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Old 10-27-2019, 10:16 PM   #1
Spark
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Default '81 Intercooled Turbo 242 - resto-mod?

Hi,
Just purchased this '81 242 from an estate sale, the previous owner having cared for it over the last 30 years. While it appears to have been well loved by the owner, the sun has been less kind.
It's been 15+ years since I gave my trusty old 245 GL to a co-worker in need and I really hadn't thought about getting another 240 until this one popped up.


What makes this one a bit unique is it appears to have gotten the dealer Intercooler retrofit as I'm pretty sure it wasn't an option in 1981, the first year of the Turbo.


Another clever bit is an egg-timer-like 'turbo-saver/turbo-timer' which lets you leave the car running for a bit after you've taken the key out. I'm interested in giving it a closer look to see how it's wired in and find out if this was a dealer option, or something one of the previous owners concocted. It seems to work fairly well still.



Being in Western Colorado, I'll be setting it up to enjoy the countless windy mountain roads that surround us. Right now the suspension is about as firm as a bowl of Jello and while the turbo works, the lag is the only part that's epic. I'd like to keep the car looking stock-ish, but as a mechanical engineer, I probably won't be able to leave the inner workings alone.

I'd love to get some definitive answers on which tail-lights & headlights can be swapped without changing the hood, both ends need components replaced and I'll be doing some re-wiring regardless. I've heard the large euro E-code lights will fit, but I'm not sure which years or where to source them for a reasonable price? Likewise, the '86+ tail lights are much more common and look nearly identical?


I'm also wondering if the rear window can be swapped with a later year 4-door sedan rear window? The molding and rubber is pretty shot and I haven't found a good source. On my previous GL, I replaced the windshield with a ~92 model one which came with the nice, flush trim, I'm kind of hoping the same applies for the rear...

I'll try to update these posts with embedded photos instead of links at some point, but Google-photos doesn't appear to be forum-friendly right now.

Last edited by Spark; 11-08-2019 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:42 PM   #2
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I'm also wondering if the rear window can be swapped with a later year 4-door sedan rear window? The molding and rubber is pretty shot and I haven't found a good source. On my previous GL, I replaced the windshield with a ~92 model one which came with the nice, flush trim, I'm kind of hoping the same applies for the rear...
Yes, I would recommend getting the flush mount rear windshield(91-93), this can be sourced at a junkyard. A new flush mounted front windshield can be sourced easily. Just tell the windshield place the car is a 91. Looks like you got a nice car.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:27 PM   #3
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Looks like a solid car, I'd like to see more pics. Try a hosting site like flikr. The big ecode TV screen headlights will mount, but good luck finding a set. You could swap to a flathood and use single rounds. The 86+ lights aren't an easy option (you need fenders, core support, hood, and lights).
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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Wow good score!
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback!

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Yes, I would recommend getting the flush mount rear windshield(91-93), this can be sourced at a junkyard. A new flush mounted front windshield can be sourced easily. Just tell the windshield place the car is a 91. Looks like you got a nice car.
Thanks, I'll check into the junk-yard route. I haven't seen any 240's around in some time, but maybe I just wasn't looking. I was a little worried the sedan and coupe wouldn't share the same rear window, but trust the accountants to keep the number of unique parts to a minimum.

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Looks like a solid car, I'd like to see more pics. Try a hosting site like flikr. The big ecode TV screen headlights will mount, but good luck finding a set. You could swap to a flathood and use single rounds. The 86+ lights aren't an easy option (you need fenders, core support, hood, and lights).
I've heard the two alternatives are the quad-round lights and the 'TV screen' headlights, it's just that the TV screen lights look so similar in size to the '86+ plus lights, I was hoping they'd be interchangeable. It might just be better to replace the cracked corner lenses and reflectors & pop in some new H1/H4 rectangles...

I found a replacement Turbo grille on ebay, but for $275 , might just go with a DL grille initially.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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I've got a gl grille if you're interested. Similar to a turbo grille with offset emblem. Here is link. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F153693654690

If you really want a turbo grille, just post a wanted ad. Someone will have one for a reasonable price.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:54 AM   #7
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I've got a gl grille if you're interested. Similar to a turbo grille with offset emblem.
I actually added your grille to my watchlist earlier, I'm just not sure about the extra silver.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:44 PM   #8
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Yes, I would recommend getting the flush mount rear windshield(91-93), this can be sourced at a junkyard. A new flush mounted front windshield can be sourced easily. Just tell the windshield place the car is a 91. Looks like you got a nice car.

Rear window isn't flush mount. Just doesn't have the trim on it. See pic below. Glass is from a '91, but is the same as the 1993 piece.

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Old 10-28-2019, 11:06 PM   #9
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Rear window isn't flush mount. Just doesn't have the trim on it. See pic below. Glass is from a '91, but is the same as the 1993 piece.
Thanks for the picture!
I like your old-school, 3-piece wing paired with a trailer hitch, that's some classic Volvo
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:01 AM   #10
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'TV screen' E-codes that fit the early sheet metal are pretty rare and usually expensive in good shape.

Wiring for the taillights changed 84-85 with the addition of rear fog running lights, but if your circuit boards are good you're GTG with a swap to the Estonia pops.



Nice car and very rare, Keesue has one like it here in Cali but in black.

All that said it's probably worth more as it sits than after you molest it but have fun anyway!

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Old 10-30-2019, 11:24 AM   #11
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I've heard the two alternatives are the quad-round lights and the 'TV screen' headlights, it's just that the TV screen lights look so similar in size to the '86+ plus lights, I was hoping they'd be interchangeable. It might just be better to replace the cracked corner lenses and reflectors & pop in some new H1/H4 rectangles...
I'm sure you could get the later e-codes to fit, but the trim and mounting and side-to-side width will all be different and not look good with your hood, grille, or fenders.

The early "TV screen" e-codes do pop up here fairly often. Just be patient and keep a sharp eye on the for sale section. I found mine for a reasonable price, but the reflectors aren't perfect and the chromed plastic trim is starting to bubble a bit.

The big plastic trim piece surrounds the entire lamp unit and ties in very well with all of the coffin hood grilles, and the corner lights.

This is also an '81.

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Old 10-31-2019, 10:53 AM   #12
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Wiring for the taillights changed 84-85 with the addition of rear fog running lights, but if your circuit boards are good you're GTG with a swap
I'm always a fan of more lighting, good to know.

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All that said it's probably worth more as it sits than after you molest it but have fun anyway!
I know I'm largely driven by the nostalgia factor of my old 245 and roadtrips in a friend's 244. Is it worth enough that to justify limiting the modifications for future resale and if so, where do you draw the line? I do like the classic look & wheels, so those are safe, but is replacing the k-jet & intake with a custom electronic fuel injection system a bad move? I've always found the mechanical fuel injection adds a lot of lag to the throttle response making cars equipped with it feel more sluggish and sickly (by modern standards). I converted a number of Porsches (and others) for customers of the race shops I worked at ~15 years ago, I have no idea if it devalued their cars, but it sure made them more lively. To me, a car has to put a smile on your face when you drive it or it's a utility vehicle and has no value beyond the work it can do.

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I'm sure you could get the later e-codes to fit, but the trim and mounting and side-to-side width will all be different and not look good with your hood, grille, or fenders.
I definitely don't want to head down that road, the original bodywork is in much too good of shape.

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This is also an '81.
Car's should have faces, most do, the quad lights kind of mess that up, while those big E-codes definitely give the car a wearing-oversize-glasses look.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:01 AM   #13
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Is it worth enough that to justify limiting the modifications for future resale and if so,
Yes by a factor of 10, but like I said have fun molesting it anyway, you seem to have the bug.

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where do you draw the line?
Your call, everybody always says it's 'reversible' but it never happens.




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I do like the classic look & wheels, so those are safe, but is replacing the k-jet & intake with a custom electronic fuel injection system a bad move? I've always found the mechanical fuel injection adds a lot of lag to the throttle response making cars equipped with it feel more sluggish and sickly (by modern standards). I converted a number of Porsches (and others) for customers of the race shops I worked at ~15 years ago, I have no idea if it devalued their cars, but it sure made them more lively. To me, a car has to put a smile on your face when you drive it or it's a utility vehicle and has no value beyond the work it can do.
I never really noticed any difference in the throttle response of my mid cycle LH2.2 cars compared to the 82 245 K-jet turbo, that is until the turbo spooled and the extra power kicked in.

In fact the T cam will pull the revs up out of the basement when / while the M cam is flat on it's face, so I would consider the driveability better all around with the turbo car.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:06 PM   #14
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If you can find a good set, the quad round "spider eyes" headlights are a direct fit with the coffin hood. For bonus points, I think Hella still sells H1 and H4 E-code conversion kits for the original sealed beam bulbs.



And you might like this: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showpo...08&postcount=7

There was a Volvo Turbo+ kit with delayed shutoff, but I don't think your timer is the same. See: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=277297
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:54 PM   #15
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Looks better with commandos...



With respect to the spoiler, it's the extremely rare Pfeba spoiler that Volvo sold as an accessory for the 1986-93 244s. Seems to be less common than the "holy grail" Zender spoiler that I used to have for my previous 242s.

The 242 Turbos are scarce now. Especially ones that are rust free and unmolested. Mine for the most part fits the second part, but is definitely not rust free.

Re: throttle response, if anything K-Jet seems to be more responsive than LH 2.2 is. Partly because, as someone on Swedishbricks described to me after I got my original 242 almost 23 years ago, K-Jet dumps fuel into the combustion chambers under acceleration unlike LH where it's metered. That does mean that it's less efficient, unless you're maintaining a steady airflow sensor plate position.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:29 AM   #16
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Re: throttle response, if anything K-Jet seems to be more responsive than LH 2.2 is. Partly because, as someone on Swedishbricks described to me after I got my original 242 almost 23 years ago, K-Jet dumps fuel into the combustion chambers under acceleration unlike LH where it's metered. That does mean that it's less efficient, unless you're maintaining a steady airflow sensor plate position.
My suspicion is that I'm dealing with a combination of vacuum leaks & a pretty heavy flywheel as when I tap the throttle it bogs instead of blips. I don't think I'd go the 2.2LH route if I switch to electronic fuel injection, rather I'd probably make or adapt a better flowing intake and use a microsquirt.

First step, as you suggested, is to get the car back to baseline.

One of these 4.4kg flywheels and a cam might be all it takes to liven it up if the tip-in enrichment and the distributor advance/retard is good. My expectations might be a bit skewed or unrealistic, having worked on a variety of race & rally cars in the past.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:15 PM   #17
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Finally got a Flickr account setup so I can share some images on the forum & updated my original post with embedded images to replace the links.
Here's a shot of the original grill with the chrome on the surround starting to lift off, also missing the Turbo emblem.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:08 PM   #18
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Cool car man, I wish mine was that clean when I got it.
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Cool car. Smells period correct. Would follow through twisties again. A+
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #19
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If you have to change out the headlights I'd go with quad rounds(spider eyes as some call them). As previously mentioned, it would be a direct swap and they are the best looking front end that came on a 240. That grille doesn't look too bad and you can actually buy the individual turbo emblem online by itself.

As Ken said, that car is pretty clean as it sits, the more you molest it, the less value it has. If you want to molest something for the power, get a cheap 86+, do an LH2.2 +T, and save us the heartache of watching this prime 242 Turbo go from BaT-worthy to California crusher-bait.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:21 PM   #20
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you an remove the center of the grill and put it into another surround if the only damage is the chrome.
it should just be held in with push pins, so if you can find a cheap DL grill, just swap the turbo center into it and rock-n-roll

looks like a pretty nice place to start with a 242, but honestly, its just a car. more importantly it's YOUR car.
enjoy it however you see fit.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:22 PM   #21
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As Ken said, that car is pretty clean as it sits, the more you molest it, the less value it has. If you want to molest something for the power, get a cheap 86+, do an LH2.2 +T, and save us the heartache of watching this prime 242 Turbo go from BaT-worthy to California crusher-bait.
This simply isn't true. Kjet is for someone who wants to drive a stock car as it came from the factory. This is turbobricks, not brickboard. Very few people know how to add value properly to a 240(it can be done and it won't be easy or cheap). If op wants reliability, he will need to ditch Kjet for fuel injection. There isn't a way around that.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:46 PM   #22
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This simply isn't true. Kjet is for someone who wants to drive a stock car as it came from the factory. This is turbobricks, not brickboard. Very few people know how to add value properly to a 240(it can be done and it won't be easy or cheap). If op wants reliability, he will need to ditch Kjet for fuel injection. There isn't a way around that.
If the swedes would to buy a 242 turbo they would want everything back to stock if it wasn't already. I sold a 245 turbo that k jet was removed and they wanted everything to change it back to k jet from factory.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:38 AM   #23
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K-Jet can sometimes be more reliable than LH, btw. Hate to say it, but, that is sometimes true. My wagon has been pretty darn reliable and it's still running on a 35-37 year old K-Jet system (the injectors, lines, and CPR, are all 37 years old, whereas the fuel distributor assembly is 35 years old). LH-Jet wise, had an '84 245GL that never ran right, an '85 245DL that would randomly stall, right as you'd take off from a stop, and a '92 245 that kept throwing CEL codes with a white label 951 computer.

So, as all things are, YMMV.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:23 AM   #24
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^ +1 my 245 turbo has been way more reliable than the 87 245 LH 2.2 car, especially anymore with the AMMs all getting 20+ years old and tapping out.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:30 AM   #25
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This simply isn't true. Kjet is for someone who wants to drive a stock car as it came from the factory. This is turbobricks, not brickboard. Very few people know how to add value properly to a 240(it can be done and it won't be easy or cheap). If op wants reliability, he will need to ditch Kjet for fuel injection. There isn't a way around that.
as others have stated, that's where you're wrong, my guy.

look at old american muscle cars...which ones are worth more; the ones with weird mods done to them or the all original ones?
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