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240 advice and recomendations

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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 08:05   #1
jaycey001
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Default 240 advice and recomendations

Hi all

I have owned many Volvo's in the past and am now wanting to get back into Volvo ownership and really want a 240 estate. I used to have a 740 which was a bit rough and the interior was falling apart.

Are the 240s generally better screwed together? Its a 1989 Auto with a 2.3 engine - how strong (assuming half decent servicing through its life) will this combination be and what are the most common things to expect with it?

I have read through the pages on the forum and nothing major seems to be popping up other than wear and tear things... am I missing something?

I will be driving across Europe in it a few times a year, if you guys were doing journeys like that in a 240 what items would you replace before a trip and what spares should be carried??

Thanks in advance.
J
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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 11:07   #2
john.wigley
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Hi, 'jaycee001'. It is many years since we ran 2 series cars regularly in period before moving on to 7s. My personal opinion is that the 7 is the better car, although I know others will disagree! 2 series cars seemed to rust more than 7s, and the split folding rear seat on the latter is a boon when touring. Mechanically, I do not think that there is a great deal between the cars. Despite the years, either car - if well maintained - should be capable of delivering what you expect of it.

When we had the 2, we always carried plugs, points (the car was very sensitive to both - we used Bosch) and carburettor diaphragm (they were prone to splitting). Of course, if yours is an injection motor, this will not apply. Otherwise, just carry 'normal' spares - bulbs and the like.

Change? Cambelt, fan and ps (if fitted) belts. Always use genuine Volvo - cheap ones do not pay in the long run. New oil and (genuine) filter goes without saying!

I wish you a good trip. One very pleasant surprise we had the first time that we took our '81 244DL Auto (2.1 Carb) to Sweden was the decrease in fuel consumption. It improved from 23MPG overall to an easy 30 at a steady 90KPH - it is what they were built for!

Regards, John.
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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 12:44   #3
Prufrock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycey001 View Post
Hi all

I have owned many Volvo's in the past and am now wanting to get back into Volvo ownership and really want a 240 estate. I used to have a 740 which was a bit rough and the interior was falling apart.

Are the 240s generally better screwed together? Its a 1989 Auto with a 2.3 engine - how strong (assuming half decent servicing through its life) will this combination be and what are the most common things to expect with it?

I have read through the pages on the forum and nothing major seems to be popping up other than wear and tear things... am I missing something?

I will be driving across Europe in it a few times a year, if you guys were doing journeys like that in a 240 what items would you replace before a trip and what spares should be carried??

Thanks in advance.
J
You'll receive lot's of opinions based on preference, and many will talk about interiors falling apart on 740s - well if you abuse a car then the interior will suffer, the headlining will need replacing on a 740 but then they do on many other cars.

I have two 740s and my interiors are fine, but then few owners that cared for their car is the result.

The 740 without doubt drives better (the 240 is based on the 140 and is an older design), and given the choice of driving a 740 to France or a 240 the 740 would be my preference (I have a 245 as well as 740s).

Jon.
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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 19:31   #4
volvo always
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Originally Posted by jaycey001 View Post
Hi all

I have owned many Volvo's in the past and am now wanting to get back into Volvo ownership and really want a 240 estate. I used to have a 740 which was a bit rough and the interior was falling apart.

Are the 240s generally better screwed together? Its a 1989 Auto with a 2.3 engine - how strong (assuming half decent servicing through its life) will this combination be and what are the most common things to expect with it?

I have read through the pages on the forum and nothing major seems to be popping up other than wear and tear things... am I missing something?

I will be driving across Europe in it a few times a year, if you guys were doing journeys like that in a 240 what items would you replace before a trip and what spares should be carried??

Thanks in advance.
J
For the last 10 years I have a 1989 240 glt automatic estate . I paid £350 for it and it had 159,410 miles when bought and 8 months MOT. Now on 234,000. For 8 years was my only car and covered 10,000 miles a year on average for 8 years.

Apart from routine servicing and age related consumables, ie exhaust, on second system, issues have been the tail output bearing on the gearbox. Only time it has needed breakdown/recovery.
Gearbox started banging heavily against tunnel. used a 140 housing and new gearbox mount and prop centre bearing.
Still banging and found the gearbox cross member bent. A used one cured issue. Total cost £400. Happened around 220,000 miles.
Radiator replaced around 180,000 as gearbox atf cooler pipes sprung leak and garage couldn't remove pipes off old rad so replaced with a nissens rad.
Rad costs £60 ATF gearbox cooler pipes £50 new from FRF Volvo.

Renew complete cooling system on any old car if not done.

Alternator died at 195,000.
The engine is great a B230E mechanical bosch injection and no issues at all apart from servicing. Still original head gasket etc.
The real negatives is rust is taking hold. Had under floor outriggers welded once on drivers side 5 years ago and twice on passenger side most recently 2 years ago. Arches rusty and 2 holes need welding on passenger side door sill. Patch needed.
Heater fan is a weekend job to replace as dash has to be mostly removed.
I really like it as compared to the 940 turbo less to go wrong and totally dependable as no turbo, sensors etc to go wrong.

Negatives are compared to a 740/940 not as fuel efficient, or as comfortable.

18 months ago I bought a 1996 940 SE LPT auto estate and on the test drive amazed how quiet it was compared to the 240. I wanted more luxury so got a 940 auto estate with AC and ABS. Got the AC working and lovely in this hot weather.

Also had a 1986 740 GLE estate with B230K engine. My first car in 2002 and I loved it. The interior was red/pink and bought it for £425 had numerous broken door trim until I got lucky and replaced them from a scrapper. No issues then. Everything worked and I even converted the sunroof to electric from a 940. Had the car for over 5 years and was having trouble with revving itself and cutting out and bought a new corolla. Then got the 240 2.5 years later.

I would say try a 240 740 and 940!

James

Last edited by volvo always; Jul 14th, 2018 at 19:43.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 14:43   #5
jaycey001
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Thanks allot for the advice and recommendations!

I am pretty much sold on a solid 240 or a clean 940, I think i will probably go on condition/service hist/millage over anything else but I do like the 240. I currently drive a 1989 transit to Spain 3 times a year and a 95 defender so I think any Volvo will be a big improvement on comfort

Keeping my eyes out on ebay for a good local one and will no doubt be around more often when im back being a volvo owner

Many Thanks
James
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 17:29   #6
Bob Meadows
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James: ~ about three years back I started to look for a usable classic and came across a 240 estate- not really considered these cars but now I fully understand why people say “the best car I have owned” I can’t fault it and the MOT inspector loves it “a pleasure to work on he says” I have the 1988 2.0 Litre injection that is free from any high tech complications and is in fact quite basic it terms of maintenance- not the fastest but it laps the miles without problems and plenty of style!
I’ve been right through the car in terms of maintenance & rustproofing and I can see these cars becoming sought after more & more with little or no depreciation!
Buy the best you can is my basic advice-
Good Luck with the potential purchase
Bob
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 17:56   #7
57RKL
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940s are great cars but if you really want to go in style, it has to be the 240. Accept no substitute.

Good luck with your search.
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Old Jul 15th, 2018, 22:07   #8
Nicholas Lewin
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Gonna challenge you James - a 95 Defender. L O V E L Y. Unless you are tall, what's not to like about a 95 Defender? I'd happily have a LWB Defender again, except diesel and not ideal in SW London!!!!

I am in my 3rd year of 240 ownership and altho right now I could smash the damned car into bits (because it has some persistent problems I cannot resolve), I love it. We had an Amazon for 32 years in our family - APJ886B if she's still about (suspect not) - and what surprises me is how alike a 240 is. Obv more modern in many many ways, but there is a family likeness

I have much experience of a 760 GLE some years ago - lovely, but thirsty, expensive to maintain and now I should imagine a bit of a liability technology-wise

The thing about a 240 is that it is modern (ECU, low-profile tyres etc depending on model), but it's also quite simple and it's straightforward to work on. That's worth it's weight in gold I'd say. Depending on speed and load, their fuel economy is not bad - mine'll average 37-39 on a long journey, lightly loaded and kid-gloved - usu story, depends how you drive

My only advice as per others - buy one with minimal corrosion and look after it

Good luck, nick
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Old Jul 17th, 2018, 11:38   #9
Stephen Edwin
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Hello Jaycee,

How do you fancy a fault that takes more than a week to diagnose, and more than a week to source the correct part? Reading the forum for some time, I have seen members with 240 in that situation at home. It can happen away from home. I waited six weeks for a genuine Volvo air mass meter. Another member bought from reputed third party supplier paid more and had endless problems.

Then add in being abroad, by the side of a remote road, with a bag of tools and whatever printed out information you took with you.

Even in UK it is possible to have persistent problems that can't be resolved yet, and it can be very difficult to find a mechanic or garage with the relevant expertise.

Have I put you off?

BUT. The 240 is a great car for you and for your journeys. And there are members who travel outside the UK and/or live outside the UK with their 240. It is a good idea to use a 240 for your journeys.

I would:
  • Yes. Check for corrosion. Later models have far better rust protection. If you are considering an estate then as well as other places, they seem to generally rust under the rear bumper by the way. Said to be not structural, but not cheap either.
  • The 2.3 engine seems to be strongly favoured. Consider carefully the engine, especially the fuel/ignition system. I think broadly speaking carburettor or K Jet or LH electronic. All have their little idiosyncrasies. Which has the best support in the countries you will visit?
  • Re the electronic LH engines, there is for example a trinity of three parts it is wise to carry. Clifford Pope has posted the list and advice as to which of them cause which types of problem. Of the three, the crank position sensor appears to be a bit of a piglet to replace.
  • Also re that engine, the Air Mass Meter is a killer of a failure. And think very hard about changing the fuel related fuses for inline blade fuses.
  • And carry a spare coolant temperature sensor, the one for the electronic system not the one for the temp. gauge.
  • And learn how to diagnose the fuses/fuel pump relay problem. It is a little bogger of a problem.
  • And absolutely learn how to read fault codes using the built in system. There's a how to in the forum.
  • Re the mechanical injection K Jet it seems to be perhaps less of a bovver? Injector seals seem to be mentioned often. I don't know much about that engine. I don't know much about anything.
  • Carburetor engines. It looks as if one needs to choose the model of carburetor very carefully. And in older cars so more likelihood of corrosion.
  • Re all the engines. Fuses again, they are elderly tye and vulnerable. At least thoroughly clean the fuse box and and fit actual ceramic not plastic type fuses.
  • And, the cambelt! Make usre it has been changed within the time/mileage interval. And carry a spare, and the tools to fix it. I would include the Volvo tool to hold the crankshaft. You don't want to pay a garage to do that job.
  • When replacing coollant hoses, remember the little heater hoses at the rear of the engine going to the bulkhead. They tend to fail by a tiny little hole that causes problems and they are not easy to get at. They are likely to be neglected on many cars for sale.
  • Wheel size. Consider buying a car with 15" wheels, or changing the wheels. There are few tyre makes available for the 14" wheels, for 15" there is a good range of quality tyres available. If you need to get a replacement tyre abroad that might be relevant.
  • If you view one that isn't as described, walk away. Even, or especially, if you have made a long journey. Sorry you don't need me to tell you that but there are experiences in 240 and 700/900 parts of the forum.
  • Buy in very good time to go over the car before any foreign journey.

Others are far more knowledgeable than me and can fill in the many gaps, and correct probably many mistakes, in what I say.

Please enjoy becoming a 240 owner.

.

Last edited by Stephen Edwin; Jul 17th, 2018 at 11:43.
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Old Jul 17th, 2018, 12:47   #10
jaycey001
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Thanks allot for the replies, really useful!

I would love to keep my defender but unfortunately as its classed as PLG with no side windows it is impossible, or at the very least very expensive, to import it into Spain. It has been very reliable and I have rebuilt the engine, replaced gearbox/transfer box and done everything to it... but I have tried many options and it just isnt possible to import to Spain due to their strict laws.

Regarding breaking down abroad It has happened quite a few times and I have come to see it as a perfect opportunity to learn the local lingo I am very methodical with my cars and they tend to not want for anything... however the defender broke down when the alternator sized and stopped the engine turning and our 1989 transit blew a head gasket on the south coast of Spain... still made it home with some epic bodges!


I am keeping an eye on ebay and a few possible cars have come up, I think I would prefer a Manual but it wouldn’t be deal breaker. Any car will be getting a full recommissioning and a good selection of spares built up for any trips. I like to see it as a bit of an adventure (although the wife doesn’t always see it like that

Looking forward to being back on forums and having a new little project car

I am based in Suffolk but if anyone knows of a good solid late 240 then do let me know!

Thanks
James
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