Purchase tips

You are interested in your own DAF and are looking for a nice one. So what should you pay attention to? On this page we give you tips to start your search. We specifically distinguish the A-body (Daf 600, 750, Daffodil and 33), the B-body (Daf 44, 46, 55, 66) and later Volvos with Variomatic.


Daf 600, 750, Daffodil and 33 (A-body)



Inspect the car thoroughly for rust. Notorious places are the front fenders and the doors. Newly made mudguards have recently been fully available again from the DAF Club Netherlands warehouse. Look at the bottom of the doors, are the drainage holes still open? In particular, check the bottom carefully, both outside and inside the car. Lift up the floor mats and look in particular at the front wheel arches, but also under the seats.

Furthermore, the jack stands are known weak spots, if in doubt you can try to jack up the car. If the jack continues to rise but the car remains standing (creaking), then you know enough.... Remember that an honest rust spot provides more reliable information about the condition of the car than overpainted filler spots! This also applies to excessive use of tectyl and/or bitak. Very nasty surprises can be hidden underneath it!



A weak point of the two-cylinder engine is the intake manifold. The small pipes to the heat exchanger and cross damper must be connected and must not leak. An intake manifold smeared with sealant (Gun-Gum or similar) is always suspect. Replacement is expensive! Also check the heat exchangers, especially the left one. The upright pipe to the intake manifold is often rusted through. Replacing them is also expensive. An engine that is in perfect working order should normally start smoothly and run smoothly.

The engine should run smoothly on two cylinders at idle and should not shake too much. Irregular running can have various causes, but a known defect of the two-cylinder is a burnt valve. With the engine running at idle, pull one of the spark plug wires in turn. If there is a noticeable difference or if the engine stalls, the relevant cylinder is OK. If there is no noticeable difference in the running of the engine, something is wrong in the relevant cylinder. Make sure that the spark plug is sparking. If this is the case, there is probably a valve leak. Replacing is not expensive, but is good for a few hours of key fun. If in doubt, or want 100% certainty, perform a compression test.

Every engine "sweats" a little, so a little grease on the engine block is not immediately a cause for concern. On the contrary: an overly clean engine is often more suspicious than a slightly greasy one. Check whether the engine is not leaking excessive oil, known places in the two-cylinder are the oil seals, the seals of the pushrod pipes and the oil pressure switch.


The front transverse leaf spring must not have sunk. There should be at least a thumb's width of space between the rubber and the spring. Check the ball joints for play by having someone gently turn the steering wheel up and down and place your fingertips on the ball joint. Checking the ball joints is a bit tricky without a bridge and crowbar. However, make sure that the sealing covers are not torn!

As far as possible, check the rear suspension arms for any cracks. Jack up the rear of the car and check that the rear wheels are secure. A slight twist from left to right is normal because of the backlash in the gearboxes. All other play is suspect and impermissible, which may indicate blown half shafts and brake drums.

Furthermore, check the shock absorbers by letting the car spring in firmly on each corner. When released, the car should be stable again almost immediately. If the car continues to sway, the relevant shock absorber is no longer in order. Please note that the operation of the rear shock absorbers on a DAF A-type is always moderate due to the unfavorable placement.

Braking system: The braking system of a DAF A-type is very weak. When purchasing, take into account a brake overhaul, especially if the car has been standing still for a long time.Check the master cylinder on leakages. In the car, near the brake pedal, look at the pin that goes to the master brake cylinder (through the bulkhead). If it is greasy/wet in the area, then the master cylinder has had its best time. Another way to test this is to apply considerable pressure to the brake pedal with your foot for a longer period of time. The brake pedal should not sink in and should remain hard to the touch. Sinking of the brake pedal indicates a leak. Also check the handbrake, however, this has never been the strongest point of an A-type! Its effect is therefore low.

Test drive

Now that you have already checked various things optically, it is time to try out a few things in practice. In other words: take a test drive. Check that the motor picks up well and runs smoothly. Blue exhaust smoke during acceleration indicates extreme oil consumption. Check the coupling for engagement, the engagement speed must not be too high! At about 1200 rpm the clutch should start slipping and at about 2000 rpm it should be fully engaged. If you have to give a lot of gas to get off the spot (a lot of slip), the clutch is worn. Replacing the clutch means removing the engine!

The Variomatic must shift up and down properly. Strange noises are suspicious. Imbalance (vibrations) is also not allowed. When accelerating and releasing the gas, the car should not pull to the left or right. If it does, then the problem is most likely in the belts. In a worse case, the problem is in the Variomatic itself. Accelerate to a speed of, for example, 60 km/h, and slowly release the accelerator pedal to maintain this speed. Here it serves
engine speed to decrease clearly. The Variomatic then switches to the “overdrive” position. If the engine speed remains clearly high (howling), then there is something wrong with the control of the Variomatic, or a diaphragm or transit pot is leaking in the primary (= front) Variomatic. Replacing this is a job for the more experienced mechanic. However, repairs to this are not expensive.

Check that the car tracks straight ahead and does not stretch to the left or right in the steering wheel. Also check that there are no (excessive) vibrations in the steering wheel. Check the braking effect by braking sharply at 50 km/h. The car must not skew during this. Also check that no abnormal noises can be heard from the engine compartment or Variomatic. The charge indicator light may glow slightly when idling. This is due to the DC alternator (less capacity). When you accelerate slightly, the light should go out.


Daf 44 and 46 (B-body)


Critical places in these types are the front fenders (close to the door) and the headlights. Front fenders are very hard to come by. The doors also require attention, at the bottom, but also under the trims of the door window, rust often occurs. Inspect the bottom thoroughly, not forgetting the jack stands. If in doubt, try jacking up the car. If possible, also inspect the floor inside the car by lifting the mats/floor covering. Pay special attention to the front wheel arches (connection seam to the floor), and the jack stands.

The rear screens behind the rear wheel (buttocks) are a notorious place. However, new inside and outside butts are again fully available from the DAF Club Nederland warehouse. Open the trunk and lift the trunk mat. There is often rust in the seam with the rear piece (where the taillights are located). Also check the mounting brackets of the fuel tank.



The same applies to the two-cylinder engine of the Daf 44 and 46 as to the engine of the A-types, since they are structurally identical. Therefore we refer you to the A-types' engine.  The engine of a 44/46 is a bit trickier to build out.



The transverse leaf spring at the front must not have sunk. Here too, there must be at least a thumb's width between the rubber and the spring. Replacing this is not an easy job for a starting mechanic. New leaf springs are scarce. Check the spring carrier, or the tube in which the spring is located, for rust through.

Check the steering ball joints and, if possible, the ball joints for excessive play (see description for A-type).

Daf 44 only: At the rear, carefully inspect the wishbones for cracks, close to the hinge point in the middle of the car. This is a weak point of the Daf 44. Check the half-axles and brake drums for excessive play by jacking up the car and moving the wheels up and down. Some play is normal, due to the play in the gearbox.

Daf 46 only: At the rear, check the spring swings and the suspension points on the body for rust. The rear axle suspension of the Daf 46 (the Dion axle) is also very robust and trouble-free.


Braking system

The braking system of the 44/46 is of much better quality than the A-types. From 1969 a two-circuit braking system has been used for better safety in the event of a leak. If the brakes are not used for a longer period of time, the brakes can get stuck, which means that things have to be made normal, or even better: replaced. On the Daf 44, check whether the brake adjusting bolts on the anchor plates at the rear have not rotated. In that case, they must be replaced because the brakes can no longer be adjusted. The Daf 46 is very sensitive to skew during braking, because this type uses 4 wheel brake cylinders on the front axle. Adjustment is a precise and difficult job. Check the master brake cylinder in the same way as described in the purchasing tips of an A-body.


Test drive

Read the description of test drive with an A-body. With the Daf 46 you should pay special attention to imbalance in the Variomatic, as this type is very sensitive to this. Because of the 46's differential, skew during acceleration and deceleration will not be due to the transmission. The charge indicator light may glow slightly at idle, this is due to the DC alternator. When you accelerate slightly, the light should go out.

Daf 55 and 66 (B-body)


For rusty spots, check the description for Daf 44 and 46. The body of these types is similar to the Daf 55, and largely also to the Daf 66. The front fenders of the Daf/Volvo 66 are still widely available, for the 55 this is very difficult. In the coupé versions, pay special attention to rust formation under the decorative frames of the folding windows, especially in the corners near the ventilation grilles.



The water-cooled 4-cylinder engines are known to be very robust. As a rule, these cause few problems. The cooling system does deserve extra attention, problems with this often manifest themselves in a broken head gasket. Check the cooling water in the radiator. Also check the water pump for play and possible coolant leakage. Replacing the water pump is a tedious job, because the bolts often break.

Check the thick cooling water hoses to the radiator by squeezing them. The hoses should not feel "hard", but should be flexible. The radiators often rot at the bottom (fastening strip on the cooling water tank). Check the radiator for tightness and leaks. Check the engine oil and unscrew the oil filler cap from the rocker cover. A lot of sludge formation (so-called mayonnaise) indicates the presence of a lot of moisture in the oil. The reason may be that many short distances have been driven.

Check the engine for excessive oil leakage. A little sweat does every engine! The engine should run neatly and quietly, excessive white exhaust smoke may indicate a leaking head gasket. Excessive blue exhaust smoke means oil consumption. Many 4-cylinders suffer from slightly leaking valve seals. A blue plume immediately after starting is not alarming.



The front suspension of the types 55 and 66 is particularly robust and usually has no problems. As with the other types, you can check the steering and ball joints for play (read suspension of an A-body). Also check whether the sealing sleeves are still intact. On the Daf 55, check the rear wishbones (pendulum axles) for cracks, especially at the pivot point in the longitudinal direction of the car. Also check the half-axles and brake drums (see also buying tips A-type and Daf 44). In the rear suspension of the Daf/Volvo 66, the suspension points of the spring swings on the body deserve special attention, inspect them for rust. Otherwise, the rear suspension of the 66 is particularly robust and trouble-free.


Braking system

Models without power brakes require considerable pedal effort because disc brakes are used on the front axle. If possible, jack up the car and check that the front wheels turn freely. Heavy walking indicates seized calipers. Slipped brake hoses are also more common; this also keeps the brake running.

The Daf 66 de Luxe is the only model that also has drum brakes on the front axle. These are of lesser quality than the disc brakes. Check especially on the Daf 55 whether the brake adjusting bolts at the rear are not turned. In this case, the brakes can no longer be adjusted. The DAF/Volvo 66 1300cc versions have self-adjusting rear brakes.

Check the condition of the master brake cylinder by applying considerable pressure to the brake pedal for a longer period of time. The brake pedal should remain hard to the touch and should not slip. A sinking brake pedal indicates brake fluid leakage or a leaking master cylinder (cups broken). Long periods of standstill often cause the brakes to seize, especially the front calipers. Test drive: See the test drive with an A-body.


Additional checks specifically for Daf 55 and 66

If you notice defects in the coupling or engine of the Daf/Volvo 66, for which it must be removed, bear in mind that this is only possible with the aid of a hoist. The engine can only go up. The entire front of the Daf 55 can be removed, making it a lot easier to remove. The Volvo 66 has a possibility to adjust the clutch. A high engagement speed when starting off does not always mean that the clutch needs to be replaced.

On the Daf 55, the charge current control lamp may glow slightly during idling. This is due to the DC alternator. When you accelerate slightly, the light should go out.

With the Daf/Volvo 66 you have to make sure that the charge current meter is in the green area. If the meter remains in the red area at higher speeds, there is a real chance that the alternator is not charging sufficiently.

The Daf/Volvo 66 is equipped with a differential; skewing during acceleration and releasing the gas therefore has no cause in the Variomatic transmission. Check the operation of the heater while driving. It often happens that the stove radiators are clogged.

Volvo 343/340 with Variomatic


Bij de Volvo 300-serie dien je ook weer speciaal aandacht te hebben voor de dorpels en kriksteunen. Verder de wielkastranden aan een inspectie onderwerpen. De 340 is speciaal roestgevoelig op de voorbalk bij de radiateur, waar de kentekenplaat op gemonteerd zit. Vroege modellen (type 343) ook speciaal controleren op het voorfront.



Construction-wise the 1400cc engine is completely similar to the 1100cc and 1300cc engines in the Daf 55, 66 and Volvo 66. Check the information on the engine of a Daf 55 and 66.


Additional information Volvo 300

Electronic ignition was used from model year 1985, which means that the contact point ignition has been dispensed with. From model year 1985 an electric cooling fan was also used, controlled by a thermo switch in the radiator. After warming up the engine, check that the cooling fan actually switches on. If this does not work, the engine temperature will rise too high during traffic jams or long idling!

The 343/340 carburetors deserve special attention. The nuts holding the carburetor often loosen and the three studs holding the air filter are often loose in the carburetor.

Check that the engine idles cleanly and evenly. Many problems are caused by bad or improperly adjusted carburettors. Check the engine for oil leaks, possible places are again the oil seals and near the cylinder head/valve cover.



The Volvo 300 series is very robust. The rear suspension is the same as the Daf/Volvo 66 (de Dion axle). Again, the following applies: check steering and ball joints for excessive play (see A-type purchase tips). Check the operation of the shock absorbers.


Braking system

The 300 Series braking system is very well sized for the job. In general, there are few problems with the brakes. If possible, jack up the car and check to make sure the wheels run freely.


Test drive

The motor should pick up well and run smoothly (see also “motor”). Check the clutch, when you have to give a lot of gas to get away (a lot of slip) the air gap between clutch disc and flywheel is too big. The Volvo 300 has the ability to adjust the clutch, to a certain extent. Take into account a clutch change if the clutch only engages at a high speed. The engine does not have to be removed for this.

You should pay special attention to the correct shifting of the Variomatic. At 50 km/h constant driving, the speed should be approximately at 1800 to 1900 rpm. Many Volvo 300s do not shift properly due to minor defects. Most problems with this are easy to fix.

Check all electrical functions while driving. Problems with the electrical installation are not entirely unknown to the Volvo 300. Of course, once again, the car must not pull skewed during braking and must continue to track straight ahead on a flat road. To check the brake master cylinder, see the description of the A-body.


Technical Committee DAF Club Netherlands


Inspectie (Daf 600)









Inspectie (Daf 66 coupé)