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new to me 1998 S90

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on all Volvo's "mid era" rear wheel drive Volvos.

1975 - 1993 240
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1990 - 1998 940
1990 - 1998 960
1997 - 1998 V90/S90

thefisch
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Year and Model: 1998 S90
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new to me 1998 S90

Post by thefisch » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:50 pm

We recently acquired a 1998 S90 inline NA 6 cylinder with 106k miles from a relative. The relatives don't have a use for it anymore and we need another car to get us through the next 5 years or so in getting to and around college. The car was driven about 95k miles from 1998 through 2008 but only 10k miles in the last 10 years. Even though the car was garage kept since purchase, the blackberry wine finish seems a little dull but great considering the age.

Relatives have all the maintenance records which I plan to go through later. But so far I know that, besides oil, the rest of the fluids were flushed about 10k miles ago but that was also about 10 years ago. Plugs were done at 95k (10 years ago). Timing belt was done at 70k but 13 years ago. Drive belt was done at 60k but 14 years ago. AC work in last 7 years to replace compressor and wiring harness - still blowing cold.

Condition of everything looks great to me but since I am not a mechanic I am taking to a local mechanic and also dealer for inspections. If there is anything I should call their attention to (i.e. common failings of this model), please let me know.

A couple of initial newbie (to this car and Volvo) questions if you don't mind:
1. I think it came with conventional oil originally but last oil change was full synthetic. Should I switch back to synthetic blend or stick with full synthetic?
2. For the non-turbo engines, is premium fuel required or recommended? I think they used mid-grade fuel up to now.



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RickHaleParker
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by RickHaleParker » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 pm

A 13 year old timing belt, I would go ahead and replace it. I recall reading some place the interval is 80,000 miles or 8 years which ever comes first. I would also replace the drive belt also, there are cases where the drive belt failed and tripped the timing belt resulting in upper end damage.

If you want the car to last go back to full synthetic oil.

The engine is designed for optimum performance on unleaded premium gas with an octane rating of AKI 91 or above. Minimum octane rating is AKI 87. My '97 gets some Detonation if I drop the octane rating to 87. You might want to keep it at least mid-grade.
Up to 10% Ethanol may be used. Up to 15% MTBE may be used.


Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.

Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.

Platform P2 2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0, Plant Torslanda Sweden.
----------------------------------------------------------------
1997 S90, B6304S, AW30-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4 - Sold

thefisch
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by thefisch » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm

Thanks for the info Rick. I will plan to use mid-grade gas and full synthetic oil.

In the past two days, I had the car inspected by a local indy mechanic and also the dealer. In general they felt the car was is very good shape given the age. AC seemed fine but since it is January it's too early to tell. Both of them test drove car and inspected under the hood and on a lift. They both recommended replacing the shifter bushings (due to play in the shifter) at a cost of $120-140. There were some differences in their findings which were interesting.

Timing belt (and drive belt):
Dealer - replace based on age since 13 years old. Quoted $1,000 for timing and drive belts including pulley and tensioners. No mention of water pump in quote.
Indy - both look good and should be fine for another 35,000 miles to next change interval based on miles. He told me he removed the top bolt of the cover and pulled it back to inspect the visible portion of the belt. When the times comes, his timing belt service is $850 including tensioner, pulley, drive belt, water pump and coolant.

Fluids:
Dealer - thought they looked fine, did not make any recommendations. To be fair, they didn't know the last time they were done.
Indy - looked fine also, but recommending changing oil ($90), brake ($70) and ATF ($190) to be safe given age of fluids.

Suspension:
Dealer - noted intermittent suspension/body noise but didn't find anything visibly wrong with front or rear suspension considering age of car.
Indy - recommended new front and rear suspension due to noise. Said they seemed worn out but didn't note any leaks. Also recommended replacing sway bar links and bushings. Front suspension quote was $1,150 and rear suspension quote was $374. He said this could wait and was not urgent. Records I have show the rear shocks were done 10 years and 10k miles ago. No record on front struts.

Brakes: both said there enough meat on pads but they differed on warning indicator. Dealer said there are no warning indicators (sensor or telltale sound) but indy said there was an indicator.

After talking to the indy mechanic after the inspection, I don't feel like the suspension work is critical at this point. I will probably focus on fluids now and then tires over the summer. That will give me time to assess the suspension further and see how responsive it is after some miles, and also see if any expensive AC work comes up over the summer.



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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by RickHaleParker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:12 am

Are you going to pay somebody to work on the car or Do It Yourself?


Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.

Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.

Platform P2 2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0, Plant Torslanda Sweden.
----------------------------------------------------------------
1997 S90, B6304S, AW30-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4 - Sold

thefisch
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by thefisch » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:47 am

Good question. It depends on how difficult it is and what tools are involved. I don't have access to a lift and only a basic toolset. With that said, I've done some repairs before on car HVAC components, changed filters and stuff like that. And I've dabbled in home appliances and plumbing so I have some basic skills. And I have changed oil before although I don't currently have a working floor jack.

Usually I try to research what is involved in a repair first and then determine if I can tackle it myself or if I need help. With mechanics, I've learned the hard way to verify the work myself. So even if I will hire out the repair I like to verify the diagnosis and subsequent myself.

One example comes to mind with this evaluation. One mechanic says the suspension seems fine given the age, the other recommends replacement. Unless it is a presents a safety issue, I don't mind noise from a suspension so I would tend to wait on that unless the symptoms worsen.



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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by RickHaleParker » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:16 am

Timing Belt, Tensioner, Timing Idler Pulley, drive belt is not hard and requires just basic tools if you use my process. I can tell you how to get the Idler and Timing belt off and install both without pulling the crankshaft pulley off. You might need to buy a couple of tools but even with the cost of the tools you should come in under $250.

Suspension: Get a third opinion.


Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.

Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.

Platform P2 2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0, Plant Torslanda Sweden.
----------------------------------------------------------------
1997 S90, B6304S, AW30-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4 - Sold

thefisch
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Year and Model: 1998 S90
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by thefisch » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:58 am

Definitely interesting in finding out more about how to do the timing belt and related items. Is your guide online? Is there an online resource for other common repairs with these cars?

On the suspension, I like your idea of getting another opinion as tiebreaker. I will see what I can line up this week.



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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by LostMyLastAccount » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:14 pm

Given the 10.7:1 compression of the S90's engine and whiteblocks general propensity to scorch exhaust valve, I run 91 (R+M/2) as much as I can.

$800 seems high for the timing belt service belt on this motor, it's a very very simple setup and there's lots of room. totally different to the VVT whiteblocks that came later. For sure plan on doing the timing belt. They generally look good before they let go anyway. Also, you have to account for the tensioner's age too.

Suspension, unless you feel it's unsafe in some way, just drive it.
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dm635
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by dm635 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:17 am

Doing the timing belt is relatively easy considering doing other types of timing belts. But you'd certainly want to be very confident with your mechanical abilities. And don't cheap out on the parts you use. I use OE parts, you do need to know the manufacturer of the original parts. Like using the Continental brand timing belt. As far as I know they are they are the original equipment. That's what I've been told more than once.
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thefisch
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Re: new to me 1998 S90

Post by thefisch » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:31 am

LostMyLastAccount wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:14 pm
Given the 10.7:1 compression of the S90's engine and whiteblocks general propensity to scorch exhaust valve, I run 91 (R+M/2) as much as I can.

$800 seems high for the timing belt service belt on this motor, it's a very very simple setup and there's lots of room. totally different to the VVT whiteblocks that came later. For sure plan on doing the timing belt. They generally look good before they let go anyway. Also, you have to account for the tensioner's age too.

Suspension, unless you feel it's unsafe in some way, just drive it.
I've been running 93 in it so far and will probably just stick with that.

$800 for a timing belt with water pump is better than I've paid on other cars but that's not accounting for how easy it might be on this car.

I am tending to agree on the suspension. I still plan on getting a 3rd opinion but haven't had a chance yet. The car seems fine to drive taking its age into account and it's not like it has issues cornering due to sway bar or handling bumps in the road. There is some noise that is probably attributable to the sway links when going over uneven surfaces but it seems stable.
dm635 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:17 am
Doing the timing belt is relatively easy considering doing other types of timing belts. But you'd certainly want to be very confident with your mechanical abilities. And don't cheap out on the parts you use. I use OE parts, you do need to know the manufacturer of the original parts. Like using the Continental brand timing belt. As far as I know they are they are the original equipment. That's what I've been told more than once.
I wouldn't cheap out on parts, especially critical ones like that.

Are there any good online videos or tutorials for the timing belt, tensioner and pulley that you all would recommend?



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