1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Here you can start a thread about your 480 days. Only the starter of the thread is allowed to fill his thread, and only one thread per person. Threads are simply a personal diary.

Moderators: jifflemon, coyote1980, Rachel

Post Reply
User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:43 pm

A long-time lurker here, so it’s about time I write a piece… what with being a 480 owner now! It’s amazing how many of these threads start the same…

I came from a Volvo family. My grandad had multiple 340 models, my dad had a 240. Our closest family friends had a mk1 760GLE – the early model with the italic 760 boot script.

It all started in 1991 with THIS very brochure that I still have today. I was 12 years old. I went with my father to Pollendines of Frinton; no longer a Volvo main dealer, to look at a Volvo 240. In the middle of the showroom was a black 480 Turbo, illuminated by down-lighters, looking absolutely amazing. All I could do was take a brochure, that very brochure, and pour over it cover to cover, as only an impressionable 12 year old boy can do. I saw it as the coolest car in the world. Pop-up lights, digitalised instruments, a big TURBO badge and door key-holes that lit up. I knew I would have this car one day…

The search properly started in 2012 in conjunction with becoming a member of this Forum. The criteria was ‘simple’. It had to be :


• The Turbo.
• Black, or red. Possibly white.
• Manual transmission.
• Good history / provenance.
• Standard, or at least easily-revertable to standard.


I will make a slight admission and say that the 480 Turbo is a somewhat flawed concept in the advantages it brings. The complexities of turbocharging, additional electric water pumps for the turbo, air cooled injectors, inflexibility of turbo lag, and for what… 10 bhp extra? It’s all rather silly. But I was 12, I had the brochure, the Turbo was always marketed as the range topper and it had that badge on the back…

Given that HowManyLeft lists only 38 taxed manual Turbos, the odds of finding one are tough-enough, let alone narrowing your search criteria like I proposed.

Image Image
• Shocking decrease in numbers. I turned endless cars down like this, each one making me sad.

I looked at four in four years. I was outbid on ebay for two of them, one I had to let go as the owner was a complete moron and the penultimate Turbo I looked at in Cambridge had no provenance whatsoever – no owners manual, not even one old mot. Shame, because it looked smart. Looking at a few, although painful at the time losing out, did prove valuable. One of the benefits was getting knowledge of brake pedal feel. The braking system has always concerned me on an ABS 480 as it’s not a traditional master cylinder; it’s a modulator, pump and accumulator. Looking back I can now say that one of those early 480 Turbos I looked at had a woefully spongy brake pedal.

February 2016 I had my standard eBay daily notification saying new results found for “Volvo 480”. Most of the time this was just another 6x4 FH480 mid-lift tractor-unit, however, this was a car. It was more than a car, it ticked all the boxes at last! Owned for 9 years, black manual Turbo. I sent the owner a message and scheduled to see the car Saturday before bidding closed on the Sunday.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
• The eBay advert and enticing photographs. The money shot of the Turbo badge is my handywork… 8)

The week dragged by, Saturday came and I drove from St. Neots to Newport in Wales. The car was ideal. It had its faults, sure, but it was a tremendous foundation to build upon. I was in a fortunate position that a week had gone by and the item still had no bids. Bearing in mind four years had passed and I’d lost two already to the eBay bidding farce, I wasn’t loosing another. I had prepared an envelope of cash, waved it under the sellers nose and he took it off the auction site. Sorry if you were going to bid on it, but I was becoming a desperate man!

And so I drove it home, smile from ear to ear, genuinely! The speedo didn’t work which made it interesting. The radio says ‘CODE’, the sunroof is broken, the passenger heated seat isn’t working and the info-centre is so dark its barely readable. The driver’s seat is torn, a front fog light is cracked and the paint is orange-peely in places. The rear lights, predictably, are absolutely awful. The front daytime running lights are cracked, held together with tape and of the incorrect brightness when illuminated. The tyres are of a dubious brand and the alloy wheels are getting pretty scabby. The spare wheel well is full of water, obviously. The high level brakelight is falling off, the roof lining is sagging and the combined boot/fuel cap release lever broke in my hand. However, if you overlook all that, I was driving a car that pulled well, drove really nicely, stopped well and felt, you know, genuine.

Image
• A pit stop on the way home in the pouring rain at Slough McDonalds. She’s looking good… in the dark!

It’s a car I plan to keep for many years. In fact, it’s something I don’t ever plan to sell, just like my Mk2 Golf. The values of these vehicles are only going one way. Up. Modification wise, I don’t plan anything for it other than saying that I am not keen the late airbag steering wheel and I shall seek a pre-93 two spoke leather item. I also prefer the full leather interior option (black/grey) and I also think the suspension sits a bit tall. So, I know it divides opinion, but I will investigate lowering it with a high quality suspension package if such a thing still exists. Turbo Taurus wheels are my favourite, so nothing to change there. Regardless of whatever I do, I am mindful of residual values being greater ‘standard’ and will retain any standard parts removed.

I am sourcing some of these replacement parts already. Luckily I live close to Lakes Volvo – Wyboston, Bedfordshire. They have five 480’s there and I have already got a collection of parts / trims etc. Two 480’s are buried so deep in brambles I struggled to get to them. It’s a proper old fashioned breakers yard that reminds me crawling around breakers with my father 20 years ago! They have a Celebration there and quite amazingly it had my favourite full leather option. However, with no doors or boot fitted, they were soaking wet and covered in mould and bird-poo! Nothing that can’t be rejuvenated…

Image

Image
• Don’t worry Celebration N480FLC, you shall not die in vain. Your mouldy damp seats will live on. Yes, the dash plaque had gone…

Of all the cars I have ever owned, and there have been a few nice ones, I feel a stronger sense of duty with this one than any of them, a sense that it has to be preserved. There are plenty of people saving fast Fords, Beetles, Astons blah blah blah. This is in total contrast to the 480 scene. There just aren’t the numbers of people and the cars are not financially viable to restore and sell. It takes a true enthusiast of the marque and I feel that is reflected in the community here.

Thanks for reading and I promise some updates + pretty pictures when I get on top of the snagging list!
Last edited by Jay-Kay-Em on Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:18 am, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1666
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:22 pm

Hello and welcome.

I'm in Cambridge. You're welcome to give me a shout if you want a 480 chat some time.
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)

daveo2016
480 Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:11 am

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by daveo2016 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:54 pm

Welcome! The 480 turbo is a lot of fun and yours looks a great example. Really interesting to see just how few are left in service - I would never have guessed so few.
M441YOW has been my daily since 2011, with a few breaks on SORN for rest and repairs. Fab car and well worth the £6k she's cost in that time on maintenance. I'll dig out a stylised picture I think you'll appreciate.

User avatar
brinkie
480 Expert
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:20 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by brinkie » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:54 pm

Great story! Do try and keep them on the road.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

daveo2016
480 Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:11 am

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by daveo2016 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:52 pm

Image

User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:34 pm

Thanks for the welcome guys!

jamescarruthers - I will definitely look you up when she is ready to venture out. It's SORN'd until the snagging list is complete.

Happy Easter Hols; Regards, Jay.

Olafson
480 Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 10:25 pm

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Olafson » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:39 pm

Why did Celebration N480FLC had to die? That number plate is cool...

User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:16 pm

Hi Folks,

Just a little update. Work started mid-2016 and the wheels went to the refurbishers.

Image

First of all I obtained two new Fulda EcoControl HP tyres so the vehicle was on a matching set of four. Needless to say it wasn’t already and had two nasty Chinese tyres on the back.

Image

I used the biggest trim and wheel refinisher in Peterborough. It’s the top of Google. I shant name them, but they are on an industrial estate named after a car James Bond drives. I left all four wheels with them. I left them one centre cap. I said “you MUST match the silver to the centre cap. It’s a kind of ‘moody’ silver and isn’t generic.” They disagreed and said it’s easier to paint the centre caps too. I disagreed because it would lose the unavailable Volvo logo’s. That, and I want them the correct colour! “Just match the paint to the centre caps like any other bodywork job.”. They gave me a price and I left.

Three weeks went by, got a phone call and went to pick them up. They were in the corner of the shop. Where’s my centre cap then? They had lost it. They found it after some searching. I clipped in the centre cap and my heart sank. You be the judge…

Image

Basically, they just painted them the closest off the shelf silver. They were shocking. They had mounted the tyres and everything. What were they thinking? I wouldn’t notice? “You need to re-do these”. They started to get funny. Anyway, they got out their laser-paint reader and scanned the centre cap. It came up with a moody silver for a Toyota. I left it with them. Another three weeks went by, and I went to collect them in absolute fear. Thankfully they were perfect. Unfortunately, because they had put twice as much work in, they then said their quote was minus vat and there was also a colour matching surcharge. Yeah right! I just wanted out of there so paid 1/3 more than I had expected / budgeted for and left. Its alarming when your alloy wheel refurb cost is a sizeable chunk of the purchase price of the car!

To be fair they look really good now, the correct silver they left the showroom in. When the cars finished you will see them in their full glory!

Some good news now, the weathered full-leather seats I pulled from that Celebration, with no doors or windows, have come up really well.

Image

Despite the hassle with the wheels, the trimmer did an excellent job on the drivers bolster. He sourced near identical leather and even the stitching is spot on.

Image

Its alarming when your seat refurb cost is a sizeable chunk of the purchase price of the car!

I am constantly sourcing parts in the background. One of these items are number plates.

I am a massive number-plate geek. Since 2001 letters have been much smaller in width. To me, they don’t look right on older cars.

I had some custom plates made, front and rear, with the older, wider, 1995 font and the original selling dealer name ‘Baytrack’ (now defunct) at the bottom.

Image

I have sourced an amazing pair of front indicators from fellow 480 forum member. Thank you Andreas, top bloke! “Andreas 202”.

Image

Its alarming when just some indicators are a sizeable chunk of the purchase price of the car!

Decided to renew the MoT to see what the damage was. It failed, badly. Firstly, emissions.

It has an aftermarket cat fitted already. Unfortunately, being aftermarket, it’s not quite correct. The O2 sensor is in the wrong place and its fouled by the gearshift rod. It can’t be the fault of the rod. This fouling had broken all three wires off the top of the sensor. You could see the polishing to the rod. No wonder it failed emissions!

Image

I took the cat off and proceeded to rotate the O2 sensor 10 or so degrees round. Needless to say the O2 sensor was seized solid. I had to cut the top off to use a proper socket.

Image

When it did turn, it just destroyed the threads of sensor and the boss. I had to get a new boss.

Image

So, new boss, rotated round and a new BOSCH sensor, with the longest fly-lead I have ever seen! Bizarrely, the connector for the O2 sensor is by the battery!

Image

Further failure items included the nearside outer driveshaft gaiter. I removed the shaft and thought better do inner and outer.

Image

Outer was a breeze, like any other car. I did clean up the teeth on the ABS ring as they all looked as one!

Image

The inner nearside boot is more involved as it has an integral bearing and is pressed onto the shaft. You have to pull the tripod rollers off.

Image

I had to butcher the gearbox drain plug out. People had used incorrect tools in the past and the square drive was found cracked. New fill and drain plugs sourced - all generic Renault items.

Image

Whilst on the subject of gearboxes, I have sourced all the gearchange wearable items – from Renault. They are generic Clio/Megane parts.

Image

I haven’t fitted it all yet but they are visually identical. The gearshift on mine is floppy as anything so any improvement is gratefully received.

Finally, new Turbo vented discs and pads went back on.

Image

Unfortunately, that’s all I have done thus far. I have two other demanding mistresses that take most of my time, so the 480 is a spare time car. Apologies for that.

Image

Another update to follow as and when. Still lots to do. Robou ECU, suspension overhaul, cambelt, speedo, dash illumination, interior re-fit, sunroof fix, bin the towbar, etc etc....

Easy :shock:

Keep your 480's alive!

Best Regards,

Jay.
Last edited by Jay-Kay-Em on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1666
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by jamescarruthers » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:24 pm

Very interesting to see how you are getting on.

I didn't realise you are are in St Neots. I am in Cambridge. Will keep keep keep out on the roads for you when you get it fixed.
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)

User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:32 pm

More of an apology really, rather than a meaty update. A couple of forum members had asked how the 480 was coming on.

Sadly my world fell apart, lost the house, garage. All my tools went into rent-a-container storage and cars/bikes stashed with friends.

Annoyingly, I had to build the car back up again to get it away from that septic house.

Only now have I bought a new place.

The 480 lived at work for 10 months. Only recently I chucked a sponge over it to get it to my new home in Alconbury, near Huntingdon.

Image

With no MoT or tax, I pre-booked an MoT to make me road legal for a day, just to get it home. Pass or fail was irrelevant really.

I must win an award for worst rear lights ever :lol:

Image

Comedy pop-up headlight.... oh the embarrassment! Add that to the list ;-)

Image

Work started on the 480 workshop; objective - get my tools back out of storage ASAP!

Image

Image

Anyway, base is poured, now looking for a brickie...

Image

Its a funny shape, but has plenty of room at the business end. Its a wedge garage for a wedge 480 :rofl:

Note the also-on-hold mk2 in the background. That has dumped all its PAS oil. :cry:

So sorry people, that's it. Life does chuck the odd curveball now and again.

On a positive note, and other Volvo related matters, I made a trip to the Netherlands and visited 'Scandcar' in Moergestel.

http://www.scandcar.com/

Seemed very friendly and they carry a lot of Volvo parts. They have a few classic Volvo's to look at.

Image

Image

I went with my list of 480 'halo' part numbers - not a sausage :lol:

Next update will be more meaningful, and with a workshop again, I promise!

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by jifflemon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:42 pm

Any update is a good update :D

Glad your finally getting to a better place in life, at least you got to keep some of the things that matters to you.

Onwards and upwards!

User avatar
89of480
Knows where Volvo is from
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:36 pm
Location: Trying to get the A/C to work
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by 89of480 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:40 pm

Sorry about what happened...

But life does have a funny way of chucking things at you like that; yet life can also bring you back up again when you least expect it!

I’m glad it sound a like you’re in a better place now at least though! And course I’m glad about the Volvo! (And the golf, beautiful, I still remember my mum’s back in the day!)

Those back lights are quite bad, but I’m sure you will be able to clean them up! THe ones on my car when i collected it were not great, unfortunately they got destroyed during removal as they were in Tiger Seal city :(

Very keen to see this story go on!

All the best! :)
‘95 Celebration Auto - №89 of 480 - Flame Red Metaillic
‘17 BMW M140i Shadow Edition - Black Sapphire Metallic

User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:36 pm

As jifflemon says; "Any update is a good update"!

So here goes...

Image

Image

A long build, juggling many tradesmen. Tried to save money by 'splitting the trades', but ultimately paid the price in time taken.

Over-budget, way over-time and with snags. Like any building project then!

All kitted out January 2019. All my stuff herded back from mates garages and the storage container I was renting.

Image

Image

So, garage finally done! :hopping:

This is my apology to the group; the 480 has been dormant for 18 months - not a spanner turned. This is why...

In no order of affection (obviously), the GTi went in first, as it's my summer daily-runner.

Image Image

• New PAS steering rack, cambelt, front discs & calipers + brake fluid, transmission driveshaft seals, inner CV boots and a refurbished headlining.

TVR next, as the 2019 show season was slowly disappearing.

Image Image

• Exhaust manifold gaskets (both V8 banks), engine mounts, all fluids (LSD and 'box), sump gasket, exhaust mountings, front discs and a brake fluid flush.

So here we are... back to exactly the same place we were November 2016. All I can do is apologise. What I can promise from this point forward, is many winter evenings of only 480.

Pulled out of storage this weekend gone. Time hasn't been so kind.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Getting it ready for the garage... full underside pressure wash to see what we are working with. Debris covered the drive.

Image

Predictable 480 job... scuttle trough full of water with blocked drain tubes... obviously!

Image

Image

3 years, six months and 15 days, finally in the garage!

Image

Initial bodywork assessment not good... cant believe the deterioration in nearly four years. Cars do not like sitting about.

Image

Image

Need to create a list, what to clean, what to preserve and what to weld.

Emptying the boot (a surprisingly dry boot) was like Christmas come early... all the parts bought with good intentions three years ago.

Image

Hopefully by March I will have some constructive progress to report. My goal is a level equal to my Golf. I know it's taken some time, and has been third in the pecking order, but the 480 is really important to me. Many of your threads have told me what to expect and where. Availability of parts is going to be my biggest struggle. It has been already. Saying that, really looking forward to this!

First job this weekend; remove interior for risk-free welding!

All the best for the festive season.

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by jifflemon » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:07 pm

in the parlance of the time....

WELL JELL!

:rofl:

That garage is simply epic! Put a bed, kettle and microwave in there, and you'd never leave!

User avatar
brinkie
480 Expert
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:20 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by brinkie » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:58 am

What Jeff said, simply epic. :drool: :drool: :drool:
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

User avatar
Jay-Kay-Em
Started learning about 480
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Huntingdon
Contact:

Re: 1994 Volvo 480 Turbo Diary

Post by Jay-Kay-Em » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:56 pm

Haha thank you - yes, the house is redundant now :wink:

Todays 480 anecdote :

Chatting with my paint guy, gave him the code "305" for the boringly titled "Black Metallic". He said just run the VIN through a Volvo dealer to double check. He confirmed quite a bit of blue in the mix which explains its purple look every now and again.

Anyway, a conversation with my Volvo dealer this afternoon :

Parts Guy : Yeah sure, give us the VIN we can check that
Me : XLB...
Parts Guy : Ermmm, so that's YV1..XLB?
Me : No, its Dutch built, so the VIN starts with an X...
Parts Guy : Really, oh, ok then, go ahead
Me : XLBEC193 etc etc...
Parts Guy : Oh WOW!
Me : Whats up?
Parts Guy : That looks amazing, a picture has come up, I have never seen one of those before. That's really cool.
Me : Erm, thanks!

Really nice guy to be fair - he was younger than the car itself :rofl:

Post Reply