asterisk
asterisk None
10/5/09 9:39 p.m.

I'm looking at a '73 Volvo 145 (super clean, 150k, rust free) as a carry-all-mobile. Has anyone with 140 series experience tried to pull a light trailer (trailer + two dirt bikes)?

Should I keep looking for something newer/maybe turboed? I'm mostly suckered in by that generation's looks.

grinch77
grinch77 Reader
10/5/09 9:54 p.m.

The guy I got my '73 142 off of used it to tow a small motor boat back and forth to the lake and never had a problem.Those old B18's are nothing but glorified tractor motors.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
10/5/09 10:30 p.m.

I remember towing a LOT with an escort wagon... the 240 has to be better than that

Shaun
Shaun Reader
10/5/09 10:41 p.m.

Fond memories:

I used to pull a 16' volvo/penta I/O 4 banger ski boat with a 74 145 (b20f). That little 4 banger would grunt from 200 rpm and drag the whole soaking wet beer stinking wetsuit strewn trash filled mess out of the water every time. glorified tractor motor is right. Guys with "gnarly" rigs would grin and give the thumbs up. And then we would tow the whole mess back to LA from Lake Mead with 4 people and all our crap. The big hill between baker and vegas was a lengthy 3 rd gear affair very much best tackled at night, and the cajon pass was pretty rough on the way out from L.A. It was a very well maintained car, and the 74 FI system is quite a bit less problematic than the 72-73 system IIRC. But it is the same glorified tractor motor. I would add that I would not have even considered any of what we did unless it was a manual tranny car. A light trailer with 2 dirt bikes on it is no problem. I would suggest IPD sways, rims from a 164 (way cheap) so you can get 205 sections on the car, and perhaps IPD heavy duty rear springs. My 145 was set-up with said. The 4 wheel disk brakes on 140's are pretty good still. I would do what you are talking about with one.

I skipped the 245 turbo era of volvos in terms of ownership, but you can get a 245 turbo that will be a much better all around car for probably about the same $$ as a nice 145. 245 turbos can be tweaked to 200 hp and 200 ftlbs pretty easily with some help from turbobricks.com folks and everything is better.

bludroptop
bludroptop Dork
10/6/09 7:14 a.m.

I'll second what Shawn said - you'll be fine as long as it is a manual transmission.

Way back when, I had a 1970 145 that I converted from automatic to manual, and the difference was night and day. I towed a motorcycle trailer and occasionally a pop-up camper with it.

I'd probably put the limit at about 1500 pounds, although others might go higher.

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
10/6/09 7:38 a.m.

I agree about the manual trans. Avoid the BW35. Not necessarily a bad tranny, but not the easiest to get serviced these days... The manuals, however, will work well for a long time.

car39
car39 Reader
10/6/09 7:44 a.m.

towed an 8 foot and a 10 foot pop up with my wife's 242 and 244, not fast but no problems. That was the B-21 motor, rather than the b-18 / b-20 but same basic drivetrain, brake layout.

asterisk
asterisk New Reader
10/6/09 10:04 a.m.

It does have the BW35... 3 speeds doesn't sound too fun for highway duty. Too many other projects or I'd go the T5 route which appears to be the common solution.

I'll keep looking. Thanks guys!

mel_horn
mel_horn Dork
10/6/09 11:26 a.m.

In '73 I towed a Sprite with a MT '72 145. Only regret was it was carbed and not FI.

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
10/6/09 11:33 a.m.
asterisk wrote: It does have the BW35... 3 speeds doesn't sound too fun for highway duty.

It's actually not bad. The A/T spec'd cars have a taller rear end ratio than the 4 spd + o/d cars. However, since you plan to tow with it, then looking for a manual car would be a good idea.

A T5 conversion isn't as common as simply bolting in the 4spd J-type bits (literally is a bolt-in - I did it in an 1800).

Btw - since you're not getting it... where is it and how much?

asterisk
asterisk New Reader
10/6/09 12:15 p.m.
Ian F wrote: A T5 conversion isn't as common as simply bolting in the 4spd J-type bits (literally is a bolt-in - I did it in an 1800).

Sounds like an M41, how common were those?

It's in Oregon, listed for around 2k.

Shaun
Shaun Reader
10/6/09 8:23 p.m.
asterisk wrote:
Ian F wrote: A T5 conversion isn't as common as simply bolting in the 4spd J-type bits (literally is a bolt-in - I did it in an 1800).
Sounds like an M41, how common were those? It's in Oregon, listed for around 2k.

This has been up for months- $20 might take it.

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/pts/1406730169.html

ltdcsc
ltdcsc New Reader
10/6/09 9:55 p.m.

Back in the day I pulled a loaded 16 foot camper all over the country with a 1967 P1800. Never had any problems, used to get around 17 mpg.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim Reader
10/7/09 12:54 a.m.

140 and 240 series Volvos were considered to be more or less the equivalent of a full-size sedan here in Europe back when they were current. People used to tow all sorts of E36 M3 with it so I don't think a couple of dirt bikes on a small-ish trailer would be a problem. Heck, I've seen people tow boat trailers with them. With a boat on them...

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
10/7/09 7:19 a.m.
Shaun wrote: This has been up for months- $20 might take it. http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/pts/1406730169.html

That's a M40 (4 spd, non-O/D), not an M41. The M41 has the J-type overdrive hanging off the back. The M40 does not. Gearing is basically the same, but the layshaft is not, so you need most of an M41 tranny to convert an M40.

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