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1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

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
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Hadrien75
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Year and Model: 1996 855R
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Hadrien75

1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Hadrien75 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:48 am

Hey all,

Have been owning my 855R ( M59 manual 250hp ) for a year now and absolutely adore it. But there are some issues that have been driving me nuts.

First i would like to point out that i did a lot of maintenance already to it including the following :
- New plugs, plug leads, distributor, etc
- New 2.5" ferrita downpipe
- All fluides
- All filters
- Upgrade to v70 brakes front
- New disks/Pads
- New oil cooler and lines
- New shocks seats front and rear
- New front wishbone
- New headlight
- New fuel lines and fuel filter
- ABS units redone
- Fix the odometer broken wheel
- Upper engine mount
- Lower engine torque mount
- AC recharge
- New clutch MC
- New accelerator cable

So my issues i still have are those :

- The car is shaken to pieces when i go over rough roads, the shocks seats helped a bit but still i am sure a Volvo isn't supposed to rattle so much ( my car is 230.000miles ). I am going to be changing all the front suspension bits ( shocks, bump stops, strut carrier, etc... ) but what about the rear ? I don't really know what to change ( i have nivomats too which are pretty expensive to replace and seams to be working fine )

- My engine is moving a lot and doing a clonk noise when i switch from 1 to 2 in a bad way. If i care about changing gears slowly and above 2k rpm much less clonking but still. Where can this come from, because i changed the upper engine mounts and the lower torque mount ? It is driving me crazy... ( can it comes from the M59 box diff ? or used driveshafts ? )

- My clutch MC is brand new and works fine but the clutching movement feels like the is sand in the mechanism not fluid but kinda grabby.

- My AC has been refiled by a pro shop, it wasn't leaking, worked for about 1000miles and now it isn't cold anymore, any idea ?

- Boost pressure. I assume my car is tuned, it used to boost on my gauge at 1 bar.
Since i installed the Ferrita 2.5" downpipe ( old one was broken ), i am now only getting 0,6 bar. The car feels as quick above 4k rpm, but below it feels sluggish and like it has no power.
Could it be the new downpipe is not working with the tune ?
Another thing, i have a sport exhaust, i want to replace it with a genuine Volvo one, it won't damage the engine to have my 2.5" downpipe followed by a genuine exhaust ? I guess i need to get a proper tune or stock one back ?

I love my car but not getting everything right is starting to frustrate me.

Thanks for you help guys !
Cheers



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Clemens
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Clemens

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Clemens » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:21 pm

So, thing is:
An R model, because of the stiff suspension, will rattle way more at 200.000 km or miles than a stock suspension Volvo. It's a fact. I have 3 cars to back up that theory.
you might have broken dashboard mounts. this causes bad rattling.

An important factor with the 17 inch wheels and the 45 tires is air pressure. you wanna lower it to just where you have a bit more flex. you have to increase the pressure though if you go back to the Nürburgring or german highway high speed hauls.

a standard exhaust with a downpipe will likely cause trouble. it basically chokes the system which leads to massive heat buildup. also, be aware that the Volvo exhausts you buy these days are of far inferior quality than what was oem. they rust out in a few years.
you might wanna go with a tme, simons, ferrita or bsr exhaust. good quality and good performance.

i replaced my old nivomats with brand new ones. they are better, but the ride remains harsh.

i don't know about your tune, but with a new downpipe you should get a custom made tune if possible. but the guy has to know Volvos. never run a downpipe with the stock tune!

as for the motor mounts: if you replaced the 2 torque mounts you still have 3 motor mounts left. one down behind the right front tire below the crank pulley that is most likely shot by now and 2 hydraulic ones. the front one behind the radiator and the one below the crank pulley are easy to replace, the rear one in front of the firewall wasn't that much fun, to be honest.
the hydraulic ones usually last a long time, though.

that m59 clutch is special. i don't know how it is supposed to feel, but i would assume it could be grabby like any race oriented clutch. the M59 should be pretty bulletproof. the driveshafts are usually really tough as long as the boots are good or replaced when broken. a mechanic should be able to diagnose worn driveshafts.

as for the AC: if the AC is not working properly, a very common problem is the AC compressor clutch gap. try reading up on that here in the forums. there is an easy fix using zipties if the clutch is worn beyond spec. you will need a feeler gauge to tell correctly.
other than that you might have a leak somewhere in the system.
also, does your ECC, the climate control unit, blink agter startup? if yes, there are codes stored.

hang in there, fixing an old volvo costs time and money, but you get a nice daily driver in return.
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Hadrien75


Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

Hadrien75
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Hadrien75

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Hadrien75 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:03 am

Thanks for your answer.

It is true that my tires have pretty stiff sidewalls and they are a bit old... i might see about swapping them soon.
I am not planing on going back to the Nurburgring, and I only drive on highway at 80-100mph.

My catback is a BSR and it is too loud at highway speeds. Then I should see about going to a specialist in order to get a proper tune and go back to stock. My R is a rocket now above 4k rpm so much actually that i am afraid of breaking it ahah

Ok i will see and order the engine mounts that i haven't changed yet.

The car was at a Volvo specialist before and he didn't comment on the driveshaft so i guess they might be okay. I checked once my self and they were good.

I will check about that AC clutch gap, and yes the ECC blink uppon start up, how do i read the codes ?

edit : I just managed to make the A/C work again by using RobertDIY system to compensate for the clutch gap with zip tie.


I don't really know if i should fix all that and keep the car or just sell it now to find a better one. It is 220.000miles wonder how far it can be pushed to.



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Clemens
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Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Clemens » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:02 am

as for the catback: i am going to install a tme exhaust one of these days. this one is said to be quite quiet with a TÜV certified reduction of back pressure by 75 percent.

these cars, like most older older Turbos, have a significant turbo lag and really get going above 4000 rpm. but, the stick shifted ones should never feel sluggish.

one more thi g regardi g the boost gauge: someti.es the vacum line running to the boost gauge gets torn apart. follow it from behind the throttle linkage to the radiator shroud and then under the intake tube towards the battery. i think there is a rubber fitting that can easily slip and get wrong readings. but once again, those are laggy turbos.


great to read that the zip tie fix worked.
another thing when testing the AC: if you bridge the wire that runs to the low pressure swirch (the thing in the AC coolant line close to the firewall) and the AC compressor goes on, you are low on coolant.

honestly, I think you will have a hard time fi ding a low mileage turbo volvo od that wra, especially an R. yours looks nice from the video on petrolicuous. you gotta fix them up, that costs money and time. after that there will just be regular things that always break on old cars. that is kinda the fun part of if. i have 3 300.000 km volvo 850ies, and two of them run great. they can be pushed way beyond 4-500.000 km if taken care if.
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Hadrien75


Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

Hadrien75
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:25 pm
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Hadrien75

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Hadrien75 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:30 am

Ok i am gonna have a look at TME cause my BSR right now is so loud on the highway.

Mine has absolutely no answer of the throttle below 3000 rpm, i mean it goes but i really have to press the accelerator.

Actually yes that while line from the boost gauge was broken exactly at the rubber fitting you talked about ( you are good ! ). I fixed that.

Yeah it is impossible to find a red wagon manual R anymore... I don't want to sell mine, and i do service and take care a lot of it but with the tune it had and my not so great engine compression ( 10,3 / 9 / 11 / 11 / 10,1 bars or 150 / 129 / 160 / 160 / 146 psi ) i don't have a lot of hopes.
But i might be over reacting, the car belonged to a Volvo mechanic for 250.000km in the first place and swedish people are usually caring for servicing.



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Clemens
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Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Clemens » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:20 pm

Those compression numbers are not really great because they are uneven, but at least you have compression on all 5. 3 possibilities among others:
1. worn pistons rings
2. bad head gasket
3. exhaust valve partially burnt or clogged with carbon debris

keep driving, keep an eye on the coolant level. if something breaks, you have to replace it.

if the motor really is beyond repair you can have someone drop in the motor out of a regular T5 which are still plentyful and quite cheap in Germany. It's not the end of the world, better than a rusted out body.

as for the low boost: the wastegate setting might be off. You need a vacum gauge to set properly. ipd has a good video in that
be aware that the 850ies have a different wastegate setting than the s/v 70s (1.8 for M4.4 or M4.4 as oppposed to 4.4 psi on the ME7 cars).
also, be sure to have no vacum leaks and that the intercooler pipes are not ripped or collapsing unter boost.

did the mechanic who owned it install that downpipe or the last owner? maybe upload a video of a few 0-100 pulls and we can judge the performance of the car that way.

one more thought on weak performance: are the ignition components good and new (Volvo spark plugs, Bosch cap and rotor, Bougicord wires)?
never go cheap or aftermarket with Turbo Volvo ignition parts or sensors!

as for the exhaust droning: try to get good sound absorbing material (especially the heavy stoff) to the inside of the floorpan, especially the area for the spare tire and the wheelwells. this should reduce unwanted noise.

what my old 850ies taught me:
1) have a plan of things you wanna replace and repair.
2) do repairs on the go.
3) have a goal to what level you want to resore the car to (my 96 R for example will be a keeper that i am trying to restore while enjoying it in summer. it sees no winter driving. my 94 T5 M is a daily driver and winter beater. this one gets way less money and parts dumped into. I still try to take good care of it).
4) then, if something unexpected happens - and it will - be prepared to rethink your goals.
5) stop worrying, in the end it's gonna be alright.

4 years ago when I purchased my R I was worried all over the place. a few thousand Euros in parts and quite some hours wrenching on that thing and I am getting close to where I want it. Parts that I replace precautiously but are still in good working condition go into my winter daily. little money wasted. and the value increases as opposed to newer cars that lose value each month.
I have to admit though that I work from home as a freelance graphic designer, so I do not drive more than 15.000 km a year with both turbo Volvo combined.


Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

Hadrien75
Posts: 12
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Hadrien75

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Hadrien75 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:18 pm

The coolant level has dropped from full to half in 3000km... and i am pretty sure my mechanic did it perfectly.
The engine is actually really smooth, no hiccups, idle is perfect with zero vibration.

I will make sure i have no leaks anywhere, but most of my lines are brand new. Intercoller pipes are fine they don't collapse.

The last owner did, i can do a video but it isn't impressive, what is impressive is 3 and 4th gear, it is a rocket. I did a 120 to 220 pull against an SLK55 Amg and a M5 E34 and murdered them both. I measured and filmed it from 140 to 200 in 8 sec.

I am not sure i put volvo plugs, bougies cord yes and bosch cap and rotor yes.

I will try to isolate noise from the spare wheel pretty clever...

Well my plans for this car is to keep it as long as i can, but i want it to be working and confortable like it should.
Also i am a freak about breaking down my two other cars are Honda's ( Nsx and an Accord Aerodeck they have never ever failed me and both drive like new. I want the same with the Volvo.



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Clemens
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Clemens

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Clemens » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:12 pm

one more thing for tonight: even if there are different opinions on this - the coolant level on these cars goes up and down a bit. but especially on the turbo cars, the level varies. half a reservoir might be within limit. also, check if you have coolant stains somewhere around the coolant hose clamps. you can lose some fluid there. make sure tho check occasionally, you might experience that it goes up and down a bit. as long as you have no gases in the coolant it is alright.

also, there is a good and a bad coolant reservoir cap. one is grey, one is green. i don't k ow which one is bad out of my head, but the bad one cracks easily, letting steam escape.


Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

Hadrien75
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:25 pm
Year and Model: 1996 855R
Location: Paris
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Hadrien75

Re: 1996 850R Suspensions and engine vibrations

Post by Hadrien75 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:26 am

Quick update !

I have changed the down right engine mount, shaking is now lower but still present. I will order the two hydraulic mounts and be done with it ( i hope ).

I have quite a few of my ratles.
- Redid the tailgate mounts that were quite good ( didn't changed a lot )
- Then tried to identify every where there was rattle and installed some kinda black mushy rubber tape. ( helped a bit )
- Locked the rear spare ( helped more ahah )
- And the best, i adjusted the tail gate latch. In fact it was only latching on the first part of the hook. I pull it a bit and now the gate close shut. 80% of the noise is gone.

- I have yet to put phonic mat in the rear spare hole and the sides one, will do soon in order to reduce my droning on the highway.



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