240 The Biffwagon

edited February 2021 in RWD

After a painful two year long hiatus from Volvos I finally ventured back and purchased a 1987 240gl wagon. The thought process was that I wanted something cheap, manual and RWD as a second car that i could take to the skidpan and track days to go sliding in. I'd spent a long time looking for a VS that wasnt thrashed or overpriced, and at one point last year I actually bought one that was a solid deal and a pretty nice looker ... except the previous owner had put diesel in the fuel tank and I couldn't figure out the issue as to why it was running worse and worse and blowing more and more smoke and running on less and less cylinders (despite replacing almost everything) until after I sold it to someone else. A VS would have been a good fit for my budget and intention of hitting tracks as they already have a pretty solid drivetrain whilst being relatively light and finding parts for them would be easy. Unfortunately as previously mentioned, they have somehow become quite desirable (particularly manual utes) seemingly in the last 6 months. Ke70s are now $4k+ for a non 4age and at this point I really started missing my old 240.

Then I saw that my mate had this 240 as his daily; it was manual and had rego so I slid in his DMs and after a month I went over and bought the thing.

So apparently it was an ex-shitbox rally car hence the paint and sticker outlines; it's b230f, m47 5spd and already cammed (pretty certain its a H cam but not 100% sure, definitely sounds like one). Apparently the drivetrain was swapped out of a 740. Im not sure if its lh2.2 or 2.4, i havent really spent much time looking at it.

Here's a couple pics of it with my current daily; a 2004 suzuki ignis sport (an absolute gem of a car, a mini-minivan with an 11:1 comp 1.5 motor and close ratio gearbox).

Plans for the 240 are the usual idiot-young-dude things. Coilovers, diff gears, wide wheels, weight reduction etc. Before I do that I need to clean up and replace a couple of things; needs a new gearbox mount and shifter bushings (what's new); the engine bay wiring is a mess due to it having spotties, radio and all that jazz formerly installed; need to replace that side light (if anyone has one in NSW let me know).

So yeah! Im glad to be back. Keen to put some work into this thing, spend money irresponsibly and have fun :)

carnut222ljk346DJ240bgpzfm142nugget_940pigdogjamesincRaebirdgoodenoughpieboyfreshand 1 other.


  • Hot dayum here we go again

  • Usual idiot young dude things are my jam! Following.

  • 1987 that would be LH 2.2

    I have the corner lamp lenses

  • DJ240DJ240 @DJ240 Brisbane, QLD

    Enjoyed reading through your last build and excited to see where you take this one!

  • welcome back :*

  • pigdogdave @pigdog Wollongong NSW

    Should go turboooo this time ... boost is fun !!!

    if you wanted to go LH2.4 i have a full loom and computers here

    i also probably have enough crap for a turbo conversion ;)

  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    They always come crawwwwling back

  • RaebirdRaebird @Raebird Collingwood Park, Qld.

    Good to have you back Kev!

    Oh really? PM sent...

  • Thanks for the love gents

  • edited September 2020

    Update! So the wagon's been sitting parked on the street whilst i've been accumulating parts. Over the last few afternoons I threw them in and this is where we're at :)

    I've almost fully stripped the interior; everything behind the front seats are gone except the seatbelts and the tar sound deadening. Drivetrain wise I've replaced plugs, leads, did an oil change and cleaned the air filter and MAF sensor. It starts and idles pretty happily, I will be driving it tonight so hopefully it runs well.

    The bulk of my time spent on this car has been on the chassis. Installed BC Racing Coilovers in the front and opted for an 8kg spring. Turns out the car already has a 27mm falcon front sway bar so the front end is going to be very very tight. Chucked in some new QFM HPX front pads and VMAX Type S slotted front rotors as well. In the rear were Pedders Heavy Duty springs and Monroe GT-Gas Reflex shocks; I didnt want to go with the BC Racing rear setup as its far too stiff so I cut 3 coils off the Pedders springs and we'll see how that goes for now. They were very stiff in standard form but as i've taken 3 coils off the spring rate has effectively been softened.

    I've always loved the watanabe racing service wheels so I ordered a pair of much cheaper copies; Black Racing BR8 in 15x9 -20 offset drilled to 5x108 and mounted with 25mm H&R hubcentric spacers so total neg offset is -45. Definitely way too much but we'll see how we go for now. Tyres are Federal RSRR semi slicks in 205/50r15.

    Also chucked in a Momo fixed back bucket seat, and when it was installed I gave the seat a shake and noticed the entire floor underneath it flex. When i pulled out the carpet I found what looked to be a tiny rot hole.

    ended up being much more than tiny

    anyways I cut this section out and my old man helped me shape and weld in a plate of stainless steel. There's now zero flex in the floor which is a definite improvement.

    Crying because I accidentally knocked leaves and dirt onto the paint as it was drying. Maybe I will do something about that one day.

    That's all for now. Just need to do diff gears, spartan locker and it should be ready for its first skidpan event. God I hope it doesnt fall apart.

  • Looking great! Does your Falcon sway bar have adjustable end links? Just curious how it clears the brake hose bracket(s) or whether they've been modified.

  • theyre not adjustable - here's a picture. please excuse the brake line situation

  • Is that a Ford Louisville parked in your driveway?

  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    Stainless steel dayum check out mr moneybags over here

  • edited September 2020

    yeah my old mans work truck! runs a cummins NTC big cam 400 paired to an 11 series 13 speed roadranger, used to be mated to a 6v72. She has tall diff gears, revs at 1500rpm doing 100 and jumps 10k's every 100 revs.

  • Nice build mate! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

    Ive bought the same wheels for my 240, except the I have the 15x9s on the rear 😂

    Seen you’ve put bc coilovers on the front only, can you order just the fronts and not the rear?

    Battling between ordering bc coilovers or gaz. I only need the fronts.

  • I think I know your car too! The gold wagon right? yeah you can order just the fronts (I ordered through JustJap in Sydney). With the Gaz they come complete with the spindle; the BCs you’ll have to chop your old struts up and weld the BCs onto the spindles


  • Thats so good. I remember going to work with Dad in his truck as a kid and seeing these everywhere!

    Also related content: https://youtu.be/-JfY7UyeY44?t=327

  • Yeah mate that’s the one!

    Thanks for letting me know, Ill look into it.

  • So I haven’t really done any work on this car for the last few months except move house and hit a couple wetpan events. It’s still rocking the factory manual ratio open diff but it slides super well; The front setup is really solid and grippy but could do with more caster as I find myself not really knowing where the front wheels are pointing and self steer does not exist. Not a huge issue at the moment, priorities would be getting my spare diff built. Being open diff it’s quite unpredictable especially in transitions. once the 4:10 locked diff is in I’m going to have a crack at dry track events and pray the m47 doesn’t blow up.

    would probably also be a good idea to replace all my bushings in the rear end whilst the diff is out. Any recommendations on what material bushings I should go for?

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