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Old 03-01-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
Duder
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Default Duder's Beige Brick - "Brun Låda" - 1981 242 DL

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Original post from 02-28-2011:

Well, since I've had my Volvo for about 15 months now and have done a fair amount of work on it, I think it's high time for a project thread. Even though the "real" project has yet to begin, I want to maintain this as a log of sorts, to document all the work that has been and will be done.

The back story:
I've always liked Volvos, be they 1800s, Amazons, 140s, 240s...several friends in high school had 240s, one girl even had a green 242! I lived in Berkeley for 4 years during college and saw older Volvos everywhere, all the time, which made me realize that I wanted one someday. It only took about 5 more years before I gave into the urge (my friends and I used to call it Volvovaginitis).

The car:
I thought about getting a 142 for a while, but started looking here and on Craigslist for a 242 since they are a) easier to find, b) slightly more modern (steering / suspension) and c) easier to get parts for. 2-door was chosen simply for reduced weight and better looks. I found this CA-native beige DL advertised here, and bought it from a lying scumbag in Pasadena. I'm really only the third owner according to DMV. Here's the wonderful tale of the purchase: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=204857 I did not buy it for his full asking price.

And here's one of the seller's pics of the car (taking nice photos was just about the only good thing he did when selling it):



As purchased, it had mis-matched tires with cut up sidewalls (remounted by PO to face inwards so no one would notice ), 4 nice Hydras, a very shaky idle, misfiring under medium to full throttle, torn up drivers seat, busted glovebox door, totally worn out front end, non-working OD, interior spray-bombed black and peeling, dried-desert cracked dash and nasty old floormats with cigarette burns. Somehow that stuff wasn't visible in the for sale pics or mentioned in the ad...hmm... Overall the body was solid with only a few small rust areas that still need to be tended to. And the paint is original and pretty nice with a few minor chips and bumps.

The Plan:
I want this to be a nice capable sleeper with no issues. I'm not going for perfection and not expecting to transform it into a new car. It would be fun to dumb-found some BMW douches at stoplights, at trackdays and the like. Not saying that everyone who owns a BMW is a DB, but that's the major trend around here anyways.

The 242 is also sort of a "practice" car (a la Meg Griffin) in preparation for building a proper hot rod in the next few years. I want to get more experience with engine tuning, suspension setup, and general car development via testing, before I start building my '32 Ford pickup. For the hot rod the goal is to attain a traditional hot rod aesthetic mixed with capable handling and reliable power. I figured an old Volvo was a good place to start as it's basic, cheap and RWD.

Squirter-block B230FT swap and stealth Garrett ball bearing turbo are in the works.

Also I'd like to set some real (numerical, quantitative) goals and see how closely I can hit them. I'm looking forward to geeking out over skidpad times, measured g's, 0-60 times, calculated % anti-squat...all that good stuff. In that spirit, I've been working on a goal sheet. It is a work in progress.

Straight-line
0-60 mph: 5.1 sec.

Weight/power (at crankshaft):
10.0: 3000lb / 300hp, 2800lb / 280hp
11.5: 3000lb / 260hp, 2800lb / 244hp
BMW 335i: 11.5 (3570lb / 310hp) (stock cars dyno around 280 whp, so about 350 hp at crank)

¼ Mile: low to mid 12's for starters

Top speed: ??

Benchmark: BMW 335i (E92)

Skidpad
Speed @ diameter: needs more research

Max lateral accel: above 1.0g on R-compound street tires

Benchmark: a well-sorted NA/NB Miata

Drivability
Suspension cycles/sec: firm but not bone-jarring (1.5-2.0 Hz?)
Boost response / time-to-torque: 1.0 – 2.0 sec?
No major NVH sacrifice. Maintain or improve current wind/road noise levels (subjective).
Maintain seating comfort
Improve seating “grip”

Benchmark: Subaru WRX for ride/NVH

Capabilities:
  • Autocross respectably/predictably
  • NASA track days (drive or trailer to event?)
  • Occasional road trip
  • Reliable street driver
  • Occasional drag strip action
  • Time Trials...maybe...

I'll end this posting with an action pic, and an artsy-fartsy shot...

About 15 degrees of body roll by my estimation, and trying to de-bead the tires (training wheels were suggested by a colleague):



This was taken this weekend in Southern CA, no BS:


Last edited by Duder; 05-09-2016 at 01:27 PM..
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:56 AM   #2
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The Big To-Do List (in no particular order)

Repairs

1. Engine once-over
2. Ignition check: plugs, wires, coil, distributor
3. Air leak check:, hose into TB
4. Fuel system check: filter, hoses, tank
5. Fuel pump check by jumpering at fuse panel – in-tank is dead
6. Clean dirty components: TB, manifold, etc
7. Will it run smoothly?
8. Compression/leakdown check
9. Replace R. engine mount
10. Replace L. engine mount
11. Still popping out of 3rd gear?
12. Driveshaft lube
13. Rear end check
14. Interior fan motor: fuse check, wiring, motor check: apply 12V dead motor
15. Seat cover temporary repair
16. Install door pockets
17. Replace glovebox
18. Replace brake / clutch pedal pads
19. Junkyard passenger side-view mirror
20. Get battery bracket
21. Replace front passenger’s seat belt
22. Junkyard idle motor bracket
23. Repair engine harness @ firewall connector
24. Replace throttle switch (bought Philmore generic microswitch)
25. Replace fuel filter
26. Replace headliner, visors, grab handles
27. Strip & repaint sunroof tray and components
28. Grease sunroof tracks and re-clock handle
29. Install plastic undertray
30. Permanent fix for passenger’s rubber window channel bent the front channel back at bottom of door to prevent window from popping out when rolled down
31. Clean fuse panel terminals
32. Rebuild front end: balljoints, tie rod ends, alignment
33. Brake fluid flush
34. Reverse light lenses
35. Clips for shifter boot
36. Horn & wiper wiring diagnosis spotty operation caused by play in ignition switch
37. Fix rear window defroster
38. Paint “new” dash not necessary
39. Install “new” dash
40. Door panel R&R, painting
41. Buy floor mats
42. Fix odometer (after engine swap)
43. Replace c-pillar interior plastic
44. Working 12V clock? no
45. Fix up parcel shelf cover
46. Remove rust spots on cowl
47. Remove rust spot in driver’s floor
48. Remove rust in battery tray
49. Repaint engine bay & under hood
50. Repair windshield washer pump & relocate bottle
51. AC: upgrade to 1993 spec
52. Replace front wheel bearings (after spindle swap)
53. Adjust loose pass. side front wheel bearing & repack
54. Replace windshield with later style flush-mount

Upgrades

1. Investigate B23FT, B230FT and other shortblock options
2. Investigate head options
3. Replace fuel pumps Now running a Walbro 255HP in-tank feeding a Bosch 044 main...see page 2
4. Re-wire main pump w/ 10-gauge from battery & secondary relay
5. Install large tach in instrument cluster
6. Decide on trans: which is cheaper, gear ratios, availability, swap parts / adapters required. T5, T45, T56, Getrag 265, M90
7. Better battery bracket
8. Oil cooler
9. Gauge pod & wiring harness
10. Determine desired spring natural frequency
11. Determine desired ride height
12. Determine desired suspension geometry
13. LSD: truetrac?
14. Camber plates
15. Coilovers
16. ‘82+ larger spindles
17. Anti-roll bars
18. Adjustable rear springs
19. New shocks / strut inserts
20. Adjustable torque rods
21. Adjustable panhard rod
22. Rebuild rear end w/ new bushings
23. A-arm boxing
24. Trailing arm boxing
25. Steering rack: keep power or swap to manual + quickener? Keep PS
26. Front brake upgrade necessary? Homer Porsche brakes
27. Firewall weight – remove
28. Relocate battery to trunk not for now
29. Lighter battery
30. Braces: strut tower, struts to firewall, lower chassis
31. Install Fiero seats brown Recaros instead
32. Reupholster rear seat
33. Reupholster / install armrest
34. Sparco or Momo suede steering wheel Momo Prototipo
35. Install Blaupunkt head unit
36. Buy/install door speakers
37. Clean B230FT, intercooler and all plumbing
38. Get remaining parts for B230FT: LH2.4 flywheel, clutch, LH2.4 engine harness, distributor shaft & dist., B230 rear head plug, clean injectors, oil cooler, VSS solution
39. B230FT Install
40. Small coolant overflow bottle to clear the 940T airbox
41. Install 960 e-fan, relay, temp sensor
42. Boost control: gear-dependent using ABS hubs & sensors
43. Oil pressure sender for 5 bar gauge
44. Plumb in boost gauge
45. Wire in voltage gauge
46. A/F ratio gauge w/ wideband
47. EGT gauge?
48. Oil temp gauge?
49. Hood pads?
50. Refinish intercooler brackets
51. Skinny bumpers
52. Replace lower a-arm bushings w/ poly
53. Super-stealth ball bearing turbo upgrade

Last edited by Duder; 05-09-2017 at 02:31 AM.. Reason: Lots of stuff crossed off
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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I really like how you've got this build thread started. I'm excited to meet you and get nerdy at WM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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Flathood Time!
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
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Nice car! But it's not a "Brun Låda", brun means brown and this car is beige.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyd View Post
I really like how you've got this build thread started. I'm excited to meet you and get nerdy at WM.
Thanks, and likewise! The car should make it up there fine now that it's got new tires, new fuel pumps, working OD and runs much better. I'll be adding all the sub-projects I've done so far in the next few days. My first autocross (and I assume the 242's also) was this past weekend...it was a fun "baselining" exercise and I decided it's time to start officially setting some goals for the project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Iron View Post
Flathood Time!
I'm thinking about the '83 flathood look for this car, keeping the quad-rectangle lights and swapping to a homologation-style grille. I really would want to get a good quality paint-match on the flathood though, to make it look original. Flat black or odd-colored hood would kill the sleeper look for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.E View Post
Nice car! But it's not a "Brun Låda", brun means brown and this car is beige.
Thanks! I know it's not technically "brun" but it sounded better than "Beige Låda" for a name. Google translate told me that beige is the same word in English and Swedish. Is that true? I need to learn some Swedish since my father's side of the family originated there, and came to the US in the 1850's.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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I'd leave the original hood be - with that paint code it looks great. Flathoods are status quo here anyway imho.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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sometimes I miss my car having that frontend. I like the coffinhood
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysbeta View Post
I'd leave the original hood be - with that paint code it looks great. Flathoods are status quo here anyway imho.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amerbritcan View Post
sometimes I miss my car having that frontend. I like the coffinhood
I think it looks fine as-is, but I do like the lower-profile look with the quad rectangular lights like the '83 homologation special, and have thought about doing that. If I ever find a nice flathood in my OE paint code then I would make the swap. For now though, it's very low on the priority list so the formal hood stays where it is.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:48 AM   #10
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I added my current to-do list, with everything done so far crossed off. I'll keep this updated as I complete stuff and add new projects.

Now I need to catch the thread up with the major jobs I've completed...
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:50 AM   #11
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Hmmm you've crossed off Upgrade #1. So what did you decide on?
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:09 PM   #12
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I got a good deal on a complete, 182k-mile '94 B230FT from Roy (2manyturbos) in Oregon. Thanks Roy! He said it ran excellent and sent me some videos of it running before he pulled it from the wrecked 940T. My plan is to do a full smog-legal swap and get it certified as a complete '94 engine with all emissions equipment intact. After that, the tuning begins.

The B230FT came complete with almost everything for the swap:
  • longblock
  • intake manifold
  • exhaust manifold + lambda sensor
  • turbo
  • down pipe
  • intercooler
  • charge plumbing (to and from intercooler)
  • fuel rail + injectors
  • all sensors intact
  • alternator
  • AC compressor (from an earlier 240 I think)
  • PS pump
  • Accessory brackets
  • Airbox
  • AMM
  • 954 ECU
  • 207 EZK

I do still need to get this stuff:
  • LH2.4 flywheel now have JVAB steel + SAAB 9000 240mm pressure plate
  • clutch disc (for whatever trans I decide on)
  • LH2.4 engine harness from late 240
  • distributor shaft & dist from B230
  • B230 rear head plug
  • oil cooler
  • VSS solution...I want to do something simple that doesn't require a tone-ring rear end
  • alternator bracket from '85-'93 240 (B230F)

And that's what I've decided!

Last edited by Duder; 01-25-2013 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #13
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AC?!
PS?!

Are you going to run LH2.4?
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #14
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I would do a flat flywheel from RSI that has the holes drilled for 2.4 in it. Reason being that people have been having really bad luck with dished 2.4 flywheels exploding.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:34 PM   #15
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AC & PS are both up in the air, to be honest. The AC compressor and newer-style PS pump came as a package deal with the new engine. The car came with both from the factory, still in the car but currently disabled/disconnected/not working and I'm living with that just fine. I want to lighten and simplify the car as much as possible but on the other hand I need to consider that my soon-to-be wife will be driving the car occasionally and she needs to be reasonably comfortable with it! I still have plenty of time to think it over though.

LH2.4 will be running in the first iteration of the swap, to get it BAR smog certified. If a standalone EMS magically appears in the car later on, it won't be obvious, and it will be easy to remove / swap back to LH2.4.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duder View Post
AC & PS are both up in the air, to be honest. The AC compressor and newer-style PS pump came as a package deal with the new engine. The car came with both from the factory, still in the car but currently disabled/disconnected/not working and I'm living with that just fine. I want to lighten and simplify the car as much as possible but on the other hand I need to consider that my soon-to-be wife will be driving the car occasionally and she needs to be reasonably comfortable with it! I still have plenty of time to think it over though.

LH2.4 will be running in the first iteration of the swap, to get it BAR smog certified. If a standalone EMS magically appears in the car later on, it won't be obvious, and it will be easy to remove / swap back to LH2.4.
Figured. Alden and I (Alden) are going to be making a MS harness using the LH 2.4 one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsBreakerG4 View Post
I would do a flat flywheel from RSI that has the holes drilled for 2.4 in it. Reason being that people have been having really bad luck with dished 2.4 flywheels exploding.
This. Plus its light. That stupid 2.4 flywheel is uber heavy.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowsBreakerG4 View Post
I would do a flat flywheel from RSI that has the holes drilled for 2.4 in it. Reason being that people have been having really bad luck with dished 2.4 flywheels exploding.
Thanks for the tip; I've seen a few of those threads! I can't seem to find that flywheel on RSI's website but I'll keep looking around here for more info, or call them if I get stumped. I'd like to go with something lighter than the stock dished boat anchor.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #18
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Call them. But if they don't pick, call them 9000 more times. Their customer service is... Actually. I think Ben (WeezilUSA) is working today, so you might have better luck.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #19
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Ben got a job @ RSI?
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #20
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That's a great looking 242.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #21
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Ben got a job @ RSI?
Yea just a few days a week though. As far as I know.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
That's a great looking 242.
Thanks Roy! The B230FT you shipped to me back in April is still waiting on an engine stand to be joined happily with this beige brick. I'm looking forward to that part of the project but it will have to wait a bit longer still.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:36 PM   #23
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An engine stand?! Go to harbor freight and pick up the 1000lb one. They've got 'em on sale.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:53 PM   #24
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I meant it's currently sitting there, on an engine stand, waiting to be put into the car...
(not that I need an engine stand in order to install it)
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:54 PM   #25
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Ahhh yea that sentence makes more sense the second time around.
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