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Why I hate repairing old cars.

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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scot850
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Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by scot850 »

I don't actually hate repairing the old cars as such, but what I hate is going in there after some incompetent has been there before me at some point. On my project V70 I have spent way more time trying to figure stuff that idiots (in this case so called mechanics) have tried to repair but screwed up. Trying to figure out what they have done and then sort the issue is way more difficult sometimes than tackling something I have not worked on before. Todays case is the worst case scenario where it was a job I had not done before but shouldn't be too hard. Famous last words!

I started yesterday to disassemble the rear shocks and springs for replacement. Read up on Vida and Haynes manual and seemed straight forward relative to an AWD model.

I disassembled the LHR shock and spring first taking care to mark where the upper spring seat was positioned to make sure I re-assembled is all again. This was a fine idea except some clown had been in there before at some time. No matter how I tried to get the spring to seat I could not get the lower spring retaining plate to go into place, and the spring was rubbing against the rear axle and hub on both sides. What the heck? Fitted it all back up but not happy about the result.

Tackled the RHR and again marked up the upper spring seat position and looked carefully at where the lower spring end sat on removal. The lower spring seat is shaped and is designed to locate the spring to center it so you know how it is meant to align. Rotating the new spring, fitted the lower spring plate and all looked great. Reassembled it all. Still not happy with the LHR so ended up eventually dis-assembling both it and the RHS again several time to figure out what was wrong. Every time the RHS fitted up perfectly but not the LHS. I could see where the spring had been rubbing in the past.

Eventually playing around with the rotation position of the spring ignoring how it had previously been assembled I figured out the spring had been fitted 180 degrees from where it should be. When fitted up this way it all fitted up correctly.

Oh, and did I mention one of the rear shocks was missing the large 2" washer that holds the lower shock mount in place. How do you lose that and not realise what you did!?

So my 2 hour job took close to 6 hours and a huge amount of frustration. And my wife asks me why it takes so long to fix stuff!!

Oh the joys....! Rant is now over.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold
cn90
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by cn90 »

I hear you.

- Fixing old cars but stock (untouched) is already a challenge.
- Fixing old cars that had been messed around with (by either incompetent mechanic or P.O.) is even more challenging.
2004 V70 2.5T 100K+
2005 XC90 2.5T 110K+
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BEJinFbk
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by BEJinFbk »

And your poor pup is just sitting there, questioning
the silly human's time management and thinking
"You could be out playing with the dog!"

Glad to hear you got it squared away, Neal.
Keep fighting the good fight! :)
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)
scot850
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by scot850 »

Poor puppy came out to check what all the loud strange language was being used in the garage!

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold
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skloon
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by skloon »

I always love finding out what the DPO- dreaded previous owner did- my 850 had the rear shocks held in by welding a nut onto the broken stud-by a local Volvo specialist
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theWIFES_S70
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by theWIFES_S70 »

skloon wrote:I always love finding out what the DPO- dreaded previous owner did- my 850 had the rear shocks held in by welding a nut onto the broken stud-by a local Volvo specialist
Sheesh... Could you tell, or did you have to break tools in order to figure that one out??

That stud piece is pretty pricey no? Really makes a sub hour-long job into quite the ordeal... I haven't come across anything like that yet. <Knock on wood...>

I'll probably be doing my brother's shocks this week or next, I'll keep an eye out for such tomfoolery!
1998 Volvo S70, N/A, 5-speed, 185K
2007 Volvo S40, 2.4i, 5-speed, 100K
galexie64
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by galexie64 »

It is amazing what some people will do. My '64 Ford Galaxie had a transmission conversion done by a shop and they welded the cross-member to the frame. That was a ton of work getting that out so I could have the tranny rebuilt. My dad bought a '74 BMW 2002 as a parts car and the carrier bearing was held together with about 40 zip ties. That car was crazy rusted, I actually did put my foot through the floor when we were moving it across the yard. The P.O. was driving it that way.
1998 Volvo V70 AWD
1984 RX-7 GSL-SE
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL 2 dr fastback, 390 thunderbird, auto, AC
1970 Ford F250 Custom Explorer Camper Special 390/C6
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oragex
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by oragex »

After three places lying to me I need a new steering rack when it was a worn ball joint, and another three places lying me they did the front wheel geometry when later on a garage found the tie rod nut was seized, I never stepped back in a garage ever.

Been 10 years no one else touched my cars but myself (except for installing tires and then I stay close to the clown so he doesn't put 200 ft-lbs of torque on the lugs)
Weeks ago I needed to cut and weld a downpipe flexible. Since I didn't had a welding machine, I VERY reluctantly brought the car to a garage.
Went back home and had a look at his job. Can't describe how it looks, the welding looks done by a 5 years old. Plus, he didn't position properly the new downpipe so he dared cut the catalytic converter bracket and 'reweld' it back in a different position. No, that's not all, keep reading. The flange after the converter had a small leak, the guy WELDED the flange to stop the leak.

Guess what I now got off Ebay? http://www.ebay.com/itm/322215716000?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
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theWIFES_S70
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by theWIFES_S70 »

oragex, you're speaking my language... I'm really starting to believe that learning how to weld is essential if you're going to take shadetree/DIY to the next level. I don't know what it's like up north, but here in NYC, when you head to those muffler shops you get workers who you don't care about themselves or your car one bit! They take a sawzall to whatever metal they can find, and they have a go at it. I need a cat and I was thinking about getting a shop around here to weld one in. But I just don't trust them... And especially since we have two O2 sensors there. I'd rather put in a header and everything else myself. In this case, it'd be more expensive than going to a muffler shop, but at least I'll know it's done right.

Let us know how that Welder works out for you! It's cheaper than Harbor Freight's!
1998 Volvo S70, N/A, 5-speed, 185K
2007 Volvo S40, 2.4i, 5-speed, 100K
mecheng
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Re: Why I hate repairing old cars.

Post by mecheng »

oragex wrote:After three places lying to me I need a new steering rack when it was a worn ball joint, and another three places lying me they did the front wheel geometry when later on a garage found the tie rod nut was seized, I never stepped back in a garage ever.

Been 10 years no one else touched my cars but myself (except for installing tires and then I stay close to the clown so he doesn't put 200 ft-lbs of torque on the lugs)
Weeks ago I needed to cut and weld a downpipe flexible. Since I didn't had a welding machine, I VERY reluctantly brought the car to a garage.
Went back home and had a look at his job. Can't describe how it looks, the welding looks done by a 5 years old. Plus, he didn't position properly the new downpipe so he dared cut the catalytic converter bracket and 'reweld' it back in a different position. No, that's not all, keep reading. The flange after the converter had a small leak, the guy WELDED the flange to stop the leak.

Guess what I now got off Ebay? http://www.ebay.com/itm/322215716000?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
I echo this, all mechanical work I do myself, even the odd body work. I've left welding exhaust to the Pros, you just need to find the right ones. I've had good luck with Zoro in Mississauga, (if you live in Ontario).

How are you finding the welder? I was considering one, wasn't sure which cheapie one I want considering it wouldn't be used often. Did you have a look at the ones on Amazon, Princess Auto, or Cdn Tire?
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - SE - 240km - Sold July 2018
1997 Volvo 850 GLT - 190km
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