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Old 05-07-2021, 04:38 PM   #1
wcirco
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Default Building the 242 Turbo Volvo should have....

Hey Y'all,

Long time lurker here. Some of you know me from the Discord server as 242B23FT. Just wanted to share my adventure of taking a rough but rust free '83 242 DL and turning it into the 242 turbo that I believe Volvo should have built.

If you don't care much for back stories, feel free to skip this part.
Back in 2017 I was on my way to work one morning, driving my beloved '84 760T M46. A woman in a Kia hybrid pulled out in front of me and totaled the car. I was super devastated to loose my first brick. Ended up buying the car back from her insurance company and taking a lot of parts, including the famed B23FT. I quickly replaced the car with an 89 744T m46. It always bothered me volvo never put this engine (or its spunkier ET cousin) in a 240 turbo. Why not? These engines were available in 83-84, the accessories are even the same. It could be the volvo execs didn't want to redesign a car that would be out of production in a couple years, the 700 series was just coming out. Bean counters suck. Anyways, from that point forward I held onto the B23FT with a plan to find the right 242 to drop it in. A couple years later I ended up moving 1800 miles cross country. The B23FT was one of the few volvo parts worth taking with me. Finally in the spring of 2020 I found the perfect 242 while searching on FB marketplace.



The car: Your standard run of the mill '83 242 DL. 141 Wine red with originally a Tan interior. Was a B23F AW70. Car was certainly rough but did not have a spec of rot anywhere, something hard to come by for us east coast folks. The PO had started swapping blue interior parts, a b230F with IPD turbo cam, M47.

















The vision: I wanted to build a 242 turbo that looks like it could be 100% factory original- like it rolled out of 1983- to the casual observer but the sharp volvo enthusiast would notice all the changes. While appearing original, I want this car to perform better than stock in every aspect. Just some of the things that are in the works: B23FT with cam, LH2.4 with chips, close ratio GT M46, limited slip diff, electronic speedo, 91+ AC, 91+ Window gaskets, Sirius wheels(the best imo ), black interior with real leather, cruise control, calibrated gauges, period correct balupunkt radio, just to start. On top of the mechanical stuff there are some subtle cosmetic changes I plan to make. I anticipate this car will take 2 years or more to fully complete.

Gotta start somewhere...
After getting the car home it was easy to make run. I blasted it down the street a few times then decided it was time to actually do something with it. So I gutted all the trim and interior. Most of the old tan interior plastic shattered in my hands. The parts list was starting to become overwhelming. Next I removed the glass to inspect the window chanels. No rust The only real body damage was in the right front corner. After half an hour with a hammer a dolly set shes as good as new. I then sent the car to my local paint shop to have a fresh coat of 141 wine red applied. 10/10 worth it. The car was beautiful when it came back! I installed the windows with nice new gaskets. Repaired the cracks in the doors, installed new window rubbers. Then the car sat. For a while. I didn't have parts.



























This is the boring part of the story. For the next 8 months I began collecting parts. Nabbing stuff off ebay, FB market place, Skandix, reaching out to friends and friends of friends, dealing with shady junk yards, driving 2 hours to meet randos off CL. For you other guys out there struggling to find that one rare part: I feel your pain. Be persistent and you will eventually find what you need. During this time I also went through and made every part that was being reused essentially like brand new. Lots of trim polishing. Vinyl dying. Painting. I went through 10 cans of SEM trim black alone.....










Spring 2021: This is when things got kicked into high gear. Months of parts sourcing has finally given me enough to start putting a car together. Loads of trim went on quickly. The B23FT has been cleaned, resealed, fresh valve hushers installed, IPD cam advanced 2.5 degrees. Black wrinkle valve cover came out great, its just some VHT high temp wrinkle paint from the auto parts store. In order to keep the stock power steering pump and bracket, a creative option was needed for installing a rotary style compressor in place of the York. A $25 york to sanden adapter bracket seems to have solved 80% of my issue. A small U bracket will need to be welded to the outside of the PS pump bracket to bolt to the compressor. The engine dropped right in with minimal issues. The oil cooler lines are a little in the way of the passenger side mount. 4 core radiator and intercooler radiator fit perfect. Not pleased with the fitment of the 700/900 intercooler brackets so I may need to get creative here too.














Current situation: 2.4 wiring harness has been sorted out. GT M46 is cleaned up and ready to go. Clutch and flywheel are here, the G80 is modified and ready for installation. Have a pair of fuel pumps from a 740 turbo too. Hoping to make some more progress this weekend. Still have several parts on my list but we're in the home stretch of having a running car. Stay tuned...


Edit: Bear with me, the photos arent loading. Working on it...
Second Edit: Sould all be the right size now

Last edited by wcirco; 05-07-2021 at 07:12 PM..
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:55 PM   #2
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Very nice- I'm definitely psyched to see more. Not to gloss over the other good work you've done, but I'm downright jealous of the results you got with the VHT wrinkle paint. I've tried 3 times on valve covers with varying techniques, but never come close to anything worth putting on a car.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcirco View Post
It always bothered me volvo never put this engine (or its spunkier ET cousin) in a 240 turbo. Why not? These engines were available in 83-84, the accessories are even the same. It could be the volvo execs didn't want to redesign a car that would be out of production in a couple years, the 700 series was just coming out.
I think you have that pretty much as it happened. I have heard they wanted all the attention put into the 700 and the 240 was to be phased out much sooner that it was, but sales of the 240 remained high and not so much with the new 700.

Nice project.
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Volvo Ambivalence of Volvo Enthusiast Community: prancingmoose.com/#novolvo
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240 Mods and Fixes Pages: 240turbo.com/volvo240mods.html
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:39 PM   #4
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Volvo definitely handicapped the 240 turbo. They didn't want it to outshine its more expensive and more profitable big brother the 740 turbo.

I really wish volvo released a galvanized version of the 242. Would be so much easier to get rust free ones.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:44 AM   #5
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Made some more progress this past weekend; flywheel, clutch and transmission are installed. Got the G80 installed and the speedo tone ring modified. One interesting thing I noticed was the 1031 axle in the car had the smaller 1030 gears installed from the factory. 83-84 was a transitional time for axles from what I understand. Photo is the 242 ring gear on the left, 940 1031/41 ring gear on the right. Both 3.73.
Also put together a nice electric speedo cluster from a few nasty ones lying around. SEM trim black is great for restoring clusters as well!











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Old 05-12-2021, 12:37 PM   #6
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Great work, I love this idea. I've got a 94 squirter block and a 80 242 shell and have been wanting to do something similar, basically a fully updated 242 turbo.

May I ask what the paintjob cost?
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:46 AM   #7
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May I ask what the paintjob cost?
Paintjob was $2700 from a small local paint shop. I could have saved some money doing the prep work myself, however I'm awful at body work lol. Was happy to pay a pro to do the job right. I have seen some really nice home prep/maaco spray jobs, its definitely the way to go if you're comfortable doing the prep work.
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:16 AM   #8
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Paintjob was $2700 from a small local paint shop. I could have saved some money doing the prep work myself, however I'm awful at body work lol. Was happy to pay a pro to do the job right. I have seen some really nice home prep/maaco spray jobs, its definitely the way to go if you're comfortable doing the prep work.
Appreciate that, trying to price out a paintjob now. That sounds pretty fair, I'm in the same boat where I would rather pay for someone whos an expert at it.

Car looks great so far, excited to see where you take it.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:19 PM   #9
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The car looks great - that paint job was a screaming deal if it was done well. No way in hell I could get a full car painted for $2700 in LA to an acceptable standard. As an anecdote about 4 years ago on an E34 I got the hood, front & rear bumper plastics, and side skirts painted for just under $2k by a local mom-n-pop shop who was definitely a bargain and did good work, and that was maybe 20% of the car by surface area, in 2017...

At any rate wcirco, definitely ask if you run into any stumbling blocks with the LH2.4 / B230FT conversion. I've done one as have many many others on this site. The results are worth it!
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Old 05-14-2021, 09:24 AM   #10
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The car looks great - that paint job was a screaming deal if it was done well. No way in hell I could get a full car painted for $2700 in LA to an acceptable standard. As an anecdote about 4 years ago on an E34 I got the hood, front & rear bumper plastics, and side skirts painted for just under $2k by a local mom-n-pop shop who was definitely a bargain and did good work, and that was maybe 20% of the car by surface area, in 2017...

At any rate wcirco, definitely ask if you run into any stumbling blocks with the LH2.4 / B230FT conversion. I've done one as have many many others on this site. The results are worth it!
I am super happy with the quality of the work, could have easily paid 4-5k for an equivalent job elsewhere. Very glad I got quotes from several different shops.

One issue I'm attempting to solve right now is a speed signal for the cruise control. Having converted to the electric speedo, where should I pull the speedo signal from? Originally the car had a Hall sensor on the back of the cable speedo. I imagine the direct VR sensor signal may toast the cruise control unit. Can I tie it into the LH2.4 speed signal output on the cluster?
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Old 05-14-2021, 10:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wcirco View Post
I am super happy with the quality of the work, could have easily paid 4-5k for an equivalent job elsewhere. Very glad I got quotes from several different shops.

One issue I'm attempting to solve right now is a speed signal for the cruise control. Having converted to the electric speedo, where should I pull the speedo signal from? Originally the car had a Hall sensor on the back of the cable speedo. I imagine the direct VR sensor signal may toast the cruise control unit. Can I tie it into the LH2.4 speed signal output on the cluster?
Whats the name of the shop? I need paint and body work done and we are in Rockville. Always good to know about places that do good work.
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Old 05-14-2021, 02:10 PM   #12
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Whats the name of the shop? I need paint and body work done and we are in Rockville. Always good to know about places that do good work.
Herbie's Car Painting in Bowie, just off of Racetrack Rd.
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Old 05-17-2021, 03:33 PM   #13
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Slightly more progress...
Wrapped up the AC compressor bracket, it really looks like something volvo could have made. My little 110V mig was having trouble with the 3/16" plate, thankfully the crappy looking welds just locate the adapter bracket. Got the accessories all put on. Need to get the correct hardware for the power steering pump.











Got the Harness installed and routed. Intake manifold on and mostly plumbed.





For my turbo gauge pack I chose Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, and Volts. I made my own harness. VDO makes a nice 52mm vacuum/boost gauge I plan to use right next to the cluster. A standard small clock will fill the lower spot next to the cluster.



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Old 06-01-2021, 12:10 PM   #14
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Hi Yall, still chipping away here bit by bit. The nice weather has made for some good progress.

After getting to the point where I needed some hard to find 240 turbo specific parts, I reached out to a local buddy. He let me pick through his hoard and I was able to find most everything I needed plus some goodies! The big score however was the period correct boost gauge, from a Callaway turbo GTI. Should look great in the 240 dash!







Haven't decided what to do for an air filter yet. The 740 turbo air box is a bit big and I am keeping AC. Id love to see what others have done to try to keep a stock look. Post em up guys I need some inspiration!






With the engine in and essentially plumbed it was time to start on the wiring. First step was to extend the Maf connector. For the Blue coil power and tach signal I extended the wiring for the grey two pin plug to reach the original Chrysler ignition power/tach connector on the passenger side. The tach signal wire was originally shielded in 83(noisy chrysler box maybe?) so the extension harness is also shielded. Both extended harnesses run along the bottom of the radiator core support, out of the way and out of sight. The OD harness was made from scratch following the 1983 greenbook diagram. Unfortunately I need the blue OD relay not the yellow one so I haven't been able to test it yet. The under dash wiring for the 2.4 harness is really straight forward thanks to the "4 wires make it run" post. I added some spade terminals to the other wires I plan to use: Check engine, AC signal, Shift light, Cooling fan turn on. There are some wiring discrepancies when swapping from an early cable speedo cluster to an 89/90 cluster, which I am still working through. If anyone has the 1990 240 green book, I could really use a pic of the cluster wiring diagram.











Looks like fun don't it?



With enough wiring and plumbing done I decided it was finally time to attempt a start. Sure enough after swapping to a good battery it fired right up! Didnt run all that great for the 10 seconds I ran it but hey its a win! Ill try to get the video loaded up.
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Old 06-01-2021, 06:13 PM   #15
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I'll take a look at my green book to see if I can help. I'm going to start scanning the pages to help me hold a digital library of the wiring.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:22 AM   #16
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There are some wiring discrepancies when swapping from an early cable speedo cluster to an 89/90 cluster, which I am still working through. If anyone has the 1990 240 green book, I could really use a pic of the cluster wiring diagram.
Here it is. 1990.
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:10 PM   #17
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Great job on the car. Certainly attaining 'what volvo should have built status'!
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:27 PM   #18
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Here it is. 1990.
Dave
You're the best! Thanks Dave!

...and with that I now have a fully functional electric speedo cluster! Only thing left is to route the two wires for the speed sensor at the diff. My plan was to follow the body harness on the driver side and go through the floor at the fuel sender access panel. That first test drive is getting closer and closer...
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Old 06-21-2021, 03:54 PM   #19
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Wish I had more to report but life has gotten busy the past few weeks. Both my 244 and 740 needed some TLC. Will be taking the first week in July off work so we will make progress then.

I did however finally receive a very important part of the puzzle. Back when starting this project I knew finding a nice dash pad was going to be a struggle. After going this far to make the car look new, I couldn't just put a cover over the old cracked dash. After reaching out to a couple dash restoration places I thought the only option was a $1300+ refurb. That was until a friend brokered a deal for a NOS one.....







Came in the original box and everything. The center speaker grille delete is a nice touch. I can never park this car in the sun again
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Old 06-21-2021, 04:02 PM   #20
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You have reached peak parts clout with that dash. Looking forward to seeing it in the car!
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