First 480, first real project car

Here you can talk about the joy owning a Volvo 480 brings. Non-technical discussions take place here, like what is the difference between an ES and a S version.

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WalkableBuffalo
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First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:01 pm

Perhaps 480 and first project car perhaps aren't the two best things to go hand in hand but here we go.
Bought this 480 nearly a month ago and have been doing little bits to try and tackle some issues and get it ready for MOT.
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It's a 91 ES, Light Blue, about 92k miles. Paid £500 for those interested, then about £130 to get it from Manchester to York.
Pop up headlights work! The information centre also works without fail, not that I've driven further than around the block a couple of times.
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Gutted the boot to have a look what the damage is in the boot pockets, as it already had some arch rust.
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Onto the rust as the main topic. I don't expect anyone will tell me what I want to hear, best to hear what people honestly think about the rust.
Drivers side extends far enough that I'm working to take the bumper off now to get the full picture. The rust definitely goes all the way through on part of the patch. My dad thinks it will be fine with some mesh and filler, though ideally I would get new arch section.
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Passenger side exterior arch is fine, but I'm worried about this seam that connects the arch interior the boot floor. Perhaps a bit hard to see but it does look really flaky. So not sure this is doable with mesh and filler, but to get it welded must be easier than a new arch.
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There is a laundry list of other things to get done, but I'd really like to take care of this before even attempting MOT. Waiting on new rear shocks, rear anti-roll bar links ready to go in, new bulbs to put in, 4 new tyres fitted, backbox to refit as it was blowing, and the drivers door has suddenly decided to drop after working fine for 3 weeks. The door will have to wait once it's back on the ground so I can turn the car around. Still a few other things but these are the real priorities. 🙃
Cheers, Will
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

Martin Mc
Can tell where the 480 was built
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by Martin Mc » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Hello and Welcome Will!

£500 well spent IMO! Not, of course, that is ever the end of the story, money wise :lol:

The thing about being a 480 owner, as I'm sure you have already sussed, is that there is ALWAYS a laundry list of things to do :)

Anyway, on first appearances your car looks fine, and whilst there looks to be a fair amount of rust, most of what you've pictured is probably not structural, and therefore can be tackled with mesh and filler (temporarily at least). New arch sections are readily available at a scandalous price from Skandix - however, you can adapt front arch sections as a cheaper alternative, apparently. Have a look around the forum for threads on how others have tackled that part - Arthuy, and Dragonfly Jewels have posted recently ish I think.

Your rear lights look reasonably good (left hand has a crack I think), and at least your hatch stays up by itself - I had to go through my first 4 cars before I had one that didn't try to kill me when messing in the boot!

Whereabouts are you based? There are lots of us around in various parts of the country, and you'll find we are a helpful bunch.

Is the car manual or automatic, what kind of mileage, I'm presuming 1.7 engine, and how did you come to acquire her / him?

Looking forward to seeing your project come to life!

All the best!

Martin (in North West UK)
Last edited by Martin Mc on Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Volvo 480 - There's NOTHING like it!
Previous 480 pedigree: 1992 ES (1.7 White) 1993 ES (2.0 Red) 1994 S (1.7 White) 1994 ES 2.0 (metallic red) 1995 S (1.7 Black) #467 / 480 Celebration (flame red metallic) 1993 ES (2.0 Paris Blue)
Every decent bloke deserves an extra-marital car (so my wife tells me)(apparently it keeps me out of mischief.... really..)

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dragonflyjewels
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by dragonflyjewels » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:51 pm

Welcome to the club ! You are definitely in the right place for help and information on your project. Good luck, have fun driving your wedge, and come and join us on a meet !
Sylvia

Snazzy - 1993 Paris Blue ES red dipstick 2.0i bought 2001
Lethal Lily - 1991 White Turbo with richmod
hubby has
Sven - 1994 Dark Green GT
Evil Eva 1992 Paris Blue Turbo with Robou mod

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WalkableBuffalo
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:10 pm

Martin Mc wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:48 pm
Hello and Welcome Will!

£500 well spent IMO! Not, of course, that is ever the end of the story, money wise :lol:

The thing about being a 480 owner, as I'm sure you have already sussed, is that there is ALWAYS a laundry list of things to do :)

Anyway, on first appearances your car looks fine, and whilst there looks to be a fair amount of rust, most of what you've pictured is probably not structural, and therefore can be tackled with mesh and filler (temporarily at least). New arch sections are readily available at a scandalous price from Skandix - however, you can adapt front arch sections as a cheaper alternative, apparently. Have a look around the forum for threads on how others have tackled that part - Arthuy, and Dragonfly Jewels have posted recently ish I think.

Your rear lights look reasonably good (left hand has a crack I think), and at least your hatch stays up by itself - I had to go through my first 4 cars before I had one that didn't try to kill me when messing in the boot!

Whereabouts are you based? There are lots of us around in various parts of the country, and you'll find we are a helpful bunch.

Is the car manual or automatic, what kind of mileage, I'm presuming 1.7 engine, and how did you come to acquire her / him?

Looking forward to seeing your project come to life!

All the best!

Martin (in North West UK)
Thanks Martin

Pretty much the first thing I did actually was get new boot struts, bit hard to work in there with it propped up by a pole.

It is a 1.7 manual with about 92k miles on it, would have posted some more pictures but I don't want to be too proud before I actually get back on the road. :D Inside is quite tidy though, think it must be a base model, only a few small bits need looking at.

I previously had a 306 Cabriolet, which was nice but wasn't in love with it. Hunting around on Gumtree and couldn't believe my luck seeing this. Drove to Manchester and had a look, was back at my house outside York less than a week later!
It's had quite a few little bits done by the previous owner. And he was wanting to make sure it didn't just get parted out for the rarer parts since overall it's in good nick.

Quite happy with the condition of the lights, I do plan to polish them and then put protective film on to be safe.

I'm pretty confident she'll be MOT ready by the end of the month and I'm sure there will be a few updates before then.
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

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MisterH
Can tell where the 480 was built
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by MisterH » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:18 pm

Nice to see another Arctic Blue one found :) . I presume yours has a CAT given that it has the black rubbing strips, best of luck with the project, they are very rewarding cars!
Current Jobs to do (30/12/19):
New Tires
Fix Radio/Cassette
Fix Central Locking
Bodywork

dcwalker
480 Veteran
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Location: York

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by dcwalker » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:58 pm

Welcome and well done - another one saved 😊

You will find lots of help on here with what may be a challenging but will be s rewarding experience!

And you sound to be local too... where exactly is your home "outside York"? I am in Alne, near Easingwold, so if I can help you, shout!!

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 480 Celebration 467/480 (plus 2004 C70 Collection)
Previous: Celebration 346 (sold to Alan480), Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73, 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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WalkableBuffalo
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:07 pm

dcwalker wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:58 pm
Welcome and well done - another one saved 😊

You will find lots of help on here with what may be a challenging but will be s rewarding experience!

And you sound to be local too... where exactly is your home "outside York"? I am in Alne, near Easingwold, so if I can help you, shout!!

David
Practically next door neighbours David, I'm in Boroughbridge :D
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

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WalkableBuffalo
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:09 pm

MisterH wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:18 pm
Nice to see another Arctic Blue one found :) . I presume yours has a CAT given that it has the black rubbing strips, best of luck with the project, they are very rewarding cars!
That is interesting, yes mine has a CAT with the lovely CATALYSER text on the back. Did not know the black rubbing strips were related.
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

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MisterH
Can tell where the 480 was built
Posts: 304
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Location: Stockbridge

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by MisterH » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:42 am

WalkableBuffalo wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:09 pm
MisterH wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:18 pm
Nice to see another Arctic Blue one found :) . I presume yours has a CAT given that it has the black rubbing strips, best of luck with the project, they are very rewarding cars!
That is interesting, yes mine has a CAT with the lovely CATALYSER text on the back. Did not know the black rubbing strips were related.
From mid 1989-91 the cars had the black rubbing strips (love them or hate them) and this coincided with the introduction of the CAT, so probably a B18F engine in yours. One can also tell from the Lambda Sond symbol on the B-Pillar
Current Jobs to do (30/12/19):
New Tires
Fix Radio/Cassette
Fix Central Locking
Bodywork

Alan 480
480 Is my middle name
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Location: Aberdeen

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by Alan 480 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:36 pm

MisterH wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:42 am
WalkableBuffalo wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:09 pm
MisterH wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:18 pm
Nice to see another Arctic Blue one found :) . I presume yours has a CAT given that it has the black rubbing strips, best of luck with the project, they are very rewarding cars!
That is interesting, yes mine has a CAT with the lovely CATALYSER text on the back. Did not know the black rubbing strips were related.
One can also tell from the Lambda Sond symbol on the B-Pillar
If pre 'K' plate then you can 'can the CAT' :wink: extra few ponies and better fuel economy ;)
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

dcwalker
480 Veteran
Posts: 737
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Location: York

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by dcwalker » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:41 pm

WalkableBuffalo wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:07 pm
dcwalker wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:58 pm
Welcome and well done - another one saved 😊

You will find lots of help on here with what may be a challenging but will be s rewarding experience!

And you sound to be local too... where exactly is your home "outside York"? I am in Alne, near Easingwold, so if I can help you, shout!!

David
Practically next door neighbours David, I'm in Boroughbridge :D
Excellent! At that short range meeting up is going to be almost obligatory... ;)

I am using my burgundy red Celebration project as a daily driver at the moment, and go through your area quite often - I know yours isn't on the road just yet (as I understand it from your posts, anyway) but give a wave if you see me!

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 480 Celebration 467/480 (plus 2004 C70 Collection)
Previous: Celebration 346 (sold to Alan480), Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73, 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

Norm57
Knows where Volvo is from
Posts: 177
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Location: Knaresborough

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by Norm57 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:00 pm

Welcome to the forum and wedge ownership. If you are thinking of keeping the car long term then I would advise replacing the arches. You will find 440/460 replacements will fit with a bit of work . Good to have another 480 nearby I am in Knaresborough, so look forward to meeting up when you get roadworthy, good luck.

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WalkableBuffalo
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:24 pm

Norm57 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:00 pm
Welcome to the forum and wedge ownership. If you are thinking of keeping the car long term then I would advise replacing the arches. You will find 440/460 replacements will fit with a bit of work .
It is definitely on my todo list but I'd like to get the MOT done to be able to drive around for a little bit, then I'll have the time to acquire replacement arches and find somewhere to get the work done.
Alan 480 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:36 pm
If pre 'K' plate then you can 'can the CAT' :wink: extra few ponies and better fuel economy ;)

My reg is H63 CCN so I'm guessing I can do away with it :D Eventually I'd like to get a custom exhaust for it so maybe then. The engine is also apparently the B18F if that changes anything.
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

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dragonflyjewels
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by dragonflyjewels » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:19 pm

Yes, you can definitely decat an H reg, my J reg turbo has been legally decatted, she was registered December 1991which was within a few months of the deadline.
Sylvia

Snazzy - 1993 Paris Blue ES red dipstick 2.0i bought 2001
Lethal Lily - 1991 White Turbo with richmod
hubby has
Sven - 1994 Dark Green GT
Evil Eva 1992 Paris Blue Turbo with Robou mod

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WalkableBuffalo
480 Newbie
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:44 pm

So rear bumper has been taken off with only one sheared bolt, what a miracle. Although another bolt got really bent from forcing the bumper off so doesn't make much difference to have to replace two.
For those who've never seen it please enjoy what lies beneath the rear bumper.
Image
Image

Skandix rear arches for the 440/460 are £30 a pop. Any idea what it would cost to get new arches welded in, and also maybe sill end plates? I wasn't really considering it but it would have to be done sometime. Depending on the cost it wasn't something I wanted to do right now. But at least as I'm sorting the rear bumper it shouldn't be as bothersome to take off again if I decided to wait.

It would be most sensible I think to get it all done right now. But it would need to be trailered because no MOT and that would save me reattaching the bumper right now. We do have a welder so there'll be no issue tigging new bolts to the bumper, but doing a whole arch is not in my dad's skillset and probably not the place for me to learn.
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by jifflemon » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:49 pm

First thing to do:

Remove those sponges and hurl them as far away from the car as possible.

Next, take the brave pills and strip the bumper cover off to see what remains of the bumper bar.

Good luck!

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Jay-Kay-Em
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:16 pm

Hi, welcome to 480 ownership and this excellent forum!
WalkableBuffalo wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:44 pm
Skandix rear arches for the 440/460 are £30 a pop. Any idea what it would cost to get new arches welded in, and also maybe sill end plates? I wasn't really considering it but it would have to be done sometime. Depending on the cost it wasn't something I wanted to do right now. But at least as I'm sorting the rear bumper it shouldn't be as bothersome to take off again if I decided to wait.

It would be most sensible I think to get it all done right now. But it would need to be trailered because no MOT and that would save me reattaching the bumper right now. We do have a welder so there'll be no issue tigging new bolts to the bumper, but doing a whole arch is not in my dad's skillset and probably not the place for me to learn.
Skandix have just remade the 480 arches @ 150 each... yes the 440 arches are much much cheaper but obviously that is for a four door - they don't have the body contour just forward of the arch. I have heard stories about flipping front wings to rear - but most second hand front wings are rotten now too and by the time you have faffed about getting that contour, the dedicated 480 arches probably don't seem too bad value.

I cant believe any garage would want anything less than £200 a side to weld & filler... and then no paintshop would want a localised spray - they would argue for a side for colour match issues. If you got change out of a total £800 inc. vat (both sides) i'd be very surprised.

My last paintjob was a bonnet, roof, two door bottoms and blend the wing tops... that was £650 with no metalwork/dentwork needed. Paint is scarily expensive.

This is where I sound like an old man - My first car was a mk2 Astra in 1996 with typical rusty arches. I bought a Clarke TurboMIG welder (that I still have today) and cracked on... there are some YouTube tutorials on arch replacement.

Also another comment to make me sound old..... When I started in the motor trade (1995) we were a little backstreet garage and we did endless welding. Sills after sills after sills. To be a good mechanic, welding was essential. Fast forward to 2020 and where I get my car mot'd, I get on well with the staff and none of them have a need to touch a welder these days. Cars just don't rot like they used to.

Sadly that means welding has become a specialist bodyshop activity nowadays and anything with the word 'specialist' in it is bucks!

I used to know a cheap local painter that wasn't too bothered by COSHH and all, and his prices reflected that. Sadly those days are gone.

I hope you work it out!
Last edited by Jay-Kay-Em on Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jamescarruthers
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by jamescarruthers » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:33 pm

Hello, welcome and good luck with your 480. I'm afraid that people are right about the arches going to cost you close to £1000 for a good job, including paint aterwards. I hope you get to enjoy the 480 for a few years yet while you save up for the big job that we'll all probably have to do at some point. I guess you could slow down the corrosion by dousing the internal seam with corrosion inhibitor, such as Dinitrol, LPS or Bilt Hambler products. 

Hoping to see you at one of our tours/meets this year. 

That is a great buy for £500.‎
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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WalkableBuffalo
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Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by WalkableBuffalo » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:50 pm

Thank you guys for your realism, any welding work is definitely way out of my budget for now.
So for the time being while the rear bumper is off I can hopefully finish off everything under the car I was working on.
Put the backbox back on after giving it a respray, it was blowing from the clamp end so new clamp and assembly paste
Just got new bolts for the replacement anti-roll bar links and rear shocks so they can go back on
Finally adjust the handbrake
Then last MOT necessary item is replace some bulbs. Got some LEDs for the DRLs

Here is the nasty end of the rear bumper, hopefully taking the plastic off isn't too much of a challenge
Please observe the "small" hole near the bottom right
Image

Also something will need to be done about the plastic arch liner things as all the screws were stuck, so they'll need to be drilled out and will require something to mount them to as the original brackets are totally shot

Promise I will have some nice pictures once she's back on all 4 wheels :D
-Will
1991 480 ES, 1.7, Arctic Blue
Current status: No MOT, 99% ready I swear

dcwalker
480 Veteran
Posts: 737
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:30 pm
Location: York

Re: First 480, first real project car

Post by dcwalker » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:13 pm

Sounds sensible - you can keep the rust at bay for a while if you stay on top of it and monitor it. Ultimately you will need the welder though...

Getting the bumper skin off is easy - remove those metal strips then wiggle the metal bar and foam packing free of the plastic. If you'd like a hand give me a shout: I'm always happy to help pull someone else's 480 to bits!!

Best

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 480 Celebration 467/480 (plus 2004 C70 Collection)
Previous: Celebration 346 (sold to Alan480), Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73, 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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