The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Used Car Math

2019-01-11 - ipd Staff

Disclaimer: Direct from ipd’s Tech Tip archive!  This tech tip contains information from previous publications.  Products mentioned may not be available or the information may not be accurate due to changes in supply, manufacturing, or part number association.  Please contact ipd Customer Support if you have further questions  info@ipdusa.com

240s can be had for $1800 to $2500. We recommend '78-82 models with Bosch K-jectronic fuel injection and Bosch ignition. Depending on the condition of the car you start with, you can invest $1500 to $3000 and restore it to a nice, safe and reliable car. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable and easy it is to regain that new car feel.

Avoid all 6-cylinder models, the diesel, '82 through '84 4-cylinder models with Bosch LH fuel injection (air mass meter, wiring haness and idling problems) and all models with Chrysler ignition systems. Don't panic if you own one of these models, just be aware that they may be more expensive to operate and maintain. Many parts for these models are available only from your Volvo dealer. You may also find independent repair shops reluctant to work on them, instead referring you to your closest Volvo dealer.

Interchangeability, a key attraction

Interchangeability of parts is the key that makes restoration and maintenance of 240s so attractive. Nearly 3 million 240s have been built since the model's U.S. debut in 1975, with roughly 1/3 of those coming to the states. Not much has changed since 1975 when compared to the latest '93 model, so replacement parts like fenders, doors, glass, interior parts, engine and drivetrain components from recycling yards are in good supply and relatively inexpensive. As an example, let's assume you've got a nice '82 245. You've just had it painted and it's in great mechanical condition, but the interior looks a little ragged. No problem! A quick trip to your local import recycler with about $200 to $300, and you'll get nearly brand new front and rear seats, plus new carpet from a totalled '91 244! Modern wrecking yards, excuse me, that's automotive recyclers, are very knowledgable regarding interchangeability. Especially when it comes to Volvos.

Suspension rebuilds restore new-car-feel

Rebuilding the suspension is an area that is often neglected because of the expense. Nothing will bring back that new car feel like a new set of front and rear suspension bushings. The $300-$400 invested here (including profesAional installation) will provide you with another 80 to 100,000 miles of clunk-and-rattle-free service! Don't forget to have the rear shocks and front struts checked at this time. Having them installed while the suspension is apart will reduce labor costs.

Engines that keep going and going

One aspect that you probably won't have to worry about is the engine. The B2IF and B21FT (turbo) have proven to be very durable with proper maintenance, often exceeding 200,000 miles before any major repair or rebuilding is necessary. So when you see 100-150,000 miles on the speedometer of a used 240, don't be con-cerned! It will probably outlast that brand new Jetfire 2000 you've had your eye on.

Parts, ready and waiting

Parts availability should remain good for the next 20 years as an estimated 314 of a million 240s still roam the highways of the United States. It's interesting to note that some Japanese car manufacturers have been accused of making critical repair and maintenance parts obsolete by changing the design every two years. This makes it unlikely that the aftermarket will reproduce the parts, as it is not economical to tool up and go into production of a part that only fits two year models. As a result, all sales of replacement parts will go to the original manufacturer, eliminating any competition. In contrast many components of the 240 series went unchanged for the entire 18 years of production! Who's to say which way is best? Japan guarantees a high amount of replacement part sales at the expense of redesign and retooling. Volvo probably amortized the tooling and design costs of the 240 by 1978, while the car sold relatively unchanged for another 15 years!