BALU'S CARS

(past and present rides, as well as cars of various family members)


Current Ride: '84 Volvo 245 DL

I bought this wagon not running, with only 90k miles, a straight body and nice interior. I have not had a wagon for years and it makes so many projects so much easier!! I just started playing with it, but many of the upgrades on the '80 245 will find their way onto this car. Here are two pics, the first one taken on the day I got it (may 2009), the next in January 2010 with the Galaxy wheels and Turbo grille:



Upgrades

  • GT front springs (stiffer)
  • 23mm front and rear swaybars
  • Bilsteins HD shocks
  • Strut-to-firewall braces
  • Strut tower brace from Steve Bucina.
  • 16" Galaxy wheels with Michelin Pilot Exalto tires
  • Metalmaster brakepads
  • ATE Powerdisc vented front rotors.
  • Braided brake hoses
  • Turbo cat-back exhaust
  • Magnecor 8mm spark plug wires.
  • Large tachometer
  • Small voltmeter and oil pressure gauge next to the instrument cluster
  • Cloth dashpad
  • Cloth driver's seat
  • Headrest padding on front seats.
  • Rear Headrests.
  • Power locks operable from either front door.
  • Newer style windshield with black rubber moulding (found on '91-'93's)
  • Dog gate
  • Turbo grille
  • Black outside doorhandles
  • Newer plastic tailgate handle

    Waiting to be installed:



    '81 Fiat Spider 2000

    OK, I know this is not a Volvo, but I had been wanting a Spider for a long time. Csaba has had them since '91, and they certainly have their appeal. Csaba found this one in Fort Worth in May 2004, and I flew out there to pick it up. Took me two days to drive it back to SE Florida. To keep it safe, it has a 4-point roll bar and 5-point seatbelts. The previous owner removed most everything that is not absolutely necessary for going forward, hence no bumpers, no interior, and no top. For the trip back, we secured a spare top over the rollbar, with no frame, as you can see in some of the pics below. It was a good thing, too, as I got into some pretty heavy thunderstorms, and I still got soaked, as the top was not fitting all that well without a frame. I sold this car in 2011 to Alan Barnes, who is doing some major modifications to it: see Miscuglio



    Gone: '80 Volvo 245 DL




    The two pics above are of my '80 245 DL station wagon before and after I converted to the Euro-type large rectangular double-H1 lights. The first pic is not the original state though, as I converted from quad round sealed beams to quad rectangular ones.

    Alas, this car is now headed to the crusher. It sat for 5 years waiting for me to finish the B21FT conversion, in which I lost interest, and it got rusty from standing on dirt. I bought a '84 245DL with only 90k miles, and I have transfered the goodies to that. I have already sold the engine and many other parts, there are just a few more things I want to remove.

    Purchased in February 1997 for $200 with just over 300,000 miles on the clock. It had 365,000 miles in March 2003, when it last ran.

    Car originally owned by a Volvo dealership employee, who put 150,000 miles on it in the first four years of its life, and had it always serviced at the dealership. He wasn't mechanically inclined, and didn't take particularly great care of the car, but he didn't abuse it or neglect it, either. I purchased it with 300k miles, not running (it sat for a year) and with a flaky overdrive. A new battery and fusebox cleaning were the only things needed to make it drivable.



    Sold: '89 Volvo 780 Turbo

    The three above are some older pics. I have some new ones below. I love this car, but I just could not keep up with 3 old cars, I can't devote my life to fixing them and the house. Finally I got a wagon, and the 780 was the one that had to go.



    Upgrades:

    • Converted to a M46 manual transmission with P-type overdrive, filled with Redline MTL
    • Integrated Euro-spec lights with H4/H1 bulbs, with relay and upgraded wiring (lights now on eBay)
    • Head shaved to raise compression ratio from 8.7 to 9.3:1.
    • IPD 25mm front and rear swaybars (that's right, the rear is also 25mm)
    • Bilstein shocks at all corners (this is a rare conversion, given the independent rear suspension that used Nivomats originally). Thanks to Bilstein's lifetime warranty, one of the front shocks was replaced in 2006 and another in 2008.
    • Lowered front and back, the rear using 240 springs
    • Lower chassis brace to tie together the front suspensions
    • Cross drilled/slotted front rotors
    • ATE powerdisc rear rotors (atomic slot pattern)
    • 2.25" cat-back exhaust
    • Turn signal repeaters on the front fenders

    Sold: '78 Volvo 242 GT




    Click on the thumbs above to see pictures of the '78 242 GT I used to own.
    It had to go, as I wanted to keep the wagon, and I didn't want 3 cars, as I was moving to Florida. Some of my rallyist friends thought that I should just make it into a rally car!

    Purchased in October 1996 and sold in July 2001 to a fellow enthusiast.

    Upgrades

    • B23F block with original head and K-grind cam. Compression ratio of 10.3:1, specs close to a B23E (136-140 hp).
    • '79 Distributor (somewhat more aggressive curve, no vacuum retard).
    • Sport Exhaust: from cat back it's a 240 Turbo's system: only rear muffler and larger tube diameter.
    • 15" 5-spoke Turbo ("Virgo") wheels.
    • 25/21 mm swaybars. I used to use a 25 mm rear bar, but then it picks up the inside rear wheel in tight corners, like in an autocross.
    • 4.1 rear end ratio.
    • Wagon rear springs (stiffer).
    • Lower control arm braces.
    • Bilstein shocks.
    • Repco front Brakepads.
    • Hella H4 headligts with 80/100 Watt bulbs.
    • White turn signal lenses and white parking light bulbs, 21W instead of the usual 5W.
    • Third center brake light (from 745 kit).
    • Newer type shiftknob with relay for the OD.
    • Internally adjustable black plastic mirrors replaced the metal ones.


    '84 Volvo 245 Intercooled Turbo "Art Car"




    This nice intercooled turbo wagon with a stickshift was bought in Atlanta through E-Bay by me in Csaba's behalf. An artist owned it before this, and he painted it with this interesting pattern. Csaba drove it home to Oklahoma without any problems. He did not like all the attention he was getting (he likes to drive spiritedly), so he had the car painted white, its original color.
    He has rebuilt a B23F block, making it into a B23FT by installing the appropriate pistons and boring a hole for the turbo's oil return line.


    And last, here's a pic of Csaba and I during some male-bonding, also called as "transmission swap" on the 245 back in '97 in Kirk Houser's driveway. That's Csaba on top of the engine trying to undo the transmission-to-engine bolts, while I'm doing the same from under the car. Picture is by Kirk:



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