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RWD - Volvo 240: What would you have changed about its design?

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Volvo 240: What would you have changed about its design? 200

Oh, I simply can't resist chiming in on this. My top 100, in no grand order, well actually I had to give up after 14 for the sake of brevity and my sanity:

1) If you can't get it right and don't know any better then maybe think about a fibreglass body. As Art said: rust, rust, rust, rust. In the 25 years from the first 140 in 1968 to the end of the 240s in 1993 (basically identical bodies in design and manufacture) they never really got it right. There's a good reason you don't see any 140s still on the road. They finally managed to get it right with the 740s, yet for another 11 years after the 740 was introduced in 1982 they kept the 240s rolling off the line with only minor rust prevention improvements, some of them just cosmetic like rubber trim over the rust prone seams so you wouldn't see the problem start until four years later. If you'd owned a 140 (which was already well known for rust problems) and wanted to upgrade to a 240, it was all a huge disappointment, especially as the previous 120 Amazons and 544/444 humpbacks had relatively bullet-proof bodies by virtue of heavier gauge sheet metal, lead filled seams, lots of undercoat in the far corners and thick enamel paint. Even the cheap rust bucket Hondas and Toyotas of the late '60s and early '70s managed to get it right within 10 years.

2) Put in better fuel pump relays. LH fuel pump white relays are not up to the demands of aging pumps -Volvo OEM (Stribel) apparently is rated 20 amps, while Koehler aftermarket is rated 30 amps (hint-hint that's the best replacement if you want to avoid failed solder joints). When average tow truck drivers know how to use a paper clip to restart a stranded 240, something is definitely wrong (knowing to pull the AMM connector to get it into LH 2.4 limp-home mode was a more advanced trick). Also, rather than adding an in-tank pre-pump, they should have just gone with a beefier main pump and preferably in the tank (like the later 940s) where they're better cooled when submerged.

3) How dumb was that 25 amp LH 2.2 main fuse in the engine compartment! It should at least have been in a waterproof holder, but really should have been in the main interior fuse panel. Again that went on for way more years than it should have and it was such a simple fix. The dealers should have offered this as a free recall fix just so they could get you up on the hoist to say you needed all new brakes, a cat-back exhaust system, timing belt, oil change, maybe a new battery, and we'll throw in a free car wash.

4) Corrosion/oxidizing prone plastic versions of ceramic fuses in an unsealed fuse panel subject to moisture from door, floor side vent and windshield leaks. Should at least have been the old Euro-type Buss glass fuses (used in prior Volvo 120s and VWs, ATO blade fuses weren't yet standard in Europe), in a sealed panel, in the centre console. Again, 25 years?

5) Re-design the rear brakes to be less noisy and the front brakes to be less dusty. It took Volvo a long time to come up with half decent compromise pad material and shims for their OEM pads to partially cut down on such issues. RPR/Repco had this figured out away ahead of Volvo, even the dealers started recommending them.

6) Re-design the seat heater grid button thermostat wiring connection -ipd made good bucks off selling replacement heater grids.

15) Give mechanics a chime defeat (or at least a timeout) when the door needs to be kept open with the key in the ignition -at least 740/940s finally got twist-lock door switches on every door.

16) In contrast to my #15, the seat belt reminder chime should not have had such a quick timeout (issue remained in later models) -140s did not have a timeout, they chimed until you buckled up -a passenger seat occupancy weight switch was involved. Sorry, this is perhaps more a Euro/Canadian attitude, much like DRLs.

71) Give B230s a two-piece lower timing cover so you don't have to always pull the harmonically balanced crankshaft pulley. B23s and B234Fs didn't have that problem.

57) Overdrive should have mechanically been a proper top gear, although it can be a lot of fun to have 8 speeds with a manual when the gear lever detect switch fails.

19) The fan blower motor should have oil cups or grease nipples imedded in the top of the dash.

33) The trunk should have a lower ledge for easier loading.

98) Put rear sways in sedans (GLTs and wagons got them standard), heavier sways up front, strut braces and chassis braces -these top heavy vehicles with high profile tires need extra roll control if you want them to be more fun to drive than a chauffered limousine or army tank. Again, ipd made a good buck off such things.

99) Air box thermostats should fail in the open position -continuous hot air off the exhaust manifold has unnecessarily cooked more of those expensive AMMs than any of us want to think about.

100) Did I say rust?

And yet we still love these beasts!
--
Dave -still with 940's, prev 740/240/140/120 You'd think I'd have learned by now






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New Volvo 240: What would you have changed about its design? [200]
posted by  joe_1991_240  on Tue Feb 19 21:26 CST 2019 >

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