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bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
4/25/15 9:24 a.m.

I traded my old 145 Volvo for this 92 740 and some cash. We needed something for long road trips with the kids and dogs, and the 145 was just too slow and loud for that purpose.

It's a decent starting point as it sits, with only 118k miles, no rust, and a nice cloth interior. Short term the plans are to put a radio in, fix the inop A/C, and change all the fluids. From what I can tell, it was very well maintained up until 2010, after which it was sparingly driven. I think I will refresh the bumpers as well. The rest of the paint looks damn good, just needs a buff and wax.

Long term plans? First replace the aging shocks and struts, maybe a swaybars upgrade. Eventually put together the parts to add a turbo. I don't have plans to replace the automatic at this time.

XLR99
XLR99 GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/25/15 10:59 a.m.

So, LS/6 spd swap will be in phase 3 then?

That looks ridiculously clean and rust-free for a rust belt car. Very nice!

fanfoy
fanfoy Dork
4/25/15 1:27 p.m.
XLR99 wrote: That looks ridiculously clean and rust-free for a rust belt car. Very nice!

Yeah that^^^^^^

I really like those, and stuffing a V8 in one is in my future...some day...maybe...I hope.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
4/25/15 1:41 p.m.

Thanks guys. A V8 is great in theory, but I think +T is the route I'll go for now.

If anyone in the Southeast Michigan area has a set of 5x108 alloy wheels, I'm looking to upgrade from the steelies.

Edit: I'd prefer OE Volvo RWD 16" due to offset and size concerns. Or Ferrari.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
4/25/15 2:41 p.m.

NMNA...
http://annarbor.craigslist.org/cto/4944380225.html

chiodos
chiodos Reader
4/25/15 4:19 p.m.

Nice, does it have a factory rear swaybar? I remember some of those wagons didnt and its a great addition. If its lh2.4 and you ever do get ready for a turbo let me know I got the turbo computers for you cheap

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
4/26/15 8:39 a.m.

At last, you're posting this. Come clean on it's name Erich, 'Fifty Shades of'

MichaelYount
MichaelYount Reader
4/26/15 9:34 a.m.

Fifty Shades of Brick.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
4/26/15 5:24 p.m.

Well, it does have quite a few tie-downs in the back. . .

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
4/27/15 5:24 a.m.

First upgrade for old 50 shades: new tunes, or tunes anyway. The brick came with just a hole in the dashboard where the radio would go, so I had no idea whether the power antenna, speakers, or anything still worked. That's not a good recipe for road trip success.

I went shopping and ended up with a Bluetooth Pioneer head unit. One nice thing about these units is the custom illumination available, so you can make it come close to matching the dash lights in, say, a dated Volvo.

Installing it was a breeze until I figured out why the install kit included a 3-foot pigtail - Volvo used an under-dash amplifier in these cars, located right above the driver's left knee - seen below with the two bolts sticking out the bottom. Thankfully the under-dash disassembly is pretty simple, and bypassing the amp is just another couple steps in the process.

Fire it up, and success! The radio works, and so does the power antenna. BUT, the front door speakers don't, at all. What the heck? To be continued...

singleslammer
singleslammer UltraDork
4/27/15 9:21 a.m.

I have what is likely the same headunit and like it quite a bit. Good call. No clue on the speaker issue, maybe the speakers are straight up dead? Seems weird that it would be both though.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
4/27/15 9:30 a.m.

Sometimes 25 years of opening and closing doors just fatigues the speaker wires.

EvanB
EvanB GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/27/15 9:32 a.m.

Do the dash speakers work? If I remember from doing my radio there was only the option of the front door speaker or the dash speaker but not both.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
4/29/15 12:03 p.m.

Got around to investigating why the front speakers didn't work. I removed the factory speaker grilles to find this:

I never guessed that they wouldn't install anything there from the factory. Fortunately there were speaker wires hiding behind that vinyl. Unfortunately the factory speaker size and mount isn't standard, so I ordered some 5.25" speakers and mount adapters.

I also went to look at a Turbo 740 for a parts car yesterday, but when I arrived it wasn't a Turbo at all, just an auto-equipped N/A sedan. Oh well!

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
6/15/15 6:44 p.m.

I got the speakers wired up and everything sounds great. The Bluetooth works well with the phone too, for podcasts, music, and phone use. I love having a little bit of modernity in the old battle wagon.

Just in time for an early summer roadtrip, I had the AC converted to 134a and changed out the compressor. That worked great until the HVAC control unit died on me halfway through the trip. Replaced that, and it's working great again.

I buffed up the yellowed headlights, so those look much more presentable.

Next on the list is painting the bumpers if it ever stops raining in Michigan, and then refreshing the suspension. Until that happens, I'll just keep on repping that Grocery Life.

sobe_death
sobe_death HalfDork
6/16/15 1:01 p.m.

You have me looking for Volvo wagons now. Thanks (seriously).

Harvey
Harvey GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/16/15 3:12 p.m.
bastomatic wrote: Got around to investigating why the front speakers didn't work. I removed the factory speaker grilles to find this: I never guessed that they wouldn't install anything there from the factory. Fortunately there were speaker wires hiding behind that vinyl. Unfortunately the factory speaker size and mount isn't standard, so I ordered some 5.25" speakers and mount adapters. I also went to look at a Turbo 740 for a parts car yesterday, but when I arrived it wasn't a Turbo at all, just an auto-equipped N/A sedan. Oh well!

That is awesome. Ha ha ha!

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
7/3/15 9:55 a.m.

The old tires were starting to dry rot, and while I was tire shopping I figured I might as well get some new wheels too. A local Volvo nut sold me a set of 16 inch Hydras, and I mounted up a set of Kumho Ectsa 4X II tires. Almost went more aggressive, but really this is a road tripper, not an autocrosser.

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
7/3/15 3:53 p.m.

My daughter is still a little small for the wayback, but she loves it for trips to the local playground. It's sad to me that these seats disappeared in cars. I was surprised to see that the Tesla has a set, though it would seem pretty claustrophobic

XLR99
XLR99 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/3/15 4:43 p.m.
bastomatic wrote: My daughter is still a little small for the wayback, but she loves it for trips to the local playground. It's sad to me that these seats disappeared in cars. I was surprised to see that the Tesla has a set, though it would seem pretty claustrophobic

Awesome picture! I can sort of remember when my daughter was that size...

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
7/3/15 4:50 p.m.

In reply to XLR99:

Thanks. Forgot to say that she insisted on helpin me clean and change out the new wheels. Long term plan is to make this her first car.

XLR99
XLR99 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/3/15 5:22 p.m.

Nice! My 11y/o daughter has been more help to me so far on my C900 project than the 15y/o boy who could actually drive it right away.
She just wants to ride to the classic car drive-in at the ice cream place up the street.

MichaelYount
MichaelYount Reader
7/3/15 6:34 p.m.
She just wants to ride to the classic car drive-in at the ice cream place up the street.

Yup --- start 'em early.

XLR99
XLR99 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/3/15 7:49 p.m.

Tried that with the boy; he was around when my dad and I both had our own FMod cars. Maybe the classic car thing will be more his thing. (Kind of sad that 80s-90s cars are 'classics' that 'old people' drive now isn't it?)

Now back to your regularly scheduled flying brick programming...

bastomatic
bastomatic SuperDork
8/14/15 1:13 p.m.

The trim and bumpers on Volvos of this era normally look like they've seen better days, and my 740 was no exception.

I knew "forever black" dye would work OK for some time, but I have read it fades after a year or so. I want a longer term solution. I found the product "SEM Bumper Coater" online with good reviews. Looking at old stock photos, I was surprised to find that these old Volvos actually came with dark, almost black bumpers and trim, but time had turned them an uneven medium grey. I chose to use SEM's #39103, black.

I sanded the bumpers with steel wool, masked off the bumpers and trim, and painted them. I didn't have the time or inclination to remove them, though that would certainly be the proper way.

Time will tell how it holds up, but it made a huge difference in how clean the car looks. The bumpers and trim have a nice matte look to them, and a slight texture. It cost me about $30 for the two cans, which seems like a bargain if the finish holds up well.

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