Like a lot of the country right now, we got hit with that “Polar Vortex” nonsense and temperatures have plunged well under freezing. I saw a number of other 240 owners trying a cold start in such low temperatures, so I figured I’d try it too. Then this happened.
I learned a lesson: when old metal gets really cold it becomes very, very brittle.
Also the car did not start, but I sort of expected that.
The weather is still too terrible to work in. Today we were down in the single digits (Fahrenheit) and the wind cut straight to the bone. No fun. However it was recently my birthday, and my oldest son was kind enough to make me a shirt commemorating my 240.
On the shop clean up front, the status is currently at “getting there.” I have finally sorted all the wrenches and sockets I inherited and got them on a pegboard. I think I’m officially set for a long time on the socket front having pretty full sets of 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and even 3/4! We got Metric and SAE, shallow and deep, hex and twelve-point, extenders, breaker bars, universal joints… the works!
The rest of the shop is a total mess, but I’m getting there.
I am still here, and I am still working on my 240, but currently I have three main impediments keeping me from doing much of anything. First, the influx of tools mentioned previously has overwhelmed my tiny basement shop so I’ve been spending a bit of the little free time I have devoted to cleaning up and incorporating them all into my collection. The resulting confusion and mess has left the shop very difficult to actually use for fixing and building things. Second, it’s gotten really cold here in the last week and it even snowed a little last Sunday. Personally I find it super no fun to work on cars in below freezing temperatures, and the aforementioned shop mess has made it hard to even take parts (such as the intake manifold) indoors for repair. Third, and perhaps most importantly, my real, actual, daily driving car’s starter decided it had enough and quit. My wife and I pushed it out of the driveway and onto the street where it has sat while I look for time to work on it.
So far I’ve managed to get the old starter out and put the new one in. The next step is to plug all the electrical stuff back in and hope that this solves the problem. After that’s taken care of, the shop is cleaned up and made usable, and perhaps the weather gets better, I’ll move back to the Volvo.
The nasty cut on my hand has sufficiently healed to allow me to fiddle with the car again. I’ll probably have a pretty gnarly scar, but my hand still works and scars can be cool so I won’t complain. It’s also now a new year and I am ready to get to it!
There have been several developments since my accident. First, I had the supreme luck to be friends with a person whose parents are downsizing before a move. One of those parents happens to have been a shade tree mechanic himself years ago and had literal mounds of wrenches, sockets and other tools in his garage and basement that needed a new home. Some of them were a little worse for the wear, but, given a little treatment with Evapo-rust coupled with a light coating of oil, they came right back to life. So I’m pretty set for now in terms of the ability to turn bolts and screws.
Next, I am happy to say that I managed to snag a set of good condition rear tail lights from a 240-centric Facebook group I’m on, and I got them for what I’d call “a steal.” I’ve not attached them yet as I need to test and clean up all the electrical connections, but they are very nice, especially for the price, and a far sight better than the busted ones my car used to sport.
I am also now in possession of an Engine Coolant Temperature sensor (ECT) and an intake manifold gasket. This is all in preparation for removing the intake assembly, cleaning it up a bit, replacing the ECT, and remounting it all. Additionally, harkening back to that list I found in my glove-box, I have a Fuel Pressure Regulator on the way too. Perhaps I’ll also disassemble the fuel rail and clean it out, or at least remove the injectors and clean them. I’m not sure about that yet, so stay tuned. Even further still, I went and got an overdrive bypass plate from iPd. My plan is to install that and see if I can fix the actual solenoid. If I can manage that I’ll take the bypass back off and reinstall the solenoid.
Finally, a small amount of actual work. Sort of a revisit to previous work, really. When I had originally installed it, I hadn’t noticed that my pre-pump assembly was missing the rubber o-ring that helped keep the gas fumes from coming from the tank and into the car. So I took it back out, added the o-ring, and then sealed it back up, this time using a new and not corroded to heck lock nut. After a quick test to make sure the pump was still operating I sealed the whole thing back up and reinstalled the floor of the cargo area.
In the process I also located the previously missing center lap belt! One tiny step at a time.