perfect, it’s old, and it honestly needs a good wash/wax and detail, but it’s mine, and damn is it fun to drive… and it’s so smooooooth.

    I had to drive from MD to DE this weekend for a meeting, probably about 150 miles round trip, the weather was nice and clear, traffic was just right.

    I’m bad with words, but it was a fantastic drive, and I’m starting to love my car.


    Just A Guy Who Loves His Volvo

    P80 Ignition Switch, Root Failure Analysis


    MVS Moderator and Volvo DIY fan Abscate looks closely at what fails on P80 ignition switches. If you’re having trouble starting your P80 Volvo, this shows you what is broken and what you can do to fix it.

    Most of us have had to replace the electrical part of our ignition switch on high mileage P80s – I dove into my replacement from 2013 and this is what I found,comments on pictures

    Executive summary – these switches can probably be put back into service by opening them up and cleaning the points inside the gray cover.

    Here’s CN90’s fantastic DIY writeup for replacing the ignition switch in a 1998 V70 (a P80).

    In the 5th, you can see there are white plastic eccentric cams – these open and close points which connect the various terminals based on switch position. There are two radii of points and two plastic cams that open/close them by the way.

    In the 7th, you can see the ball bearing and groove that limits the rotation of the switch – Im guessing this wears out and the ball pops out, relieving tension and giving the ‘loose spinning key’ scenario

    Worn cams will allow spinning, and perhaps are root cause of the points not fully closing, creating electrical chaos.

    OF course, points can pit and grunge, like mine were, so Im guessing thats more likely how they fail.

    Oh, important safety note. Some of the points are all normally closed, so don’t put this back into car to test it without the cam in place – that could cause all sorts of havoc.

    P80 Ignition Switch, Root Failure Analysis

    Keep it Running: How Much Do P80 Owners Spend?

    How much do P80 owners spend every year on average to keep their Volvos running?

    POLL: How Much Do P80 Owners Spend

    How much do P80 owners spend every year on average to keep their Volvos running?

    This poll has two parts:

    I’ll do the same thing soon for P2 Volvos, and other major Volvo products.

    If you haven’t, please take the time to vote. If you’re not a member, it’s simple and free to register. Need a registration overview?

    How much do you spend on parts per year on your Volvo P80?

    The average over the life of your P80 ownership.

    Just parts please.

    P80 is 850, S70, V70, C70 & V70-XC (1992-2000).

    2000 V70 Becomes Test Mule for Parts

    Neil has a new Volvo project – 2000 V70 SE NA – 5 Speed auto – Mileage approx. 270,000km… to be used exlusively as a test unit for parts he sells. He’s got the space for it… why not?

    This is not only a forum post on turning this car into a tester, it’s also about how Neil found the car. It’s got quite a bit of value merely for its How to Buy a Volvo content.


    I have been lucky to be allowed to look this car over fairly thoroughly (although you never find everything).
    I’ve been looking for a 98 V70 T-5 auto for about 3 months and no luck, right across Canada. Best that came up either had blown trans, were manual needing new clutches, or head gaskets failed.

    I widened my search to any 98-00 V/C/S 70 turbo or non-turbo, manual or auto, mileage ideally under 250,000km. Again nothing! Eventually I put a ‘Wanted’ add on Kijiji here in Calgary, and got a few bites, but again cars had issues.

    What I wanted was either a good car, or one needing some work, that I can use as a test bed for all the electrical parts I have from ECC system (fans/resistor packs/temp sensors) to Radios/CD players and amplifiers and cables. I have too many so I’m deciding to downsize the ‘stash’, but don’t want to sell parts unless I know they are good first!

    After seeing several cars I was offered, I got close on a 89 V70 T-5 with manual trans, but had some front end panel damage. Owner had replacement panels in correct color. Problem was the car had been standing, was under layer of snow and had a bad battery. Oh, and it was -20C in a storage compound at the other end of the city!

    Owner ran a business repairing damaged cars and has a thing for P80’s. Eventually we got the car running and over to my house and he left if for a few days for me to check over. Mechanically the car needing a little work, panels aligned and fitted. Problem was once the car had dried out I found the windshield had not been sealed properly and had rusted out along the whole top edge of the roof above the windshield. He said it could be fixed cheaply, but the added cost took the car value too high.

    My plan was to break even on costs and once the parts were tested sell the car on.

    In frustration, I got back to a nice lady who had contacted me with a V70 base (she said it was a 99) that had the flashing orange arrow of doom, on the dash and an engine check light. After thinking about it more I told her to bring the car over and I’d run a diagnostic with my Dice unit to see what the problems were. The Dice unit connected up ok, but gave no codes, but also strangely no ID to the trans type. I didn’t think anymore about it as I rejected the car as having a bad trans. It turned out the car was a 2000 MY and has the 5 speed auto.

    I decided to do some more checking as the fact the trans warning came on at the same time as the engine check light sounded familiar and good old MVS and all the wonderful helpers here identified a possible cause might be the PNP switch. I tired the ‘rowing’ but no different.
    I explained that if the trans was bad, then the car was about $500 CDN as scrap due to cost of replacing the trans outweighed the car value as I can’t do the swap out. She decided to keep the car.

    I spoke to my friend the foreman at the local dealer and explained the problem and he said to bring it in and they’d charge an hour diagnostic. I felt the $170 CDN was worth the risk and contacted the owner just before Christmas. She had changed her mind about keeping the car, and said it would be ok for me to take the car to the dealer to have it checked and I could buy it for $500. I agreed that I would pay for the diagnostic and if the trans was good, then I’d buy the car but if bad it went back home.

    I arranged to take the car to the dealer and the explained the issue to the mechanic and he found the same issue of a comms issue with the TCU to the trans. He went ahead and pulled the ECU and TCU and found build up on the contacts (dirt and oxidation). He carefully cleaned the contacts with a Wurth product and cotton bud and re-fitted and removed a couple of times. He then got a communication link and pulled all codes and re-set. I had already identified that the trans was un-likely the issue when I drove it to the dealer as it was not in limp mode, and all gears were working which meant the PNP was an un-likely culprit.

    Only other codes that were thrown were some ABS codes but no light was on, so possibly un-cleared old codes. Car ran fine on the way home and so far so good.

    Drive did show a couple of other issues of strange handling (a strange pivoting from the rear) and brakes that were off at the rear (new front brakes).

    I have been through the car from front to rear now and identified the problems and costs of parts and have offered the owner $800 CDN ($600 US). This is maybe a little high but she is a single mother with 2 older boys. She has been trying to keep the car going for the boys to use, but has been ripped off by repair shops. Have to admire a lady that takes her 2 boys to PnP for parts and then fits them herself!
    She is delighted that I am buying the car, and I have now discovered it is an SE model with fog-lights, Homelink, tailgate spoiler, winter and summer tires, roof rails and roof box, and leather interior. Car needs love but now with my parts list of parts that have to be replaced and the nice-to-have list also (new rear springs to replace the sagging and rusted but not broken rears, front and rear engine mounts and a few other parts).
    My plan is to fix the parts and run it as planned, but if it turns out to be a nice running car I may just keep it and sell the ‘R’ in the summer instead!

    VRD: New Project – 2000 V70 SE NA – 5 speed auto

    Improve Headlight Output with Projectors

    Improve Headlight Output with Projectors

    New MVS Forums member and now MVS Contributor Darkfleet explains how he upgraded the headlights on his 1999 XC70. The DIY writeup joins a strong group of headlight upgrade and improvement tutorials and information like this one, this one, this one and this one. This writeup is tailored to his XC70, but this will work for the entire Volvo P80 family (1994-2000), and the concepts may apply for for even Volvo P2 models.

    I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to properly improve the lighting on x70 cars and IMO I think I have finally reached the best solution. I have tried a few different methods including LED bulbs, HID lights, modifying LED bulbs and even adding strategic plati-dip to the headlight lens all in order to reduce glare. From my research and experience, I tend to agree that if you are trying to improve your lighting, projectors (HID or Halogen) is the only option if your goal is not to blind others. Originally, I thought a projector retrofit was a complicated thing and with not a whole lot of Volvo specific projector threads – I kind of dismissed the idea. Anyways, long story short I installed projectors on my 99 V70 and here is the write-up. The light output has significantly increased and I get that beautiful straight cutoff with a little blue color flicker on the cutoff. There are also power savings going from 55w Halogens to the 35w HID’s.


    Dremel w/ grinding stone
    Drill (Corded or Cordless)
    Drill Press (not required)
    1” Drillbit + Misc Screws
    3” Hook and Loop Drill Backer
    3” Hook and Loop Sanding Pads (Various Grit 40#-3000#)
    3” Hook and Loop Sheep Wool Buffing Pad
    Cerium Oxide – I used 3 micron


    HID Projectors (H1 Mini – 2.5” w/ shrouds)
    HID Bulbs (H1 – 35w)
    HID Ballast (35w)

    DIY: x70 Projector Retrofit