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Discussion Starter #1
Been driving and modifying vintage Volvos for the last 10 years. Traded my 11 year project car - 1984 240 turbo intercooled manual wagon for a 91 Volvo 240 sedan for my daughter once she got her license.

My project car :


Traded it for a green 91 sedan




Some guy rolled through a stop sign and collided with her. It was a total loss.



Found a blue 92 sedan as a replacement. It was OK, but not nearly as well sorted as the 91 and it was a constant battle of fixing things. It was a good learning project for my daughter. We imported some e-code headlights from Poland, added red/clear tail lights, upgraded the cam, IPD 25mm sway bars, full front suspension rebuild (struts, ball joints, tie rod ends, strut reinforcement plates) IPD sport catback exhaust and more. It started developing a few issues at random and seemed like every weekend I was fixing something. Not an issue for a project car, but I didn't feel comfortable with her driving it as a daily so after 2 years of owning it, we sold it.



After nearly 2 months of looking at nothing but garbage cars in our price range (bad paint, burning oil, head gaskets etc...) I started looking at the first gen CRV as an option. Came close to buying a blue 2000, but with cash in hand and following the owner to sign the title we saw blue smoke out of the exhaust on deceleration. Pulled the plug and started looking again.

Came across a black 2000 with 88,000 miles. Ran OK, was really clean inside, but had some sketchy body work on the passenger front fender. Talked the guy down to a reasonable price due to the body work and no maintenance records.





The first weekend I had available, we both jumped in and tackled the timing belt. I had been doing some research prior so I knew what I was getting into. Initially things went well, disassembly was pretty easy. Went ahead and replaced the thermostat, plugs, wires, air filter, accessory drive belts and cabin air filter all in the same weekend. Found a bad driver side lower motor mount and hadn't ordered it, so had to buy it locally.

First startup after it was back together and it ran, but wouldn't idle. Took it back apart and the crank pulley wasn't timed right. I wasn't able to get the drive side of the timing belt under enough tension. Tried again and got it back together and it ran perfect.

Took a Friday off work to hit the pick n pull hoping to find a black fender and hood. Hers has some hail damage. No luck on the body panels, but we did pick up a roof rack and black painted mirrors.

2 weeks ago I ordered a DIY hydrographic kit for the interior trim with a carbon fiber pattern. Painted and dipped the air vents, mirror trim panel then put on some clear coat. For a DIY kit it turned out really well. I'll be able to post some photos tomorrow.

We have a Kenwood head unit ready to go in and while I have it apart I'm going to dip the radio trim panel to match.

Last Saturday I drove to Austin to pick up some parts for my daily (2001 Toyota Land Cruiser) from pick n pull and was able to pick up a black passenger front fender. We installed it Sunday and got all the panel gaps straight.

Future plans include
- EP3 Civic SI front seats (waiting in the garage)
- coil overs
- BBS wheels/tires
- sway bar end links
- adjustable rear control arms
- upper strut bar
- powder coating the valve cover
- red/clear tail lights
- black trim headlights
- black painted SE front and rear bumper covers
- black SE painted door handles
- hood with no hail damage
- window tint
- headers & exhaust
- powered subwoofer
- slotted front rotors
- powder coated calipers
- stainless brake lines
- JDM front bumper guard
- oil pressure gauge & water temperature gauge
 

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Nice one Dad. It will be a great project. Raised 3 kids and shuttled them everywhere in a 16V 740 wagon with many IPD bits too, and the Mrs still pilots the V70R.
Hard to find rust free 1st gens around here, still looking for a '01 5 speed as I fiddle with my 03 5 speed...

Enjoy your time with your daughter- you are teaching her many useful life skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Made a little more progress last weekend. I picked up a Kenwood radio with Bluetooth and a wiring adapter almost a month ago. I connected the radio harness to the adapter, but did not have the time to install it after reading how much work it was to remove the center console.

We pulled the panel Sunday and while my daughter was attaching the radio to the brackets I prepped and painted the console trim to get ready for applying the carbon fiber hydrographics. After dipping the console and applying the clear coat I'm really happy with how it turned out.

We got the radio installed and ran the microphone wire up the driver side a pillar. Got it back together, but didn't take any photos yet. I've also been gathering some parts here & there getting ready to order the coilovers.

I still need to go to the pick n pull and get a seat base to mess with so I can figure out how to adapt the EP3 SI seats into the front. I'll update with some photos this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This is a slow build if i didn't state it before. Having just moved into a new house less than a month ago and my daily driver (2001 Land Cruiser) approaching 250k miles my time is stretched pretty thin between maintaining my truck and all the projects that come with a new home (painting, new light fixtures, etc)

The Land Cruiser's suspension is getting tired and most of the suspension bushings are needing replacement. I'm not ready to let go of the truck as I really enjoy not having a car payment. I've owned it for the last 13 years and still enjoy driving it.

Got the CRV in the garage today to tackle front and rear sway bar end links. I showed my daughter how to remove and replace the driver's front and she took care of the rest. I was on standby in case she needed a little extra help.

While the passenger front wheel was off we installed a new motor mount on that side. The driver side was replaced when we took care of the timing belt.

In back while we had it apart I went ahead and installed the adjustable upper control arms in preparation for the coilovers once my budget frees up a little spare cash.

Ran into a bit of a problem though as one of the lug nuts decided it didn't want to let go. Not sure what happened because the day we bought the car I personally removed all the lug nuts and reinstalled them with a torque wrench to make sure if she got a flat she would be able to remove the wheel herself.

It wouldn't budge with the impact wrench so I grabbed the breaker bar and sure enough, it broke - the wheel stud. Now I get to look forward to replacing the hub or maybe just the stud.

Last week I ordered some Car Guys plastic restorer to try. I haven't had much luck with off the shelf Meguiars or Mothers products with keeping the unfinished plastics from fading.

s-l225.jpg

She applied it to all the wheel trim and bumper covers, so we'll see how it holds up during the forecasted rain this week.

Still have a long list of things I want to do with her car and I keep adding to it.

As if I didn't have enough to do, I also picked up a project car of my own the same weekend we moved into the new house.



It's an 88 Accord LX-i coupe that has been sitting since 1992.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No real updates lately. Installed new sway bar end links and painted the spare valve cover I picked up a month or so ago with some VHT wrinkle red paint. I couldn't find the red anywhere locally so I had to order it online.

It turned out pretty good, but I still need to sand down the raised letters so they are silver instead of red. I'm going to hydro-dip the intake plenum, I just haven't decided on a pattern yet.



I also ordered a set of Yonaka coilovers last Friday, so big changes are in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got the new coilovers installed last night. While we were at it we installed the new headlights with black trim to replace the aging stock headlights which were yellowed and scratched up. Got the suspension done last night, but it was late. This morning I went out to the garage and got all 4 corners at about the same height. The front tires rub the fender liners on heavy compression, but there is enough ride height for daily driving that I won't have to worry. This is mainly due to the 8" wide wheels. Offset is just how I wanted it with the wheels near the outside edge of the fenders.












List is getting shorter :

- EP3 Civic SI front seats (waiting in the garage)
- upper strut bar
- rear wing
- red/clear tail lights
- black painted SE front and rear bumper covers
- black SE painted door handles
- hood with no hail damage
- window tint
- headers & exhaust
- powered subwoofer
- slotted front rotors
- powder coated calipers
- stainless brake lines
- JDM front bumper guard
- oil pressure gauge & water temperature gauge
 

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Could you comment on the coilovers? How are they on compression? You change the ride height only? Opinion on when there's 4 adults in there?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went with the Yonaka coilovers. This is my first car I've ever put coilovers on, so it's been a learning experience. I left the spring settings as they were when they arrived and only changed the ride height. They are much more firm than the stock suspension they replaced, but not bouncy at all which is was I wanted to avoid. By comparison (if this helps) they ride about as firm as my wife's 07 4Runner with the X-REAS suspension, but not as firm as the stock suspension on the S2000 we used to own, or the Bilstein HDs I had on my Volvo wagon.

Overall I'm really happy with the ride quality. I really have no plans to mess with the compression rate because I want to avoid a bouncy ride.

As for having 4 adults in her car, I can't answer, and if I did it wouldn't be a fair answer. My daughter is 5' and weighs 100lbs. I only weigh 125 and my wife only weighs about 90, so the 3 of us may only add up to 2 'normal' adults. If I were to guess, under normal load with 4 regular adults, I would probably set the ride height slightly higher, but I doubt the ride quality would be any different.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Drove 2 hours Saturday morning from Houston to the Circuit of the Americas track outside Austin for the SVRA Championship Races. The ride quality from the coilovers was great, we only had some minor rubbing on the front wheels over some heavy bumps, but that was from the 8" wide wheels hitting the front fender liners.



My son drove up from San Antonio in his 01 Accord Coupe (with 17" Enkei wheels, Koni orange shocks, Neuspeed springs, upper strut bar, CL Type-S rear sway bar).



We were even able to tailgate using the picnic table for lunch.



The Vintage Championship races are held every November at COTA in Austin. If you're ever able to go I highly recommend it. No crowds, tickets are only $20 (+$5 for parking). The pit area and paddocks are open to the public and all the owners/drivers are easy to approach and talk to. I probably took about 200 photos on Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I took advantage of a warm afternoon last week to sand down the wheels and got some fresh paint on them followed by several coats of clear to help protect them. I still need to freshen up the silver lips, but they can wait until spring for now.





Saturday night it was finally warm enough to tackle the sketchy paint damage on the passenger side door from the previous owner. I ordered a can of color matched paint and clear coat online and did a lot of reading and watching youtube DIY videos before getting started. The majority of the time was spent in prep work and repairing it correctly by removing the window trim, mirror and lots of careful masking areas to avoid any overspray.

I used almost the whole can of base coat and let it dry before giving it a light wetsand to smooth out some minor orange peel. I then applied a few coats of clear, but I'm not happy with the clear coat, so I'll be adding additional coats this weekend.



My daughter doesn't know it, but she's going to have a few things from the to do list waiting for her on Christmas.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I was able to mask off the door again, then wet sanded what I initially painted. After another good cleaning, I applied better coverage with the clear coat. I still wasn't happy with the results. I had quite a bit of orange peel in the clear coat, but the coverage was better as I put down 3-4 good coats. After letting it dry for a couple days, I began wet sanding the finish. I started with 1000 grit and finished with 5000 grit before polishing with the 7" polisher and a polishing compound. It finally looks presentable, although the color is off just slightly, but I'm OK with that.

I had enough of the base coat leftover, so I pulled the grille, scuffed the unpainted plastic center with a red scotch brite pad. I then cleaned and masked off the center and used the last of the black paint to color match the center of the grille. Topped it off with several coats of clear. I also sanded and primed the center emblem before painting it red. Only after painting it did I finally figure out what size red emblems will fit.

Grille looks so much better in glossy black instead of the chalky dull unfinished plastic.



I took advantage of LKQ's 40% off sale this weekend and picked up another black hood. The hood on there now is dented and has a bad repair job by the previous owner. The replacement hood needs fresh paint as the clear coat is gone, but the bottom of the hood will match the black that is on there now and that cuts down on 50% of the work. I was really holding out for an undamaged black hood from a pick n pull, but I don't think I'm ever going to find one close to home.

Once it warms up again I'll get working on stripping the finish off the replacement hood and getting it repainted. I'll post up a photo of the repainted door later this week. I'm still researching how to properly paint the plastic bumpers black to match.


The list :
- EP3 Civic SI front seats (waiting in the garage)
- upper strut bar
- red/clear tail lights
- rear spoiler
- black painted SE front and rear bumper covers
- black SE painted door handles
- window tint
- headers & exhaust
- powered subwoofer
- slotted front rotors
- powder coated calipers
- stainless brake lines
- JDM front bumper guard
- oil pressure gauge & water temperature gauge
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Installed the red/smoked tail lights I bought her for Christmas.



While we were in there, I upgraded the bulbs in back to all LEDs. Amber LEDs for the turn signals, red for the brake/marker lights and extra bright white for the reverse lights. Actually I upgraded the reverse lights before we installed the new tail lights, but I moved the bulbs over.



Yesterday I installed the HID kit in the headlights and upgraded the front marker lights to white LEDs. I'm still looking for a set of dual function amber/amber LED bulbs for the front turn signals.



I picked up some color matched paint for the rear spoiler I bought her also. I'm hoping to get it painted and installed within the next 2 weeks.
 
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