1978 Volvo 242 DL

I bought this 1978 242 DL in January of 2009.  It has an M46 manual transmission, power steering, sunroof, and around 175k miles.  Overall, it’s in pretty decent shape, and was cheap.  The main reason I got it?  It runs great, and no wiring problems to worry about with this year of car.

So far I’ve cleaned it up a bit, fixed the overdrive, replaced a leaking valve cover gasket, and fixed the tail lights.  I also had the driveshaft professionally rebuilt (3 u-joints and the carrier bearing), and ran a few coats of wax over the paint.

Will it last for another decade or burst into flames next week?  Only time will tell…


If you read the main page, you’ll see that quite a bit has been done to this car in the last few months.  Let’s make a list of repairs shall we?

Powertrain & Mechanical

  • fully rebuilt drive-shaft
  • cooling system refurbish (water pump, radiator, thermostat, temp sender, flushed out with new coolant
  • head taken off & rebuilt with mild port & polish, 3-angle valve grind by R-Sport International
  • new Cometic multi-layer steel headgasket from R-Sport
  • replaced metal engine fan with plastic
  • A/C completely removed
  • fuel injection completely replaced
  • auxilliary air valve replaced
  • spark plugs & plug wires replaced
  • brand new front brake calipers, rotors and pads – upgrade to vented front brakes


  • new seats, door panels, armrests etc. from a brown-interior 242
  • uncracked 1980- dashboard
  • uncracked center console / e-brake cover
  • gauge cluster with tachometer
  • overdrive relocated to switch on dash
  • M46 shift knob replaced with M45 knob
  • smaller, later-style steering wheel
  • brown plastic perfect-fit floor mats
  • new brake pedal rubber
  • new voltage regulator for instrument cluster


  • paint buffed & cleaned
  • replaced missing badges
  • matching hubcaps & beauty rims
  • Hella H4 7″ round headlights with IPD headlight wiring upgrade kit
  • GT grill and GT fog lights, wired to ‘fog lamp’ switch on dash
  • GT spoiler under front bumper
  • metal engine belly pan / scrape pan
  • replaced right tail light


  • Passed AirCare
  • New tags (matching!)