Volvo S80 A performance sedan that offers top notch luxury, outstanding handling and so much more.

My S80 restoration project

Old 04-21-2015, 03:34 AM
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Default My S80 restoration project

I've always been a closet Volvo S series fan. I picked up this 2003 S80 from a customer of mine (I work at a used car lot). It had too many miles for us to trade in (joke right? Volvos last!)

She wanted $2000 and so I went for it. I knew it ran well and she just had dumped $1000 into it. She was over the repairs and I put her into a 2007 S40 with no issues.

This S80 has 164,000 miles. It is a non turbo 2.9L. To be honest, I wanted an S60/S40 turbo. It seems that this N/A model is not very desirable. Still, it is my first volvo and I like it.

Picture as purchased
Attached Thumbnails My S80 restoration project-cam01568.jpg  

Last edited by CigVolvo; 04-21-2015 at 03:45 AM.
Old 04-21-2015, 03:43 AM
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Issue #1: Peeling trim

One of the things that I noticed right away is the peeling top trim. The clear covering has been peeling from the plastic trim and it was VERY ugly. I decided to peel off all of the covering and paint it black.

Here are a couple of pictures of the process. It actually turned out to be a HUGE PITA. I spent nearly the entire day trying to peel off the clear plastic coating. However, I like the results. The black line really sets itself off from the white package.
Attached Thumbnails My S80 restoration project-cam01581.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01582.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01603.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01604.jpg  

Last edited by CigVolvo; 04-21-2015 at 03:54 AM.
Old 04-21-2015, 03:52 AM
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Issue #2 : Paint touch up

For some reason I see that under the white is black. So every scrape of the paint comes out to be black. I did a poor attempt at doing touch up paint. I spent about $25. Here is the driver side fender before and then here is the picture after. The paint doesn't match well, but looks good from a distance.

I picked up the 2nd to the darkest white they had (Olympic white). But still the white was too bright.
Attached Thumbnails My S80 restoration project-cam01583.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01585.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01600.jpg   My S80 restoration project-cam01601.jpg  
Old 04-21-2015, 04:09 AM
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Issue #3 : Brake Booster Leak

I can hear the hissing inside the cabin.

Update 5/1/15 : Booster leak was confirmed. I attempted to reseal the leak which did actually work for about a week. The leak was completely gone but after several days of driving it slowly returned. I finally broke down and bought the new one.

$150 Booster cost from Autozone (in stock)
$ 80 Installation labor

Hiss is now gone. Also the lean condition which was causing a misfire was also solved. The previous owner had spent $700 trying to fix the misfire and it was the booster the whole time. Funny!

Last edited by CigVolvo; 05-29-2015 at 01:40 PM.
Old 04-21-2015, 04:10 AM
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Issue #4 : Driver side front suspension/arm clunk

Update 5/29/15

Found cause of clunk when steering. The rear bushing of the lower front control arm was broken. After further driving the clunk also started on the passenger side. THEN the front upper strut bushing BROKE causing a rattle when driving.

Are we having fun yet? Further inspection shows the rear shocks are blown. New china control arms on ebay were $120 a pair. I opted to go for a good used set of volvo control arms for $150. Costs:

$150 pair of used control arms
$ 35 strut spring seat bushing
$150 labor to install all 3

Last edited by CigVolvo; 05-29-2015 at 01:48 PM.
Old 05-29-2015, 01:40 PM
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Issue #5 : Humming / Vibrating from front driver side wheel.

Update 5/15/15

This ratting noise was getting louder, and I was told by the previous owner that the axle needed to be replaced. I picked up a new axle and hoped that this was correct. I thought it might be the bearing but I could always take it back if not.

$ 65 Axle driver side
$ 70 Labor

The vibrating was gone but the hum was still present. When I saw the axle, it was had TONS of play in it. That constant hammering must have killed the wheel bearing. So I picked that one up too.

$ 60 wheel bearing
$ 50 labor

I got a break on the labor since I had just had the axle done. After bearing was in, now all is smooth and quiet.

Last edited by CigVolvo; 05-29-2015 at 01:52 PM.
Old 05-30-2015, 03:55 AM
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Great project. At that mileage make sure to look at the engine mount and the transmission harness. The rubber bushings tend to fail on these era cars at the mileage. You obviously are doing the lower front control arms. Especially if you go to stop and you feel a jerk in the car it is usually the engine shifting.

Most of these repairs you find YouTube videos for. At your mileadge making sure everything suspension wise on the front end is secure is a must.

Also if the control arms are shot it is usually best to do the ball joints with them since you are already there. Personally I did these on my s60 about 7 months ago. It was a pain but I got it done. I now use polyurethane bushing parts for everything. IPDUSA I normally purchase from other sites might have something similar.

The one thing nobody else offers that IPD has that made a huge impact on my car was polyurethane sub-frame bushing inserts. I think they apply to s80 as well. For my s60 i rebuilt the entire front end for suspension parts but I could still feel the engine shift when I went to break it was like I would come to a stop be pulled forward than shot back. I bought those hammered them into place with a bunch of grease and the car has been solid since.

Great restore don't be afraid to look up some YouTube videos for how to do some of this stuff yourself if you are inclined. 5 years ago I barely knew what a spark plug was. Now thanks to forums like this and videos shared on places like YouTube I can do all kinds of work on my car.

Best of luck!!
Old 05-30-2015, 09:15 PM
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Hi All
had a problem with my Instrument cluster (DIM) on my 2002 S80 and found a company in Mississauga Ontario Xemedex that fixed the problem. They will send you a rebuilt DIM and you can send them back your old one by return post using the same packaging that the new one came in. Cost including return shipping and taxes was $520.00 Can. I watched a video on YouTube showing the procedure on removal of the Module. They forgot to mention that there are 2 T24 screws inside the trim just above the Speedo and RPM gauges and I had a hell of a time getting the plastic trim off until I smartened up and really looked hard at what was keeping it from being removed. I inserted and plugged in the new DIM and it worked perfectly. I recommend them highly.
Good info for those that are having the same problem
Old 05-31-2015, 08:25 AM
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Hi All
Besides owning a 2002 S80 T6 I have a mint 1995 960 Rear wheel Dr. car has 177000 KM original mileage that's 109987 miles for my US neighbours.
I had a intermittent screeching noise coming from the engine but was unable to pinpoint it. Had a friend (back yard mech) tell me that it sounded like the belt tensioner so had the bearing replaced..screeching still there! I took it to a real Volvo mechanic in Renfrew Ontario (Murphy's Auto) and he found the problem. it was one of the pulley's below the Timing belt gears that was making the noise. He told me that if I had driven it much further I could have done serious damage to the engine.
Total cost for the repair was just over $1200.00 Can. Now I have a beautiful car to drive (Summer Months only) again.
keep an eye on that in the future. It may be an era problem

Last edited by Arnie; 06-28-2015 at 11:20 AM.
Old 06-27-2015, 02:56 PM
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Location: Bunn, NC
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Like how you fixed the trim issue. I also have a White s80 we bought for the kids to drive with the same peeling trim. How did you peel the current paint off the plastic trim? What paint did you use to repaint it?
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