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    Anticipated Costs

    Hello,
    I was wondering if I could get some opion on what I can expect to pay a decent independant garage in labour for the following jobs on an 855r, and also whether I need to be aware of any specialst knowledge/tools that are needed to complete the work (i.e. would I need to go to a Volvo specialist)?

    FIT TIMING BELT, TENSIONER PULLEY and IDLER PULLEY

    FIT PCV KIT (i.e. oil trap, hoses and gasket etc)

    Thanks

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    Ideally you'll want the aux belt tensioner tool to relieve the tension on the aux belt - this is a square profile male end on a long bar (https://www.ipdusa.com/products/5830...lvo-IPD-105058).

    Ideally you'll also need a cam locking tool. I bought both of mine from iPd in the US many years ago.

    Time wise, I usually do a cambelt change (inc pulleys, tensioners etc) in a morning, so say 3 hours labour? Thats if the aux tensioner comes out nicely - if it gets screwed up, then allow many hours to extract it!!!

    The PCV service is another half day job if you've done it before, otherwise allow a day lol.

    HTH
    Currently - '97 S70 T5 manual, '96 850R (still on the ship!)

    Previously - '98 V70R AWD auto, '98 V70R Auto in Nautic Blue Mica with LPG (went to Germany!), 1996 850R Auto, lots of various 940s, 960s and a crappy 850 2.0

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    Whilst it's apart, maybe a good idea to replace the water pump too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingThunder View Post
    Ideally you'll want the aux belt tensioner tool to relieve the tension on the aux belt - this is a square profile male end on a long bar (https://www.ipdusa.com/products/5830...lvo-IPD-105058).

    Ideally you'll also need a cam locking tool. I bought both of mine from iPd in the US many years ago.

    Time wise, I usually do a cambelt change (inc pulleys, tensioners etc) in a morning, so say 3 hours labour? Thats if the aux tensioner comes out nicely - if it gets screwed up, then allow many hours to extract it!!!

    The PCV service is another half day job if you've done it before, otherwise allow a day lol.

    HTH
    For the aux belt tensioner I use a 1/2" to 3/4" socket drive adapter lightly ground down on 2 of its flats so it fits easily

    Current Volvo's 1995 854 Gul T-5R 1996 855 Olive T-5R 1997 855 Olive AWD 1999 V70R AWD and 2005 XC90 D5 AWD
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    Thanks for everyones advice.
    This will inevitably turn into a "how far do you go" project! I have been wanting to get my 855r back on the road for some time now but the prospect of big bills and where to stop has put me off. I don't have the mechanical expertise to undertake the vast majority of work that'll be needed (hence asking about garage charges to do belts/PCV), consequently I'll be relying on professional services, and their charges..

    Becasue cost will always be a consideration, it is very difficult to know how to prioritsie things. There's no point doing a cambelt service and replacing the PCV etc if I then find I need 4 shocks, discs/pads all rounds plus a couple of new calipers, for example. Similarly, there's no point doing all of the smaller jobs first only to find the cambelt goes!

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    If it helps, I ALWAYS do a cambelt change and PCV service as soon as I buy a whiteblock engined Volvo. If the cambelt goes, its major engine heart surgery or an engine swap - both are expensive and are usually an uneconomic repair. If the PCV is blocked, then you run the risk of blowing the rear main oil seal out - and thats another major repair requiring the gearbox to be removed.

    The other stuff - brakes, dampers etc., I pick up as and when I can afford it, depending upon how bad they are of course. Ditto tyres - I tend to get decent rubber on asap, but thats just me

    Have a good inspection of the car yourself - its easy to spot most things that need attention. If you're not confident then ask someone on here who is nearby to have a look, or take it to a local garage that you trust and ask them to give it a quick inspection - they'll probably charge you an hour's labour. Best bet is to ask them to do a dummy MoT. Most garages will do this - you can see which items would result in a fail, so that gives you your priority list

    HTH
    Last edited by RollingThunder; Monday 29th March 2021 at 13:13.
    Currently - '97 S70 T5 manual, '96 850R (still on the ship!)

    Previously - '98 V70R AWD auto, '98 V70R Auto in Nautic Blue Mica with LPG (went to Germany!), 1996 850R Auto, lots of various 940s, 960s and a crappy 850 2.0

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    Thanks for your post.
    Yes, that all makes sense. I've got a pre-MOT test booked in now so I'll see what that produces. Fingers crossed it's manageable.
    The PCV and Cambelt Service are my main areas of concern (in terms of how to best manage each job); it would seem I am completely at the mercy of whatever garage I elect to use so I guess it's the choice of finding a specialust who is familiar with 850's (probably not that many left now), or use a decent non Volvo-specific place that seems trustworthy and knowledgable.
    Oh the joys..

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    Most cars from the early/mid 1990s onwards became reasonably complex due to stricter emissions laws which required catalytic converters, etc. Its kind of a shame that your introduction to Volvos is in an 850 - a 940 redblock would be a perfect car to teach yourself how to work on engines - the 4 cylinder redblock engine in those dates back to the 1950s if not earlier and is pretty easy to strip down and rebuild. The whiteblock in the 850 is more complex and requires a few specialised tools - plus you have to be extra careful when doing some jobs such as removing/replacing the cam carrier/cover - make a mistake with that and you can snap some critical seal recesses off or break the entire carrier in half

    Having said that, you can still safely teach yourself how to do a lot of the servicing jobs. An American called Robert Skinner has a series of YouTube videos showing how to do a large number of basic/intermediate and quite advanced jobs - plus he gives loads of tips. He posts under the account 'Robert DIY' - https://www.youtube.com/user/RSpi007/search?query=850 I'd recommend that you watch all his Volvo 850 videos, I've learned loads from watching them and still refer to them from time to time.

    Here's a good one to start with

    HTH
    Currently - '97 S70 T5 manual, '96 850R (still on the ship!)

    Previously - '98 V70R AWD auto, '98 V70R Auto in Nautic Blue Mica with LPG (went to Germany!), 1996 850R Auto, lots of various 940s, 960s and a crappy 850 2.0

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    Thank you - I've seen a few of his videos before and they do seem helpful.
    I hear what you say re. redblocks/whiteblocks etc (although I've not heard of them before), but the reality is that I have little appetite (or provisions to) do the work myself. I'm "happy" to engage a professional, so long as I know that the premium I'm paying for their expertise equates to genuine knowledge of the job being undertaken (particularly in respect of PCV and cambelt-type work). My problem is that I seriously doubt there are too many old school mechanics about that are familar with Volvo 850's specifically, hence falling into a generic garage scenario which I would ideally like to avoid..

    I've had my car for 15+ years and am very attached to it. For one reason or another, it has been off road for a while and I would like to get it back into a usable state and enjoy using it again. However, like all these things, situations change and the I don't even know if the businesses/people that were around c2005 are still active. Even if they were, I guess reputations change and seeking out decent mechanics will be challenging

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    Ah, ok, sorry I thought you were new to Volvos. Just noticed your join date... doh!

    I know what you mean about trusting a garage - I actually went to night school to get qualified as I had so many bad experiences with garages and kwik fit type places! Nowadays I do most work myself as you'll have gathered, but I still get a local place to do the stuff I don't want to do, or don't have the tools to do.

    I wonder if anyone on here can recommend a decent garage local to you?
    Currently - '97 S70 T5 manual, '96 850R (still on the ship!)

    Previously - '98 V70R AWD auto, '98 V70R Auto in Nautic Blue Mica with LPG (went to Germany!), 1996 850R Auto, lots of various 940s, 960s and a crappy 850 2.0

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    No problem, thanks for your reply.
    Great move re. night school - good on you. At least you can tick off jobs you're able to do yourself and complete them to a decent standard.

    There are one or two specialists around, although none are particularly local and I'm not really sure what "specialist" means any more.. everyone seems to be a specialist in whatever is popular at the time!

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    In my experience, T belt, tensioner kit + waterpump will be around 300 inc parts at a main dealer.
    The PCV system, if done properly (without scrimping on parts) will cost you 300 total including the thermostat, thermostat housing and sensor just for the parts alone! Labour would be around 300 also as it's a relatively big job. Many people don't replace the inlet manifold gasket....again, like I said, "without scrimping on parts and doing the job properly" - to guarantee 100k trouble free motoring. So, finding a good garage or Volvo specialist, you won't get much change out of 600.

    Doing the PCV yourself, inc tea breaks, swearing and the odd cut finger, allow a full day for the PCV.
    ref the timing belt, I would give Volvo a ring as they often do good fixed rate deals on stuff like that, plus I'd always advocate using main dealer parts (where possible) and you've then got some form of guarantee on the work by Volvo too, plus a stamp in your book, if your that way inclined.
    Don't forget that it should include an antifreeze change and I'd also include an oil service + filter.

    It's a lot of work and you could argue that it worth doing a full service at the same time and even the work even constitutes a partial 'Stage 0'.

    Something to consider.

    Sounds like you love the car and plan to keep it. Therefore, I wouldn't scrimp or cut corners. Do it right first time!
    Last edited by LeeT5; Thursday 8th April 2021 at 09:42.
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    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes, I'm very attached to the car and never intend selling it. I also advocate using the right parts and doing work correctly the first time 'round (if only to avoid doing it again further down the line!).
    Do you use a Main Dealer for your work, Lee?

    I did the 'glove test' on my car over the weekend and, to my surprise, there was a clear vacuum evident. I have had the car for many years and the PCV has never been cleaned/replaced during my ownership.
    In terms of the cambelt work, I have had one quote so far: 630 to supply and fit timing belt/tensioner/aux belt/water pump. The w'pump alone was 200 supplied and fitted.

    Yeah, a dealer stamp can be nice but the main thing to me is how the work has been done (who has carried it out and to what standard).
    I wouldn't undertake something like a PCV kit change myself, even if it was needed. To much to potentially get wrong.

    I have built up quite few parts with the intention of getting various things done (control arms, top mounts, 302mm discs, rear discs + pads, etc), and I have also changed the oil + filter and fitted a new battery. Keen to get things moving buy cost is always a consideration ..

    Does anyone know how I identify (with certainty) that the 302mm front brake caliper brackets that are needed to accept to upgrade from the 280's? I've had them so long that now I'm close to be able to get them fitted I'm having concerns if they're right or not! How do I know if they're not for the smaller calipers?
    Is there anything else I need for the bigger brake upgrade? I have the discs and hopefully the right caliper-mounts.. assuming it is just getting some appropriate pads (any recommendations??) and the brake hoses for 16" wheels??

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by sye73 View Post
    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes, I'm very attached to the car and never intend selling it. I also advocate using the right parts and doing work correctly the first time 'round (if only to avoid doing it again further down the line!).
    Do you use a Main Dealer for your work, Lee?

    I did the 'glove test' on my car over the weekend and, to my surprise, there was a clear vacuum evident. I have had the car for many years and the PCV has never been cleaned/replaced during my ownership.
    In terms of the cambelt work, I have had one quote so far: 630 to supply and fit timing belt/tensioner/aux belt/water pump. The w'pump alone was 200 supplied and fitted.

    Yeah, a dealer stamp can be nice but the main thing to me is how the work has been done (who has carried it out and to what standard).
    I wouldn't undertake something like a PCV kit change myself, even if it was needed. To much to potentially get wrong.

    I have built up quite few parts with the intention of getting various things done (control arms, top mounts, 302mm discs, rear discs + pads, etc), and I have also changed the oil + filter and fitted a new battery. Keen to get things moving buy cost is always a consideration ..

    Does anyone know how I identify (with certainty) that the 302mm front brake caliper brackets that are needed to accept to upgrade from the 280's? I've had them so long that now I'm close to be able to get them fitted I'm having concerns if they're right or not! How do I know if they're not for the smaller calipers?
    Is there anything else I need for the bigger brake upgrade? I have the discs and hopefully the right caliper-mounts.. assuming it is just getting some appropriate pads (any recommendations??) and the brake hoses for 16" wheels??

    Cheers
    Indeed I do, for some of the work. I weigh up the cost of parts and myself fitting (without specialist tools) versus the Main dealer carrying out the work and guaranteeing the work/adding residual value to the car.

    I see you live in West Kent...you can't be far from myself, I'm close to junc 4 M20?
    Nearest dealer is Lipscomb Volvo Aylesford. They run a club called 'Plus4'. You pay a one off fee of 99 and for the life of ownership of your vehicle, you'll get 25% discount off labour (brings it to 99 p/hr), 12% off parts, 10% on special orders that are non returnable and 50% off MOT's.
    I also have Breakdown Repair Cover with the AA. So, on run of the mill breakdowns the car will invariably go to my local dealer to fix and, as long as the repairs don't exceed 535, it only costs me 35! Any costs over that, then I pay the difference.
    Obviously, this doesn't include service items and general work needed. SO, that's where the Plus4 really saves me money!

    I can't comment on the brakes mate as I've never modded them on my T5.
    2014 V60 Polestar 6spd Auto :: Polestar map peak boost 32psi :: IPD 3" DP + 150cel :: Polestar 2.5" exhaust :: Paddle Shift Geartronic :: Tints :: K+N Filter :: IPD Aluminium Top engine mount :: Brembo 6 pots :: 20" Polestar rims :: Brembo 371mm floating discs :: Sensus RTi + DAB + BT + WIFi :: D3S XENARC 6000k Active bending headlights

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    Understood - I guess that each job needs to be taken on its own merit and evaluated from there. If the vehicle is still fairly new and/or worth a fair bit, using a main dealer can still be justified.

    Yes, I'd heard that a 'club' was in place at some dealers and did look into it a while ago. My conclusion was that the discounts available on the things I'd need most (parts and labour) were insufficient to warrant joining. I felt that 10-12% could easily be achieved on parts simply by searching the internet; the 100/hr labour rate whilst attractive vs. other main dealers is still way to high vs. other places where I could get the same standard of work done (I say this on the basis that the vast majority of Volvo technicians working at main dealers have probably never worked on an 850). If I had a more recent 10k 20k 30k car, I would probably think differently.

    Yes, sounds like you're not too far from me. I'm nearer A2/Dartford than Maidstone M20, but still close by.

    OK, cheers anyway re. my brake question. Hopefully someone will be along soon to help

    rgds


 

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