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Old 05-18-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
MSGGrunt
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Default Clean Texas Car Moves To Mass.

For your reading enjoyment or boredom...

I am the owner of a 1991 wagon that I am lifting and love the car so much that I went on the hunt for a sedan. Being from Massachusetts my biggest concern was finding a rust free car. Well, peoples version of rust free I discovered is very different. I looked at several cars locally that just weren't what I was looking for. I wanted a 1 or 2 owner car, impeccable maintenance, zero rust, and with the lowest miles possible. My budget was not limited, but I was thinking $7000 would get me what I was looking for.

I searched Craigslist via Autotempest.com multiple times a day and kept telling myself to be patient that the right car would "find me". I found one car in Texas that was promising, but the honest owner said the car had been repainted and looked like it was a non windows out cheap re-spray. The seller was a retired Volvo mechanic that "freshens" these cars up as a hobby and sells them. Other than the re-spray the car was under 100,000 and seemed to be very well sorted mechanically. I just knew I would not be happy with a car that had a paint job where you could see imperfections when up close to it. Thank you for the seller and his honesty.

The search continued. I found a pristine 1992 5-speed in Maryland that ticked all of my requirements except for the low miles. The car had 220,000 and while I know the red block motors run forever if maintained properly, the rest of the car still had 220,000 miles on it and things wear just like any other car. I passed and continued to search.

Then, several Saturday's ago I was enjoying my morning coffee, I went through my morning ritual of searching Craigslist across the US and I came across a new add in Texas. By now I had become pretty familiar with the cars being sold on Craigslist and after reading the add and looking at the pictures I just got "a feeling" about the car. The add had been up for only 5 hours when I called the seller, chatted briefly and I committed to buying the car site unseen.


Craigslist reads as follows:

82500 Original Carfaxed Miles. Original Paint with No Nicks or Dents. Very Clean Inside and Out.

New Front Seat Cushions and Seat Covers Washed and Sun Dried. New Front Upper Strut Mounts. Synthetic Castrol Titanium Oil and Mann Filter 300 miles old. A/C just Serviced and Blowing Cold. A/C Compressor Running very Quiet on all Four Fan Speeds.

Recent Front and Rear Engine Main Seals. No leaks at all. Recent Timing Belt with Tensioner. No Cracked or even Chipped Windshield. No Rips or Stains on Seat Fabric. All Electric Windows and Locks Work as they should. New Rubber Floor Mats.

No Accidents and No Corrosion Anywhere. Michelin Tires on Classic Corona Aluminum Wheels.

This is an Iconic 28 year Young True survivor, far from the Ordinary, that should give Excellent Service with Economy and Safety for the Next 28 years with proper care and maintenance.

An Automobile Designed and Tested by Volvo Engineers to Save Lives.

Recent Texas Inspection and Registration in my name. Clean Texas Title in hand. Daily Driver.

The owner was an enthusiast who also owned a wagon. I wired him the money and made plans to fly to Texas and drive the car back to Massachusetts. Yes, 2400 miles on a site unseen, never test driven car. I was either the dumbest person on Earth, overly enthusiastic, or just put a lot of faith in the Volvo 240's dependable reputation.

The trip to pick up the car began at 4:30AM on a Friday morning to catch a flight that left out of Hartford, CT at 6:30AM. I arrived in Laredo, Texas at 2:30PM where the seller picked me up at the airport. We drove the 10 minutes to his house where I saw the car for the first time. It was as nice or nicer than advertised. I gave it a quick once over, put my MA plates on and I was away on a 2400 mile road trip without even so much as taking the car around the block. Again, a huge leap of faith. I headed out of Laredo and headed North towards Houston. My plans called for driving to Houston, across Louisiana on I-10 then head North through Mississippi and Alabama, on I-59, I-75 across Tennessee, I-81 through Virginia and Pennsylvania and eventually I-78 in New York and home.

The car was driving nicely. The AC was working properly and I was settling into the car and getting to know it. There wasn't much else to do between Laredo and Houston after-all. My first observation was the windshield wipers were no match for the thousands of yellow moths/butterflies that met their demise on my windshield. Note to self, on long road trips a windshield squeegee is a necessity. I did notice a bit of a front end shake at speed and knew I would not drive 2400 miles without having it looked at. I was assuming it would be cured with a simple re-balancing of the tires. Or that was my hope anyway.

I stopped for the first night in Wharton, TX and planned on finding a tire store the next morning to have the front end shake addressed. I got on the road at 4:30ish and arrived in Beaumont, TX just at the time everything was opening. This is where my morning got a bit stressful. My first stop out of ease was Walmart, but their compressor was down so no tire work. My second stop a few miles away was the Goodyear store where I discovered, as I kind of had assumed, that the tires were manufactured in 2010, so being 8 years old I decided to just replace them. Well, 14" tires are not as easy to come by as they probably were in the 1990's. Goodyear had none in stock. Luckily Discount Tire literally right next door had 4 Continentals in stock and I was soon back on the road. No more shake and the car drove like a dream anywhere between 80 and 85 MPH. I continued to check the oil and coolant at every fuel stop and not a single issue. I got off the road around 8:30PM calling it a night in Cleveland, Tennessee. A hot shower and bed would feel great after a long day and many miles. Up on Sunday and back on the road at 4:30AM for the last leg of my trip. GPS calculated this leg at 980 miles taking around 15 to 16 hours. This was going to be a long push. Other than having to divert East towards DC to avoid emergency bridge construction on I-81 the trip was uneventful. Traffic in the DC, NJ, and NY areas was heavy on Easter Sunday, but I pulled into my driveway around 9:00PM that night.

The car performed flawlessly. The road trip was an experience, but it would have been nice to have a travel partner and maybe take twice as long and see some sights along the way. I have had the car home a day and am already addressing some small, mostly cosmetic issues with the car that I will cover in my next post.
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__________________
1986 BMW E30 325E, Auto, 2-door coupe.
1989 BMW E30 325iX 5-speed, 4-door sedan.
1990 Volvo 240 Auto, 4-door sedan.
1991 Volvo 240 Auto, 4-door sedan.
1991 Volvo 245 Auto, 5-door wagon.
2007 Porsche Cayman S
2015 Volvo XC60 Platinum
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:09 PM   #2
MSGGrunt
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The interior bits that are being addressed and have been ordered to replace cracked or weathered pieces are:

- New parking brake console.
- New "B" pillar trim pieces.
- New dark blue door pockets to replace the swapped in black ones.
- New rear parcel shelf seatbelt covers. These are very sun weathered.
- New rear parcel shelf plastic vent pieces. These too were weathered by the sun.
- And some SEM "paint/dye" to re-color the faded rear parcel shelf

I also bought all the parts to change the timing belt, new water pump, new plugs, cap, rotor, belts, air filter, front strut inserts, rear shocks (I saw one was leaking when I had the new tires put on) and will give under the hood a good cleaning.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:11 PM   #3
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Back to the "brick"

I always like to remove the back seats of a new purchase to see what surprises may await me. This car did not disappoint. There was a pile of change on the passengers side. Someone who rode in the back seat was a world traveler. I even found an old Wheat Penny in the mix.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:12 PM   #4
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Trunk area is in great shape other than needing a good cleaning of the Texas dust. For better or worse it even has the original space saver spare tire and I think I was the first one to ever open the tool kit in the car's 28 years.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:14 PM   #5
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Always nice to see a classic car that still has it's original window sticker. The car has all of its original owner's manuals and even an original sales brochure and a paint/interior colors brochure. I am not sure if these have been with the car since day one, but I have no reason to believe that they could not have been given to the original owner back in 1990 and just stored away for safe keeping ever since considering they did the same with the window sticker.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:17 PM   #6
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I was able to remove the warps out of the rear trunk wheel well cover.

https://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-...46/#post458504
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:19 PM   #7
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Changed out the perfectly good black door pockets for the proper blue ones. The blue color is pretty dark and by themselves are hard to tell if they are blue or black. The real difference can be seen when the black is held up against the blue or when the sun hits them when the doors are open.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:21 PM   #8
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The center console was all brittle and broken from years of sun exposure. That too got replaced with a new one.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:25 PM   #9
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The rear parcel shelf, seatbelt mechanism covers and plastic vent pieces were severely roached by the sun. I bought new vents and seat belt mechanism covers and cleaned the shelf itself and gave it a coat of SEM 15043 Shadow Blue Color Coat. The blue is a close match to the original carpets. Capturing what the color looks like in person is not the easiest.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:27 PM   #10
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I found universal trim plugs at my local parts store for a Ford were the perfect small size "pin" to fit tightly into the rear deck threaded hole, but still a large enough plug to cover the larger hole in the parcel shelf. These came black, but a good cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a coat of the same SEM ColorCoat that I painted the shelf with and they are a perfect match.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:31 PM   #11
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I just picked up 8 15" Virgo wheels. 7 are straight and one that will need straightening along with 8 center caps and 20 correct lug nuts for what I feel is a reasonable $340.00. I need 4 new tires and finding 15" tires in more sizes should be easier than 14". I figure I will take the best 4 and have them powder coated a bright silver and run them instead of the current Corona wheels. Though I like the looks of the Coronas the Virgos just look a bit sportier in my opinion.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #12
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I also scored an OEM "Green" fog light switch. I had been keeping my eye on one on EBay, but for $70.00 I didn't "need" it that badly. A random search today at work on EBay turned up the same switch for $21.00. Needless to say I grabbed it. I also was lucky enough to get another green fog light switch off the guy I bought the Virgos from.

I ordered some inexpensive fog lights to go along with the switch. I was looking for ones with plastic housings to eliminate the issue of rust. I will remove the rock guard of course. These aren't for driving, but rather a low pattern fog light and to be seen better by on coming cars without blinding them.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:44 PM   #13
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The guy I bought the Virgos off had some "pretty" rare and "VERY" rare parts that we made a deal on. The "pretty" rare parts I grabbed were a large tach and the small clock complete with bezel surrounds and wiring harness. The "VERY" rare part was a Fahrenheit outside temperature gauge with sensor, surround and harness.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:56 PM   #14
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I think I am now all caught up from bringing my threads over from another site that just didn't seem to be as active.

The only concern I have with this car is that I probably won't be able to bring myself to drive it in the Winter here in New England and expose it to the salt. Thankfully I have the lifted maroon wagon as well as another rust free 240 that has 250k and has been my daily driver since getting it a little over a month ago. That one came out of North Carolina and is yet another story.

Sneak peak of that car.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:39 PM   #15
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Really enjoying both of your new project threads so far. Looks like quality work on both accounts. I agree to keep it out of the winter weather if possible. Looks like a nice example.

Last edited by soclosenotnear; 05-19-2018 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: Didn't proof read
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:50 AM   #16
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Realy nice car you got here!
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #17
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The darker blue car benefits from IPD front and rear sway bars where the light blue car is 100% stock. I have to drive the light blue car a bit more to see if I want to keep the "plushness" of the original suspension or firm things up with some IPD bits. My 35 mile commute to work is over a pretty twisty New England back road, so a bit less roll in the corners may not be such a bad thing.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:36 PM   #18
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Nice car. Good luck with it. Never seen that style jack in a 240. Also never seen a jack mounted like that. Hmmm.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:33 PM   #19
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I have no reason to believe that it is anything but original, but I could be wrong.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:35 PM   #20
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Looks wonderful! I’m the same way; I don’t think I’ll ever want to drive my Texas 960 in the salt.

I’m sure you know this but just watch for any paint chips and stuff. My car has a lot of paint chips that are rust free here in Texas, and a lot of the underbody coating has dry rotted and is falling off. If I take her to a moist climate I’m going to be paranoid! You’ll want to go over it with a fine tooth come to patch any of those things...
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #21
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I have actually thought of bringing the car to a local British car specialist (Jag, Bentley, Rover, Rolls, etc) you know how well made their steel is, who offers a service to cover the underside with Waxoyl. Or if there is another recommendation for undercoating I am all ears. I have already determined that the car will go in heated storage over the Winter.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:58 AM   #22
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This morning saw the swapping in of a large tach, small clock and an outside ambient temperature gauge. I still need to install the harness for the temp sensor, but my time today needs to be better spent on doing an oil change, coolant flush, installing a new timing belt, idler, water pump and alternator. The previous owner advertised that the car has had a new belt and idler, but with no records of this I just feel better making sure everything is new. 90,000 miles is a good place to start a baseline anyway.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:00 AM   #23
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I also replaced the fading OEM headlights. I went with inexpensive yet decent Depot brand off Ebay. They certainly have a much clearer lens than the originals. Now I need to make sure that they are aimed correctly.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:44 PM   #24
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ALMOST everything went without a hitch. The timing belt, Idler, belts and hoses went on without a hitch, the water pump was another story. I failed to do my research and it seems once the pump is in place you need to leverage up on it so that rubber grommet/seal pushes tightly against the mating surface on the head. Well, guess what I didn't do and guess what the results were, yup, coolant leaking right past the seal. Now I am sure the gasket is beyond trying to reuse, so time to order a new gasket and seal set.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:51 PM   #25
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I removed the seats so I could take out the front and rear carpets. I took them to my local car wash to power wash them. After I let them thoroughly dry I vacuumed them and then re-dyed them with SEM Shadow Blue Color Coat. This was a perfect match for the color that the carpets were when new.
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