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1970's & '80s Volvos

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    I never cared for the Bertone myself. Aside from the fact that it was just a normal production Volvo with a roof job, I didn't find it accomplished anything. It didn't make the car prettier, it took away headroom, and it didn't make the car any more valuable at resale time. So, no looks, no performance, no practicality, and no value. Sounds like a bad idea, don't you think?

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,701
    really took Volvo AB to the cleaners on that deal. How do you hire one of Italy's best styling houses and come up with a car that's no better looking than a 242?

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • I see it doesn't get much love here, but I'm interested in a 1990 780 Turbo I saw around here. I kind of like the way it looks (1980s kitsch in a Maserati Biturbo kind of vein) and it's an interesting contrast to my other car (a Citroen DS, the most brilliant automobile in world history even though it has a truck engine). Also has a very nice interior (something more important to me than head-turningness) so it might be a good thing to keep in the driveway (the Goddess gets the garage!) and tool around in.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for things to look for that aren't at http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Garage/6570/tips.html.

    Also, it only has a tape deck, so how difficult is a head-unit install on one of these? I didn't buy a Mercedes 300E (more expensive and a little bit rougher inside than the 780) because changing the stereo is supposed to be a nightmare....

    I do plan also on taking it to a local Volvo specialist if the seller comes down a bit on price.

    I'm not interested in putting a V8 in one or anything at any point, although if the engine died I understand that the straight six from the 960/S90/S80 2.9 is a drop in with about the same power and more torque that might even be lighter than the iron-block turbo four.... (That engine that's apparently going to be the backbone for Jaguar in the future. 'Bout time they went back to the straight six!)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    Nothing wrong with a Bertone particularly, just don't pay extra for it. Just treat it like a regular Volvo in the marketplace. As with any early 90s turbo design, the turbo definitely has a lifespan, so if the original turbo is hitting 100K or so, double-check it for noise, leakage or oil burning.

    Most stereos just pull out with the right tools inserted. A qualified shop should know how to do this pretty easily and it might pay for you to just pay for that...a quick stereo swap around here costs about $60-100.

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  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    The stereo opening is the DIN standard size, so you could easily install any aftermarket system. The turbo B230 engine was a very good engine that could take a lot of abuse. I disagree with shifty on this one. The engines I've seen (quite a few, actually) can easily do 200,000 miles without trouble if the oil chages have been done regularly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    I meant the turbo, not the engine, should be looked at at 100K. The engines are pretty durable, the 4 cylinder ones.

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  • Thanks for the advice. I'm sending it to a Volvo specialist on Thursday to check it out mechanically.

    As for paying $60-$100 for a headunit install -- wow! That's a fifteen minute job, tops, on a car with a standard (DIN, double-DIN, etc.) sized stereo when you buy the harness ($7-$10), and maybe a ten minute job when you just cut the old plug off and splice directly. Even on my Citroen DS, which required some re-wiring and cutting of metal to fit a DIN headunit inside a shafted bay (the trim-ring around it was DIN-sized, though), it didn't take more than an hour. My time is precious, but not to the tune of $300-$400/hr precious! (Now, installing the AC Delco alternator retrofit in the Citroen, THAT was a b***h! Must've spent five days tracing the wiring harness on it, even though I had a very good map!)

    Then again, there are a lot of people who are scared of any wire that doesn't plug into a power outlet, I guess...

    The problem comes in when there's lots of proprietary hardware. For instance, one can't just replace the headunit on a Bose system or on a Volvo/Dynaudio one -- you have to keep it as is or replace everything. I basically wanted to know where the 780 stood on that continuum.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    I really don't know without looking at it, so in those cases I always advise the safest route for people. But yes, some swaps are not so easy, you're right.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Listen to this- My neighbor's '93 240 wagon's tailpipe was hanging loose this morning as I saw him leaving his house to go to work. Now I see why you rag on old Volvos' exhaust systems. I mean, that thing was hanging so loose it wasn't funny at all, considering the image he has to project daily (he's our county judge). Looks like that stupid rubber donut broke apart.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I should add that his 240 was built near the end of the model's run (12/92). I know this car very well, since he bought it new. It only has 100.5k miles on it too! (We like to discuss our Volvos from time to time)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    Well you know he could stick his nose under there once in a while! Those donuts cost about $4.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I remember riding in the very first Volvo I ever got into: It was my mom's coworker's new '92 240. Even then, I thought it was outdated, because the whole interior looked as if it was right out of the '70s, because everything looked so old-fashioned. I mean everything from the seats to the instrument panel design. Do you agree with me, Mr. Shiftright?
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    The basic design of the dashboard came in '73 140-160 series. It was dressed up when the 240 came along in '75, and in '81. That's it. Yes, in '92, the design was getting very old.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,392
    Now now, the '92 Volvo wasn't old, it was retro. It was ahead of its time by 10 years or so. The fact that it had never NOT been retro just makes it more innovative.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    Well, that's another way to look at it, sure! I can't say it's wrong, just different. For all intents and purposes, the dashboard was just fine.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    If you're still around, the 780's stereo, although it's a different model, shouldn't be too different than the 740's (which I ripped out for a Blaupunkt head unit.) The only real pain was bypassing the factory amp and running new speaker wire from the amp (which is under the steering column) to the unit. Just a bunch of splicing, that's all. I certainly wouldn't pay an install shop to do it. If you keep a Citroen running by yourself, an old Volvo's stereo should pose no challenge!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    What is the problem that makes Stromberg carbs sketchy in early '70s Volvos?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    They're okay but hard to tune. You need a special tool to adjust the jets and you can't do that while the car is running. So it's...shut off engine, open carb, insert special tool, take a guess, start up engine, shut off engine, open carb...etc etc...

    Also there's a diaphragm inside that goes bad. But generally they'll give more power than the SUs, but less economy.

    If you have the tools and the knowledge, they aren't bad.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I don't know what drives me, but I just love the old, old boxy Volvos from the late '60s up through the late '80s. My college friend and I were having a discussion about Volvos as we were driving in her car today (she has a '97 850, I have a '93 850); she agrees with me that there is a magic about them. They're simply elegant- yes, even the earliest 240s!

    No offense, but I think they're really fun to drive, even though many blast them as boring and dull. I've driven everything from a Miata to 5-Series BMWs and I seriously don't get the same thrill from those cars as I do with, say, a 5-speed 240 or 850. And yes, Mr. Shiftright, I give you permission to digress or disagree with me, since I know you kind of dislike old Volvos. But I would die for a '75 240 right now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    Oh, I don't dislike them, I just find it amusing to call them "fun". Do you get out enough? I'm worried about you LOL!

    I suppose you could try to fling one around a turn and scare yourself, that might be fun, presuming you could duct tape yourself to the seat so you don't fall out the window.

    My favorite old Volvo would be the 120 Series 123GT...next favorite a P1800 ES with modifications,next favorite or close favorite a 544 Amazon wagon, next a 544 B18 sport, next a 122 4-speed coupe.

    Least favorite (okay, I despise them) would be a 164, followed by the 144, also a car I don't like)

    240 series are okay, I can live with them.

    I like 444s but wouldn't buy one because of the B16 engine.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    How about a 780 coupe (the ones from '87-91)?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    blech.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Thought so. I can't stand 780s either, nor can I stand the following Volvos in this order: 140, 164, 760, 960, 262 Bertone coupes.
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    What's a 544 Amazon wagon?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    Oh, maybe that's not the correct nomenclature, that's just what I call them.

    I guess technically they are 545 Duets. It's a 544 with a station wagon body.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I do like the 544 Duetts, although they're a little too old for my tastes.

    My father now wants to buy an old vintage Volvo to tinker on and repair himself. He's thinking of either a 140 Series, P1800, or 240. Your take on this, Shifty?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,645
    hahaha...none of the above!

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  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    The Duett is a Volvo 210. The correct Amazon Wagon code is 221 (B18A or B20A), or 222 (B18B, B18D, or B20B).
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    All of the above!!!!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    In post #152, were you referring to me and my inquiry about old Volvos to tinker with?
This discussion has been closed.