S/V/C70 Will's 98 V70R Build

Been lurking for a while but thought I would start a build thread for my P80 V70R.

Someone else may get something out of it but most importantly I'll be motivated to do more to the car and will hopefully get some handy pointers😉 I am by no means skilled (couldn't change oil a few years ago) so any suggestions and tips are welcome. Some of the posts will be about things I added in the last year, if I can find some photos. Enough about me though.

I already have a 1998 silver V70 (Naturally Aspirated) which I drive pretty much solely to the shops. That car is not bad but at 340,000 Kms smaller niggles are getting larger. It might not being worth fixing if the valve stems seals leak more or the transmission kicks it. It is quite nice for a NA as I swapped in the Volvo amp, added an AUX socket, swapped to electric seats, has a tow bar and it has great aircon still (way better than an inter-cooled car would ever have) etc.

So last October I bought a black 1998 V70R for around $4k. This black V70R was not in the best condition but it also wasn't super terrible. I was keen on buying it about a year before when it was selling for around 1500 with a ruined transmission. The car had around 280,000 km and unfortunately is automatic. The guy i bought it from swapped the transmission, redid some vacuum lines, put a new radiator in and swapped to some Propus wheels off a c70 😊

My goal for this car has been to make it basically stock + a little bit+manual. It will stay as a 16T for now but i will get a downpipe, add a trans cooler, attach my R manifold and get a tune. I hope it one day becomes a manual since auto+more power+AWD seems like an auto box killer and even auto AWD boxes arent super easy to find. After that then maybe 18/19T, green injectors, fuel pump, etc. or maybe even a 2.5T swap if the engine fists itself. So many possibilities.

When I got the car there was some good stuff and some bad.

The Pros:

  • P80 V70R
  • AWD worked and angle gear isnt mauled
  • Seats are still intact - small drivers side tear
  • No major oil leaks
  • Service history until about 2012 (at about 200,000km)
  • Newish Pirelli tyres
  • 302mm brakes already fitted
  • came with full OE timing belt, waterpump kit

The cons:

  • Terribly "fixed" paintwork - the bumpers are peeling, overspray everywhere
  • The cat back "custom" exhaust is drony and has no more flow than stock
  • Electrical issues - dash wouldnt light up, everything cut out
  • Sound system would buzz and cut out
  • Minor oil leaks
  • groaning and slop in suspension
  • ABS light on
  • broken trim - steering wheel and centre trim was all broken
  • Odd boost behaviour (Would either boost to less than 7PSI or would overboost to like 20PSI)
  • Saggy headliner
  • Blocked off heater core (can be seen as a pro too!)
  • Handbrake didnt really work
  • Light rear wheel noise - thinking wheel Bearing or diff

It could have had no engine in it and I still would have bought it.

Got home and swapped out the ABS module, fixed the 6cd changer and swapped the front two speakers for a couple spares I had sitting around. This stopped the issue with the stereo completely as the $20 speakers that had been put in were shorting against the chassis. The ABS light also came off. The next day i swapped the ignition switch out,fixing the electrical issues.

Before driving it again, I needed to change the timing belt. The only record of it being done was at 124,000 kms , more than a decade before. I was not game enough to risk that any longer. I hadn't changed a timing belt and water pump but it wasn't too bad. It was already marked, I had a camshaft tool and it only ended up taking a few hours. The PCV looked like it hadn't been changed so I redid that with an Volvo kit I had.

From there I spent the next few months swapping some parts out.

The laundry list

  • Front Brakes - The pins were sticking from spray paint because sprayed the caliper red forgot about overspray. Replaced with new 302 mm rotors, Akebono pads, flushed the whole system and added some OE brakes hoses
  • Trans fluid - Drain and refilled approx. 3 L of Penrite Synthetic FS 3 times over the last 5000km
  • Power steering- Flushed a litre of the same fluid
  • Dizzy and ignition - Swapped the dizzzy, rotor, spark plugs and leads to new OE ones (spark plugs are coppers)
  • New Bosch Oxygen sensor - Why not?
  • Various hoses - vaccuum hoses, IACV etc
  • Front Endlinks - Just used lemforder ones, heard the IPD ones sucked
  • Added non-broken trim
  • Front grills for the bumper
  • Volvo coolant hoses for turbo and behind engine
  • Fixed heating
  • Snabb air intake pipe - mine was cracking at turbo inlet
  • New pierburg TCV - my spare was as bad as the one one there. I also noted that the hoses were on wrong, hence the dangerous overboosting

There has been a lot more since then but this is just the start. Will update with a few writeups on things.



  • Welcome! For someone who couldn't change oil a few years ago it sounds like you've done some great work. Always good to see an R being revived.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Ahh,the memory of my two V70Rs....the black one i had was way worse than this and PO was a mechanic too.......

    One thing you can do is the mod to get more line pressure , can be done in the car from a top cover on box the method is online.

    Look for an s40 or v50 awd 6 speed setup to swap in for manual.

    Volvo brand spark plugs or Beru brand are usually only recommend. Beru is same as oem.

    Depending on some odd factor,the rear discs can be vented or solid i forget now but changing to vented is way to go,may come from usa model.

    Also USA is S70R AWD rear standard (non Nivomat) kit i imported to do mine but went in box when car sold , never fitted , i expect BC coilovers a better option.

    The auto R would have a 15G turbo unless changed out. I was going to go straight for an RN block 2.4 in my original R which was a Coral Red metallic a very rare colour but beige interior so i was changing to 855R seats and black trim (car got scrapped ...)

    I had successfully used the cheap eboy intercooler , way cheaper than other stuff but planned an air to water/air setup where the battery is , relocating battery slightly or moved to rear where cd changer goes. I still have that intercooler and some small dirt bike radiators for cooling it.

    It loses a lot of power in the driveline i know thats why a larger capacity RN or later block is more desirable, low end torque!

    Look on Turbobricks to Hassan and his P80 Cross Country build , now there is some really serious upgrading, ridiculous power , 6spd , it was so fierce hid family didnt like going in it....

    An epic upgrade story you must read.

    Have fun!

  • Always like a good project thread keep it going, most stuff on these cars can be attempted by a diy mechanic, if you're unsure just ask most of us would have worked out the hard way to cock things up therefore making it easier for the next person 👍

  • radoSteve'o @rado Shoalwater WA

    Hello and welcome , sounds like a great project you have on your hands there . Mine was a near basket case a couple of years ago but keep on plugging at it . Couple years later it's getting there . Looking forward to seeing how yours gets on 😎

  • edited August 17

    I have been looking through a few threads and have got some ideas. Definitely potentially keen on the M66 awd 6 speed setup with matching 2.5l in the future, if my hand is forced. I have already have a D088 intercooler installed but thought the post was getting long enough. Will look into the fuel line modification mentioned

    Also thanks @Ex850R for the boost gauge. Installed it into the drivers side vent. Had a crappy repco one before that came with the car but it rattled when driving and had no backlight.

    For the gauge I ran approx 3m of 4mm vacuum hose through the passenger side grommet then above the glove box and behind the stereo to the gauges boost sensor behind the dash. Tapped into the yellow accessory plug under the steering wheel to get 12v constant, dimmed (rheostat) and ground. Wiring diagram is easily available on the internet. Dremeled out a hole the slats in the vents, gluing some of it too.

    End product was pretty good (not quite straight and the vent is a bit meh). It will be quite reversible so I recommend going this way.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Looks great!

    Memories of that floor covering and the extra sound deadening i did all through the Coral coloured car , dash out and all metal covered there too plus SIKA panel bond on the mounts for the dash.

  • I previously wired a sub up, tapping the signal from the preouts for the rear speakers.I found it annoying to remove if I needed to move something so I wanted to build a quick release or build the sub into the spare wheel well. I also wanted to mask some of the exhaust drone with sound deadening.

    I put a layer of butyl deadener in the boot area then some closed cell foam on top. Added to the tailgate as well.

    I then used a 4 pole neutrik connector with L&R as one set and a bridge of the remote 12v on the other. This effectively turns the amp off if the sub is disconnected. I then wired it up. End product was not bad. Drone is still there but is a lot better and music sounds slightly tighter. I imagine once I deaden the doors a little it'll be slightly better.

  • When I put the spoiler back on I imagine the tailgate may get a bit heavy so I ordered some new tailgate struts.

  • Installed this DVS sway bar previously but finally sprayed the fuse bracket after modifying it. I needed to remove temporarily to install a new firewall mount so thought I'd finish the job.

    The bracket is easy to modify. I used a hacksaw and dremel. I sprayed it just with a rattle can of charcoal grey colour I found in my shed. Looks okay 👌

    Recommend the strut brace especially since Ash was great to deal with. Cars definitely coming along.

  • I needed new boost hoses (intercooler was fine) so I decided to just get the whole do88 kit while I was there. If anyone wants my old intercooler and is in WA I still have it.

    Took a few hours to install and I had minimal issues. The gap between that and condenser is narrower on one end but wasn't worth messing with too much.

    I also grabbed a couple heater core hoses from do88 and a new heater core.

    I ran heater hose from inside th car to a 90 degree join at the firewall. All up it works well but doesn't really fit well under the snabb air intake pipe (too tight) .

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Do a high mount turbo , gives you room for bigger and easier to work on.

    Get some sort of heat wrap for the top pipe from compressor to the I/C , if you have ever touched the top of the engine you will know why........(its why i was going for air to water I/C on my V70R , better control over I/C temps.)

  • edited September 2020

    Changing a few bushes and such this weekend. First I grabbed a new lower torque mount but they didn't have the awd one anywhere when I ordered it. I got a normal one (Hutchinson) and knew I'd have to modify the small end.

    The new one (non awd) is at the bottom. I wasn't super keen on drilling a hole so I wanted to press it out. However If you look closely it is super thin and torn, so I got a powerflex poly one instead. This and the upper torque are the only poly bushings in the car. I don't think it'll vibrate too much (should still be better than the old one) but it is an easy replacement if it does.

    In the meantime I thought I might as well replace the front Hutchinson mount while I was there. Undid the rhs mount, top torque mount, strut bar and removed the radiator fan so I could jack it up and have heaps of room. Definitely recommend removing fan shroud.

    Mine ended up being is surprisingly good condition for 280k/22 years. It was still full of oil. That only leaves the rear engine mount (weird x shaped one) and the four subframe ones to possibly replace in the front end. My front rhs engine mount looks to be from 2012 and is not broken or sinking.

    Next job in the front end will be control arms (4 bolt type) since the ball joint boots are splitting. Any tips on getting clearance to get the bolts out without too much effort?

    Then after this it'll be finishing my stereo, fixing the paint, adding a new getting a downpipe and a tune for the 16t . Hopefully all before the year is out and then i will just enjoy it for a while. or until i find a manual transmission

  • This section is kind of a tutorial since it may be helpful for others who have to play around with the stereo. I will probably add more later on adding the ground, mounting the amp and the power distribution block if anyone wants it.

    When I got the car I replaced all the broken speakers and effectively had a working stock Dolby system. The centre speaker disintegrated after a few too many days in the sun and tbh it was probably already basically stuffed. I still need to get a new one.

    My objective with the stereo is the best possible system that appears stock. My plan was to get two sets of c70 convertible dynaudio speakers. The v70 dynaudio set is four 6.5 inchs and four tweeters with the caps 6.8 ohms (8 speakers in total). Two c70 sets would provide all the speakers and require only the removal of some resistors and changing of caps.

    Instead, I got my hands on an retail dynaudio 6.5 inch set (gt242) but after much fiddling decided to go aftermarket amp. I am still after one pair of 6.5 dynaudios and a few rear tweeters too from a c70 convertible.

    I am only halfway through the stereo but the system is effectively:

    • Dynaudio 242 gt for the front channels run through a modified crossover
    • Jl audio Hd600 4 channel amp 150watt rms pc
    • Jl audio 12 inch sub and jl audio 500 watt sub amp
    • 2awg and 4awg ofc power cabling all around

    New Speakers

    Here are some starter pics of sound proofing the doors and installing the speakers. I basically just put dynamat lightly on parts and covered some parts with closed cell foam. I also replaced all the wiring harness tape while I was there.

    Before rhs door

    After lhs door

    I glued the tweeters into the stock location and used the stock mounts for the door speakers too.

    HU to amp signal

    I used the amp din connector with an rca adapter. The adapter gives a 12v signal wire and front and rear rcas plugs. I already had this for the sub but the sub now gets signal from preouts of amp.

    Amp to speaker output

    I used a wiring harness adapter for the rear speakers to go straight into the aftermarket amp. I believe it was Metra 70-9221 from Amazon (grey plug in bottom picture). I beleive it is also used in many early P2 cars.It simply plugged in and I screwed down each wire to the amps wire plug. This is the adapter to use if you have the amp harness. A different adapter can be used for plug at stereo. It can be used if you dont want to separate the tweeter from the midwoofer (stock setup).

    The front output was a bit more difficult since I wanted to have separate wiring to the tweeters and woofer to attach at the crossover. I wanted to run new wiring completely so I could leave it all untouched and also go for thicker wiring. The problem is the door hinge rubber pass throughs. They are a pinned plug and not a simple rubber conduit like expected.

    I ended up splicing in the from my amp speaker output wire harness (the one that Volvo puts in with cars with an underseat amp). I added forked ends to the wire then joined the xover wires to the amps front channel output connector. After doing this I thought of a better way of doing it with rewiring the tweeters and only splicing the woofers but it was already done.

    Not being able to store the xovers in the door meant I had to put them behind the stereo where there is minimal space.

    Below is how all comes out:

    • The white and blue wires go from the amp to the front crossovers.
    • Red rcas go to the boot to the sub amp.
    • Purple and green wires from the grey adaptor are for the rear channel.
    • The DIN to rca adaptor and power leads are not pictured.

  • So I've had a whirring metal on metal sound (not grinding) coming from the rear left (passenger side) of the car. It's been like it for a while but isn't super loud. It does not sound like a wheel bearing (not roaring) and doesn't seem to change around corners. There is also no clicking.

    However, the sound goes up and down with wheel speed so it must be driveline. I have removed the awd tailshaft as part of diagnosis and it seems quieter but not gone. I changed the Diff fluid and didn't change the sound. The old fluid was also very clean.

    No cv boots are torn from when I last looked (150 kms ago). I think it could possibly be the inner passenger side cv joint. I can't think of other options. The exhaust is super close to that spot so could it cook the grease through the boot?

    What actual things should I try? If it is that driveshafts, what are my best options?

    My awd tail/dive shaft is still disconnected BTW. Any helps deeply appreciated.

  • Recently upgraded my transmission cooler to a modified xc90 set up. After completing it I would definitely recommend the Ipd one instead. the Aussie dollar is up, it looks better, less points of failures and way less messing around so it's a better option.

    I bent and cut the sides with a dremel. Got larger bolts from bunnings (they didn't have actual bolts so I used Allen key bolts). Also used some washers to space it away from condenser to make an approximate 1.5cm gap.

    Anyway I have fitted it and am just waiting on a couple orings and fittings. After that I'll flush it again and hope it'll hold on for a few more thousand kms and a tune 😂

    Soon I'll get an an exhaust. Then I'll decide whether to upgrade to a 19t yet or just keep the 16t.

  • Looking good , how does it look with the bumper back on ? Doesn't look too low 👍

  • Atm I haven't tried since I'm about to sand and respray the bumper. The bottom of the cooler sits about 1cm above the bottom of my intercooler tank. The main bad side is the bottom hose hangs a little due to angle. All of it currently is at or above intercooler level though so it should be fine 🤞

  • Looks good. Its always more rewarding when you modify something to fit then just buying an off the shelf item even tho sometimes it alot easier.

  • Small update. Currently have it in pieces since I am planning to swap turbo, fit new exhaust manifold etc. Just really need a 19t turbo, an me7 airbox cover (960 maf) and possibly put in my DW200 fuel pump. Im

    The cam position sensor plug exploded so I got a new one. I also put some inserts into the subframe since I had them already. I wish I had gotten delrin ones now. My subframe is slightly dinted so I might get another one and swap it.....eventually.

    Does anyone know of the c70 subframes with solid bushings will fit? (I heard they have the place for the awd rear mount on them)

  • You can buy solid bushing mate I have them in mine.

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