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02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/6/22 7:54 p.m.

First mod installed, mostly successfully. I've had good luck with the Aully Park lace-on leather steering wheel wraps someone on here mentioned years ago - I've put them on several cars without a problem, and they really improve older steering wheels. Got one for the Volvo and installed it earlier today. Unfortunately, this one didn't install as cleanly, as the thread that you loop the lacing through snapped when I was about 3/4 of the way through. This meant I had to either rip it off or make do; I made do. Instead of the thread, I went through the holes in the leather that the thread was run through. This made for a slightly less clean install, but it's not terrible. If it drives me nuts I'll replace it eventually, but this should be OK for now. If you look at the 9-12 o'clock quadrant you can see the seam is not as clean as in the other areas.

 

Still an improvement over the stock wheel, though.

 

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
10/6/22 8:05 p.m.

I like the steering wheel rim to be as thin as possible, but that's a much nicer solution to a worn wheel than a steering wheel cover from the parts store.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/6/22 8:31 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

I'm just the opposite - I prefer a chunky steering wheel. These definitely add some bulk, so may not be to your taste, but they look very good and hold up quite well (I've had them for years and they show no signs of age or wear).

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/6/22 8:55 p.m.

Put me in the "it depends" camp.  A vintage feeling car feels better with a large thin steering wheel rim, modern cars don't.

 

I am amused that my '81 RX-7, with manual steering, has less steering effort than my '06 Volvo with power steering...

 

Speaking of which.  Volvo keeps nagging me to get my airbag replaced under recall.  Problem:  My car came with a fancy leather steering wheel with blue baseball stitching.  The replacement bags have an ugly plastic cover.   Some people on Swedespeed have reported getting a bag from a junkyard as a sacrifical unit, getting the recall done, then switching the old cover onto the new bag.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/7/22 7:29 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Yeah, I can see that. Even in my ND I kept the original wheel, which is quite a bit thinner than anything else I have, just because it seemed to suit the car.

Good luck with the airbag - a mismatched cover would drive me nuts.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/7/22 10:52 a.m.

OK, first new issue identified. Went out this morning for a bike ride and felt a weird little bind in the steering just off-center in either direction. It did it a couple more times, but once the car warmed up (it was in the 40s this morning) the bind was gone and everything felt normal. The tie rods were recently replaced and the car aligned, so I'm thinking this is a power steering issue. For starters, I'm going to drain the reservoir and refill with new (I think it's CHF 11S) and see if that helps.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/7/22 10:55 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Steering shaft U joint, most likely, if I read you right.  When it gets worse, see if it does it 360 degrees off from center.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/7/22 11:21 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Huh, hadn't considered that - the fact that it disappeared completely once it warmed up made me think something in the electro-hydraulic system. And I'm sure it's not serviceable or easily replaced....

I'll probably be under there tomorrow doing the lower engine mount, so I'll take a look. Thanks.

Edit: Found this thread on Swedespeed. Similar-sounding problem turns out to be an electrical issue with the pump. If I can find and access the connector, I'll pop it off and inspect, though I doubt that would be the sole cause. FWIW, I did check the PS fluid and it's full and clean and appears to be CHF 11S, so I don't think my first instinct was correct.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/7/22 9:05 p.m.

A few more issues/observations. The manual shift function is Tango Uniform. It seems this is common and most likely due to the shift blind - I'm ordering a replacement, since they're cheap. Also, after the first drive in the dark, the high beams are decent, but the low beams suck hard. The bulbs seem dim, and the adjustment is about 15 feet in front of the car. They're projectors, so I expected better. I'll deal with the adjustment while I wait for new, brighter bulbs.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/8/22 4:46 p.m.

After last night's discovery of headlight suckage, I decided to try to improve them with some polishing. I had planned to do this anyway, but it was not high on the priority list, as the headlights didn't seem that bad externally. I bought the Sylvania kit based on the Project Farm review in anticipation of doing this job as a winter project, so I just moved up the timetable. For reference, here's what the headlight looked like:

The car is covered in sawdust - there was a tree crew here yesterday. I pulled it out so I could work on it easily and not have to mask the area. As long as I was doing it, I figured I'd do the turn signals in the mirrors as well.

The first round of sanding took forever - the old UV coating was still about 75% intact, and did not want to come off. When I finally got through it, the rest was pretty easy, but my arm was already dead, so I deviated from the instructions and broke out the buffer after I finished the sanding steps. Two rounds of that (aggressive polish on a medium cutting pad, and then final polish on a polishing pad), cleaned up the residue, and applied the UV coating. I did the turn signals purely by hand, since I didn't need quite as high a polish on them, and the buffer would have been tricky to use effectively. After they sat for a few hours I reinstalled.

 

I'm pleased with the results. There was more pitting than it seemed, and that's 98% gone now. No idea about longevity of course, but we'll see. New, brighter bulbs are on the way - hopefully the combination will make for safer night driving.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/8/22 7:14 p.m.

The sun's gone down here, so I went out to quickly have a look at the headlights (still dim, but I think that's the bulbs at this point) and discovered something interesting. I could hear a high-pitched whine from the front right (where the electric power steering pump lives) and decided to turn the wheel to see if I felt the same sensation as yesterday. When I did, I noticed that the headlights dimmed for a second before coming back to normal; this was repeatable. This seems to suggest that the problem is indeed excessive draw from the PS pump. I can get a used unit and throw that in (new is prohibitively expensive), but I don't know if that's going to require some sort of coding to get it integrate with the rest of the electronics.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/8/22 7:41 p.m.

It probably won't.  I was told that as long as it is from the same year and general model, it will work.

I slammed a used 2006 V70R diff module in my 2006 S60R and it works just fine.  I would think that all P1s are the same.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/8/22 7:55 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Thanks - I'm at the very beginning of the learning curve with these cars, so I have no idea how picky they are about such things. I do know there was a change in the PS pump at some point (the newer version works with the older cars, but needs some sort of adapter harness, I think), but I'll track down where the break is to make sure I get the right part. It doesn't look like too terrible a job to swap out.

Edit: According to post #11 in this thread on SwedeSpeed, the only thing needed to make the later style pump work in the earlier car is a slight modification to the plug socket on the pump. The same post suggests no coding is needed (anecdotal, but encouraging).

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/9/22 9:33 a.m.

36F this morning, and empty Sunday morning roads, so I went for diagnostic test drive to see if I could figure out anything else about the steering issue. It's definitely temperature-dependent, and it seems more pronounced turning left than right, which would seem to point more toward the rack than the pump. Now that I know what to expect, it's pretty easy to deal with, but it's not ideal (and will probably be worse once it gets colder). I'm thinking I may just drop the pump and flush the old fluid out to see if it makes a difference - that's a lot less work than changing the rack (ugh).

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/10/22 5:33 p.m.

On a whim I checked battery voltage - it's an electric pump driving the hydraulics, after all - just to make sure it was normal. Turns out the battery showed 11.9v. Started the car and got 14.4v, so the alternator seems to be doing its job. Threw the charger on and it came up very quickly. Going to have to monitor this a bit, but I wonder if a dying battery could be a contributory factor. FWIW, I haven't seen any other signs of a low battery.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/11/22 7:45 p.m.

Got a few things accomplished this afternoon. Manual mode on the auto box was not working, and most of the information I found online suggested the shifter blind - which holds the magnet that actuates the manual shift engagement - was the likely suspect. The one I ordered arrived, so I pulled the console and other bits to access the old one. I was rather discouraged to find that the one in there looked perfect, and had probably already been replaced. Nonetheless, I took the new OE Volvo one and put it in, figuring maybe the previous replacement was cheap aftermarket and not being cooperative somehow. Lo and behold, this actually fixed the problem! Manual mode now works perfectly, which pleases me, even if I don't really use it much.

Next, I replaced the low beam bulbs, which were theoretically functional but not very useful if one wanted to actually see down the road. The new Hella bulbs are noticeably brighter. I also adjusted the lights up to a position where they actually send light down the road more than 15ft. They're still not great, but I feel like I can drive the car at night now.

Finally, I threw in the new OE rubber floormats and the generic trunk mat. The latter required trimming, but fits pretty well after doing so. The interior is now ready for winter use, as well as hauling bikes and random stuff to the dump. For a car with 200k miles the carpets were pretty decent, and I felt bad putting them at risk.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/12/22 9:00 p.m.

Turned over a milestone this afternoon:

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/14/22 8:52 p.m.

Managed to do a couple more things this afternoon. After polishing the outside of the headlights and replacing the low beam bulbs, I discovered that removing the low beam projector lenses for cleaning is easy. One look at mine compared to what I saw on the internet and I knew I should clean them, so I popped the headlights out again (so easy on this car), pulled the lenses, and cleaned them up - much better now.

The next job was one that I was not looking forward to: the cabin air filter. Volvo, in its infinite wisdom, put the cabin filter in a location that is completely inaccessible without removing the gas pedal. It's only three nuts to do so, but to say it requires some uncomfortable contortions would be an understatement. In the process, I discovered that the job had been done before, and that the person who did it couldn't be bothered to fit all the nuts back on, so the accelerator was held on by two of the three fasteners. The studs were a little corroded, so I had to get up in there with a die to chase the threads. All of this took far too long, but the old filter was ugly, so I was glad I did it, and now I know that the gas pedal is properly secured.

I had plans to do a few more things, but time ran out, so they will have to wait.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/14/22 9:23 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Blame Ford for the cabin filter placement.  It feels better that way smiley  Ford has traditionally made cabin filters a pain to access, even in the ones where they are right behind the glovebox.

 

Remember that the P1 chassis is a group effort.  The C30/S40/V50 is a triumph of Swedish build quality over Ford chunderheaded design and Mazda... well Mazda has great chassis dynamics but horrible build quality, so you get all the Mazda benefits without the rust.  It's like the Schwartz.  Volvo got the upside, Mazda got the downside.

 

 

 

(...I do own one Volvo and three Mazdas...)

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/14/22 10:51 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to 02Pilot :

Blame Ford for the cabin filter placement.  It feels better that way smiley  Ford has traditionally made cabin filters a pain to access, even in the ones where they are right behind the glovebox.

Remember that the P1 chassis is a group effort.  The C30/S40/V50 is a triumph of Swedish build quality over Ford chunderheaded design and Mazda... well Mazda has great chassis dynamics but horrible build quality, so you get all the Mazda benefits without the rust.  It's like the Schwartz.  Volvo got the upside, Mazda got the downside.

(...I do own one Volvo and three Mazdas...)

It seems like the FoMoCo engineer who designed that bit was probably British, since it makes a lot more sense in a RHD car. Or he was just a dick.

I've been slowly going over the car in detail and assessing the rust situation. It's really not bad at all for a 16 year-old car in the Northeast; the only things with notable rust so far are the subframes, and that seems to be surface rust so far as I can tell at this point (I have not gotten up close and personal with it yet).

And I'm even at one Mazda and one Volvo, but the Mazda is only a year and half old and lives in the garage for the winter, so it damn well better not be rusty.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/15/22 12:56 p.m.

They moved cabin filter access to the right side in later years but it still sucks, although not as bad as the blower motor, which requires removing the pedal on the left, part of the HVAC ducting on the right (need a 10" long T20), and it unthreads like a breech lock.

 

Everyone else in the world figured out how to make a cabin filter a 30 second change.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/15/22 6:21 p.m.

With any luck, I will not get to discover the joys of the blower motor.

I didn't have much time to work on the car today, but I did swap out the two-piece lower motor mount. Both were original to the car, and even so the solid piece that bolts to the engine probably could have stayed, but I had a new one, so in it went; the torque mount portion was wrecked, so replacing that was a no-brainer. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily everything came apart, and the idle is a good bit smoother now.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/17/22 4:47 p.m.

I've been mulling the power steering issue some more, doing some research, and trying to wrap my head around the possible causes. The symptoms being what they are, right now my money's on the power steering pump. The electrical draw is considerable, even when the problem itself is not evident - the headlights dim slightly on initial turn off-center even when there's no sign of the issue. The pump has an 80A fuse, so it's obviously a significant consumer of electrons even in the best of times. I found a YouTube video showing the failure of one of these due to the lower bearing on the motor seizing up and basically becoming a bushing. This seems a likely possibility given how mine is acting; unfortunately, it appears that to get to said bearing requires destruction of the outer shell of the housing, so simple replacement is not an option. I'm trying to source a newer, lower mileage version from a local yard; mine is past the VIN cutoff for the switch to the newer style, so it should be plug-and-play.

I also found a Magnefine filter cut into the return line. No idea how long it's been there, but it will get replaced while I'm in there (there's also one in the trans cooler line, which I plan to replace as well). I suppose it could be a factor, but it should have a bypass, and in any case, I don't think a plugged filter would cause the sort of temperature-dependent symptoms I'm having. Lastly, I plan to clean up the electrical connection just to ensure no unnecessary resistance in the circuit, and of course change the fluid. With that, the only thing left in the loop that's original will be the rack and the lines. Fingers crossed I get lucky and solve it without having to replace the rack itself, and hopefully for right around $150.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/18/22 4:47 p.m.

I decided that I needed to know if the AWD was actually engaging, so I put all four wheels up, started the car, and put it in gear. Sure enough, there's power to the rear. The engagement was rather clunky and abrupt, but I suspect that's down to a lack of use, old fluid (still need to change that), lack of resistance (freewheeling in the air), and me not locking the car in 1st (I think it shifted a couple times). I want to pull the angle gear to inspect and lube the coupling, but I need a chunk of time I haven't had to do that.

In the meantime, however, I had a few minutes for a low priority, mildly frivolous improvement: mud flaps. Just cheap universal ones from Ebay, but with a few holes drilled in them I was able to install them with the factory fender liner screws and not modify the car at all, so that's a win. They're a little smaller than I would like, but they're better than nothing. And AWD wagons need mud flaps.

The power steering pump hunt is on, though not very productively so far. I called one yard that had one listed, they pulled it quickly, but called back to say it was no good. Found another yard that was closer to me but wanted more for the part - they said they'd pull it and call when it was out. That was yesterday. I do not hold out great expectations of hearing back. Too busy the next few days to deal with it, so I'll start again on Monday.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
10/20/22 7:12 p.m.

Oh, forgot to mention this: when I pulled the wheels off in order to install the mud flaps, I discovered that a couple of lug nuts were bulged and difficult to get a socket on. I hadn't considered that Volvo might be afflicted with Ford lug nuts, but I guess they are. I ordered a new set of solid ones to avoid future trouble. The car came with locking lugs, which I despise, so this will kill two birds with one stone.

 

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