Live Auctions (View All)

Second Chance: Our 1984 Volvo 240 Rally Wagon

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

UPDATE 10/16/17 – Well, the auction ended at $2,925 (a bargain considering all the time and money put into it), but the high bidder backed out claiming that he didn’t get permission from his wife… I’m not even going to comment about that. So, we have relisted it¬†here on eBay with a $2,900 price tag. Just make sure you have the approval of your spouse before clicking that button!

FROM 10/5/17 – If you follow the site then you may recognize this car. We threw it together this past summer in order to participate in the NW Classic Rally. The build and the event were a blast, but the car has just been sitting since so it’s time to let someone else enjoy it. We started with a good 240 wagon and put a lot of time and money into the suspension. It stills needs some things to be perfect, but we have listed it here on eBay with no reserve so it will go to the highest bidder!

Inside you will find a bunch of rare parts that we scored from a local Volvo guy. That R-Sport steering wheel alone sells for around $400 online! Then there’s the auxiliary gauges and custom shift knob. We replaced the door panels with cleaner ones off a lower mileage car and installed cloth seats from a sedan. The headliner and back seat are in decent shape. Even the plastic door pockets are uncracked!

The engine could still use some attention. We thought we had a bad wiring harness so time was spent pulling it out, but it turns out that someone had already replaced the sections that tend to deteriorate. We did install a turbo exhaust and replace many of the leaky vacuum hoses. It’s still running rich and takes a few seconds to start so some time spent tuning everything up could pay dividends.

The real value here is in the suspension. We replaced all the shocks with new Bilstein HDs, installed iPd sway bars, and replaced the bushings. It now corners flat without any wallow, so we had no problem keeping up with the sports car guys on the rally. Some of them were surprised to look in their rear view mirror mid-corner and still see us on their tail! We also installed new tires and a bunch of other parts that needed replacing.

This wagon provides an interesting mix of fun and functionality. The wagon body, roof rack, and trailer hitch all speak utility, but the upgraded suspension and manual transmission keep things interesting. The trick parts set the car apart and it’s always fun to keep an eye out for that next add-on. Most people would be surprised to learn just how many accessories were in the Volvo catalog. Tune up that engine and address any problems as they come up and this wagon will serve you for many years to come!

Read all the stories about our rally wagon:

Get Daily Email Updates:

Comments

  1. Nathan Avots-Smith Staff

    Sweet wagon! If only it was closer to me…Radwood, California’s ’80s and ’90s car show, is coming up in December….

    0
  2. Steve

    Watched your You Tube video wondering what the interior looked like. Now I know. Nice little wagon.

    0
  3. JohnM

    Disconnect the cold start injector and see if it runs better. That’s the one that tends to get leaky. Check the hose between the air mass meter and the intake manifold for leaks (take it off and hold it up to a light while flexing it–leaks hide in the folds, can be very difficult to see while on the car). Those will pull in unmetered air which the O2 sensor in the exhaust sees as a lean condition, then tells the computer brain (such as it is) to dump in as much fuel as it can. New hose is $15 or just wrap the old in duct tape. The AMMs are also adjustable on these but that’s hardly ever the root of the problem. There’s also a mixture screw on the bottom of the intake manifold, but same thing, that’s more to compensate for a problem than to solve the root cause. I’ve lost count of how many RWD Volvos I’ve had over the years. They’re great cars, high in the running for best cars ever built IMO, and if I was closer and didn’t currently have six stashed here and there I’d pick this one up in a heartbeat.

    11+
  4. JohnM

    Oh one more quick and easy thing. Make sure the fuel pressure regulator isn’t leaking fuel through its diaphragm. Pull the vacuum hose off it and give the hose a sniff. It shouldn’t smell like fuel. If it does it’s putting extra gas into the intake manifold. Again, a new one is $15 or so. IMO all the suspension work you all did is the hard part. Chasing down a slightly rich condition should be cheap and easy. Wish I was closer as I’d be happy to lend a hand in exchange for half a six pack.

    6+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Thanks for the suggestions John! We had tried a few of the things you listed, but will give it another shot. We will let you know if anything helps. Thanks!

      2+
      • JohnM

        One last thought on it. There are two coolant temp sensors below the intake manifold, one for the gauge that’s easier to get at and one for the computer that’s trickier. If the wire to the computer one is degraded the car always thinks it’s cold and adds gas. If it runs worse warm than cold that might be worth a look. Good luck with it!

        3+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @JohnM – We just tried to disconnect the cold start injector, but it doesn’t look like ours has one. I believe certain years didn’t. We already replaced the AMM to intake hose and the fuel pressure regulator hose looks ok, so not sure where else to look.

      1+
  5. RH FACTOR

    A fellow mechanic acquaintance of mine, a Volvo nut, had one of these wagons in which he installed a Ford Mustang HO injected V-8 with auto trans. He was a master builder. Installation looked factory. He called it the Voltang. Rest in peace ED ZANABONI.

    3+
  6. Mlaw

    More foreign junk?

    0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Do your research. The Volvo 240 is most certainly not junk. This car has almost 300k miles and still has good compression and looks great!

      14+
    • Bob Graham

      479,000 miles on my 240 wagon, original engine that’s never been opened

      4+
    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      OK, I’ll take the bait….

      I have owned a number of these wagons, both 122 and 145 versions. They are built like little battleships with the best quality iron and steel the Swedes could make. And they make some pretty good metal over there.

      As Jesse and Bob said, they will run 100s of 1000s of miles W/O burning oil, which was better than a lot of other iron could manage back then.

      Back when the 544 was replaced by the 122 an American car mag did a road test in which they tried to kill the little 4-cylinder engine by putting it in 1st gear, bringing the revs up to the point of valve float, and then keeping it there.

      The engine survived and ran just as well after that treatment as before.

      “Foreign junk”?
      Foreign? Yes.
      Junk? Nope.

      3+
  7. steve wolf

    Love that Volvo. Had a 760 turbo a long time ago. Wish I still had it.

    1+
  8. AMXSTEVE

    Jesse, I can’t help but think if you perform the fixes that John M says to to will get higher bids.
    Why aren’t you guys using your own site to auction this?

    1+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We had already tried a few of his suggestions before listing the car, but we will give it another shot. We have pulled the auctions for the time being. Too many sellers with unrealistic expectations and it was taking us away from our main focus.

      4+
  9. Gene Bonacci

    Im a big fan of these old volvo wagons and having owned a few i know they’re really well made. Some questions….Does it have AC? Does it work? What about the other gauges and controls? Heater? it would be good to know if everything is functioning as should.

    0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      It does have AC, but the wire is disconnected and we have not tested the system to see if it’s functional. The heater and everything inside works as it should. Thanks for your interest.

      0
  10. whippeteer

    I did like the ideas of the auctions. However they have taken over on BAT which is not a good thing there. Perhaps set the requirements for the auctions at no reserve, all or nothing! Because everything doesn’t have to be eBay. Sometimes it’s fun if you are just passing along a project that you don’t have time for. BTW, please fix the first page of the classifieds. I don’t see any images there anymore, yet they show up fine on subsequent pages using Chrome.

    2+
  11. Jubjub

    @Whippeteer: BAT just seems like the automotive equivalent of a puppy mill anymore.

    I owned a bunch of these too. Great cars. Lots of decent ones for close to free back in the ’90s.

    3+
  12. Wayne

    I had a 1978 265 that was straight but running was an issue. One each 5.0 with an AOD solved the problem. Had most of the IPD goodies on the suspension. The factory V6 and Auto trans. sat so far forward. That when the 5.0 was installed. The front end actually sat 1 inch higher. The engine is virtually a bolt in! If anyone wants the particulars I will be happy to share them.
    I was charging up a mountainside one day and was passing a turbo 740. The look on the driver’s face was priceless! I guess because I was pulling a trailer with a ton of hay! My son came home from the hospital when he was born in that car. The rear diffs are weak! Ate 3 of them.

    1+
    • KEN TILLY

      And you wonder why it ate 3 diffs?

      1+
  13. Paul B

    Great build. Wish it could be mine. But my ’96 850 manual wagon with some choice IPD parts only has 340,000 miles and runs great, so no point in letting it go. These older Volvos are not junk! Good luck to all on this gem.

    3+
  14. Joe

    Hey Jesse, Did you get the AC working? Are the rallye buckets going with the car? What other stuff needs to be prioritized for repairs on arrival? How many miles are on the car now? Was the engine ever re-built or clutch replaced? Thanks for some great stories on the Volvo!

    1+
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Hi Joe, we didn’t bother messing with the AC because we were on a deadline. We pulled the rally buckets because they are a pretty tight fit and we figured the next owner may not want to squeeze into them. The engine runs good enough to drive, but I’d want it running better to drive everyday. We have no idea if the engine has been rebuilt or when the clutch was last replaced. Thanks for your interest!

      1+
  15. Joe

    Thanks, Jesse. I’m going to bid. Can you include the rally buckets with the car? They look good for continued rallying which is what I’m interested in doing with the Volvo.

    0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We have a lot of money into all the trick parts, but we might if bidding gets high enough.

      0
  16. Bob Graham

    I am seeing this late. Someone got a great deal. It is an excellent basis to further modify it. Nice job!

    0
  17. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The high bidder apparently didn’t get permission from his wife before bidding, so we have relisted the car here for $2,900!

    0
    • Jay M

      I guess he can just leave the $2,900 in his wife’s purse for safe keeping along with his testicles, obviously.

      8+
  18. CCFisher

    Permission from his wife? Sometimes I really feel sorry for you straight guys. When I want another vehicle, my husband helps me look!

    6+
    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Hey CC, do you have an unmarried sister?

      3+
  19. Horse Radish

    To all the wussies out there, who “don’t have permission from their wife”:

    Grow some balls , will you !
    And that includes my stupid brother, too.

    I got one of them wagons too. Needs a fuel pump, ran when parked…
    maybe I’ll get that going again….

    3+
  20. Vintageant

    Curious why Buy it Now, rather than auction again? Love ebay auctions, for both buy and sell, but the Buy it Now option always leaves me cold.

    0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We don’t want to wait another week for the auction to run. Just need to get it sold so we can make room for a new project.

      0
      • John T

        Message on eBay: “This listing has ended”. WOW, That went fast the second time around. I understand you needed the room, but I can’t help wondering if you could have gotten (rhymes with rotten, like the deal that fell through) more for it. Oh well, Good Luck on your new project!

        0
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        It’s a good deal for a great car, but I think the price was fair.

        1+
  21. David Miraglia

    I could always fly out to Boise and see my brother and his family. Hell this car could be my western buggy for exploring the West.

    0
  22. Michelle Rand

    You should have mentioned how well the wagon, and you guys, did. A righteous effort, a great vehicle. If my barn wasn’t already stuffed I would snap this up.

    1+
  23. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    It’s sold! Keith will be picking it up soon.

    0
  24. Alan Stroh

    Jesse, when I had my car lots, I always had guys wander in, drive a car and then say “I have to ask my wife if I can buy it” . I would always respond “While you’re doing that, I’ll go ask mine if I can sell it to you!”.

    1+
  25. Keith Price

    Hello All! This proud 240 will join my Motown-based rag-tag collection of turbocharged and normally aspirated Swedish machinery.

    A low and slow trip home is my objective.

    Peace.

    1+

Leave A Comment

Rules: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Click here to list your car for sale.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.