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Old 05-02-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
bnw
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Default 960 B204FT from the land of dumplings and kielbasa

Uhm, I really hope that I put the thread in a right place, and did not break 90% of the rules. I so, please, don't kill me!

I should start with some kind of an introduction, so my name is Błażej (yeah... I know... don't try to pronounce it, you will probably fail*) and I live in Poland. That one country with fancy sausages, and ppl who speak one of the maddest languages in the world. I used to be a wannabe-brick-owner since... wow, childhood, I guess? But buying a Volvo was beyond the reach of a typical Polish family in the early, or mid-90's, so I could only dream of it. We owned a Lada 2107 - quite a neat car, and generally also a bricky one, but... Also, I recall having one or two photos made in a 240 on a scrapyard, when I was 15 or so. But that was all that I could have for "owning a Volvo".

Times, they were a'changing, we got ourselves a Volvo around 2005... well, not really, it was a 460, so not a real Swedish Metal, and it got crashed quite soon (nb it was in a rather sorry state, having been used as a taxi car for a couple of years). We went for a VW Passat, later I got my first own car, Audi 100, which was later joined by a duo of A8 and A2. Fast forward to 2018, I was looking for a "new" car, and I decided to go for a Volvo. The general guidelines were: 960, US version, pre-lift, estate, preferably with the 3rd row of seats. I found one, it had a neat history (bought by a German professor when he was doing a Postdoc in the US), but it was trashed a bit too much for me to risk buying (especially as it was impossible to test it on any longer route, as it was not insured atm). The second choice was a black 960, also a neat history (an US soldier was driving it when stationed in Germany), but before I could go and check it, the timing belt broke...

You know that this happens each time I want to get a US car? Same with my first Audi 100, same with Volvo 960, and same with the moment I was looking for a second Volvo... Fortunately, when I allowed myself to think about something else, an interesting option popped out of nowhere: a 1992 960 in Italian specification, with the rare B204FT engine. It didn't have an interesting history: the previous owner, a Volvo fan, got it from a used car dealer/private person somewhere in the West of the country. He had an idea to build a really fast turbo brick, strip the interior, put a few mods into it. So far, he managed to put a hybrid BOV instead of a factory DV, and changed the resitors in the Turbo+ module, so that the maximum boost raises to... 0.8 psi I guess? Also, the damaged M46 was replaced by a nice M90. Here is a photo of the car directly from the Facebook advertistment:





Doesn't look like something nice, isn't it? In particular, while there are no dents, the whole bodypaint is ruined, with spots of different colour here and there (one of the previous owners had, apparently, a lot of free time, an unlimited supply of silver household paint, and a complete lack of manual abilities). But there was one more thing, apart from the turbo engine, that made it really special:


The burgundy red interior! One of the rarest options in the 900 series (albeit I heard of the "turbo" half-leather set that was even more rare). I decided to fill in for a day off at work, fixed the meeting date, and booked a one-way train ticket: I knew that if only the car does not show any obvious signs of a blown head gasket, or there are no holes ripped in the bottom, I am going to buy it no matter any other damage, or warning sign**. And it actually happened: I left Kielce with the car fully loaded with spare parts, heading for a ~2h journey back home, to Krakˇw. Which was, in the end, a semi-pleasant one, at least that was what I thought atm.***

Back at my place, the car went through a quick initial inspection and was prepared for a limited use, waiting for its place at the mechanic. I did a couple of tweaks, tried to find the weak points first to be fixed, and did a few overview pictures:





The car also got a nickname, Koriolan - while some of you might recognise him as a character from a Shakespeare's play, it is actually a short novella by S. Lem named "Terminus"****, from which the namesake comes. This was a name of an old spaceship, looking completely anachronic, with its shell damaged and bruised, leaking reactor, damaged exhaust systems... looks exactly like my 960, doesn't it? And it also has some signs of a catastrophe from the past, as it probably got ditched into a water trench, damaging the left side of the car: all the doors and windows have been replaced on that side, and there was a mediocre to awful body repair on that side.

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait for a long time to get the car taken by the mechanic, but it took more than a month to get it back. It got new rear shock absorbers (nivomats), new brake pads and disks, a complete, new exhaust system with a catalyser, all fluids were replaced, and a lot of minor things was fixed/tweaked. It also got new wheels + winter tyres:


But it was a never-ending story: Soon, I begun to fix and clean all the details, like the ones portrayed here:






I also managed to single-handedly replace the damaged rear lid, and get brand new 960_Turbo and 16_valve logos for it (available per request in the Volvo dealership). All these ropes serve one purpose, to keep the lid in one position after it is dis-attached from the body:





Fixing the central console was more time-consuming. The original one was beyond repair, but getting a burgundy replacement was not possible... so I used one of the black/grey ones I got with the car, and found a paint perfectly match with the interior, used in mid-80's FIATs. A few rounds of spraying, a few tweaks and changes, and here we got a result:





A lot of similar repairs have already been done, but I guess that they are of a limited interest. Let's go back to the mechanical part. Last spring, I spent half of a year in the Netherlands as a job assignment, and the car was sent to the mechanic once more. In the meantime, I bought myself a 760 PRV (apparently Volvos are like potato chips, you can't just have one) - but I guess that as it is not a turbo brick, it does not fit into the profile of the forum. Back to the main topic - what was the scope of the repair? A total refurbishment of the cooling system. It was taken apart, with only the engine block and heater left in their original places. All of those parts, that were to be used again, were cleaned a number of times - a total of 150 l (around 40 US gals) of water and chemicals was used to clean the block, heater, and pipes. Coolant tank was a brand new, NOS part, and I've found a brand new Denso radiator for an insanely low price of some 130$. Everything was put altogether, and now the car looks much cleaner under the hood:






The last photo shows how the wiper washer tank looked - it was incomplete and totally dirty, ugh - almost as awful as the photo quality.

Back in Poland, I could spend some more time working on the project. I started with door panels. Here is a comparison photo, how does a cleaned 960, cleaned 740, and cleaned AND repainted 960 door panel look like:


One of the panels had a nasty dent, so I took a piece of the panel from an old Nissan Terrano...


... and glued it and painted.


The panels were mostly mounted on screws - that is not how they should be installed. Unfortunately, the original, plastic red "rods" were missing, and I could not dismantle them from a donor car without damaging. But there are ways to overcome that:


And here is the final effect, driver door shown:


So far, the general outlook is like that:


You might see that the trims are halfway changed for the chrome ones. It got some nice Nokian summer tires now. It serves as my daily drivers, but we also use it as a stable-hand from time to time:
https://streamable.com/vdbcb (might not work until copied into an open browser window).

Plans? First of all, I want to have a working airco, and that's on the way. The car is currently being repaired by an AC-specialised garage, they promised to have it done by next Wednesday. After that, it sets sails for a 300km-long journey to some place near Warsaw, where the LPG system is going to be refurbished (it's quite hard to find a brick specialist now...). And after that... well, I am aiming to have the body repaired and the whole car repainted by the end of this year. As this involves dismantling the interior, I plan to do a full-scale cleaning, too: all the velour/plastic parts would go through the same procedure, as the door panels did. However, making long-term plans amidst the COVID outbreak is probably not a good idea, and it might be that I'll have to wait till the next year.

So maybe something on a shorter time scale? As soon as the car is back with the LPG overhauled, I am going to take apart the front part and repair headlight washing system. And that was one of the reasons I joined the TB: I want to put the US headlights in place of the EU ones. I managed to get one and the blinkers, asked a couple of ppl in PL and in the rest of the EU about it, of course to no avail, and just before I was about to put a post in the "Wanted" section, a colleague of mine found one. So I got this:



And no apparent reason to stay logged on TB. But then I was like "hey, B204FT is not a 9 in 10 option for 960, so is the red interior. Maybe ppl would like to see such a car, huh?". I hope that was indeed the case...

Looking fwd (rwd?) to hearing from ya.



* I am not an evil man, but when I used to work with a guy going with a surname of "Drzazga", I loved listening to the session chairmen on conferences trying to pronounce it. Made me smile every time!
** At some point, you get so tired of browsing the net, or seeing trashed cars not worth their price that you are willing to buy anything that at least drives without the need of a tow car
*** From the today's perspective, having invested thrice (or... fourth-ice? I don't even know if such a word exist...) the initial price, I can assure you that it couldn't have been a nice journey. Semi-blocked brake pads, leaks from the steering column, dead rear shock absorbers... but when you drive a 16v Turbo for the first time, you can barely notice such things (until you need to brake quickly).
**** Which I wholeheartedly advise you to read - it is , however, a "psychological" SF, so not really a pillow reading.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
white855T
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I've seen 9 series burgundy leather. I have only seen the burgundy leather/cloth(houndstooth) combo in pictures. Great introduction!

Last edited by white855T; 05-03-2020 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:57 AM   #3
bnw
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Thank you for these kind words. I believe there must have been a number of these cars produced, as there is a variety of spare parts for the burgundy red interior still available at the "classic" Volvo warehouse. Maybe they were just more popular in the US, than in the EU? As far as I am concerned, this is the single one "red 900" we have in PL, and one of the few that are known to Volvo enthusiasts in EU (I myself recall another one, this time - 940 - that was for sale in Sweden ~month ago).
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:27 AM   #4
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Very cool car, looks like its getting the right kind of attention now.

I know I'd be interested in your PRV car too if you have a thread of it somewhere!
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Great Post please continue

This is great please continue your story and definately share your PRV story as well.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:08 PM   #6
white855T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnw View Post
Thank you for these kind words. I believe there must have been a number of these cars produced, as there is a variety of spare parts for the burgundy red interior still available at the "classic" Volvo warehouse. Maybe they were just more popular in the US, than in the EU? As far as I am concerned, this is the single one "red 900" we have in PL, and one of the few that are known to Volvo enthusiasts in EU (I myself recall another one, this time - 940 - that was for sale in Sweden ~month ago).
Are there interior parts for 240s in the Volvo classic warehouse?
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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Great looking wagon. I love the red interiors also. My 1986 745 TD and '83 764 TD both have red leather. I didn't like it at first but it has over time become one of my favorite features of both cars.

Keep the updates coming!
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:37 PM   #8
bnw
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Hey, thank you for some nice words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brickborg
I know I'd be interested in your PRV car too if you have a thread of it somewhere!
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTracer
This is great please continue your story and definately share your PRV story as well.
Sure thing, I'll post it in the coming week. But I won't be that much interesting - the car is in a much better condition. Yeah, that sounds a bit crazy, but... you get the idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by brickborg
Are there interior parts for 240s in the Volvo classic warehouse?
Honestly, I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised if that is indeed the case. If I need something from there, I just call the dealer and ask for specific parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by v8volvo
I love the red interiors also.
The car has a distinct, pimp-like outlook - something that one either loves, or hates
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:04 PM   #9
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Manual 16 valve turbo AND a red interior? This thing is basically the ideal car.
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:17 PM   #10
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That m90 upgrade is a nice touch.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:15 PM   #11
bnw
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The thread might look a bit dead, but it is actually totally otherwise. However, the car was sent to a mechanic some 300km from my home city to deal with the turbocharger and transmission, leaving me with only parts of it available for some work and upgrades. What I was able to do beforehand was to fight the worn paint a bit (not a professional job, but looks much better than it looked before), finish changing from black window trim into chrome one, from 740/760, and finally got rid of the black-tinted foil that was covering all "rear" windows. Some photos taken during the work:



Also, some love was given to the rear seats, and here are the effects:



So far, I have prepared the left+right rear seats. The backrest has to wait till the car is back...
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