FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars
Trailer Hitch. [Query:] I
am considering installing a trailer hitch on my 1996 960 wagon. Has
anyone used an alternative to the Volvo hitch kit and if so how successfully
and approximate cost. [Response: Zippy] ONLY use the Volvo
hitch. It is specifically designed for the car, all the mounting holes
already exist in the body and the additional Volvo wiring harness for the
trailer is the only way to prevent permanent bulb-failure indicator lamp
Trailer-Towing Tips. [Tips
from John Shrout] As one who has towed a camper extensively (coast to coast
& then some) behind my '87 745, I would like to weigh into the discussion.
First: A 745 makes a GREAT tow vehicle
1) You put on a good hitch. The Volvo
dealer installed hitch is terrific.
2) You install a good trans oil cooler,
which you need to do to reach the 3300 lb. capacity.
3) You don't exceed the weight limit.
There are reasons for limits.
4) Put electric brakes on the trailer
if over 1000 lbs. and a brake controller on the brick.
5) Don't tow in overdrive.
6) Don't forget that the weight limit
includes passengers and stuff inside the brick itself.
Had the local Volvo dealer (a good one)
install factory hitch and trans cooler. Had trailer dealer install electric
brake controller. Had to remove the black plastic skirting (wrong word,
I know) to make room for the hitch. Total cost in 1992 was about $1K for
everything. With this setup I towed a 1600 lb. Coleman pop-up camper around
Virginia , including the mountains until we got stationed in California.
Towed the camper behind the brick all the way across the country. We took
the southern route, so the mountains weren't too bad, but I made up for
it later towing the trailer a number of times into some 7-8K and better
mountains while we lived in Southern CA. Never a problem. I serviced the
trans every year or so just to ensure the fluid wasn't burnt. If I was
equipping the car again today, I would install a trans temp gauge. With
the electric brakes on the trailer, stopping distances weren't much worse
than without, so we never had that panicky feeling, even in Los Angeles
traffic. I bought some cheap but effective trailering mirrors that strapped
onto the regular mirrors. They vibrated some, but worked well enough for
safety. Started trailering with about 85K miles on the brick, it now has
211K. Same tranny, still going strong.
Just do your trailering smart and listen
to the experts. Most of the rules for this sort of thing have been written
in someone else's blood. As John Wayne said, "Life is tough; it's tougher
when you're stupid."
Long-Distance Car Towing Hints.
[Query] I plan on towing my '85 740 behind my Jeep using one of those
U-Haul dollies that go under the front wheels. The trip will be about 1,000
miles. Are there any precautions I should take, or is it a matter of putting
it in neutral and driving off? [Response: Don Foster] Disconnect
the driveshaft at the differential, and either secure it aside or completely
remove it. Why? Because your tranny (tailshaft bearings) are
lubricated by splash (if a standard) or ATF circulated by the pump (if
an automatic). Neither splashing nor pumping occurs if the input shaft
of the tranny isn't spinning. The tailshaft bearing will run dry
after about 20 miles, or so.
An alternative is to back the car onto
the dolly, lock the steering wheel, and drag it on the front wheels.
Don't overlook the need for registration, insurance, visible license plates,
visible tail 'n direction lights, and all that.
Cupholders. [Tip] See
For a center console cupholder assembly of fine quality.
Plastic Glue That Works. [Tip
from Carl Krall] When I was looking at my smithereened handbrake cover
I remembered that I'd bought some plastic cement called PowerPoxy Plastic
Bonder. It comes in one of those syringes, which I hate because it
never comes out evenly although it looks like it should. Anyway, my cover
is now elbow-worthy again, although I did break the tiny joint that goes
under the handbrake while putting it back. I sanded the joint and glued
it again with a strip of metal (folded-over farmer's helper) behind it
for morale, and did it while it was in place so the agony of installation
didn't have to be repeated. The stuff really stinks, and you've got maybe
5 minutes to use it once you mix it, so be ready and make a small batch.
It's set in about 15 minutes, but I wait a day before I unclamp it or move
it. Buy it at Builder's Square, and likely Lowes and Home Depot.
The info number on the package is 800.248.7699, answers 8-4, M-F.
Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars
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