A Dilemma of Automobillic Proportions

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    Jun 12, 2013 12:01 AM GMT
    So I'm planning my next project. I know there are a few car guys on here so I'll toss it out there.

    I'm currently working on a '97 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Once that is mostly sorted (no major repairs/reconditioning needed) I want/need to get a second car that is a bit more...practical. That means either a small SUV or station wagon. Now I REALLY don't like modern small SUV's, mainly because they confuse the hell out of my brain when I'm driving them. Its a truck, but its trying to handle/feel like a car. On the other hand, a station wagon IS a car, just with extra cargo room. Which brings me to my dilemma: The two vehicles I'm considering are a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4 with the 242, np231 transfer case and ax15 manual transmission and a 1998 Volvo V70 T5 with the 5-speed manual. Both have EXTENSIVE aftermarket support and I already have builds laid out for each one in the event of its purchase, but I'm torn between the two. I'd love to have both, but I can only have one. HELP!
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    Jun 12, 2013 12:03 AM GMT
    Jeeps of that period are notoriously unreliable, part of what ruined Chrysler Corporation. I can't speak for the Volvo.
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    Jun 12, 2013 12:14 AM GMT
    ART_DECO saidJeeps of that period are notoriously unreliable, part of what ruined Chrysler Corporation. I can't speak for the Volvo.


    the straight-six (AMC 242) is one of those "runs until the end of time" engines, with non-rebuilt examples commonly showing 200k or even 300k on the odometer with no foul running. Perhaps you mean the fancier luxury Chrysler models like the Grand Cherokee or the Liberty? (pretty typical when a company that made its name on stripped-down utility vehicles tries to make something more complex for the first time)
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    Jun 12, 2013 1:52 AM GMT
    Volvo, wagons are rare these days. Especially in America. We don't get a lot of the new wagons Europe does. icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 12, 2013 1:57 AM GMT
    I'm sorry for posting here, but I just gotta say this, *ahem*

    I don't know what you just said, but I find it very hot.

    Sorry I can't add anything to your discussion. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 12, 2013 2:06 AM GMT
    Depending on where you live, the parts needed to upkeep an older Volvo (or any Volvo, for that matter) could be exceedingly expensive. The three people I have known with Volvos, recently, have LOVED them, until something wore down and needed to be replaced. It's not unusual for repairs to cost over $1000.

    Subarus also have that station wagon feel, have good after market value and are very reliable.

    Let us know what you decide!
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    Jun 12, 2013 2:16 AM GMT
    I'd opt for the Jeep, because, well... it's a Jeep!

    Just don't get the one that blows up if you rear-end it.

    I thought of you the other day because I saw a small convertible like your Miata in a parking deck. I think it was a BMW though.
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    Jun 12, 2013 2:21 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    ART_DECO saidJeeps of that period are notoriously unreliable, part of what ruined Chrysler Corporation. I can't speak for the Volvo.


    the straight-six (AMC 242) is one of those "runs until the end of time" engines, with non-rebuilt examples commonly showing 200k or even 300k on the odometer with no foul running. Perhaps you mean the fancier luxury Chrysler models like the Grand Cherokee or the Liberty? (pretty typical when a company that made its name on stripped-down utility vehicles tries to make something more complex for the first time)


    Jeep-Chrysler just issued a huge recall on 90ies thru early 2000's Grand Cherokee's, Liberty's Personally Id get the Volvo (they look great) but they were notoriously unreliable.
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:01 AM GMT
    hairyandym said
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    ART_DECO saidJeeps of that period are notoriously unreliable, part of what ruined Chrysler Corporation. I can't speak for the Volvo.


    the straight-six (AMC 242) is one of those "runs until the end of time" engines, with non-rebuilt examples commonly showing 200k or even 300k on the odometer with no foul running. Perhaps you mean the fancier luxury Chrysler models like the Grand Cherokee or the Liberty? (pretty typical when a company that made its name on stripped-down utility vehicles tries to make something more complex for the first time)


    Jeep-Chrysler just issued a huge recall on 90ies thru early 2000's Grand Cherokee's, Liberty's Personally Id get the Volvo (they look great) but they were notoriously unreliable.


    The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee were two VERY different trucks, the latter being intended as the Cherokee's replacement. Most of the "unreliability" hate Volvo gets is from two different reasons. Reason A: when they first switched from redblocks (cast iron engine) to whiteblocks (aluminum) in the mid-90s there were reliability issues on those 6-pots (see Volvo 960, V90, S90). Reason B: After Ford took over in the late-90s and started meddling in the early 2000s because...well...Ford.
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:03 AM GMT
    BruiserDV saidVolvo, wagons are rare these days. Especially in America. We don't get a lot of the new wagons Europe does. icon_sad.gif


    Up until this or next year we DON'T get any of them, unless you count the XC70 Cross Country. I'd KILL for one of the V70 turbodiesels they sell over in Europe, but we ARE supposed to be getting the new V60 sportwagon.
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:05 AM GMT
    I would get neither. But based on your past car related posts, I think you will be happier with the Volvo. Plus the older Volvo wagons look pretty hot when you pimp them out.

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    Jun 12, 2013 3:13 AM GMT
    xrichx saidI would get neither. But based on your past car related posts, I think you will be happier with the Volvo. Plus the older Volvo wagons look pretty hot when you pimp them out.



    Yeah, If we hadn't just built a 1000 acre off-road park at work I'd be going with the volvo no problem (porsche front brake swap, P2 R rear brake swap, adjustable coilovers, anti-sways, 18T turbo swap, full exhaust, ECU reflash, intercooler upgrade, etc) but now i've got that itch to build an off-road rig that I could use to haul all of my crap (Rubicon Express 4.5" shortarm lift, 33" ProComp Xtreme ATRs, np231 SYE, rear disc conversion, etc.)
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:20 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    xrichx saidI would get neither. But based on your past car related posts, I think you will be happier with the Volvo. Plus the older Volvo wagons look pretty hot when you pimp them out.



    Yeah, If we hadn't just built a 1000 acre off-road park at work I'd be going with the volvo no problem (porsche front brake swap, P2 R rear brake swap, adjustable coilovers, anti-sways, 18T turbo swap, full exhaust, ECU reflash, intercooler upgrade, etc) but now i've got that itch to build an off-road rig that I could use to haul all of my crap (Rubicon Express 4.5" shortarm lift, 33" ProComp Xtreme ATRs, np231 SYE, rear disc conversion, etc.)
    How about the Cross Country version?
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:23 AM GMT
    Anything called Jeep that doesn't look like a Jeep isn't worth its weight in sawdust.

    Go with the Volvo.
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidAnything called Jeep that doesn't look like a Jeep isn't worth its weight in sawdust.

    Go with the Volvo.


    the Cherokee came from the factory with Dana 30 and 35 axles and a unibody frame that made it far stronger than the open-top jeeps. Sure, you can't do a body lift but you can have sex lying down in the back.
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    Jun 12, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    xrichx saidI would get neither. But based on your past car related posts, I think you will be happier with the Volvo. Plus the older Volvo wagons look pretty hot when you pimp them out.



    Yeah, If we hadn't just built a 1000 acre off-road park at work I'd be going with the volvo no problem (porsche front brake swap, P2 R rear brake swap, adjustable coilovers, anti-sways, 18T turbo swap, full exhaust, ECU reflash, intercooler upgrade, etc) but now i've got that itch to build an off-road rig that I could use to haul all of my crap (Rubicon Express 4.5" shortarm lift, 33" ProComp Xtreme ATRs, np231 SYE, rear disc conversion, etc.)
    How about the Cross Country version?


    not available with a manual transmission stateside. other than that, its great.
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    Jun 12, 2013 7:02 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 saidSo I'm planning my next project. I know there are a few car guys on here so I'll toss it out there.

    I'm currently working on a '97 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Once that is mostly sorted (no major repairs/reconditioning needed) I want/need to get a second car that is a bit more...practical. That means either a small SUV or station wagon. Now I REALLY don't like modern small SUV's, mainly because they confuse the hell out of my brain when I'm driving them. Its a truck, but its trying to handle/feel like a car. On the other hand, a station wagon IS a car, just with extra cargo room. Which brings me to my dilemma: The two vehicles I'm considering are a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4 with the 242, np231 transfer case and ax15 manual transmission and a 1998 Volvo V70 T5 with the 5-speed manual. Both have EXTENSIVE aftermarket support and I already have builds laid out for each one in the event of its purchase, but I'm torn between the two. I'd love to have both, but I can only have one. HELP!


    You really want to buy the next generation Cherokee that went into production in1997. Tons of things were finally fixed/ redesigned that had never been quite right from it's launch. The Sport is a good model. If you are going to do any off roading then the Jeep trumps the Volvo. Cherokees have become popular again so aftermarket parts are plentiful and reasonable. There is nothing like the staight 6 fuel injected engine and the tightness of the rear leaf springs. Change out the front rotors to after market ventilated ones and get the best ceramic pads. There is not a day that I don't long for a 2000 "Classic" Cherokee model over my Liberty. ( liberty has a way superior stock suspension but is just stupid overall conceptually compounded by 15 mpg. and its 800 lbs heavier than the Cherokee )
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    Jun 12, 2013 7:25 AM GMT
    I own a 1998 Volvo S70. The transmissions very solid, compared to a V40 where its more compact design has to be rebuilt or replaced at 100K miles.

    The 1998 model year is the only model year where they used a mechanical throttle linkage. In 1999 they switched to the Electronic Throttle Modules. I think its issues killed the brand, which is a shame as I've had the S70 since it was a dealer demo and its problems have been spectacularly small, considering I have 135K miles on it.

    It's also a safe vehicle. I've been rear-ended twice and didn't even suffer whiplash. Body shop managed to straighten the frame back out. B-)

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    Jun 12, 2013 7:48 AM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    RoadsterRacer87 saidSo I'm planning my next project. I know there are a few car guys on here so I'll toss it out there.

    I'm currently working on a '97 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Once that is mostly sorted (no major repairs/reconditioning needed) I want/need to get a second car that is a bit more...practical. That means either a small SUV or station wagon. Now I REALLY don't like modern small SUV's, mainly because they confuse the hell out of my brain when I'm driving them. Its a truck, but its trying to handle/feel like a car. On the other hand, a station wagon IS a car, just with extra cargo room. Which brings me to my dilemma: The two vehicles I'm considering are a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4 with the 242, np231 transfer case and ax15 manual transmission and a 1998 Volvo V70 T5 with the 5-speed manual. Both have EXTENSIVE aftermarket support and I already have builds laid out for each one in the event of its purchase, but I'm torn between the two. I'd love to have both, but I can only have one. HELP!


    You really want to buy the next generation Cherokee that went into production in1997. Tons of things were finally fixed/ redesigned that had never been quite right from it's launch. The Sport is a good model. If you are going to do any off roading then the Jeep trumps the Volvo. Cherokees have become popular again so aftermarket parts are plentiful and reasonable. There is nothing like the staight 6 fuel injected engine and the tightness of the rear leaf springs. Change out the front rotors to after market ventilated ones and get the best ceramic pads. There is not a day that I don't long for a 2000 "Classic" Cherokee model over my Liberty. ( liberty has a way superior stock suspension but is just stupid overall conceptually compounded by 15 mpg. and its 800 lbs heavier than the Cherokee )


    I'm aware of a lot of the things they fixed but they also messed with a few things too. 1997+ have smaller wheel wells for example which can affect what size tires you can mount. Probably the niftiest thing they changed was dropping the distributor a few years later (nice if you see water often enough to have a wet dizzy put your day on hold while it dries off) but i also LOATHE the 97+ interior, lol.
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    Jun 12, 2013 7:49 AM GMT
    RobertF64 saidI own a 1998 Volvo S70. The transmissions very solid, compared to a V40 where its more compact design has to be rebuilt or replaced at 100K miles.

    The 1998 model year is the only model year where they used a mechanical throttle linkage. In 1999 they switched to the Electronic Throttle Modules. I think its issues killed the brand, which is a shame as I've had the S70 since it was a dealer demo and its problems have been spectacularly small, considering I have 135K miles on it.

    It's also a safe vehicle. I've been rear-ended twice and didn't even suffer whiplash. Body shop managed to straighten the frame back out. B-)



    so you're saying the cable throttle is preferable to the drive-by-wire?
  • NMGUY505

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    Jun 12, 2013 7:54 AM GMT
    Personally I would go with the Jeep Cherokee a 94 to 99 model. Go with I6 engine configuration great long life enigne produces decent torque for a 6 cylinder and does a lil better on gas than the V8. Another thing to consider is the availability of parts vs the availability of the volvo parts. That classic domestic vs foreign debate. Some swear hands down on the domestice and the same on foreign vehichles.
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    Jun 12, 2013 8:17 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    RobertF64 saidI own a 1998 Volvo S70. The transmissions very solid, compared to a V40 where its more compact design has to be rebuilt or replaced at 100K miles.

    The 1998 model year is the only model year where they used a mechanical throttle linkage. In 1999 they switched to the Electronic Throttle Modules. I think its issues killed the brand, which is a shame as I've had the S70 since it was a dealer demo and its problems have been spectacularly small, considering I have 135K miles on it.

    It's also a safe vehicle. I've been rear-ended twice and didn't even suffer whiplash. Body shop managed to straighten the frame back out. B-)



    so you're saying the cable throttle is preferable to the drive-by-wire?
    I dislike drive by wire. Maybe it's just Lexus and not all cars, but when I had mine, the drive by wire offered a really numb driving experience. Plus there was a slight delay in throttle response. So annoying.
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    Jun 12, 2013 8:25 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    RobertF64 saidI own a 1998 Volvo S70. The transmissions very solid, compared to a V40 where its more compact design has to be rebuilt or replaced at 100K miles.

    The 1998 model year is the only model year where they used a mechanical throttle linkage. In 1999 they switched to the Electronic Throttle Modules. I think its issues killed the brand, which is a shame as I've had the S70 since it was a dealer demo and its problems have been spectacularly small, considering I have 135K miles on it.

    It's also a safe vehicle. I've been rear-ended twice and didn't even suffer whiplash. Body shop managed to straighten the frame back out. B-)



    so you're saying the cable throttle is preferable to the drive-by-wire?
    I dislike drive by wire. Maybe it's just Lexus and not all cars, but when I had mine, the drive by wire offered a really numb driving experience. Plus there was a slight delay in throttle response. So annoying.


    I drive a classic Miata, say no more icon_cool.gif
  • kiwi_nomad

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    Jun 12, 2013 8:28 AM GMT
    I've had a '97 S70 2.0L T5 along with a '95 850 2.3L T5-R and would highly recommend them. Main issues are oil leaking from multiple places and the bushes wearing out in the rear suspension. Roof lining can sag in humid environments too.
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    Jun 12, 2013 8:35 AM GMT
    GuyFromNZ saidI've had a '97 S70 2.0L T5 along with a '95 850 2.3L T5-R and would highly recommend them. Main issues are oil leaking from multiple places and the bushes wearing out in the rear suspension. Roof lining can sag in humid environments too.


    The two liter was never available here and we didn't get the S70 until 98. The T5-R was one seriously badass car though. Love the old shots of them racing in BTCC