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Josh
Josh Dork
3/21/12 2:56 p.m.
xflowgolf wrote: I've often dreamed of building my own. Buy clean E39 Touring sans drivetrain. Add LSx + T56. Toss in M5 goodies for styling/suspension upgrades and you would have a kick ass wagon. On a budget one could be built for quite reasonable if you had the time/space to wrench.

You just HAD to start that thought process in my brain, huh? I just spent an hour reading forum posts and looking for parts when I should have been working. A blacked out 557it death-wagon with a decent suspension and a nice set of wheels sounds like a great project once my garage is no longer filled with house parts :). Looks like KW has a coilover kit for the wagons, and there are people making swap kits for both the I6 and V8 cars:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1769076

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1685796

A FXT with STi springs would be pretty cool, but it just seems like you get a lot more for similar money in a V70r (and the 5spd FXTs are just as hard to find).

xflowgolf
xflowgolf New Reader
3/21/12 3:33 p.m.
Josh wrote: You just HAD to start that thought process in my brain, huh? I just spent an hour reading forum posts and looking for parts when I should have been working. A blacked out 557it death-wagon with a decent suspension and a nice set of wheels sounds like a great project once my garage is no longer filled with house parts :). Looks like KW has a coilover kit for the wagons, and there are people making swap kits for both the I6 and V8 cars: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1769076 http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1685796

ha. sorry.

but I know right?? The LS into E39 has been done multiple times... "how to" write-ups exist, pictures, etc. Manual trans E39's exist so I imagine hydraulic pedal setups are a bolt in affair. Toss on some coils, M5 front bumper, and nice staggered wheel/tire setup. Next thing you know you'll be wasting time hunting Craigslist for rust free E39 wagons that need work.

blacked out death wagon style...

bluesideup
bluesideup Reader
3/21/12 3:45 p.m.

There was a nice 540it wagon with a manual conversion for sale locally that had a bunch of naughty go fast bits on it. I think the guy wanted $7500. SWMBO said "yeah but I can't drive a stick". My response..."exactly".

Regardless the car was sold shortly after.

Ian F
Ian F UltraDork
3/21/12 3:47 p.m.

Love the black one.

I was in a parking lot the other day and noticed the newish 528xi parked next to me was a 6 spd. It's a shame BMW is no longer bringing over the 5-series wagon (just looked on the site).

Maybe it's because we have so many "sporty" cars, but we are much happier with the '96 850 T5 auto wagon the g/f recently bought after I removed all of the stuff the previous owner installed trying to make it into a sports car (lowering springs & 17x8" wheels). Sometimes it's nice to have a basic luxo-barge in the fleet.

I've been day-dreaming about an E36 M3 "touring" for years: take a M3 sedan + rear clip from a Euro-sourced E36 touring + a bit of welding and paint = one totally legal, non-swapped M3 Touring that BMW never made.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
3/21/12 7:05 p.m.
Josh wrote: You're right: http://www.autonorth.net/2004-Volvo-V70-25T-PortlandME/vd/9075465 These things have too many alphanumeric combinations to keep straight. I think I could have lived with it if it were a stick and had the 4C suspension. I don't even know if that combination exists, and I'd probably find a good R before I find that anyway. The laziness of this one was probably more the auto+soft suspension than the engine, it seemed like it moved pretty well once you waited for the engine room to respond to your command.

The car pictured has the "Titanium" package which was 3-4k or something. The front bumper has been replaced as the trim is black and should be silver. The sport seats and super duper stereo cost a pretty penny as well.

I helped a friend find and buy the same year and trim level car a year ago. He installed bilstein dampers, IPD sway bars, an OBX cat back, and a 14psi remap from speedtuning on the car and it woke up pretty well. He paid 6,800 for a car with 80k on the clock. It was on a lot that sold used Ferrari's, Bentley's, and the like in Winchester or whatever the name of that super rich people suburb outside of NY.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
3/21/12 7:12 p.m.
Ian F wrote: Love the black one. I was in a parking lot the other day and noticed the newish 528xi parked next to me was a 6 spd. It's a shame BMW is no longer bringing over the 5-series wagon (just looked on the site). Maybe it's because we have so many "sporty" cars, but we are much happier with the '96 850 T5 auto wagon the g/f recently bought after I removed all of the stuff the previous owner installed trying to make it into a sports car (lowering springs & 17x8" wheels). Sometimes it's nice to have a basic luxo-barge in the fleet. I've been day-dreaming about an E36 M3 "touring" for years: take a M3 sedan + rear clip from a Euro-sourced E36 touring + a bit of welding and paint = one totally legal, non-swapped M3 Touring that BMW never made.

Very sensible de-mods on the t5.

I love the 5 series wagon. The oiler version available in Europe would be fab.

Josh
Josh Dork
3/21/12 7:49 p.m.
Shaun wrote: The car pictured has the "Titanium" package which was 3-4k or something. The front bumper has been replaced as the trim is black and should be silver. The sport seats and super duper stereo cost a pretty penny as well. I helped a friend find and buy the same year and trim level car a year ago. He installed bilstein dampers, IPD sway bars, an OBX cat back, and a 14psi remap from speedtuning on the car and it woke up pretty well. He paid 6,800 for a car with 80k on the clock. It was on a lot that sold used Ferrari's, Bentley's, and the like in Winchester or whatever the name of that super rich people suburb outside of NY.

Westchester. Was it this place?

http://hunting-ridge-motorsports.ebizautos.com/

They've got a very nice V70R in stock, too bad it's auto (and probably way out of my pricerange).

What you can't tell from the pictures of that 2.5T is that the interior is BEAT. Gouges all over the place, loose trim pieces, rattles. I assume this car was used for dragging multiple kids and dogs around. It also felt a lot rougher at idle than the S60R, so I'm surprised it's the same block. Maybe it had a bad mount. It has 2 accidents on the history, I'm sure one was a front hit and they didn't/couldn't get the proper bumper trim. I didn't even turn on the stereo. The seats felt like the same ones as my buddy's S60R, I thought that was weird that a normal model would have the same seats. I guess it wasn't a normal model :).

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
3/26/12 1:18 p.m.

After you drive all these wagons I would be very curious about your impressions.

Josh
Josh Dork
4/1/12 8:31 p.m.
Shaun wrote: After you drive all these wagons I would be very curious about your impressions.

I suppose this should answer that question:

It's an '05 6MT, Ti Grey/Nordkap, a little more mileage than ideal, but the car is very nice. Interior is remarkably well kept for the mileage, no rust, no accidents, clean underneath, dry and quiet angle gear, good 4-C function (at least one of the front struts has been replaced, the rear shocks are likely original and I plan to replace them before too long). It probably wasn't the best driving R that I drove (I looked at an '04 with all 4 new shocks/struts), but the combination of the year, colors, overall condition and price were too much to pass up. The dealer I bought it from had it incorrectly listed on all the used car listing sites as an automatic, so I think I paid less than I might have had they listed it properly. It has all the stuff I wanted and more - cold weather package, the better audio system, roof rails and bars, 3rd row seat, ipod integration, satellite radio, brand new Toyo Proxes 4 tires... all for a price that was the second lowest I have seen for a manual V70R.

I also drove an E91 328xi - it was very nice, and felt more "at home" to me than the V70, but it didn't feel special enough for me to really want one. It was underpowered compared to my E36, the shifter was better than a stock E36 but nowhere near as good as my car, and it just did nothing to convince me it was worth over twice as much as the R I bought. Or even as much, really.

I took out an '07 manual X3 3.0 for comparison and it didn't feel THAT much different, mostly just taller. The X is not well suited for a manual though, the pitch and dive in aggressive shifting was disconcerting. SUVs just ain't me, and the only way you'd get me into one is if it were towing a racecar. I still summer DD the S2000, so that isn't a consideration for me.

Man, is this R a nice highway car though. Very deceptively fast, acceleration feels a lot more effortless than my other cars. Those seats! Great factory stereo. Seemingly every interior surface is covered in actual leather. I even got 27MPG+ on the way home, probably would have seen 29-30 if I hadn't accidentally left it in 5th on the highway for 50 miles or so . I haven't really driven it that hard yet, probably won't until I go over it (fluids, check all the rubber bits, etc). I think I'm really going to like it though.

dculberson
dculberson Dork
4/1/12 8:44 p.m.

Sweet! Great score, I would love to check out a manual V70r some day.

EvanB
EvanB UltraDork
4/1/12 9:23 p.m.

Very nice! Much better gas mileage and power than my antiquated brick.

pigeon
pigeon SuperDork
4/1/12 9:42 p.m.

Very nice score! The wife DDs an XC 90 and I agree on the seats, Volvo seats are the best ever. Hers is loaded including the Dynaudio system and it is spectacular when fed a nice clean input, much better than the Logic7 system in my 750Li.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
4/1/12 11:32 p.m.

Keep us updated. That car is cool.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Reader
4/2/12 8:45 a.m.

awesome. Congrats!

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit SuperDork
4/2/12 9:53 a.m.

Very cool.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
4/2/12 10:39 a.m.

Love it! The roof rails and cross bars are surprisingly rare- all the options except navigation is exactly what I would hope to find. Nice car.

Did you drive that manual FWD car? Impressions if you have a moment please.

If you ever want a remap Robert Arnold is working his way towards the p2 Rs and offers great value and service. http://www.ardideas.com/

Josh
Josh Dork
4/2/12 11:38 a.m.
Shaun wrote: Love it! The roof rails and cross bars are surprisingly rare- all the options except navigation is exactly what I would hope to find.

Bingo.

Shaun wrote: Did you drive that manual FWD car? Impressions if you have a moment please.

I couldn't, it was in the shop getting a new heater core when I went there. Honestly though, for an asking price within $1500 of what I got the R for, it was never going to be an option. It also looked nowhere near as good inside and out as my car.

dculberson
dculberson Dork
4/2/12 12:51 p.m.

OK, now for the tacky question: how much? I'm divided between bothering to do a manual swap on my 850 turbo and just selling it and getting a manual v70r. If you don't mind, could you share what this thing set you back? Thanks!

Josh
Josh Dork
4/2/12 6:09 p.m.
dculberson wrote: OK, now for the tacky question: how much?

$10,500 out the door.

dculberson
dculberson Dork
4/3/12 9:29 a.m.

Nice, thanks. Let us all know how you like the car as you get more time in it!

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
4/10/12 9:07 a.m.

This is a little late, but wow- you got a great price on that. Cars.com shows the cheapest manual R in the country at $18.5 with 94k on it. Autotrader has an '04 with 138k for ~$11k but still. Nice score, especially with the options.

Any updates in impressions?

Josh
Josh Dork
4/10/12 2:14 p.m.

The '04 I looked at just sold on ebay for $10,900:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2004-Volvo-V70R-6sp-manual-black-gobi-new-suspension-well-maintained-/251033035747?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3a72bc23e3#ht_596wt_1167

That one was older and worse cosmetically than mine, but better mechanically. I think I got a good but not insanely low price. Its hard to go by the listings online because there are usually only a couple of them listed at an given time, and I think some of these expensive ones listed are just guys that don't actually want to sell but would cash in on that rarity if they get a buyer who has to have one now.

I fixed a couple of the little rattles/squeaks and I can't quite believe how plush this thing feels. It's sort of weird for me to drive a car this "nice", it even turns on the wipers and headlights for me. Given my DD opulence progression over the last several years (modded '91 SE-R, mildly modded '98 328i, this) I guess I am going to have to look for a Bentley or something in a few years.

As for the car itself, it seems pretty good except for a tiny amount of oil on the turbo which looks like it's coming from the turbo oil return line (common problem, $20 and half an hour to fix), and an intermittent sticking parking brake. Oh, and it might need a clutch slave cylinder before long, which I'm OK with at the price I paid. The clutch is of indeterminate age anyhow and I wouldn't mind having a new one in there. Depending on what the indy Volvo guy I am seeing next week tells me, I might see if the used car "warranty" will cover it.

WhiteLX
WhiteLX Reader
9/13/12 1:01 p.m.

How about an update on the R? I've been looking at picking one up, preferably with under 60K. I'd really like a manual, but for practicality an automatic might be a better choice for me.

How many miles do you have on it and what sort of maintenance/repairs have you needed to perform since purchase?

Did you purchase an aftermarket warranty? Is there anything they haven't covered? I am looking into this because of the angle gear issues and electronic strut costs.

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
6/26/13 7:00 a.m.

So, these V70R's. I have the opportunity to purchase one for cheap. Haven't seen the car yet but I'm told it's cosmetically a little rough but sound as far as major mechanics. It's an 04 with ~140k, manual trans, red on tan.

A few questions...

  • Can those fancy pants $465 each struts be replaced with non fancy pants struts that don't change with the press of a button?

  • Is there any other R specific technology that would make me cry on these? FWIW I work for an indy that does a lot of Volvo work so general things shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  • What other wear items are going to kill me?

  • Can they run 16" wheels or do I need to invest in snow tires for the 17's?

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
6/26/13 9:27 p.m.

Now I've gotten to look the car over and drive it. 145k, seems to run fine, and it actually has a set of nearly new looking snow tires on the Pegs.

It's got some pretty nasty hail damage on the hood and roof, the grilles around the fog lights are missing, the rear wiper is inop and missing, the plastic door sills in the rear are broken, the interior is filthy, but mostly savable. No warning lights, shifts fine, clutch has been replaced, timing belt was done at 116k.

So, with that said, I ask GRM: how much is this car worth?

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