|Volvo 240 Mods & Fixes
Just a few cool mods to keep you sane and properly entertained.
|UPDATED: May 20, 2018 CONTACT|
|D O M A
I N S
|N A V I G A T E T H I S P A G E|
|Electric Power Assist Steering
|240 Steering Rack Identification||Classic Car Insurance||Classic Auto Air AC Installation||Mechman High Amp Alternator|
|Cracked 240 Dashes||Rear Wheel Spacers||Wider Rear Wheel Clearance||Calculating Wheel Offset|
|Momo Steering Wheel Hub Fix||240 V Belt Sizes||240 Headlight Switch Plug||Custom Turbo Oil Drain Tube|
|Super Bright Dome Light||Electric Cooling Fan Info||4-Speed Fan Controller||240 Hydraulic Clutch Info|
|240 Driving Light Brackets||240 Cup Holder Project||G80 Diff in your 240||Fixing Underhood Grounds|
|Benefits of Anti-Corrosive Paste||Fix or Hardwire Your 240 Taillights||Lowering Your 240||Later Windshield in your 240|
|Headlight Relay Harness||The 240 Headlight Step Relay||Step Relay ELIMINATION||Speedo Recalibration|
|Bulb Failure Sensor Part 1||Bulb Failure Sensor Part 2||Bulb Failure Sensor Part 3||Faster Better WIPERS|
|Mods using RELAYS||Komfort Blinker Upgrade||M46 OD Harness||Auto Trans OD Harness|
|M46 / M47 Shifter Knob Fix||In-Tank Pump Upgrade||Fuel Pump Relay Mod||240 Tach Install|
|Plastic Fuel Line Repair||240 (52 mm) Small Tach Install||Bad 240 Door Lock Wires||Temp Compensation Board|
like 240s a lot and there's nothing
I like better than modifying them for performance, handling, comfort,
In this page I have outlined some cool mods I have done to my 240s and others that have been provided by other 240 enthusiasts.
Your comments are welcome: CONTACT
Electric Power Assist Steering
If you like having power steering, but for some reason the traditional hydraulic setup isn't quite right for your modified Volvo (or if you want to convert an older manual steering Volvo to power assist) here are some possible answers.
A number of years ago, Josh Sadler of Yoshifab converted his Volvo 242 to electric/hydraulic steering. Josh's system was failrly simple. It used the original Volvo power steering rack. He mounted an electric/hydraulic steering pump and reservoir from a Toyota MR2 in his trunk and had hydraulic hoses made to route all the way to the stock steering rack. The result worked pretty well.
Here's a discussion thread on his installation: http://turbobricks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135556
See his YouTube video below.
Here's another more detailed thread on a different MR2 pump installation in a Volvo: https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=247548
And here's the next generation mod.
It's an electric power assist unit from a Saturn Vue, Chevrolet Equinox or Pontiac Torrent. It's mounted in the steering column, so the level of tech is much higher.
This was an installation under the dash of a Volvo P1800 (pics below).
See the discussion thread here: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=341174
Here's a supplier of just such kits that you may be interested in seeing: http://www.epowersteering.com/index.html
Identifying a Power Steering Rack in your 240
Classic Car Insurance for your Classic VolvoThis is a bit of an unusual subject for a mods page, but I know it will be helpful to some Volvo owners out there.
Classic Auto Air all new Air Conditioning InstallationI finally grew tired enough of my mediocre Volvo AC in my 242 to explore an extreme option. This is a complete new AC system installation from Classic Auto Air. I also spent the time installing Dynamat while the interior was out of the car. It was a LOT of work, but sometimes hard work really pays off.
I created a new web page all about the new AC conversion. CLICK HERE!
I did this installation a number of years ago in my 242.
I began a discussion thread in Turbobricks back then, which helped me get through some issues I was having. That thread is here: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=215613.
Dealing with a Cracked 240 Dash
If you own a 240, it probably has a cracked dash. An uncracked one is rare, especially for a 1981 to 1988.
There are a couple options. One is very expensive. Justdashes.com offers full dash refurbishing, even for a 240 dash of any year. Cost is quite high, about $1300 for an all black dash from a 1981 and later 240 (and more money to match a color), but they claim the dash will be perfect and as new.
Coverlaymfg.com offers thin ABS plastic covers for the dash top for a bit over $200. This one is reported to be high quality.
Some people have used similar products over the years and have seen them crack over time if left in the sun. This may sound to you like a poor quality alternative, but there are other people who have had great success with some extra effort. Maybe cracking should be expected if you never garage your 240. If that's you, maybe just buy a cloth cover and be done with it.
AmericanDashCaps.com/Volvo offers less expensive ABS dash covers. Their quality is not know to me.
Some have reported good results with these products and they advise to first fill the cracks with a strong adhesive, such as a high-quality RTV glue that will keep the crack from growing after the dash top is placed on.
Here are some nice success stories: If you are considering a plastic dash cover, this link below is a restoration thread for a 1981 Volvo 262C. The dash restoration begins at Post #147, which is on Page 3, and goes to Post #161: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=256460&page=3. This dash turned out very nice.
Also a long time 240 owner I know bought a plastic dash cover from iPd in 2002. The car is always garaged and it has held up really well for a lot of years. There's been a small bit of 'warpage' on the very thin cross section (due to the top center speaker opening) right under the windshield, but other than that, it's pretty flawless. He didn't "glue" it down using the provided silicone adhesive. Instead he used four black trim screws -- one on either side of the center speaker opening, and one on each end of the dash, such that it's hidden when the doors are closed. He drilled the holes in the cover a bit larger than the screw and he didn't tighten them down completely tight, so that the cover can still expand and contract without causing any problems. iPd still offers 240 dash caps.
Other threads to read:
There are some good reasons why you might want wheel spacers or wheel adapters for your 240.
When my 242 had Eiker wheels (photos here: www.240turbo.com) I was annoyed by the large gap between the rear tires and the fenders.
Wheel/Tire FENDER CLEARANCE
for your 240
When going with wider tires on your 240, you'll need to deal with the likely result of rear tire rubbing on bumps, especially if your car is lower than stock. The back half rear arch may need to be trimmed by 1/2 inch or more, depending on your ride height and how far the tires need to tuck inside the fender when compressed. Some people prefer to ROLL the inner sheet metal instead of trimming. On many cars this is a pretty easy thing to do, but not on a 240. The 240 sheet metal at that place is TWO LAYERS, which makes rolling very hard. Most people who use the rolling method on a 240 end up finishing with a sledge hammer because rolling alone didn't work.
The area marked in RED is the general area that needs rolling to reduce tire rubbing on medium bumps. This is the FIRST (but not only) rubbing area you will encounter when your tires get pretty CLOSE to the fenders.
Here's a good thread with pics that outlines the ROLLING/HAMMERING METHOD pretty well: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=338190
In my opinion the above rolling/hammering modification does not go far enough if your car is lowered and you want to TUCK the rear tires without hitting metal or if you want to retain full suspension travel all the way to bump stops. Rolling the outer lip reduces rubbing at the back arch only.
<<< If you need your wider tires to go HIGHER in the fenders like this photo, you will need to do much more.
The below illustration will help explain what I did on my 242 when I went with the BMW mesh style wheels and adapters with 235/40-17 tires that are pushed out fairly close to the fenders. My trimming of the outer lip started out slowly, a little at a time in a trial and error method. Then I cut and removed the inner sheet metal curvature that prevents the wheel from tucking all the way up. This resulted in perfect clearance and the car could FULLY BOTTOM OUT the rear suspension in a hard dip with ZERO rubbing. That means hitting the bump stops with no rubbing. That's never gonna happen with rolling alone.
The below illustrations slow how this was done.
I have been told this is similar to the modification made to Group A race Volvos to fit their large wheels/tires.
Calculating Correct Wheel Offset for your 240
There are plenty of sites out there that will explain offset for you, so I will try to stick with how I calculated the right offset for my 242 when I added the multi-spoke 17 inch wheels (with BMW bolt pattern) and billet adapters.
Start with the wheels on your car now. If you have 240 wheels, it's a good bet they have 20 mm offset. If you have 700/900 wheels, they probably have 25 mm offset. If you have front-wheel-drive wheels, they will have a lot more positive offset than 240 wheels, as much as 40 mm offset.
When I began my calculations, my 242 had a set of Eiker E1 wheels. These wheels are 7.5 inches wide and have 20 mm POSITIVE offset. At that time I had also already installed 25 mm spacers behind the rear wheels (info on those spacers HERE). So this meant that with the spacers, my wheels actually had 5 mm NEGATIVE offset.
I had a good look at the REAR fenders and decided that I generally liked the position and distance between the tire and outer fender.
Looking at my front wheels, which did not have a spacer, I decided the 20 mm POSITIVE offset of the Eikers seemed to be a good fit. When checking FRONT wheel/tire clearances, be sure to also look at the spacing between the tire and your strut tube (or your coilovers, if you have them). You don't want to do all this work and later discover your wide tire is TOO CLOSE to your strut.
When I was shopping for wheels to replace the Eikers, I knew I would need to concentrate on something with more offset than the Eikers, since I would be adding a new adapter behind each wheel. I eventually settled on wheels that were 7.5 inches wide with 35 mm POSITIVE offset. I calculated that adding a 40 mm adapter behind the 35 mm POSITIVE offset REAR wheels, that would make the combined offset 5 mm NEGATIVE, the exact same net offset as the Eiker wheels with adapters I had on the rear.
On the FRONT wheels, the ideal adapter thickness would have seemed to be 15 mm if it existed. Since that would have changed my new 35 mm POSITIVE offset wheels to 20 mm offset, the exact same as the front Eiker wheels. The adapter maker I chose was http://www.motorsport-tech.com. When I contacted them, they said the minimum thickness they could do was 20 mm. So I went with a 20 mm thick front adapter. This made the net offset of my new front wheels 15 mm. The extra 5mm pushed the wheels 5 mm more to the outside. Hardly noticeable.
There it is. That's how it's done. Draw yourself some diagrams if it helps you visualize all this.
Here's a good Turbobricks discussion thread with related info: https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=339645
Turbobricks Wheel Guide: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=72501&highlight=wheel+guide
Rim and Tire Size Calculator for Custom Offset calculations: https://www.wheel-size.com/calc/
Wheel Hub for the 240
Installing a Momo (or similar type) steering wheel in your 240 can really improve your driving experience. It gives you lots of options for choosing a stylish or sporty steering wheel in a variety of sizes.
You probably already know all this and luckily for you, that's NOT what this article is about.
|240 V Belt
Information on 240 accessory V belt sizes used to be easier to find, but it seems to have mostly dissappeared from many useful sites.
I put this info together many, many years ago for my own 240 uses. I thought I would share it here.
If you can add to or help with this info, please email.
Headlight Switch Plug Problems
So here's the formula needed to swap in a newer headlight switch and plug.
1. White wire from old plug goes to position 1 in new plug.
2. Yellow wire from old plug goes to position 5 in new plug.
3. Red wire from old plug goes to position 4 in new plug.
More information on adding a RELAY to upgrade your early 240 headlights can be found here:
Drain Hose for Volvo Red Blocks
a Super Bright 240 Dome Light
The easiest mod on this page by far.
Simple as this. I bought an LED bulb from the below source for my 242 dome light.
Dim light gone. Bright light now working very well.
MORE VOLVO BULB REFERENCES
Matthews Volvo Site Bulb Guide: https://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=61483
Other 240 interior and exterior bulb info in this Turbobricks thread: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=283706
iPd Bulb Reference: https://www.ipdusa.com/techtips/10096/what-light-bulbs-fit-my-volvo
Volvo has owner's manuals going back many years (bulb info is in "Specifications"): https://www.volvocars.com/us/own/owner-info/owners-manuals
Experiments in the Installation of a
Primary Electric Cooling Fan for your 240
When in good working order, the original belt-driven clutch fan in your 240 can handle most cooling needs. But if you have been thinking that your 240 needs an electric primary cooling fan, here is a page I put together on my experiences with several electric fan conversions over the years, from small 14 inch GM fans to big Ford or Lincoln Mark VIII fans. Plus a variety of wiring diagrams are included for building your own relay fan control systems.
Or check out my 4-Speed Fan Controller Project Page BELOW (for the big Lincoln Mark VIII fan).
Cooling Fan Controller Project
(for my Lincoln Mark VIII fan needs)
I got tired of failing high-tech fan controllers that would burn up after a year or two when trying to control my big Mark VII fan. They always seemed to fail in the worst places. So I designed and built my own fan controller with FOUR speeds using what I know. Reliable relays. Works great! You can build one if you like.
Click here: http://www.240turbo.com/fanharness.html
Clutch Info Page for your 240
I have a pretty heavy clutch in my 240. Back in 2011 I got tired of stretching and then snapping clutch cables, so I installed hydraulics for the clutch. I recently updated the master cylinder and created a web page to help keep track of the parts and information for others to reference.
Here's the new page below:
Driving Lights on your 240 without Drilling your Bumper!
a Custom Cup Holder for your 240
We all know our beloved 240s never came with cup holders. There have been a number of cup holder projects in the internet over the years. When I saw this one in the Turbobricks forum, I felt it really needed to be shown. The thoughtful design allows it to be securely anchored over the e-brake handle, using the e-brake handle button to help pin the front against the shifter hump. It's a nice design feature to keep in mind when you build (or adapt) such a thing for your car.
See more photos and dimensions here: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=328054
|Installing a G80 Locking
a 700/900) into your 240
The G80 Locking Differential is a special differential that Volvo began putting in the 740/940 model rear ends beginning about 1992. It was manufactured by Eaton. This differential is designed to provide positive locking of the rear wheels during low speeds (typically under 25 mph). As speed increases, the differential can sense the speed change and it unlocks for speeds typically above 25 mph. It does this by way of a centifical weight that changes position as speed increases.
240 owners have discovered that this differential is a (nearly) simple direct bolt-in to the 240 Dana 1031 and 1041 rear ends. In many cases, these differentials will bolt in and run fine with no adjustments, usually even without replacement of any bearings, shims or gears. There are some that will tell you that the "correct" way is to fit the unit just as you would any new differential replacement, using a professional technician. The choice is yours, however many "junkyard" DIY mechanics have already done it successfully
In most cases when fitting this differential to a 240 rear end, you will need to trim a small amount of steel off the inner end of the right side axle. This is because the right axle will not fit all the way in with the G80 in place. That's the only part that is not a direct bolt-in. The trim amount is about 1/4 inch.
It's also common for modifications to be made to the G80 to alter the locking to un-locking transition speed to make it stay locked later, unlocking at a higher speed, or to even stay locked at all speeds. This is done by a couple different methods and these are outlined in the attached links below. Not all of the methods are the same, so if this parts interests you, read it all.
Also, here's the link to my old 240 Limited Slip Rear End Page. Some info is out of date, but I leave it up for those who can use the info.
|Fixing Common Corroded
(and power connections)
In Your 240
I hear about strange intermittent electrical problems from frustrated 240 owners quite often. These problems occur so often because of a few good reasons . . . .
WATCH THIS VIDEO (also read the COMMENTS section):
|Hardwiring your 240 Taillights (Tail Lamps)
|Quick Fix to get your 240 Taillight Bulbs
to Work Again (using aluminum foil).
If you have the above circuit board issues and don't have the time or patience to hard wire your bulbs (above), here's a quick fix. Thank you to Michael Yount for offering this solution.
Simply cut some small pieces of aluminum foil and place them on your circuit boards as shown in the photos. Use some hobby tacky glue to keep them in place. They will help bridge the bulb holder circuit if you have worn out circuit boards.
Lowering Your 240
Should you change the ride height of your 240? That's a question that comes along often enough. You have to decide if you like your car at the original ride height (cause you drive in floods?) or if it looks better to you a little lower. Sometimes the road conditions in your area will help you decide, since lowering a car means a more firm ride and less undercar clearance. If you decide you want to lower it, here are some options to consider.
Sport Springs: Most sport springs that are available (iPd Sport Lowering Springs being the most popular brand) will lower your 240 about 1.5 to 2 inches. Other spring companies offering 240 springs: B & G Suspension, King Springs (Australia), Classicswede.co.uk (UK).
The ride will be a little stiffer, but it will be very important to use good struts and shocks that will be able to control a stiffer spring. Bilstein HD shocks or Koni adjustable shocks are a pretty good match to this type of spring.
Adjustable Coil Suspension (Coil-overs): These are nice if you can find them. They offer a wider range of adjustability allowing the use of a variety of coil stiffness and adjustable ride heights. Occasionally there are people who produce kits in small quantities for 240s. Usually not though. If you're handy, you can build your own set.
Here are some good resources:
240 Coilovers: The Kyote Way
DIY 240 Series Coilover Instructions
Search the Turbobricks forum for more.
Cutting your Stock 240 Springs:
There are people online who will scream at you to never try this! I think it's because there are more failures from inexperience than great successes. The key to getting it right is experience and getting it right is definitely possible.
And for more you can read the following threads, particularly the posts from Tuff240 (author of the above page), who has more experience cutting 240 springs than anyone I know. This is the best information possible on this subject:
Later Windshield in an early Volvo 240 or 140
This is a fairly common 240 mod with a fair amount of info already out there. But since I still get regular questions about this, I decided to post this guide.
The 240 was built from 1974 (1975 model year) to 1993 and the body design changed very little over the 18 year production run. The windshield structure had no changes whatsoever between 1974 and 1993. Even in an earlier 140, the windshield structure is identical to the 240. You may have noticed that all 1991-93 240s came with a different type of windshield trim than those found on earlier models. It's all black and made of rubber. No metal trim is used like on earlier 240s.
<<< 1975-90 240 (and 140) windshield with metal trim: This early type of windshield was glued in place using a soft, messy butyl rubber. Plastic trim clips were inserted into the soft rubber to hold the metal trim in place. This trim tended to stick up from the windshield too far and in many cases it created lots of wind noise. Thanks go to Ben Buja for supplying this photo.
<<< 1991-93 240 windshield with integral rubber trim: As you can see, this later type black rubber trim is nearly flush with the body. It's cleaner looking and can reduce nasty windnoise. This newer 1991+ windshield always comes with this new rubber trim already attached around the edge. The trim is NOT available separately. The installer will use a newer style urethane rubber when gluing it in, instead of the soft, messy butyl.
Fitting a later windshield to an earlier 240 (or 140) is not a problem at all. It goes right in with no difference in the installation. Be aware that there are installers out there who aren't aware that the 240 design never changed and they may be skeptical about doing this install on an earlier 240. Some will even refuse to do such an install because they won't believe you when you insist it fits. But rest assured, the newer windshield WILL fit. Many 240 owners have had this done over the years.
If you want to avoid the argument, just tell the installer the car is a '91, '92 or '93.
Here's a great story from T.M. of White Marsh, Virginia: "I took your advice about using a 1991 windshield in my 1987 240 Volvo. Just like you suggested, in your article, I told the installer I needed a 1991 windshield for my car. When I brought my car in, the receptionist goes out and looks at my car's ID tag and sees it's am '87. She freaked out. She was all like, "it won't fit", "I won't give you a warranty," and if I insisted on putting this windshield in the car I would be responsible when it all went wrong. I told this receptionist that it would fit, it would be easier for the workers to install, it would look just fine, and that she already told me I wouldn't have a warranty anyway, because she said I had rust in the channel. So what is the difference? She got all huffy when I told the installers to proceed anyway and to ignore her. She was in a bigger snit when she saw that it fit and looked just fine too. There was NO rust in the channel, but I didn't really care about her silly warranty anyway."
"You were totally right, the wind noise is much less, and the installation was so much cleaner. I'm glad I took your advice everything is great; not original, but actually better. One freaked out receptionist, two satisfied installers, one happy customer, and one slightly improved Volvo. A good day was had by most of us anyway. I don't think the receptionist is ever going to forgive me for "lying" to her about the year and having it all work out just fine. lol."
<<< Side note regarding 140 series back glass: This photo was submitted by Johnny J. of Sparks, Nevada. His 1973 142 needed a new rear windshield, which was obsolete. So he took a chance on a rear glass from a 1990 244. The glass fits perfectly and wire connectors even line up perfectly for the defrost element. And the newer rubber seal from the 1990 glass went right in. So this shows that any 240 back glass will perfectly replace the back glass in a 140 series in case you need to know.
a Badass HEADLIGHT HARNESS
This is a good project for anyone with any older Volvo, especially if you have or want to to upgrade to brighter bulbs or headlights.
For the best info I know, read Daniel Stern's page on this subject. He also has several useful diagrams for designing and building your own relay harness.
Here are some Volvo specific diagrams that have been available on-line for many years. These use the same principles:
UPDATE 2018: Wagonmeister is now offering 240 headlight relay harnesses.
|Unlocking the Mysteries of
Headlight Step Relay.
And Test Procedure.
This relays is rather special in that it has a LATCHING function. A latching function is where you can click and release a momentary button or switch (such as a high/low beam stalk) and the relay will LATCH (or lock) in the ON or OFF position until the switch or stalk is clicked again. For this Volvo relay, one click latches it "ON" and another click latches it "OFF." I have created the diagram PDF at the left for anyone who wants to better understand how these relays work. I have also added a test procedure on page 2 if you think you might have a broken one.
to Substitute Available Relays
and ELIMINATE your Volvo 240 Headlight Step Relay
As original Volvo 240 headlight step relays become more expensive or less common, here I offer an alternative that you can assemble yourself to completely eliminate the Volvo 240 Step Relay if you want to. This method uses two readily available relays to accomplish the same functions.
<<< Click on image for 2-page PDF.
You will need to locate two relays to complete this project:
1. A standard SPST mini relay (5 pole) (such as this one in my Relay Page), andHere's a page created by a 245 owner who did this for his car in 2017. He added relays for high high and low beams, as well as driving lights.
2. A special latching relay known commonly as a VW Latching Headlight Relay. This is basically a copy of an old VW headlamp dip relay and they are used for a variety of things these days. Cost is about $18-$25 on Amazon or eBay. Search for "VW latching headlight relay" or "LR35 relay".
I don't offer the latching relay, but if you need a standard SPST relay, this one will do:
Your feedback is requested if you decide to do this for your 240.
|240 Electric Speedometer
(Applies to 1986 and later 240 models. 700/900 models too)
This information has been compiled from discussion threads in Turbobricks, the Brickboard and from customer contibutions. It's a simple mod, but some clarification was needed to make it simple for the rest of us. Using modern electronics, you may add a variable trimpot (rheostat) to alter or adjust the signal the speedometer receives from the speed sensor in the rear axle.
First thing you'll need to do is disassemble your instrument cluster and remove your speedometer. If you don't know how, instructions for that can be found in my 240 Odometer Repair Page.
<<< Depending on the year of your 240, you'll see a resistor like one of these two photos. That is the calibration resistor. It is static (or non-adjustable). It was installed by Volvo to alter the speed signal for the specific speedometer they selected for your car. The original resistor has been measured by others at around 51 to 56 ohms. By changing the value of that resistor, you can change the signal received by the speedometer. Some have installed different static resistors to reset their calibration. A few have installed variable resistors so the calibration can be fine tuned when driving. That's what this article is about.
1. Using a soldering iron, heat the solder behind the original resistor and remove it. Simple task.
<<< 2. Next insert a stripped wire into each hole and solder them on the back so they're secure. You may use 18 to 22 gauge wire or smaller. If the holes need to be opened up a little, use a small drill, then solder.
<<< 3. Here is an example of a 100 ohm variable resistor (adjustable between zero and 100 ohms). A "linear" type is preferred. These can be found on eBay and are very cheap (usually made in China). Often they're offered in lots of 5 or 10 for under $10. Feel free to put an ohm meter on it and find the two pins needed for the wire hookups. Polarity is not important. While you're at it, set it somewhere in the middle (50-55 ohms).
<<< A customer of mine sent this pic. He mounted a variable resistor behind the hole formerly occupied by the clock adjuster. This way he could tune it easily after the dash was assembled and it looks very clean. There's no need to get this fancy if you don't want to. The resistor can also be put under the dash or anywhere within reach depending on wire length.
If you can offer any new information or better ideas for this mod, please email.
Resources for more info: https://www.brickboard.com/RWD/volvo/853622, http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=239021, http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=258248
Understanding and Dealing with a Volvo Bulb Failure Sensor
Part 1 of 3
The Bulb Failure Sensor (or Bulb Failure Relay) is a device found in 1978 and newer 240, 700, 900 models that alerts the driver of a failed low-beam headlamp, parking lamp, tail lamp or brake lamp by sensing the balance of current draw between the left and right side lighting circuits. When that dash light comes on, it means the sensor recognizes that one side is drawing more current that the other. This is supposed to alert you that a bulb is out, but sometimes it can be triggered by incorrect or mismatched bulbs, or even when one side has a newer bulb than the other. Some mystery dash light activations can also be caused by a bulb holder with a small bit of corrosion, so keeping connections clean can help a lot.
Variations of this sensor:
Yellow case, PN 1362278 (1978-85 240 and 740 through 1985)
Black case, PN 1235271 (1978-85 240, other years probable, but details unknown)
Red case (pictured at left), PN 1362370, which fits the 1986-93 240, 1986 and later 740, 780, and 1991-94 940
Yellow case, PN 3545704, for 1988-90 760, 1991-94 940 SE and 960
Blue case, PN 9128814, also fitting 1988-90 760, 1991-94 940 SE and 960.
This information is taken from the best sources I have for USA and Canada models. It may not correctly apply to all European or Australian models. I have received information that there are some Australian models with a different red case sensor from above, which I have not yet identified. If you can help with info and/or photos, please email.
#1 Recomendation: My best advice for those who are simply tired of seeing the bulb failure light come on when a bulb hasn't really failed is as follows.
Step 1: Reach under the dash and find the offending bulb in the back of the instrument cluster.
Step 2: Twist and remove.
Step 3: Take it outside and throw it as far as you can.
a Volvo Bulb Failure Sensor
Part 2 of 3
Making a "By-Pass" Sensor out of an old Bulb Failure Sensor
Sometimes the failure sensor can fail internally, rendering some of your lights inoperable. This is becoming more common as they age.
FAILURE SYMPTOMS: The symptoms of failure can be headlights or tail lights (or sometimes just one whole side) that will not work even after verifying the fuses, switches, headlight relays and wiring are all in good order.
<<< Black Sensor 1235271: Referring to the diagram at left, for those of you who have had enough of the BLACK 1978-85 bulb failure sensor, here is a diagram showing the internal workings and instructions for bypassing or eliminating its function if needed. Bypassing this sensor will eliminate the bulb failure light in your dash, but more importantly, it will eliminate the fragile circuits inside this sensor which can kill your low-beam headlamps, parking lamps, tail lamps and brake lamps if it fails. Diagram view is from top of sensor or top face of plug.
<<< Yellow Sensor 1362278: Diagram at left is for the YELLOW 1978-85 bulb failure sensor (1978-85 240, 260 and 740). Diagram view is from top of sensor or top face of plug.
<<< Red Sensor 1362370: Diagram at left is for the RED 1986-93 bulb failure sensor (1986-93 240, 1986 and later 740, 780, and 1991-94 940). Diagram view is from top of sensor or top face of plug.
a Volvo Bulb Failure Sensor
Part 3 of 3
Making some simple BYPASS LEADS for a Quick and Easy Fix.
If you don't feel like modifying a Bulb Failure Sensor, there is a simpler way to bypass these circuits without using one. And I don't mean to suggest cutting off the multi-pin plug and splicing wires together (which of course you can do if you like). A better method, with no barbaric butchery, is to assemble some simple crimp terminals with a few short pieces of wire. Then insert them into the multi-pin connector, respective of the bypass diagrams shown above As it turns out, the multi-pin connectors for these sensors use fairly common 3.5 mm bullet terminals. So all you need are some male bullets and wire. Coincidentally, these 3.5 mm male terminals and insulators are available cheap in my Harness Parts Page HERE.
In the photo at left, you can see how these will look. The configuration is different for some sensors, so pay attention to the diagrams above.
Better Faster Better Windshield Wipers
Helping with some common complaints among 240 owners. Here are some suggestions to make your life better.
<<< Referring the the diagram at left, this will show you a very simple mod I have done to my 240s over the years. By swapping two wires on your wiper switch (terminals 53 and 53b), you can reverese your wiper switch function. This means when your stalk is pushed to the first position, instead of the slow (crawl) speed, your wipers go to high-speed. Slow speed becomes the second position instead of the first. I never use slow speed anyway. This modification also makes it so your intermittent wipers run at high-speed. This particular diagram is for a 1985 240. I have noticed that on some other year diagrams the wire colors are reversed. Either way, terminals 53 and 53b are the ones to swap no matter what. Try it out.
Also remember your 240 is a pretty old car. Wire connections on older 240s can get corroded over time and have been known to loosen up sometimes. As a point of maintenance, you should inspect electrical connections (and grounds) on occasion to make sure they look clean and tight. The harness plug going to your wiper motor under your hood has probably never been checked. Now is a good time to clean it. Unplug it and have a look. And keep this in mind . . . if you have ever find a melted plastic connector anywhere in your car, it's because of excess heat generated by high resistance from a poor connection. So good clean connections are important.
Lastly, use a volt meter to check the battery voltage while your engine is running. Low voltage makes for slow wipers too. Most 240s are lucky to put out 13.8 volts. Many will be lower and some less than 13 volts. That makes your wipers very sad. Dirty, corroded or loose power or ground connections between the battery, starter or alternator and things like wiper motors can have a big effect here. If you want to see higher battery voltage, clean the related connections, including grounds. So many people assume old ground connections are ok. Check for yourself!
You might also consider an adjustable voltage regulator if you want to bring up system voltage. I prefer 14.2V to 14.5V charging voltage if at all possible. Adjustable voltage regulators are available HERE.
Here's a page created by a 245 owner who shows how to fix a sad wiper motor that has its internal magnets coming loose Pretty common malfunction when these motors age. It's a much easier repair than you might think since a little glue is all that's needed.
Here's a better way to re-seal the weatherproof seal between the wiper motor and the 240 body: https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=293022
And here's an extensive page covering just about EVERYTHING you would ever want to know about how these wiper work and how to make repairs.
Volvo using Relays
I'm putting this here because having an understanding of simple relay functions can help any DIY Volvo mechanic in so many places for your car projects. Many of the suggestions in this 240 modification page rely on relays. Not too many years ago my relay knowledge was limited to installing a pair of fogs lights. The internet has helped a lot in this area and most of you can now be really successful with relays.
This Relay Guide is not Volvo specific, but it's a great resource for expanding your general auto relay knowlege and offers some interesting diagrams.
http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/RelayGuide.pdf (3.3mb PDF)
Here are some other pages with more relay explanations and configurations:
http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/relays/relays.html <<< And this is the best site I know for improving your auto lighting with added relays.
If you know of any other useful resources that would be a good fit here, please email me.
(Blinker) 3-FLASH UPGRADE to a 240
using a VW/Audi Komfort Blinker Relay
Back in 2010 I drove a late model BMW M5 (E60) across the state and I fell in love with the Comfort Blinker (or "Komfort Blinker") feature that BMW was putting in their cars. This feature allows you to momentarily tap the turn signal stalk left or right and you get three flashes from your blinkers. This makes lane changes a bit nicer. Ok, for those of you who aren't as lazy as I am, I guess you can just pull and hold the stalk for three flashes when you change lanes or pass. I thought it was a great feature. This feature is now standard in many new cars makes, so evidently it's pretty popular too.www.davebarton.com/pdf/blinkerdiagram2.pdf
I liked this feature enough that in 2010 I decided to figure out how to make it work for my 240.
As it turned out, Volkswagen and Audi also began adding this feature to some of their cars beginning in about 2006. They use a small simple looking, but special relay, VW or Audi PN 000 953 227A. After obtaining one of these relays on-line (cost was about $60 shipped from Germany), I set out to discover how it functioned and if it could be wired into my 240 blinker circuit. This took some studying and experimentation, but I was successful. Installing this relay into a 240 makes the blinkers work exactly the same way as the BMW, VW, Audi or any new cars with this feature. Also, it does not affect the normal operation of the blinkers cancelling automatically after a turn or the emergency 4-way flashers. A pleasant surprise I also discovered was that in addition to getting 3 flashes when you momentarily tap the lever, if you hold it for about 1/2 second you get 4 flashes. I don't know if that's an intended feature in VW/Audi cars, but it works great in a Volvo.
I created a diagram for those of you who want to do this in your own Volvo (link below or click image at left). The VW/Audi relay has five poles, just like any standard 5-pole power relay. Connecting it to the blinker system is as simple as splicing four wires at the flasher switch and connecting one wire to ground. This operation might also be successful in any Volvo 700 or 900 series, or in any car (probably any European car) that uses an emergency flasher switch and a blinker flasher relay similar to the Hella 3-pole flasher relay used in these Volvos.
Completed 2010. Check the diagram and see for yourself.
I also did this mod on my brother's 1988 BMW M5 (E28) and it was successful. Diagram below.
240 M46 Overdrive Wire Harness Design, Construction, ModsA few years ago after the auto transmission went south in my 242 Turbo 120 miles from home (Thank you AAA for your extended towing coverage), I swore off autos and decided to retrofit an M46 (4-speed plus OD). I'm not going into the retrofitting of an M46, but I am going to reveal the secrets of the M46 wire harness that you'll need if you ever do this in your 240 and need some wiring info. When I began working on the swap, I found an old M46 harness in a junk yard 240. It was in really bad condition, so I used it to construct a new one. The PDF diagrams here are the result of my research. Using these diagrams, you can make your own harness from scratch like I did, using a few salvage yard 240 parts, some common connectors and some wire. Some of the wire lengths mentioned in this diagram are actually a bit longer than original. I added some when I made my new harness.
If your car originally had an auto trans, you'll need to add one terminal to the round multipin connector on the back of your instrument cluster to power the "OD" indicator light. There will be no terminal in that spot in an auto transmission car. And the 4th gear ground switch in the transmission uses a common female bullet found in many places under the hood of a Volvo. This is the female bullet with the silicone sleeve. If that can't be found, a 3.5 mm female bullet terminal works fine.
These diagrams will also show you the differences between the 1981-84 BLUE relay and the 1985 and later RED relay system, so you may choose either harness design, since both harnesses and relays ultimately do exactly the same thing and will work on any M46 overdrive. Or you may use these diagrams to convert from a BLUE relay to a RED relay or vice versa.
I now offer NEW M46 Wire Harnesses for all year 240s if you need one:
CLICK HERE to find them in my Harness Page.
240 Auto Transmission Overdrive Wire Harness Design and ConstructionSince I did the above M46 diagrams I thought it would be good to illustrate how the 240 auto trans ORANGE and WHITE overdrive relays work. There is almost no difference in the relay circuits between these two relays. They are essentially interchangeable, EXCEPT that the OD light on the dash seems to come on opposite of when it's supposed to when the other relay is installed.
|Shifter Knob Fix
(M46 or M47) Manual Transmission
If you drive a Volvo with the M-46 or M-47 manual transmission, then you will likely already know (or you will) what it's like to have the shifter knob come off in your hand during a rapid 1-2 shift. It's very annoying, especially when it yanks the wires off of your OD switch and you have to put things back together on the side of the road. Here's a very simple cure.
First, pull off your shifter knob and if you have OD wires, tuck them off to the side and out of the way. Get out your drill and start by drilling a hole in the knob just like you see in the photos. Then continue the hole into the metal shifter tube. The hole should be just slightly smaller than the screw you decide to use.
I used a countersink type screw, so I also drilled a shallow countersink hole in the knob. I screwed the screw into the tube to test how tight it would be and decided the tip of the screw was a bit too long, so I snipped it off. I didn't want it to interfere with the wires. The last photo shows the finished result. That should fix it for good.
In-Tank Fuel Pump in your 240 with a Larger 740 Turbo Pump
The Bosch in-tank fuel pump found in your 240 Turbo will be the same pump used in all 240/260 models from 1976 to 1984. It's very small and while it will provide adequate fuel for a non-turbo Volvo, it has been considered by many to be too small for a turbo motor with any increased engine performance. The Volvo part number for the original in-tank pump up to 1984 is 1276330. In 1985, that part number changed to 3507436, which was used through 1993. The 740 Turbo pump I used for this conversion, which was used from 1986 and later in 700 and 900 Turbo models, as well as 960 models, is PN 3517845. This pump retails for between $150 and $200 new. It is also widely available in salvage yards for a lot less, although you should be cautious, because some pumps found in salvage yards may be dead already. For my 240 Turbo, I chose to install a used pump from a salvaged Volvo. If you need to test a pump with a battery, do it very briefly... only a second. These pumps are not designed to run dry and it can damage them quickly.
|Add a Secondary
to take the Load off your 240 Fuel Pump Relay
The fuel pump relay in your 240 takes a lot of abuse and it's expected to run your fuel pumps for years and years without fail. Well fail they do, usually because of unwanted heat after years of use.
They often run hot because; 1. They handle a heavy load. 2. The heat causes their plug connections to develop higher resistance, which then causes more heat, which makes failure occur even faster.
Below I have outlined how I added a standard 4-pin relay (or 5-pin will work too) to handle the pump loads, giving the original pump relay a much welcomed rest. The new added relay can be any standard 4 or 5 pin type relay with a load rating of 15 amps or higher, such as the ones I offer in my relay page here: http://www.240turbo.com/volvorelays.html#1324749-006brown
What this does is take the heavy load off of the expensive Volvo relay and puts it on the inexpensive standard relay. Then the Volvo relay is only used as a low current switch to activate the standard relay.
The new standard relay is triggered by pin 87 on the original fuel pump relay and receives its main battery power from pin 30 of the original relay circuit. As an option, you may instead run a dedicated battery wire to pin 30 on the new relay. I suggest 12 gauge wire. This should provide a bit more voltage to your pumps. If you do this, then the wire should always contain a fuse between the battery and relay.
Below diagram is for K-Jetronic Volvo 240.
CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTO
Below diagram is for LH-Jetronic Volvo 240.
CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTO
your Volvo 240 Gauge Cluster in place of the Clock
Adding a tach to my '83 240 DL way back in 1990 was the first 240 mod I ever did. It's a very basic install, but can be a bit puzzling for a beginner. These instructions will also show you how the small clock is installed.
CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS (pdf)
Volvo used semi-rigid plastic fuel lines on all 200, 700 and 900 series. Probably a lot more models, but I'll deal mainly with cars made in the 1980s and 1990s for this article.
Special thanks goes to Roger Brown of Pueblo, Colorado for the photos and details from his own fuel line repair. The photos below are of 740 fuel lines, but the principle is the same for 240s.
You'll find that the plastic hoses used in these cars are fitted to fairly standard brass or steel barbed nipples. Volvo fitted them when the hose or nipple or both are heated to a point the plastic becomes more flexible. Removing these hoses from existing nipples can be difficult and you may find that cutting or slitting them at the barb is the best treatment.
While less popular than adding a large tachometer to your gauge cluster, Volvo made a small 52 mm tachometer available for 240 owners.
They are fairly rare these days, but they can still be found used. Here are diagrams for wiring it up.
CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS (PDF - Right Click and Save)
Bad 240 Driver
Door Lock Switch Wires
I have seen a fair number of emails like this one:
"I own a 1993 Volvo 240 Sedan. It has about 100,000 on it and runs beautifully. The only problem is that the central locking system seems to be malfunctioning. It makes a fast clicking sound when driving and sometimes goes up and down when one tries to unlock the other doors from the drivers side. In the past two days the battery died due to something being left on. I pulled the #8 fuse (courtesy lights, clock, trunk light, glove box light, central lock system, power antenna, radio) and today the battery was fine."
This is an extremely common problem that literally affects ALL YEAR 240s equipped with CENTRAL DOOR LOCKING. Not just failing harness wire years..
How do I know this problem is common in all year 240s? Because when I discovered this years ago i spent a day at junkyards pulling off door panels on a lot of 240s up to the 1993 model year.
They are all the same. All Bad!
The problem is old, bad wires inside the driver door. Specifically, the wires going to the key lock switch ("F" in diagram at left) and also likely the door lock plunger switch ("A" in diagram at left). It should be pretty obvious once you open the door up and look closely at these wires. The insulation on these wires will crumble and fall off, allowing the wires to short. This causes the rapid lock-unlock to occur. And when the car is parked, the shorted wires may allow the locks be stuck in UP or DOWN mode, which will kill your battery in a few hours. The solution is to cover the bad wires with heat-shrink tubing, liquid electrical tape, etc., or cut them out and crimp or solder in new wires. You will probably only have to do this to about 8 inches of wires, but keep an eye out for more than that.
Here are a couple good threads with more photos: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=323301, http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=322700
Dealing with the Temperature Compensation Board in your 1986-93 240
I won't go into great detail here, since there is already an excellent article on this subject linked below. In a nutshell, Volvo got tired of people complaining about fluctuating needles on temp gauges. For the 1986 model they began installing a circuit board in the gauge cluster that changed the function of the temp gauge so that it would remain stable in the "normal" range at all times unless the engine was cold or very hot. The gauge then had only a few set readings instead of a true variable reading. The compensation boards generally work fine until they get old and cause mysterious high-low fluctuations for no reason. If you're trying to determine what your high-low fluctuations REALLY mean, you can buy an infrared (IR) temperature reader and check your top radiator hose temps for abnormal changes. To fix the problem, iPd offers a simple bypass wire you can buy for cheap here: http://www.ipdusa.com/products/5670/108262-temperature-board-bypass-kit. They also offer replacement compensation boards for more money. Or you can follow the below instructions for your own DIY repair . . .
ARTICLE HERE: http://cleanflametrap.com/tempFaker.html
Here are the instructions for the iPd bypass: http://home.comcast.net/~brucepick1/brickstuff/TempCompensatorBypass.pdf
And if your interested in a DIY repair, Peter A. submitted the following:
"The circuit is kind of clever. It can be repaired rather than just eliminating it. It does require a soldering iron and a solder sucker to desolder the old parts.
Pretty much the only things that will fail is the integrated circuit U1 or output transistor Q1, both of which can be purchased on-line from Digikey or similar places for about a dollar. U1 was bad on my board. After 25 plus years it would also be wise to replace the electrolytic capacitor C1."
Click here for a PDF diagram and photo of these circuits: http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/TempBoardCircuits.pdf (270kb)
And Dirk W. submitted the following for those interested:
"Lots of people will claim you need a new temperature compensation board (PCB), but that's not what's really wrong most of the time. I have found that the metal pins that are mounted to the main cluster PCB are generally not properly soldered to the PCB. They APPEAR to be soldered, but if you touch a soldering iron to the solder blobs that cover the heads of the pins, you will find that the solder is not wetted to the pin heads and these connections are almost always bad somewhere. A little work with some sandpaper on the heads of the pins and resoldering the heads of the pins to the PCB will fix most temperature gauge issues."
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Mods and Fixes