850 AWD Rebuild thread/documentation

Hello, about a year ago I bought a 850 AWD with crash damage, they are quite rare, so i figured id share the rebuild process getting it back on the road, maybe the next owner, or someone in a few years will find the documentation useful, ill post photos of the damage and repair, and recent updates.



  • radoSteve'o @rado Shoalwater or Bunbury WA

    Sounds good, looking forward to the thread.

  • edited August 2022


    March 2021-March 2022 (first year): Bought car on auction, damage to front right, minor damage to the corner of the chassis, needed new indicator, headlight, fender, bumper foam+alloy, and front Plastic mounting frame for headlights and bonnet latch. Bumper plastic was damage, but was able to sufficiently repair using zip tie stitches. The front right control arm was bent due to the impact, replaced with a brand new 4 bolt style control arm. Bought 4 new tires, repaired some interior trim, and broke some aswell. The bonnet is slightly warped and damaged from impact, have a replacement, haven't replaced yet, bent old bonnet back into shape the best I could with a hammer so it was still useable. New clips/expanding spring bolts to hold the fender on are also needed as they were ripped out in the impact, I managed to reuse a couple, which was enough to get the new fender to stay on the car, but some new ones are required for the spots where I couldn't reuse the old ones are the fender does not sit firm.

    April 2022: Took car to volvo dealer, replaced clutch (about 170k km), mechanics found the angle gear and transfer case were buggered, replaced with used ones off a v70 xc. On the way to the dealer, a problem with steering was discovered, (the steering wheel was difficult to turn right), suspected damage to the shock absorber, or steering rack.

  • edited August 2022

    August 2022: Replaced the front right suspension tower with one from a donor car, the old shock absorber appeared to be bent from the best we could tell, the new suspension is aftermarket so both front will need replacing, this didn't fix the issue, will be replacing the steering rack with one from a v70 xc, hopefully this will solve the problem.

  • edited May 25

    Information and facts about the 850 AWD I have discovered through research (I will be putting unsure info in asterisk):

    • Volvo's first AWD car.
    • 2011 total made, with 309 being made in RHD, *with all but 58 of the RHD cars being sold to the EU, meaning only 58 would've been distributed to Australia, New Zealand and Japan* (there is a lot of conflicting information and argument about this, but from my research, this is the information that seems to be correct, and the source for this specific info claims to be directly given from a Volvo dealer in Gothenburg 2016-ish.)
    • All were built as manual wagons (m58 variant), with the 2.435L low pressure 13G Turbo engine (B5254T), *about 8.5s 0-100kmph*
    • Had 14mm raised suspension (independent), *with an non-electronic active leveling suspension system in rear (nivomats), which manually leveled the suspension whilst driving to prevent sag when towing or with heavy items in boot.*
    • Came stock with a tow bar and metal luggage cage.
    • Had a identical AWD system as the all the other P80 AWD cars, including V70xc and V70R.
    • Came with the similar features as other high spec 1996/1997 850's, but did not come with boost Guage like sport models did.
    • About $85,000 msrp in 1997 not including inflation. Something like $150,000 after accounting for inflation.
    • Weighed 1575kg, a bit more then the FWD, which weighed 1385-1520kg.
    • https://www.volvoclub.org.uk/volvonews2.shtml
  • radoSteve'o @rado Shoalwater or Bunbury WA

    Starting to look tidy there . Where in Oz are you ? If in WA I have a spare front bumper from an 96 SE .

  • edited August 2022

    I'm in Sydney, i have a spare bumper that I might put on, but it's gonna need to be painted black, I figured the damaged bumper repaired well enough to keep atleast until I paint the car. Thanks for the offer. I have a mate who's looking for a bumper in WA, I'll get him to contact you.

  • Have bought a rebuilt V70R steering rack to put in the car, as the p80 AWD steering rack is different to the FWD. From my understanding the job is essentially the same process as a FWD steering rack, just more of a headache as there is even less wiggle room.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Only difference (apart from fack ends changing whenever they felt like a different supplie) is there's no rear engine mount on awd car.

  • Manual AWD p80 xc70’s exist for sure, @timbo has one and everything

  • Yeah ok, I suppose that would make them not ideal for high performance builds, especially considering the AWD system is basically dead weight when on road.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Have a look at Turbobricks , Look for Joe. He built a V70R from a 1998 iirc, massive power, M66 manual.

    My V70R auto with worn out motor was still epic as awd....much more so than FWD.

    The rear independent suspension is proper.

    The deltalink in FWD cars gives you squirrelly feeling at speed in very fast sweeping bends that just ain't right.......

    If I could have kept my first 855R manual I would have converted it to awd and M66 as the FWD and 5spd combo was useless on my favourite roads on and around The Great Ocean Road.

    The awd steering rack is a much nicer steerer as well as without the motor sitting on it it gets to do its job better.

  • I doubt there were only 58 in aus

    I have personally owned 3 of them in aus and have turned down ownership of 5+ others

    I still own 2

    Rear diff is not a limited slip

    One of the 2 has heated seats but might be a retrofit from a dealer as they are easy to swap in

    Neither has nivomats (unknown what they had from factory)

    Also all the ones I have owned were 1996my vin with prod dates of 95 or 96

  • Huh ok, that makes me even more confused, since most of the other claims are that less were made, maybe just coincidence? Or possibility since they were so expensive brand new, most of them might've been well taken care most of the 58 survived till today?

    Ill fix the factsheet with that info.

    I'm fairly confident they had the nivomats from the factory, maybe the early ones didn't last and they were replaced? ill do a bit more research and double check.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Volvovic, Mark Richardson , Iceton. They know the numbers as does Volvomike.

    Like around 70 855R manuals here, I reckon I chased a quarter of them around Australia trying to buy one in the 1990/2000s.

  • Yeah, the nivos were frequently replaced with standard stuff in everything they have ever been in because of cost and availability of replacement parts and ease of swapping so I would not doubt they all came from factory with them


    Afaik the my96 cars were exclusive to Australia... Every non R 850 manual wagon I have seen has ended up being a conversion or factory my96 850awd

    I've never seen a my97 850 AWD in person this could explain the numbers differences...

    Side note... My personal data only goes back to 2011 when they were already 15 years old and in peak cheapness

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