Project Bluey the 1991 240

edited May 2018 in RWD
Hi, this is a build thread for my first Volvo, daily and project car, a blue 1991 240. Will also serve as a timeline of events with the 240 for future reference.

Will start by telling you who I am. I'm a 19 year old apprentice for Volkswagen, enjoying my work for the last 6 months I've been training. Wanted something as a project car, so I chose this blue 240. It's surprising how many people told me NOT to buy a Volvo because they are unreliable and hard to get parts for (not sure how true either of these are), but I did it anyway....

Ok so just outlining some of the goals for this build before I get started on the timeline:
I intend to daily this car for some time, until it can no longer be registered (modifications too extensive, too powerful, too awesome etc...)
I intend to drift this at a closed track once in a while, mostly because I had a ride along once in 2016 with a mate in his Silvia and loved every second of it. Also I've played way to many racing car games.

A turbo conversion will hopefully be coming using 7 or 9 series parts, then maybe an eventual engine swap (thinking 1jz)

Ok, so timeline:
March 2017

Found a very clean 240 on gumtree, no rego (from VIC), auto with 260ks on the clock. Got in touch with the seller, inspected, test drove and bought it not long after. Interior is pretty clean apart from a centre console and dash crack, and the speakers don't work. Exterior had a few marks on the boot lid, a exterior trim peice had been bent, and a prior attempt to fix this (self tapping screw) had failed. Clock and odometer still operated, so I bought it for a tidy $1250. Drove it home (morisset-ish) from Sydney and parked her up on our steep driveway.

April 2017
First mod!

Hard wiring the tail light bulbs seemed like an easy first mod for the beginner, as my old tail light covers were smashed to pieces and the bulbs very inconsistent, so I researched until I felt confident. I bought some appropriately coloured and gauged wire and some crimps, borrowed a crimper of a mate, some solder and an iron, heat shrink etc...
Also bought another set of 240 tail lights, as my housings were unfixable. Very useful to have all those extra bulbs.

Basic tutorial:

Something to take into consideration when doing this conversion. The reverse lights are wired in series. So the black wire from the left reverse bulb powers the right bulb and grounds on the right, not the left like the rest of the left bulbs. This got me when I did this conversion and the reverse lights didn't work, because I had only installed one light. Thanks @Rob

Did something a little different with my hard wire though. Instead of leaving the bottom middle space blank, I installed a spare 21/5w bulb into it from the other tail lights.
Think it looks alright!

May 2017

Started looking for rims for the ol' girl. I know, I hadn't even serviced her yet or even gotten rego! I don't know what I was thinking. Got some OS Formula Mesh rims for $1100 + postage on eBay from a mate in QLD. 17x8 +0 offset all round, custom drilled to 5x108, included hub centric rings and lug nuts to suit a 240.

Chris was a legend really
Told me all the specs as well as prior fitments to 240s.

June 2017

Picked up some 225 45 R17 tyres off a guy on Facebook, two new two halfworn, $80. Had some fitment issues as the tyres contacted the guards. Will need stretching/rolling to fit.

That's all I got for now
To be continued...


  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    Subscribed, promising start
  • You live on the Centy Coast?
  • AshDVSAsh @AshDVS - Geelong, VIC
    edited June 2017
    225 and 17x8 ET0 was always going to cause an issue with the guard lip.
    They're tough to roll (but doable) due to the thickness of the flange and seam, though you could trim them easily enough with a cutting disc on a die grinder and then re-center it a bit with an adjustable panhard bar.
    As you go lower, you'll find that the RR wheel will interfere more with the RH guard lip and the LR wheel will likely rub against the inner guard, up near the upper shock mount bolt.

    I probably would have gone for a 17x7 or 17x7.5 instead and a 215 tyre.
    Great looking wheel though.
  • * unreliable: ill-informed rubbish (particularly for red block engines)
    * hard to get parts for: ditto (FCP Euro, IPD USA for a start).
    * They forgot the other usual fallacy: expensive for parts - also false (depends where you buy them, and even if you did get everything from Volvo they'd still struggle to justify that comment when compared to Ford, Holden, Nissan, etc.)

    Btw... Nice wheels. No good for me (hate poking brushes and fingers through holes to clean wheels) - but look good nevertheless.
  • edited July 2017
    July 2017

    Weird screeching noises! Asked an old euro mechanic about it and he thought it was the wheel bearing. Got a replacement for the Left front wheel (n/s f) from Bursons, and did it myself with a mate and a Haynes Manual off eBay.

    Bursons did give me the incorrect inner seal, so we used the current seal instead. Will replace sometime...

    No more terrible noises thankfully

    Also rolled and stretched the front fenders to accomodate the new wheels. Rear wheels contacted the fenders because it sits so low in the rear. Our attempt to roll the rear fenders did not work, although we tried a lot of solutions. Thinking about cutting notches out to make it easier. Thoughts? This is how it sits currently:

    Until next time
  • Our attempt to roll the rear fenders did not work, although we tried a lot of solutions.

    Including The Old Baseball Bat Trick?

    You know, the one where you place the thick end of the baseball bat between the tyre and the fender lip on the rear quarter panel at the back of the wheel opening, and then you roll the car backwards while also rolling the bat, so that the bat's contact with the fender lip and tyre effectively rolls the lip? It's a two-person operation, since you need one to move the car, and one to supervise the bat.
  • @bgpzfm142 yeah seen it done before with mixed results. Better than cutting the guards I guess
  • DauntlessDauntless @Dauntless Central West NSW
    Cutting the guards will be easier, assuming you only need to remove a small section at the rear of the guard where it touches.
  • I used the biggest block splitter I could find. I didn't cut mine as it gave me more metal to aim the hammer at. I found hitting close to the 90 degree bend was the best way to fold it flat without just bending the end in. It took an hour or so per side but I didn't scratch or crack the paint.
  • edited October 2017
    October 2017

    Many mods in the pipeline at the moment but funds prevent most of them from being completed.

    This was the one thing I got done though. New wheel!

    I don't know about the wood with clear coat feel, looks great but ergonomically it's not comparable to leather or swede.

    Boss Kit is a momo one, wheel is OBA, horn button is "genuine"?? That's what the guy said anyway.

    Steering wheel wasn't the same bolt pattern as the boss kit (like 4mm off!!) when I originally bought it, so I bought an adaptor.

    As it sits now, I can't see half of the taco and speedo, which sucks, and my blinkers don't reset great. Probably due to with the wheel being offset from the adaptor.

  • Also does anyone know how the OE horn wiring works? Is the contact point on the back positive and the steering shaft/boss negative?? Just trying to figure out how to wire my horn button.
  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    Is the contact point on the back positive and the steering shaft/boss negative?? Just trying to figure out how to wire my horn button.

    Yes, the button sits on the ground side of the circuit. I think the ground wire connects somewhere around the collar that holds the indicator stalks.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que @Vee_Que South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    With your bump steer, the much wider track width would induce more bump steer, have you done any suspension work yet?
  • edited December 2017
    With your bump steer, the much wider track width would induce more bump steer, have you done any suspension work yet?

    None whatsoever
    Haven't even gotten around to replacing the dead springs in the rear.

    Bad alignment + wider track width could induce it also I guess, haven't had a chance to get it on the rack at work.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que @Vee_Que South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Bad alignment definitely does cause issues.
  • edited March 2018
    March 2018

    Someone's gotta be the dumbass around here...

    So, I decided I wanted to improve on the dead springs in the rear of ol' bluey. My parts car (1992 240 wagon) has a set of lowering springs in the rear and I thought they would be a great option instead of my current dead springs. I did not do any research before attempting this, so I had no idea of the results.

    Short version: DON'T put wagon lowering springs into a sedan

    Long version: So I swapped the springs, pretty straight forward. At first it seemed like an improvement, until I started driving it and kept hearing an insistent banging from the rear whenever I hit a bump in the crappy roads. So I stopped to investigate.
    The exhaust was hitting the rear drive shaft/axel tube right there

    So to fix that issue a chucked a bunch of containers full of water in the boot to weigh it down :+1:

    Because wagons have the "wagon" in the back, the extra steel and potential load means springs with a stronger spring rate must be used as standard. Since a sedan does not have this extra weight, the struts are constantly maxed out, the ride is crappy and your exhaust might break.

    Also make sure your bottles of water don't leak BEFORE you drive home with them in your boot...

    So yeah, I hope this helps someone avoid doing the same thing I did
    Just bite the bullet and buy the correct springs


  • I did always wonder why you couldn’t use wagon springs on sedan. So there we have it haha
  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    @ljk346 I'm in the market for wagon lowering springs hit me up
  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    You got the part numbers for water bottles?
  • Ive never heard of wagon springs causing an issue in a sedan. Dad had some heavy duty wagon springs in the back of a 1985 240 sedan and I dont remember any issues with that?

    Maybe your spring cups were around the wrong way?
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