If you have a Volvo 240 wagon, you may have heard of the optional third seat, which allows two more people (ideally, small people) to sit in the back of the car, facing rearward, with thier own three-point seat belts. This was quite an innovation for its time, and allowed the 240 wagon to seat 7 people total, as long as two of them were small enough to sit on the third seat.
The Danger of Using the Third Seat
While the third seat may have been revolutionary, it is NOT a safe place to put people, especially your children.Here’s why. The location of the third seat, when installed, puts the occupants of that seat in the car’s rear crumple zone. If you count the body pillars on your 240 wagon starting at the front of the car, there are four on each side:
A pillar – just behind the hood
B pillar – between the front and rear doors
C pillar – just behind the rear door
D pillar – at the very back corner of the car
All Volvo 240s, whether they are a sedan or wagon, have the same type of safety cage, as shown below. Only the first three pillars (a, b and c) are part of the safety cage that protects you and your family in an accident.
Note that with a 242, the B pillar is moved back farther for the larger door, and for a 245, there is no beam that supports the rear window. Read this advertisement for more info on the 240’s safety cage and crumple zones (warning, big image).
Here’s what happens if you do have a roll-over accident in a 240 Wagon:
Note that this was a 240 wagon although it certainly looks like a 244 now. This car was rolled multiple times at around 60mph. The driver walked away from the accident with minor injuries. Now imagine if two people had been in that rear-facing third seat. For the rest of the details on this wreck, see this thread over at Turbobricks.
Installing your Third Seat
Despite the fact that using the third seat is probably NOT a good idea, it would be better for someone to install the seat properly, with working seat belts, than to install it improperly.
Here are photos of everything that you should have in order to install your seat (at least, I think this is everything, I have never actually installed this thing, so I don’t know for sure. When in doubt, consult the installation manual below):
Here is a .pdf file of the original Volvo installation instructions.
|Cover||Description||Pages||Format / File Size|
|Volvo Installation Instructions for the 240 wagon third seat.
The Third Seat Installed
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