Help me buy an 850!

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, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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echosierra
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Year and Model: 1995 855T
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Help me buy an 850!

Post by echosierra »

Hi all, hopefully with this purchase i can join your family. This is my first post, regret if I should post an intro elsewhere. Im too excited to get this going so here goes...

I am looking at an 850 turbo wagon and have a couple questions that i havent been able to quickly find answers to this far.

The 1995 850 turbo wagon i just test drove was in pretty good condition. Sure its got some age showing but the body is great. Interior needs a little work. A/c is shot. Would definitely need a stage zero tune. 138k miles and the engine pulled strong. Auto trans shifted pretty well. No smoke from tailpipe and no smoky-ness from dipstick after warmup. The coolant level bottle stayed static over a 10 min test drive (no bubbling or overflowing or rising levels).

Heres my questions. Top end sounded a little like ticky valves. Is this normal? Sounded same cold and warm. This is my first experience w/a volvo of any age.
I never really felt a ‘strong turbo surge’ at any rpm. She pulled strong from standstill the 4-5 times i really got on it, but never really felt the turbo kick my pants, ya know? Along with this, the boost gauge stayed ‘static’ in the vertical position (which appeared to indicate no boost). It stayed in this position regardless of where my foot was in the gas, or at any rpm. Is the turbo bad? How can i tell if the turbo needs some repairs?
I really like the car especially at the price. Just wanna know as much as i can up front.

Thx for help!
1995 855 Turbo

Sommerfeldt
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Post by Sommerfeldt »

Hey! :)

First off, a slight ticking sound is normal. You’re most likely hearing the injectors, not valves or lifters. They’re pretty loud.

Second, if you had power of any kind, no smoke or steam, then the turbo should be okay. Not saying it’s perfect, but you’d be hard pressed to have any kind of success with a shot turbo. :)
The vacuum lines need replacing, and the one to your gauge either popped off or rotted. Do that one first, so you’ll have some slight reference as to what the turbo is doing.

I’d say go for it. ;)

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

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erikv11
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Post by erikv11 »

Sommerfeldt knows his stuff and I'm with him on this one - would probably go for it. The turbos are extremely reliable, 140k is nothing as far as wear.

Probably some rotten vacuum lines in the engine bay, expect to replace them all. Keep in mind the AC is a huge job if you want to fix it - it is almost always a bad evaporator core, buried deep inside in the dash.

Expect to spend money on stage zero, and at 140k probably needs some suspension parts. I'd check the spring seats - under gentle pressure with a wrench, does the top nut on the strut tower rotate (it shouldn't)?
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 135k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k, '98 S70 NA 225k

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echosierra
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Post by echosierra »

Thx for infos guys!

Roughly speaking, how much $$ for a stage 0? My gut tells me 500-700
1995 855 Turbo

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echosierra
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Post by echosierra »

Also, (if i pull the trigger and get this car) in tackling the evaporator replacement, i may as well replace the compressor and condenser too right? While were at it ya know...
(Drier gets repl of course too)
1995 855 Turbo

Sommerfeldt
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Post by Sommerfeldt »

echosierra wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:39 am Thx for infos guys!

Roughly speaking, how much $$ for a stage 0? My gut tells me 500-700
It all depends - do you go stock or do you have plans to upgrade the basics right away? New, stock copper spark plugs, or Iridium TT's? Bosch cap and rotor, or would you want to take a chance on a cheaper, non-OEM brand (don't do that)? OEM rubber radiator hoses, or new Samco silicone? All "blue box" (Volvo dealer) stuff will run you up a pretty penny, but most stuff can be had on eBay or from other sources for less. A search or two here will reveal the OEM manufacturer for most things. :)

If you get new plugs, cap, rotor (wires from Bougicord if you need'em), PCV kit, vacuum lines, filters, oil change (engine & transmission), as well as radiator hoses, I'd say your gut is pretty accurate. You should also inspect intake hoses (turbo -> IC -> intake) and replace if they're cracking, too hard or too soft, or have worn spots.

Check this out: https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/stage-0.html

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

tardcart
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Post by tardcart »

these cars always need struts, A arms, PVC, Brakes, and lurking is the rack. check boots for oil. In Texas check all rubber like cv joint boots. Look for evidence of flood like elec. window none op.

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850 LPT
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Post by 850 LPT »

echosierra wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:39 am Thx for infos guys!

Roughly speaking, how much $$ for a stage 0? My gut tells me 500-700
This is what I am always hoping for, but my experience and recent purchase history tells me that you need closer to $1500. This is even for cars that appear to be needing little work and I do most of the work myself.

Sounds like a good find though!
96' 850 sedan, base, auto, pewter/charcoal, 118k miles
99' S70, base, 5-speed manual, nautic blue/ tan, 218k miles
05' V70, 5-speed manual, loaded, mistral green/ tan, 151k miles
79' Ford Capri S, Euro Spec 2.8 V6, T9 5-speed manual, owned since 1986
58' Porsche Diesel Junior
13' Honda Odyssey :oops:

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erikv11
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Post by erikv11 »

When was the timing path last done? Water pump is fine until 200k if it is original, but the rollers and belt every 70k. Hydraulic tensioner every 2nd belt change so it may be due right now. Another couple hundred bucks for timing parts.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 135k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k, '98 S70 NA 225k

rguzz
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Post by rguzz »

2 grand or more to do it up right. Might get lucky spending less. Assuming best quality parts, unknowns along the way, and that you will stumble across something a shop will need to help you with. Example, ticking lifters means oil pan 0 rings need replacing. Think more, be happy if you get away with less.

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