Gathered Data

Over the history of this project I’ve found myself searching for bits of information regarding the sorts of materials and fluids that my car uses. I’ve had to comb through a lot of different sources to get this info, so I thought I’d include it here for anyone else who has a similar car and was wondering what sort of brake fluid or engine oil to use. Keep in mind that while this information is probably generally applicable to all 240s (at least all post-85 models) I was always keeping my ’92 model in mind when collating it.

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Yeah, It Was the MAF Sensor

To test my theory that my stalling issue was due to a failed MAF sensor I ordered a replacement. Since original Bosch sensors are pricey and I wasn’t even sure if this was the problem I went with a cheap aftermarket part this time. I know, I know… “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice.” I fully expect this part to die in a few years at which point I will replace it with a better one. Who knows? Perhaps this part will defy the typically shoddy workmanship and QC of these sorts of manufacturers and go the distance. Stranger things have happened.

For the record, the part I bought was made by Bapmic. I looked them up to see where the parts are made and found a corporate website that was doing its level best to look like the homepage of a German manufacturer. A little more digging told a different story. A story where Bapmic, which may have at one point been German, was actually a trademark owned by Shanghai Tongzhi Auto Parts. They also own the brands Topaz and Autopa. So, yeah, one of many cheap Chinese auto part manufacturers. We’ll see how well it does in the long run. I’m just happy that my car is running.

Interesting Engine Problems

Since I’d gotten her registered I’ve been driving my car around fairly regularly, or at least as regularly as the current pandemic lifestyle both requires and allows. Happily there’s been no real issues. The engine starts when asked, the car rolls, and it stops when I push the brake pedals. What more could one ask for? Well, consistency would be nice. That was called into question one morning when I climbed in, turned the key, and almost immediately stalled out. Rats.

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The Day Has Come

After nearly two years of on-and-off effort, the big day has finally arrived. In the days, weeks, and months leading up to this event I’ve laughed, swore, strained, and cheered. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about a subject about which I previously knew almost nothing. I can now proudly says that this car that I have put so much time, effort and not an insignificant amount of money into is now legal to drive the streets.

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Fixing the Central Locking Mechanism

Since my Volvo is effectively locked into my driveway by my other cars I don’t worry to much about it being stolen. As such I don’t often both to lock it. Recently after taking the front door panels off in an effort to fix the passenger side door switch and lubricate the window mechanisms I noticed that the driver side central locking switch, part 3540135 which I had previously fixed up, didn’t look right. Specifically the plastic part that connects to the door lock had fallen off. Closer examination showed that not only had it fallen off but it had come apart. Some bad wiring routing on my part had caused that side of the mechanism to get caught on the window as it rolled down, breaking it.

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Definitely going to need a new exhaust

I try and start my car most mornings if just to keep the engine exercised and the oil circulating. This morning, which was chilly, I noticed something coming from under the car after I started it.

Exhaust vapor is coming from a hole somewhere beneath the passenger compartment. Definitely not right. I couldn’t really see the exact spot from which it emerges, but I have mentioned before the terrible shape of my mid-muffler. That’s the most obvious culprit. I definitely don’t want it to be on or before the catalytic converter.

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Mistakes were made

Remember how I was sort of talking trash about the brake retention springs I got from AutoZone? How they caused the brake pads to rub when the wheel moved so i put the old ones back in? Well, I’m afraid I owe our friends at AutoZone (and whatever manufacturer supplies them) an apology. After reading my previous post someone reached out to me and kindly explained that I had, in fact, put the springs in the wrong way.

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Doing vacuum connections correctly

After I got the air intake system back together I spent a little time pondering a few spots in the vacuum system that didn’t seem to have any connections. My library of photos was no help, and I kicked myself for not documenting all this stuff more thoroughly. Finally I got a flashlight and peered down into the innards of the engine bay and noticed a stray hose coming from the brake booster that had no place to go. Where it seemed like it should go was currently occupied by the other side of the IAC. Then it hit me: I had the IAC going to the completely incorrect place. Where the IAC was going on the side of the throttle was where the brake booster’s vacuum line was supposed to go and the open spot on the back of the intake was where the IAC was meant to connect to! I switched them around and am now confident that everything is in the right place. To help others I drew up a simple (read: crude) diagram of where the various vacuum hoses should go.

Vacuum Hose Diagram B230F
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Fan Pulley Issues

After previously getting the timing belt on and reinstalling the water pump the next logical step was to bolt the fan pulley and clutch. They simply attach in-line using the four stud posts on the pump. However when I put mine on I found that the pulley doesn’t quite clear the timing belt housing and rubs on it at a couple of spots. Looking at the old housing I saw significant marks from this rubbing so it’s not new, but I’m not sure why it’s happening. Perhaps the water pump shaft is bent over so slightly? Or the pulley itself is not even? I’m not quite sure yet. Before I continue putting things back together I should figure this out.

Natural Complications

I’ve been away for about a week on holiday with my family, but towards the end of the trip my Volvo began to creep back into my mind. now that the missing timing belt cover had come in, I was very eager to start putting the engine back together. When I finally got home I had an extra “recovery” day, and I had planned to spend at least part of it starting that process.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

While I was away a bunch of damned, dirty wasps had decided to make a house right above my car. That made working a little bit precarious. Looking up the correct method of wasp killing, I found that the best time to attack the nest was at dusk. So much for my planned day of work, I guess!

Come dusk I came out with my can of poison, blasted the nest, and ran like hell. I returned a few more times to make sure the job was done, and I’m happy to say that the next day on (today) there is little to no activity around the nest. I think I’ll get more poison to make sure the whole thing is inhospitable to wasp life as possible and then cut the branch out and dispose of the nest. Then I can get back to business.

Bulb Mania

So far I’ve had to replace almost every light bulb in my car. From that experience I can vouch for how confusing and surprisingly expensive that process can be. I wish I had seen this post on Matthew’s Volvo Site before today. In it user “QuirkySwede” breaks down the most common bulbs found in Volvo cars plus the various designations given to them by Volvo, Sylvania, Osram, and the other parties involved in manufacturing or selling these bulbs and provides tips on which to use and when.

Part numbers

My new Bosch brand ECT sensor has arrived from iPd, so I thought I’d take a moment to talk about part numbers for anyone reading who may also want to replace this part but not know which one to get specifically.

Volvo has part numbers assigned to almost ever piece that goes into their cars. However not every part is actually made by Volvo. Parts that are shared across not only Volvo’s but other company’s cars are usually made by third parties called “original equipment manufacturers” or OEMs. In Volvo’s case, one of the biggest OEMs is Bosch, a German manufacturer of, well, lots of things. Bosch also has a part number for their own products separate from those assigned by the companies that buy from them.

In my case, Volvo’s number for the ECT sensor used in my particular model and year of Volvo is 1346030. Bosch originally numbered this part as 0280130032. However, at some point Bosch decided to renumber this part as 0280130069. Why? I have no idea, but it did leave me scratching my head a little until I gathered enough evidence from the internet to confirm that this is the case.

So I now have a Bosch 0280130069/Volvo 1346030 ECT sensor to replace the FAE 33090 sensor that probably replaced the original Bosch 0280130032.

Crystal clear.

Engine coolant temperature sensor issues

Today I attempted to test my ECT sensor. The procedure went like this:

  1. Boil some water
  2. Connect my multimeter up to the sensor
  3. Dip the sensor into the water and take occasional temperature readings. Compare the resistance readings to the temperature to see if they should be where they are expected

I did all this and got wildly unexpected results. Way higher resistance than I expected. For reference, here is the chart showing what I should have seen.

Part # 1346030

Looking at the sensor I noticed that it actually wasn’t Bosch branded. It was made by Spanish manufacturer Francisco Albero S.A.U (aka FAE). I’m not sure that company was ever an OEM supplier to Volvo, so I’m sort of suspecting that this sensor had been replaced at some point and that the not so good FAE replacement has since failed. Regardless, I have a Bosch replacement on the way. Since this thing is such a pain to access I want a good part going in before I reattach the intake manifold.

MAF: Good

This past weekend was a bit of a bust in terms of car work. Aside from several obligations, a big tree branch broke off and fell onto the roof of my garage. I did have a moment the other day to put the multimeter onto my MAF sensor to what I could see. According to my intake system green book, the MAF should show a resistance reading of between 2.5 and 4 Ohms between pins two and three, and mine was reading somewhere around 3 Ohms. A visual inspection shows the wires still intact, and I’m assuming it’s clean because I had already cleaned it many months ago and haven’t really driven since then. So, I’m willing to move this part into the “working” pile along with the IAC. Stay tuned to see if the two engine temperature sensors can go there too.