Snazzy's story

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dragonflyjewels
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Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Fri May 25, 2018 8:41 am

Many years ago, I was crawling along in the left lane of Norwich’s ring road in heavy rush hour traffic when alongside me appeared a beautiful nose cone I didn’t recognise. I was pleased that the right lane then started to move slightly faster, so more and more of the car crept into view, and eventually I was able to read the badges on the back. Unbelievably it was a Volvo – previously only thought of as boring square boxes. My first thought was that it was a very snazzy shape for a Volvo. Of course, it was my first sighting of a 480.
I told Al about it, and he laughed at me for thinking a pretty car could be a Volvo, but a few weeks later I spotted one parked so we had a good look at it and he admitted I was right.
Needless to say, they were far beyond our price range, but over the years we had a few test drives in 1.7s and turbos, and discovered a small family-run dealer specialising in used Volvos with an excellent reputation. Then in 2001, the prices were getting closer to target. After 9/11 there were numerous reports about house and car prices falling as people waited to see what would happen next before committing to big expenditure - not sure what that was all about, it didn’t stop me ! I rang the dealer and he had a 2 litre, price just reduced. We went for a test drive and I was pleased to find it would give our 16 valve Golf GTi a run for its money. LOTS of bottom end grunt and so much more comfortable! And so Snazzy came into my life just as Al was leaving to work abroad.
Just a few months later, the speedo failed at 80 something thousand. I rang the dealer, who said he would sort it, and back she went. Each time he fixed it, it ran for a day or two then failed again, so eventually he arranged for the Volvo main dealer to replace it at his expense. So far, the replacement has not failed despite me clocking up over 130k –maybe by 2001 Volvo had better quality cogs fitted in the clusters. Or maybe it will die soon and take the usual holiday in Holland.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Fri May 25, 2018 12:19 pm

I see this got posted twice - I got an error message at the first attmept, so tried again and got the same thing. Thought it hadn't posted at all :wall:
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

jifflemon
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by jifflemon » Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Have managed to delete the other one :D

So you can't start a story without pictures.... Which one is this???

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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Fri May 25, 2018 6:47 pm

Sorry, no pictures, Snazzy was my everyday car while I was commuting to and from work and I didn't think to photograph her until later in the story. She is my Paris Blue (great colour isn't it jiff?) 2 litre with a red dipstick engine - I haven't brought her to a meet yet.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:22 pm

The next 9 years passed with little to report, beyond my first pop-up failure incident which resulted in tracking down a rare beast – a repair shop that understands 480 electrics !
A new registration came my way as a birthday present from himself but apart from that all that was spent on her was an annual service and six months later an MoT. I took the view that it was better to have an older car looked at twice a year than once and that is what I still do with all our 480s.
Al came home on leave 3 times a year for 3 weeks at a time, always got picked up from Heathrow in Snazzy and just loved driving her. He often says he has never driven a more willing engine and I don’t think I have either. As a result, he decided that he would have one as a retirement car. Looking at the various models, he decided on a GT, and looking at the Vesa wheels on them I decided to source a set for Snazzy – her first present. The set I eventually bought came with Yokohama asymmetrical tyres, 2 almost new and 2 reasonable. I’d previously had Goodyears, but really liked the road holding of the Paradas so I’ve stuck with them. I also bought front light clusters with white indicators as I'm picky about colours and didn't like the old combination. I still resent having to have a yellow rear number plate :?
Here she is under the carport where she lived for many years.
Image
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

jifflemon
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by jifflemon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:46 pm

I know exactly what you mean about the amber lights (gingy-cators). It's also why I swapped the rear running lights for clear ones too, just looks better on a paris blue car!

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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:45 pm

Dendy's experience with his windscreen rust brings back memories of my own windscreen fails. I had a crack appear in the screen at the top, about 4 inches in from the edge, which worked its way down to the forbidden area of the wipers. Autoglass replaced it for me just before the MoT was due but made no mention of the reason for it. 6 months later a crack appeared in the new screen in the same place, so some very harsh words were said to them. As a result, the car went to the bodyshop where Autoglass took their screen back out and left my man to sort the rust - he said it went about 6 inches back from the screen, even though there was absolutely nothing to be seen in the way of bubbles under the paintwork whilst the screen was in. Now Al's GT has a crack in the top of the screen, so that will be done at the bodyshop again on the assumption he also has hidden rust.
By 2010 Snazzy started having annual visits to the bodyshop to touch up her chipped nail varnish - I had driven well over 100,000 miles in her so she was starting to look tired and in need of well deserved some long service tlc. A few presents from ebay came her way - rear roller blind and drinks tray armrest.
A garage was built and occupied by a green GT bought ready for Al's retirement, so in the meantime the boot was used as a cupboard to store 480 parts. All sorts of useful looking bits and pieces arrived courtesy of ebay. Then came an auction for a brand new rear bumper reinforcing bar - starting price £40 but it had to be collected from the south coast, near Southampton. As luck would have it, I had booked to go to an event in Hampshire a few days after the auction ended and the bar was just 30 miles further on. No-one bid against me so I got my £40 bargain. Just as well I was able to collect straight away - the chap had bought it for his 480 quite a few years before, but then discovered a lot of other MoT fails, scrapped the car and forgot about the bumper bar tucked away in the garage rafters. He found it when clearing out ready to emigrate, so it had to go pronto. Usually these things pop up just when we can't possibly go to collect but I have been known to wheedle storage for a few months out of sellers, then arrange a holiday in the collection area. We've had a lot of UK holidays since starting to use ebay.
I was very glad of the bar some years later when Snazzy failed the MoT on a hole in hers. The surprise is that the GT's hasn't failed yet, given that our garage described it as looking like lace curtains when they assessed the car in 2012. It's the same tester in the same MoT station......
Last edited by dragonflyjewels on Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:03 pm

In 2010, I was approached by a man in a carpark, not what I was thinking he was going to say but pleased to see another 480 and wondering if I was a club member. At the time I wasn’t aware that there was a club, but I was happy to join. Although I found the club website quite informative, the forum was great but sadly I just could not get my password working. I tried on and off for several years but every time it was reset it still failed to work, hence the long gap between me joining and popping up on here.
Snazzy’s rear lights were by now looking very white, so I took them off and applied them to my jewellers’ polishing wheel. They came up very well, so I took them to the bodyshop to have them sprayed with 2 part lacquer. Unfortunately, the lacquer is now peeling along the top so I’m wondering how to get it off apart from just picking at it with a ceramic hob scraper. I don’t want to try any chemicals on it in case they distort the plastic. Any ideas ?
In 2013 Al had retired and come home so we decided to go to the club meet in Holland in the GT. We had such a good time we went to the 2014 meet in the Eifel area of Germany with both of our cars. I’d booked us a guest house nearby, and when we arrived we parked out the front and went up to our room. An hour or so later I went back to my car to get something and found this:
Image

The following morning at breakfast there were a couple of Brits in the dining room who turned out to be the owner of the 1800 and his friend. On chatting to them, we found they were going to the meet as well – the owner had had 480s in the past so was a club member, but he’d always wanted an 1800 and recently taken the plunge. He didn’t like it !! Too slow, too cumbersome, no fun at all to drive so he was thinking of selling it and looking for another 480. We haven’t seen him since so I wonder if he is still a member and back to driving a fun car.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:32 pm

In 2015 I felt the need to mark 14 years service – working out what she had cost over and above what I would have spent changing my car every few years I was pleased to find there wasn’t much in it. I was lucky enough to be offered a half leather interior in really great condition for a modest price. After much cursing Al got it fitted for me, but I hadn’t realised that the carpet is different so the backs of the rear seats didn’t match the boot carpet. Much as I liked the seats, I just couldn’t get my head around my blue car with a black interior. Should be fine I thought, after all there are black panels on the outside. In reality I’d had grey for so long that black just looked all wrong. Maybe I’ll like it better when I’ve got used to it I hoped….
We had started going to the French 480 club meets, and seen that there were a lot of white 480s there. I had to admit that I really like them in white, and so did Al. We’d had the thought that both our 2litres were high mileage, and we hadn’t tried a turbo so Al decided to get one with low mileage to possibly replace the 2 litres when they died. We looked for a white one without success, but paris blue Eva came along (reg plate EWA, which is the spelling for Eva in some eastern European countries). Al bought a Robou mod for her and is very happy with the performance, so we carried on looking and finally found Lily in white.
Then I hatched my evil plan, to cajole Al into swapping the black interior into Lily and boy was I lucky to catch him in a really good mood. Even better, when I got in touch with the chap I’d bought the interior from, he still had the breaker and the main carpet was still in it although the boot carpet had gone. Not a problem – I’d scrounged one from a white car we didn’t buy, so Lily ended up with a complete interior. That just left Snazzy whose original cloth seats were in the garage rafters. Out they came and off to a trimming company to have the worn plain grey panels replaced with grey leather. Shockingly expensive but just lovely, and when Snazzy dies they can be transferred into Eva.
Image
And here she is in Normandy with John and Janny de Vries – looking badly parked, but there were people in the way and a Frenchman waiting to photograph my tyre tread (asymmetric Yokohamas, really suit the car’s handling).
Image
Last edited by dragonflyjewels on Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:03 pm

In 2017 Snazzy joined the Volvo High Mileage club, just a beginner with 200,000 miles completed. I now consider her to be run in.

The number plate of my dreams popped up for sale, for 1/3rd the price it had been a year or two earlier, so I had a haggle and parted with my hard-earned money from selling garden plants. The old number plate sold for more than I expected, which helped ease the pain a bit. She now has her own name instead of my initials :
Image

This show plate came with the reg., but not the front one and I can't find anywhere that can match the font to get the 2s looking like zs. The chap I bought it from had it a long time and couldn't remember where he got the plates made, or what happened to the other one.

Snazzy is the only one of our 4 cars that has a perfect dashboard, so I had a chat to Wayne at WR Composites about using it to make a mould to reproduce them from. It was extremely complicated, and had to be made in quite a few sections. The big risk was that my dashboard could have broken getting it out of the mould, but I left it with Wayne for almost a year to give him plenty of time to struggle with it. Snazzy has had an old damaged one since last summer, but then she has rust coming through on her wheel arches yet again so she hasn’t been to any meetings. Finally, this year we collected the original (thankfully undamaged) dashboard along with a prototype copy. Before anyone gets too excited, these are going to be very expensive due to the complexities of making them. Having said that, they will be much stronger. Just waiting for Al to find the time to try fitting it. I’m not holding my breath on the first one being right, it’s bound to need adjusting but Al’s busy repairing a large elderly greenhouse at the moment, then we’re off to Hampshire to sort the September Mini 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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:18 pm

Well, we didnt have much luck with the prototype dasboard. Al had to file bits away from here there and everywhere, and still couldn't fit it due to some supporting struts on the back colliding with the mounting panel at the back. We'll be going back to see Wayne in a month or two and see what can be done.

I wanted to have her bodywork done in 2018 – a pair of new wheel arches has been tucked away in the garage for some time. How come the 480 arches as sooooo much more expensive than the 440 ones ???? Skandix profiteering big style at our expense methinks.

Our garage man assessed the condition of the underside before I invested in a visit to the body shop. Generally, not bad, but the subframe had started to rust through on the curved section where welds are not allowed for the MoT, and the lower wishbones were pretty poor as well.
We arranged to collect a subframe from a contact in Derbyshire and made a special trip up to collect it. On arrival, we were told that the one he was intending to sell us had hidden rust under the muck of years when he started cleaning it. Out of sheer embarrassment at having dragged us up there from Norfolk he volunteered to give us the perfect subframe from the 460 he is restoring, saying that it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to find another breaker to replace it from. Sorry to say when we got it home, it was the wrong one - the 460 is automatic so the rear mount is different. Our man in Derbyshire was horrified when we told him, and pulled all the stops out to find a replacement. It took some months, but eventually he found a manual 480 to break and got the engine out. We paid him another visit so he got his 460 subframe back and Snazzy's replacement one went in for blasting and wet-zinc treatment. Here's before and after (quality control check by our feline inspector of anything and everything)
Image
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

Alan 480
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by Alan 480 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:39 pm

looks good, I just buffed off the 'rusty areas' with a twisted cup wire brush on angry grinder and applied a couple of coats of ALDI/Lidl metal paint (green :? )

same paint has survived for about ten years with no marks on the sills of the SS1 so reckoned OK on a subframe!

not too fussed about 'appearance' as long as solid for MoT :D
Alan

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

arthuy
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by arthuy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:51 pm

Nice looking subframe, solid ones must be scares now.

I have never really under stood why subframe repairs are not acceptable. If you have stuck a patch on then fair enough but to correctly cut out and repair to a professional standard then you would think it as good as new.

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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:28 pm

arthuy wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:51 pm
I have never really under stood why subframe repairs are not acceptable. If you have stuck a patch on then fair enough but to correctly cut out and repair to a professional standard then you would think it as good as new.
Yep, some rules and regs just strike as downright daft don't they.

The front clusters had started to show the usual problem with heat damaged drl lenses and I wanted to change the side repeaters and reflectors for white ones anyway, so I gritted my teeth and bought a second set from Joep – they may be expensive but they look really good on Lily and are a different material apparently not affected by the heat. The back of one cluster had some splits around the bulb holder, so I repaired it with Milliput – marvellous stuff, I’ve used it on all sorts of things. Made a quick check that the bulb holder still fitted before it set as it’s near impossible to remove after.

Image
I gave it a coat of fairly dull silver paint as Joep’s lenses are very white and I didn’t want it to look too different to the white indicator. I certainly wasn’t going to try to prise the indicator lenses off just to paint inside in case I broke one.
Having noted a swimming pool in one of Snazzy’s indicators, I’ve talked to various owners about keeping the inside of the clusters dry. Some go down the route of sealing them tightly to keep water out while others prefer to drill extra holes to let them drain. Personally, I like belt and braces, so I think I’m going to add some silver grey sealant along the top edge, covering the edges of both drl and indicator,replace the rubber seals on the bulb holders and also drill some holes in the bottom just in case. I have, of course, picked the glob of gunk out of Volvo's rather small drain hole in the bottom of the indicator lense.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:27 pm

For the side repeaters. I started off by putting them in very hot water which softened the glue holding the seals enough to get them out in one piece to use as a template for new ones. Getting the orange lenses out is quite difficult, so I came up with a method that worked really well for me. First thing you need is a piece of wooden dowel (or, as in my case, a wooden spoon handle). It needs to fit inside the hole for the bulb holder – clamp it vertically in a vice with the repeater perched on top and with a gap between the plastic and the vice, then insert a thin craft blade knife into the diagonal gap between black plastic and lens. Push down on the thick part of the body where the screw goes in so there is upwards pressure on the lens at the same time as levering the knife from side to side. It didn’t take much of this for my lenses to pop out.
Image
I’ve stuck a piece of tin foil on the back to reflect the light (hopefully heat shouldn’t be a problem as the bulb is only 5w and Joep’s lenses are acrylic). Glued the new lenses in, repainted ‘VOLVO’ in silver enamel, cut new seals from 3mm closed cell foam and all ready to fit.
Image
Tin foil went on the side reflectors as well so they are all sparkly now.
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:54 pm

Went to visit Snazzy in the bodyshop, this bit looked quite good :D :

Image

I knew there were a few rust patches in the boot but I didn't expect daylight :cryhard:

Image

Image

Image

this was even less happy making :shock:

Image

I hope they aren't thinking that's mine !! :?

Image

The bad news is that she needs new inner arches as well as the outers I’d already bought. The good news is that Skandix still sell them, so I’ve ordered a pair along with a heater slider button. I seem to recall a thread expressing concerns about the Skandix ones looking different to the original Volvo ones so I’ll do a comparison when it arrives.
Last edited by dragonflyjewels on Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

arthuy
Can tell where the 480 was built
Posts: 399
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:02 pm

Re: Snazzy's story

Post by arthuy » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:53 pm

Looking forward to seeing the rear arch repairs, I need to do my own soonish.

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jamescarruthers
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:39 am

The rear of mine has been apart and found similar bits that needed chopping out‎. I blame the leaky boot for all of this.

It's great to see a high miler getting love and attention. Most of the car will run forever or can be easily replaced/refurbished it's just the body that ‎quietly corrodes underneath you. All of this rust chopping should give her a good long life. Well done!‎
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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dragonflyjewels
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by dragonflyjewels » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:34 pm

Pleased to say that the Skandix heater buttons look exactly the same as the Volvo ones.
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

User avatar
jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
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Re: Snazzy's story

Post by jamescarruthers » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:58 pm

dragonflyjewels wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:34 pm
Pleased to say that the Skandix heater buttons look exactly the same as the Volvo ones.
They've improved then?!
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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