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V.I.S.I.T. – Peugeot 505 V6 STX

pug 1

Straight out of Poozhoe Province comes this tidy-looking 505, this time in the flavor of the top of the line V6 STX. So what makes these special? How about a 2.8 liter V6 with 170bhp on tap? Okay, okay, so those don’t sound like spectacular figures now, but lest we forget, back in the day our own domestic V8s barely managed to achieve even those figures. The Douvrin-built PRV (Pug-Renault-Volvo) engine was shared by those three automakers, perhaps gaining the most recognition stateside in the Volvo 760 sedans and wagons, though it also made a guest appearance in the Peugeot 604. And I say guest appearance because 604 wasn’t exactly a hot seller in the states. Or anywhere else for that matter.

The 505 sedans were always admired not only for being plush highway cruisers, but also for being quick on their feet and offering wonderful chassis feedback, the sort that could only be found on the larger German cars of the time. So it’s perhaps surprising just how few of them have survived on our roads into the present day.

pug 2 505

Here’s a bit of trivia: the V6 was originally designed as a V8, but somewhere in the development process it was dialed back a couple cylinders, remaining pretty much unchanged in other places. As a result, this egine came out somewhat overengineered, not that anyone is complaining. Sadly, the V6 powerplant never made it into the 505 wagons, which is perhaps why we have fewer 505s on our roads right now than we would have had.

Out of the three automakers that used the 2.8L V6, only Volvo was brave enough to put it into a wagon, giving us the 760 Turbo Intercooler. That’s right, the one with “TURBO INTERCOOLER” proudly spelled out on the rear gate in all caps. VOLVO, WHY ARE WE YELLING? I know why we’re yelling. That’s right, the interior plastics in the 700-series wagons were insanely creaky, which is why I’m not too fond of those cars, indestructible though they may be.

Eagle-eyed viewers will note that the wheels on this Pug are mismatched, giving it a slight air of one of those design studio concept studies that feature different styling on the two sides of the car. For the record, it is the front wheels that are correct for this trim level, though I have to admit that the 8-spoke Turbo wheels on the back look much better.

pug 3 505

On our shores, the 505 sedan’s most direct competitor was arguably the Volvo 740, which actually came out a few years after the 505 hit the US market. While the 505 complemented the Peugeot 504 sales for a few years, the 740 expanded the Volvo range from what was basically a huge variety of 200 series cars. And some 25 years later, it is mostly the Volvos that we see on our roads today, owing to a huge number of factors.

So when was the last time you saw a V6 Peugeot?


  • Vavon

    I believe that shouting was a real fad in the Eighties… Over here we got the 505 TURBO INJECTION!
    <img src="http://fotos.hondaclub.com.ar/data/500/medium/Peugeot_505_Turbo.jpg&quot; width="600/">
    I wonder why Peugeot decided to put the fuel filler cap on the other side on American 505s?
    <img src="http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/383435/505TurboInj160-44.jpg1..jpg" width="600/">
    The last time I saw a V6 Peugeot was yesterday… It was a 406 V6. 😉

    • http://www.google.com/search?q=stuart+schmitt Stu_Rock

      I don't know why they moved the filler door, but the fuel tank is in an entirely different location on the US models. It's behind the back seat on US models, and somewhere under the trunk for the rest of the world. It seems to me that they could have simply routed the filler pipe to the left for the US models instead of having a whole new rear quarter stamping. One thought I had is that they just reused the US 604 tank on the US 505, since all 604s had the left-side filler and US 604s also had the relocated tank.

      Here's a picture of a non-US 505 trunk–for Americans like me who have only seen inside trunks of US models.
      <img src="http://4b.img.v4.skyrock.net/9435/39919435/pics/2087192605_small_1.jpg"&gt;

      The question I have: where is the spare tire on the European 505s?

      • Vavon

        The spare wheel on European 505s is hanging underneath the boot (trunk).
        I couldn't find a picture of one though, but it looks something like on this 305.
        <img src="http://www.bus-museum.nl/pin/pp/bodem2.jpg&quot; width="500/">

        • http://www.google.com/search?q=stuart+schmitt Stu_Rock

          That's basically the same as the US model, so they must have just squeezed the tank in between the tire and differential somehow.

          By the way, I meant to say "all 604s had the right-side filler" above, but that's probably obvious to the few people who care.

        • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

          That muffler setup is so French, I love it! It looks to me like there is one up front, then another, but the exhaust comes out and then goes around one more time!

  • TurboBrick

    Volvo 760's were always NA, not turbos. Renault 25 had a turbo PRV on the other hand.

    • Jay

      Hmm, google image search yields plenty of 760 Turbo Intercoolers, ditto for the wiki page – there a 760 wagon there with NY plates and quotes from magazines specifically referencing 760 Turbo Intercoolers.

      • TurboBrick

        Yes, you're right, that's what I get for not proof reding my replies… Volvo 760's that had V6's were all NA's. The turbo 760's however were 4-cylinders.

        • Jay

          Oh yeah, I see what you mean now, that's true, they had two engines under the 760 badge, I always thought it was kind of curious since most other times they tended to stick with the nomenclature that denoted cylinder count. I should have split up the explanation about the PRV in the naturally aspirated and the inline-4 in the turbo intercooler, or rather the TURBO INTERCOOLER!!!

          • Perc

            Volvo made a 4-pot turbo 760 because the PRV six had a bad rep in some circles. That's my educated guess, anyway.

            They didn't always stick to their own nomenclature . "360" meant that you got a Volvo 2-liter redblock instead of the 340's smaller Renault power plants, and 460 just meant that it had a sedan trunk instead of the 440's liftback hatch. And 480 does most certainly not mean 8 cylinders.

            • david42

              In Volvo-speak, a 740/940 has a solid rear axle and a 760/960 has an IRS. Crazy nomenclature, but there it is. This is totally inconsistent with the 2-series, for which a 240 was a 4-cylinder and a 260 was a 6-cylinder.

              • TurboBrick

                But only after 1988, since the 1982-87 760 had a solid rear axle, which made it technically nothing more than a nicely equipped 740. The 88+ sedans and 95+ wagons have IRS. Also, different dash boards, firewalls and front sheet metal even though they look nearly identical.

                • david42

                  Jeez, it's even messier than I realized. Thanks.

                • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                  Didn't the earlier 960's also lack IRS? Did you send the DVD? I never got it in mail, so I worry if you did!

                  Edit: I always thought the 940 was sort of odd duck.

                  • TurboBrick

                    The early 960 wagons didn't have IRS, thought the sedans did. For 1995 both sedans and wagons were sporting the new and improved Mk.2 IRS which had a transverse composite leaf spring instead of coil springs. The bottom mounting for the shock is also different from Mk.1 so if you're looking for $9 Nivomats you have to get the right ones.

                    The 940 was just a way to squeeze every penny out of the old live axle tooling. My 940 wagon drives like a pick up truck compared to the 760.

                    PS: I have not mailed it, this is why I don't take part in the Hooniversal ninja claus thing because I'm the worlds worst shipper. You have not been forgotten though, just got lost in the shuffle between my MPV exploding and Christmas bs.

                    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                      How did your MPV explode! Was it the trans?

                    • TurboBrick

                      Surprisingly enough, no! The alternator belt snapped two miles from home. The van made it back, I popped the hood to verify the damage, drove it in the garage, turned it off and BOOOOM. That same belt also runs the water pump. And that sound + cloud of antifreeze was the upper rad hose just splitting off into three separate pieces. Had that happened a minute sooner and I wouldn't have a face anymore. That then turned into a three ring circus where I had to put my wagon together for me to go to work, swap the oil seals, T-belt, rollers and water pump for the MPV since it was halfway apart anyways, then I screwed up the belt tensioner during reassembly and had to order another one….


                      Those original Mazda V6 tensioners are like $160 on Ebay and who knows how much at the local dealership. The MPV Club guys say no no, don't use aftermarket ones from big box parts stores, originals only. Then I saw that Rockauto had an SKF – Svenska Kullager Fabrik – branded tensioner there and I though "huh, why in the hell would SKF make tensioners for Mazda V6's?". Then it made sense. Because, through Hooniverse, I had learned that Mazda 929 was a top seller in Norway back in the day, and it uses the same engine, therefore it made sense for SKF to make them. Anyways, it was $30 and time will tell if I'm as smart as I think I am.

                    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                      My Norwegian family has a 626 :) I think I heard part of that story before. Was it the one that took the long bolt? The only bearing (SKF afterall) and spring one I thought was on the timing belt. I remember cause my parents came for a visit one time after I had changed the timing belt and I think I forgot to lock that accessory belt tensioner bolt in place and the bolt broke from the vibrations after some room formed. So while in transit to my apartment my dad and I had the hood open and made it to a hardware store where we bought the longest bolt that would fit and some nuts while my mom complained a lot. Good times!

                      Oh and since I had to get the hoses off anyway for the timing belt, I had a very nice and strong new upper radiator hose, which might have saved my face now that I think about it…

                • Jay

                  I always wondered why they bothered to spin-off a 900 series-badged line of cars, given the spectacularly short list of mechanical differences with the 700s.

                  Ah, that's right, because they barely released anything new (in the states, at least) between 1980 and 1993, when the 850 arrived (looking amazingly similar to the 940s on the surface). It still surprises me how long the S90 and V90 stayed in production.

                  • TurboBrick

                    I'd make a joke about Volvo's CFO during the 90's being Inga Pengar, but that would probably fly over the heads of most folks here… so I'll just say that they needed cash big time to develop the S80 and the RWD cars tooling was already paid for. 700 series was originally supposed to replace the 200 series, yet it ended up outlasting it's successor, so they had a history of doing these sorts of things.

                    Their US lineup was somewhat limited at that time, but would things have been any better if they had tried pitching expensive compact cars with Renault powertrains?

          • TurboBrick

            Volvo was really pissed at the French who didn't consult them on the decision to chop the two extra cylinders off the PRV design at the last minute. Volvo had clear ambitions towards the US market and they needed V8 power more than V6 fuel economy. The PRV had much more of an appetite for fuel while producing barely more power than their new OHC B23 engines.

            The early B27 PRV's huffed and puffed barely 140 hp (might be less than 130 with cats?). The B23FT had that thing beat in every category except smoothness and weight. 760 was the real moneymaker, as they were all very well equipped. 740 was the blue collar model designed to replace the aging 240. The only card they could play in that situation was to offer the turbo-4 as an option to the more expensive model line.

            As a side note, I do believe the V6 models are badged simply "GLE" and 4-cyls have the TURBO INTERCOOLER (HEY NEIGHBOR, LOOK WHAT I CAN AFFORD) badging. I have not seen a six cylinder 760 (dead or alive) in person in years.

        • FuzzyPlushroom

          Meanwhile, the 240/740 Diesel had a VW D24 straight-six (eventually turbocharged in the 7s, as you know). That was pretty much the era where Volvo ceased to give a single damn about nomenclature, well, at least until the 940SE came along and tossed in another wrench…

          • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            All the PVs in USA were badged "Sport" so might have been longer than that. oh and also, WTH was a 544 all about anyway? Four carbs and doors? Not that clearly.

            • FuzzyPlushroom

              The 5, relative to the 4, meant 'one less glass pane in the windshield', as far as I can tell. The Volvo Logic era lasted from '67 (with the 142/4/5's introduction) until '79 (it was '80 that the 242/4/5 became a DL/GL, right?)… after that, everything fell apart. I know the Amazon and 1800 were built for years after the 140 was brought out, but you get the idea… 😉

              • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                We'll sweep the Volvo (DAF) 66 under the rug 😉 You know there was a 121 in Europe during that time too, had a single carb, so I guess that's what that was about, except in Canada it was called the Canadian!

  • Van_Sarockin

    Nice. I'd forgotten how these had pioneered the 'Angry Eyes' theme we see so much of now. I do prefer the rear rims, but the fronts seem to be a larger diameter

  • racer139

    So what happened to the prv engine when it found its way into the volvo. Iirc it would last about 60k km and then do itself in. I dont remember what exactly went wrong but it was enough to need to replace the whole engine. a volvo mechanic I know did a few six to four swaps on nice example 760s.

    • TurboBrick

      The early ones eat cams, and all of them have that time bomb of a water pump setup where you have two short rubber hoses running down into the valley. A leaky hose takes forever to spot unless you smell it because the water pools on top of the engine and boils off before it reaches the ground. Then you overheat, warp the hell out of it and realize it's cheaper to just drop in a dime-a-dozen junkyard B230.

      I had almost 200K miles on my R25 when I got rid of it. So it's not THAT bad. It just doesn't have anywhere near the same level of tolerance for abuse as the red blocks.

      • http://www.hooniverse.com julkinen

        R25… as in Renault 25? Awesome if so.

        • TurboBrick

          Yep, that's it, with the Stephen Hawking voice box and all. It's kind of frumpy looking on the outside with that "Fuego XXL" vibe, but the interior was a marvel with all kinds of great details like a mini-visor above the rear view mirror and padded arm rests on the doors that flipped up to reveal a cargo pocket big enough to hold a 0.5L bottle of Finlandia.

          • Jay

            I'd love to see one at a classic show, just from an academic point of view, but the classic Renault crowd is pretty much all into the top-spec versions of the Alliances, and then mostly ironically at that.

            • TurboBrick

              If you're going to be crazy enough to import an old French car into the States, chances are that you'll pick a Citroen of some sorts over a Renault. The 25 is kind of a forgotten car, but it wasn't a bad one.

  • mallthus

    Let's not forget that, in addition to service in Renaults, Pugeouts and Volvos, this engine also powered the mighty Delorean. Just sayin'….

    Also, I prefer the diesel Pugs.

  • m4ff3w

    Better than the DMC-12 the Renault Alpine GTA/A610 got the PRV as well.

    Oh yea, the also Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco

    • Jay

      Very good point regarding the Eagle Premier, there are so few around nowadays. Funny how that happens. That was just a rebadged Renault Premier if I recall.

      All those AMC-era Renaults evaporated so quickly. Anything badged as an Eagle too.

      • m4ff3w

        I came across a Renault Alliance at Pick-n-pull today along with a Peugeot 505 Turbo Diesel

        • TurboBrick

          That brown Alliance at the Applewhite Road yard? That thing was probably the best shape Renault 9 / Alliance I've seen in ages. Must have been an estate that got stuck with it or something.

          • m4ff3w

            Yup. Are you in San Antonio?

      • http://www.hooniverse.com julkinen

        There wasn't a "Renault Premier" per se, the Eagle Premier was designed out of Renault basic structures but there wasn't a really corresponding European model with Renault badges. The 25 was a different 5-door design, and didn't resemble the Premier.

  • david42

    Hard to believe that this engine is "overengineered." It has a pretty terrible reputation. For high-end Volvos, the turbo 4-cyl engines are much more desirable than the 6-cylinders.

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      By the time they got it relatively 'right', its reputation was done in. There are a few people who still cherish the later PRV – a fellow named John Lane, in Washington, runs a turbocharged one in his rally car – but the early engines, especially the 2.7, were garbage.

  • http://www.google.com/search?q=stuart+schmitt Stu_Rock

    Regarding the thought of putting a PRV in a 505 wagon: I don't think the U-joint inside the wagon's torque tube can handle that engine's torque. They can barely stand up to the turbo 2.2 ahead of the automatic. The sedans don't have a U-joint and are much sturdier.

  • kent

    I have a 87 505 stx 2.8 and desperately need a lower radiator hose or something compatible..any ideas?

    • Donna

      Peugeot! I have owned 4 of them. Brian Holm, Parts for Peugeot may be able to help. He is at 802 454-7132. Vt.

  • pug88

    I actually own a 88 Peugeot 505 STX V6 for 15 yrs. The best European car ever made. I've owned BMW, Mercedes, Jags, by far the best car (reliable, least repairs). There was an article back in 88 I believe it was Road and Track where the Peugeot 505 STX outperformed the M5 BMW.

  • Arun james
  • Gerald Hebe

    I bought its twin a couple of Months ago which is presently parked in our parking level nice and dry. It is a 1988 Peugeot 505 V6 STX automatic with only 80,000 Kilometres and not a spot of rust, original silver metallic paint, leather seats. It was never driven in winter. Each time I take it for a spin I get WOW comments and not only from Peugeot lovers. It gives great gas mileage on the open road, however, in the city driving about the same as my other Peugeot 1984 model 505 STI 4cylinder which at 400,000 K is still being enjoyed by another person.


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