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-   -   The Death Star - 91 940SE Wagon Rescue (https://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=356039)

mattymatt 07-20-2020 10:36 AM

The Death Star - 91 940SE Wagon Rescue
Hi Everyone! First time 'bricker :D.

I bought a 1991 945 turbo wagon a few weeks ago from my friend's dad. His dad is a mechanic that specializes in volvo/euro cars and bought this for his mother. She drove it until she died in her mid 90's about 5 years ago. And it isn't an "old lady drove this" story...I remember seeing her tooling around in it, headed to the post office at 15mph and smiling.

My friend's dad stopped fixing it near the end of his mother's life to prevent her from driving since she was pulling out on the highway at 10-20mph. It sat outside next to his shop for the last five years.

I'll include what I've done so far in the next post, but I'll finish the intro with a few pics here. I've wanted a volvo since I was a teenager, 25-odd years ago, but have had almost-exlusively toyota 4x4s with a few Audi's and VW's that my wife has owned. I love well-engineered, no frills, reliable engines.

It's got lichen and moss growing on the front end and body. Other than that it is pretty clean. Clearly there was moisture accumulating under the hood, because I'm dealing with some crusty connectors in the harness.
I'm excited to get her running and back to my house, though if it doesn't run soon I'll tow it the 10 miles home.




mattymatt 07-20-2020 10:37 AM





mattymatt 07-20-2020 11:17 AM

Forgot to add that it is an autobox and has about 175k on the clock.

So I've fooled with it for a few weeks, about an hour or two each weekend when it isn't blazing hot. Car still won't start. Here's what I've done so far:

- Car had less than 1/8 tank, most likely crud I assume from the 5yrs of sitting. I added fresh 93 octane and seafoam to bring the tank up to about 7/8 full.
- CHecked fluids to be sure levels were good and nothing looked bad right away. Will change everything again once it is running and engine/trans can warm up.
- Swapped in an optima battery from my 4runner that is sitting for a fresh battery to troubleshoot with

Starting point:
- Engine cranks but no start. Doesn't stumble or try to fire, just cranks.
- PO said he was troubleshooting before he parked it and had an intermittent no-start issue due to bad connections on FI/Radio Suppression Relay by driver's side shock tower.

I ordered some parts from IPD and Amazon to get things moving.

What has been replaced/repaired so far:
- Since I couldn't find any direct replacement for the entire assembly for the Radio Suppression and Aux Fan Relay, I bought some Hella sealed relay and base kits on Amazon. I'm still amazed at how these harness and relay connectors under the hood have lasted 30 years. I'm not impressed with that. The new relays are in and connected to the harness with waterproof heat shrink connectors.
- FI relay in the console is replaced for good measure since it was not very expensive, easy to replace, and will be hard to get quickly where I live if it fails

mattymatt 07-20-2020 11:55 AM

At that point I still had no start, only cranking over. Searched the web, found a LOT of info on troubleshooting the LH2.4 and EZK systems.

- No spark or fuel. Check ignition coil. No 12V on blue wire. Coil resistance is good and red/white goes thru to power stage.
- Check new wiring work on hella relay I installed. Apparently I forgot it is powered from the battery and blew the fuse. Replace fuse for FI. FI relay under dash clicks on with key on. 12V passing at Hella (radio suppression) relay.
- 12V at power stage pin 4, none at 1 from coil. No pulse on cranking. Had bought new RPM sensor too, replaced; old one had broken apart sheathing next to connector on firewall. Now getting pulse.
- Look over wiring diagrams for car. Found harness connector between ign coil and power. Found badly corroded connector pin for blue wire. Removed disintegrating connector assembly, cleaned connection and put together individually. Now have 12V+ on blue ign wire and 12v+ on pin 1 at power stage.
- Now there is spark at plugs, still no cylinders firing at all.
- Sprayed a little starting fluid in intake and engine will run for 10-20sec with start fluid. Ignition system seems to be working now.

Still no fuel at engine; spark plug I pulled to test spark was bone dry.
- Check fuel pump/FI fuses again, all good and inserted properly
- Can hear pump coming on with ign after relay and fuse issue were fixed, but seems pretty loud. Google around and sounds like issue is fuel starved pump.
- Pull over in cargo area to access fuel pickup and return. Pickup hose where it goes into tank is cracked at elbow. Wasn't all the way thru though I found and wasn't leaking. Cut back the hose an inch and reconnect. Return had split too and starting spilling fuel too later.
-Pump noise went away after that change. Acted like there might have been enough of a crack in the line that the pump wouldn't pull fuel from the tank. If that was true, that also means intank pump is probably toast because it would have caused a pressurized leak if it was working properly??
-Back to fuel rail: Tried to crack incoming line on rail but fitting was completely stuck. Grab area on the rail was rounded off and rail has a little twist in it where somone twisted it a little and then moved it back. Doesn't appear kinked off though. Pull fuel regulator instead. No pressure or fuel in the rail.
- replace fuel filter. Fuel in it looked like swedish coffee. Fuel dripping in from tank looked better/pretty clean.
- Energize pump again. Comes on with key but no unusual noise.. I forgot to tighten up bolts on regulator and have a fuel drip at connection to the fuel rail, so there appears to be fuel to the rail at this point. I don't have a pressure tester so I'm not sure what the pressure is, just that fuel is actually getting there.

Still no fire.
- Check for 12V+ at injectors. Nope.
- Check for 12V+ at connector from ballast resistors above battery. Yes but connector is pretty funky. Pull apart, spray with cleaner and reconnect. Now 12V+ at injectors. Still no fire. Spark plug in cyl 2 is dry.
- Attach noid light to injector #1. No flash. Check circuit. Clean ground on intake. Found another grody harness connector at passenger firewall before it goes in to ECU. No resistance now from other pin on injector back to ECU plug for grounding.
- Noid light flashes on crank. I've never used one before so I don't know how it is supposed to look, but it flashes. Seems a little dim to me but again I dont' have a reference.

Still no fire.
- Attempt to hear FI clicking with screwdriver->ear technique while cranking. Can't really hear it. Pull injectors and soak the ends in carb/choke cleaner. Test with 9V battery. Can't really hear an audible "click" except when I pull jumper wire away from pins on injector and it makes a tiny arc. Same for all 4 injectors. Install back on car last night. No fire, no fuel in cylinder.

New Relays from Hella for Radio Suppression and Aux Fan:





First one in place:


mattymatt 07-20-2020 12:01 PM

So that's where I am as of last night. I feel like the injectors aren't good, but I'm not totally convinced and don't have any others to test against without buying new ones.

I talked to my friend's dad after I finished last night to see if he had any insight. He agreed that it sounded like the injectors but would be surprised if all 4 failed. He asked about the fuel pressure and I said I wasn't able to verify. He said he would put a fuel pressure tester for it in the car today so I could verify that.

To me the only options left are:
1) low fuel pressure/supply
2) injectors not opening

I feel like I've gone thru the entire circuit for the injectors to rule out an electrical issue? The regulator doesn't seem to be leaking out the vacuum line, but it seems like that wouldn't necessarily cause a low fuel issue?

Anyone have any ideas or things I may have missed along the way???

Dry plug:

mattymatt 07-20-2020 12:04 PM

Also I've had it with these connectors. I'm thinking about replacing all the harness connections in the engine bay with deutsche connectors? Anyone run into this and have another solution??

propav8r 07-21-2020 10:51 AM

For what it's worth, I can't see any of your photos. In quoting your messages, it looks like you're trying to link to an icloud photo. That's private, so we don't see anything.

Your best bet is to host the photos you want to embed on a public platform like imgur or something, then embed those image links.

whatshouldido 07-21-2020 09:36 PM

wish I could help, maybe check your local for some injectors to cross test !

Will stay on the look out for updates !

mattymatt 07-21-2020 10:57 PM


Originally Posted by propav8r (Post 6098779)
For what it's worth, I can't see any of your photos. In quoting your messages, it looks like you're trying to link to an icloud photo. That's private, so we don't see anything.

Your best bet is to host the photos you want to embed on a public platform like imgur or something, then embed those image links.

Let me check and see....

@propav8r Can you see them now??

mattymatt 07-22-2020 10:32 AM


Originally Posted by whatshouldido (Post 6098970)
wish I could help, maybe check your local for some injectors to cross test !

Will stay on the look out for updates !

Thanks! I'm probably going to pick up some injectors this weekend after payday. Car's 30 yrs old and sitting for 5 years so some new injectors are a good things anyway.

mattymatt 07-22-2020 10:32 AM

Old RPM Sensor:

mattymatt 07-22-2020 10:50 AM

It was blazing hot Monday night but I was able to poke at a few more things. In lieu of a fuel pressure tester (I will get to borrow one this weekend) I gently clamped the return line coming out of the regulator to block the fuel from going back to the tank in case the regulator was bad. No fuel on the vacuum side FYI. That didn't change anything.

I was able to jiggle the diagnostic box and get it working. The IGN gave me 1-1-1 so that's good; ECU gave me 2-2-3 for no signal from IAC. I suspect that is a crusty connector issue too, but shouldn't cause a no start issue. I was trying to use the diagnostic mode where it goes thru the sensors, fan and injectors and clicks them on. Couldn't quite get it to work right but it was hard to read the instructions on my phone in the sun with sweat in my eyes. I'll try it again now that I was able to look at the instructions properly.

So it looks like I'm going to try to pick up some new injectors and test the fuel pressure this weekend. Going to poke at the wiring connectors a little too as I know I'll find more gremlins in there. I think my goal on the wiring is to replace all the harness connectors in the engine bay with deutsche connectors. I think it'll probably be $150-200 to get all of them replaced and that doesn't seem to bad vs chasing gremlins indefinitely. Anyone else deal with connector issues differently??

mattymatt 07-22-2020 11:20 AM

I was just killing some time on the googles and I must've worded a search differently because this thread popped up and had not before:


Almost exactly the same symptoms and most of the troubleshooting I've done. Engine was a B230Ft from a 940 that sat for 5-10yrs. Injectors were stuck and grounds were funky. Sounds like MAF was bad at the end too but it was firing and stumbling.

My Noid tests look like his earlier video, sorta dim pulse. I think I need to clean up connectors again so they look like the later video with a brighter pulse. Glad I found this because it helps to answer the question of the injectors gluing themselves stuck while sitting for a long time. :bb:

mattymatt 08-30-2020 08:52 PM

It's running!!! All the injectors were stuck shut and a wire on the harness connector on the passenger side before it connects to the ECU had come disconnected. Now I just need tires, tags, and a new battery!

Coupid 08-30-2020 11:09 PM

Good job! Way to persevere through all that troubleshooting. What’s next now that it is running?

redblockpowered 09-03-2020 12:34 AM

Looks like a good start. I like the SEs a lot. You may find this car to have more parts interchange with a 960 of the same year than a 940. In Europe these were sold as the 960 Turbo.

mattymatt 09-03-2020 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by Coupid (Post 6109755)
Good job! Way to persevere through all that troubleshooting. What’s next now that it is running?

Thanks! My Tundra DD decided I wasn't paying enough attention to it and wanted me to replace a rear wheel bearing and axle seal before I could get back to the 940 :).

Next is tags and tires. The owner (my friend's dad) hasn't cashed my check yet because he didn't want it to be something that took 1k to get running and have me mad that he ripped me off I think. So he is digging the title out now and the DMV is by appt only so that will be a headache. One tire won't hold air for more then a few hours so I've been searching marketplace and CL to see if I can get a usable set of tires/wheels that will last at least thru the winter so I can start driving it to work and shaking out any other issues. Plus having two sets of wheels for winter/summer would be nice.
I removed the roof rack. Unfortunately two of the rear holes on either side have rusted out into larger holes so I can't just use the IPD plugs to fill them. I need to figure out how I want to repair that. But I love the slick top look with the rack gone already!
I think the next addition I want to pick up is a wagon spoiler? I really like the look of the redblock wagons with no rack and a spolier :D

mattymatt 09-03-2020 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by redblockpowered (Post 6110612)
Looks like a good start. I like the SEs a lot. You may find this car to have more parts interchange with a 960 of the same year than a 940. In Europe these were sold as the 960 Turbo.

I wanted a sedan since I've been looking for a redblock over the last year or so, but this was my friend's dad's wagon that his grandmother drove so I knew it was cared for until it was parked. And I wanted a turbo! All the sedans I've seen around were NA and for me right now turbo wagon > NA sedan :D.

I figured if I get tired of the wagon I can always pull the B230FT and swap it into an NA sedan later! For now I really like this SE wagon though!

mattymatt 09-03-2020 11:36 AM

All cleaned up after 5-6 years of scum, dirt and lichen:



mattymatt 09-03-2020 11:37 AM

Anyone else have good luck repairing rust around roof rack holes? My rack is removed for good now.


mattymatt 09-03-2020 11:41 AM

Here was the issue that messed me up the most. While checking the harness and troubleshooting the injector circuit back to the ECU, this plug kinda popped apart. In the bright July sunlight, I had a hard time determining the difference between the white/black and white/gray wires on the right as the top pair was faded. I always wondered if that was the issue and planned to circle back to determine if it was correct or not later. I looked at it again the other night and noticed the black wire on the bottom with the arrow had been plugged into the red/white wire above instead of the black. Moved it over to black->black and vroom :grrr:


mattymatt 09-03-2020 01:30 PM

So I guess I should give an overview of what I had to do to get this car online after picking it up for a few hundred bucks:

Backstory - car was my friend's grandmother's "grocery getter" from her mid 80's until just before she died in her mid 90's. My friend's dad is a mechanic so fluids were all changed not long before it was parked and still look to be in decent shape. I will change them all before I start to drive it to work this fall. Air filter was brand new before it was parked. He allowed the inspection to lapse in 11/2015 to stop her from continuing to drive out of fear for safety. At that point he found an intermittent start issue related to the suppression/FI relay near the driver's side strut tower and didn't repair it, again, to force the car to not be functional. I picked it up a couple months ago which meant it has sat untouched for at least 5 years.

I was working on the vehicle where it was parked outside the shop where it was parked 5 years ago.

Fuel - there was about 1/8th tank of pretty gross fuel (obviously) and I didn't have a great way to get the last bit of old fuel out other than trying to pump it out on the ground, so I added a can of seafoam and topped off the tank with 93 octane. I also changed the fuel filter as the pump was making noise like it was having trouble getting fuel thru the filter. That was a good call as the fuel in the filter looked like coffee. After that I had fuel at the rail and the pump quieted down.
I replaced the FI relay behind the radio just for good measure.

Under the hood - knowing there was an issue with the suppression/FI relay connectors from the getgo, I picked up some nice Hella sealed base relays of similar spec (photos earlier in thread) to re-engineer the relay connections in an area that sees a good bit of moisture. I am really happy with how that turned out and can provide model number and wiring info if anyone else is interested. Sprayed WD40 in each cylinder about 1 hr before trying to crank also for a little lubrication.

Fuel and Spark - once I got a battery in the car, replaced relays noted above, and got fuel in the tank, of course I tried to start it :). Cranked and cranked but no fire. Tried a few squirts of starter fluid and nothing. Attempted to check for fuel in the rail and the collar on the incoming fuel hose was absolutely stuck. WD40 didn't help. Popped the fuel pressure regulator and nothing at all in the rail. That's when I backtracked and replaced the filter as mentioned above. After replacing the filter I had fuel in the rail. Checked spark on plug 2 and nothing. Backed up to distributor feed and no spark there either. Pulled out my voltmeter and checked for voltage readings at the ign coil. No 12V+ on the blue wire on the coil. Backtrack to power stage and troubleshoot that. Readings were good except connection from power stage to coil. Found harness plug along inside of driver's side fender (next to diagnostic panel) had crusty connections. Clean up and reconnect; now good voltage at coil. Check spark and have good spark now!
Reconnect plug wires and try to crank. Still no firing at all. Test with a few more squirts of starter fluid and engine tries to run with starter fluid.

Fuel Injectors - With fuel at the rail and spark I looked into the fuel injector circuit. Injectors have 10V+ but noid light on injector one does not blink. Check voltage at new Hella relay and 12V+ is good. Check thru circuit to ballast resistors and to injectors. Found another grody connector in large harness plug next to ballast resistors/power stage. Voltage now 12V+ at injector plug. Noid light flashes but very dim. Still no fire when cranking. Verify ground circuit for injectors. Check resistance from intake manifold to ECU ground and found it to be high (can't remember the reading now). Removed and cleaned up grounds at intake manifold and ECU. Checked again and a little improvement but not acceptable. Pour thru wiring diagrams (yay) and found harness plug on firewall before harness comes down to ECU at passenger front floor. There are two large plugs next to each other, one had 3 wires on mine and the other had 7 or 8 I think (from memory). The wires I wanted were on the 3-wire plug. Cleaned it up and good connectivity from FI plug ground to ECU. Still no fire. Noid light flashes but not brightly. Pull injectors and turns out they are all stuck closed. Soaked them in cleaner, smacked with a hammer, nothing helped. Bought some reman injectors on ebay. Replaced injectors and still no fire :(. After taking a time out to work on my DD pickup, towed vehicle home. Washed the car off and decided to putz around on afternoon this weekend and start replacing the old crusty harness connectors with heatshrink waterproof butt connectors since I suspected a faulty connector somewhere causing resistance in the circuit. Finally I decided to stop for dinner and walked over to look at the two bigger plugs I mentioned that are "above" the ECU in the back passenger corner of the engine bay. I noticed that a black wire on one side of the plug was connected to a red/white wire on the other side while a black wire next to it was vacant. I cursed at it for a min, moved the wire and it fired up immediately.

She purrs like a kitten now and is idling very well despite the terrible fuel it is burning. I have been idling it for 30-60mins each evening just to let it run at low RPM for a while and burn that gross fuel off while I work on getting tires and tags for the car.


Coupid 09-03-2020 01:57 PM

Sounds like you'll be busy for a while still lol.

If only you lived closer I'm about to have some Dracos you could have.

I'm not seeing any photos in your last few posts.

mattymatt 09-03-2020 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by Coupid (Post 6110725)
Sounds like you'll be busy for a while still lol.

If only you lived closer I'm about to have some Dracos you could have.

I'm not seeing any photos in your last few posts.

Yeah I'm not sure why they aren't showing up now. You are about as far away from me as you could get in the continental US! I've been looking at marketplace and eyeing some FWD volvo wheels as well as a few BMW and Audi sets. It'll be a hassle with adapters but it is tempting :D

EDIT: photos fixed now!

mattymatt 09-03-2020 02:07 PM


Originally Posted by Coupid (Post 6110725)
Sounds like you'll be busy for a while still lol.

As far as the wiring goes, my plan is to replace all the original harness plugs in the engine bay with Deutsche connectors to eliminate the intermittent resistance issues.

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