240 Big Brakes
|UPDATED: April 10, 2016 CONTACT|
Before the Big
Brakes on my 245:
I owned my '84 245 Turbo for 6 years before getting to do the R-brake modification you'll see below. I had plenty of experience with the stock 240 brakes and lots of experience trying different things to improve them. Very little does, although they're perfectly adequate for most normal driving.
I was already a customer of IPD, so naturally I tried some of their brake pads. I tried the PBR Deluxe first for a while and found out they had a bad tendency to fade after a few hard stops. The fade wasn't subtle... it was really bad. The braking came back once I let things cool a bit. The PBR Deluxes are really good when cold... lots of bite, and very little brake dust. Just don't expect much out of them after hard stops.
I ordered a
set of PBR Metalmasters.
These pads are designed for much heavier
use. I never got them to fade, but the cold stopping was not good
at all. One time while on the freeway during a long roadtrip (I
hadn't touched the brakes in a while, so they were c-c-cold), all the
traffic in front of me came to really quick stop. I
hit the brakes and found I had very little braking power. I
mashed the brake pedal using every bit of strength I had and I
baaaaaarely stopped just a few inches from the car in front.
went in the trash as soon as I got
friend and fellow 240 owner,
Clay Dewan, suggested the Mintex (red box) pads in the photo. I
since they were inexpensive and a name I didn't know at the time.
But I tried
a set and absolutely fell in love with them. They had great cold
and WET stopping. And they held the braking power when really hot
pads for several years and also several VCOA track days at Thunderhill
Raceway. I even boiled my brake fluid once (Ithen went to Ate Super
Blue), but the Mintex pads
never failed me. I highly recommend them for your
240 BIG BRAKES:
I began this project in December 2003 when I purchased a set of new S60R calipers and rotors (2004 and later S60R). My original plan was to design a caliper bracket to fit these calipers on the front of my 245. Before I got very far, I received an email from Travis Kijowski of Strictly Volvo Racing (SVR) in Maryland. He was in the process of developing an aluminum mounting bracket for these calipers to fit a 240 strut housing. My original plan was to have a 2-piece rotor set made using Wilwood hats and rotors, or something like them. But when I found out about the SVR brackets, which would use the stock R rotors and bolt up to the 240 with no modifications needed, I put off the idea of custom rotors for a while to save some time and money.
I completed this project in March 2004 and it has been one of the best mods ever.
(BELOW PHOTOS) The photo on the left is what used to be on my 245... stock rotors (except for the custom drilling). The right side photo shows the R brakes after installation. I was pretty amazed about the rotors going on with no mods. I guess Volvo has a habit of keeping some specs pretty consistent.
R caliper is
an aluminum 4-piston type made for Volvo by Brembo. The caliper
weighs 7 lbs. 6 oz. (about 3.3 kg).
(also made by Brembo) is
(330.2 mm) x 1.25 inch (32
mm). They are quite a bit larger
than the original 10 inch brakes on the 240. The rotor weighs
approximately 20 lbs (about 9 kg). I had the slots on the
machined at the cost of about $25 per rotor.
These are the aluminum
brackets you see at right, which
allow the R calipers to bolt to the 240 struts tubes with no other
mods. Pretty cool! These brackets were
available from Travis Kijowski at Strictly
UPDATE November 2008: It appears these brackets are no longer available from the above source. A new source has been located below.
versions were the black anodized ones with laser-etched
"SVR." The natural color brackets were prototypes that I used
initially. These brackets
weigh in at 15
oz. each (about 425 grams). Lots of detailed info has been
written by other people about this
conversion over the last couple years and can be found in the
Turbobricks Forum (http://forums.turbobricks.com/) and at the below links specifically
SVR's bracket was designed to
R caliper to be mounted in almost the same place as the stock
caliper. You can see in this pic how the R caliper is moved
outboard (away from the strut tube). This was necessary so it
the position of the R
rotor, which is set farther outboard than the 240 rotor. To put this in perspective, when
measuring from the inside pad surface of the rotor, the R rotor will
be about 5/8 inch (about 16 mm) more outboard than a stock 240
outside face of the larger R caliper will be about 24mm (just under an
further outboard than a stock caliper.
stock sheet metal brake backing plates
useless for this upgrade and went in the trash.
that you only need
ONE brake line per wheel instead of two brake lines as on the non-ABS
NEW SOURCE for R brake caliper 240 brackets.
RSI (R-Sport International.com) in Portland, Oregon, now offers 240 mounting brackets for this conversion. Please contact RSI directly.
BRAKE PARTS LIST:
The front R CALIPERS are Volvo PN 8602682 and 8602683. List price (in March 2007) was $228.00 each plus core deposit ($40.00) from your Volvo dealer. They're a lot more now.
The front R ROTORS are Volvo PN 30645222 (same left or right). List price (in March 2007) was $100.00 each from your Volvo dealer. (I had the grooves on my rotors custom cut by a machinist).
The SPRING CLIPS/RETAINERS are Volvo PN 30645137 and were about $18 per set (2 sets required).
OEM front brake pads are PN 30645135 or 30748957 and were about $70.
(I opted for EBC Green Stuff pads, PN DP21210, which I bought from The Tire Rack. Cost was about $100 for fronts and $60 for pads to fit my rear stock calipers)
Additional performance brake pad options have since been found here:
http://www.zeckhausen.com/Volvo/S60R.htm and http://www.importrp.com/home.php?cat=37
notice two new metal hard brake
lines in the picture of parts.
These hard lines were used to replace the original hard lines going
to the flexible lines (I already had stainless front flex lines that I
from iPd years before, so I
one of those for each
side). The old original metal hard lines can
re-used, but I find
brass fittings often seize at the calipers or at the flex line after
years, so I
decided to buy new ones. I got them from
FCP Groton at http://www.fcpgroton.com/.
They are part number AA0320,
$4.00 each (2 required).
BOLTS USED FOR THIS CONVERSION:
Minimum of Grade 10.9 hex head or 12.9 black socket head is recommended.
Metric Bolt 12 x 1.75 mm x 40 mm (4 required)
Metric Bolt 12 x 1.75 mm x 60 mm (4 required)
Hardened 12 mm washers recommended (8 required)
Brake Junction Block Plugs (pictured), Volvo PN 1387506 (2 required) about $4 each.
SIZE IS CRITICAL with these brakes:
planning an upgrade
this it is very important
to carefully consider
need for larger wheels AND more room to the outside
of the original brakes. As
far as wheel
diameter, if you use these 13 inch rotors, there
17 inch wheels
not clear. The wheels shown in these pics are 18
So far I know
the 17 inch Volvo R wheels will
clear just fine and I have been told the Volvo Tethys also, but both
are FWD type wheels and
will need custom spacers to fit a 240 properly. The popular Eiker
(Polaris replica) is 17 inches and WILL NOT fit as the caliper hits the
inner wheel barrel.
surface of the
new, larger R caliper will be further outboard (in the direction of the
spokes). My measurements show them to be about 24 mm further
outboard when compared to the stock 240 caliper. So if
wheel spokes are
already close to your original front calipers, you
will either need new wheels or some wheel spacers to move them
outward. Many more discussions from others who have worked out
installation can be found
For braking to be effective when you get near the limit, you need a pretty good balance between the front and rear. If any brakes begin to prematurely lock up, it is preferred for the front brakes to lock just slightly before the rear brakes. When I tested these brakes initially with no adjustments or changes to the front/rear brake bias (which included a track day at Thunderhill Raceway in May 2004), I found the front brakes had a little too much strength and would easily lock if I wasn't careful. This required some concentration and discipline at track speeds. I found if I was gentle on the pedal I could prevent it, but still it needed to be improved. For a better balanced setup out of the box, I suppose anti-lock brakes work nice at leveling things, but adding ABS to my 240 wasn't an option I wanted.
If I were to use dual master cylinders with a balance bar, the imbalance could have been solved with an easy adjustment, except it would have been expensive and it would eliminate the power assist. My first thought was to remove the rear brake reduction valves (to increase rear brake pressure) and then install a custom single rear line with an adjustable proportion valve to regulate rear pressure. So the first step was to remove the rear reduction valves.
reduction valves were
removed, I needed some way to
re-connect the brake lines and found that a standard 240
(shown in photo) worked perfectly
in place of
valves. It fits
like it could
made to go there. Four of the open ports on
the block needed to be plugged (so four more
brass plugs were needed).
After testing the brakes without the rear reduction valves, I discovered the front/rear bias was nearly perfect. Much better than expected. I now have a very nice front/rear balance which takes full advantage of the improved brake system. Much stronger front brakes (because they're so damn big) and stronger rear brakes also (since removing the reduction valves).
now we know this can work
for a 245. What about
a 242? ....After
did his R brake install on a 242, he then tried this method above and
the result to be perfect. Through
amateur backyard mods like this, many Volvo owners have greatly
performance of their cars. This isn't the end-all solution and it
might not be for you, but for the money, it was one of the best
modifications I have ever done to any Volvo. I want to thank
Kijowski at Strictly Volvo Racing for designing and producing
the caliper brackets. They turned out very nice.
you do a mod like this (or even do it differently), I would
like to hear about your results.
is the key to improving modifications.
Matt Dupuis (added 07-16-06)
Here's some feedback on my conversion, and what I've done differently than (I think) everyone else:
The piston dimensions on the S60R calipers when mounted on a P2 car (S60R) are 34 mm for the leading piston and 38 mm for the trailing one. For a staggered piston design to work as designed, the trailing piston must always be larger than the leading piston. This is done on calipers with long pads to keep the pad twist under control and to keep the pad wear (and heat) even across the length of the pad.
It occurred to me later that the P2 chassis has the calipers mounted in front of the axle centerline, and that the leading (smaller) pistons would be on the top, and on the same end of the caliper as the bleed nipples. When rotating them around to the rear of the axle centerline, as on the 240 chassis, the smaller piston would remain the leading piston. This would be the correct way to installed them, however it places the bleed nipples pointing straight down. Furthermore, the high pressure line, as it comes out the caliper, would also be angled down, making it difficult to route the line away from the suspension control arm.
I pondered these problems when I was doing my installation, and attempted removing of the blanking plugs from the trailing side of the caliper to move the bleed nipples to that side so they'd be pointing up. They would NOT come out. I tried heat, I tried chemicals (thread unlocker), and I tried force. Eventually I stripped a couple of the plugs' socket hexes (not to mention the paint from around one of the plugs with my propane torch), so I gave up trying to move them.
I came to the conclusion that I'm only going to need to bleed these brakes once or twice, so I might as well remove the calipers and hang them "upside down" from the struts to bleed them. I shoved a piece of metal between the pads to keep them from compressing, and bungee'd them to the spring, and they bled out just perfectly.
As far as the brake hose issue, I solved this by using a regular 240 hose and hose-to-caliper hardline. The hardline threads into the caliper properly, and allows one to quickly bend upwards and clamp to the strut (being removable is necessary, so the caliper can be removed and bled again if needed).
And to my pleasure, these calipers fit just fine behind a Volvo Tethys wheel, when using a 25mm spacer. They're not very visible back there behind all those spokes, but they fit just fine.
I used Hawk pads for an Subaru STi as Hawk doesn't list them for the R, or at least they didn't when I bought the pads (The STi Brembo caliper shares the pad dimensions with these calipers). I'm not sure if I'd use them again - they squeal when lightly applied and the dust is pretty dark, and on the Tethys the dust accumulates quite quickly.
So far they're the most confidence-inspiring brakes I've ever driven. I'm not 100% happy with the balance yet - the fronts are too powerful, even though:
a) my car's not lowered;
b) my car's got a heavy V8 in the nose; and
c) I removed the rear brake limiting valves, but boy does the car stop!
I do prefer a bit more rear bias, and I don't spend any time on a road course, so I imagine I'm not the utmost authority on brake setup, but I wish I had a bit stronger rear brakes. Next step MIGHT be converting to different rear calipers... maybe Rs and vented rotors as well?
RX7 USA kit now available
Yoshifab in California now offers a 240 adapter bracket kit for RX7 front brakes.
Details at: http://yoshifab.com/store/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=38
offers stainless brake lines for this conversion.
In January 2013 I received an interesting email from Willy Reerink in the Netherlands.
I am working on the ultimate Volvo 240 to Mazda RX7 brake upgrade. My story is as follows:
In 2011 I bought a Ford Taunus dragrace car in Sweden and bringing it to the Netherlands where I live. As the car was built in Sweden they used Volvo 240 spindles and calipers. But when the car was built years ago it was much slower then with its current engine. I bought it with a 1.000 HP Chevy Small Block engine in it. It never raced with this engine and brakes. Last year we made the first runs, and brakes seemed not to do anything at all. So I first overhauled the brakes, and used ECB race pads. Brakes work now but the car is reaching 250 kph (156 MPH) and that makes braking even more exciting then accellerating!
Anyway, I looked for a brake upgrade and decided that to me the best solution was the RX7 upgrade. Cheap, easy to mount, and much lighter then the 240 ones.
I am still working on it because I do encounter some problems and I am not a mechanic. I do this for the first time.
But I can make a good comparison. The Volvo 240 ones did have just enough capacity to stop the Taunus, but nothing left (I prefer braking with the chute now). So lets see what happens this summer when the RX7 brakes are installed and how they manage high speeds. We will see.
You can follow my brake upgrade on my blog at: http://turbotaunus.wordpress.com/brake-upgrade/
Porsche Cayenne Calipers on a 240
July 2013, by Jacob (Kansas, USA).
a great looking adaptation of Porsche Cayenne brake calipers on a 1990
240 Owned by Jacob in Kansas.
calipers: 17Z left and right 6-piston from a 2005 Porsche Cayenne V8
using 330 x 32 mm rotors.
Rear calipers. 4-piston from same 2005 Porsche Cayenne V8 using 330 x 32 mm rotors.
Master Cylinder: 1.0625" (27 mm) bore from a 1994 Mustang GT (stock 240 master cylinder has a 22 mm bore).
Rotors: Volvo S60R standard Brembo, 330 x 32 mm front and rear.
Pads: OEM Pagids all around.
The adapter brackets were designed by Jacob. These calipers use a conventional mount, as opposed
to a radial mount. Be aware that some Porsche Brembos use a radial mount. Jacob is considering having
some more brackets made in the future for those who are interested. Links are below.
REAR CALIPER and adapter.
Because of the staggered piston sizes on these calipers (similar to the Volvo R calipers)
and the fact that on the Cayenne they were originally mounted on the front of the rotors
(and these are going behind them on the Volvo), Jacob flipped the crossover pipes and
bleeder screws to swap them. Having the staggered pistons in the proper order will eliminate
a potential for uneven pad wear.
FRONT CALIPER and adapter.
<<< Front caliper in place.
What is this? This is the drum portion of a stock 240 rear
The disc part has been cut away. It will be used behind the S60R rear rotor to retain the stock 240 parking brakes.
Rear rotor in place over drum piece.
<<< This larger bore master cylinder is from a 1994 Mustang GT. These calipers need more fluid
to move the brakes than the stock calipers do. A stock master cylinder would require a longer pedal travel.
The rear port is M10 bubble flare. Front is M12 bubble flare so a reducer/adapter was needed.
fit this master cylinder properly, the push rod on the booster
needed to be extended approximately 0.8 inch.
Jacob's Cayenne brake thread: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=281934
Jacob's 240 build thread: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=219119
Cadillac ATS Brembo front calipers on a 240
By Edison Bender, November 2014
This adaptation uses Cadillac ATS front 4-piston calipers and 13 inch rotors from an S60R/V70R. It will fit with most 17 inch wheels. An advantage of this caliper is that they are only about $120 each new. The calipers may be purchased from various OEM suppliers and even Rock Auto has them under the AC Delco brand. They use the same brake pads as the S60R/V70R, STI or Evo using Brembos.
The adapter brackets have been custom
made and are available in the below link.
Turbobricks thead and purchase info:
INTERESTING BRAKE PHOTOS:
What's this? Looks like an S60R
rear caliper mounted on a 240 rear hub. It's a pretty simple
design for the bracket if anyone
wants to try it out. A rear proportion valve would be needed to
reduce the pressure some. This setup belongs to the guy in the
below website (in Swedish).
The below photos are
calipers adapted by a European 240 owner for an '81 244
Turbo. These calipers are considered radial mount. Custom two-piece
rotors were used, however the rotor size is not known. Nice,
These pics were located in the following Turbobricks
240 StopTech kit that was once (no
longer) being offered by Kaplhenke Racing
This kit utilized StopTech brake
components along with a custom caliper mounting bracket to give you a
first class front brake upgrade. Not cheap.