Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

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Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by scoobyh123 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:17 am

As many of you know i have a fair bit of trouble walking and as such can't take my dog for a "normal" walk on the lead so i needed some transport to get him to the nearest field where i can let him run.
So i made a shortlist then investigated running costs including insurance which narrowed the shortlist to 2 possible cars. One was the Jeep Cherokee XJ and the other was this :

Image

Bought for £350 with no MoT or tax, you might say i need my head examined!
However it looked fairly tidy and apart from a blowy exhaust and a worrying intermittent dash light for the ABS, it seemed fairly ready for the MoT.

On the day i picked it up (which turned out to be its 23rd birthday!), i arranged temporary insurance cover and booked an MoT at my favourite station. I took some Jubilee clips and dog food tins with me to patch the exhaust before i left and set off.

After a fraught journey to the nearest filling station filled with the engine dieing every time i braked going downhill due to low fuel, i was able to head for the A14 and commence my baptism of fire! :twisted:

On the homeward journey something happened that would have been a failure so it was lucky i needed the loo :

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Found losing the lens was quite common as the old glue fails and took that as my cue to cancel the MoT and take a bit of time to check things over before booking it for another.

With a new indicator/sidelight unit installed (under a tenner brand new and delivered from GSF (previously known as German, Swedish and French) and the dog food tin bodge on the exhaust slightly improved and various bulbs, wiper blades and a few other bits fixed or replaced, i presented it for MoT a month later and (after a sticky moment on the emissions) got a pass certificate!
The intermittent ABS light was traced to duff sensors on the front wheels. As there is no memory on the system it has fitted, it got a pass on them but they were replaced with a pair of second hand ones. Turns out the front sensors on this are the same as the rear ones on 800s, except for the plug and cable length - result!

That was 11 months ago now, and after finding many half done jobs (eg head gasket replacement, bolts only tightened to 15 lb/ft i.e Stage 1 of 3!) and fixing them, fitting various new parts including a complete (except front pipes) exhaust system, 4 near-new Pirelli P6000 195/65 HR 15 tyres, cam belt (see below), oil pressure switch (last one failed Exxon Valdis style, pumping oil straight through the switch and out of the casing!) and sorting the multitude of half done jobs, it flew through the MoT and for once in my life i had a car with 13 months test on it!
The testers only comment was "Well it's pre-cat but obviously got one somewhere" - looking at the emissions tester machine, i could see his point, 0.07% CO and 31ppm HC. Pretty good for an engine with about 200k miles on it!

That was just over a week after doing an emergency cambelt replacement :

Image
(Click to play)

Although not shown in that short video, i could move the crankshaft from 10BTDC to 10ATDC without the cam moving from it's timed position as shown at the start and could easily have slid the belt off the pulleys without touching the tensioner! Another half-done job by the so-called mechanic that allegedly looked after it before i bought it!

On the additions/modifications side of things, i've done the following so far :

Front fog lights
Driving lights

Image

Xenon bulbs in the major front lights
Panasonic radio/cassette head unit with 10 disc changer (Fleabay bargain, £12.67!)
Green LED instrument and switch lighting

Image

Twin tailpipe back box (B230ET aka turbo original back box)

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Oh yeah, an aftermarket interior light delay and last but not least, clear side repeaters from a later model Volvo.

That's about it so far on the mods/upgrades etc but future plans include converting the cooling fan from being a vicious coupled unit to electrical operation courtesy of a Rover 800 cooling fan (almost fits like it was made for it!), remote alarm/immobiliser with central locking output, cruise control, replace the non-existent headlining, spray the drivers side front wing (it's the right colour or was once but the lacquer and some of the paint has oddly peeled), replace the drivers seat with one that isn't split (or maybe all the seats/trim with black instead), maybe add a few LED instruments (if i ever get round to finishing them and installing them on my Sterling first!) and some 960 window switches because they have illumination in so you can find them at night!

Will update with photos etc as and when i do jobs on it........
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by PhilC » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:36 am

Nice write up Dave :)
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by scoobyh123 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:32 am

Thanks Phil, much appreciated!

Going to need to start another thread soon, should do one for my Sterling as well but there's another imminent arrival on the horizon hopefully. Actually it should be on a trailer, not the horizon :wink:
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by TDHFastback » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:17 am

You've done well there Dave.
You get the impression Volvos are built like tanks but from your write up they seem to suffer niggly little faults just like 800s.

Scary number plate though

Kate :D

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:26 am

A beast of a car. I think one thing that also helps Volvos (at least the large RWD ones) is that they are quite easy to work on.
Out in the desert with a 1998 Grand Cherokee V8 and 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by PhilC » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:48 am

Used to have a 264 a long time. I know it's a different beastie but build quality was great.
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by vito » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:56 am

PhilC wrote:Used to have a 264 a long time. I know it's a different beastie but build quality was great.
Used to like how the rear doors curved on a 264 estate as they used the same ones for the saloon :)

Cool car Dave, devil of a number plate ..................
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by scoobyh123 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:58 am

TDHFastback wrote:You've done well there Dave.
You get the impression Volvos are built like tanks but from your write up they seem to suffer niggly little faults just like 800s.

Scary number plate though

Kate :D
Thanks Kate! :D The Volvo itself did well today, approximately 400 mile round trip without missing a beat until a problem reared it's ugly head 18 miles from home - more of that later though. :wink:

As for the number plate - i saw that and just knew it had to be my car! :twisted: :lol:

Most of the "inherent" niggles are electrical though. The electrical system is so poorly designed it makes the 800s slightly dodgy electrics look like a masterpiece! In fairness to the 800 system, 99% of problems are caused by the use of unleaded solder which only came in during the early 90's, when most 800s that suffer these problems were built. The loss of lead in the solder meant the first alternatives were poor quality and as such didn't last well (witness the fusebox troubles!) so kind of unfair to blame the car for them really.
To put things in perspective, about 90% of the Volvos niggles have been caused by the (previous) poor, incorrect or incomplete maintenance and for the most part i've solved the majority of those now. I've had to adopt an attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" though as disturbing one thing can cause something else problems, i nicknamed this the "Domino Effect" where one component falling down causes others to also fall down.
Richard Moss wrote:A beast of a car. I think one thing that also helps Volvos (at least the large RWD ones) is that they are quite easy to work on.
It is indeed Richard, now it's (more or less) running as it should it highlights how easy they are to work on, generally speaking and how absolutely annoying it is that it suffered at the hands of an unconscious incompetent that i wouldn't trust with a wheelbarrow!
PhilC wrote:Used to have a 264 a long time. I know it's a different beastie but build quality was great.
Surprisingly similar to the 264 Phil. Most of the interior is either the same or slightly modified, same goes for the drive train except yours had the PRV V6 engine as fitted to the 760 normally aspirated models (the 7-series, 4 cylinder turbo was also badged 760 in a break from Volvo "tradition" of the second digit denoting the number of cylinders) but the body was heavily facelifted to make the 740/760 from the old 240/260 cars.
Still great build quality, just mine suffered from a nincompoop that didn't know one end of a spanner from the other!
vito wrote:
PhilC wrote:Used to have a 264 a long time. I know it's a different beastie but build quality was great.
Used to like how the rear doors curved on a 264 estate as they used the same ones for the saloon :)

Cool car Dave, devil of a number plate ..................
Didn't know that about the doors Gaz, not surprising though as most Volvo saloons and estates share floorpans.

Thanks, the plate seems to scare some people though! :evil:

I hinted earlier about maybe needing to start another thread and there was a clue in the post about a 400 mile round trip today. Here's another clue :

Image

That was the view in my mirror all the way home! Not sure how he managed to tailgate me so tightly, especially without a driver! This could be how though :

Image

......and from the side.............

Image

Stood on it's own 4 wheels :

Image

Finally for now, this lucky shot. I say lucky as events later in the journey had me needing a battery!

Image

The guy in the pic (Steve) is another Rover nut, has an SD1 in one garage with about 6-7 others (in bits/spares) in another garage, about 6 800's currently and 2-3 75's and lives just round the corner from me and kindly agreed to ride shotgun with me for the journey.

Anyway, i digress! The Volvo performed effortlessly on the way down with an empty trailer and even with 1470kg of 827 Sterling Coupe on it, still pulled well although some hills were a battle on the return journey. At least until about 18 miles from home when the charge warning light came on!
Nurses and warty curds says i (better known as curses and naughty words!) or something along those lines anyway!
It struggled on, all the way to about 4 miles from home when the headlamps had faded to a glow that a candle would be ashamed of and the fuel pump started cutting out and the rev counter had died, amongst other things!
Cue a kerbside battery swap from the coupe to the Volvo! At about 2340hrs! Luckily in a lay-by that just happened to be close enough to coast into!
With fresh power coursing through its wires, the Volvo coughed back into life and i made it home. Well to Steves as it happened (big car park out the back of his monitored by CCTV recorded by him, very handy!) as the cul-de-sac i live in is too small to fit a train length of about 35 feet and the neighbours might just have got upset if i unloaded the coupe at that time of night. Oh yeah, i was knackered too!

Those of you at the BL rally a week ago may remember i mentioned a white gold coupe advertised on Car and Classic - this is it! In the flesh - well, metal, rubber, plastic etc! The link is to the original ad which has now been marked as SOLD so maybe it will only show up for another few days/weeks but there is a link in the ad to a Google album of the car.
I'll start a new thread for it but in short the Volvo certainly earned its keep today and probably deserves a replacement alternator if that's what the problem is. Due to its sudden happening i suspect it may be a broken wire on the alternator - fingers crossed it is and also that i haven't fried the thing running it without a load of that's what the problem turns out to be! Will have a butchers sometime tomorrow, fix (if possible) and report back!

Meanwhile when i start the new thread for the coupe, i'll add the link here. I'm sure i'll be adding most, if not all the mods i currently have on the saloon and will detail them in that thread. One mod i'm currently working on is Heated Washer Jets - got a pair from a 25/45 that should fit so probably the saloon will get the first set that i already have and the write up will be done from that but obviously the coupe will be similar.

Watch this space!
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by rovercoup » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:31 am

congratulations on getting your coupe Dave 8) That was a fair trip to collect but from the description and photos seems a trip worth while. Do you have the missing driver side cladding with the car? as someone is selling a few moulding etc for a coupe on ebay currently unless a member may have one spare.

Look forward to hearing about and seeing the car. Best of British with it.

Steve
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by vito » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:04 am

Looks well Dave, just need a gold hatch now .................
Gaz (or Gary if we're being formal)

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by Richard Moss » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:52 am

Good luck with the new project
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by scoobyh123 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Thanks guys!

Steve - i have the lower cladding for both doors thanks - the previous owner removed them to replace several broken fastener clips, ended up replacing all of them and just didn't get round to refitting them. Good in a way as there is a bit of rust on the bolt holes that i want to treat before refiiting the cladding.

Gaz - a similar thought crossed my mind! Never been keen on hatches though, even the SD1 Rover! Always preferred saloons/coupes and if i need extra space, it has to be an estate for me everytime but i am quite tempted to chase down a White Gold Sterling Fastback, just to complete the trio! Would look good on the club stand with Kates banner "Rover 800 Saloon, Rover 800 Fastback, Rover 800 coupe" (apologies if i've got the order wrong !!)somewhere nearby............

It's a rollover tonight, if i can stay awake (absolutely shattered after yesterday and being up early to return the trailer!) long enough to put a ticket on and win then there's a good chance i'd track down a Fastback but barring a miracle i reckon i have more chance of being struck by lightning than winning the jackpot!

Had no chance to do more than look at the coupe today so far, having a power nap now so hopefully that will change later!
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by TDHFastback » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:13 pm

Hey Dave congratulations on the new Coupe.
Look forward to reading of its revival.

Kate :D

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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by simon » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:13 pm

Nice one dave :D
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Re: Scooby's Dogmobile - Volvo 740 GLEa

Post by scoobyh123 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:46 pm

Thanks Kate and Simon!

Needs a good clean inside and out so i can see whar cosmetic stuff needs doing and then some general checking over as well as fixing some other niggles.
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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