Just bought an '87 740, need advice

I bought a 1987 740 Turbo from someone a few days ago. It was only $300 and I really needed a car, having just been in an accident with my only
other means of transportation.
The can (a wagon) is mechanically in reasonably good shape. The engine purrs, and moves well. The previous owner was a proficient mechanic who did most of the work himself. He did recently replace most of the wiring under the hood himself.
There are a few problems I have with it, all of which I would like to work on myself. I'm not a mechanic, and I don't do much hands on with cars, but I'm eager to try (my skills end at tire changes, battery issues and simple oil changes). If anyone can answer these questions, I would appreciate it a lot.
1) The most annoying problem, is I think, and electrical short somewhere between the door switch and the dome light. Even with the door closed, if the key is in the ignition it will constantly sound the wanting bell (DING DING DING DING DING... :) I can sometimes get it to stop if I jiggle the dome light housing. I've tried completely disconnecting the housing, bulbs, even removing fuse #5, but with no luck. When I bought it, all the bulbs had burnt out. I'm going to replace them tonight.
2) If I don't let the engine warm up for 30sec to 1min, it stalls as soon as I put it into gear. Is there a way to help this? Better oil? I believe the current owner used regular 10w40. I live in Los Angeles, so it's a fairly warm temperature, but not excessively hot at this time of year (maybe 90's, but I only drive at night/early morning). Would a colder temperature oil like 5w30 help?
3) The gas pedel is a lot stiffer than my last vehicle, any way to slick this up a little?
4) The owner removed the old stereo. I want to pull the one from my wrecked Plymouth Voyager and hood it up, but I don't know how complicated the wiring would be. All that is left, are two bundles of wires which have been cut at the end. The bundles each lead back to a plug, which is hooked up to the cars internal wiring. Might the new radio be able to plug directly into that plug? Or would I need to do some splicing/soldering?
I certainly plan on investing some money over time in this car, I like it a lot. It's sadly going to need a lot of new upholstry due to years of wear.
I love this car, I wish I'd bought one sooner. Thanks for the help :-)
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Sounds like you got a steal.

Even better

Not sure about that one, sounds like a loose connection in the dome light though.

Clean the throttle body and the idle speed regulator, check carefully for vacuum leaks, that should help a lot.

See above, also squirt some lube into the cable housing from under the hood.

Buy an installation kit from Crutchfield or a stereo shop, it should come with a wiring harness that plugs right into the stock plug and instructions. Actually sounds like you already have that bit in there but you'll have to do some investigation to figure out which wire is what.

Once you start fixing it up I think you'll be pleased, they're wonderful cars in so many ways.
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I don't really think his gas pedal needs lubrictation (tho it might)... Volvo pedals are just stiff... Much more so then a Plymouth Voyagers. And as another point, the brake pedals in the old Volvo's (at least our 93 960, and apparantly it's always been like that) feels like you really have to push against the weight of the car when stopping (reminds me of my friends Chevy Lumina... except when you really press into the Volvo's brakes the car can stop hard, where the Lumina isn't quite as responsive) - It's a huge changeover going from the new body style VW Golf TDI with its super touchy brakes and fairly light and short travel throttle to the old Volvo with its long heavy throttle and firm (but much easier to modulate) brakes.... You get used to it.

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writes:

I agree, particularly about vacuum leaks. My '98 V70 started stalling at idle shortly after we bought it - turned out one of the vacuum hoses that affect the idle (from the idler air control valve, maybe? I didn't fix this one myself) had worked loose. Mechanic reconnected it and the problem went away. This sounds similar.
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What would be the best way, to check for vacuum leaks? I read somewhere that using a spray bottle to create a mist around the engine should work.
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I haven't tried the spray-bottle method myself, but I've seen it recommended more than once.
I'd start with a visual inspection, though. Look at each of the hoses and their connectors for cracks and so forth. (In the case of my car, the hose apparently had come right off. I had an appointment with the mechanic that day anyway, so I didn't look into it myself, but if I had I probably would have spotted it right off.)
Haynes suggests the "stethoscope" method: take a spare piece of vacuum hose, hold one end to your ear, and probe around the hoses in the car listening for a hissing sound. That would probably work too. They warn about getting caught in moving parts, though - poking around a running engine is always dangerous, so be careful. (Remove jewelry and watches; hold the stethoscope hose near the middle rather than the end, so your hand isn't so close to the engine; watch what you're doing.)
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Well yes and no. You want a bit more than a mist - you are trying to see if water can be drawn into the inlet tract. If it is, it will affect the engine speed.
The trouble with using a spray bottle on a car with a belt driven fan, is that the spray gets blown everywhere except where you want it to go; you want something that will deliver a better stream. I use a plastic mineral water bottle, the type with the squirty top. A washing up liquid bottle or even a bottle with a hole punched in its top would do.
Squirt the water liberally around the fuel injector seats, and around the inlet manifold gasket. These are both favourite places for air leaks. Keep it away from the spark plugs and other ignition parts, or you may get a false result.
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You may want to start with this URL, a wealth of Volvo information.
http://www.brickboard.com/FAQ/700-900 /
Joe
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Just bought an '87 740, need advice
1) The most annoying problem, is I think, and electrical short somewhere between the door switch and the dome light. Even with the door closed, if the key is in the ignition it will constantly sound the wanting bell (DING DING DING DING DING... :) I can sometimes get it to stop if I jiggle the dome light housing. I've tried completely disconnecting the housing, bulbs, even removing fuse #5, but with no luck. When I bought it, all the bulbs had burnt out. I'm going to replace them tonight //////////////////////////////// Remove the DINGER!
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Did you receive my e-mail regarding the radio? Peter

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I did yes, and replied. I guess the reply didn't get there :-) I'm very interested. Is there another address I can email you at? MSN? ICQ? Yahoo IM? :-)
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