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Old 05-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
Reformed SAABaholic
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NW Georgia
Default DET17's "Project cheap thrills" - '92 944T

Well it's about time to document the long strange trip I've been on. My Volvo story begins with myself as the "care giver" for my Daughters 91 244, that she tried every way possible to kill. Being a SAAB guy at that time, I was taken with how well the Volvo was built, how rugged, definitely better executed than the SAAB's that I was nursing along. Late in 2009 I found a clean 89 245 and began the transformation from SAABs to the Volvo RWD's. Getting up to speed on Bricks, I began surfing TB and the BB to learn what I could about these tractor like vehicles. As I was planning the basis of a +T conversion for the 245, I stumbled upon this forlorn 940Turbo for sale on the local CL. The seller knew it had issues, didn't know the specifics...his daughter overheated it, and it was now rendered gutless only able to run 40 MPH max. He was asking $1000, as the paint was good and the body still decent for an 18 year old car. This is how I found it:


complete with a healthy dose of pine needles from it's nearly yearlong slumber:


Well based on my auto experience, I was pretty sure it had a blown HG. Car was showing around 190K on the clock, was a lifetime southern car (no rust). Heck, it probably just needed a freshened up head, a new head gasket, and hence "Project Cheap Thrills" was born. I was able to beat the seller down to $600, but no lower. The engine was so anemic we couldn't even DRIVE it up onto the U-haul dolly, had to get his sons to help push it on.

Once I got it home, I had to clean off the grime and see exactly what I had beneath the pine needles and pine cleaned up pretty good for it's years I thought:



Interior was decent, with the driver seat leather of course shot:


This purchase was made in March 2010. Based on what I had gleaned off the Brick forums, I felt that for a reasonably "cheap investment" I could restore this turbo to operation, then sprinkle some gently used suspension parts, performance parts, and then badda-bing, badda-boom, have a comfortable DD with a 200+ HP drivetrain. Sounds simple enough, right? I love this plan!

Early in my engineering career, I learned this wisdom; the 5 steps or "phases" of every project that anyone, anywhere on Earth, will ever do:

1. Enthusiasm
2. Disillusionment
3. Search for the guilty
4. Persecution of the innocent
5. Praise and promotion of the non-participants

Step 1 now complete, we enter directly into Step 2....the drivetrain.
Project "cheap thrills" build thread:

Feedback thread:

Last edited by DET17; 05-28-2012 at 11:30 AM..
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