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850R in a far off land

Old 07-20-2013, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10
Default 850R in a far off land

Hello! I've just joined after having lurked for a while out of general interest (family owned 3 volvos in my childhood) and I had a '66 wagon for a few years, best car i have ever owned. Long post ahead, hope you can help out.

So, now, I am just about ready to buy a 1996 850R over here in Muscat, Oman. The car came over from Europe and has maybe 110,000 miles on it (OD is broken)

I've read a few threads on things to look for but thought I would give a couple of specifics having just seen the car today.

- it's got the 850R badge on the back but the VIN has 57 in the position where I read in another thread it should say 58. Maybe this is a Euro spec VIN and not N.A.? I'm not too concerned - it' s still a turbo and feels pretty quick.
- it's showing its age of course, interior is well worn but electricals working
- a/c is cool not cold, needs gas likely
- there is a leak in the coolant pipe somewhere, small hose at the back, can't quite see it, under some cover of some kind. owner says he tops up the water every other day when he uses it. ( the car has been sitting for several months)
- steering felt heavy - but the low profile tires need air. Thought I heard some noise from the power steering, slightly worried
- possible issue with the fan - owner says it has had work and may need it again, quite vague.

Otherwise, the car feels pretty good - pulls strong, tracks straight, brakes feel ok and I could pick it up under 2000 $

Here in Oman, there Volvo dealer is actually a bit clueless and you don't see hardly any older cars out on the roads. The service has been done at a hole in the wall garage with well meaning, cheap and enthusiastic guys who make things work. This is often the case with car service here, quite cheap, a bit hit and miss and parts are hard to get.

The upshot is, I have a lingering affection for Volvos and this is a bit of a classic. But, realistically, I can't pour money into it and need it to run well, cool inside and not leave me stranded. I'll give it as much love as I can but not really set up or able to tinker much myself.

Any advice? thanks in advance.

Attached Thumbnails 850R in a far off land-850r-1996.jpg  

Last edited by omancan; 07-20-2013 at 02:16 PM. Reason: add picture
Old 02-19-2014, 11:26 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Default Volvo parts in Oman

Hello Mike,

I was wondering if you ended up buying the 850R. I am also curious as to whether anyone knows of a local aftermarket Volvo parts source here in Muscat. The dealer prices are out of this world, but the shipping costs sometimes negate any price advantage gained by shopping online.
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