The Volvo’s temp registration is running out fast and I need to get it running so I’ve been hauling ass trying to find a replacement battery.
You would think this is easy: Drive to the store, find a battery, pay for battery, and install in car. Turn key. Pat self on back.
Unfortunately, no: this car predates a lot of the battery standards in use today: It uses a non-existent Group 46 battery with terminals in the reverse direction meaning that the positive sits on the left and negative on the right. This battery hasn’t existed for years.
I was left with hitting Google and seeing what worked and what didn’t work. A few candidates were promising: I tried a Group 47 whose terminals fit, but the cables wouldn’t when the battery was oriented the right way and a Group 24 that fit like a dream except the negative terminal wasn’t shaped right for the clamp.
Did I mention that the tray clamp was caked in corrosion? Or the intoxicating blend of rust and lead/lead-like substances served on a vintage battery tray?
As I am not one to give up easy and one to always take the easy route, I hit up BringATrailer to see how the same-gen 240s listed there had batteries. The all-time top-dollar 245 had the Group 47, but with the cables re-routed to accept the new orientation.
Genius! Why didn’t I think of that? With the help of some of you on the Other Site, I figured out that this was indeed alright and I did just that. Rust, dirt, and age meant that everything (even the pieces that shouldn’t have) came apart or disintegrated with ease so it didn’t take long to have everything rerouted with fresh zipties.
Of course, with this being a weekday afternoon time was at a premium so I spent most of it working under my LED headlamp’s harsh glow. What’s done in the dark will find a way to shine.
After patching the positive ground wire with a shocking amount of electrical tape and some light wrenching the Volvo was buttoned back up. In went the key and it promptly died. But it fired up! I tried again with my foot on the throttle. Valhalla smiled upon me and the Volvo fired up and stayed running. A quick cursory glance showed no leaks at either end (I had swapped out the rear cam seal and cam cover gasket and the fuel pump & accumulator).
I got off work today and basically took it (and all my tools) out for a spin. The car ran somewhat well with a bit of a stumble as I got on the throttle. That’s fine, probably the 1980's turbo tech. Oil pressure held steady, if a little high. Felt great to be driving it again, that’s for sure.
Now the brakes? Those somehow got worse. I pushed the pedal to the floor (and then some!) to get it to stop, which isn’t new. What is new is that the car decided to start stalling when it came to a full stop - the fact that the pedal instantly firmed up suggests that this is something in the booster/booster check valve going wrong. Hopefully it’s the $5 valve.
Oh well, looks like this car’s going on PNO.