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Advice on a '99 S80 T6

  #1  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:19 PM
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Default Advice on a '99 S80 T6

OK, so I have another chance to join the wonderful world of Volvo ownership (my auction bid on the '04 S40 just missed the mark), and I've found a 1999 S80 T6 that shows some promise. It's got its issues, but I'm 90% sure I could wave 100 $20 bills under the owner's nose and drive it away.

The good news is that it appears to be a basically straight car (no signs of any wrecks), and the engine idles smooth. It drives pretty well, and seems to have a reasonable amount of power (not all that impressive, but it's a big car with a small motor, with or without turbos).

The dings: Lots of door dings and small dents along the doors, peeling clear coat, and the wheels need to be refinished. The trunk release doesn't work (will open with the key). The driver's seat bolster is shot (been repaired badly with "gray goop"), and the shift boot is really rough. The rubber trim around the door window frames is pretty well cooked, and the left rear window doesn't work. The front tires are shot, and there's a clunk in the suspension (sounds like a bad bushing). The A/C doesn't blow cold, but seems to do everything else right. There's a sticker that shows the timing belt was changed at 109,000 and the car now has 154,000.

The airbag service light message is showing up.

The car is throwing a couple codes - a P0014 (cam phasing?) and P0303 (misfire cylinder 3). I'm most worried about the cam phasing thing for a couple reasons. First, because it could be someone screwed up the very delicate process (and there are signs that someone's been in there doing some sloppy work - most of the bolts are missing from the "plumbing" that runs over the top of the engine). The engine has been recently steam cleaned, but there are signs that a LOT of oil was flying around at some point, and not all that long ago. There is oil burning off, with some smoke coming up from between the front runners in the intake (near the front of the motor). But I DID notice that the oil level seems to be over-full (it's above the "kink" in the dipstick, or about 1/2" above the top of the full range). Might that cause some of the issues?

I'm thinking I could drop a grand into this car, get a reasonably (but not factory) good paint job on it, replace a lot of the cosmetic stuff, and have a road trip machine... but am really concerned that there could be bigger problems with the engine that just don't make sense financially.

So my question is - if you were me, would you be at all interested in buying this car? (I'm a competent mechanic, but not a pro).
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:52 PM
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Or... would I be WAY ahead to spend a couple large more and start out with THIS one:

** ++ Volvo s80 AC ***** Volvo s80 ++ Volvo s80 - - -
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-2013, 05:59 PM
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Just got back from examining the "Absolutly clean bOdy and intirior, free accident, dents and rust" S80 in Phoenix. The reality? Nice scrape/dent on the left front wheel arch, clear coat peeling off all over, dings and scratches by the dozen, front seats that can't decide which of dozens of deep cracks to fall apart at, no sign of a timing belt replacement, etc., etc., etc. I mentioned to the guy that, based on the craigslist ad, I expected the car to be in much better condition". "Who said that", the guy showing it asked? Valerie (the name on the ad, and the person I'd been texting". "That's my brother".

Huh?

Anyway, the search goes on for a clean S40, S60 or S80.
 
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:48 PM
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Good, the '99 S80 is the worse car that VOLVO ever made. Just my opinion.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-2013, 09:44 PM
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I'm a dealer tech and it would be hard to convince me to own a 99 S80 if you gave it to me for free.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-2013, 09:59 PM
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just stay away from that year..you were better off with that 04 S60. i say don't go for it and just keep searching
 
  #7  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:24 AM
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GREAT input! I will certainly pass on the '99, and think it's probably more valuable as parts than as a car. I'll keep turning over rocks until I find the right car (I'm hoping to find one that needs a little work so I can get more car for the money).
 
  #8  
Old 02-20-2013, 11:39 AM
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If you are trying to get bang for bucks and stay under a few grand you should look at a late 960 or S90. Best all around car Volvo ever built. Upscale brick, just watch out for burnt valves and leaking valve stem seals (primarily caused by low quality oil filters).
 
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