|UPDATED: April 16 2019 CONTACT|
M A I N S
|S E A R C H
D A V E ' S V O L V O P A
G E S B E L O W
How do YOU feel about the Volvo 240?
If you actually read this ad to the left you'll realize it's not technically correct. I guess ad writers and engineers don't talk to each other much. Either way, it doesn't make you feel any less love for your 240. I've been a fan of this car since before I ever owned one, but they were too expensive for me when they were new.
If you have any affection for the 240, read Chris Driver's blog linked below.
I think you'll share a very similar opinion.
|I'm Dave . . . a Volvo 240
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
I've owned 10 Volvos since 1988. So I thought I'd list some of them below....
<<< My second Volvo (but 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 hit it broadside at 50 plus mph.
More info HERE (continued).
Here's my current Volvo as it
looked when I bought it in 2003. I bought
this black 1984 242
Turbo from the 3rd owner, who bought it in 2002. The
original paint and leather interior was in rare exceptional condition because the car was always
garaged and still is. It's very important for an
old 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.
This 242 came with iPd TME sport springs and iPd 25mm anti-sway bars when I bought it. I helped the previous owner install those a few months before he sold the car to me. Otherwise nearly everything was original.
|<<< This car was all very original and stock when I got it. This is an under-hood shot taken at the 2003 Annual Westside Volvo Show at Westside Volvo in Culver City, California. I resisted the urge to modify this car for a few years, but slowly that urge began to win. So it has undergone a few modified changes since then. Just a few.|
originally came with the AW71 automatic transmission. I have always
preferred manual transmissions in cars like this, but those are harder
to find. But then a few years later the automatic transmission failed more than 100 miles
from home (during a road-trip to the annual
Davis Volvo Show). I called for a flatbed tow (having a premier account with AAA was a great decision). The car was sent back home and luckily a friend in another
Volvo on his way to Davis was able to pick me up and give me a
ride. That transmission failure soured me on automatic
transmissions, so I swore them off and replaced it with
an M46 4-speed plus
overdrive transmission (photo at left). Years later I would upgrade it to the T5Z transmission mentioned below.
The Eiker E1
wheels (Polaris replicas) seen here and in some of the below photos were
imported from Finland in 2004. In
2004 the Eiker Wheel Company would not
ship to U.S. customers, so a Finnish friend arranged
for a relative of his to purchase and ship then to me from
Finland. It wasn't cheap, but I loved these
wheels and at that time almost no one else
in the U.S. had them on their cars.
Several years later these wheels became available in
the U.S. through a few importers and they
started appearing on other 240s at a fast rate. These are 17 x 7.5 inches (offset ET 20 mm)
and were fitted with 215/45-17 rubber.
There's info on-line that suggests center caps from a first generation S40 (2001-2004) will fit these wheels. That is NOT correct. Those caps are too small. If anyone knows the real size or if an existing cap actually fits, please let me know and I'll add that hear. I used caps that came with the wheels and glued on a round Volvo logo.
If you're looking for these Eiker wheels, Kaplhenke Racing offers them in their site: www.kaplhenke.com/collections/240/products/eiker-classic-e1
|<<< Later I
decided to install a Ford
Class T5Z 5-speed transmission. It's pretty much this one from Summit Racing, except when I bought mine it was from Ford Motorsport, not American Powertrain: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/awr-trfo-30001/. This
transmission was used for 1979 to 1993 Ford Mustangs with the 5 liter
small block. The input shaft has 10 splines (1.0625" diameter). Output
shaft has 28 splines. It has a 7 tooth speedometer drive gear.
|<<< The T5 transmission can be installed with a one-piece or two-piece driveshaft. For this installation I chose a two-piece. It's the bottom one in this photo. The top one is the stock 240 Turbo driveshaft.|
| <<< Hurst
performance short-throw shifter. My setup
began with a cable style clutch, but I later changed that to a hydraulic clutch after
stretching and breaking a couple of clutch cables. More
info about hydraulic clutch setups can be found in my Hydraulic Clutch Page.
<<< This Hurst shifter stick is detailed below.
lot of people have asked what I did for my
<<< I began with this chrome Hurst shifter stick.
<<< Since the position was a little long for my comfort I cut off about an inch from the bottom.
The holes I'm using are the BOTTOM one (which was the existing top hole before) and the third hole from the bottom in this photo, which I drilled out. The other holes were experimental and I didn't used them.
The final shifter position is now perfect in my opinion. It's comfortable and and easy to reach any gear.
|<<< That's a rubber bushing from Hurst. PN 1140015. About $11.|
It adapts the flat shifter stick nicely to the round
hole of the original 240 rubber shift boot.
And then some nice new taillights in 2007. That kept me
content for a little while. I've been asked
where these taillights came from. They started
as ALL CLEAR taillights I found on eBay. Then I
transparent red spray paint from the model
section in a hobby store. More info on painting
your taillamps can be for HERE.
That rear spoiler is a very rare Volvo 240 accessory made by Zender in the 1980's.
I grew tired of the traditional humped "coffin"
hood, so in 2010 this car received a flat hood and matching
The engine is still the original B21FT, but a few added features have crept in, such as SDS EFI programmable fuel injection and programmable ignition. I installed a Mitsubishi TD04HL 15G turbo (originally from an 850R Turbo), which is mounted on a later (1990+) exhaust manifold. A turbo like this is more responsive on a small engine with low compression than the original Garrett T3 turbo (B21FT has only 7.5:1 CR). Adapting a Mitsubishi turbo is not difficult and there's a good basic tutorial here: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=83929
| <<< Later in 2010 I decided to go old-school on the front grill and
lights just for fun. In
November 2010 I took the 242 on a road trip to the
annual Arizona Volvo
Day in Tucson, Arizona. It was awarded
first place in the rear wheel drive class. I
have photo albums from this and a large number of
other Volvo meets going back many years in my Volvo Meet Photo Album
|<<< I added these GT style driving lights in 2011. No, those are NOT standard 242 GT lights. Those are 100 watt Dick Cepek driving lights. They're larger than 242 GT fog lights, so I carefully enlarged the fog light buckets from a GT grill and fitted the larger off-road lamps. They light up the night like the sun! That's a useful bonus on long, dark roads.|
| <<< These
were taken during a trip down the Northern California
coast in May 2011 after attending the annual iPd Garage Sale and RSI
Picnic. The first pic was on the
famous coastal Mattole Road south of Ferndale.
The last two pics are in Humbolt Redwoods State Park
with the giant redwoods. Fun trip!
2012 I decided it was time for some different wheels.
The Eikers were on the car for 8 years. They are very
nice wheels, but when I first installed them, there
were almost no other Volvos with them in the U.S. After a few
years, a lot of 240s had them, so I wanted a change to
something I wouldn't see on numerous other 240s at
every Volvo meet I attended. I have always loved the
look of BBS mesh style wheels. These wheels are
NOT genuine BBS. I found them on eBay. The size is 17
x 7.5, same as the Eikers, but these have a BMW bolt pattern
(5 x 120 mm, with 72.56 mm hub center) and 35 mm offset. So I had some
hub-centric billet adapters custom made by http://www.motorsport-tech.com.
on adapters below.
The tires shown here are 235/40-17 Goodyear Eagle F1. If you fit a tire this wide on the rear of a lowered 240, you WILL absolutely be trimming or pounding some of the inner rear fender metal to make more room. The back half of the rear arch will rub on a wide tire on bumps. If the car is lowered, it'll rub even more on bumps. I have created an article in my 240 Mods Page on how I made clearance for these wheels/tires on my 240: https://www.240turbo.com/volvo240mods.html#rearwheelclearance.
|<<< In 2019 I changed to 225/45-17, since I could no longer find the previous size in a tire I liked. The new tires are Dunlop SP Sport 01,
a more aggressive tire with a stickier rubber compound. They had great
reviews and I have always been very happy with Dunlop performance tires
in past years.
| WHY BMW BOLT PATTERN?
The reason I decided on wheels with a BMW bolt pattern with adapters is because there are MANY more wheel styles to choose from for a BMW than for a Volvo 240. So shopping for something I liked was easier. These wheels are 7.5 inch wide with 35 mm offset. I chose 20mm thick adapters in front and 40mm thick in back. Adding the extra 20 mm in the back helps push the wheels out more toward the outer fender. These specs worked nicely for me with the rear inner fender sheet metal work I did.
Most custom adapter makers will tell you their minimum recommended adapter thickness is somewhere between 20 and 30 mm. Motorsport-tech.com told me their minimum thickness is usually 19-20 mm. The wheels you choose will need the right offset to compensate for your adapter thickness. Also keep in mind that a wider front wheel/tire may also get closer to the front strut tube on the inside and your offset calculations should be compensated for that wheel/tire clearance too.
WHAT DID I DO FOR A SPARE TIRE?Good question. I used the original spare for a while, but then I began thinking that if I actually had to put on my spare, I would have to remove the adapter first. So I decided to look for a spare wheel with a BMW bolt pattern. I wanted a wheel larger than 15 inches in case it came in handy for a future brake upgrade and the tire needed to be fairly close to the same diameter as the tires on my car. And the tire would need to be narrow enough to fit inside the spare tire well, plus I wanted a NORMAL tire, not a space-saver temporary spare.
It wasn't easy finding a wheel I liked, since so many BMW wheels are much wider than I wanted (usually 8 to 10 inches). I would have preferred a 17 inch wheel and it can be found in a 6.5 inch width, but then I found that no one seems to make a narrow enough 17 inch tire that fits such a wheel unless you want a very tall tire (unless you buy a super-narrow space-saver temp tire). I wanted something inexpensive too . . . a lot of requests, huh?
I saw USED space-saver spare wheels on eBay. Those all seemed to have a 3.5 or 4 inch width. Too narrow. Again, I wanted to use a normal tire, not a space-saver. Plus have you seen how damned expensive space-saver tires are???
I finally found this wheel on eBay. It was about $60 (new). It's a steel wheel, 16 x 6.5 inches with an ET of 45. Listed as part number BMW9153.
Then I found the below Federal tire in size 175/60-16. It was CHEAP. Perfection so far.
|<<< In 2017 I completed a
HUGE conversion of the AC with a complete new system
from Classic Auto
Sounds pretty drastic. It was, but it's working so much better than it ever did before.
Click HERE to see complete information on this conversion.
<<< Recent pics from 2018.
If you're curious about the hood vents, they're from a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and they function very well getting heat out of the engine bay.
<<< Here is a recent underhood shot (from June 2018).
ENGINE MANAGEMENT: I've been using SDS EFI to control fuel and spark for many years. Before converting this car to EFI, I used SDS EFI in my 245 Turbo for many years beginning in the 1990s. I get occasional ridicule from Megasquirt users who think SDS deserves no respect compared to Megasquirt. Maybe Megasquirt is better, maybe it isn't. While Megasquirt does offer a number of peripheral options that SDS doesn't offer, I've never had an SDS related issue or failure in both 240s I used it in over the past 20 years. I know a LOT of Megasquirt users who can't attest to such reliability.
Keep in mind that SDS has been a very well respected and proven system for AIRCRAFT engines for many years: http://www.sdsefi.com/aircraft.html. Are there many pilots out there who trust Megasquirt enough to fly around with it?
I'm not a Megasquirt hater. I've just never used it yet. I may even try it out someday in my car if sufficiently motivated.
There's a lot going on under my hood, but it's pretty reliable and keeps my car going as it needs to. That's a big custom Griffin aluminum radiator with a Lincoln Mark VIII fan. I have more info on this installation here: 240turbo.com/ElectricCoolingFans.html
- P A S T V O L V O S -
|Humble 245 beginnings..... This was my first
240 Turbo. I
bought this 1984
245 Turbo 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 was
my 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.
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.
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