Friday, June 22, 2007

Reader Rides!

I got an exceptionally nice note this morning from a fellow who stumbled onto Revolvoblog, and wanted to share the story of his shiny Swedish lump o' iron:
Hello Terry,

On a search I came across your REVOLVOBLOG. I’m submitting this information to you because I have a similar car of which I perform all of my own work. I have an injury that I am healing from, and I still work on my car. I’m buying a good dual stage air compressor down the road, but for now, I use mostly hand tools along with some electric tools, such as an impact gun in sizes of 3/8” and 1/2”.

I’m currently working on the only car in my driveway: a 1986 244DL, a relative’s former vehicle with light use. I’ve had it since 92,000 miles. It currently has 177,00 miles. The 240 is maroon with a tan cloth interior. The body is in great shape.

I just replaced all of the front engine oil seals, the water pump (a GMB – don’t use the bolts that came with the new pump), and am getting ready to torque the sprockets.

Then, I have the exhaust to replace – front pipe, and everything rear of the cat w ext. pipe.

Next, I am installing an engine wiring harness. I bought a used engine wiring harness, the upgraded version, from ebay. The cable has been prepped – the connectors were cleaned with CRC QD contact cleaner and then silicone greased.

I already replaced a defective kick down cable but I still have an OD problem: The relay will get resoldered and the wiring checked for chaffing, etc.

Additionally, I’m replacing the trailing arm bushings with the sectionalized ones from IPD, that eliminates having to press the bushings in/and out. The original springs will get replaced with a variable rate wagon spring (best price from O’Reilly). I’ll replace the rear shocks with the best gas shock from KYB.

From ebay I bought used seat foam to fix my drivers seat. The best prices on seat covers that are close to the original cloth are the units from IPD.

Also, I have to replace the front struts. KYB inserts will go in. For now, I’ll leave the original upper mounts in as Volvo dealers have told me that they are stronger than the replacements today, so if a part is working, leave it alone.

The AC compressor seized up; the original compressor was a Diesel-Kiki, using R-12 refrigerant. I have done some homework on the AC system, and I have talked with the owners of AC shops here in the Atlanta area…one shop owner informed me that as long as the system was sealed when the compressor locked up, about the only things to definitely replace for the R134a conversion are the following:

1. compressor (use Pag 96 oil)
2. condenser (the original condenser could have metal particles in it and it is extremely hard to properly flush out a condenser that has been in a car for 20 years, give or take.
3. o-rings
4. fittings for conversion to R-134a
5. receiver-dryer
6. expansion valve (the old one might be ok, but they do get clogged up over time)

I’ll remove all of the hoses (which are more than likely good from R-12’s barrier effect) and flush them, and then the evaporator will be flushed while in place. 4 seasons makes a flush kit with just enough solvent to do this work. I have to buy a vacuum pump (saw a combination pump/gauge set for around $130 on ebay). And, I have to purchase a compressor. I found a rebuild Diesel-Kiki on ebay for $115. Be wary of Diesel-Kiki rebuilds though. A Sanden 508 compressor would be a better alternative. Yet, the AC shops told me to get the exact replacement concerning external design due to the facilitation of mounting.

There is a place in Atlanta called Bens Volvo Disassembly to obtain good used body parts, such as bumpers, and any part for the 240. I use Voluparts too.

Another thing that should be replaced on this car is the oil trap. And when you do that replace the intake manifold gasket since it’s easier to replace that canister if the intake is pulled.

Back in the late 80’s, I stopped at a graveyard of a body shop for import cars. This shop, located in my home state of PA, was about 50 miles north of Harrisburg, and there I observed 240s and 700s hit in every way imaginable, concerning angle and magnitude of force. What I observed was that the structural integrity of the cab remained very much undistorted, yet these cars were totals. I was very impressed by those Volvo cars back then, and I made a good mental note that I would try to futuristically obtain one in good shape.

Therefore, I am a fan of these cars and I believe that they are worth investing reasonable money in to replace parts to get them road worthy.

From doing a lot of research, I’m aware of the idiosyncrasies in the design of the 240 model. For example, I would use synthetic oil in the ‘86 B230F engine due to the smaller main bearings used in the early B230F engines (from ’85 through the ‘88’s). Flush the tranny once a year. I have talked with 240 owners of cars from the early B230F era who have driven those engine to 400,000 miles without a major problem, minus the practice of good maintenance.

If you ever have to take a good hit in the Volvo, remember the cars reputation for safety was well served from the Design. And if you get hit, you can always get another Volvo. I’ll always remember the Volvo wrecks that I saw back in PA.

Kennesaw, Georgia
Thanks, John, and I know we'd love to see some photos if you're so inclined.


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