The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Buying a Used 200 Series: All About Power

2019-01-11 - Rob Funnekotter

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.

Fuel injection is the best form of fuel delivery for street use today. It marries high performance and fuel economy, two words not often used in the same sentence before fuel injection was developed. Volvo incorpo-rated several different Bosch injections systems into the 240 line. The F series injection (B21F, B23F, B230F), for example, delivers excellent fuel economy with moderate engine power, while the E series combines high engine output and low-end torque with moderate fuel economy. (Note: E model engines were not imported to the U.S.). Consider your performance requirements while checking engine type. If the car is a turbo model, the letter designation will be B2IFT, which brings me to my next point.

The Price of Power

If a high-output engine is a priority for your next 240, a turbocharged model might be right up your alley. The only turbo-charged 200 series Volvos available were the 1981 through 1985 GLT models. In 1984 and 1985, an intercooled turbo was standard equipment for those on a quest for even more power. Beware of tur-bos! Though extremely fast, they are subject to rapid wear due to the scorching heat as well as bearing wear. Regular oil changes are extremely important for turbo charged engines. Although Volvo produced a V-6, you would be wise to stay away from them. Yes, they are significantly more powerful, but they are also prone to expensive camshaft failure if oil changes aren't done religiously. (Such failures are common at around the 80,000 kin! 60,000 mile mark.)

Another touchy area of the 240 is the electrical system. There is a drainage channel in the unibody behind the two front fenders. Blockages can occur in these channels causing salt water to corrode the unibody wall. Behind the left wall sits the fuse box. Once a hole has formed, water gets into the fuse box, causing massive corrosion. A leaking windshield can also cause this. To check if the fusebox has been infected with the corro-sion virus, simply take off the fuse box door and look inside for white or green deposits on the contacts. This small task might save you a tremendous amount of grief and money in the long run. Make sure the heater fan works properly and quietly. It is very expensive to replace. In addition, try the wipers and the washer to ensure their proper function. If the wipers knock loudly, either the pivot shafts are seized or the wiper motor might need replacement. All instruments should be fully functional.