Quattro vs. Volvo AWD

Linus Toy linust at mindspring.com
Thu Aug 22 14:11:19 EDT 2002

At 12:09 PM 8/22/2002 , Mike Veglia wrote:
>Steve, from my personal experience (with 9 Audis since 1988 and 4 ovloVs
>since before that) is DON'T!!!!! (More on why I am so emphatic later.) I do
>know that exactly ZERO of the ovloVs (1972 142, 1983 245t, 1985 245, and
>1995 855t) were even close to as good as any of my 9 different Audis for
>reliability, comfort, performance, and Audi is no slouch in the safety
>department either.

My experience is no where near as extensive as Mikes...but also nothing
like his.  My wife has a '94 945t, and loves it.
As you both know, Volvos are an acquired taste...

>A good resource is brickboard.com. In the years my wife owned ovloVs (I just

Agree, good resource.  another one is turbobricks.com, targeted (primarily)
toward turbo'd RWD Volvos.

[SNIP--Mike's diatribe about his wife's ex-850tw]

>Known issues:
>AC Evaporator. Entire dash needs to come out. Common AC failure. Huge $$$$
>to fix.

RWD Volvos are much simpler in design, not to mention better balanced.

>Brakes. Fronts are very prone to warping.

On ours, the front-brake "warpage" turned out to be a tread separation in
the Bridgestone Turanza touring tires the PO installed.  I have a near-new
set of rotors in the garage 'cause of this...Between the second set I
installed and this "spare" I have enough rotor life for this car till well
after my wife tires of it (and now I have a dial gauge...)

>The AWD system is supposedly delicate. Urban legend on the brickboard is
>that even the slightest differences in tire sizes can destroy center diffs.
>I don't know if it is true, but it scares me. Also, the AWD system is not
>true AWD like a quattro. It is a FWD car with automatic "on demand" torque
>shift to the rear.

Agree.  For AWD, I think the Audi solution is simpler, more reliable.

>Old time ovloV fans despise the "white engine" ovloVs. You want a good
>ovloV, get the newest 940t you can find, preferably the elusive 5spd. Do not
>go for the FWD/AWD versions, or a 960.

The newest 940t you will find is a '95; in the US, you have no choice but
an automatic;  for good & bad, it is not a lock-up torque converter (only
installed on non-turbos).  I believe you'll find the autos to be more
durable than the manuals of this era (the last of the manuals delivered in
the US had aluminum cases for weight savings, but also lost durability).

Despite the ox-cart technology rear axle, these cars (with the right tires)
can handle very nicely...700/900 wagons have about a 50-50 F-R weight
distribution.  With enough power (easy to reach 200-225 HP), you can have a
lot of fun with them.  Nothing quite like hangin' out the tail with the
right foot :)

*  Linus Toy                      Insanity is doing the same thing   *
*  Mercer Island, WA              you've always done and expecting   *
*  linust at mindspring.com          different results                  *
*                                      - Roger Milliken              *

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