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-   -   The saga of the "Swag Wagon" (https://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=324711)

wgusler 08-21-2016 10:37 PM

The saga of the "Swag Wagon"
Since I seem to be doing some project/ rebuild or upgrade to the Swag Wagon every couple weeks, might as well start a thread and keep it in one place. Mods, If this is the wrong place, move it.

For whatever reason, my daughter wanted "an old Volvo wagon" for her first car in High school. She had saved up $1500.00 and I found a 1989 245GL on Craigslist September of 2012. Had many problems, but most fairly minor. Took it to the local Volvo shop and dropped another $1800.00 to have new brakes/ rotors/ radiator/ timing belt, inner tie rods and PS / Alt bushings.
CL ad pic:


After we got it home from the shop:


First project was stripping off the nasty cracked and peeling black decals around the windows. Once it was all off, taped it off and resprayed the tops of the doors and window frames.





Same time I painted the lower moldings/ rockers with trim black. Also stripped the peeling paint off the front spoiler and left it black.


Over the next few months, I fixed the interior problems. New Volvo map pockets, center console, rebuilt both front seats with new foam and new aftermarket tail lights. Replaced the inner and outer window seals/ new wiper motor / new Amp, subwoofer and head unit.

Feb of 2013, we had this:

19 year old not paying attention hit a Camry in the back. Bought $400.00 worth of PP and A/M parts and put the front back on it. Found a silver 88 240 with a faded paint code 130 hood and good mouldings and grille. Lucky girl only had to pay me the $450 and back on the road.


Just normal maintenance up to 2015, Stripped and painted the Virgos and added new Michelin Defenders. Daughter payed to have the gas gauge fixed and in tank fuel pump replaced.


Daughter decided to buy a new car, so the car was sold to my son for the original $1500.00 as other than the fuel gauge / pump replacement, I paid for all the maintenance on the car.

My son was going to school in Iowa on a football scholarship, so the car was just sitting and in one of the costliest decisions of my life, I thought, " I'll just fiddle with the wagon while he is gone". On to 2016..................

wgusler 08-22-2016 12:12 AM

The saga of the Swag Wagon, part 2
The first thing I addresed was the tail light situation, melted 3 sets of tail lamps in 4 years, so new lamps, LED bulbs and a hard wired harness.

Thread here:http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=322333

Next was the tailgate harnesses:


Thread here:http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=322593

My son told me that when he came home for the summer, he wanted to pay to have the A/C fixed in the car.............so that seemed like a good reason to tear the whole front end off. The core support was still damaged from the wreck and it needed a cond. Off to the PP and picked up a perfect core support and condenser off a 90 240. Decided to add an A/C aux fan and e code lamps...........and a new OEM Volvo bumper and all the mlds. New set of Hella Horns and then painted the lower spoiler and cleaned up the engine compartment.





threads here:http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=323193

New A/C comp/ drier/ exsp valve and all new hoses= 39.5 degrees at the vent on a 95 degree day. The Spal 16" pusher fan works wonders.


The door locks were acting up, so I found my answer on TB and tore into the door.

Thread here:http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=322700

Made a filler from the front spoiler to the rad crossmember:


Thread here:http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=323390

Rebuilt the right rear 1/4 trim panel and remove the homemade subwoofer mounted in the old one.


Bought fiber board from Home depot and made a new backer. Thumb tacks were just to hold it till the glue dried. I stapled it the next day.

Now the sub and the 6x9's needed a new home:

Put a connection on the box so it can be removed from the car easily.



Tore out the interior and remove all the rocker/ blower leaves. Put generic Dynamat on the complete floor and then a layer of bubble pack foil insulation.


Used the "Super Rad Hose Rocker Sucker Attachment"



Then did the back tubs:
More fun ahead!

wgusler 08-22-2016 01:09 AM

The Saga of the Swag Wagon part 3
Next was the cobbled up cup holder I made from some cup holders from Amazon and the side off a plastic irrigation box. It's kinda PITA with the cup holders in it to reach some of the controls, but I am used to it now and my son doesn't want it removed.

Decided to tackle the odometer issue and repainted the dash bezel shroud, it looked blue/brown for some reason, so a cote of SEM trim black fix it right up. The dash lights were dim, even with new Volvo bulbs, so I made a reflector out of A/C duct tape.

It does help the light on the gauges.

Yea, I have the white gauge faces, don't want to hear any **** over it, I like them;)

Added the remote for the sub to the dash:


Around this time while looking at wheels, I discovered this:

I didn't realize at the time that the actual car that was making my pants tight was being parted out here on TB. Probably a good thing, that would have cost me a LOT of money had I seen that post earlier. Anyways, that started me on a hunt for wheels and suspension upgrades and repairs.
Replaced the shocks and struts, added Ben's strut mount plates and IPD sways front and rear. Installed IPD upper and lower braces. Installed a set of B&G's, took them off and cut the originals.
Bought the wheels off Five Alive's car
and mounted them up after raping the rear wheel wells and adding Ben's adj PH bar.

This is still ongoing as I have just had all the bushings replaced and a major FU committed by the shop doing the work.

thread here: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=323872

Bought the snow caps from Dave to alleviate the leaves in the rockers problem the car has sitting in the driveway under a giant oak tree.

My son said it looked like the car had eyebrows with the caps on painted black, so we sanded them down / primed them and shot some 130 silver with clear.


I found some stainless screws that looked better with the silver. He was right, it looks better color matched to the car.

Bought a eggcrate after jerking around trying to make one and tore into that today.

Tried installing it by spacing it out, but it still doesn't look right to me. The chrome surround doesn't look right on a non flathood car to me.

I was really torn about how to fix it as I did not want to start hacking up something that cost so much. Mounted the grill with out the surround in the stock location and it looked correct.

Instead of cutting and or drilling holes on the eggcrate, I trimmed the tabs off the chrome bezel from my old grille and taped it in place. Looked great, but no way to attach it to the eggcrate without damage. Decided to attach the grille using the stock mounts in the stock location and making seprate mounts for the surround.

Cut some tabs from the old core support.
Mounted them on the core and then drilled the chrome bezel for the stock twist in clips. Now to remove the grille, you will have 4 clips instead of two. In true TB fashion, the bottom of the chrome bezel is attached with two zip ties:).


I used my orignal emblem and chrome strip as the one that came with the grille was ****.

My neighbor who sees me working on the car every weeked tells me "You can't polish a turd" Told him today , " yea, but you can smear it smooth!" He was teasing my son and told him to make me buy him a new car. My boy, tightened him right up.

"Well Mr. Andy, my old piece of crap will still be running when your mustang is rotting in the junk yard."

LOL, he will fit in around here just fine.

I will update with the next turd polishing adventure, parts are on order! :)

John242Ti 08-22-2016 06:42 AM

Looks nice. One thing I would do is replace the remote reservoir PS pump with the 1991-93 integral reservoir version. Did that conversion on my family's old '85 245DL. Was nice finally getting rid of the exxon valdez mess that the old reservoir created.


wgusler 08-22-2016 09:19 AM

Yes, that is on the PP list or a new one if needed. Once all the suspension is complete, the steering rack and pump is next.

wgusler 08-22-2016 12:26 PM

Here is a couple things missed in the other posts. When I bought the BBS wheels, that precluded installing big brakes. Sold my S60 brake parts and ordered the brake kit from FCP. The ATE pads seemed like a good DD pad and I like using Brembro rotors on my Tundra. Bought all four calipers and painted them in silver high heat paint. Replaced all the caliper bolts and the hard lines in the front.


Purged the system with new DOT 4 fluid and did the break in procedure to seat the pads. Unbelievable difference from the old wore out crap. Great stopping cold and hot and better pedal with the SS lines. I would have to agree with the TBer's here that say big brakes are not needed on a dd and that the stock system works very well.

Had a new set of cheap rotors I bought a couple years ago, gave them to a buddy that has four 245s. He called me the next day and said he had a roof rack if I wanted it.

Factory Volvo accessory rack dated 1994 never opened. God I love free stuff!



toms_elleck 08-22-2016 01:29 PM

Love this project. Keep it going!

Sharingan 19 08-29-2016 11:01 PM

Wow! you've really raised the bar for central FL 240's that's solid Grandpa series territory :lol: You've got to bring this to some of the FLVC meets

57plymouth 08-29-2016 11:06 PM

How much sound deadening did you use? Did you do the roof and doors as well as the floor?

wgusler 08-30-2016 12:27 AM


Originally Posted by Sharingan 19 (Post 5460222)
Wow! you've really raised the bar for central FL 240's that's solid Grandpa series territory :lol: You've got to bring this to some of the FLVC meets

I am going to the Tampa Volvo Dealer thing on the 10th.

wgusler 08-30-2016 12:38 AM


Originally Posted by 57plymouth (Post 5460231)
How much sound deadening did you use? Did you do the roof and doors as well as the floor?

I used three 36 Sq ft packs to do the complete floor and the inside of both quarter panels/ spare tire wells. I will do the doors when we get to them and the roof is also going to be done along with adding a layer of bubble pack insulation up top.

Dyna mat would have hurt bad as 1 36 Sq Ft pack is $166.00. Dyna mat is .067 thick and the Noico that I bought is .080 thick for $63.00.


57plymouth 08-30-2016 06:31 AM

Thanks. I want to do the interior of my wagon, and I'm looking at how much it will take.

You can get 100ft of Fat Mat for about $150 or so. 200 ft is about $280. I bet it takes at least 200 ft to do the entire interior.

wgusler 09-12-2016 01:53 PM

Bought a set of Hella Fog lamps, built a harness and mounted a relay for them. Used the rear fog switch over the headlight switch for a trigger. Drilled holes and mounted them to the bumper in the standard way. Yuck! looked like the car had fangs or buck teeth.
Decided to make some brackets to move them to the rear and up to flush with the lower edge of the bumper. Wanted a more OEM look with the light in the spoiler.
These worked better but did not move them rearward enought, so made up some a flat slotted mount to fit on top of the brackets. Now I have 4.5 inches of adjustment front to back. Sorry, no pictures as I was rushing to beat the rain to get them on the car.
Once the brackets were mounted, I install the lamps and adjusted then fully to the rear and install the spoiler. The lamps were behind the spoiler so moved them forward and marked the spoiler for cutouts.
Mounted the spoiler and moved the lights about half way in the opening, seems to look right there.
I will pull the spoiler next weekend and respray it but looks better for now.
Now I just need to find a perfect hood and hinges and the front end is finished!

toms_elleck 09-12-2016 02:06 PM

Dude! That look so much better! I've been unhappy with my bucktooth fog lights as well, and thinking of doing the same thing. It's great to see how they look set into the bumper, and it's especially cool to see that the little triangle holes left behind aren't bad looking at all. I stalled out on tackling this same project, because of that detail. I didn't want to get involved with building up a wall section around the cutout, if you know what I mean.

Before you repaint the bumper, be sure and give the edge of the cutout a slight radius with some sandpaper, for a more OEM looking hole.

Very subtle, OEM-like modification. Well done!

wgusler 09-12-2016 02:19 PM

When I pull the spoiler off to paint it , I will take some pictures of the mounts on the car and post them.

wgusler 09-14-2016 10:22 PM

Modified lug nuts
Finally got around to cutting down some 1/2" x 20 lug nuts to fit the BBS spherical or ball type seats. Five Alive sent me the lugs and the adapter washers to convert from tapered seat to ball seat. Big pain in the ass keeping track of the washers and making sure they don't bind up when torqueing the wheel studs.

No such thing as a 1/2' x 20 ball seat lug nut and I don't want to change the studs, so I made some.

Bought 25 Dorman standard lugs with a 60 degree seat and cut them on a lathe to the spherical base. Here is the 60 lug, the cut down lug and a Audi wheel stud used for reference and to set the radius of the cut.


Top view, one on the left before cleaning up the cut and the other after some 180


New grille emblem arrived today.


I imagine this will make some of the TB crowd cringe, kind of like my jankey white gauge faces. I will install this and take a pick later this week. Cheers.

57plymouth 09-15-2016 06:42 AM

Those fog lights look great! I might steal that idea from you. Did you happen to get a few measurements off of your bracket?

The modern style grille badge will look good too. I like it. Is it a Dave Barton decal?

wgusler 09-15-2016 08:25 AM

No, that is a $38.00 OEM Volvo emblem that I cut down to fit. The brackets have a 1" offset up and 6 inches back.

photoman327 09-15-2016 10:35 AM

Just stumbled on this and looking good. Looking good.

Matt 09-15-2016 11:06 AM

This whole project is awesome. Keep it up.

wgusler 09-15-2016 03:18 PM

The new grille emblem on the car.


Matt 09-15-2016 03:33 PM

That looks great.

connorb850 09-17-2016 08:12 PM

Where did you get the front plate delete plugs? Did they come with the new bumper, or are they just standard hardware store plugs?

The front end looks especially good with that grille and the fogs.

wgusler 09-17-2016 08:54 PM

They are GM wheel liner push in plugs, they look like this:


They are leftovers I had lying around. I believe Pep Boys sell them.

wgusler 09-25-2016 06:22 PM

Install the Yoshfab accessory bushings today along with 4 new OEM Volvo belts. Fairly straightforward job, the bushings didn't fit as tight in the bracket as I thought they would. Just drop them in with very little effort. I wrapped them with a couple layers of Teflon tape so they would not fall out while mounting. Really nice parts, everything lines up very well
and no belt noise.

Bought a Denso 100 amp from Philsky to replace the 70 Amp Bosch and installed it. ! Phil replaced the brushes and tested the unit prior to shipping. Good deal for $108.0 shipped.
Simple install, hooked up to the original harness and mounts. 14.1V at idle and 12.6 with everything on the car running. Bosch was 12.6 at idle and made 13.7 at 3000 RPM. Dropped to 11.8 with everything running.


At some point, tweeters were installed in the A pillars and left a nasty hole on both sides. After failing to find a good set of black A pillar trims, I gave up and bought a set of Rockford Fosgate component speakers with remote tweeters. Don't really care for the tweeters on the A pillars but its better than the holes and sounds better than the old 2 way speakers.

Oh, and I changed the clockface to white just for Redwood Chair!:-P
That was a pain in the ass. Sport exhaust goes on next weekend.:oogle:

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