Should I buy? - 1992 Volvo 940 turbo $750

Been wanting a project car. Is this a good fit?

Link to listing: 1992 940 turbo Volvo - barter - trade swap

Replace ( project car ) with ( Money Pit ) and the answer will be Yes.

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I was alking through a car show ith my son in law 2 years ago and there was a very nice looking 10 year old Jaguar for sale, much below market price. My son in law asked my opinion about buying it.

I told him that there was nothing sp expensive as a cheap Jaguar.

You are talking about a 20 year old turbo Volvo.

Unless your project is an art installation or installing a complete Chevy drive train, I would recommend against it.

Had the opportunity to buy a Jaguar xke for $900 in the late 70’s, everyone said skip it, trouble machine,now if I had a barn and a shop maybe now I could get 100k, but 30 years of storage etc. does not make me regret the decision.

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A coworker drives a 1990’s Volvo wagon. A money pit? I guess that depends on your talents and connections.

A customer with a Lexus LS500 hit a curb, $7,000 in parts to repair. Do the same with a 1990’s car, go to the pick-a-part with a hundred dollar bill for your parts and leave with change.

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Are you rich?

Or a talented scrounger and a skilled mechanic?

If you are not one or the other then NO, stay away from the Volvo.

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It’s only 750 bucks and has 165k miles. If it runs and drives ok…it might be worth it. I’d want to be able to drive it before I’d consider it, though.

Take some new copper washers with and see if it stops smoking. That’s not a real good area of town depending on what street. Not the worst but not the best so watch yourself with cash. Every time I’ve been there and stopped for any length of time I get hit up for gas or bus money. So I usually keep $5 or $10 in my pocket so I don’t have to take my billfold out so they can see it. Maybe he/them/they could drive it to you instead.

I’ll just add that the in laws lived not too far from there and there are a lot of DIY mechanics for pay working on the street, cousins helping cousins. Might have just screwed the thing up. I watched one guy working in the street all day trying to put a fuel pump in, Then it didn’t work so tearing everything apart again. I had to leave before he finally got it done. Didn’t inspire confidence.

There are lots of 90s and even 80s Volvos like that parked all over California. They’re used as daily drivers. At least that was the case in 2015 when I was there. The Volvo 240 has a reputation for having a very long life. They have a reputation for being hard to work on in most places, and a lot of shops won’t touch them, probably because there are so few in the area that it’s not worth learning how to work on them. So people service them at the dealer and then get rid of them when it becomes too expensive to maintain them. They must end up in California. So if you can work on it yourself then why not? Real wheel drive vehicles are easier to work on in general.

[quote=“TheWonderful90s, post:9, topic:180200”]
There are lots of 90s and even 80s Volvos like that parked all over California. They’re used as daily drivers. At least that was the case in 2015 when I was there.

2021 minus 2015 means your statement is not current enough to be revalant . And they are parked because they are not worth fixing.

Not quite sure what that means but to continue, if you read the guy’s description there are some flags to concern oneself with. One is he only had the car for two years and then tried to fix it but left off the copper washers and quit. But he’s sure that’s why it is smoking and assume loud. He just quit but it is easy to fix. Like I said sounds like he got it from a cousin and worked on it curbside himself and gave up.

This is Ohio not California.

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From what can be seen it appears not to have been loved, so one can infer deferred or improper maintenance. I would think that for under $2000 you can get a much better one that might save you the difference in repairs. It doesn’t look rusty, but good to check or have someone local check it out for rust, rodents, mold, and collision damage that might affect body alignment and other things that could put the repair costs beyond what it ever would be worth. Exhaust smoke could mean anything from almost nothing to worn out rings or bad head gasket, assume the worst.

In general Volvos of that vintage were fairly robust, but the turbo might be a problem - a coworker had one on either a 740 or 940 which required replacement twice, rather pricy at the dealership - you might check Consumer Reports for that year. We owned one each of early 90’s 740 and 940 non-turbos that were going strong past 220kmi with little unscheduled maintenance (mainly radiators, which were easy).
Our local independent Volvo service told us that catalytic converters tend to fail around 200kmi, that they no longer are available from Volvo and that after market replacements have short life, a year or two, so you might want to factor that in (ours were still working but getting weak). Another common problem was traces on the AC controller PC board burning out. New boards are pricy, if you can find one, but they can be fixed by replacing the blown traces with wire. If the AC uses Freon 12 and needs recharging, be prepared to convert to the Freon 134a (this might or might not be too involved providing the old fittings aren’t corroded, and if doesn’t require a different compressor). Ours had non-interfering engines (I don’t know about the turbo) - if the interfering type, replace it right away (ours were easy, do the water pump while it’s open, too.).

In CA we still see a number of these on the road, but I’d be inclined to look for a “cleaner” one, maybe from CA or someplace where less salt is used.

Even if you’re a good amateur mechanic, nothing but money and lots of hours can deal with rust or deteriorated body parts. Buy the best condition body and frame car you can find and work on the machinery all you want. This car looks weather beaten and used without maintenance, in Ohio. No thanks.