505 as first car
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Icon5 505 as first car

    I've always liked the look of the 86 505 GTi (but have never owned one) and am looking at a 5 spd 2.2l 4 dr sedan for my son as a first car for him and second car for the family, I would really appreciate any advice you could offer on the suitability of the 505 for a new driver.
    Things I'm interested in are - Braking performance and safety features - Best fuel and typical economy - General availability and cost of parts - Reliability - Design faults or major problems with the model - Important things to look for prior to purchase - also wondering if they are easy to work on. As you can see I know very little about the 505 - hope you can help
    Baldrick (wanna be 505 Dad)
    ps any ideas on a fair price for a well kept vehicle 300+K's

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    Last edited by Baldrick; 15th May 2004 at 06:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Blastek®'s Avatar
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    Well to tell you the real truth i know sweet f.a about 505s but i do know that the 505 gti looks good, gos good, handles well and all the other crap that peugoet is good at doin. so if it's in good condition i say get it. plus it'll probably rip the crap out of his friend s cars just like mine will and al the others will own s
    so if the cars in good nik and reasonbly cheap itll probably be a good deal

    (to tell you truth i just wanted to use lots of smilies)
    I'm probably the youngest guy in canberra(15 yr) to own a 404, it's proably one of the fastest too!

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    505s make ideal first cars - safe (why would you send your kid out in their first years of driving in a flimsy small car ), great brakes, solid and predictable handling and acceptable economy.
    Like any car, look after it and it will look after you, but they dont seem to be any more unreliable than any other 20 year old car.

    505 specific things to check include;

    timing belt - make sure its fresh
    engines go for ever and if its been looked after it should still have life left at 300K km
    Steering rack - loose on centre?
    driveline clunks
    Head gasket oil leak from left rear of head - common fault on all these motor, reno and pug versions alike

    Manual GTi is the pick of the bunch too.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  4. #4
    nJm
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    My 505 has been my first car, and I have a few friends with 505s as well.

    To cover your questions:

    The 505 has a very safe body shell. See some of the photos from recent crashes people have posted in this forum. They are made out of extremely strong steel, have side impact protection beams, etc. The bumper bars on the Series 1 cars (1980-1985) are very solid and takes a lot to bash them up. The Series 2 cars (late 1985-1993) have molded plastic bumpers which might be different, I'm not sure.

    The 505's brakes were impressive at the time. 4 disc brakes, and they stop reasonably well. On the Series 1 cars the rear brakes are one of the more common problems. They are rather famous for the handbrake mechanism seizing up. It is luck of the draw whether this happens while the brakes are on or off. I have had my rear calipers replaced twice due to this. This might not apply to Series 2 cars.

    I have never tried emergency braking in any 505 other than my own, but it is certainly something a new driver would need to become familiar with. The rear brakes lock up before the front, and in slipery conditions this can lead to the car sliding on a bit of an angle. That said, it is pretty easy to control. Owners of 505 GTI's might want to chip in here if this is just my car doing this

    The handling is the one of the 505's best attributes. They are almost fool-proof. In the softer version (eg my GR or the SR) you have to be doing something pretty dumb in the wet to lose control. I have friends with GTi's which have found them to be far more tail happy (although nothing at all like an 80s BMW 3-Series). They are really well balanced cars on the whole, and can provide a lot of safe entertainment. Good tyres are essential though. My current Michelin Certis tyres provide absolutely no grip in wet conditions, and fairly slow/gentle driving can lead to pretty amazing oversteer if you accelerate around a sharp corner.

    As for mechanicals, well the pushrod carby driven 505 GR and SR, and the fuel injected version, the SLi are really simple. Easy to work on, plenty of room under the bonnet. The GTi has a 2.2L OHC engine with Bosh L-Jet electronic fuel injection. I'm not sure if these engines are any less reliable than the 2L pushrod motor, but they are FAR harder to work on. All the essential bits such as the distributor are hidden under the air intake pipes, etc. To get to the dissy requires either taking a good few things out of the engine bay, or trying to reach up from underneath the car. Access to the starter motor requires dropping the front cross-member/suspension.

    I don't know anyone with the 5spd GTi, but I know the 3spd auto GTi consumes far more petrol than my 5spd GR (2L). I'd say I get about 9-10L/100km. It is quite economical for a large, old car. It might be similar in a GTi with the 5spd as well, although I have no idea.



    Generally parts are really easy to find, and not too expensive at all if you know where to look. People on here will be able to help you get in contact with the best suppliers of new and used parts, and probably a good mechanic.

    I'm sure I'll think of something else so I'll add that later

    People who have owned a GTi can probably help you out a bit more, and all my experience is with the Series 1 cars.


    When I bought my 505 2 years ago, I bought it for the same reasons you are interested - it is safe, it is good to drive with excellent dynamics and high comfort levels, fairly cheap to run, and safe. I have found it has generally met these expectations. I've had a few expensive things to get fixed (the brakes took a lot to get right, I bought it with a non-functioning handbrake), but most of it has been normal stuff on a 21 year old car. Replace all the rubber hoses as you don't know how old they are. The tail-happiness of my car in thew wet surprised me, but I have since discovered it is due to the tyres fitted to my car. In the dry it has excellent levels of grip and is extremely predictable.

    So can I recommend them? Very much so and if I was buying my first car again I'd still get a 505. However I chose to get one of the lower spec models as it is far simpler mechanically speaking, so made it easy to me to start learning about how to service my own car. It also makes it cheaper to get serviced professionally as they don't need to take so many bits off to do routine servicing.

    Have a think about it. The GTi are great cars, and would still make an excellent first car. Maybe I have only heard the horror stories about the GTI's and it isn't that bad. Give this thread a day and I'm sure we'll have a few others with more experience to help you out.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  5. #5
    nJm
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    I thought I would just add, if you do get him a 505, he will have heaps of fantastic adventures in it, if he is interested. My friends and I have taken my 505 to places you simply can't go in a FWD toyota. It is quite at home on bumpy dirt roads, or even a bit of light off-roading (the GR sits a bit higher off the ground than the GTi). It will always be the pick for long trips too as they are roomy and so incredibly comfortable. The heater works really well on freezing days too


    There are quite a few magazine reviews of the 505 that have been uploaded to Aussiefrogs. Look for the links to reviews/articles on the top of the main forum page.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
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    To tell you the truth, and this is going to upset a lot of people, with your list of requirements - buy a 240/740 volvo. Safer (safest passenger car in the world at the time) than the 505, quicker (not 100% sure about the GTi), but the 8V 740 will comfortably outdo a 2.0 505. Better brakes. And everyone knows the B230E/F engines (in NA form) are probably one of the most reliable 4 cylinders ever built.

  7. #7
    nJm
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    Nick, I understand what you're saying, however I recently drove a 1990 Volvo 245 and was not impressed. The engine felt pretty asthmatic compared to the 2L lump in my 505, the steering was pretty average, and it was no where near as comfortable. I don't doubt it might be safer, although the 505 was also lauded for being an extremely safe car back in the 80s (well, except in America where they were forced to mout the seatbelts on the door frames ). To drive, my rolly-polly 505 GR felt far more planted and predictable. I think it was wheels who said the 240 needed a major update around 1983, however Volvo continued on with it until the 90s some how .


    As a first car though, you might find that a Volvo would make more sense as it would no doubt be a little cheaper to run.

    Still, for me I found the looks of the 505, coupled with the driving experience (and associated club communities) won out. I was also looking at the E30 BMW 318i, but the running costs were a little too high, and the interiors just hadn't lasted as well as the pug.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Icon14 Thanks

    to everyone for the advice, really appreciate the help
    regards
    B

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Welcome Baldy. I recommend this car highly for a kid. Strong, not too fast, reliable and ummm. .... and something else I can't think of.
    Don't get any sort of Volvo at any time.
    A 505's strong bodyshell is only of benefit in repelling nude men if the men are on the OUTSIDE of the car. So set junior straight on where to place said men.

    Thank you, and welcome to (y)our great forum.

  10. #10
    Banned orestes's Avatar
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    Default i couldnt recomend a better first car

    505s are great fun around corners, you have to do some pretty stupid things for them to let go. they are solid as rocks and they have decent fuel econemy. just one thing to look out for though is buying anything higher then an sti as you'll have to put up with the hastles of electronic fuel injection, GL, GR, SLI, STI, SRDT are fine just avoid the electroniic injection because its a pian when they go wrong. overall though my prefrence if i could find one would be an early 504 TI up to 72... its a 30 year old car but they go great and are nice to look at they wreacked the shape of the 504 after 72, kind of (personal opinion)
    Last edited by orestes; 16th May 2004 at 10:10 PM.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! crosspug's Avatar
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    STI, ......... are fine just avoid the electronic injection because its a pian when they go wrong
    OMG, I resent that fact......... The Mech inj of the STi is the single most annoying thing ever.......... (I'm having issues if you havent guessed)

    The parts for it are almost/just as expensive as the EFI but tuning is a "challenge" to say the least.

    OK now the bad bits are over. 505's are GGGGGGGGGGGGREAT!!!!

    Safe, Not boxy/boring, nobody steals them (because they can't work out what the hell it is), FUN cornering (ie Grip, body roll and YEEHAA).

    They have their share of problems as all 20 yr old or so cars should have, I wont say bulletproof that would be a lie but mine is still going strong (with niggles) at 490,000KMS. This is my second, first was only just run in 285,000kms when rust got it (damn ocean air).

    Whenit comes down to it, almost everything has already been said RE: Slowish but quick enough, great to cruise at freeway speed, COMFORT defined when in good nick, I agree Ovlov are good steady cars but the 505 is less agricultural (240's I'm comparing to).

    As long as gearbox oil is kept steady, brakes are maintained, AND GOOD TYRES ARE A MUST!!! the car handles great but bad tyres and RWD do NOT mix (damn pirelli 400's)

    The only problem is creating a young pug nut............

    Jono
    1989 BX16Valve

    "Resting" 1983 505 STi

  12. #12
    nJm
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    I don't know about that fuel injection there. I've always been under the impression that the STI's mechanical fuel injection was an absolute bugger if anything happens to it, whereas the GTI is running Bosch L-Jetronic which is/was a fairly common electronic system on cars back then.

    I'd still take a 505 over a Volvo 240. Besides, while the 505 has a little french flair about it, those Volvos aren't at all sexy and are known to repell those of the fairer gender....
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Being a youngish lad I would recommend the 505, or in my case the 504.

    I agree with staying away from the newer 505's. I have passed up many and stayed with the 504 because after one look under the hood i was having nightmares.

    I learnt on the 504 and I still drive it daily and it does all that I want. The older pugs don't do the acceleration thing which is good for youngsters I guess.

    The handling comes in handy when young drivers of much faster cars decide to play chicken or overtake in small laneways. Silliness aside a very safe and competent ride. Brakes are more than adequate for most conditions.

    All the 505's I have driven handled much the same as my car and they all seem to run fairly well. They are strong, and seem to keep fairly well.

    shobbz

    btw, I personally believe that naked men should not be associated with peugeots in any way shape or form
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  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Some good advice here and some less wisely considered...

    I once had a 244DL for a week, got into it expecting nothing, came away absolutely amazed at its completeness as a car. That was in 1978... don't know if they got better or worse.

    Yes, I'm sure all of the injection systems give trouble now and then. But the GTi's is the more commonly known among today's mechanics everywhere, it's therefore more likely to be readily fixable.

    As a first car?

    Well, I'm coming to the conclusion that it's a shame to destroy one of these nice cars by putting it into the hands of a new driver. Let them have their first (learning curve...) crash in a 1974 Corolla.

    Then they'll appreciate the Pug when they finally get it...

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    . Let them have their first (learning curve...) crash in a 1974 Corolla.

    ...
    This is the whole idea of putting a new driver in a Pug - yes they may destroy it, but they stand a much better chance of surviving than in a bloody death trap corolla!!
    Its only a car after all, and much easier to replace than a person.....
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  16. #16
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I say get him a Citroen BX

    Lets see:

    --extremely predictable, it'll more than likely just understeer as the (incredibly high) limits are reached
    --It's like a sports car compared to a 505...
    --It's modern, good air-con, reliable, cheap, after all it's just a 405 with a vastly supperior suspension & much more usable hatchback body.
    --They crash well (don't let him test that though )
    --Vastly more fuel efficient than a 505 (42+mpg on the highway 30+ around town)
    --great fun to drive

    There is a downside, he'll probably find it's quicker than all his mates dunnydores involving any roads with twists 'n' turns in it, and will soon want to upgrade to a BX16valve so he can keep upto them down the straights

    Just make sure it's a fuel injected manual

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  17. #17
    nJm
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    It can be hard enough finding a 5spd manual 505, never mind a Citroen BX! I must admit I've never driven a BX, but I always hated how flimsy they feel. That said, there seem to be plenty of them left on British roads so they can't be too bad

    The 505 has excellent airconditioning. It only cost me $121 to have mine regassed last year. It is REALLY cold.

    There are a few 505 GR's with manual gearboxes for sale in Vic at the moment. Have a look at the classifieds at www.autotrader.com.au

    These are priced between $1400-$3000. How much did you want to spend? While a GR won't be the sports sedan a Series II GTi would be, it is mechanically the most simple. It has the carburettor 2L engine, manual steering. You still get aircon, electric front windows and central locking. To improve their appearance you can buy alloy wheels, fit the newer fan grilles (they are held on with 5 philips screws), etc. If that puts the car a few grand under what you were thinking of spending, then you have that money to fix up any problems, or even rebuild it.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! 406_SV's Avatar
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    I had an 85 505 (series one) GTi as a first car and it was excellent. The 406 in the first three months of ownership, has cost me more than the 505 did in the three years I owned it (in terms of mechanical repairs). The only things that gave me any real trouble were: the a/c was a non-event (despite mutiple trips to the a/c place) for the duration of ownership; I had the sunroof cable replaced not long before I sold it; one of the leads to the injectors perished and it ran like crap for a day before I got it fixed. The car had done 311,000 when I sold it. If I had the money and the space, I'd buy another in a heart beat. Just make sure you do your research before buying one, and also if you've got the space, consider buying a parts car. I've seen Series one GTi's / GTi Excecutives going for as a little as $1000 and would make excellent parts cars. There's some reviews in the downloads section of this site which will give you some info on fuel consumption, but I can tell you off hand that it's pretty crap. From memory I'd get about 400ish km's city cycle and 475ish kms country cycle in mine - which is awful when you consider that my 406SV gets 600ish city cycle and close to 700km's country cycle!

    Keep an eye on the lower dog leg pannel and the 3 1/4 glass in the rear window for rust (although that's not a real big deal).

  19. #19
    nJm
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    Just on petrol, the Series I cars are all leaded, and run best on 98 Octane premium unleaded fuels such as Shell Optimax or BP Ultimate. Series II cars should be unleaded, although you would probably notice a difference by running it on the better fuels.

    That fuel consumtion you get in that GTi isn't too bad. It is about what I get in the GR, although that does include thrashing it a lot.

    If my car died tomorrow, I would be hunting for a 5spd GTi. They are much nicer to drive. I guess if your son is interested in doing mechanical work himself, a carburettor version might be a better idea. However I'm not saying it is impossible to work on the GTi. One of my best friends has done a lot of work on his GTi and he didn't really have any prior experience with engines. Just make sure you've got the right tools, the Haynes manual and other people who have experience with it who can help out.
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

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