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Old 06-01-2018, 01:31 PM   #1
brickborg
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Default 1985 760- The Jurbo Saga

I'm starting this thread to chronicle the goings-on with my turd of a 1985 760 Turbo that my wife has affectionately christened the "Jurbo" (that's pronounced YUR-bo, get it right). The plans are to get the car back to a real stage zero, then add a few go-less-slow parts. My long term goal is about 250hp.

I purchased the car in November 2017 after running across the world's most detailed Craigslist ad- complete with exactly zero pictures and no mention of condition or maintenance at all. What it did mention, however, was the mileage at a hair under 78k original. Called the phone number in the ad, set up an appointment, and travel to the address the seller gave me- a podunk repair shop in the south suburbs of Minneapolis. My expectations were extraordinarily low. The car fired right up, but had idling problems. It died immediately on the test drive the first time I tried to get it to boost, and lots of the interior trim was in the trunk. It died occasionally while moving, apropos of nothing. It was going to need everything rubber replaced from being driven less than 500 miles in the last decade. Bummer. The good news is that the stack of work orders that came with it was thicker than my forearm, it had spent most of it's life garaged in Colorado, and the mileage was verified to really be 78k. Party on. This is what it looked like when my wife and I picked it up-




Neat. At this point, the plan was to park the car in my garage stall at our apartment until I could find a work space for it, then pick away at the things I knew it needed until was reliable enough to be my DD. This did not happen.

Shortly after this purchase, my wife's '98 Accord (RIP to the only rust free Accord in MN) was stolen from our parking lot and totaled. She couldn't drive my MINI, and needed to get to work. "What about the Volvo?" she asked. We had the requisite discussions about the car being old and pissy, and that almost none of the maintenance or repairs that needed doing had yet been done. The Jurbo was then pressed into service as a way to get her to work and back. Turns out, she loves the damn thing warts and all.

Since she was now driving it, I figured I should fire up the parts cannon and get to work. The lack of idle was traced to a flaky IAC- popped it open and was greeted with this-



Mmmm... toasty. Right then- off to ebay for a replacement. Now it idled! Woo.



Where did all the brake fluid go?



Oh yeah. That's not good.



Throw a bunch of money at IPD, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand...



Installed the new MC and bled the brakes-



Cool. Now it's significantly less of a deathtrap.

Despite itself, it did start and run for her every day, even when we had a high temp of -2F in February. Once it was warmed up, it ran and drove pretty well. It looks damn good too, which helps.




During these few months, it would still have intermittent running issues and returned an average of 11mpg. Even for a 7er, that's kinda garbage. It was also even slower than a 760 Turbo is normally. After consulting the oracle (read- TB's Maintenance forum), it was suggested that I check the engine timing. I had a timing belt invoice from three months prior in the aforementioned giant stack of records, so I figured it was worth checking. Turns out Podunk McGee's Auto Emporium had timed the motor two teeth off, and the car had been running that way this whole time. In a Minnesota winter. I was blown away. So then, new timing and accessory belts in hand, we did the needful (as well as a bunch of deferred maintenance):



At the same time, we undid all of the bodges the previous shop had made to get it to run with the timing so far out. The car was back on the road- holy hell I had forgotten how much fun boost is. My mojo was restored as the sun set over this beautiful slab of Swedishness.



The Jurbo behaved itself quite well during our house purchase and my wife continued to use it as a daily driver until May of this year when she went out to the car to go to work and was greeted by a car that refused to run. If you grabbed the harness that runs under the intake manifold and jiggle it, it would start and run just fine. Boo.

At this point, I decided that it was going to get parked and gone through completely- the wiring elsewhere in the engine bay was looking very crispy and the vacuum lines were all old enough to remember the Reagan administration, so into the garage it went. Here it is, looking quite sorry for itself.



Started taking things apart:



The offending bit of wiring harness. There is an invoice for the "repair" of a coolant temp sensor and a new wire run to the ECU. What they really did was perhaps a bit less than that. Lazy bastards. At least I have a whole new harness from Mr. Barton now.



While I was waiting for a few parts (read: when I should have been working on cleaning up the engine bay), I decided to give it it's first polish and coat of wax since god knows when. This is how it sits today:



I love this stupid thing.

TL:DR- guy buys old 760, car is pissy from sitting and shoddy work, guy does a few things to make it run a bit better, wiring harness stops play.
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:40 PM   #2
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Very nice save. I don't mind putting $$ and effort into old Volvos if they at least look good cosmetically...and this on does. Mind telling us how much you had to pay for such a low mileage example?
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:42 PM   #3
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Cool project! I like that color blue.

You ever watch “Mighty Car Mods” on YouTube? The gentleman working in the engine bay looks a lot like “Turbo Yoda” on that show.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by oldschoolvolvo View Post
Cool project! I like that color blue.

You ever watch “Mighty Car Mods” on YouTube? The gentleman working in the engine bay looks a lot like “Turbo Yoda” on that show.
Thanks! I'd never seen a car in the 215 color code before, I was definitely smitten.

Also, I do watch an uncomfortable amount of MCM and that particular bald doofus is me- I appreciate the flattery!
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nedc View Post
Very nice save. I don't mind putting $$ and effort into old Volvos if they at least look good cosmetically...and this on does. Mind telling us how much you had to pay for such a low mileage example?
I feel the same way. I don't mind at all- it was listed for $3200; I drove it away for $2k after limping it back to the seller's shop. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Last edited by brickborg; 06-14-2018 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:15 PM   #6
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That cleaned up really nicely - great color!
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:22 PM   #7
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That cleaned up really nicely - great color!
x2! Very sharp. Sounds like you are fixing all the neglect as well. Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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That color rips, and lol at "Jurbo"
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:28 PM   #9
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My very first Volvo was an almost identical 740 Jurbo on Sirius wheels with an M46. Admittedly, my paint was a bit toastier, because Southern car, and you don't have the little pinstriped quarter windows or the black waterfall grille, but...

Also, I can't tell what color your interior is, because mine was the blue pinstripe... But, it brings back fond memories of an awesome car. <3
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:21 PM   #10
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Love the '84/'85 "jurbo" 760's. Great looking car.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:43 AM   #11
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Very sweet color and wonderful condition for it's advanced age. I believe these <100k RWD Bricks are truly becoming scarce, so consider yourself "lucky".

Any plans to modify, or will yours remain a stocker? I too (soon will) drive a 4D sedan as the daily.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:39 PM   #12
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I too had an '85 Smurf-blood coloured 740T, many fond memories of that car. I sold it to a guy in BC's interior in the late 90's, and found it 10 years later in a junkyard - pinstripe interior still intact.

I think the Smurf blue and Emerald green are both the rarest body colours for a 7-series - they were around until '85.

Yes, I had installed an '86 eggcrate, Galaxies, and all sorts of stuff - like the e-codes which I re-snagged.
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Good luck with your project!!
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DET17 View Post
Very sweet color and wonderful condition for it's advanced age. I believe these <100k RWD Bricks are truly becoming scarce, so consider yourself "lucky".

Any plans to modify, or will yours remain a stocker? I too (soon will) drive a 4D sedan as the daily.
I do feel lucky- everything is covered in a layer of dirt from disuse, but cleans up so nicely.

My plan is eventually to make a reliable 250-275 horsepower, with ~300lb/ft. I'm trying to answer the question no one asked- what if Volvo had made a more performance oriented sedan in the 80's? I figure aiming for something that could outrun a 944 Turbo or 500SEL (the two benchmarks I have) would be fun. I'm trying to keep it as period correct as I can, cause I'm a dweeb that likes this stuff.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:16 AM   #14
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Nice find, what a great color. Looks like a great basis for a project.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:09 PM   #15
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I too had an '85 Smurf-blood coloured 740T, many fond memories of that car. I sold it to a guy in BC's interior in the late 90's, and found it 10 years later in a junkyard - pinstripe interior still intact.

I think the Smurf blue and Emerald green are both the rarest body colours for a 7-series - they were around until '85.

Yes, I had installed an '86 eggcrate, Galaxies, and all sorts of stuff - like the e-codes which I re-snagged.

Good luck with your project!!
Man, sad to see it on blocks but that thing is gorgeous. I dig the body color surround on the eggrate- was that factory or a DEK special?
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:40 PM   #16
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This is how it sits today:



I love this stupid thing.

TL:DR- guy buys old 760, car is pissy from sitting and shoddy work, guy does a few things to make it run a bit better, wiring harness stops play.
Wow....I normally don't give a **** about 700 series but that thing is NICE! A step in the right direction, preserving it instead of ruining it.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:44 AM   #17
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Man, sad to see it on blocks but that thing is gorgeous. I dig the body color surround on the eggrate- was that factory or a DEK special?
That was a DEK special, back in the heady days when Volvo still sold body-colored rattle can kits. I had a chuckle when I recalled that I had painted the surround 28 years ago.

Your 760 Jurbo will be a much finer example than that 740 could have ever been - its nice to see one preserved as a stocker and not hacked at.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #18
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Lookin good, nice save man! A well maintained non hacked 700 series is nice. Some tasteful mods won't hurt it though!
I'd invest in some fluid film and fresh underbody coating?
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:09 PM   #19
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Lookin good, nice save man! A well maintained non hacked 700 series is nice. Some tasteful mods won't hurt it though!
I'd invest in some fluid film and fresh underbody coating?
Thanks for the kind words. Funny you should mention undercoating- I'm currently looking into what it will take to keep it from turning to dust in winter. The undercoating on the car is currently all there, it's just also very crispy. I'm thinking 3M Rubberized Undercoating will be a good option, but I haven't really found much for fluid film/cavity wax that people like over the long term. If anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears.
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Old 06-19-2018, 04:34 PM   #20
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A small update to keep the next post from being too much of a novel. Got the engine bay cleaned up, new spark plugs and wires in, and finished replacing the top end seals that needed it after the scrubdown (valve cover/front cam seal/distributor seal).

Before:


After 3 rounds of ZEP purple degreaser concentrate:


Not perfect, but at least we can see red again.

Also finished pulling the old wiring harness out of the engine bay- found this gem of a "repair" on the oil pressure sender.


I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure that copper is supposed to stay inside the insulation. I initially thought it was the stock wiring failing (which we already knew about), so for ****s and giggles I followed the wire path from the sender around the front of the motor and found that someone had spliced in a new section at some point.

I don't particularly care for this routing considering how close it comes to the drive pulleys and how susceptible that area is to leaks,and it bore out here- the whole length of the repair was oil soaked, crumbling, pinched in the edges of the hangers etc. I'll figure out soon if I want to keep the stock routing, but at this point I doubt it.

Also, I cleaned and fed the leather-


The driver's seat might need a more intensive conditioning, but the hides are now softer and look pretty nice after the cleaning.



At that point I fell down the rabbit hole of small engine repair when our 25 year old B&S mower decided it would mow no more, so garage time has been devoted to that.

I hope to put the Jurbo back together this week and get back to enjoying the thing while it's still nice out, barring any further interruptions from our household machines.
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:37 PM   #21
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Whoa, the engine and the interior ended up very clean. Nice car, once again.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:24 AM   #22
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Thanks for the kind words. Funny you should mention undercoating- I'm currently looking into what it will take to keep it from turning to dust in winter. The undercoating on the car is currently all there, it's just also very crispy. I'm thinking 3M Rubberized Undercoating will be a good option, but I haven't really found much for fluid film/cavity wax that people like over the long term. If anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears.
Maybe here some useful info. https://www.oldtimer-markt.de/rostschutztest
Its in German but one of the better tests. You can easily see per product what it does. Teil 1 2 3 on the bottom of the page leads you to the 1st 2nd 3rd tests, each a few years later down the road.

Bear in mind that relatively fresh sheet metal has different needs for the wax/grease to stick than a rusted piece of sheet metal in a real old crusty car, like in the test. I'm using either Fluid Film or Mike Sanders.
Can you get some kind of paint-oil? I used "Owatrol" oil, smells line seed based, to freshen up old under body coating before smearing new stuff on it a few days later. Probably similar oils can be found for treating wood paneling and stuff on ships.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:16 PM   #23
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Maybe here some useful info. https://www.oldtimer-markt.de/rostschutztest
Its in German but one of the better tests. You can easily see per product what it does. Teil 1 2 3 on the bottom of the page leads you to the 1st 2nd 3rd tests, each a few years later down the road.

Bear in mind that relatively fresh sheet metal has different needs for the wax/grease to stick than a rusted piece of sheet metal in a real old crusty car, like in the test. I'm using either Fluid Film or Mike Sanders.
Can you get some kind of paint-oil? I used "Owatrol" oil, smells line seed based, to freshen up old under body coating before smearing new stuff on it a few days later. Probably similar oils can be found for treating wood paneling and stuff on ships.
That article is incredibly helpful, lots of good information in there. I think I'll probably go with the Mike Sanders as well, if I can find a US distributor near me. That's a really good idea re: freshening the undercoating as well. I'll see what I can scrounge up.
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