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1987 Volvo 340 GLE - a bit of fun


SmokinWaffle
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Hi all!

Figured I'd finally make a thread for this.

Back at the end of July @Slowsilver put out a call to aid to save a sweet little Volvo 340 from the scrapman:

And it was very promptly saved by @NorfolkNWeigh - beating me by minutes. Darn it!
 

I PM'd him shortly after and said if he ever gets bored with it, give me a call.

Low and behold - a few days later I got a PM from him - turns out it just wasn't his cup of tea (as well as being filthy) - and was kindly giving me first refusal. A phone call was had, a deal was struck - and a few hours later we met at a pub to do the exchange. Kindly - he agreed to meet me at a pub inbetween us (making a 4 hour round trip into 2 - what a chap!) - and I can't thank him enough.

Pictures from the pub car park:

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Popped some fuel in and drove home - arrived safe:

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And the next day - the outside of my house looked like a scene from The Bill in the 90's...

PXL_20210729_145343333.thumb.jpg.23f36f6e19e59b56f47e059daa919788.jpg

 

First Impressions: Drives well, clutch is perfectly fine but very paddle-esque. It's a little rocket (well, anything is compared to the BX) and is pretty comfy. Interior is very charming and up my street. Has old car smell - it smells almost exactly the same as my first Eunos which I loved. Comes with a bunch of history (including things like a brand new full exhaust in the last 12 months and a service for instance - off the top of my head), a buttload of spares and a Haynes manual with all sorts of useful scribbles. Manual choke is a nice touch.

I noticed on the drive back it didn't much get over 1/4 temp, would rise to 1/2 when left to idle, fan kick in, then back down. No signs of HGF of any kind, no smoke, no mayo, coolant smells and looks totally normal - I'm thinking most likely a stuck open thermostat. Apparently they often get fitted backwards by accident on these too.

It very much has the old workhorse vibe that the 405 that I sold to @HMC to make room for this had - and I have a soft spot for that.

A bit of context, my neighbour had one of these when I was a kid - and I remember it being gold, raspy and always having a bit of a weird interest in it. As my interest in cars grew I have always wanted one, hatch, old, RWD and characterful - what's not to like?

Funnily a few days earlier on a trip down South I saw this driven by an old dear on the motorway:

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Almost like foreshadowing!

Sadly - a few days after I got it home I felt very unwell and contracted COVID - and was bed bound for a week and stuck inside for just over two weeks which put a downer on things. Just starting to feel better the past week or so and being allowed out - so now hoping to get a few things done.

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Thankfully having recovered from COVID - and starting to feel better for the first time in a while - a few days later of some good rest and checking we didn't have symptoms - we travelled down South to safely visit some family at a distance.

Oddly enough - there was a chap about 2 hours from me selling some wheels I've always wanted that look awesome on Volvo 340's - Starmags. I've always wanted some but never really had a car that suited - until now.

Even oddlier(?) - he was at Brands Hatch that same weekend 20 minutes from where I was staying - so we arranged to meet up and a deal was made - and I'm now the very happy owner of these:

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13", 7" wide and nice and dishy. Shiny too - and with tyres at a very good price.

They look very nice on 340's as you can see here - and fit very nicely:
 

Spoiler

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The plan of action for the car is to drive it to a pre-booked MOT at a centre close to a newly met fellow car botherer and all round great guy - @Jikovron - and see what it fails on. I don't think it'll really need much apart from the passenger sill cutting out and re-doing that's a bit crisp - potentially the brakes in some way as the pedal has a bit of a hiss on - other than that it's really quite okay for it's age. After that's all done - get an MOT on it - service, do the thermostat and enjoy it. I'll get some pictures of the rusty bits when I get a chance.

Pre-warning for the purists - this will not stay original. This is a car I intend to have fun with - and it will be modified. You might not agree with some of it - and that's okay - but please do not comment hateful or unkind things. There is more than one way to enjoy a car - and keep in mind that this was destined for the scrapyard. I like to share my progress on here for my own and others enjoyment. There is plenty on here for all types of interest, I also have a thread on a very stock and original Citroen BX (my daily) and a mouldy smart car which needs a lot of love - so I cover all bases!

Looking forward to sorting some time off work to book and MOT and get started - at the moment it's on my drive with a flat battery which is a bit annoying.

 

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19 minutes ago, mk2_craig said:

Liked for the Volvo acquisition and not for the virus acquisition, of course. Following with interest!

Haha - appreciate it.

12 minutes ago, stuboy said:

i bought my mums saloon gle, on wet roads you could get the rear to step out, only gripe was the lacquer peeled off to easily

I do love how the saloons look too! I had a 740 Saloon - that was a bit big when the back came out but good fun. This has a nice little bit of peel on the roof and the bootlid - adds to the character!

Updated the second post I reserved for anyone interested :)

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7 hours ago, SmokinWaffle said:

Thankfully having recovered from COVID - and starting to feel better for the first time in a while - a few days later of some good rest and checking we didn't have symptoms - we travelled down South to safely visit some family at a distance.

Oddly enough - there was a chap about 2 hours from me selling some wheels I've always wanted that look awesome on Volvo 340's - Starmags. I've always wanted some but never really had a car that suited - until now.

Even oddlier(?) - he was at Brands Hatch that same weekend 20 minutes from where I was staying - so we arranged to meet up and a deal was made - and I'm now the very happy owner of these:

PXL_20210830_094008895.thumb.jpg.71f0f97c444ce39e29b0208efdaef07a.jpg

13", 7" wide and nice and dishy. Shiny too - and with tyres at a very good price.

They look very nice on 340's as you can see here - and fit very nicely:
 

  Hide contents

237948436_1485838091753736_1153145632926032851_n.thumb.jpg.9762bb1f1989fe4c08ac76f6791bf037.jpg

237214723_1485838071753738_829472691138746495_n.thumb.jpg.fba32ee012a224cbe7b92c0f09812990.jpg

 

The plan of action for the car is to drive it to a pre-booked MOT at a centre close to a newly met fellow car botherer and all round great guy - @Jikovron - and see what it fails on. I don't think it'll really need much apart from the passenger sill cutting out and re-doing that's a bit crisp - potentially the brakes in some way as the pedal has a bit of a hiss on - other than that it's really quite okay for it's age. After that's all done - get an MOT on it - service, do the thermostat and enjoy it. I'll get some pictures of the rusty bits when I get a chance.

Pre-warning for the purists - this will not stay original. This is a car I intend to have fun with - and it will be modified. You might not agree with some of it - and that's okay - but please do not comment hateful or unkind things. There is more than one way to enjoy a car - and keep in mind that this was destined for the scrapyard. I like to share my progress on here for my own and others enjoyment. There is plenty on here for all types of interest, I also have a thread on a very stock and original Citroen BX (my daily) and a mouldy smart car which needs a lot of love - so I cover all bases!

Looking forward to sorting some time off work to book and MOT and get started - at the moment it's on my drive with a flat battery which is a bit annoying.

 

My thoughts are that I am intrigued, at what modifications you could make that would improve it. 

Maybe a supercharger ?  

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I love the look of these. My English teacher had a 1988 sky blue 3 door in the early 90s.

My fave would be a white 4 door GLT (with the blacked out trim) if they ever made such a thing. The strange thing about the 4 doors is that I used to like them the least; and now I like them the most. 

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11 hours ago, Soundwave said:

I do like these, and they're still pretty cheap compared to a lot of 80s cars. Keeping half an eye on an eBay one at the moment, although I've probably got too many other plates to spin at the moment.

And I agree, Starmags look ace on these! Should be a fun little thing when it's done!

They are - but they are going up in value (future classik m8). Looking on Facebook they seem to go for £500 even without an engine which is insane to me - they're popular drift cars and easy to work on and modify which helps. For a decent MOT'd one they go for £1-1.6k it seems (with some modifications ect). Mental.

4 hours ago, New POD said:

My thoughts are that I am intrigued, at what modifications you could make that would improve it. 

Maybe a supercharger ?  

Although that'd be awesome - I had a supercharged Eunos and it was huge amounts of fun but so expensive to run.

Modifications will probably be wheels, some lowering springs for the front and blocks for the back, probably a silly exhaust of some kind. I have young nieces and a nephew - was thinking of letting them splatter paint it or similar - just really want to have fun with it and make some memories. Considering getting a spare gearbox/diff and welding the diff as it'd be fun but I'm still on the fence. I've driven cars with welded diffs, they're okay and good fun but day to day...unsure.

2 hours ago, sierraman said:

Build it as a rally car? 

Tempting - I was thinking of stripping out the interior (well, the back seats at least) and doing something a bit minimal - but I'm unsure how much I'd like driving it if it was like that. The rear seats are pretty useless legroom wise to be honest.

1 hour ago, Dyslexic Viking said:

Are you thinking of doing something about the engine? A 2.3 red block with camshaft and new intake with 1 Weber carburetor and better exhaust manifold and larger exhaust in this would almost double the horsepower. 

@Jikovron keeps whispering in my ear about that. If I end up keeping it long term I'd consider it - just cutting my teeth with welding/mechanicals as a whole these days - but I'd certainly consider it. I had a pre-facelift 740 with the N/A 2.3 - that was fun but again - super juicy. Trying to keep the balance of fun and not drinking fuel like an oil rig.

 

2 minutes ago, HMC said:

I love the look of these. My English teacher had a 1988 sky blue 3 door in the early 90s.

My fave would be a white 4 door GLT (with the blacked out trim) if they ever made such a thing. The strange thing about the 4 doors is that I used to like them the least; and now I like them the most. 

I also prefer the 4 door! 3 doors of most cars weird me out. I don't want a door that long damn it, it's awkward in car parks -  stop it. 😛

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The redblock requires a 360 torque tube and gearbox as the Renault units use the open alloy tube and bonded rubber prop, its almost better to start with a 360 if going down a 2.3 turbo route!

As an aside the fuel consumption of them all is poor really, my 1.4 was a total waste of time, 69bhp and 30mpg and the 2.0 stromberg B19A that @overrun had was a solid 20 odd mpg ,,it actually improved with a 2.3 lpt engine fitted! 

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Looking forward to seeing the progress on this one mate, always thought they were good looking cars. It's funny you say about the red block and economy, I have a 2.3 n/a in my 740 wagon and after a long trip on the bank holiday I was thinking how nice it was to get 25mpg average compared to what I normally get out of the other larger cars we run 😅

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3 hours ago, SmokinWaffle said:

  

They are - but they are going up in value (future classik m8). Looking on Facebook they seem to go for £500 even without an engine which is insane to me - they're popular drift cars and easy to work on and modify which helps. For a decent MOT'd one they go for £1-1.6k it seems (with some modifications ect). Mental

I also prefer the 4 door! 3 doors of most cars weird me out. I don't want a door that long damn it, it's awkward in car parks -  stop it. 😛

 

Still, £1k for an MOT'd car doesn't seem so bad when you look at the ridiculous prices scabby non-GTI Mk2 Golfs and Mk4 Escorts with a Stevie Wonder MOT and imaginary rear arches seem to fetch...

Agree on the 3-door thing. I have more than one friend, I need 4 doors. :D 

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On 9/1/2021 at 12:58 PM, bigfella2 said:

Wouldn't a Clio f4r fit in one of these, the f4r is an evolution of this engine. When I converted my Clio sport to epas and deleted a/c I used Volvo 340 alternator brackets as they fit straight on.

I believe that's a very common swap - yeah!

Figured I better get the battery out to charge it if I'm actually going to get an MOT attempt on it anytime soon! Had a busy few weekends with some friends visiting and walking in the peaks.

Took out the battery, aaand:

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Ooooh. Hello crusty. Haven't given it a poke - but I don't think it's too awful and it's an easy enough section anyhow.

Also found some lovely OEM* wiring:

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Assuming that all works as it should I'll probably solder and heatshrink it...

The money shot:

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Having a car with a forward tilting bonnet feels pretty special - I approve. 

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MOT booked at a good place local to @Jikovron that he suggested, got a week off at the end this month and the MOT is booked right at the start of it. 

 

We will see what it fails on and go from there! Going to be clearing the garage a bit and getting a bit more organised at the weekend too hopefully which should help things. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Mrs6C said:

Huzzah! :-)

Well done. Really glad this one lives to fight another day. They have loads of character and are really comfortable. My folks had a few and they were great.

It a lot boatier than I imagined. It's going lower though so that'll be solved. The BX is the comfy car, haha! 

The interior is a genuinely nice place to be though. 

I'm very pleased it's now got 12 months MOT when it's fate was scrap not too long ago. 

Attempted to fit the starmags, realised only one out of the 4 wheels has the spigot rings to fit the hub. Doh. The one I got on looked great though. 

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