Breathing some life into this board - Moynis 1997 Volvo 965 Build Thread
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    1. #1
      Junior Member moyni's Avatar
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      Breathing some life into this board - Moynis 1997 Volvo 965 Build Thread

      Moynis Volvo 965 Build Thread

      So this is the $800 Volvo 960 I picked up back in September, I figured I would post my updates that I usually put on my website on here as well, maybe generate some more traffic to the 960 board here since they are pretty competent cars and the very last of the RWD Volvos.

      The body is in pretty good condition, but its definitely a little rough around the edges. The car itself has over 190k on the clock, and all of its history up to this point is a mystery to me. Surprisingly I am only the 3rd owner of the car, and I intend, or at least hope to, get the car back into a running / driving condition.




      While I was able to drive the car home, it definitely needs a lot of work before I would consider actually driving it anywhere. As it stands it needs (in no particular order):

      Timing Belt and Serpentine Belt

      Oil Change and Fluid Flush

      Oil Cap Gasket

      New Spark Plugs and Ignition Coil (Misfire on Cylinder 3)

      New Idle Air Module

      Headlight Bulbs

      New Taillight Assembly and Bulbs

      New Brakes

      New Front Suspension

      Fix Seat Rail Motors

      Interior and Exterior Deep Clean Detail

      There is likely other stuff, but these are the items I would consider to be the ‘bare minimum’ of what needs to be done to at least get it running and driving around. There is a good list of cosmetic items that I also have planned like fixing the missing trim and fuel door. Thankfully this car, and its parts, are dirt cheap and will allow me to experience the world of RWD Volvos. I’m hoping to do some videos and a lot of write ups on this car. Much like the P3s, there arent a ton of enthusiasts around the 900 series cars, much less the inline 6 versions.
      2012 S60 T6 R-Design w/ Polestar Tune
      • H&R Lowering Springs
      • Elevate Sway Bar
      • Elevate Carbon Fibre Intake
      • Alexander Performance Turbo-back Exhaust
      • Hilton Stage 2+
      • Polestar Accessories

      1997 960 Wagon

      Follow my builds at http://www.boostmoose.com

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    3. #2
      Junior Member moyni's Avatar
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      Part 2 - Originally Published: October 2, 2019


      So as a I previously mentioned in my first post, the 960 needs a lot of work. Currently it is driving on 5 out of its 6 cylinders and has oil and grime all over the engine bay. One of the first things I did was check the Idle Air Module. This piece regulates the air when the car is idling (as the name suggests) to give the engine a smooth idle at the low RPMs. Unfortunately, their design means that over time they can become filled with oil and grime which causes them to stop working. Checking the full intake system made sense as the parts are easy to access and can usually benefit from a cleanup on any car.




      Most of the intake system comes off with a simple screw driver. Most of the system is actually tool-less removal and uses latches to attach everything together. The intake filter seemed to be in decent shape, however the main concern was around the throttle body. Due to the old gasket on the oil cap, oil leaks from the top of the engine down onto a lot of components. I suspect this oil is also the reason for the misfire on cylinder 3. I made sure to clean the throttle body, as well as check the Idle Air Module, as well as inspected the MAF for any buildup.




      The gasket of the oil cap can go bad on the 6cyl motor, leading to oil build up around the cap and pooling along areas of the head. The oil from the cap has been leaking significantly, there is buildup around the intake and even the throttle body.




      Additionally, while I was in the engine bay I made sure to check the belts. The motor on the 960 series cars use an interference design, meaning that the timing belt is crucial to the operation of the engine. Without the belt, the pistons will rise on the combustion stroke and collide with the stuck open valves since the belt controls when the valves open and close. Unfortunately, the sticker for the last timing belt replacement on this car dates back to 2006 when the car had significantly less miles. I assume that it has been replaced since then since the service interval for the belt is around 40-50k miles.



      Not the information you want to see on a car in 2019 with 190k miles on the ODO.


      While the timing belt may not look terrible upon my brief inspection, I would HIGHLY recommend that any new 960 owner do the maintenance on it. I plan on using IPDs kit with a new belt, pulleys, and tensioner as any of these components going bad can cause a catastrophic failure of the motor.

      The last fix I did in my initial dive into the car was physically checking the connections around the intake system. Upon my inspection the MAF was very clean and the connectors seemed to be in solid shape. However, on the Idle Airflow Module, I found nasty corrosion that could have been causing issues. I used a can of electrical contact cleaning to remove the corrosion as well as a small pick to clean out any stubborn bits. The female end of the plug on the IACM was also cleaned for good measure.





      (Later found out the "corrosion" is actually OEM installed grease)
      2012 S60 T6 R-Design w/ Polestar Tune
      • H&R Lowering Springs
      • Elevate Sway Bar
      • Elevate Carbon Fibre Intake
      • Alexander Performance Turbo-back Exhaust
      • Hilton Stage 2+
      • Polestar Accessories

      1997 960 Wagon

      Follow my builds at http://www.boostmoose.com

    4. #3
      Junior Member moyni's Avatar
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      Part 3 - Originally Published: November 2, 2019

      Its almost the end of November and we are swiftly approaching the holidays. As such, my work on the 960 has slowed down a bit in relation to the cold weather. I still wanted to give an update and also talk about some of the things I have learned along the way working on this car.

      I have done a lot of maintenance work on the 960, and acquired quite a few junkyard parts and spares to keep it going. One of the biggest fixes was solving the misfiring issue. I ended up taking the car to my local shop here in Greensboro for some more expert diagnostics. They found that the intake manifold gasket had gone bad, and that the wiring to many of the coils was severely damaged from the heat and wear of 22 years of driving. That little repair cost me close to $400 when all said and done, but I am glad I didnt have to pull the entire intake system myself.

      The first shipment from IPD was a pretty small, basic order with a few easy to replace parts like a new intake filter, as well as a new gasket for the oil cap. Both of these were very easy to install and cost less than $20 in total. The gasket on the oil cap, as I may have previously mentioned in another write up, slowly hardens due to the engine heat and allows oil to escape out onto the top of the engine. After replacing the gasket I did not see any more oil in or around the oil cap or on the top of the block.



      Previous filter, vs a brand new one.

      The serpentine belt was a major replacement that needed to be done. I ordered a new belt, shifter bushings, and new front rotors from FCP Euro, all which made a considerable difference on the car. My first attempt at replacing the serpentine did not go as planned. The socket size used on the tensioner for the belt is a non, standard size and requires some creative tool usage to turn. The first step was removing the fan, this step is easy on the 960 since it uses an electronic fan which can be easily unscrewed and moved out of the way. The harder part is finding the right drive socket to physically move the tensioner to release pressure on the belt. For this I ended up using a 1/2 in. to 3/4 in from this harbor freight socket adapter set this allowed me to easily use a standard wrench to turn the tensioner and slide a small screwdriver into the locking hole.



      The tensioner doesn’t take to much force to move, just remember to take a picture of your belt before it comes off to help you properly feed the new belt on. This was definitely an intimidating job for someone who has never done belts before, but it was surprisingly very easy!

      As previously mentioned, I also bought new shifter bushings from FCP Euro. For two, I think I paid a whole 90c. These small rubber O shaped bushings go into each end of the short linkage connecting the shifter inside the car to the transmission. The original bushings had fallen out long ago, meaning there was a large amount of forward and backward play in the shifter even when in gear. It also had the side effect of making a nasty clanking sound when shifting out of park. The bushings are very simple to install, and you will only need a 13mm wrench, a 15mm wrench and a pair of needle nose pliers. I didnt take many pictures, but the process of locating and installing these new bushings is extremely straight forward and took maybe 15 minutes total to do. The pay off however, well worth the time and money. The car now shifts into gear like its brand new, and drastically changed the feeling on the shifter in operation. It also completely eliminated any play that it previously had.


      In addition to the many small mechanical repairs I have made on the car, I was able to recruit my long time friend, and former 850R co-owner Steve to help me with really giving the car a good cosmetic make over. If I am being honest, the car will never be perfect, because at the end of the day its still a 22 year old Volvo that I bought for $800. We were able to rent a wet vacuum from Home Depot, as well as pick up a few heavy duty cleaners and de-greasers to really give the interior of the car a good makeover. Most of the work was done at night, but I can attest to the fact that Steves elbow grease on the door cars and carpet made a huge difference in removing the smokey, stale smell from the car.



      A mixture of Simple Green and a Magic Eraser being used to remove the built up tar and grime from each door card. Note all the cigarette burn holes…

      Now this may controversial, but here it goes:

      I.

      HATE.

      PINSTRIPING.

      The 960 was no exception. It had to go. Using a rubber wheel on a drill, I slowly worked down one side of the car removing the painted on pinstripe. It must have been originally installed by the first owner since it was severely faded and chipping away in some places. I feel like that stripe gone it gives the side profile of the car a much cleaner appearance. Unfortunately the paint still need a lot of attention at the moment so its not perfect, but from afar (or when wet) it really brings out the clean lines of the wagon.



      Drivers side after pinstripe removal and a quick 2 bucket wash.



      That’s it for this installment. There is still a lot that needs to be done to the 960 before its really ready to be a daily driver in any sort of way. I have yet to tackle the brakes, or suspension. It also has a mysterious fluid leak near the front wheels I have yet to diagnose, as well as a new fuel rail that needs to be installed. I hope to start working on it a bit in my local shop where I can get it up on a lift, but as it sits currently, I am happy with the progress. As usual, feel free to drop a comment or suggestion for the project, there is not much information out there on the 960 series cars so I am always looking for any information I can get my hands on!



      As a bonus, I have a picture of the final missing trim piece installed. The owner I bought it from finally found it after 2 months of searching!
      2012 S60 T6 R-Design w/ Polestar Tune
      • H&R Lowering Springs
      • Elevate Sway Bar
      • Elevate Carbon Fibre Intake
      • Alexander Performance Turbo-back Exhaust
      • Hilton Stage 2+
      • Polestar Accessories

      1997 960 Wagon

      Follow my builds at http://www.boostmoose.com

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    6. #4
      Junior Member Turbo16psi's Avatar
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      Looking good man ! I want one of these for an engine swap .
      1991 945 T
      2005 BMW X5
      2013 Volvo C30 PLE #48
      2018 F-150 EB

    7. #5
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      All good, car looks nice.
      Just a suggestion, you’ll get a much bigger audience on Turbobricks, if that’s what you are looking for. And lots of help, if you need it.

    8. #6
      Junior Member moyni's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by craig300 View Post
      All good, car looks nice.
      Just a suggestion, you’ll get a much bigger audience on Turbobricks, if that’s what you are looking for. And lots of help, if you need it.
      I have been over there a little. I mostly come to Swedespeed for my S60, but I figured I would throw some content this way as well. Swedespeed is a lot easier to navigate (an a LOT easier on the eyes than TurboBricks.)

      The 960s are a blacksheep of the RWD cars, they dont really get the attention that the redblocks do. Even the turbobricks sections are sparse.
      2012 S60 T6 R-Design w/ Polestar Tune
      • H&R Lowering Springs
      • Elevate Sway Bar
      • Elevate Carbon Fibre Intake
      • Alexander Performance Turbo-back Exhaust
      • Hilton Stage 2+
      • Polestar Accessories

      1997 960 Wagon

      Follow my builds at http://www.boostmoose.com

    9. #7
      Junior Member moyni's Avatar
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      Dec 2016
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      Its the new year, and progress has finally been made in the drive-ability of the 960. Over the past few months I have been slowly accumulating parts to fix all the small issues with the car. I was finally able to take a whole day and get the car up on a lift. I want to make a special thank you to Haileys Import Service in Greensboro, NC, who I have been going to for a while with my Volvos. They let me have access to their shop, tools, and a lift to get everything done on the 960 sand saved me likely days of work. They also helped me procure a new 960 seat from an S90 which fits perfectly in the car (well its the wrong color, but hey its not ripped, and actually moves!)

      Let start off with the seat, this was a whole process, but surprisingly cheap to do. I saw my local LKQ had a nice Volvo S90 in the yard, and I was able to get to it very quickly to aquire a new seat. The removal process was fairly standard, and only takes 4 bolts and a few electrical connectors to remove. I found the hardest part was lining the “plugs” up to take the seat out of the rails. The seat uses a similar system to what you would see on an old hotel door lock chain, where it slides into a hole then down the rail where it is locked into place. Getting the seat in the right place to get it out of these holes is a painful experience and requires a lot of pushing and pulling on the seat.



      For an LKQ car I was genuinely surprised at the quality of the interior. Usually these cars are absolutely wrecked, then again this one did have a pretty serious water leak beginning to develop unfortunately. Once I was able to get it back to the shop, installation was very easy, and I am disapointed I didnt get a picture of my old drivers seat since it was in quite the state.



      A rogue golf tee, some candy wrappers, and a quarter. My “bounty” found under the seat.

      After removing the seat, it made more sense to me why mold had begun to grow on the center console. I was able to take care of the mold with a bleached cloth, as well as a slew of degreasers and cleaners. An ozone generator is going to be used in the car for good measure.

      The next steps were mostly mechanical fixes. For a long time, the car has been leaking power steering fluid. I was able to track this back to a leaking return line (non pressurized). You will see in the picture that the hose I removed was original and even had the late 1996 printing date on it. Volvo sells OEM replacement hose, and other than the mess that the fluid made coming out, the replacement process is as easy as undoing 2 hose clamps and taking off the hold hose. I found removing the bottom first was easier due to being able to pull up on it, but removing the hose from the reservoir require some special tools that could pry the hose away from the flange.



      The ends of the old hose were super tight from 23 years of being installed.

      Keep in mind the hose is cut to fit, so some trimming will be needed. Some new ATF was poured into the system, and the bubbles burped out by giving the rack a few back and forth movements with the steering wheel.

      The last handful of fixes were around the front suspension area. New Lemforder end links were installed with ease, and helped the handling of the car significantly. The old end links had insane amounts of play, and I do not doubt that they were original 1997 equipment. They were work enough that they had almost 0 resistance and could be freely moved around in their joints. Additionally, new brake rotors were installed, and the old pads were sanded down to give them a fresh face.
      2012 S60 T6 R-Design w/ Polestar Tune
      • H&R Lowering Springs
      • Elevate Sway Bar
      • Elevate Carbon Fibre Intake
      • Alexander Performance Turbo-back Exhaust
      • Hilton Stage 2+
      • Polestar Accessories

      1997 960 Wagon

      Follow my builds at http://www.boostmoose.com

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