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Old 05-18-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
leecatd8209
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Default No Goals 244

This is my 1990 NA/M47 244. I bought it just over a year ago from the back lot junkyard of a Euro dealership in Maryland. This first post will probably be a little boring as far as pictures go, but as I do more I'll try to remember to take more.



It was billed as a two owner car that had been well maintained, with assumed low mileage (because of course the odometer was broken at 120k). What it really was was a clapped out hoopty with a solid body, reasonably clean interior, and no blowby. Winner! I got him to throw some new tires on it as part of the deal and then flew home to South Texas.

I returned two months later with plans to drive this untested car that I had bought from a junkyard 1,600 miles to my house. Luckily it already ran pretty well, and while I was gone I had the oil changed and a fresh battery installed. My fiance and I cruised it around town for a couple days and then hit the road!

First we went to see my parents in Northern Pennsylvania. Not pictured is the snowy April drive up there where I had to change alternator belts, and constantly obsess over the charging system's performance.



They have a garage where I was able to diagnose a brake shake as just a siezed caliper piston, we'd probably survive the next leg of the trip, which would be back to Maryland.



It went well, we didn't die, the heat worked when we needed it, overall it was an ok experience. We attended a wedding, did some relaxing, and then hit the road again for the long drive to Texas! Literally 15 minutes into the drive after never even a hint of drivability issues I see this:



While not a big deal, it was definitely very concerning to me this early in a long trip. We stopped and got a thermostat, some fuses, and a fuel pump relay at some Volvo specific shop in Easton, MD ( I think. I pass it all the time, but can never remember what town it's actually in.) Look it up, they're worth a stop if you need a hand.

The rest of the trip was somewhat quiet, the temp never gave any more indications of rising, and it ran quite well, so we set out making a list of all of the things that needed to be fixed. It was a long list. I was excited to get started!

I had new front brakes waiting at the door when we got to Texas and got those on, then it was time for the important stuff. Cleaning, and "testing".







With it stopping smoothly now all I did for awhile was drive. A LOT. Even with the crap ride and unbearable wind noise from having the windows down at 80+ it was a blast to drive. At this point in my life I hadn't had a project with a manual or any real life potential in several years, so this was a very welcome addition to the household.

As the Texas Summer, and the swamp ass, took hold air conditioning became more of a necessity, and less of the luxury my raised in PA ass ever expected. It's disgusting down here. Now, I have enough tools and know-how to do some very simple AC diagnostics, but I'm far from an expert, especially when it comes to non-GM systems. This was a definite learning experience that is somewhat ongoing to today. I swapped out the dryer, pulled a vaccuum on everything (but sort of ignored the leak test results) and tossed in enough R-134a to see if it was going to work or not.

First a glimpse at my stationary vent temps:



Then some pressures. I don't have any pics of what my vent temps got to at the time, but things happened, the system sort of functioned. The compressor sounded like a can of marbles, the pressures were very erratic, and the mediocre results were short lived, as I had a massive leak somewhere in the vicinity of the evaporator.



For whatever reason despite knowing I had a leak I continued messing with it off and on for several weeks. I added some oil to the system which quieted down the compressor a good bit, and then experimented with different refrigerants, propane, air duster, 134a, some r-12 substitute. At the time it was fun, and I learned a lot, but looking back it was a very foolish waste of time and money.

Resigned to the fact that the AC wasn't going to work without some heavy investment I moved on to bigger and better things. Namely, the radio situation was equally awful to the AC. I got some Rockford Fosgate door speaker replacements, a small underdash amp to power them, and this marine head unit. I liked the simple, somewhat retro look and it had the extremely important aux input.



It was a definite improvement. I could hear the radio over the wind noise, none of the speakers were blown, but the speaker amp kept going into safe mode, and I had some weird sound issues related to the speaker output of the head unit. That particular head unit only has outputs for speakers; when I wired it up to run four it just caused all sorts of problems, so I ordered a modern Pioneer unit with Bluetooth and slapped it in. No more safe mode, but there was still no bass at all which was annoying.

While I was working on all of this stereo junk I was keeping all of the associated tools, parts, consumables, etc. in the trunk for easy access. This is a fine place to keep them until your power locks decide to randomly lock, but not unlock, and you only have the valet key. (How can I get a standard key?) So now that it's kind of an emergency, I rewired the driver's door wiring that is known to rot.



Now I've got an acceptable stereo, power locks, somewhere in there I fixed the cruise control, we're starting to have a pretty enjoyable car. Except it still rides like crap, and the power steering leaks like a sieve, so I have the belt off of the pump. I think I forgot to mention that earlier. Being familiar with the project lifestyle this isn't unusual for me, but it's definitely less than ideal while trying to teach your fiance to drive stick.

Instead of addressing any of that I decided to fix the odometer. I've always enjoyed repairing things at a component level, so this was one of my favorite jobs so far. The old gears were a weird, grainy fudge consistency which was something I'd never run into before.



Meanwhile it's hotter than the surface of the sun, and parts are just falling off:



I glued this one back on with RTV, but I lost a differently one (that I couldn't find new replacements for) a few days later. I scoured yard around here, but couldn't find any taillights that weren't in really bad shape. I did score a non broken drivers seat, that is unfortunately black, and a fresh looking steering rack among some other random stuff.

After the junkyard run I got the steering rack in, put in the "new" seat, and finally got the lower door trims back on. I have more pictures of this stuff, but cubeupload limits everything to 5mb, and I'm struggling with how to get them under the limits. I haven't been active on forums since phone pics were utterly worthless. Any advice on this matter is also appreciated.

Suddenly it's Thanksgiving time. I've been collecting what little I can from local sellers, and working a bunch of OT, and for Black Friday I ordered myself everything to overhaul the suspension (except bushings): Bilstein Tourings, IPD springs and sways, ball joints, strut mounts, etc. We did the damn thing.





Here's a shot of it right after I finished up the install of all of that:



And a before and after with a wash thrown in:



I test fit some Cougar wheels. They need a LOT of spacer, but at least they're 5x108



I put in a small tach. This was another fun one, even if it was quick and easy. I kind of messed up and wired the light to be on switched 12v instead of wiring it in with the lights. No big deal, it's just always on.



Picked up another set of wheels that don't fit. They're 5x120 e36 fitment, but RKs have always been a dream wheel of mine.



Finally added some bass! This is pretty much the cheapest setup I could make that wasn't complete and utter trash (I realize this is only slightly less trashy). It's powered by a 1000 watt Kenwood amp, and it sounds... ok. A lot of the exterior trim rattles, and my rear channel speakers are VERY weak, so it helped with moving the total sound back from being right in your face, but I still need to address the rear output issue. It does make the bass drum pop without having to have everything turned up to the point that those poor (grossly overpowered, it turns out) Rockford door speakers start to distort.

If you haven't noticed I know very little about car audio.



We hit 125k-ish miles! And the airbag light came on!



Around this time I found out that a VW/Audi show was returning to the town of Helen, Georgia where they used to hold SoWo. If you were ever involved in the VAG scene before it turned into all kids vaping in MK4s, SoWo was probably the best and most fun show out there. Helen is amazing, the roadtrip portion was always fun, and it was one of the only times I got to see almost all of my car friends at one time. My buddies and I immediately book rooms, and I decided that I'm going to take this Volvo I love so much.

It rides fairly nice now. At some point before this I put in new trailing arm bushings (Kaplehenke spherical in the back and super pro in the front), so the suspension clunked a lot less, and I had already ordered everything to redo the entire HVAC system, along with a whole bunch of other random stuff I had accumulated and let sit in my living room awaiting some motivation. This all came to light in March, and the show was the first weekend in May, so from then to now happens really fast!

The next few photos are gonna be very vague, but here's what went down. I went all in. It was some LONG days, some late nights, and a whole lot of backaches. I was also driving the car quite a bit during all of this (unnecessarily), so it remained mostly in operation the whole time.

Another steering rack (remanned this time)
Super Pro control arm bushings
Motor and transmission mounts
Diff and trans fluid change
Timing belt, water pump, front seals, balancer, silicone radiator hoses
Spark plugs, cap, rotor, wires, fuel filter, another oil change, the worst air filter I've ever
seen (Not sure why I overlooked this, maybe because it ran really well and got good
mileage?)
Yoshifab aluminum accessory bushings
100amp Denso alternator upgrade
Dunlop Direzza Z3s on those Cougar wheels
Ordered wheel spacers
much, much more!







And then IT hit the fan. In a big way. With two weeks left to go (one of which I spent travelling), I decided that the AC was going to work no matter what it took. I pulled everything and replaced it all. The only thing leftover in the HVAC system is the condensor, and the AC line from the dryer to the TXV. This is kind of the shotgun approach, but I had to replace the evaporator anyway, so I really only wanted to tear everything apart once.

I've had a lot of vehicles this far apart. It doesn't scare me anymore, I just hate doing it.



The box was full of detritus. I need to start keeping it covered, and probably get snow caps.



Most everything I replaced turned out to be worn out to some degree or another anyway. This heater core was a ticking time bomb! And yes, that is the kitchen floor.



HVAC box back together! Yes, I know about the drawbacks of this type of heater core, and I remain unconcerned.



I got everything loosely installed well enough for testing, and found this:



Jebus hallelujah! Cold ass air! I am still beside myself with how well this whole task went. There were a lot of hiccups. The new compressor came wired kind of weird, I blew the fuse a few times, and the ground for the brand new blower motor was bad. I was so worried I was going to have to open that box back up and put the old blower back in. Luckily it worked out in the end. But don't worry, I definitely screwed it up, and I'll tell you how later!

The night before I left I gave it a terrible hand cut and wax on the big horizontal surfaces, and we were ready to hit the road while hoping that the wheel spacers would arrive with the mail the next morning.



The spacers never made it in time so I packed the trunk full of tools and beer and hit the road on the ugly stockers. We made the 1,600 mile journey without issue, and in relative comfort. With the cruise set at 77mph and the AC going I got ~28mpgs. Something in the tuneup area (definitely NOT that a awful air filter ) gave me a pretty substantial increase in MPGs. Also, I run 89. She seems to make a lot of extra noise on 87, and I don't mind the peace of mind.




And now it's present day! The spacers were waiting for me when I got home, so I immediately slapped on the Cougar wheels.



So now what? Well, this is turbobricks, so of course it's getting a turbo. I'm converting over to wasted spark this weekend with a Buchka board and some Miata parts. An electric fan conversion is in order soon as well. I'd like to be as far along in the process as I can before I tear the engine apart. I'm a bit fickle with motivation; any time it spends sitting idle is compounded by my ever-growing loss of motivation to make it move again. I have no idea what size turbo to put on it. I honestly don't even know what I want out of it performance-wise. I'd think somewhere in the 250hp realm would be more than sufficient. I don't find myself terribly lacking for power when it comes to traffic or anything, but more is ALWAYS better, and I do like to go fast.

I also like to go around turns, so we'll be hitting up some autocrosses in the HTX area, and hopefully a track night in America or two. It handles quite well, and is really a blast to drive. They new wheels balance a lot better than the steelies, so it's smooth as glass on the highway and absolutely glued to the road on turns.

No for the bad news. The AC worked the entire trip, but it was inconsistent, and unpredictable. I was never sweating, which is more than I could have asked for, but there's room left for improvement, and I'm going to find it. I don't have a great way to know exactly what I charged the system with when it comes to amounts of oil, dye, refrigerant, etc., and I was in a hurry. It's entirely my fault, but I will be taking it to a shop to have it fully evacuated and charged with the proper amounts of everything before I even try to troublshoot what may or may not be wrong with the system. A BIG BIG BIG issue that I knew about before I left is that while the HVAC box drains most of the evaporator condensation out through the floor like it should, it also drips some out through the seam in the box. So the carpet in both footwells is SOAKED with condensate. I think I can seal up the leak without removing the box entirely, so this will be a project for a day in the near future.

Other things: I never replaced the panhard bar, or torque rod bushings, so I get some weird axle slop and driveline vibration on decel. I plan on installing adjustable units soon. The dash lighting situation needs to be addressed. Half of the bulbs are out. The dimmer rheostat doesn't do anything (even after I replaced it), the cluster has a mildly erratic connection with the harness.

But in all honestly it's pretty good. I love driving it, it's comfortable, it ate up the highway like no one's business. Neither my fiance or I ever felt any meaningful road fatigue beyond general tiredness, and I even slept in the car one night on the way to Georgia. All in all I do with it were a wagon, but we've had a good time, and I look forward to the good times to come. If you lasted this long thank you so much! I look forward to hearing your insights, and critiques

:beer:

Last edited by leecatd8209; 05-18-2019 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:05 PM   #2
leecatd8209
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Default image test



Edit:
So how do I get an image size between annoyingly large, and thumbnail?

Sorry for all the noob stuff :( Idk why I'm struggling with this.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:03 PM   #4
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I vote imgur. Easy to change image size by appending a letter right before the .jpg

Welcome to TB. Whoever rated your thread 1 star doesn't like to party. Maybe we'll get you on the upswing.

Where is "NCPA"? NC/PA?
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The Departed: 1981 245, 1983 245 Turbo, 1983 244 Turbo, 1983 242 Turbo, 1984 244, 1985 245 Turbo, 1989 244, 1989 765, 1990 245 Turbo, 1991 244, 1992 245, 1997 855
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:06 PM   #5
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I vote imgur. Easy to change image size by appending a letter right before the .jpg

Welcome to TB. Whoever rated your thread 1 star doesn't like to party. Maybe we'll get you on the upswing.

Where is "NCPA"? NC/PA?
I looked at Flickr and Imgur, and then Reddit told me cubeupload was where it's at. They lied, haha.

NCPA is Northcentral Pennsylvania, that's where I lived when I made my account. I'm sure you've heard Montoursville in the news the last couple days. I'm currently just over an hour west of Houston, TX.

Thanks for the reassurance! I've never kept a car long enough to bother with a build thread and I'm irrationally proud of this one. Even if I don't know what to do with it.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #6
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I looked at Flickr and Imgur, and then Reddit told me cubeupload was where it's at. They lied, haha.

NCPA is Northcentral Pennsylvania, that's where I lived when I made my account. I'm sure you've heard Montoursville in the news the last couple days. I'm currently just over an hour west of Houston, TX.

Thanks for the reassurance! I've never kept a car long enough to bother with a build thread and I'm irrationally proud of this one. Even if I don't know what to do with it.
Well so far so good, in my opinion. These are great cars that pull attention wherever you go! I up'd your thread rating too. This is not a 1 star project...Keep it up.

Not to throw a wrench, but I use PostImage and it works great. Easy to choose sizes to upload specially for message boards and Forums.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:51 PM   #7
propav8r
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Originally Posted by leecatd8209 View Post
I looked at Flickr and Imgur, and then Reddit told me cubeupload was where it's at. They lied, haha.

NCPA is Northcentral Pennsylvania, that's where I lived when I made my account. I'm sure you've heard Montoursville in the news the last couple days. I'm currently just over an hour west of Houston, TX.

Thanks for the reassurance! I've never kept a car long enough to bother with a build thread and I'm irrationally proud of this one. Even if I don't know what to do with it.
I'm a little biased because it's the same color as my '90 +T 245 that I regret selling with a passion. Good luck with it.

http://forums.turbobricks.com/showth...=1#post5542122
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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I'm a little biased because it's the same color as my '90 +T 245 that I regret selling with a passion. Good luck with it.

http://forums.turbobricks.com/showth...=1#post5542122
That is gorgeous! I REALLY love that head unit, I'll be looking into one of those for sure.

I really need to buff my paint and see what I can get out of it. It took really well to the hand buff, so I think some speed would do it a world of good. Would you say the T5 swap was worth it, or would you go straight to something more rugged like a CD009?
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:13 PM   #9
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That is gorgeous! I REALLY love that head unit, I'll be looking into one of those for sure.

I really need to buff my paint and see what I can get out of it. It took really well to the hand buff, so I think some speed would do it a world of good. Would you say the T5 swap was worth it, or would you go straight to something more rugged like a CD009?
T5s were never chosen by the Volvo community because they were objectively amazing transmissions. They were just better than the hot garbage of an M46/7, and at one point (about 10 years ago) they were plentiful and cheap. That ship has since sailed.

They don't shift amazingly well or anything unless you put a bit of work into them. They have a lot of NVH. They're not insanely strong, and plenty of us here have broken them around the 300hp mark.

I've never driven a CD009 swap, but I would very much like to. It looks like that's the way of the future.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:49 PM   #10
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T5s were never chosen by the Volvo community because they were objectively amazing transmissions.
A GM T5 came up for sale locally for $60 so I bought it. I doubt I'll end up using it on this, but I'm gonna leave it an option.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:37 AM   #11
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A GM T5 came up for sale locally for $60 so I bought it. I doubt I'll end up using it on this, but I'm gonna leave it an option.
A lot of those GM T5s had a different bolt pattern on the front vs. the Ford ones that the currently available Volvo adapter plates are for. The shifter location was also different in some of them.

Post up a pic of what you got, or tell us the number on the tag.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:47 PM   #12
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Again with the thumbnails, I know. I'm on my phone at the moment, flickr is down, and really didn't like imgur's embed format.

Anyway. $60 T5. I can put a Ford tailshaft/tailstock on to put the shifter in the right spot, but I meed to pull off the bellhousing and check the bolt pattern. The tag # is 1352-247, so it should be a late GM World Class box. Supposedly the later GM boxes use the Ford bolt pattern instead of the wider Muncie pattern, but I haven't seen a Muncie in 10 years, and I haven't seen many Fords ever.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:21 PM   #13
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Again with the thumbnails, I know. I'm on my phone at the moment, flickr is down, and really didn't like imgur's embed format.

Anyway. $60 T5. I can put a Ford tailshaft/tailstock on to put the shifter in the right spot, but I meed to pull off the bellhousing and check the bolt pattern. The tag # is 1352-247, so it should be a late GM World Class box. Supposedly the later GM boxes use the Ford bolt pattern instead of the wider Muncie pattern, but I haven't seen a Muncie in 10 years, and I haven't seen many Fords ever.
Looks like a ferd pattern on the front. Pretty sure I have a tailhousing/shift rod if you're interested.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:22 PM   #14
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After being fully consumed by Volvo stuff for the last few months I decided to spend my week off enjoying some other things. Took the bike for a ride, finally made it out to the gun range, it was nice.

I did acquire a 760 oil cooler setup for future turbo use, and I've kind of made up my mind to start moving forward on the turbo setup with what I have. I've got a RWD Garrett off a 740, a full 240 intercooler and piping setup, chippable ecu and EZK (with waste spark board), the rest of the waste spark stuff, a 90+ manifold, and a 3" downpipe.

Basically I just "need" a cam, oil lines, e-fan, chip tune, and a wideband. But project creep is already setting in even on this revised "just do it" plan. I'll need to do something for an oil drain, do I mess around and pull the pan with the engine installed, do I pull the engine to pull the pan, do I drill and tap the block for a fitting if the engine's out. If I have the engine out that invites a whole host of other things that really should be done: intake gaskets, PCV stuff, heater hoses, rear main seal. Then what? Clutch and flywheel? Gather the rest of the stuff to make this T5 work? I'm conflicted. I've gone the replace and\or upgrade while I'm in there route for this whole car, but I don't have a ton of space (or a cherry picker or engine stand), and I really need to push my funds towards my wedding.

It's a delicate balance where I need to keep from not losing interest because I'm not toying with it, but I can't really spend a ton of money on it.

Any advice from you +Ters out there? Should I just slam it together? Or continue hoarding parts like a Volvo mechasquirrel?
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