Tag Archives: Volvo

2.5 Volvo Update!

So the Volvo has been coming along: I ordered a set of decent Yokohama tires for it, which I mounted up on the 16” wheels I painted. Not bad for a first attempt.

Volvo Wheels Installed

I will do a better job next time, but they’ve gotten several compliments so far and they look great from ten feet, which was really the point.

Volvo Front Right Wheel

I also installed ipd’s short-ram intake, which looks cool and lets you hear the wastegate working, although much more quietly than an actual external wastegate would.


Volvo Intake

Something’s still dragging out back: I think it’s the parking brake, which is a rusty mess at the moment. But I’ll have to disconnect/remove both sides and test it out to be sure. If not, it could mean stuck calipers. Which aren’t too horribly expensive, although between two bikes and a car, there’s at least a dozen other projects crying out for my money. Not to mention the mess and annoyance of bleeding car brakes.

In the plus column: I’ve had those rear brakes on and off so many times now that the bolts aren’t solidly rusted in place… I miss working on California cars!

Next job planned for the Volvo is that broken driver door stop and a nicer pod for the boost gauge.


2.4 Summer of Projects

I haven’t had the chance to talk write too much about the Volvo wagon I’ve named “Der Panzerwagen,” which is German and not Swedish, but it’s my car so I can name it whatever I want.

What I hoped would be a fun but practical project car has gotten stalled out, as funds are tied up in the Dodge Dakota I’m having a hard time selling at the moment and I really can’t justify spending money on two cars since I barely need one. But while I’m waiting for that situation to resolve, I at least got started on some low-cost upgrades.

The first of which are the spare wheels that came with the car. The current set of 15” wheels are obviously not original “V70R” equipment and are wrapped with snow tires… The spare wheels are 16×7 MSW’s stamped “Design by OZ” and should work fine, once I can justify fitting them with tires. I’m not a huge fan of the wheel’s style, so I thought I’d paint them up satin black for a stealth look that should work well with the silver wagon.

2014-05-31 16.48.07

I hauled them up to my buddy Greg’s place last weekend to use his compressor/sand-blasting combo. Next time, I’m bringing some nice, dry sand straight from Home Depot: we were using his kids’ sandbox as a source of sand, and it was slightly wet and clogged the hose regularly. Or that could have been the leaves. Or hunks of chalk.

2014-05-31 14.15.24

But as a project on the cheap, it worked pretty well and the first pair look pretty great so far. They need another coat of satin black, but I’m pretty excited at how they’ve turned out.

After the wheels are painted up, we’ll be installing a nice little blue-faced ipd boost gauge in an A-pillar mount to hopefully keep me distracted from the boring slushbox the car is saddled with…

2014-05-31 17.47.29

1.10 Der Panzerwagen

It was too good to pass up.  It is probably a Terrible Idea.  It will probably break me.

I bought a car, a silver 1998 Volvo V70R AWD.

Which, I’ve quickly learned, is not the version to buy: the all-wheel-drive limits your choice of aftermarket parts.  Downpipes, springs, exhausts…  All these normal bits won’t fit the AWD version.

Oh well.  Maybe I should just swap in a manual gearbox and ditch the AWD…

So I really don’t need four wheels, most of the year, since I commute by train to my job in Manhattan and I stash a bike near my apartment in warmer months.  But I love cars, and I’m very, very bored with my faithful Dodge Dakota.  So I made the mistake of telling my buddy Ciro Papi from CP Car Detailing that I was thinking about buying an old Volvo 850 Turbo.  Preferably the T5-R, but they’re pretty hard to find.

Why a Volvo wagon?  Well, I’ve always liked the way they look, they’re very practical, reasonably fast, handle well, and not especially valuable.

Basically, it’s the cheapest car I’d actually want to own.

Ciro is like part of the car-culture mafia in this neck of the woods: he’s connected. A week later, he found a car for me, at a price that made it worth braving the truly terrible drivers that frequent the New York Thruway worth it.  It needed work, but the body and interior were in pretty great shape.  It had been sitting for a while, so now the calipers are blue.

Volvo Brakes

Next, it needs new axles, a trailer hitch, and a refresh of all the fluids, but that will have to wait until I sell the truck.