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Old 02-21-2021, 02:03 AM   #201
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That looks like a pretty exciting amount of front tire clearance.
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Old 02-21-2021, 01:55 PM   #202
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Very scientific approach.

You are in deep.
When we're in this deep, there is no red tape and there aren't any forms to fill out. That's the benefit of digging this far into these systems.



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Damn that's an amazing color. Wish I could find one like that
They are out there - I've seen maybe 3 or 4 of these pea green wagons just in west coast Volvo circles. I think this color was offered in 75 and 76 but not sure after that. It was called "Berkshire Green" by Volvo. The late-70s brick red is another classic.

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That looks like a pretty exciting amount of front tire clearance.
You mean tire to strut? If so, agreed - and if I go with E36 coilovers, there will also be a ton of clearance between the spring and the inside of the shock tower, which should let me get the strut angle pretty close to what it was in the E36.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:30 PM   #203
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I'm kidding I got one, 76 245 in berkshire green,

PXL-20210221-191950298-MP
PXL-20210221-191936589-MP

Gotta get back to working on it soon, but no wild swap here, just some daily driver mods. Its been hiding in the back yard, seeing your back on this car makes me want to do some fixing on matcha
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:42 PM   #204
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I'm kidding I got one, 76 245 in berkshire green

Gotta get back to working on it soon, but no wild swap here, just some daily driver mods. Its been hiding in the back yard, seeing your back on this car makes me want to do some fixing on matcha
Ah! Your car was one that I remembered seeing recently. I didn't make the connection or get the joke. Derp. It's looking great! The B21 is a much better starting point to keep fairly stock. I like the pushrod Volvo engines a lot, but the B20 was pretty underwhelming in a 240 chassis that is capable of so much more.

I drove this car around on a semi-daily basis in its stock state for about 2 years before it became a big project. It was fun in the vintage car sense, always a hit wherever it went, even with the crusty interior and stock B20. I'm making a concerted effort not to destroy the character of the car and definitely not touching the body any more than absolutely necessary.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:55 PM   #205
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The extra year may hurt for smog but OHC does make a lot better starting point. The few times I've driven it it definitely gets more love then any of my other volvos. Keep up that effort to not cut too deep into the exterior, too good looking of a car to turbobrickx too hard
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:13 PM   #206
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The extra year may hurt for smog but OHC does make a lot better starting point. The few times I've driven it it definitely gets more love then any of my other volvos. Keep up that effort to not cut too deep into the exterior, too good looking of a car to turbobrickx too hard
Agreed, and will do. I want the finished car to look like a mostly stock 245, just lowered. The ACS wheels change the look quite a bit of course, but I do plan to also work out a set of 5x120 steelies with stock Volvo dog dish caps and maybe trim rings. Very similar to what Thomas did on his orange 75 242. Maybe go with two different tire specs and swap between the two sets of wheels depending on what I'm doing with the car.

Keep going on your car! Nice thing about a 76 is that even though it has to be smogged, the limits are pretty generous compared to a newer car. Also there are quite a few things you could do while still passing the visual and sniffer tests. Mild cam, porting, bigger valves, etc. are probably within the realm of things that will not be visible to a smog guy and also won't affect emissions much at the relatively low speeds of the dyno test (15 mph and 25 mph with light load).
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:19 PM   #207
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Tire to strut housing indeed.

Did you consider other front suspension setups too or go right to E36? I'm curious as to how this idea came about, but it seems like a reasonable one.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:36 PM   #208
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Tire to strut housing indeed.

Did you consider other front suspension setups too or go right to E36? I'm curious as to how this idea came about, but it seems like a reasonable one.
I'll admit I didn't consider a bunch of other options, and mostly chose E36 because of familiarity and the fact that the layout is pretty similar to a 240.

At first it was going to remain 240 based, but then I decided to use the AC Schnitzer wheels from my old M5. Instead of running adapters I thought about using the E36 spindle to allow for a direct fit. Then I realized that spindle offers a few other advantages - bigger wheel bearings, much better stock brakes and easy bolt-on upgrade paths to all sorts of different brake options. And use of the bolt-on spindle means the matching strut housing is necessary.

At that point, my friends convinced me it would be silly not to also use the E36 lower control arms. That means it would be rude not to also adapt the steering rack. One thing led to another!

I'll take more photos of the different parts side by side. Everything is pretty much the same size and shape between the two cars, but the E36 is much more sporty in its design. The steering load path goes through zero bushings - that's one reason for the BMW steering feel. Except for the deformation of tire vs. wheel there is no compliance in the system. The lower control arm mounts with ball joints to the crossmember instead of rubber bushings. The steering rack is solidly bolted into the crossmember with no bushings. The steering shaft has no rubber damper like a later 240, and no rag joint. And so forth...

And in fact E30 and E46 front suspension design is super similar. My friends and I have raced an E36 for almost 10 years in Lemons now so we are very comfortable with how to set them up, and we have spare parts. But it may help me actually to look at E46 spindles or LCAs as an alternative. I haven't fully worked out the final parts list yet so it's fluid.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:55 PM   #209
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Have you looked into using the 240 crossmember and control arms, but with the bmw struts? It takes about 5sec with a ball joint reamer to make the volvo ball-joint fit the BMW knuckle.
I have been thinking about doing this on my wagon project, but I haven’t had a chance to mock it up and run it through the travel to check for any bump steer issues.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:00 PM   #210
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Have you looked into using the 240 crossmember and control arms, but with the bmw struts? It takes about 5sec with a ball joint reamer to make the volvo ball-joint fit the BMW knuckle.
I have been thinking about doing this on my wagon project, but I havenít had a chance to mock it up and run it through the travel to check for any bump steer issues.
Haven't tried that yet, but probably could mock that up. Right now the engine is in the way but whenever that isn't the case I can try it out.

Just found out that E46 spindles clamp around the strut tubes, as opposed to the 2-bolt flange arrangement on the E36. I like the E36 style strut better. However the E46 LCA is aluminum, which might be quite nice if it works out with my geometry.



Plus there are at least 2 different geometries for the steel E36 LCA.

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Old 02-22-2021, 12:50 AM   #211
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When we're in this deep, there is no red tape and there aren't any forms to fill out. That's the benefit of digging this far into these systems.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:00 AM   #212
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For reasons unknown I didn't check this thread since page 4. This is getting completely out of hand in the very best way possible.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:51 AM   #213
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Haven't tried that yet, but probably could mock that up. Right now the engine is in the way but whenever that isn't the case I can try it out.

Just found out that E46 spindles clamp around the strut tubes, as opposed to the 2-bolt flange arrangement on the E36. I like the E36 style strut better. However the E46 LCA is aluminum, which might be quite nice if it works out with my geometry.
[/
Yeah, stay with the e36 knuckles and struts if you can. It’s much easier to live with.

The e46 arms will bolt up to a e36. You just have to either use an adapter FCAB for the hex end of the e46 arm or grind/sand the hex-end round so it’ll fit in the e36 FCAB.
I think the e36 m3 arms and e46 aluminum arms have the same forward offset, which gives BMWs all that nice feeling caster that 240s struggle to get. Btw, you can get a 240 to have that much caster, it just takes some KL Racing control arms and offset upper strut mounts.

Last edited by culberro; 02-22-2021 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:45 PM   #214
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Yeah, stay with the e36 knuckles and struts if you can. Itís much easier to live with.

The e46 arms will bolt up to a e36. You just have to either use an adapter FCAB for the hex end of the e46 arm or grind/sand the hex-end round so itíll fit in the e36 FCAB.
I think the e36 m3 arms and e46 aluminum arms have the same forward offset, which gives BMWs all that nice feeling caster that 240s struggle to get. Btw, you can get a 240 to have that much caster, it just takes some KL Racing control arms and offset upper strut mounts.
Got it, thanks for the info. I'm not sure what my available range for caster is going to look like yet. I don't want to hack into the 245's strut towers, so that might limit parts selection based on the max angle the strut mounting can accommodate.

That's cool that the same amount of caster is achievable with 240 parts too. The increased caster feeling is one part of what I'm looking to achieve with the BMW front end conversion - but there are other nice advantages too... the spindles already have a static drop built in vs. 240 (vertical distance between balljoint and wheel centerline), plus the steering load path thing mentioned earlier, plus brake options, wheel PCD, wheel bearing specs, and steering rack availability as well.
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:03 PM   #215
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Just stumbled upon this build thread. As an E36 M3 and 240 owner this all makes me very happy

Looks amazing so far, and excellent choice for wheels!
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:42 PM   #216
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I'm looking forward to seeing e36 front suspension conversion kits for sale on cflomoto.com
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:29 PM   #217
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Just stumbled upon this build thread. As an E36 M3 and 240 owner this all makes me very happy

Looks amazing so far, and excellent choice for wheels!
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I'm looking forward to seeing e36 front suspension conversion kits for sale on cflomoto.com
Hehe, thanks guys. Conversion kits could be a thing. We will have to see how it goes with this mule vehicle and proto hardware. If E36ization requires any hacking or welding of the 240 unibody then we would have to regroup and re-scope the program.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:37 PM   #218
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Got a few other small jobs done lately.

The fuel tank has been quite full since I parked the car nearly 2 years ago. Didn't plan that very well. So the other day I hooked up a power supply to the fuse panel and saw >1/2 tank reading on the gauge, so 8 or 9 gallons are in there. The 75 has a one year only single external fuel pump setup, which was a bonus right now as all I had to do was drop the pump down to remove the connector, then hook up 12VDC power to the pump to get it to empty the tank for me. Using the only fuel jug I had handy I think I got about 9 gallons out of it. Still sort of bluish, doesn't smell bad, so I dumped it in my street legal CT70 and the FZJ80. Drink up guys!












Now I can finally get around to removing the rest of the stock fuel system including the nylon lines and pump / accumulator setup. Will have to drain the last bit of old gas out of the bottom of the tank but that should be much more pleasant now.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:52 PM   #219
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Body stuff.

Maybe you can see from these shots that the back edge of the hood was always high, maybe 3/16" proud of the cowl. I guess it didn't bug me when I was driving the car regularly but now that I stare at it every day in the garage, I couldn't help but fix this.





All it took was loosening the rear hinge bolts where the hinge bars attach to the bracket that bolts into the body. The rear one allows for vertical movement of the whole hinge. I pinched the crap out of my thumb but got both sides very well aligned. I think the stamping tolerances maybe weren't ironed out yet at the Volvo factory for the 75 model year because even when perfectly flush the panels don't produce super even gaps all the way around. But I've got the hood sitting flush at both the front and rear now, so I'm happy with how it sits.







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Old 02-24-2021, 05:22 PM   #220
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First model years are the price you pay for a non-smog 240
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:00 PM   #221
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First model years are the price you pay for a non-smog 240
It's all part of the charm. Worth it! Lots of weird parts on this one for sure, and it's just getting weirder.

More critical body stuff...

Mr. Homer helped me out with some rubber parts orders from VP a while back, including the extremely exciting rear hatch bumpers - which are genuinely exciting to me, because the hatch used to squeak like an MFer in this car, and I think it was because the rubber stoppers were so hard and compressed. I couldn't get any further adjustment out of them. After putting the new squishy taller guys in, it feels better but we won't know for sure if the squeak is gone until the first drive.






Gotta love Homer's rubbers - I also received a care package of all-new OE Volvo mudflaps for this car. The original front flaps were returning to the earth, and the rears had been replaced at some point by some homemade examples. They all looked like crap. I pulled off the fronts and cleaned up the original mounting hardware and was happy to see absolutely no damage or rust to the little braces or the inner fender structure. The rear brackets (welded to the buttcheeks) were bent out of shape, so I straightened them before installing the new rear flaps. Need to get some stainless M6 hardware to finish this off.

















Will have to paint the raised area white around the Volvo lettering too.

Today I did another wheel n' tire mockup, but on the driver's side. This is pretty much how I want it to sit. Will probably have a slight rake that's not shown now because I leveled the body on the jackstands. But yeah, a little bit of fender gap. No stance, no dump.







Having the mudflaps all lovely and new and clean really made a difference in the visual impression of the car. The only other real cosmetic changes I'm going to make are polishing all the stainless trim, replacing the cracked windshield, and fixing the rust around the window flanges. Maybe replace the taillight lenses and front marker lenses too since they are cracked badly.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:32 AM   #222
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Congrats! Thatīs a really nice volvo. Rust free as far as I can see too.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:33 AM   #223
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This is going to look so so good. I love those wheels and that paint.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:35 AM   #224
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Yeah the wheels and tires look great in that mockup!

One thing I have found to be super satisfying is getting the body mechanical components to work just right. The doors on mine took me many hours of fettling before they would shut juuuust right without rattling or needing to be slammed. The trunk lid recently got a new seal and now the panel won’t align, which is driving me nuts.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:36 PM   #225
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My rubbers aren't wide enough for your big meats :/

Any intent to paint the area around the volvo logos on the mudflaps white?

I'm in with Tom, I'll get in on that BMW train.
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