2001 V70XC

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chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Wednesday 19th October 2022
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Yes, its another Volvo XC thread, but with this one being 1) Petrol, 2) an early V70 XC badged version, with potentially a bit more bork potential than the later ones, it might be interesting -or expensive!- to record, especially as its going to be our only car (for a while at least, whilst I save for and then locate a decent round-headlamp 244) from December.

We actually bought this in Jan ’21 so I’ll try and do a quick precis of life with it to date, and then take it from there. All work is currently having to be performed either at the side of the road outside my house, or on grass at my parents, so until my driveway gets sorted there are some jobs I will have to defer to a garage.

Needing a replacement for my wifes ’04 V40, we wanted to get back into something V70 sized, and this one popped up locally. 111,000 miles, 2 owners, full volvo service history, soft touch leather memory seats both sides, factory TV and Satnav (both useless in the 2020’s of course) proper volvo towbar etc...
After the usual “loads of people have rung me” I’ve heard many times from traders I booked to go and look at it that same morning. While we were sorting the deposit someone else rolled in and started poking around it so it might not have just been a sales technique

From what I can make out from the history, and what the trader said, chap bought it in 2003 from the volvo approved used scheme (trading in a 2.8 granada, he obviously liked a big engine), had absolutely everything (even bulbs) done at Taunton Motor Company from then until he died aged 92 sometime in 2020 and the trader bought it from his widow about 9 months later. With a full MOT, 4 nearly new Pirelli scorpions, I decided it was worth the £2k asking price and the deal was done.

So that weekend and envelope of cash was handed over, and we drove it home:


And parked it up.


It was soon pressed into service moving materials for our house renovation:


And we established that the AWD system was still fully functioning:

I was actually very impressed with how competent it was, just drove up with no fuss – an L200 ground to a halt on the way up there later on that morning.

The first year passed with nothing of any note happening – lockdowns and home working meant we only did about 5k. What we did find though was that despite the 2x fuel consumption, both of us were always taking it in preference to my Hyundai Ioniq company car.

Its first MOT with us was passed first time, couple of advisories – a corroded rear coil spring, a slightly worn inner track rod, and the rear pads getting a bit low. As I was still flat out with house renovations I paid for a full service included checking/topping up the angle drive and rear diff.

...

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Wednesday 19th October 2022
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Around Feb the gearbox decided to start kicking us in the back on 1-2 and 2-1 shifts (and I mean a proper slam that made me fear for the propshaft joints etc). I pumped 7 litres of fresh JWS3309 through it via the cooler line and that smoothed that out again. That turned into a comedy of errors as while I was refilling via the dipstick hole, a neighbour started talking to me and I didn’t notice my hose had come out, and I poured about 2 litres of fresh oil over the top of the gearbox and thus the subframe, undertray and the road. Then partly panicking about clearing it up quickly, I managed to snap the 21 year old plastic dipstick off. Thankfully there was a spare at my parents in scrap v70. So an hour or so to change the oil and about 3 hours to clear up afterwards…

July this year and I changed the rear discs, pads, shoes and retaining springs, all with genuine volvo parts. I also replaced the brake fluid, replaced the power steering fluid and finally replaced the o-rings on the heater matrix that had started weeping, flushed the cooling system and refilled with volvo coolant.
The rear discs and pads would have gone on a bit more:



Getting in the car to leave after finishing that I noticed that all the special goo was escaping from the auto-dimming rear view mirror. The scrap v70 parts car came to the rescue again, with a manual dimming unit. I had to swap the ‘brains’ over from inside as that controls the remote central locking and(I believe) the interior lights. I have decided having gone back to it that I much prefer the manual dimming ability – it works in daylight for a start.

In August it took the three of us and the dog on a holiday around mid wales – a good 900 miles in a week deliberately choosing bendy roads with lots of arrows on them on the map and it literally didn’t miss a beat. On the way back we went through the Elan Valley the devils bridge mountain road, down the coast a bit and then over the Abergwesyn pass and down the devils staircase:


Last month I was driving my father to a clay shoot and commented how the flush had sorted the gearbox. It must have been listening as on the very next 1-2 shift it just gave a little shunt which have since become more frequent. Nothing like before but still not ideal. So last weekend I did a sump drain and fill:


Pretty sure it shouldn’t have got that dirty that quickly (5k), but I’ll do it again next month. It’s smoothed out the shifts again for now. I'm happy to keep doing this every so often for a while until I end up doing something that makes no financial sense whatsoever.

While under there I discovered we have sprung an oil leak. I am 99% sure its from the turbo oil return to the block. I say 99% because someone has put a 4wd system in the way rolleyes. Managed to jam my wifes mobile up there on video and luckily it focussed on the right thing:


Reading online it is apparently possible to do it without dismantling the drivetrain – if you have a 2 post lift and four elbows. Given my next two weekends are booked up, its then November and I’d be working at the side of the road, in an exposed area (top of a hill near the sea) I’m going to have to give that one to the garage. Annoying, for £3 worth of o-ring.

At the return leg of a 200 mile round trip to Cornwall, the dreaded 'engine system service required' message popped up. As we crossed the Tamar bridge my mate commented "Don't worry, free recovery here" At which point I had to point out that that was just as well as I have no breakdown cover boxedin
Its been on a couple of other times since - there was no change in driveability and my £10 OBD reader didn't pick anything up so a quick trip to the garage and they picked up ECM9400-brake pedal position sensor. I did have suspicions about this part around May time as there was a period when I was sure the torque convertor would drop out of lockup and then in again at steady speeds, so that makes sense. The garage also stuck a some oil in a lemonade bottle for me to keep it topped up before that o-ring is fixed. A new sensor is on order from Volvo - its on back order due the end of November.
Annoyingly the spares car at my parents went to the great scrapyard in the sky last month, still they got £350 for it even with bits missing.



Edited by chris1roll on Wednesday 19th October 19:46

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Saturday 22nd October 2022
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Well this arrived much much earlier than originally promised:


Fitting took about 5 minutes, pry up the circlip and out with the old:


And in with the new:


So for now at least, we have no messages:

MitsuJa

23 posts

99 months

Saturday 22nd October 2022
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Lovely and quite a bargain.
I had an 850 AWD and a V70 XC but never progressed to this shape but it has grown on me over the years.

NateWM

1,684 posts

180 months

Friday 28th October 2022
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Great cars. I've had a few P2 gen Volvos and absolutely adore them, currently running a 2007 S60 T5 with the rare manual gearbox nearly ready for near 500hp. I love it to bits!

Couple points about your harsh shifting....it's an issue your AW55-50SN is plagued with and infact still remains somewhat in the facelift with the TF-80SC transmission. The hard shifting is from a worn valve body. The flush is temporarily curing it because the fresh oil will be of a thicker viscosity, thus the oil pressure increases and all is well in the world again until the oil wears out slightly. The only real cure will be a new or rebuilt valve body, however I would reccommend doing this quickly as flushing the transmission will only speed up the wear, as the higher hydraulic pressure from the fresh oil will force the accumulator shafts to press against the bore of the valve body, thus taking away more material and making the problem worse. Eventually if left long enough, you'll burst open the clutch pack drum on either 1st or 2nd, which in most cases we've repaired here will result in not only the internals needing replacing but the transmission case itself being damaged too and needing replacement.

Unfortunately it's the Achilles heel of these otherwise fantastic cars, and has resulted in me at one point having around 30+ P2 automatic Volvos of various engines/models/specs, as the owners wouldn't authorise the work to be done due to the age of the car.

Personally, I would reccommend driving your one until it goes bang (which it will, so prepare yourself) and then replace the car altogether. For a valve body replacement, you'll be talking at least a bag of sand for it to be done and finding a reputable person to do the job with the right software to set adaptions etc is nearly impossible nowadays, and I won't even try and tell you how much a full rebuild will be. Depends on whether you think it is worth it or if you're better off buying another one.

P.S, the transmission oil going black is completely normal. Transmission oil has cleaning agents in them, so when you put in fresh oil, it extracts the dye from the rubber seals inside the transmission. It would of been that black about 50 miles after you flushed it. Nothing to worry about.

Jimmy No Hands

5,011 posts

157 months

Friday 28th October 2022
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I worked for a specialist for a period, this is a very common issue if I remember correctly - along with a lot of cars of this era being actual 2WD and people not realising or noticing! It seems you've done the test on that one, though. (I think an electronic control module goes bad, are they Haldex, I believe?) I've taken many of the little control boxes for repair! As above, I think once the clunk has started on the trans no amount of fluid will make the blind bit of difference.

With maintenance, it'll likely go on forever. I've driven them with 450k on.

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Thursday 3rd November 2022
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NateWM said:
Great cars. I've had a few P2 gen Volvos and absolutely adore them, currently running a 2007 S60 T5 with the rare manual gearbox nearly ready for near 500hp. I love it to bits!

Couple points about your harsh shifting....it's an issue your AW55-50SN is plagued with and infact still remains somewhat in the facelift with the TF-80SC transmission. The hard shifting is from a worn valve body. The flush is temporarily curing it because the fresh oil will be of a thicker viscosity, thus the oil pressure increases and all is well in the world again until the oil wears out slightly. The only real cure will be a new or rebuilt valve body, however I would reccommend doing this quickly as flushing the transmission will only speed up the wear, as the higher hydraulic pressure from the fresh oil will force the accumulator shafts to press against the bore of the valve body, thus taking away more material and making the problem worse. Eventually if left long enough, you'll burst open the clutch pack drum on either 1st or 2nd, which in most cases we've repaired here will result in not only the internals needing replacing but the transmission case itself being damaged too and needing replacement.

Unfortunately it's the Achilles heel of these otherwise fantastic cars, and has resulted in me at one point having around 30+ P2 automatic Volvos of various engines/models/specs, as the owners wouldn't authorise the work to be done due to the age of the car.

Personally, I would reccommend driving your one until it goes bang (which it will, so prepare yourself) and then replace the car altogether. For a valve body replacement, you'll be talking at least a bag of sand for it to be done and finding a reputable person to do the job with the right software to set adaptions etc is nearly impossible nowadays, and I won't even try and tell you how much a full rebuild will be. Depends on whether you think it is worth it or if you're better off buying another one.

P.S, the transmission oil going black is completely normal. Transmission oil has cleaning agents in them, so when you put in fresh oil, it extracts the dye from the rubber seals inside the transmission. It would of been that black about 50 miles after you flushed it. Nothing to worry about.
Yes I have said the same myself - fantastic cars blighted by the gearbox.
I haven't known of one without issues!
We had a W plate 2.4 170, that would occasionally slip into neutral from 2nd instead of going into 3rd. It still had the stop neutral feature too. I did one sump dump and then got bored and just decided to drive it till it stopped. 40k later it was still going just the same when (despite 10k intervals) engine oil sludge and polarised sunglasses did for it at 150k.
My brother has a 53 plate S80 D5 that I bought with ~70k on it. In the history it had had a transmission oil change at 50k. It got the bumps a while after I passed it on to him when my company car arrived. He's been doing a sump dump every oil change and has nursed in on to 120k so far. He drives very sedately compared to the rest of us though.
My dad had a 56 plate XC70 D5 that started shunting at about 160k. in this case a fluid change did actually cure it and it was fine until a deer ran out in front of it at 187k.

A grand or so for the valve body wouldn't be an issue. My brother has vida and a dice clone so we can do the adptations etc afterwards. I found a place selling new valve bodies for about £500. I used to have a place I could do that level of work myself but not anymore sadly. If I tried it now you can guarantee I'd plan it all, wait until the forecast was sun for a fortnight and the moment the valve cover was off the wind would get up and blow a load of grit and crap in there frown
Also found somewhere that quoted £2750 for a recon box and new TC R&R. We wouldn't even dismiss that cost entirely out of hand as if I spent the same money on another one, it'd only have the exact same issue at some point.
If it was just down to me I'd get a manual one but my wife refuses point blank to drive one having had autos for 15+ years.

I am assuming it is the banging that will kill the clutch packs.
I've already got 20 litres (less what I have used) of JWS3309 for less than the cost of 3/4 of a tank of fuel so that cost is sunk now anyway.
I was hoping that the crap (metal from valve bore wear I assume) that occasionally gets stuck in the solenoids would come out with one of the sump dumps but that might be wishful thinking as it'd have to be in the sump and the moment of draining. I'm going to stick a samarium cobalt magnet on the inside of the drain plug next time, can't hurt and I might get lucky! There was quite a bit of stuff on the existing magnet, but that one is a bit weedy.
So I hope to keep it smooth for now and drive with some mechanical sympathy then look at a proper fix in the spring. If I can get my local farmer to sort my driveway I've been waiting for since April I could buy a tent to do it in...

Jimmy No Hands said:
I worked for a specialist for a period, this is a very common issue if I remember correctly - along with a lot of cars of this era being actual 2WD and people not realising or noticing! It seems you've done the test on that one, though. (I think an electronic control module goes bad, are they Haldex, I believe?) I've taken many of the little control boxes for repair!
This one, being an early model is a viscous coupling, which comes with the added expense of having to keep the tyres within 2mm all round if you want it to remain a coupling..
We actually make use of the AWD several times a year - the picture above is at our clay pigeon shooting club. When it rains all the 2WD cars have to get towed out.
I have heard about people not realising its broken - I can't figure how they don't know though, my wifes 2.4 170 would light up the front tyres easily when pulling out of a junction sharply, especially if damp. This one with another 30 horses it would be obvious.
That said these early ones don't have traction control so perhaps thats why.

Anyway, I knew I was in for some potential bills when we bought it - with all the options it has, it was circa £40k in 2001, and I added up all the invoices and found the previous owner spent on average £1000 a year at Taunton motor company. Of course now age and mileage is not on my side (or the cars! hehe)
It's still cheaper than a lease or depreciation on something newer plus new cars really aren't interesting to me at the moment.

Onwards and upwards.

guitarcarfanatic

1,615 posts

136 months

Monday 2nd January 2023
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Chris - just spotted this thread, hope you are keeping well mate.

Glad to see you back in a Volvo… I quite fancy an older XC70 at some point (to compliment the P3 XC70 we have been running as a dog and kid carrier for the last couple of years) - perhaps if I take cash instead of company car when current CC goes back!

I bet you miss the old farm workshop biggrin

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Monday 2nd January 2023
quotequote all
guitarcarfanatic said:
Chris - just spotted this thread, hope you are keeping well mate.

Glad to see you back in a Volvo… I quite fancy an older XC70 at some point (to compliment the P3 XC70 we have been running as a dog and kid carrier for the last couple of years) - perhaps if I take cash instead of company car when current CC goes back!

I bet you miss the old farm workshop biggrin
I just can't help myself mate! Just bought an old C70 cabrio too. Might do a thread, but that one is more of a maintenance to keep it safe and legal and have fun in it till something moderately expensive breaks, kind of car; as opposed to the XC which we are looking after as much as possible.

My advice on getting a P2 is if you don't have to have an auto, get a manual hehe

Update on the gearbox issues in a couple of weeks, but suffice to say the posters above were quite correct and throwing JWS3309 down its throat wasn't helping!

That workshop would be a godsend right now, my Dad's XC90 needs new brakes all round pretty soon, and their place is like a medieval village at the moment. (Stone track to access, no hard surfaces, just two rows of flags to drive on)

bargeista

656 posts

249 months

Tuesday 3rd January 2023
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Congrats on a great choice of barge.

Another lover of the P2 here!

I have had two, the first was a 2.4t s60 auto and that had the same gearbox issues. I got shot of it while it was still working ''ok' although there was always a delay on selecting drive which could catch out the unwary. I remeber lending it to my Dad and he would always forget about that and press the throttle before drive had taken up which was pretty nasty.

My current one is an 05 s60 t5 with the 6 speed manual box.

I've tried various other things but still nothing comes close for the comfort of the seats, the hifi is amazingly decent. and they are pretty easy to work on.

To me it's like that old pair of trainers you can get on and off without undoing the laces.

They do seem to always have some niggly thing that needs doing though.

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Tuesday 28th February 2023
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Apologies for the lengthy, and late update. Lost a bit of enthusiasm when things didn't got to plan...

We are learning a valuable lesson about running old, relatively complicated cars. Fully expecting to be called an idiot!

The slamming gearbox returned, and a further drain and fill made absolutely no difference at all. Not wanting to destroy the rest of the driveline we parked it up while we contemplated what to do, only taking it for a drive round the block once a week to keep the brake discs clean.

Looking for a replacement did not go well. Notable highlights included one with a hole rotted in the boot floor, one that didn’t go in a straight line, one that looked like someone had poured used diesel engine oil all over the (petrol) engine, one that had allegedly just had a full service, cambelt and water pump but the oil was only just over the minimum and there was murky, plain water in the header tank. And these weren’t cheap cars (well, maybe by PH company director standards they were, but I’ve had perfectly serviceable cars in the £500-1k range and the most we’ve ever paid for a car was the £2k for this one) these were priced at various points between £2.5k-£5k! What the hell is going on?

So, we resolved to look into a repair. Without making this post a wall of text about the options we considered, ultimately we ended up sending it to a local gearbox specialist to remove, fully rebuild and refit the box.

It turns out the slamming had started mangling the splines on the angle gear input shaft (not just the sacrificial sleeve) so that ended up being rebuilt too.
2 weeks and a reasonably hefty bill later, (but less than originally quoted) and we collected the car. Shifts were very smooth, but only a few miles later it started shuddering quite violently when the torque converter tried to lock up. It was repeatable every time when accelerating from 30 to 40 at 2k rpm. Much apologising from the garage and another two weeks and another full rebuild and half a tank of fuel with them test driving it and we had the car back again.

And... its 95% fixed…it still, very occasionally, and very slightly, shudders when the TC locks up in 4th. on a less than smooth surface (thats most of them here), you might not even notice it, I did 55 miles over just under 2 hours testing it on Saturday and it did it just the once.

Last night I took my daughter to football practice in it as my car was parked in and it was fine. If it was up for sale for what we have spent on it and it drove like that on the test drive I’d have been getting my wallet out.

Feels like all we can do is keep driving it now until it gets more frequent, which I assume it will, so we can then take it back again and have... a discussion. At the moment I can’t see how far I’ll get with a second warranty claim on such a transient issue that I quite possibly won’t be able to demonstrate.

Moving on to the general maintenance:


Weekend before last it started playing up a bit – coming up to traffic lights and it would almost stall, then surge up to about 1100 rpm before settling down. Suspicious of what is still the original, white labelled Magnetti Marelli throttle body but wanting to avoid that expense for the moment I plugged in torque pro on my phone (quicker than getting vida started) and found the long term fuel trim sitting at +20% at idle and part load.
Suspecting a quite hefty air leak I tried spraying brake cleaner everywhere with no effect.
Unconvinced, I set about making a smoke machine from a mayonnaise jar, a soldering iron, and some baby oil



Once I had managed to wrestle the MAF off of the ridiculous hard plastic intake pipe I stretched a glove over the intake, stuffed the tubing int through a cut off finger and fired up my contraption.
Smoke poured out of the joint between the PTC pipe and the intake just in front of the turbo.


Once I had removed the intake pipe it was apparent that the ptc had just been sitting on top of the pipe rather than fitted into it:
Here’s the massive hole:


(and of course it was starting to rain!)
And the ptc that should be fitted securely into it.


Good news, the PTC was perfectly clear, along with that and passing the glove test the PCV system seems to be in decent condition.


It did NOT want to go back in. A bit of silicone rubber lube and some persuasion with a wide bladed screwdriver and it finally popped home. There is no way in hell it would be possible with it on the car.
All cleaned up and popped in:


Checking it doesn’t leak:


All refitted and the LTFT was down to +10 by the time I had got my phone connected. Still quite a bit higher than I would like, but as the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted, the vacuum lines are now suffering from old age with the outsides of them crumbling away so that’s my next job, then see if we can get it down to something sensible.
It is driving nicely again now anyway.


MOT was passed first time last week – a couple advisories, 2 I knew about and 2 new ones.
Rear ARB bush slight play – as those come as part of the complete ARB, I will be looking for a non-oe solution!
Rearmost exhaust hanger broken – this will be the nth car in our family to have the aftermarket bracket clamped on to fix this. The rest of the original exhaust is in good shape.
Slight play in OSF steering inner track rod. I’ll probably fix this when I deal with…
OSF inner CV boot leaking – it isn’t split, so we can only assume that being removed and refitted twice has broken the seal. Annoying.

In the words of the tester – “That car is worth persevering with, its great condition inside and out, it has quite obviously been looked after, and there is no corrosion on it at all”

There we go then…..If only it had 3 pedals!

47p2

1,523 posts

162 months

Tuesday 28th February 2023
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Well done on persevering and saving the V70 XC, they're becoming thin on the ground now

BricktopST205

1,064 posts

135 months

Wednesday 1st March 2023
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Brilliant idea with the smoke machine. I need to do one on my Saab as I swear I have a small vacuum leak somewhere.

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Friday 3rd March 2023
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Oh censored me...



Went round a roundabout moderately quickly, and as I came off it I just noticed the mpg readout flash off for a split second.
Just thought it was the windscreen washer fluid getting low.
A couple miles later and it flashed again for a split second. Far too quick to see.
Not much further and the relevant message came on just long enough for me to actually read it - "low oil pressure stop safely"

Oh no no no no no!

Of course by this point I was on a section of fast narrow a-road with no where to stop.
It kept flashing on and off for the next 1/4 mile or so and thankfully I got to the village just as it came on more or less constantly and I travelled maybe 200 yards like that and shut it off.

Got out and popped the bonnet and there is oil _everywhere_ smoke from the turbo/exhaust area, but also oil as far forward as around the injectors? A reasonable oil slick was forming underneath it and not wanting to draw any attention to that I shut it up and walked home.

Managed to find someone to recover it with all four wheels off the ground to my parents place where it now sits in its own filth.
They also cleaned the road up somehow!

I've got to do the rear brakes on the cabrio tomorrow afternoon so it'll have to be Sunday I can get out there to investigate what the hell has happened.

Turbo oil feed perhaps?

I just hope it has withstood it. It wasnt making any bad noises before I stopped.
I'll probably drain what's left of the oil and inspect it and the sump plug carefully first of all.

RazerSauber

2,304 posts

61 months

Friday 3rd March 2023
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What a sh*t bit of luck. Hope you saved it in time.

tgr

1,134 posts

172 months

Saturday 4th March 2023
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Bummer! Best of luck, hope the engine is still ok

LH.

2,708 posts

215 months

Saturday 4th March 2023
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Some Turbo models there was bad oil leaks from the turbo oil return pipe sealing ring...

tended to leak when cornering etc...

dirky dirk

3,016 posts

171 months

Saturday 4th March 2023
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Have alook on youtube high peak autos 300k one on there

chris1roll

Original Poster:

1,701 posts

245 months

Saturday 4th March 2023
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dirky dirk said:
Have alook on youtube high peak autos 300k one on there
Is that the one they just drove to Davos? Was watching that the other night.

guitarcarfanatic

1,615 posts

136 months

Saturday 4th March 2023
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Bummer dude - in the old days, you would have had the engine out by now… biggrin

Hopefully nothing fatal, at least oil leaks are generally easy to narrow down!