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1987 Volvo 340 GLE - a bit of fun


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Today was the day to get it done - wanted to fix the issue with the choke being stuck out before I drove it on the road as that was annoying - having to reach under the dash cowel to hold the outer while I pushed it back in.

Turns out the little rubber nut thing that holds it in place had worn away - so when I pushed it in the whole thing would just move back and do nothing. Nothing that can't be fixed with a few cable ties:


Now good as new and choke can go from 0% to 100% and back without fault - and the choke light doesn't come on every time I breathe too abruptly -  hooray!

Thought it'd be nice to give it a good wash - quite pretty with some elbow grease - and got a lot of the algae off of the metal surrounds on the boot window and windowscreen. That front bit of white plastic on the bumper has some very well established mould though.



The Portrait mode on my phone does wonders though...

@Jikovron popped over for some cementing of the top of my drive and a natter:


In the Proton of much fury.

Taxed, insured (only cost me £32 additional for the rest of my current policy to swap the BX for this) - and took it for it's first ride out to.....Asda...well it can't all be thrilling.

PXL_20211023_161002957.thumb.jpg.076f6ac015c21944b39a1c65d058ebfb.jpgLooks so small and stubby compared to the BX. Got some petrol and some air for the tyres.

Took some artsy pictures on the way back - because why not:




As a bonus - the side pockets are well sized for reduced Tesco finds. The ultimate chewing gum, pringles knockoff and tahini paste transport vessel.


The heaters blow hot, idling it'll build temp but that'll soon go at any speed - maybe the stat is stuck open as I thought- Weird how the heaters still blow hot even when doing 60 and the temp reads nothing...I'll have to check the thermostat when I get a second (and a replacement).

All in all though - drives and pulls well - nippy, handling is a bit boat like at points but I didn't drive it in anger just yet - some lowering will fix that in the future anyhow. Enjoyed it and chuffed overall.


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Ok, 130 or so miles in, thoughts and observations in no particular order 

- thermostat is stuck open, almost certain, but somehow the blowers always blow warm on command? I assume they get their heat elsewhere? Weird... 

- runs better when warm, and I assume uses a bit less fuel so want to fix the above, but runs alright as is too

- exhaust is quite a nice note, it had a full exhaust less than 12 months ago so it's great condition. A little raspy, a bit deeper when warm, makes me reconsider doing a silly exhaust... 

- it looks great on these wheels

- heated seat on my side doesn't work, not tested the other 

- has the world's loudest electric mirror motors

- drivers door mirror is 453728x magnification, it's so so so magnified. Assume was put there for eyesight issues, need to replace that with a normal one as I keep thinking someone is close to me, when in reality they're about 15ft back

- these brake pads produce more brake dust than I have ever experienced. Hoping it'll taper off but after 100 miles if normal driving its just pouring off and noticeably changing the colour of the alloys at a glance annoyingly 

- starts up a treat, manual choke is nice 

- I keep forgetting where the window switches are and groping the center console trying not to crash 

- I need to gorilla tape the sunroof. It doesn't leak, but the wind noise at speed is quite annoying as it tilts up to the front where its a bit broke. Maybe fix it properly in summer 

- it's very easy to spin the tyres with 13's, it really is begging for a welded diff, but I'm unsure if my first winter oop north is a good time to be driving a car with one. I've had VLSD's, twitchy torsens, but only drove one with a welded diff. I remember it being an arse to park, but it was a base spec MK1 MX5. 

- the steering, even though not powered, is really light considering 

- the windowscreen is a lot more upright than my BX. Reminds of the Hillman Hunter I had. 

- brake pedal hisses when presses but goes away when bottomed out. Continuous hiss with any other pressure. Weird.

- head light bulbs in pretty sure are based on pound land tea lights, need new ones 

So, enjoying it. It's really nice to drive, people love it, I like it and looking forward to winter. 

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On 10/25/2021 at 12:05 AM, SmokinWaffle said:

This is one car that really does look good from pretty much every angle. Whenever I park it anywhere I can't stop looking at it. Needs to be a bit lower - I thought the sump would kiss speedbumps with the 13's but it doesn't so means I've got some room too.


That looks like the church on Crookes Valley road.  I used to live pretty much around the corner from that.  Did they finally do something with it?  Looks like it has lights on inside instead of being full of pigeons.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/29/2021 at 3:57 PM, vulgalour said:

That looks like the church on Crookes Valley road.  I used to live pretty much around the corner from that.  Did they finally do something with it?  Looks like it has lights on inside instead of being full of pigeons.

From a Google - I don't think it is! I was picking up a kebab - so I had much more important things on my mind haha!

The Volvo has been fine - but driving it and seeing it not get up to temperature was annoying me. As well as it not driving as well as it should because it was cold all the time, lumpy and tappy. When I went to work on Friday it was 1C and I got there and it read -0.5C (I took the posh car as I was tired) - I figure it's not going to get any warmer for a while.

After driving to Halifax and back last week and using more fuel than it should because it was stone cold and being a little bit of a pig in traffic - it was wearing fast.

Then this morning I got this through the letter box:


Seems like a good of a sign as any to pull my finger out!

Ordered the Thermostat off of ECP, went and picked it up, £4.41 + 33p cashback from TopCashback - lovely stuff.

Set about getting the old one out - back of the engine being the 1.7, a bit awkward to get to so I removed the dizzy cap for access (after I'd drained it via taking the bottom rad hose off - saving the coolant of course) - took it off easy enough.


Housing off - thermostat looking a little worse for wear:


Took it out:


Yep - that's stuck open alright - just as suspected.

Time to bust out the new one!

Old vs new:


Testing the new one just to  be sure it opens:


And it did!

Cleaned up the housing and scraped off the old gasket that was stuck to it, flathead screwdriver, steady hand and some meth spirits works wonders:


(what was left is just discoloration)

New one in:


Much nicer.

Put it all back together, topped it up, ran it up to temp:



Happy days! It's odd when a car that doesn't get warm suddenly starts too, find myself studying the temp gauge like it's about to do a trick. Is it 0.0001mm over the middle?! OH GOD?!! No wait I've just moved my body a tiny bit to one side. It's fine.

Got up to temp a hell of a lot quicker, holds temp when it drives rock solid, fan cuts in and out as it should - heater is warmer than it was too. Idled it plenty just to be sure. Return hose is now nice and warm - all functioning as expected.

The main change though - obviously - it runs way better. Smoother, sounds fruiter, really a lovely car to drive now. I even gave it the beans on my test drive to the petrol station a few times - it's great fun and now doesn't hesitate.

Only took an hour and a half or so too - and that's only as I was taking my time. Enjoyable and productive - great combo and great results :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, the question I know you've all been dying to know the answer to for years - can you fit two single beds and their mattresses in a Volvo 340?

Without a passenger seat, almost:





But more importantly, can you do it without getting cramp in your leg because the seat is too far forward, sitting 2CM from the window and gassing yourself with exhaust fumes?


No. No you cannot.

Think I need to swap the fuel filter on it too - only an in line one so not a big deal but it can be a bit hesitant sometimes and the filter is black as coal.

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  • 1 month later...

Not really done much apart from potter about and pickup loads of furniture and god knows I've got enough pictures of that in this thread!

Decided to sell up and focus on the BX - as this just isn't quite tickling me how I thought it was. It's averagely economical, averagley fast, nice looking but doesn't give me that feeling the BX does - and that needs some work (and I need a mortgage also - so this will help!)



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On 10/29/2021 at 3:57 PM, vulgalour said:

That looks like the church on Crookes Valley road.  I used to live pretty much around the corner from that.  Did they finally do something with it?  Looks like it has lights on inside instead of being full of pigeons.

It was empty for a period of time, once went to an impromptu rave there back in the day. It’s flats for the yuppies now though. 

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Did they ever make Yuppies oop North? I thought they were something that only us down here were blessed* with. I hated the 80s with a passion, although with a little hindsight the cars were alright. Had an accident in a 340/360 and it looked after us pretty darned well considering the speed of the impact. 

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