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2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 24 Feb 2017 00:48
My 17 y/o son is in need of a car for work. My objective was to find something safe and reliable, but easy on the wallet in case it ends up in a ditch (insurance only covers liability).
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After a bit of searching I picked up this 2005 Volvo V50. Sport suspension and rare body kit option, 5 MT, 2.4i non-turbo, 217,000. Engine starts and runs, passed emission & safety only a couple of months prior. $600 Cdn.
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Only issue? A bit of rod knock.
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Draining the oil showed that this likely won't be an easy bearing swap to get going. LOTS of shiny stuff in there.
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Pulling the cap on #2 showed that the rod bearing was completely gone.
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The journal on the crank was hammered up pretty good! No worries, I sourced another engine with ~140K. Hoping to get the car on the road for end of March, complete with new clutch and throw out bearing / slave ($500 total!!!) for about $2500.

Engine removal requires the entire subframe to be dropped rather than pulled. Not easy w/o a lift. Decided to use the engine hoist to lift the car via the block itself, then unbolt the subframe and drop.
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Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 24 Feb 2017 01:16
by Colbino
Nice car! Pimp ride for anyone, let alone a 17 y/o.

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 24 Feb 2017 05:56
by Byron510
Nice looking car. I know nothing of Volvo cars, but I agree with your choice of just finding a new motor altogether. Hopefully the motor swap goes smoothly.


Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 24 Feb 2017 18:26
by gooned
These things are really safe from what I've seen, and have a decent amount of room in them too.

Good luck with the swap.

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 13 Mar 2017 15:24
There's a couple of ground hogs out there who are full of shit w/r to a quick Spring (-30c this past wknd and 15cm snow tomorrow), so progress has been slow. I'm definitely investing in a proper heating system for my garage this summer.

We managed to drop the motor and separate the tranny with little drama. All in all it was fairly simple. With proper tools (hoist, fuel line clips, etc...) it could be done in just a couple of hrs.
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I'm picking up a 142k motor later this week for about $800Cdn. Timing belt has been done already and a new clutch and clutch slave/throw-out bearing will be installed as well. Hoping to fire up this weekend or sometime next week.

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 14 Mar 2017 18:02
by SteveEdmonton
I was pretty sure you'd left off a zero when you said the price on the car was $600. Seriously! That's an insane deal.

Great project for you to do with your son, too. Or maybe, great project for you to do for your son? :) Either way, I hope it comes together smoothly!

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 16 Mar 2017 05:47
SteveEdmonton wrote:... Great project for you to do with your son, too. Or maybe, great project for you to do for your son?...
Truth be told the project could have likely been done by now had he been a little more 'engaged'. He loves cars, and is super keen to see this v50 on the road, but sometimes he likes to take the easy way out (ie: have a mechanic do this work - meaning I foot the bill).

Different parents have different methodologies about helping their kid get their first car. In my case I don't mind throwing some money into the pot but I need to see him commit resources as well (in this case, his labour). Same goes for operating costs. I don't mind licensing/insurance, but he needs to have a job to pay for gas, otherwise this V50 will remain a pretty piece of artwork parked in our driveway. :D

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 16 Mar 2017 17:29
by SteveEdmonton
I hear you. Getting our kids engaged in these fiddly, old-school projects can be a real challenge when they're used to quick results.

That's what I found with our boys anyway. Eager to have their own vehicles, you bet! Not quite so eager to invest the time it takes to learn how they work and how to fix them. Eventually though they started to get the hang of it. Neither one has the patience to work on my old cars, but they'll tackle brake jobs, starters, and what-not on their own cars. And that's definitely a "win" in my books.

Hope it works out at least that well with your son too.

Posted: 17 Mar 2017 18:59
We're hopefully getting closer to wrapping this up.

I loaded the (core) motor into the car and drove to Montreal today.
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A few hours later the 'new' 142,000 km motor was prepped. While I was at the Volvo specialist, I went ahead with a few other parts that needed addressing:
  • As previously mentioned, the clutch and throw-out/clutch slave was replaced. This was a good call, the original 217K clutch was done.
    Both half-axles/CVs needed replacement ($200 each, discounted)
    As a precautionary measure, I also replaced the plastic coolant mounting boss off the block.
    The passenger-side liquid filled engine mount was also ruptured and replaced with a used unit.

The lesson I've learned so far with Volvos is that their parts are certainly not cheap! In total I'm in for $3100 Cdn not including taxes. With luck all major repairs/maintenance are now complete and we'll get 3-5 more trouble-free years of service.
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The weather is finally getting better. I'm hoping to get most, if not all, completed by the end of the weekend.

Disappointing weekend

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 15:33
Two weeks have passed since picking up the motor. Last weekend was a write-off after realising the shop didn't return a 'C' clamp to secure the passenger drive axle.
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The part arrived mid-week and I chipped away during evenings until this weekend when I made a big push to install the motor. I was progressing nicely until I noticed the AC compressor wasn't mounting properly. A closer look revealed a few alarming issues.

1) First, the AC compressor has only 3 bolts to mount. Two in front, one in the rear. The one in the rear threads into the block itself but 1/2 of the boss has been popped off. This is obviously a show-stopper because this mount can fail causing the AC compressor to loose tension & alignment resulting in thrown accessory belts.
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2) This still didn't explain why the compressor couldn't mount w/o hitting the pan and not aligning to the two front bolts on the accessory bracket (itself bolted to the block). It turns out two bosses/stops casted into the block also popped off which prevented the accessory bracket from being tightened/pulled in too much. Once its too tight the bracket is about 1/2 cm too far inboard for the compressor to line up.
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Only when I loosened the two front bolts on the accessory bracket did it un-flex back into a position which allowed all 3 compressor bolts to line up.
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3) Final salt in the wound was realizing my very expensive 'new' half axles were in fact refurbs. I've perfectly fine with refurbs, but not at $250Cdn/ea when eBay sells a SET for $150USD...
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So here's my issue, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the potential for problems. It was only a matter of time (likely AFTER the 3 month warranty) that the compressor's rear bolt would fail & likely fall. This would result in a loss of belt tension & alignment. The shop had moved all of my accessories from my original block to this one, but chose not to inform me of the situation. If they're trying to hide this - then what else is there?

My plan going forward is to returned their items for a full refund. I'm also not interested in doing the labour of removing the block, nor doing the 6hr round trip... Stay tuned, this could get messy. 8)

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 22:33
by Byron510
Damn, hate to see this. It's tough dealing with inept people, worse to deal with shysters.

Hope it all turns out well in the end.


Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 04 Apr 2017 18:31
by loungin112
Darn...I really like Volvos. We have a 2010 Volvo sedan. The inline turbo 5 cyl is truly unique in both its performance and sound. Volvo makes good stuff. Too bad that engine (both of them) were so abused.

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 21 Apr 2017 14:22
Looks like the shop that sold me the engine is going to take the whole package (including the car) off my hands for everything I put into it. Win-win IMO. Honestly, they've been very good and professional about dealing with this whole thing - so far.

With these funds I've gone ahead and agreed to purchase another Datsun of which I'll post in this non-PL510 section... Delivery is expected tomorrow. :-)

Buh bye....

Posted: 30 May 2017 12:54
Putting this thread/build to bed - the shop paid the balance off and took the car away today.
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I'd be lying if I said my heart strings weren't tugged a bit... such a pretty machine.

Regardless, I have to be happy. I got all my money back, and in the span of just a few days I've gone from 3 project cars in my garage to just 1. :D

Re: 2005 Volvo V50

Posted: 30 May 2017 16:43
by greenthumb
Did you sell the z??