Customer Spotlight - Damian Byers
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - Damian Byers
My 1991 Volvo 240
by Damian Christopher Byers
I had just finished-up with graduate school and I needed a ride. Specifically, I needed a ride that would tow a trailer from Rhode Island to Minnesota. I searched around Providence looking for something that was cheap and hardy enough for the haul. I wasn't having much luck when one day I came across an ad for a '91 Volvo 240, which also happened to be right around the corner from where I was staying.
I called and went to have a look. Truth be told, I was pretty underwhelmed. I had previously owned a '91 Saab 900 – and loved it. I considered myself a Saab driver, and thought Volvo 240's plodding and utilitarian by comparison. However, the car was cheap, would take a hitch, and was perfect for what I needed it for. I bought it.
What I didn't expect to happen was a complete 180 in how I saw Volvo 240's, and my near instant transformation from a “Saab driver” to “Brick driver.”
Not long after I bought the car, I started researching 240's in order to prep for the hitch and tow across country. It was shortly after I began my search that I found ipd's website and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
ipd offered all the material support I needed to help get the car ready for the trip. But it also gave me an idea that I could undertake a full restoration job. The more I researched, the more I wanted to make it happen. It took a couple years to realize the end result, but I finally finished this past summer and couldn't be happier.
In addition to all of the cosmetic work (new paint, dent and body repair, trim restoration) and basic repairs (new A/C, new flame trap, alternator/oil sender rewiring, transmission flush, radiator flush, ipd Temperature Gauge Bypass Kit, new engine sensors, throttle body and manifold gaskets, windshield wiper linkage assembly), I also invested heavily in upgrading wherever possible: ipd Sway Bar Kit, ipd Upper and Lower Chassis Braces, Boge Turbo Gas Shocks and Struts, 15” Turbo Rims, ATE Slotted Rotors, low mileage re-milled head, ipd VX Camshaft, Turbo Exhaust Kit, Tachometer, K&N Air Filter, and new suspension bushings all the way around.
One helpful tip I discovered was to use Plasti-Dip on the black window trim and side mirrors, and metallic on my turbo rims - both applications worked and look great.
The car runs and looks great, and I could not be happier...of course there is that 16 valve conversion upgrade!
Thanks ipd and my mechanic, Bruce Berry.
For more pictures of Damians car, check out the gallery at the bottom of this post.
We love featuring some of the great Volvo stories that come across our desk. We plan on doing this on a regular basis so if you have a project car, helpful tech tip or other cool Volvo related story, share it with us and we’ll likely feature you in a future customer spotlight.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your story.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - WILLIAM BRYAN MENARD
What a nice story. I want to second the use of Plasti-Dip on faded black parts of the car as you mentioned. I've used it for some time and it's simply a great product. Spray it on and, when it wears off, just spray some more. It also works great on black rubber bumpers!
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - JOHN HAYS
You have done to your 240 what I am in the process of doing to a 1992 940 Turbo. Good job.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - RICHARD J JONES
Man I wish I was a do it yourself kind of guy My middle name is murphy's law other then a oil change and basic tuneup your lovely fixup is out of my league. Nice job I'm still trying to decide of a driver side set in my 1990 240 is to much for me :)
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - JOHN GILLIS
Hey Damian, It appears that you have a "better than new again" Volvo 240. I'm new to the Volvo community and started out wanting a Cross Country. So I got two. I was never into the 240s, but I liked their looks, aside from the large square headlights. The grew on me after awhile, and now I'd love to have one. Your's looks great! Thanks for sharing it with us. John
Sunday, May 17, 2015 - ALAN BIGELOW
Just got my first brick and so far loving it. Fixed the fuel line in tank issue, just ordered a fuel injection relay, since my soldering technique is questionable at best. Love all the insight at ipd as well.