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Dave . . . a Volvo hobbyist. I've been playing with Volvos
(mostly 240s) since 1988. My pages here are an
attempt to share
my experiences with other Volvo
hobbyists and to chronicle the knowledge and information I have
gathered over the
years so it may be passed on to others.
I've owned 10 Volvos since 1988. So I thought I'd list some of them below....
<<< My second Volvo (first 240). A white 1983 244 DL. I bought it in 1990. Non-sunroof car, roll-up windows, auto trans, marginal AC, ok gas mileage. It was exceptionally clean with only 50k miles when I found it in Huntington Beach, CA. Cost me $5,000. Already being an avid iPd customer, it soon got their anti-sway bars, sport springs and Bilstein HD shocks, as well and a few other fun goodies. I bought the back half of a 240 Turbo exhaust and installed it from the cat-back. That was a really nice improvement. It originally came with 14 inch steels wheels with beauty rings and hubcaps. I installed the 15 inch alloy wheels from my '88 760. I drove this car everywhere for 6 years and put over 100,000 miles on it. In 1996 I gave it to my daughter when she got her drivers license. Unfortunately it was destroyed a few months later when some nit-wit pulled out directly in front of her in a Chevy Caprice. She couldn't avoid the Caprice and she hit it broadside at 50 plus mph.
My current driver. I
beautiful black 1984 242 Turbo
in 2003. I'm the 4th owner and I still own it and drive it
and leather interior has stayed very nice because the car was always garaged and still
It's very important for a car like this to live indoors if you want it
to stay nice for this many years. This car was a rare find
and it is a great car
to drive and own. It was all
original and stock when I got it. I initially resisted
the urge to modify it for a few years, but slowly that urge began to win.
has also gone
through a few changes, but not nearly
drastic as the
245 did below. The Eiker rims (Polaris replicas) seen at
the left were imported
Finland in 2004. These Eikers are 17 x 7.5
inches and were
215/45-17 rubber. A
Finnish friend arranged for the purchase and shipping from Eiker
Finland. It wasn't cheap, but I loved these wheels. A few years later
these wheels became available
U.S. from iPd. This car also has iPd
TME sport springs, Bilstein HD shocks and
struts, and iPd
bars. The engine is still the original B21FT with a few
added features, such as SDS programable EFI and ignition and a Mitsubishi
TD04HL 15G turbo (from an 850 Turbo) mounted on a later exhaust
manifold. After the original
auto trans failed
more than 100 miles from
home (during a road-trip to the annual Davis Volvo Show), I replaced it with an
M46 4-speed plus overdrive transmission. Then more recently I installed
WC-T5Z 5-speed, which now sports a hydraulic clutch setup. The rear spoiler is a
very rare Volvo 240
Zender in the 1980's.
<<< Here's a pic what this 242 looked like when I first bought it in 2003.
And eventually I grew tired of the traditional "coffin-hood," so in 2010 the car received a flat hood and matching flat grill.
<<< And then some nice new taillights.
That kept me content for a little while....
<<< In 2011 I decided to go old-school on the front grill just for fun. The 7 inch round lights are Sylvania Xenarc HID units with an integrated H-1 high beam (see pic). These are no longer available and now pretty rare.
<<< These photos were taken during a trip down the Northern California coast in 2011. The first one was on the famous coastal Mattole Road south of Ferndale. The last one in Humbolt Redwoods State Park.
<<< Those are NOT standard GT fog lamps. Since I wanted some mega killer driving lights for long road trips, I painstakingly enlarged the fog light buckets in a 242 GT grill and fitted a set of Dick Cepek 5 x 7 inch 100-watt off-road lamps. They light up the night like the sun!. That's a nice bonus on long, dark roads.
<<< In 2012 I decided it was time for some new wheels. The Eikers were on there for more than 7 years and I wanted a change to something I wouldn't see on lots of other 240s at each Volvo event I attended. These mesh rims are 17 x 7.5 wheels, same as the Eikers, but have a BMW bolt pattern and use custom billet adapters made custom for me by http://www.motorsport-tech.com. Tires are 235/40-17 Goodyear Eagle F1. If you fit a tire this wide on the rear of a lowered 240, you will be trimming some of the inner rear fender metal to make room. The back half arch will typically need to be trimmed by about 1/2 inch or more, depending on your ride height. I went even further. See the diagram at right for how I did my rear fenders for perfect clearance all the way to bottoming out the suspension >>>>.
The reason I decided on BMW bolt pattern wheels with adapters is because there are MANY more wheel styles to choose from for BMW than for Volvo 240. To adapt the 7.5 inch wide -35mm ET wheels, I chose 20mm adapters in front and 40mm in back. These worked nicely for me with the rear inner fender work, since that offset put them very close to the fenders. Most custom adapter makers will tell you their minimum recommended thickness is between 19 and 30 mm. www.motorsport-tech.com will tell you their minimum is 19 or 20 mm. So the wheels you choose will need more negative offset to compensate for adapter thickness. Also keep in mind that a wider front wheel will get very close to the front strut tube and offset should be compensated for wheel/tire clearance.
<<< Here's a recent underhood shot. Lots going on in there, but most of it is pretty reliable and keeps my car going as a daily driver needs to.
<<< In October 2013 I packed up the Volvo and moved 1400 miles from California to North Texas.
Thule gutter mount racks are really stong. There's close to 600 lbs on top in this photo.
<<< The weather in Texas can sometimes be fun.
That's from a record setting ice storm that hit North Texas in December 2013 and shut down all the roads for about 4 days. You'll never see a pic like this again, because the car has always been and will always be garaged. This was an anomaly.
- P A S T V O L V O S -
245 beginnings..... My first 240 Turbo. I bought this 1984
back in March of
1997. I paid $3200 to who I think was the second owner in Rialto,
California. It was completely stock and original. When I
started to do a
few little modifications, I really had no idea the direction it would
eventually take. This
first 240 Turbo, so I found
myself in a strange new world when it came to understand things like K-Jetronic
fuel injection. I had
no clue what made it tick, but I was learning.
I wanted to modify.... It was not fast enough. But this car was my daily driver, so as many of you know, there are limits to the kinds of mods you can do to a car that needs to get you to work in the morning. For those of you who were into modifying Volvos in the 90’s, you'll remember there were not many sources for performance parts. I was no stranger to hot-rodding, having previously owned a ‘66 Chevelle (my first car) and then a ’67 BMW 1600ti Alpina former German Group 3 racer (see photo)... complete with box fender flares, racing suspension, roll-cage and dual Weber 45 DCOE carbs. By 1997 I had already been a customer of iPd for a while and they were the best (often the only) source around for Volvo performance improvement parts. So mods started getting done slowly as I could manage.