FAQs about 850 Series

  • Is there a rear anti-sway bar for an 850 wagon?
  • Personal reviews of the 850.
  • I found a round bushing in the bottom on the rear spring, where did it come from?

  • Is there a rear anti-sway bar for an 850 wagon?

    Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 14:55:52 -0500
    To: HARRIS@fido.mm.uky.edu (Dave Harris)
    From: geoff.rogers@ustc.vlsi.com (Geoff Rogers)
    Subject: RE: Rear Anti-Sway bar in 850 Wagon
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu


    I am c.c.'ing the 'bricks list on this because I am including a source for the parts.

    My Source:

    Boston Volvo Village - John Sharisky 800 336-2355 parts
    617 560-1742 parts fax

    I called John and told him that I would send his name to the list. Please use my name when contacting him.


    Geoff's reply to Dave's note, below

    I believe that there is only one rear bar available for the 'wagon. (At least we only found one in the microfiche for any/all wagons). I specifically asked if there was a different bar for the T5-R, and no was the answer.

    Also, my literature indicates that:

                            Front           Rear
    Sedan, standard         Thin            Present
    Sedan, sport            Thick           Present
    Wagon, standard         Thin            Absent
    Wagon, sport            Thick           Present
    My Wagon                Thin            Present

    As I indicated in my note to the 'bricks group, this should give less understeer than the factory sport setup, but slightly more body roll. I have no idea which setup would yield the best lateral acceleration. This is strongly dependent on alignment, surface condition, etc... At 1:37 PM 11/29/95, Dave Harris wrote:

    >I've been thinking of adding the rear bar to our 850 wagon, and was encouraged
    >by your results. One question if you don't mind: Does Volvo sell two
    >rear bars for the 850 wagon, the factory stock bar standard on the sedans
    >and a "sport" bar, or are they all the same bar? Just want to make sure
    >that I get the right one. I assume you put on the larger "sport" bar on
    >yours... is that what you would recommend?
    >Thanks in advance for any help.

    >Dave Harris
    >Kentucky Geological Survey
    >University of Kentucky

    Geoffrey C. Rogers Voice 617 270-4111
    Account Manager Fax 617 273-7604
    VLSI Technology, Inc. Beeper 800 SKY-PAGE
    PIN 547-5700

    Date: Thu, 30 Nov 95 10:20:05 PST
    From: glenn@alldata.com (Glenn Thompson)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 sway bars

    I sent this reply to Geoff yesterday but failed to Cc it to everyone else for some reason, Oh I know why now - Brain Fade.



    Lots of stuff snipped>>>>

    >>>Geoff's reply to Dave's note, below

    >>>I believe that there is only one rear bar available for the 'wagon. (At
    >>>least we only found one in the microfiche for any/all wagons). I
    >>>specifically asked if there was a different bar for the T5-R, and no was
    >>>the answer.

    NA NA I SAY!!

    I found 3 different sway bars for the rear of the 850 in my parts fisch and they are dated 5/94 so they may not include the T5-R even.

    One is said to be 19.5mm one is 20.8mm and the third does not say but has a different part number so it's different too, Bigger yet is my guess.

    There are at least 2 different bars for the front too...

    I don't have time right now to list Part Numbers ect. but I will try to soon.


    Just doing my part for all the 850 people so they can be assured that at least I consider them "REAL Volvo's" and they too are part the perception I call PHamily!!


    Return to the top of the

    850 Reviews.

    Date: Sat, 7 Nov 92 17:09:08 EST
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 GLT driving impressions...

    I had a solo test drive in an 850GLT Touring today, it was the Best Motors Gala introductory weekend. They had four 850's, all "touring" package -two in the showroom (along with netter Court Packer's 544) and two available for test drives.

    I was given the keys and told to go have some fun......

    So I walked over to a bright red 850GLT Touring and hopped in. First impressions are that the car is proportioned very differently from the 200 series that I am used to - there is 2-3 more inches of interior width, but marginally less headroom in front and noticably less headroom in the rear (both cars have the sunrooof). The windshield is much closer to your face than in a 2-series, but not claustrophobically close.

    Ergonomics are typical Volvo with a more modern flair - everything was obvious *except* the hood (bonnet) release which is positioned extremely far forwards. Seating is much much lower than in a 200 series, the floor itself is lower than in a 700 series - so that while the seats are reasonably high off the floor, you do not have that commanding feel (esp. as my personal car is running the IPD lift kit and 205/70r14's).

    Turning the key brought the 20-valve motor to life. Not silent, and with a bit of an odd idle, it brought out a tiny rattle in the instrument panel - not good... Engine noise is moderate and much more sewing-machine (read Japanese) like than a B230. Putting the transmission into reverse and backing it out of the parking space revealed a typically Volvoish turning circle - always a pleasure.

    Shifting into "D"rive, you realize that quadrant is P-R-N-D-3-1 - which does not bode well for shifting manually. There is a selector for Economy/Sport or Winter shift patterns. With the transmission in Economy, upshifts occur early where in Sport the motor seems to wind out to at least 3500rpm before each upshifts. Upshift quality was smooth, but not very mechanical feeling. Is there some sort of ignition retard on upshift?

    The transmission seemed to hunt considerably around town, deciding between 3rd and 4th all too often. I would rate the automatic transmission as a weak point.

    Braking was acceptible, but modulation is better with Repco metalmasters on my 200 series. I did not experience brake fade, nor would I expect any. The brakes are beefy.

    Acceleration was sprightly, the motor feels very Honda-ish in the lack of flywheel mass. Good for acceleration, but very bland feeling. I didn't rev the motor past 5500 rpm (7000rpm redline), but I can believe that this car will do 0-60mph in 9 seconds. Low speed acceleration 0-30 is considerably better than what I'm used to.... However, it has none of the spunk that fellow Netter Pete Chu's BMW 528i has. The front tires spun too easily during strong acceleration at low speeds with the wheels turned.

    Handling..... well it is FWD. And it is as viceless as a Saab 900 w/regards to torque steer, and has considerably less understeer to boot. Steering response is sharper than a stock 2-7 series and sharper than my IPD 264 with the mushy Goodyears, but not in the same league as an IPD prepared 2-series. Unlike most Honda's there was not steering wheel /front end suspension chatter when one front wheel was spinning, nor was there a dramatic tendency towards understeer. All in all, it rates highly as a front-wheel-drive platform. I did induce the beginning of terminal understeer once - sharp turn at a low, but constant, speed. It is safe, competant and probably will be an acceptible Autocrosser, but I'd rather drive a 960 at Watkins Glen any day.

    My personal summary :

    At $24k it offers considerably more standard equipment than a $23k 240dl. It is superficially "sporty," but, honestly, it strikes me as boring. The 240 is an iconoclasts car, period. The 850 is too normal for the fringe market, too boxy for those who would buy a Camry. It is not an inexpensive car, but does not impress me that it will be "ANVIL" tough like a 122 or 140. Presumably it will sell well in Europe, for Volvo's North American market I believe that it will sell to Volvo's traditional clientel but not appeal to the Lexus/Acura crowd. In many ways, unfortunately for Volvo, it reminds me of a slightly larger "Viking" Peugeot 405.

    For those who would otherwise buy a 240, it has too much power and too many gadgets. A hypothetical strippo 840DL at, say $21k, would be tough to sell against an Accord.

    | Timothy Takahashi tim@fulcrum.me.rochester.edu
    | Research Assistant |
    | Dept. of Mechanical Engineering |
    | University of Rochester (716)275-4072(W) |
    | Rochester, NY 14627 (716)442-5832(H) |

    Date: Fri, 6 Nov 92 14:03:56 PST
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 GLT on the way

    No, I'm not buying one (yet). I am however, taking delivery of my dealer's executive demonstrator for a 24 hour test drive on the weekend of my birthday later this month...

    I don't know how many dealers will do this but I do know that earlier this year, BMW NA offered this to a lot of their current owners. (That's how I got a 325i for a weekend in June...)

    In any event, my dealer called me about the 850 (just like they did for the 900 series intro) and asked if I would be interested in taking a "test drive". I asked her about a long term eval. "since I was also looking at BMW's and they had this program..." which, IMHO, is a great way to sell cars (if they can afford it.)

    She immediately said yes. (I don't know if this is something they get asked everyday and I don't know if it's because we bought our car from them and were the reference source for another 4 cars sold by them but either way, this is something I'm looking forward to.

    I'll be very curious to make a comparison of the 850 to both my '87 740 Turbo and my Honda Accord (one's a Volvo, the other front wheel drive with very little of the stereotypical fwd handling traits of the past except for a tad bit of understeer at higher speeds.)

    If you're serious about an 850, you might ask about an extended drive. Worse thing that can happen is they say no or they laugh (or both.) If that`s the case, then either go to another dealer (easier for me here in California as I understand) or wait until the hysteria dies down. (The dealers'll be hungry again come January...)

    My 2 cents on the 850 issue. (No real opinions until end of the month).

    Michael (maj@frame.com)

    From: chen@digital.sps.mot.com
    Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1992 14:50:33 MST
    To: Michael Jue <uunet!frame.com!maj@uunet.uu.net>, tim@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: 850 GLT driving impressions...

    > I'm not flaming the 850 in the least (I can't... haven't driven one long
    > enough to make those judgements)...it's just that I've driven the Accord
    > EX (not mine) and with 140bhp and a gaggle of other goodies thrown in
    > at some $thousands cheaper, it outwardly appears to have already "one-upped"
    > the 850 (and the Accord design is years old already.) Who really knows?

    In the last three weeks I have test driven 850 three times and this weekend I also test drove a 1993 Vigor GS and 1992 Legend L, and my current car is an 1990 Accord LX. My views on all four cars below could add more data points to this 850 driving impression thread.

    In terms of feature counts, the 850 probably is slightly ahead of Legend (L) and much more than the Vigor GS and Accord EX. The interior in the 850 is about the same as the Legend and more roomier than Vigor and much more than the Accord. The 850 seats are the best and the Accord's are the worst. The fit and finish on the Accuras are better and about the same on the 850 and the Accord. When it comes down to dash board design, give me a Honda in any time. The 850 dash board is good but probably too simplistic. For example, the Hondas have indicators of auto-transmission mode (sport/econ) and gear mode (PRND21) on the dash whereas in the 850 I have to look down to the gear handle. Both Legend and 850 have rear doors open wide enough to allow easy entry/exit without twisting body. Another feature I really like in all Hondas is the great vision provided by the low hoodline. I could never avoid that old-lady-hiding-behind-the-wheel feeling even by raising the seat height on the 850. At least, the Volvos are still much better in this aspect than some American cars.

    The 850 has good trunk openning and excellent folddown rear seats (and smart folddown passinger seat), which would accomodate carrying large items easily. The 92 Legend rear seat doens't fold down and the openning from the rear seat to the trunk on the Vigor and Accors is too narrow to be practical.

    Under the hood the 850 should be most servicible than the Hondas which typically everything is packed like sardines under the hood. The 850 (and Volvos) reminds me some 1970's American cars.

    On the road, I would rate the 850 a tad better than the Accords. However, both Vigor and Legend are definitely more fun to drive than the 850, expecially the Legend. The Accuras engines are smoother but the Accords are not. Interestingly, even the Vigor shares the digit 5 with the Volvo, the engine roar pitch on the Vigor is closer to its bigger brother Legend. The 850 is quiter in tire noise than the Accord but noisier in all aspect than the Accuras. It seems Volvo couldn't figure out how to reduce wind noise, even after auto critics complaints about the 900 series.

    The Legend should be the fastest one according to spec. Except the Accord all of them can give you some feeling of kidney kick although never close to what one can experience from a Porche. I like Accura's handing, smoother and refined. The 850 is not bad either, sticking to the road very well, probably just different taste of European and Asian. The Accord does wonder a bit when being pushed too hard, perhaps penalized by its tire size. The Legend's body seems to be stiffer than the 850 which is better than the Vigor and Accord. On bumpy road the Legend isolates most bumps but the 850 gives you the noise without feeling it which I really like.

    Both Accuras have dual airbags like the 850, and a single steel bar in each door for side impact protection comparing two on the 850. Needless to say Volvo's elaborate SIPS is very unique and probably only can be matched by Mercedez and probably the Cadillacs in my opinion. Interesting enough, in a 1988 safety test by NHSTA (??) Legend came out first and followed by a 740 with 80 points behind. Of course this was shown to me by an Accura salesman. As far as styling, there is no contest :-)

    In terms of cost, the Vigor GS is listed $27k and the LS (w/o leather) is $2k less, quite comparable with the 850. The Legend L is listed well over $34k and the LS is even higher. However, a local Accura dealer is selling the L model about invoice which is $27,700, about the same as a fully loaded 850GLT. The Accord LX is about $15k and the EX is about $18k but most people should be able to buy an Accord for $200-500 over invoice these days. Volvo dealers are holding very hard to MSRP for the 850s.

    With overall values and costs in mind, the Legend L in this case is probably the best deal, followed by an Accord LX. I never like the over priced Accord EX which has ABS, a moonroof, and one more exhaust pipe (okay 10 more hp) than a LX for $3k more. The 850 is a better deal than the Vigor but the Accura would hold its value better in near terms (three to five years).

    Personally, I'd go for the Legend L for that price but my wife likes the Volvo better. She'd buy a Volvo instead of a life insurance for me :-).

    A few more tidbits:

    The steering wheels on the Accord and the Vigor can be tilted but not telescoped, whereas the Legend's can be telescoped but not tilted. The 850 does both.

    The Hondas have 'arm rests' on all doors but the wedge shape slabs on the Volvos are too far to be used for resting arms.

    Only the Legend LS and 850 GLT have heated seats (no use in Phoenix, Arizona :-) and climate control (everyone needs A/C in Arizona).

    The wood trim in Legend LS and Vigor GS are very pretty.

    The Accura leather seats are slippery.

    There is no traction control in any Honda but I don't know how effective the Volvo's limited traction control option ($395) would be.

    To Vigor's top of line DSP audio: "I know DSP audio, I am a friend of DSP audio, and you are not a (real) DSP audio."

    Jinfu Chen (602)898-5338 , FAX (602)962-2090
    Motorola, Inc. SPS, Mesa, AZ
    "I'd love to go out with you, but I'm taking punk totem pole carving."

    Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1992 16:16 EST
    From: Jim Greenberg <JAG2@vms.cis.pitt.edu>
    Subject: Current 850 pricing (from PC Carbook)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    My local AAA offers a new car pricing service. For not too many bucks I obtained information on the 850 (as of 11/5/92). The first number is the dealer invoice cost and the second number is MSRP (all figures in dollars):

    a) 5-spd: 21115, 24100;
    b) Auto: 21750, 24850;
    c) 5-spd w/touring pkg: 23145, 26500; and,
    d) Auto w/touring pkg: 23780, 27250.

    There is no additional charge for metallic paint on any car, however, traction control (315, 385), leather upholstery on the non-touring pkg cars (815, 995), and California emissions compliance modifications (100, 125) cost extra. The print out from the PC Carbook also quoted a destination charge of 395 (to Pittsburgh, PA, I guess), and a warning that an additional charge may be added for advertising. The touring package includes the following: CFC-free air conditioning w/dual elect auto climate control, pwr glass sunroof, leather upholstery, and keyless remote entry and security system. Has anyone bought one yet? Know anyone who bought one? Know anyone who decided intentionally not to buy one? Do you think car sales slump is bad enough that there will be dealing? Anybody know what the cloth interior looks like? - Jim

    Date: Wed, 20 Jan 93 20:28:20 +0100
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: RE: 850 wagon

    >Very interesting... what is the 2.4l inline six? It is not the same as the
    >modular 4-5-6 cylinder is it?

    The 4-5-6 cyl engines can be made with 0.5 or 0.4 litre cylinders. Volvo has showed their 6-cyl 0.4 litre prototype engine with turbo some years ago but they don't said when and if they want to sell any cars with that engine.

    Date: Thu, 21 Jan 93 12:19:09 +0100
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: RE: 850 wagon

    >>The 4-5-6 cyl engines can be made with 0.5 or 0.4 litre cylinders.
    >If the cylinders are either .5 or .4 liters, is the block longer or
    >shorter with either cylinder bore? I would think that a modular
    >engine would have the same length with either .5 or .4 liter bore.

    I'm not sure but I think the 0.4 has thicker walls so the engine can be used with high pressure fuels as methanole. But, even with thicker walls, the engine should be shorter.

    Don't forget that these engines uses small ang long cyls. The inline 6-cyl engine is shorter than other 6-cyl engines. The 5-cyl is nearby in same lenght as a normal 4-cyl engine.

    Date: Wed, 3 Mar 93 08:51:52 EST
    From: 03-Mar-1993 0844 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: New 850 ads

    I don't know if they are being shown everywhere but Volvo has two great ads running in the Boston area right now on the 850.

    One opens with a ground level view of a huge tank rolling toward you. The voice over (did you know that it has been Donald Sutherland all these years?) says "For years driving a Volvo has imparted a certain sense of security..." (might not be an exact quote here) and the ends up filling the whole screen. Flash to a picture of a red 850 flying across the desert. Voiceover: "Now it imparts something else..." "This is not your Uncle Olafs Volvo..."

    The other commercial is just as great: A picture of a large turtle with a license plate attached to its rear slowly moving away from the camera. Voice over: "Remind you of a Volvo?" Flash to red 850 flying down some back road catching air. Voiceover: "Not anymore..."

    I think these ads are great, the ad agency should get an award for these. I also hope they always stick with Sutherland for the voiceover in their ads. I don't know how many years it was until one day I said to my wife "who IS that voice??" Without even looking up from the paper she said "Donald Sutherland" and here it was driving me nuts for years.

    __Chris Corey

    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: misc Volvo trivia 850GLT
    From: "John Abt" <johna@gold.gvg.tek.com>

    Well I'm just back from a week in Tokyo and I'm happy to report that there are Volvos in Tokyo! I'd say about the third most popular car (behind MBZ (#1) and BMW) from my eyeball survey. Some pretty cool ones too....turbo 940 wagons with wheels and black glass, etc. Saw some right-hand drivers also. Mostly 700/900s, saw one 200 wagon.

    I'm also just back from the San Francisco Int'l Auto show where I saw my first 960. The motor looks cool. Very beefy and clean looking. Definately room in there for a turbo!!

    I read in AUTOWEEK that the new 960 motor (inline 6, DOHC 24 valve, 201 HP, 197 lb ft) is part of a modular family with 4 and 5 cyl members. The 5 cyl was the central focus. It will show up in the states in the new 850 GLT this fall. No, the "T" does not mean turbo, but Volvo is now testing 5 cyl turbos, so stay tuned. BTW, the 850 is a front driver with the 5 mounted transversly. The car is a little smaller than the 700/900s outside, but bigger inside!

    John Abt

    From: Mark Taylor <mtaylor@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
    Subject: Confessions of an 850 Owner
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Volvo-net)
    Date: Tue, 9 Mar 93 13:12:06 EST

    All right, now that it's out of the bag...:-)

    My wife and I bought an 850 a few weeks ago, and I'll give you all some of my initial impressions. Of course, she gets to drive it during the week, so I have to drive the '84 244 during the week, and get to zip around in the 850 during the weekend.

    We got a Teal Green 850GLT with automatic, but without the touring package that includes leather seats, a power sunroof, and auto. Climate control. We were able to get below list price by about $700.00, plus the dealer threw in about $1000 - $1200 worth of options (All Weather lights, armrest w/cup holders, load bars, ski rack, and an after-market alarm system). I think we got a pretty good deal, considering the remarks I've heard about no dealer going below list price.

    The interior of the car is very comfortable, and seems like a logical decendant of our 240. From what I've seem of the 700/900 series, it's pretty similar. The only thing that has seemed a little strange is that the power window and mirror controls are in the center console, next to the parking brake.

    The performance is certainly much better than the 240. The automatic has 3 modes, Economy, Performance, and Winter. The shift points are lower in economy mode, and at times it seems to shift a little early, but for the most part is acceptable for the way we drive. Performance is a blast on a curvy road. The winter mode starts out in 3rd gear, for better traction.

    Basically, we looked at the Accord and Camry, and then drove the 850. There was no comparison. Of course, I don't have to sing the praises of Volvos to this group...

    If anyone has any specific questions, let me know, and I'll try to find out.

    Here's one for you: The manual says an oil change every 5,000 miles, and scheduled maintenance every 10,000. Should I change the oil every 3,000, like everyone recommends for the 240 (and about every other car on the road)?

    Look out when I actually attempt to change it myself!

    --Mark Taylor

    Date: Wed, 10 Mar 93 13:10:26 PST
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850GLT Touring


    When I want something, I get it! :=) (Well, I'd like to think that anyway...)

    Not one to rush in headfirst without checking the waters, I just picked up an 850GLT Touring for a "long term" evaluation. Sitting in our parking lot right now is this "Omigod Green" model replete with rear spoiler and seriously CHROMED stock alloys. Whew, this car is loud and the motor's not running.

    Anyway, my first gripe: the new auto tranny (in the fwd setup) is too vague (even in sport mode). Note: the original model I drove was a manual trans. This tranny seems to be indecisive about what gear it wants to be in. Cruising and accelerating from stop are fine but in general driving, it likes to "hunt" for proper gearing.

    Second gripe: I didn't really notice it that much before but visibility out of this car is poor (IMHO). The rear spoiler doesn't help out here either. Oh, in general, the view is much better than a number of other cars on the market but I've found that the car has a couple of really major blind spots in the traditional B-piller and C-piller locations. (Again, this is my own opinion...someone of diff. build might feel otherwise.)

    Third gripe: when adjusted to my liking, the steering completely cuts off the top of the speedo (the entire 50-80 range) I have to bend over to see that I'm going 70. Not good for CHP infested highways. (I will get used to it, however, once I know where the markings are, I can still see the indicator needle at the middle and bottom of the gauge).

    There are positives to this test so far as well (some quick comments):

    Power is pretty adequate (in comparing to my turbo). Ride comfort is quite good even over some really rough stuff. Steering effort is good (not too light or heavy)

    Is this car worth the bucks? Wellll, I think so considering other cars in it's class. But, for LESS money, I can get a brand new 940T wagon and to hear the sales pitch, the financing available from Volvo on 900 series cars is very attractive. (Not avail. on 850) (For reference, assuming 40% down plus tax/license up front, they offer 0% (yes, nothing) financing for 48 mos. on the balance... Smaller down payments do carry a %age but still very nice numbers.

    More later. (Ain't this long enough?)


    Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1992 08:55 +0200
    From: "BJ\\RN KARLSEN" <etn.etnbkkc@memo.ericsson.se>
    Subject: Re: 850 series
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    You write:

    >See the latest "European Car" (formerly "VW & Porsche") magazine for a loo
    >the new 850 sedan. Seems like a great addition to the Volvo line. It has 1
    >from the DOHC 5-cyl., which is shorter that the B23/B230 engines.
    >I wonder if they'll make a wagon out of it.

    Volvo will make a wagon in the 850 series, but I don't know when. Volvo released a new version of the 850 -- called 850 GLE (I think) - last week. The 850 GLT is very popular here in Europe. They also plan an 840 with a cylinder cut off from the 5-cyl (thus making it a 4-cyl).

    -KKC- etn.etnbkkc@memo.ericsson.se

    From: Mark Taylor <mtaylor@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
    Subject: Re: 850GLT evaluation-Last installment!
    To: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 8:38:09 EST

    Ok, here's my response to Michael's problems with the 850 after having one for a month and a half:

    > 1. The turn signal indicator is very loud and extremely annoying.

    That's for sure. You'd be hard pressed to forget about it and drive down the road signalling a perpetual left turn.

    > 2. There's absolutely NOWHERE I can put a coffee cup or beverage!

    We got the combination armrest/cupholder for the center console. It replaces the stock one. The cupholders slide out of the front and back, allowing 2 cups/cans in front and 2 in back, as well as giving an armrest that is the same height as the one in the door. The only problem with it is that the cups are right above the parking brake, so it's difficult to pull it up with cups in the holders.

    >From Michael's previous message:

    Vague automatic transmission.

    It does tend to hunt around. In economy mode, going 25 in my neighborhood, it can't quite decide whether to be in 2nd or 3rd, and going 35 in the city, between 3rd and 4th. Maybe this is a feature, not a bug :-) I suspect they are trying to improve gas mileage as much as possible. Of course, it really does respond when you punch it!


    I have noticed a pretty big blind spot looking over the right shoulder of the driver, towards the back pillar (Sorry I'm not sure what the B and C pillars are). The head rest for the passenger side back seat seems to protrude from this pillar, so the blind spot is sort of the pillar and the headrest, if that makes sense. The middle headrest in back is lower than the other two, so visibility straight back is no problem.

    Steering Wheel cutting off Speedometer:

    I had this problem at first, but I was able to adjust the steering wheel height and angle, as well as the seat height to fix it. BTW, the steering wheel adjusts forward and backward, as well as up and down. I don't know if this is new to the 850, or if the 700/900 have this as well.

    > A few things that Volvo has certainly done right (comparing to my 740)-
    > 1. The power sunroof works like a dream.

    We only got the standard model, so no sunroof. Without it, though, there seems to be at least 3 or 4 more inches of headroom. You can also see the center pillar continue all the way around, like a rollbar.


    > 2. The brakes! Gads, these are nice. ABS prevents me from locking 'em
    > up (I tried :) and they stop real well. (Especially in comparison to my
    > 740, which, I swear, is an absolute grouch, wrt brakes)

    That was my wife's first comment when we drove the car. "I LOVE these brakes!". They are indeed very reassuring. Fortunately, the ABS hasn't kicked in yet.

    > 3. Interior is very, very nice. The leather is great.

    Once again, with out the touring package, no leather. The standard cloth seats are very nice, however. The vinyl that goes around the edges is VERY soft, almost softer than some of the leathers I've felt in other cars. Is there something I should put on it to keep it that way?

    > Anyway, there you have it. End of thread. Thanks for your patience (and
    > particularly for Mark Taylor, NO FLAMES INTENDED ON OUR LONE 850 OWNER!
    > I'm jealous!)
    > Michael (maj@frame.com)

    Mark Taylor

    Date: Tue, 16 Mar 93 08:32:36 EST
    From: 16-Mar-1993 0830 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 Air Dam

    On the string about the LOW 850 air dam:

    I don't know why Volvo made it so low but from reading about the 850 in the special Road and Track magazine I do know one thing about that air dam: Don't remove it for winter driving! About 90 percent of the cooling air is directed to the radiator from below the bumper through the air dam and the slots there. The 850's grille is mostly fake. Behind it is mosty solid panels and it's only there for identity "aesthetics".


    Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1993 21:39:26 -0500 (EST)
    From: C_LODER@unhh.unh.edu
    Subject: 850 WAGON and TURBO !!
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Two weeks ago just prior to another X-country drive (NH to San Fran area) I was talking to my local dealer.

    From him I was able to extract a photo of the new wagon. From what I could tell (the picture was taken from the "7 o'clock" position ie: tail looking forward) the auto is a slightly smaller and more rounded version of the 900 series wagons.

    The LIGHTS on the tail were some what alarming. They were placed high on the support pillars like the tercell wagon and the Chevy Lumina (aka. dustbuster on wheels). I suppose this is for increased safty, but it is quite a change from the conservative present style.

    On the Turbo front I was able to get out of a dealer here in Santa Cruz that the turbo would pack 250hp, I feel more comfortable rumoring 200+ so I will do that. Either way Volvo is going to kick the pants off Uncle Olaf's old rig AND give BMW MB ACURA LEXUS and others a real run for the market.

    Me? I am going to wait for the AWD 5-speed Turbo Wagon. And that is a real rumor...


    Christopher (and Oatmeal 217K)

    Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1993 11:49:02 -0500 (EST)
    From: STEVE (516) 282-3018 <GINELL@bnlsbc.nsls.bnl.gov>
    To: SWEDISHBRICKS@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: *****WARNING TO VOLVO 960 OWNERS**** MAYBE 760 ALSO

    To netters who own 960's and maybe 760's:

    I received a notice from a friend regarding engine damage/hidden warranty repairs that involves the 960 models. It was apparently published in Kippling cars 93 report....below is what is stated:


    MAJOR INTERNAL ENGINE DAMAGE WILL OCCUR on 1992 Volvo 960 models if the camshaft timing belt breaks while the engine is running. Accordingly, Volvo has reduced the camshaft timing belt replacement interval for these models to 20,000 miles. Dealers will replace the timing belt at 20,000 miles and again at 40,000 miles."

    I hope this info arrives to all before any damage has been incurred.


    Date: Wed, 9 Oct 91 19:07:45 +0100
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "volvo-net@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: Re: Volvo R-Sport catalog

    >Another Interesting point concerns Volvos up coming cars. The car Volvo plans
    >to market toward the performance enthusiast is the 850. US marketting appears
    >to feel that US customers want FWD performance cars. In my particular case the
    >reverse it true. I believe in 2 principals in cars: 1) at least the rear
    >wheels should be driven, 2) the engine really should be just infornt of the
    >rear wheels. Since insurance rates on 4 WD performance cars and Porche 911s
    >are a bit steep (not to mention purchase and maintainance) I have happily
    >settled on my 200 + bhp Volvo Turbo (don't ask how, I can't tell you, but you
    >might just be able to see at the Avon Autocross). I also doubt that you will
    >see an overwelming move toward 4WD from Volvo (another big disapointment). I

    I think the 850 turbo with 200-220 hp arrives next year. Volvo also have a 2.5 litres 6-cyl Turbo for methanole-gazoline. If you use 85% methanole, you get 275 bhp and more than 420 in torque (my 740 turbo does 260-270 in torque and 182 bhp). I think Volvo plans to sell the 960 Turbo with MEP in California from 93-94 when Methanole is more common...

    (with 100% gas, you only get 200-220 bhp...)

    From: "David E. Cox" <decox@vdoe386.vak12ed.edu>
    Subject: Volvo' sport/utility vehicle . . .
    To: Volvo ListServ <swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu>
    Date: Tue, 13 Apr 93 16:49:20 EDT

    For what it's worth . . . .

    In AUTOWEEK's April 12, 1993 article on the comeback of the station wagon (left for dead several years ago in the wake of the MiniVan), Volvo North America's Michael Guerra comments,

    "The wagon is our sport/utility vehicle. Given that 80% of the off-road vehicles never go off road, it fills our sport/utility role. Our new 850 wagon is going to be the best Volvo product to compete in the macho sport/utility market."

    He makes no reference to a turbo version but who knows . . .

    David Cox

    Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1993 16:39:25 -0700
    From: "Y. Alan Wang" <wyl@nsd.3com.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Volvo 850 reviwed in the latest Consumer Reports.....

    There is more infomation to pass on the same article.

    CU thinks these group of cars are several thousand dollars overpriced comparing to Accord EX, Camry V6, and Maxima which provide comparable services. No flames please. CU's opinion.


    ----- Begin Included Message -----

    >From jtembulk@SPICA.Prime.COM Wed Apr 21 16:13:18 1993

    Saw a review of the 850 in the latest Consumer Reports. They reviewed it in the company of the Taurus-SHO, Infinity G-30, and Audi-XX. They rated it as being very good on braking and safety features.

    Just thought I would pass the info on.....


    ----- End Included Message -----

    Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 14:21:41 +0200
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: Re: Volvo 850 reviwed in the latest Consumer Reports.....

    >> Question: What tires does the 850 use?
    >> /Dave
    >Michelin MXV-3, 195/65HR15 (If I recall the size correctly).

    The 16" rims uses 205/50. A tire-vendor (was selling a pair Pirelli P6s to me) told me 850 GLT has Fulda 205/50HR16 in the models with 16" rims.

    In USA, most 850 GLTs is sold with more comfortable 15" and 195/65s because most americans don't want cars with hard suspensions...

    From: George Chow <george@unixg.ubc.ca>
    Subject: Group 6 Performance...
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Volvo-Net)
    Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 17:59:39 PDT


    After seeing Micheal's article on the 740T in _European Car_, I checked out the local newsstand. Unfortunately, the May '93 issue isn't in yet. So I decided to phone Group 6 directly. I got thru to them but unfortunately, Frank, the Volvo guy, wasn't in at the moment. Anyways, I got them to fax me something about what they carry for the while. Here's a summary of what they carry:

       o 850 high-performance chip set, $275
       o 740/240 electric fan conversion kit, $150, +3hp
       o turbo/non-turbo sport exhaust system, $275, +7 to 10hp
       o Jacobs Energy Pack (ignition upgrade), $285, +7 to 10hp
       o Hurst shift handle, $65
       o digital boost control with programmable boost contour, $295. $100 for the programmer, +30hp max
       o rising-rate fuel pressure regulator, $260
       o [79]40T K&N filter conversion, $95
       o stainless steel flexible (oxymoron?) brake line, $99
       o camshafts, "fairly expensive"
       o Schroth harness belts, $175
       o 700 series gauge panel (replaces the graphic equalizer)
       o Lowering springs, shocks, sway bar kits, upgraded brake pads, European light conversion, and more

    Looks like lotsa stuff. One thing though: they specialize in performance items for later Volvos, B23/B230 and newer. That's why most of the items above are for the [789]00 series.

    I'm gonna call them back on Monday to see what else they can tell me...

    George Chow Email: george@unixg.ubc.ca
    Bus error--passengers dumped.

    Date: 23 Apr 1993 17:00:51 -0400 (EDT)
    From: JOCONNE1%ITHACA.BITNET@cornellc.cit.cornell.edu
    Subject: Volvo's in the U.K.
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Greetings from a new member. Here are a few things I found interesting from about Volvo's in the U.K. as I finish a semester abroad in London. Again, I'm new so I don't know if this is common knowledge or of real interest of Volvo-Net members.

    Anyway, it's been really strange to see other Volvo models not offered in the States. The 340/360 series are small 3 and 5 door hatchbacks introduced about 10 years ago, and discontinued after 1991. There are quite a few old one here in London. The 440/460/480 series are small hatchbacks/sedans/small coupe respectively , front wheel drive, made in Belgium. There are a variety of engines including a 120 bhp turbo engine. The small coupe looks very un-Volvo and looks more like an new Honda Civic hatchback with Volvo turbo style alloys wheels.

    Many different engines and options are available for the 200/700/800/900 range, as I understand that the larger the engine, the greater the tax or something like that.

    In '93, the only 200 offered is a choice of 3 245's. 240 Torslander, 240 SE, 240 SE 2.3 (111,111,116 bhp's) 3 versions of the 850 are available. 850 SE 2.0, 850 GLT 2.0, 850 2.5 (143, 143, 170, bhp's) There are lots of 940's (Both in wagon and sedan) 940 S, 940 S 2.3, 940 2.0 Turbo, 940 SE, 940 SE 2.3, 940 SE 2.0 Turbo, 940 Wentworth (2.0 Turbo w/no sunroof, but AC and alloys std.), 940 GLE 2.0 Turbo, 940 GLE 2.3, 940 SE TD, 940 GLE TD, 940 Turbo 2.0, and 940 2.3 Turbo.

    The 940 2.3 Turbo ( 190 bhp) is only avail. with 5 sp. Manual and lacks some bells and whistles that 940 2.0 Turbo includes and is the top and most expensive turbo model available (list 23,345 Pounds)? The 960's have 204 bhp engine.

    There was a 960 Turbo made for the U.K. in '90-92 with the 2.3 4 cylinder Turbo. That would explain why the 6 cyl. 960's have "24v" denoted on them.

    Also, it is strange to see "new" 240 GLT's here since the wagons and sedans were sold here from '87-90. I wish I could find a Left hand drive one.

    Also, I remember reading a brief mention about a true 960 turbo (6 cyl) of some sort being tested in Sweden in a Motor Trend or Car and Driver review of the 960 a little while back.

    As a non-turbo diesel owner, I was surprised to see one 240 GL Diesel '88-90 Wagon model left hand drive model here.

    Time to wrap up. I'll be stopping in Gothenburg to visit Volvo there (and family too) before coming back in a week or so. I welcome your comments.

    Josh O'Connell
    1984 265 Diesel (In Mass. at the moment)

    Date: Fri, 23 Apr 93 17:06:10 +0200
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: RE: Re: Volvo 850 reviwed in the latest Consumer Reports.....

    >>In USA, most 850 GLTs is sold with more comfortable 15" and 195/65s
    > because most americans don't want cars with hard suspensions...
    >I would love to get some 16" rims and any Euro spec swaybars or springs
    >for my future 850..
    >Are you familiar with any more differences between US spec and Euro spec?

    It's the importers in US who sets the spec for US cars. You can get the car with 16 och 17" rims if you paid for it.

    Note, on the 850, the good brake results is depending on the new suspension with 'antidive'. It gives more brake load to the rear wheels. Therefore, with ABS you can get more effiecient braking with rear wheels. Normal cars mayby onlys has 10% braking load in hard braking on the rear wheels.

    From: cblmarti@ihlpo.att.com
    Date: Mon, 26 Apr 93 12:57 CDT
    To: att!swedishbricks
    Subject: Volvo 850 GL? wagon

    Our local PBS station carries a show called MotorWeek. It features several different items ranging from car reviews to up and coming vehicles or designs, etc. I happened to tape Saturday's show and watched it late Saturday night. They featured a Calloway ?something something 400 Corvette (0-60 in 4.4 seconds! Without turbo-charging the LT-1 engine!) and a story highlighting some of the NY International Auto Show. They choose the Volvo EEC car as their environmental car choice and showed the car and its interior. Wild color on the interior...bright! Then they went on and finally showed the several views of the new 850 GL? wagon. I ? the GL? because it didn't look like it was badged GLT on the rear-end. The tail-lights aren't as bad as I thought they would be. Michael Jue, you will have to see them to see if you still loath them. The rear lights/reflectors begin just above the bumper as they would in a 940 wagon and appear to almost reach the roofline. If you are driving an 850 wagon (VCNA, turbo model please!) you will not see too much of the tail lamps...so, I think I could live with it...if I could afford the entry fee. Besides if they drop a turbo or twin turbo in it, it will be the drivers you leave behind that are subjected to the tail lamps!

    Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 14:25:48 EDT
    From: 29-Apr-1993 1414 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 GLT Crash observation

    While searching around a junkyard in my local area this weekend for a parking lens for my 245 I came across an 850 that had been in a tremendous rear-end crash. I thought my observations might prove interesting to the net...

    This 850 had been rear-ended so hard that the trunk was pushed ALL THE WAY TO THE REAR WINDOW. I would say no more than a foot of the trunk and fender sheet-metal was projecting out from the window in the back. In addition, the car was evidently propelled forward into something else because there was a light-pole like indentation in the front grille area. This impact (hard to tell if it came before or after the rear-end crash) was hard enough to set off both air-bags. The driver's seat has collapsed backwards quite a bit but did not appear to be broken, just deformed backward. The point off all this is that the rear glass was not broken. The car was locked, but it appeared that all four doors were untouched and openable. The passenger area looked to be intact. By the way, I was not surprised to see the driver's seat tilted back. From the looks of the rear impact, it seems like this 850 got hit by a large truck. A good portion of the rear bumper was still recognizable and untouched, although it was sitting up under the rear window with the rest of the rear-end. It was an impressive sight, especially if you stood there and imagined yourself as the driver.

    __Chris Corey

    Date: Fri, 30 Apr 93 08:20:38 EDT
    From: 30-Apr-1993 0813 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: 850 crash

    When I mentioned that the seat was bent backward on this particular crashed 850, I did so to highlight just how hard that 850 was hit. I do believe that Volvo makes strong seats to withstand rear end crashes. I'm aware of the testing done a while back by some TV show showing how certain carmakers made seats that collapsed in even minor accidents, breking the driver's back, neck, etc and causing deaths. I was under the impression from that show that certain carmakers like Mercedes, Saab and Volvo make their seats with this type of crash in mind.

    By the way, I was in Farrell Volvo in Southboro, Massachusetts last night picking up a thermostat. I mentioned this 850 to the owner and he asked me "Was it a gold 850?" I answered "yes". He told the car belonged to a customer and that the man survived with a few borken ribs and some bumps. He was indeed hit by a large truck (rear ended and then sent flying into a telephone pole.) Small world.

    On the lighter side, this 850 had the cloth seats, the first 850 I have seen with them. In my opinion they are truly ugly: sort of a flocked-looking material with tiny multi-color dots throughout. My advice is make sure you see these seats (especially the gold-tan_before you order them!


    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Date: Wed, 12 May 1993 13:13:22 -0400 (EDT)
    From: Daniel Adams <danmg@grok85.columbiasc.ncr.com>
    Subject: 850 Wagon

    I was looking thru my cubemates lastest issue of Motor, a publication for memebers of the "AAA" in Norway. And I saw an advertisement for the 850 wagon. It is just as previously described, with the tail-lights extending to the roof. Another interesting note is the GLE model. I have read about this model in German magazines. It basically is a 2.5 liter 10-valve 140 HP engine, relative to the 170HP they give for the GLT. There is no mention of a turbo.

    BTW, the starting price of the 850 base model in Norway is 339,000 krone ($47K) for the sedan and 369,000 krone ($51K) for the station wagon. This is due to a heavy state taxation on cars ;-(


    Daniel Daniel O. Adams 3325 Platt Springs Rd, W. Cola, SC 29170
    NCR Corporation phone: (803) 791-6315, I-632-6315
    Uniprocessor Server Business Unit email: danmg@grok85.ColumbiaSC.NCR.COM
    Technical Support fax: (803) 791-7317, I-632-7317

    Date: 23 Jun 1993 22:02:49 -0400 (EDT)
    From: V093P9MD@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu
    Subject: Re: picture of 850 Wagon
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    I saw a few 850 wagons on my recent trip to Europe. Since I was already aware of the lights, I had expected the worst. Actually it doesn't look bad. It certainly doesn't look wierd lake on the the GM mini-vans. I presonally prefer the old style, but this would not prevent me from possibly buying one in the future.

    I read somewhere (I think the IPD newsletter) that there is an 850 Turbo 4WD due to be sold here at the end of 1993. Should be a really nifty car. In Europe for 1993-94 there is also a 850GLE whick uses a 10 valve version of the B5254 (so it's a B5252 ?). It develops about 130HP in European spec, but that is with a cat. It would make a much better base engine for all Volvo's than the current 114Hp B230.

    Happy Motoring,


    Date: Fri, 30 Jul 93 11:14:29 EDT
    From: wiegman (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: wiegman
    Subject: 850 drive shaft

    From _Import_Car_ July 1993

    If the driveshaft nut on the 850 models needs to be retightened or removed, a new nut must be installed with metal adhesive. Tighten the new nut to the correct torque and lock as described below:

    Apply a bead of metal adhesive. Clean the splines and groove in shaft thoroughly. Remove all oil, anti-rust agents and dirt.

    Apply a 3-4mm bead of metal adhesive, p/n 1161370-0. Apply a bead around the shaft covering approximately 1/3 of the splined length.

    NOTE: Apply adhesive around the complete shaft just before installing the hub.

    Install the hub and the new unit. Tighten the nut to 120 Nm (89 ft.lbs.) +60 degrees. the tightening procedure is detailed more thoroughly in the model 850 service manual. Usgin a suitable tool, lock the nut (stake the nut) by tapping the outer lange into the driveshaft groove.

    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 wagon
    Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1993 11:59:41 -0400
    From: pavneet@cyantic.com (Pavneet Arora)


    I got a real chuckle at the description of the upcoming 850 wagon that was published in one of the Canadian financial papers (Financial Post/August 19) by Robert English. Here is a brief snippet:

    "I was featherfooting through the long, looping banks of Volvo's hish-speed test track at 240 kilometres per hour -- I wasn't quite comfortable enough to go through the steep, concrete bowls with my foot flat to the floor. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact I was driving a station wagon. Squeezing the pedal to the firewall as the banking gradually eased me out onto the straighaway resulted in the speedometer slowly climbing to 247 km/h -- 153 miles per hour. 'That sounds about right,' said one of Volvo's engineers. 'The wagon has a little bit less drag than the sedan.' A near-enough 250km/h Volvo wasn't an easy concept to grasp in the first place; now they were telling me the wagon is faster than the sedan. ..." :-)

    Can't wait to see it. If only I could afford it. BTW, the Turbo wagon and sedan are expected to hit Canadian showrooms in October.


    - pavneet
    Pavneet Arora -- pavneet@cyantic.com ------------ CYANTIC Systems

    Date: Fri, 20 Aug 93 16:11:04 +0200
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: Re: 850 wagon at 250 km/h


    >> Can't wait to see it. If only I could afford it. BTW, the Turbo wagon and
    >> sedan are expected to hit Canadian showrooms in October.
    >So, can we assume this is "concrete" proof that an 855T really exists?
    >Now, can anyone substantiate the rumor of an 855T with *all wheel drive?*
    >(Shades of Audi 200 Quattro Batperson!)

    Yes, the 850 and 855 turbos exists. Volvo launched them this week.

    They uses a 5-cyl engine with turbo. The has 225 bhp and 300 Nm in torque. But the torque and bhp are electronically limited.. Therefore, the engine has 225 bhp and 300 Nm between 2500 and 5300 rpm..I've been outrunned buy unlimited 850 turbos earlier this year and they're fast.. :-) I think it's time for replacing my 182bhp/280Nm 740 turbo to a 850 turbo..

    Date: Sat, 21 Aug 93 16:48:19 +0200
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: Re: 855 speedster

    >Any word on the 850T's bhp, torque, and acceleration times?

    225 bhp
    300 Nm
    7.4 s for 0-100 km/h (should be lower I think)

    Date: Tue, 24 Aug 93 08:59:39 +0200
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se
    Subject: Re: 855 speedster

    >> 225 bhp
    >> 300 Nm
    >> 7.4 s for 0-100 km/h (should be lower I think)

    >Considering the 740T's 7.2-7.8 sec. 0-60, it might seem like it should
    >be lower but, as previously discussed, the oft rumored 855T's performance
    >stats are probably geared (pun intended) for top speed rather than
    >acceleration. Final drive ratio probably higher (numerically lower.)

    Without any anti-spin equipment in a forward wheel droven car, it's difficult to get better results for 0-60. And it seems the result are 7.8 for automatic and 7.4 for manual gear.

    The engine in 850 Turbo has max speed limit, i.e in speeds above 240 km/h, the turbo pressure are reduced and the max speed are just above 240 km/h. Most German fast cars has these limits at 240 km/h, reducing the max speed to 250 km/h.

    I've read articles in the swedish press about testing these turbos. The most noticable is the silence in the car at high speed. In 250 km/h, the noise isn't higher than many other cars in normal highway speed..

    The only disadvantage was the seat. You can't sense the road and the feeling are as if you was flying an airplane..

    Date: Fri, 3 Sep 93 09:04:15 PDT
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 855T's have arrived!!!

    I gots me that old time Volvo religion!

    Spotted this morning, driven by the the VCNA Western Area Manager. Burgundy color (not my first choice but...), replete with 5 spoke aerodynamic (unidirectional) wheels, this is a sharp looking wagon. Considering who was driving this car, I'd say they`re either in or about to drop into your local showrooms!

    I feel very privileged.


    P.S. A source close to VCNA hinted to me that while the 850/55 looks like it could easily accept an AWD drivetrain, it's only semi-likely that it will be produced. The transmission hump in the car is there as a part of the side impact protection system and some fairly major mods have to happen to accomodate all the new hardware...this is not a dead issue however...stay tuned.

    Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 15:24:31 PDT
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 Turbo - First Drive Impressions



    I wrote up my impressions of the Volvo 850 GLT some time back and came away with the profound conclusion that the 850 was a fine car but there were minor details that I found somewhat troublesome, to me at least. Some of those things were the outward visibility (or my perceived obstructions to same), a vague automatic transmission and a steering wheel that obstructed key sections of the analog instrumentation. (I could not see the all important 50-70mph sweep of the speedo without craning my neck.)

    One thing that I did not really mention was the applicability of it`s 168bhp driving the front wheels. I found that *I* could have really used a bit more power to plant the suspension better but, for most drivers who aren't doing their best Nigel Mansell imitation, the power was more than adequate. Still, the feeling in my mind was a nagging one that said to me: "Michael, I know you too well...wait for the turbo if you really want this car."

    All I can say now is: "It's here."


    The one year old 850GLT sedan is now joined by a pair of younger, more muscular siblings. The 850 Turbo sedan and the 850 Turbo wagon (oh, yes, there is a non-turbo wagon available as well). The vital statistics of the 850 turbo are relatively straight forward:

    - Slightly reconfigured transverse mounted, inline 5 cylinder, turbocharged.
      Output rated at 225bhp/torque figures unknown (more on this later.)
    - 4 speed automatic and 5 speed manual transaxles available driving front
      wheels only. (No awd option yet.)
    - Claimed performance (unverified) is roughly 150 mph top speed, 0-60
      sprints (from standstill) at about 7.2 seconds.
    - '93 sedan body style unchanged; wagon configuration added to lineup.
      The "controversial", full vertical taillamp configuration (bumper to 
      roof) is a very tasteful feature, very unlike the same treatment seen
      on the Lumina minivans. I had a hard time saying that... :)
    - Suspension revised (from '93 sedan) on turbo models - purportedly
      larger sway bars, revised spring rates, ZR rated tires.


    Looking at the 855 Turbo test vehicle closeup, I am immediately taken aback by its size. No, it was not large, in fact, it appeared to be a "small wagon", perhaps only a tad bit larger than a Honda Accord wagon. (BTW, you will hear me reference the Honda Accord as a comparative model in all aspects except in terms of acceleration.) This is actually a visual illusion, I gather, from sitting in the driver seat. It is a full size wagon, albeit not as large as the 700 or 900 series wagons. Seating and cargo space are ample. (I believe this vehicle would pass the proverbial "It'll fit a 4x8 piece of plywood in the back" test but I haven't measured it to verify.)

    One thing that is not an illusion is the ride height of the vehicles. They appear to be and are indeed lower than the '93 sedan they replace.

    Perhaps the most striking feature of the exterior besides the "loud" green paint on this particular model is the wheel/tire combination. Both the turbo wagon and sedan wear all-new-design 16" "aerodynamic spoke" alloys. They appear to be unidirectional, as do the tires.

    Ah, yes, the tires...

    Once again, Michelin has won the OEM contract with Volvo as supplier of the "factory" installed tires. They have supplied a very interesting new tire for this car, the Michelin Pilot HX in size 205/50 ZR-16. Contributing to the lowered stance of the car is the fact that these tires are a full 20mm shorter than the old 205/55-16's on the 700/900 turbos and about 23mm shorter than the original 850 GLT size tires.

    Moving to the interior, I found that some things have changed, some have not. The immediate change that I keyed in on was the exquisite wood trim that was installed in this car. Beautiful imitation wood methinks. In truth, I do not know if this is a standard feature or an add-on.

    There were other subtle changes to the front space. A newly configured dashboard to accomodate the second (passenger side) SRS system (air bag) and some of the instrumentation and control fascias have been modified. What has not changed, much to my chagrin, is the steering wheel placement. I still could not see the critical 50-70 sweep on the speedo. Were I an inch taller or shorter, I probably would not have this particular problem. (I didn't look closely enough to see if tilt/telescope adjustability was added to the steering arrangment.)

    Visual acuity outwards has been tremendously improved, most likely due to the wagon configuration. There still appeared to be an "over the shoulder blind spot" at the B-pillar but not one that I found overly agonizing. Without the angular rear window and optional aero wing of the previous test sedan I drove, rearward vision improved drastically except for the rear seat headrest obstruction which I feel would drop out of my perception after spending more time with this car. ("Tuning it out" like we tune out the vision of the noses on our face.)

    Most of the design changes and other styling cues that have changed with the transformation of the sedan into a wagon seem to have, to me at least, improved my overall outlook of the car. This, without a drive in the car. Read on.


    You know the expression, "This is not your Uncle Olaf's car" that we unabashedly plagiarized from Oldsmobile? Well, this is most certainly true with the 855T unless Uncle Olaf was a world champion rally driver!

    Immediately, you know there's something different about this car once you switch the key on. I couldn't identify the difference right off since my last drive in an 850 was almost exactly 6 months ago but there was something a bit more "sinister", for want of a better word, about this car. Perhaps a deeper exhaust note resonating under the car and emanating from the single, square exhaust tip exiting at the rear or perhaps the engine itself sounds slightly different. More powerful in a way. An audible warning of the excitement to come from underneath the hood?

    Starting out, this car feels like any other Volvo. Solid, stable and innocuous. Nothing to tell you there's 225 ponies under said hood. Even as you move away from a stoplight, no drama. Move over to the right lane for the freeway onramp and stand on the throttle and wait for the rush. (Passenger looks for "hold on bars".) Nope. No luck here folks.

    Oh, this car has no trouble getting out of its own way, let me clarify that right off, but, as suspected and speculated about in this forum many times, this car is clearly built for high end cruising. There is the requisite rush of turbo induced power but not enough to give you a nosebleed. By comparison, I felt the exact same way when I drove the 225bhp Audi Quattro 200 for the first time.

    Further clarification and perspective is needed here I can sense. I currently drive an '87 740 Turbo with an estimated 185bhp. This car, while not delivering twin-turbo RX7 "in-your-face-like" performance, gets up to max-plus-five mph speeds in about 7.5 seconds completely unladen. The 850 Turbo will out accelerate my 740T. Does that clarify things? The 850 is fast, but won't induce whiplash when pounded on.

    My speculation is that final gearing has been increased (numerically lowered) so as to avoid that really ugly front wheel drive phenoma called torque steer. I can envision massive amounts of same - were the engine allowed to deliver it's full load to the front wheels "faster". As it is, torque steer was minimal, even under moderately heavy acceleration. It is still detectable but, like the Acuras and Hondas with which I compare, it is effectively masked due to many drivetrain modifications.

    On the open road, the car responds to your every input (accelerator, braking) with aplomb. Again, nothing instantaneous but also not dull. The ride on the highway is noticeably firmer than previous models, most likely due to the low profile rubber transmitting more of the road imperfections. However, nothing is troublesome; the steering wheel is pretty well insulated from vibration.

    Where this car really excels is in "cut and thrust" movements. The exceptional response to steering input makes "get out of the way in a hurray" movements routine rather than an exception.

    I had a fleeting chance to exercise it's cornering prowess in a large freeway interchange (cloverleaf) and can say that the platform remained very stable and neutral upon turn in, carry through and exit. I would say that Volvo may have taken a note out of ipd's notebook. (Just imagine what ipd might be able to do with it though! 1g cornering?)

    In my previous test of the 850 GLT sedan, I noted the exceptional braking capabilities of the car. This has carried over with the possibility that braking feel has been improved. The pedal seemed to be a bit more solid but that could be from my experiences with my 740, whose braking feel is sometimes questionable.


    The limited time spent in the car led me to some clear impressions.

    First, if you like spirited driving, the 850 Turbo is clearly more of a driver's car than it's predecessor (although the original is a fine car). The additional 52bhp added via compressor is most welcome and in this writer's opinion, adds more flexibility to the car's operating range than could've been imagined.

    The overall road manners are very, very good if not downright exceptional. It did what was asked and never complained too loudly about being asked to perform.

    Value? That's as subjective an issue as anything else in this world. Put in perspective, for the amount of performance and utility the 855T offers, one would be hard pressed to find a comparable buy at the anticipated $32,000 plus/minus it will cost once in the showrooms. Look at the competition: on the Euro side of the pond, you've got Audi and BMW, both of which offer comparable "touring/wagon" models. Each are listed at somewhere around $40k PLUS. On the far Eastern side, there really aren't any wagons that compare. The closest comparison would probably be the Honda Accord wagon or the Camry. Both are smaller cars by comparison and don't offer the same performance envelope.

    There are domestic offerings but frankly, I do not know enough about them to make a fair comparison. (And far be it for me to show any bias. :) There will be the wags who say, "Well, what about SUV's (Explorers, Jeeps, etc.)?" To which I will respond that that is probably a fair comparison given that these "trucks" are made for people hauling but are not in the same genre. Maybe one day, when I do some professional writing, I'll do a shootout comparison test. Until then, however...

    So, overall, the 855 Turbo gets generally high marks from me. Right now, however, I'd better toddle off in my '87 740 and pray for a big lottery win. :)

    Michael Jue
    Copyright 1993

    From: dnstjohn@ecto1.b15.ingr.com (Don St. John)
    Subject: 94 850GLT Info & Prices
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Volvo Mailing List)
    Date: Tue, 5 Oct 93 13:26:28 CDT

    I just got back from my local Volvo dealer after he called me this morning and told me he had information, prices, and a '94 850GLT Turbo. First, he was wrong about the car. It was already sold. Second, the price for the base model sedan with automatic transmission is $25,200 and $27,595 for the Turbo version. They managed the price reduction in the base model by doing two things. Volvo reduced the dealer margin and made several items options instead of standard equipment.

    The base model no longer includes heated front seats, drivers power seat w/memory, alloy wheels, and I think the integrated child seat is now an option on all sedans. The base model also does not get the revised bumper, headlamps, and side moulding that the other sedans get.

    Touring Package

    Includes: sunroof, alloy wheels (new 24 spoke design), remote entry system, security system, power drivers seat w/memory. Notice that leather is now an option instead of standard with the Touring Package.

    Turbo Package

    Includes: Touring Package, obviously the turbo motor, trip computer, automatic climate control, split leather and velour seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, and automatic.

    Volvo is also offering a Sport Suspension for all the sedans and a Load-Leveling Package for the wagons. The Sport Suspension includes 1mm bigger front stabilizer bar and a 0.5 bigger rear bar plus stiffer shocks. List price for the sport suspension is only $150.

    Don St. John
    Huntsville, AL 35894-0001
    Phone (205) 730-7643
    Fax (205) 730-6816
    Email dnstjohn@ingr.com

    From: southern@neit.cgd.ucar.edu (Lawrence Buja)
    Subject: Re: Safety of rear-facing seats
    To: pavneet@cyantic.com (Pavneet Arora)
    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 13:23:41 MDT
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    {I was helping a friend of ours look for a car this weekend. They wanted
    {something that would seat five adults and a young child, in a pinch. Most
    {of the time it would be just the two of them with their daughter plus
    {assorted paraphenalia. I suggested the 855 with a rear facing seat.
    {Does anyone know how safe the rear facing seat would be in the event of a
    {rear collision?

    Dunno. My guess would be that the rear crumple zone wouldn't be a place that you'd want to spend much time in, facing forwards or backwards.

    If Volvo is selling a 3rd seat as an 855 option, then they will have crash tested it to cover their assets liabilitywise. Why don't your friends simply demand that their salesdroid get Volvo to fax to them (not to their salesdroid) the relevent portions of the factory's tech notes covering the collision impact studies that were done during the vehicles design/acceptence testing. If Volvo sez that they are unable to do this, then your friends can say that they are unable to buy that $30K car.

    Once they have the crash data, then they can make an informed decision.

    /\ Lawrence Buja Climate and Global Dynamics Division
    \_][ southern@ncar.ucar.edu National Center for Atmospheric Research

    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1993 16:16 EST
    From: Jim Greenberg (JAG2@vms.cis.pitt.edu)
    Subject: Re: 850 Wagon
    To: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    When I was in Sweden last June, I saw zillions of 855's. I kept looking for those tall tail "lights" to light up -- with braking, at night... Nothing. I think that there's a lot of extra plastic in those so-called lights, but not as much light as you'd expect! - Jim

    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Safety of rear-facing seats
    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1993 08:47:16 -0400
    From: pavneet@cyantic.com (Pavneet Arora)


    I was helping a friend of ours look for a car this weekend. They wanted something that would seat five adults and a young child, in a pinch. Most of the time it would be just the two of them with their daughter plus assorted paraphenalia. I suggested the 855 with a rear facing seat.

    Does anyone know how safe the rear facing seat would be in the event of a rear collision?

    BTW, here are some Canadian prices. I don't believe we are receiving a stripped down version of the 850 (yet). They all seem to be fully equipped.

    850 (5-spd)     $Cdn 30 000
    850 (Auto)           31 000
    855 (5-spd)          33 700
    855 (Auto            34 700
    Rear facing seat      1 100

    Considering that there is a 35% currency exchange rate in favour of the US dollar, this seems less expensive than the US pricing, doesn't it?


    - pavneet
    Pavneet Arora -- pavneet@cyantic.com ------------ CYANTIC Systems

    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 11:16:05 EDT
    From: 12-Oct-1993 1102 (corey@cthq.enet.dec.com)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 Wagon

    I saw one of these at the local dealer this weekend and thought I'd share a few impressions.

    My first thought was that it looks small. Not to say this is bad, but it is a compact looking package. They have changed the front end appearance in some subtle ways, which surprised me as this is only the second year of the model and Volvo's usually don't change like this for YEARS. But the front of the hood, the bumper, the headlights and headlight wipers, and the lower valance panel are all different on this years model.

    There was a comment here about the beautiful wood dash this year. It is very beautiful but it comes with a beaut of a price too: $600 option! Whew! All I could think when I saw that was a beautiful piece of solid wood living room furniture wouldn't cost that much so I don't know why about a square foot (max) of finished walnut should cost six bills.

    There are subtle changes to the interior as well. The obvious ones are the seats (new leather pattern and new fabric) and some slight changes to the controls and doo-dads in the console. For example the cigarette lighter has been moved to the other side of the console.

    Just some things to add to the "850 Spotters Guide"! It's a nice looking wagon. But it is small looking. By the way, the bumper to roof tail lights aren't bad. I can't say for sure, but I don't think they are all lit up from top to bottom like the offerings on the GM APV vans. It looks like the bottom lights next to the liftgate contain the running lamps, two on each side. The upper area has the brake and turn-signals, so you'll never notice them at night unless you use them. Not the "happy-troll" light show you get with the GM lights!


    Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 09:04:24 PDT
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu, corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Subject: Re: 850 Wagon

    Nick Gough mentioned "not getting bitten by the bug" (to buy a new 850 wagon). Well, how's this for a deterrent?

    ****** 35 and a half big ones. ******

    Yesterday, at the local Volvo dealer to pick up some parts (dealer only parts!!!), I stopped in the showroom to pick up the 850 brochures and to see if there were any minor detail changes to the 850 Turbo that may not have shown up in my test drive of a "pre-production" (well, actually, a "dealer introduction") model.

    No, no changes. They had this gorgeous white turbo wagon with the 16" wheels. I want this car. I then had a chance to look at the window sticker. Ouch!! $35,500. "Oooooo, that's a tad more than I care to spend today, 'Panky, thanks a lot." (The non-turbo version is a lot more reasonable coming in around $31k but still...)

    Oh well, I guess compared to the competition, it's cheap. And this one did have the 16" alloys, Nordic pack and Touring pack (it was loaded!)

    Anyway, a couple of facts cleared up from my last post on the 855T:

    - Sport Suspension Package DOES NOT include the 16" wheel/tires.
      (They are a separate option) AND the Sport Susp. can only be
      ordered on the sedan version. Bummer, dude...another reason why
      I guess I won't be buying one (excuse, excuse, whimper, whimper.)
      Oh, and another netter was right. The sport susp. is not standard
      on the turbo (although, IMHO, it should be.)

    - A "Nordic Pack" option exists - heated seats, headlight wiper/washer, ambient temp guage.

    - Non-turbo versions (all) have been slight re-tuned for lower rpm torque peak. (The salesperson told me this so classify this tid-bit as "unverified.")

    - And yes, Chris, that wood option...beautiful but the price???????!!!!!

    Net of all of this: beautiful brochure. (Closest I'll get for a bit...jeez, my '87 turbo PLUS my top line Accord didn't cost $35k...)


    Date: Fri, 15 Oct 93 19:34:07 +0100
    From: co@mednt2.sunet.se
    To: "swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu"@kth.sunet.se

    >When is the hybrid Volvo going to be introduced? That car would sell like
    >crazy in Calif., as well as most other places.

    It's a long time left before any introduction of the ECC or some other car with the turbine.

    Next year, Volvo will fit some 850s with these turbines and test them in City traffic here in Gothenburg. They plans to test both turbine and and normal gas-powered engines in the hybride-system. Maybe the first car is nearly ready and can be tested already in this winter.

    The turbine is made by United Turbine, owned by Volvo. United turbine mades turbines for powers plants, tanks and ships toghether with Volvo Flygmotor (Volvos airplane engine builders).

    The alternator are built by ABB (Asea Brown Boveri). Maybe Flygmotor, United turbine and ABB would sell the hybride-engine to other car manufacturers.

    Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 09:49:12 -0500
    From: OSUCOM.MEDED.mtaylor@smtp.med.ohio-state.edu
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 850 rattles -Reply

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    CAR magazine is conducting a long term test drive of the 850 Wagon. After 10,000 miles there hasn't been a problem. Just one suggestion though, the car needs to be stripped and reassembled to get rid of the rattles. Kinda makes you proud to own a 240 doesn't it?

    Michael D
    Sorry tim, ...or a 260 either.

    While we're on the subject...

    Our 850 (bought 01/93, now has 19,000 miles) has a rattle in the glove compartment door, and also makes an interesting squeek that seems to come from the front passenger side wheel/tire. The squeek only happens when the air is cool, and usually goes away after the car is warm. I read someone's message about brake pad squeels, and this sounded vaguely familiar...any ideas


    From: co@clavicula.mednet.gu.se
    Subject: Some small news
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1993 18:37:14 +0100 (MET)

    Volvo plans to begin racing in the British standard class with 850 turbos. They have signed a contract with a racing team in Great britain and two 850s would be in the start-line at 4 apr 1994.

    Volvo Flygmotor, Vattenfall and Asea Brown Boweri would show a new car with the hybride turbine showen in Volvo ECC last year. Rumours says this friday but nothing about the car. Maybe is it the 850 GLT with the turbine from ECC.

    From: quadrun@server.cs.jhu.edu
    Subject: Drool. . . (855T on Motorweek)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (The Volvonet)
    Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1993 02:51:55 -0500 (EST)


    The 850 Sportswagon (is there an S after sport?) is amaaaazing!

    0-60 in 6.7 sec with an automatic!! 15.0 sec in the 1/4 mile!!

    And Motorweek doesn't beat the cars as badly as C/D when testing!

    Gorgeous, too! I loved the wheels, and the front and rear lights. I just hope the thin headlights do a good job of lighting the road... Looks like the rear blinkers will do a good job of signalling turns and lane changes. I hate the vague separate red blinkers of recent Corollas, Hyundais, and even Audis. If they're red, why bother having them separate? Poor design.

    I'm not even married and I want this wagon! Badly!

    The new "driving through the woods" commercial for the 855 is pretty good!

    The 855T wagon: the ultimate Q-ship!


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    I found a round bushing in the bottom on the rear spring, where did it come from?

    From: pjfjr@matrixlp.com
    Date: Mon, 4 Dec 95 08:31:35 PST
    Subject: 850 problems
    To: Volvo Alias


    I was putting on the winter tires this weekend and noticed there was a round bushing about 3-4" tall sitting in the bottom of the rear spring on my '94 850 wagon(non turbo). I remember a thread about something like this about 2 months ago, but can't recall the solution. Any ideas?

    Also, for the econd time the seal around the top of the wagon door is being pinched. The first time I had it replaced under warranty. Obviously, the dealership did not fix the problem, only the symptom. Has anybody out there had the same problem? I was thinking of maybe adjusting the door, but am a little hesitant.

    Thanks for the help.


    '94 855 GLT, 33K mi.

    From: "St. John, Don N"
    To: pjfjr , Volvo Alias
    Subject: RE: 850 problems
    Date: Mon, 04 Dec 95 13:53:00 CST
    >I was putting on the winter tires this weekend and noticed there
    >was a round bushing about 3-4" tall sitting in the bottom of the
    >rear spring on my '94 850 wagon(non turbo).

    The fix is a redesigned plastic clip that holds the bumpstop in place on the top spring perch.

    Don St. John
    '94 Volvo 854T 27k miles

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