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242 racer project
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #1
242 racer project
I originally had this in drive train mods but a member recommended I move it. I made many updates too.
I want to be a race car driver on a budget so what do I buy? A ’79 Volvo 242. Few people know that Volvo won the European touring car championship in 1985 with a 242 turbo. I wanted to get a turbo but I came across this ’79 NA car in Portland with 260k miles on it and snatched it up.
   
My plan at the time was to keep it NA and race it and see how it handled. If all went well, I would do some engine and suspension work, and try to make it competitive.
Right off the bat I got sidetracked from performance mods. I was at the junkyard pulling parts off another ’79 242 when I spotted a BMW Bavaria that was totally wrecked. The interior however, was spotless and really looked cool. I measured it out and decided to try an interior swap for the BMW. The back seat needed some small snipping and cutting to fit, and I was able to mount the front seats onto the existing Volvo hardware after I bolted on some 1/8” plate to the bottoms.
   
   
When I did the seats, I also swapped in a custom cluster from Roger Patricio and a new dash that I got at V&B auto parts in Portland (a guy who has a warehouse full of old Volvo parts, and the business is for sale by the way).
   
So once the interior was in I decided to enter her in some local SCCA solo events. What a blast, I won first in class the opening weekend and ran second or third the next two events. So the Volvo really handled well, but more importantly I really enjoyed driving it. I’ve just really enjoyed the feel of the car from the moment I got it. So, along the way I have replaced the alternator, removed the AC, replaced the cooling fan, clutch, and wiper sprayer pump. But right now I have some lingering issues. The wiper motors only work on high, my radiator is leaking slowly, all the suspension bushings are shot, my front wheel bearings need replacing, and there is a huge rust hole in the spare tire well in the trunk. Oh yeah, it is also totally gutless. Fun to drive but gutless.
So my plan is to swap in a ’93 or later 940 turbo motor. But I am having a hell of a time finding a swap candidate in Montana, not too many rear wheel drive cars round here. I could really use some help tracking down a 940 turbo parts car, there seem to be none in Montana. But maybe there is an easier way to get some much needed power. Can I just throw a turbo out of a 740 on my b21? Thoughts are welcome (needed) here.
I just completed an order for coilovers, camber plates, and quick steer adapters from Kaplhenke racing, and bushings and torque rods from IPD. Its all going on this weekend, if everything goes according to plan, which it won't. I also just got some China bay wheels, 15x7's, and Toyo RA1's, but I need some spacers and Ben is out of bolts and I am out of money. Anyone have some 25mm or larger spacers they don't need any longer?
And, I gave up on the BMW seats. After racing on those I quickly realized I needed a seat that wasn't flat and covered with vinyl, so I picked up some Ebay seats locally and made a steering wheel change as well.
   
So as you can see, much has been done. But there is much to do.
Many thanks to Ben at Kaplhenke, and to all you forum users, I have learned a lot.
Update: Feb. 16, 2014
Although its been along time without any updates I have been plugging away. I have two mantras while undertaking this project, "slow and steady" and "enjoy the process".
So March of 2013 I made the suspension swap. Front coilovers, rear springs and shocks, camber plates, reinforced rear arms, panhard and torque rods, and a quick steer corrector from Kaplhenke racing. I also ended up replacing rotors and pads up front, ball joints, wheel bearings, and installed all poly bushings as well. No chassis bracing yet but hopefully soon.

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2014 12:27 PM by laurenconfounded.)
04-03-2012 04:31 PM
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volvoDouche69 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: 242 racer project
love it
04-03-2012 05:59 PM
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scottyd Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 242 racer project
So where are you at?

'97 GMC K2500 Suburban 6.5TD - FailBus
'84 245GLT - FailWagon
'92 245DL - The iFixit.com Lemon
'95 850T5R - ButterCup


Cheap Camber Plates!
04-05-2012 12:12 AM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #4
RE: 242 racer project
I'm in Missoula, Montana. 59801. I travel to Portland, OR a couple times a year to see the fam.

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
04-05-2012 11:04 AM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #5
RE: 242 racer project
Here are the pics of the suspension work, I found a friend with a garage so I was finally able to work indoors with some heat, which is kinda important in Montana in March.
[attachment=1098]
   
   
Then I ordered up some cheapbay wheels and got some spacers, and only had to trim about 1/4" off the inside lip of the rear wheel well.
   
This was also a daily driver so I didn't drop it super low. It all equaled great cornering, people kept coming up to me and saying how does that tank corner like that?
   


Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)
   

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
02-16-2014 12:46 PM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #6
RE: 242 racer project
So to get some big power I thought I'd blow some minds and do something a little different. Here's the donor.

.jpg  f430.jpg (Size: 8.93 KB / Downloads: 51)
Ok, maybe that's a little ambitious, how about a b230ft swap, i'm sure no one has done that yet. Maybe with an IPD cam, gear, and a 16t. This little glem I picked up for $250, had 175k, and was honestly, way too nice to pull and scrap but my options in Montana were limited so I did the deed.
   
So I pulled both motors last February in my carport in Montana, here is what it looked like a couple days before I started.
   
I pulled the b21 and cleaned out the engine bay, 275k miles meant plenty of gunk.
   
I busted out the rattle can too and gave it a couple of coats.
   

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
02-16-2014 12:59 PM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #7
RE: 242 racer project
Turbobricks supplied the 16t and the reclock was pretty easy, hopefully this little guy will last a while.
   
Here we are in a garage again, I love garages.
   
What's that in the background? A WC T5? Yep, gonna do that too. And thanks to Knox Motorsports for the easy to use adapter kit, great instructions, and the Spec clutch.
   
Also picked up a prefab trani brace. Like pushing the easy button.
   
Goin' in. Um, finally.
   
Got the engine in, just in time to throw the 242 on a trailer and head to Tennessee for my next chapter in the Witness Protection program.

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
02-16-2014 01:34 PM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #8
RE: 242 racer project
So just before moving to the south I picked up a little distraction, I've been wanting to take my 242 to 300 horse, which takes time and money. Here's the quick way to 300 and it only takes money, but since this was in the family, I got a nice deal. Oh, and the mileage is pretty good too. I might be gloating a little.
   
   
We made it to Nashville, both rigs fit nicely in my new, enclosed garage.
   
Now all I have to do is figure out the wiring harness, get a drive shaft made up, and fix some rust. Thanks to Myles and a local named Robert for the wiring support over the last couple of months. There is hope.
   
   

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
02-16-2014 01:52 PM
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laurenconfounded Offline
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Post: #9
RE: 242 racer project
So I've been making some progress in the last couple weeks, once again with the help of TDI lover Jimi. Its good when a vw man is willing to help out a volvo guy who is short on talent and skill. We've been plugging in, soldering, shrink tubing, and taping a '86 240 harness into this '89 b230ft. We tried a couple of start attempts but I think we have the fuel pump relay hooked up wrong. I'm hoping to sort it this weekend.

'79 242 b230ft/t5
'04 S60R "Flash" DD
'09 V50 R-Design
12-27-2014 06:12 PM
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dapperhound Offline
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Post: #10
RE: 242 racer project
Reminds me of my dad's old car.
03-28-2017 08:47 AM
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