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Buying a 440 in 2024

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Old May 9th, 2024, 13:47   #1
mkots
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Default Buying a 440 in 2024

Dear enthusiasts,

I am looking to buy a cheap and fun for my standards car, since i don't really have a need for one at the moment.

I happened to come across a listing for 440k 1.7 turbo 94' manual gearbox that is seems to be in great condition from the pictures and very low mileage. I am going to go see it in person sometime in the next few days.

Is there anybody that can shed some light into what i should be looking for while checking this car out now that it's 30 years old?
Is it unreasonable to believe that IF this is in good condition i can have a relatively carefree time with it?
Any and all advice is welcome,

Thanks
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Old May 9th, 2024, 15:37   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkots View Post
Dear enthusiasts,

I am looking to buy a cheap and fun for my standards car, since i don't really have a need for one at the moment.

I happened to come across a listing for 440k 1.7 turbo 94' manual gearbox that is seems to be in great condition from the pictures and very low mileage. I am going to go see it in person sometime in the next few days.

Is there anybody that can shed some light into what i should be looking for while checking this car out now that it's 30 years old?
Is it unreasonable to believe that IF this is in good condition i can have a relatively carefree time with it?
Any and all advice is welcome,

Thanks
That's quite exciting, It depends if it has been neglected, be prepared to spend getting it up to scratch if the body and paintwork are sound and it runs ok. The engine is the best feature of this model !
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Old May 9th, 2024, 17:40   #3
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My first Volvo was a 3 year old 440 Turbo back in 1992. It's a real wolf in sheeps clothing - brilliant car.

Usual checks for a 30-40 year old car, rust etc. especially door bottoms and rear wheel arches.

I'd add check all electrics are working well - including door locks, windows, instruments, speedo etc.

Check the engine will run for periods at full boost, i.e. accelerate hard to as a fast as you dare. If the wastegate is siezed or vacuum pipe damaged it will overboost and then abruptly cut power.

Check exhaust is in good condition, all suspension rubbers etc.

The Turbo models had standard car brakes which weren't really up to sustained hard driving, so make sure good quality pads and discs are fitted.

These cars had a Renault engine which is solid but starters and alternators often didn't make 100k.
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Old May 9th, 2024, 22:37   #4
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Amazing, thank you for all the details Tannaton.
I will write this checklist on a piece of paper and have it with me at inspection.
If everything checks out, i will be buying it for sure. If not, depends on what it is that's wrong.
It will be many years before this car makes it to 100k but i'll bring my multimeter along anyhow.
I can and want to do some tinkering myself but don't have a personal garage in which i can do everything and i wouldn't want to be in and out of dealerships every month.

Overall really looking forward to it, thanks.
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Old May 10th, 2024, 08:50   #5
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Good luck if you proceed!😁👍
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Old May 10th, 2024, 12:32   #6
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Originally Posted by Tannaton View Post
My first Volvo was a 3 year old 440 Turbo back in 1992. It's a real wolf in sheeps clothing - brilliant car.

Usual checks for a 30-40 year old car, rust etc. especially door bottoms and rear wheel arches.

I'd add check all electrics are working well - including door locks, windows, instruments, speedo etc.

Check the engine will run for periods at full boost, i.e. accelerate hard to as a fast as you dare. If the wastegate is siezed or vacuum pipe damaged it will overboost and then abruptly cut power.

Check exhaust is in good condition, all suspension rubbers etc.

The Turbo models had standard car brakes which weren't really up to sustained hard driving, so make sure good quality pads and discs are fitted.

These cars had a Renault engine which is solid but starters and alternators often didn't make 100k.
Back 30 years ago I developed a simple turbo boost control unit which basically took over the control of the turbo control valve from the ECU..

The system is mapped to 150 bhp but only allowed 120 bhp from the factory. so with a rotating potentiometer you could vary the power from the standard 120 bhp to 150 bhp.. I sold about 20 of these units all were very successful ! Porsche developed the 400 1700cc turbo engine for Volvo.
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Old May 14th, 2024, 20:14   #7
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Back 30 years ago I developed a simple turbo boost control unit which basically took over the control of the turbo control valve from the ECU..

The system is mapped to 150 bhp but only allowed 120 bhp from the factory. so with a rotating potentiometer you could vary the power from the standard 120 bhp to 150 bhp.. I sold about 20 of these units all were very successful ! Porsche developed the 400 1700cc turbo engine for Volvo.
I wish I knew that at the time....

I experimented with a bleed valve on the wastegate but of course the ECU would cut power if the boost went too high. But the few times it worked, it was clear that it could produce considerably more power - the turbo, fuel system and injectors all up to the job.

It was a great car to have at the time, it could beat an Escort RS Turbo off the line, but no one was nicking them and they were cheap to insure.

I did once get to drive another 440 which had a 2.0L engine from a Renault 21 Turbo with nearly 200BHP. That was a real weapon, it went on to be developed further and made it into Max Power magazine.
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Last edited by Tannaton; May 14th, 2024 at 20:18.
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Old May 16th, 2024, 11:06   #8
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So i went to check the car out and there are a few interesting things.

First of all 99% rust free!
Overall looked in great condition but the battery was flat so i wasn't able to start it and check what up with electrical stuff. I will think about it and go back another time to do that.
The locks were a bit tight on the door and i couldn't get into the trunk at all (neither could the old lady that was selling it, it belonged to here son who sadly passed).
Are there any tricks? The key would not slide all the way in as it did for the door.

Some minor chips on the hood and natural wear on some panels but that is all to be expected.
Putting in some serious thought about this...
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Old May 16th, 2024, 13:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkots View Post
So i went to check the car out and there are a few interesting things.

First of all 99% rust free!
Overall looked in great condition but the battery was flat so i wasn't able to start it and check what up with electrical stuff. I will think about it and go back another time to do that.
The locks were a bit tight on the door and i couldn't get into the trunk at all (neither could the old lady that was selling it, it belonged to here son who sadly passed).
Are there any tricks? The key would not slide all the way in as it did for the door.

Some minor chips on the hood and natural wear on some panels but that is all to be expected.
Putting in some serious thought about this...
I'd get a fresh battery on it and then hopefully the boot will unlock on the central locking... you could try some WD40 or similar in the key slot.

Get it bought.....
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