8/1/09 3:20 p.m.

Hi, been a lurker, finally a poster!

I've been searching for that elusive first car for my daughter. She has two years till the learning starts, but I'd like to get a better mpg DD for myself in the meantime, and also get back into AX. I used to do Solo II 20yrs ago with my street prepared '86 civic, then dabbled in karts for awhile too.

I've always had a thing for old Volvos.. LOVE the 122's.. but want a little more metal around my first born. Sooo...

There's two Volvo's I've found on the local CL.. one's a 68 wagon all original in really good shape for $900, the other's a '72 sedan for $2500 also in good shape, already lowered with IPD springs and swaybars... BUT.. an autotragic. It's not quite a daily driver, "has some carb issues"..

I figure at least I'd have to rebuild carbs anyway on both, probably tear down the engines as well. Should I go for the one with the suspension stuff already added and do a manual tranny swap? How hard (or expensive) would that be. I'm leaning towards the wagon, as $1400 buys me a lot of stuff... anything else I should think of with these cars? Marc

TJ HalfDork
8/1/09 3:52 p.m.

I like old volvos too, but I would recommend a newer car with airbags and ABS for your daughter. Maybe you should get an autox car now and another car in 2 years for her.

Shaun New Reader
8/1/09 4:10 p.m.

I owned several 14Xs back in the day and put a half a million miles on them or something stupid like that. I helped my dad put a 4 speed in a 145- very strait forward and I dare say even a easy swap. One day out, one day in. IIRC you will need the pedals, the crossmeber, and the driveshaft from the donor car. They are cable actuated clutches with very clear routing, the bell housing matches up, and the clutch and pressure plate blot right up when you remove the slushbox stuff. I am not recalling if we swapped the steering column out to get rid of the auto shifter, or the speedo cluster for the same reasons. But electrically there was very very little to do, some jiggering to get a reverse light. A much better car to drive after the swap

I later put a 4 speed overdrive tranny in a 74 145. Same deal, except I needed to jigger in the column mounted OD switch. That made the car a whole different critter on road trips, it was much much more livable and would burble along at 70 quite happily getting 25mpg or so with the crude early bosch FI that was a big improvement over the stromburgs. I think the 74 FI is way better than the 72, 73 setup. I forget. The 74 setup worked fine anyway.

IPD offered a 2 bbl holley carb swap kit that solved the stromburg nightmare on the earlier cars. I see them used on Cl and the IPD classifieds.

I had IPD sways, their heavy duty wagon springs, some kyb gas adjusts and the wider 164 rims running 205 sections and it was a pretty good handling wagon. no power, I never did anything to the motors. The are willing little solid lifter motors with a fair amount of cam and compression, just over matched by the mass.

I would go for the 72 my self. finding a verifiably solid overdrive tranny might be a bit pricey, but the 4 speeds are cheap. The rest of the stuff should be out there in junk yards depending on our local crop for very little.

I really enjoyed my time with 140's. Very solid, reliable, super easy to work on with " factional tools and safe (for the era).


Junkyard_Dog Reader
8/1/09 5:22 p.m.

Check out my 1970 142S in Reader's Rides. Not a fan of the IPD Weber conversion my car has. Watch out for rust and expect some electrical gremlins due to disintegrating wire sheathing.

For a first driver I'd go with something a little more modern. Kids have enough trouble paying attention to the road. They don't need the extra distraction of shifting, fidling with the manual choke, tugging on the armstrong steering, and remembering what all the identical looking knobs on the dash do. Not to mention flipping through the ipod menu since the radio is AM only, holding a drink (no cup holders and limited spots for one), and texting. And while very advanced and safe for the era, a modern compact will slice right through it. I also drive a 91 945t, and look at how that more advanced car does against a modern subcompact here. First project yes. First DD not so much.

Billy_Bottle_Caps New Reader
8/1/09 5:50 p.m.

In reply to Junkyard_Dog:

Wow that is wild. never would have guessed the Volvo crumpled like that...

Junkyard_Dog Reader
8/1/09 6:01 p.m.
Billy_Bottle_Caps wrote: In reply to Junkyard_Dog: Wow that is wild. never would have guessed the Volvo crumpled like that...

I show that to all the parents that ask me what old car to put their kid in. I always tell them the most modern car you can afford.

Or a '75 Cadillac with battering rams welded on. Unless its an SUV or semi whatever hits you will run out of momentum before it runs out of crush space.

Shaun New Reader
8/1/09 6:38 p.m.

Old Cadie does some damage...


4Msfam New Reader
8/1/09 7:32 p.m.

Yikes! hmmm... ok, back to the drawing board... maybe Impreza is the answer?

I'll keep looking! Marc

Shaun New Reader
8/1/09 8:17 p.m.
4Msfam wrote: Yikes! hmmm... ok, back to the drawing board... maybe Impreza is the answer? I'll keep looking! Marc

I happened to have a 1994 0r 5 Impreza for 3 years or so. It was one of the fewer 1.6 FWD ones. It reminded me of the Volvos in that it was as tough as nails, easy to work on, and had a sort of "" l can do it, and I like it rough" personality. It was a much better car in general than the old 140s and had drivers and passenger front airbags, ABS, always idled, did not use any oil,...The only ding is it ate 2 tranaxles in 100k but that was a FWD specific problem. The interior was absolute total crap, with the seats being the worst of it somehow being upholstered with recycled potato chip bags. Great little car anyway. I sold it with the transaxle shot to a guy who was going to put a WRX drive train in it. He said the pickup points were all there and he wanted a light sleeper.

I would have become a serial Subie owner but I really do not need 4wd in the small car of the fleet and the gas millage ding compared to other 2wd Asian cars is pretty steep.

The 140 series Volvos were much more comfy... Volvo likes to make good seats.

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