1982 Volvo 245 GLT-Turbo

How It Ended

I sold this car in May 2007, shortly after I bought my 1985 245 Turbo. I fixed a lot of stuff on it, and it wasn’t that bad of a car to get around in. I just couldn’t pass up the 1985 though. I really didn’t put that many miles on this car, but I did enjoy it. The car definitely has a unique personality, and with the red/blue paint, it always turned heads. The new owner seems to be taking good care of it, 2300 miles away – and he drove it the whole way, so I guess that says something about the car.

Update (August 2008): The Horrible Truth Part II: Well, this car has probably been crushed into a small cube at this point. Here’s what happened. One day, about 10 months after I sold the car, I got a call from my insurance company while I was at work. They told me that my car had been involved in a wreck. “Oh no,” I thought, “Someone hit my car in the parking lot!” At that time, I had been driving to the park-and-ride each day and taking the train into the city, so this was a reasonable assumption. But no! It was a blue 1982 Volvo that had been involved. I told them I had sold the car months ago.

The insurance agent proceeded to tell me that no, I had been in Chicago and had plowed my car into two parked vehicles and then abandoned it. I told them that I’d never even been to Chicago, and that they needed to get their facts straight. Well, it turned out what actually happened was that a drunk driver hit this car (the blue one) and pushed it into two other cars. He then took off, and the owners of the other two cars assumed that the little beat up blue Volvo had been the culprit.

Since the owner never took the car into his own name and registered it in Chicago, they called me, the presumed owner of the car. Well, to this day, over a year after I sold the car, I am STILL getting collection notices from people that the insurance companies hired to do their bidding. Not only that, but in March I received a letter from the Chicago Police Department.

Date: 25 Mar 2008
Inventory No. 441150
Make of vehicle: 82 Volv SW
Vin: YV1AX4752C1413328
Date towed: 24 Mar 08
Pound location: 650 W. 83rd St.

Vehicle on hold for investigation

If you no longer have any interest in the vehicle, please disregard this letter.

The above vehicle has been impounded by the CPD pending investigation. After ten (10) days the vehicle may be subject to release, unless investigation determines that the vehicle should continue to be held.

In the event that you have an interest in this vehicle you should call Auto Pound No. 1 at 312-747-xxxx to determine if your vehicle may be claimed at the end of ten (10) days, or if the hold has been extended. If you have been a victim, witness, or have any questions concerning the towing or storage charges, you may obtain this information or arrange for a hearing by contacting the Automotive Pound Section at the telephone number 312-747-xxxx, between the hours of 7am and 2:30pm Monday thru Fri except holidays. No further mail or notification will be sent to you concerning this vehicle. If you do not request a hearing or retrieve your vehicle within thirty (30) days from the date of impoundment, your inaction shall constitute a waiver of all rights thereto, and this vehicle, with contents and licenses, will be disposed of in the manner prescribed by law

Towing and storage fees shall apply and must be paid in cash at the time the vehicle is retreived from impoundment. Vehicle owners MUST present proof of ownership; a lien holder must present 1) a copy of the sales agreement; 2) a copy of the title, and 3) a statement that the purchaser is in default of payment and an indemnification certificate obtained from the Auto Pounds Headquarters office.

Towing: $150 for vehicle under 8000 lbs. $250 for vehicle over 8000 lbs.

Storage: $10 a day (1st five days, then $35 per day) for vehicle under 8000 lbs. $60 per day (1st five days, then $100 per day) for vehicle over 8000 pounds.

Commanding Officer
Automotive Pounds Section

So, it looks like the car has been crushed into a small cube and recycled. What a bizarre fate for a car with an amazing history. No doubt, the lesson here is to make sure that you get a bill of sale from anyone to whom you sell a vehicle, because without it, I would have been held liable.

Car Info

Initial Impressions

I bought this car in September 2006 after we wrecked the 245DL. This car had 206,000 miles on it, and a B21FT motor with M46 manual transmission. It had lots of IPD parts, including anti-sway bars, chassis tie bars, some poly bushings, HID headlights, manual boost controller, calibrated boost guage, and lots of stickers. It had also been intercooled and had the B230 intake manifold swap done. The car was pretty beat up (transmission & turbo shot) when I bought it but I figured even if it blew up I could sell the parts off of it for about what I paid for the car.

The Horrible Truth

First, the car does not actually have 206,000 miles on it. Apparently it has more than double that. One previous owner said that when he sold it, it had nearly 400,000 on it. I should have known the mileage was unreliable because the car had a later-style speedometer (goes up to 120mph) instead of the stock-in-1982 styel that only goes to 80mph.

Second, there was a lot of poor-quality work done to this car. Some jobs had been done with great skill and precision, but others had been done in a really shoddy way. It probably depended on which owner did it. The B230 intake swap had been done in such a way that half of the stuff hadn’t even been hooked up (cold start injector, idle air control, microswitch). There were tons of wires left over from security systems, old stereo’s, and towing set ups. Oh, how wonderful, a wire straight from the battery with a bare end just sitting in the rear cargo compartment. Now that’s safe.

Third, the car has “been around man.” It has probably had more owners than any other car I have ever owned. It’s not really a big deal, but the main problem (as noted above) is the inconsistency of work quality.

I’m sure some of the previous owners and their friends hate me for writing all that, but hey, I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I didn’t expect a lot from it – and at least it didn’t have a dead mouse in it like my other 245. Actually, when I’m done fixing everything (nearly there) it’s going to be a pretty great.

Current Status (Updated May 2007)

This car runs really well at this point once it’s warmed up. Lots of power, especially at high rpms. Torque is not as present now that I have replaced the T-cam, but the B-cam provides a noticable horsepower increase at high rpms. The difference in how you need to drive to put power down is pretty significant, however.

For example, if you’re at a stop light, and you just let the clutch out and rev the engine, you won’t go very fast at all, even if you immediately floor it. If instead you rev the engine up to about 3,000 rpm and then drop the clutch, you’ll take off like a rocket. From this point, revving up to 5,000 rpm or so and then shifting into second will usually break the back end loose, so it’s wise to be careful.

Update: I put the T-cam back in because the car was running so poorly with the B-cam. It’s a lot easier to drive now. I also replaced the bumpers and the rear end.

Fixing Problems (Updated May 2007)

Here’s a list of the things I’ve done to this car so far:

  • removed power steering and air conditioning
  • built a new custom wiring harness
  • re-did the B230 intake manifold the proper way, with a new microswitch and a mounting bracket for the Idle Air Control Valve
  • put the stock Volvo “Virgo” turbo wheels on it. They are the same size as the wheels it came with but my Virgo’s actually had tread on the tires. I traded the old rims to another Volvo enthusiast for some parts.
  • replaced the plastic mudflaps with real ones
  • replaced the messed up 83+ rear bumper with a 83- “commando” bumper
  • installed a small stereo (Pioneer cassette deck and two front speakers) to get me by
  • ripped out a bunch of old wiring, including: fog light wiring with improperly wired relay, stereo remnants, trailer brake light apparatus, non-functional (and wired incorrectly) security system, and some other crazy stuff
  • replaced turbocharger with another stock Garret T3, fixing 3 exhaust leaks
  • de-greased and washed engine compartment
  • carpet and interior cleaned throughly
  • replaced spraypainted ghetto glove box with matching proper glove blox
  • removed faded “white face gauge kit” that looked like crap
  • removed tons of stickers & badges
  • replaced nearly-blown up M46 transmission with a clean, good one
  • rewired all transmission wires
  • replaced lots of vacuum lines
  • valve adjustment (all 8 valves were out of adjustment)
  • adjusted fuel injection & idle linkage for good running
  • replaced nearly-dead 1031 rear end (3.73:1 ratio) with the same, but from a 1989 240, so the new rear end not only works properly but also has the electronic speedometer sender
  • replaced several leaking coolant hoses and heater hoses

Here are the car’s current mods from stock:

  • manual boost controller
  • intercooler
  • B230 intake manifold
  • no A/C or P/S
  • flat hood
  • 70 amp alternator
  • 1983-85 style front and rear bumpers
  • 5-bar oil pressure sender and guage

Here are some of the car’s current problems:

  • Some body damage, paint is trashed
  • Needs non-AC powersteering setup
  • Some water leaks? Not sure if this was leaking coolant. May be fixed.
  • Rough and rich idle when cold
  • Oil leaks

Pictures – When I got the car

Pictures – When I sold the car