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Author Topic: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo  (Read 6908 times)

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Canuck

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What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« on: July 27, 2015, 12:46:35 PM »
Ok - looking for some sound council on the next steps I should take in developing my 1981 Volvo 242. I'm already in SM for silly reasons but wheeling the car around the cones is still a handful and while I'm pretty much the slowest guy out (and I'm not going to be fast anytime soon - I know I'm on a learning curve and a significant part of the issue) I'm working hard in the car - this doesn't feel like the Sunday drive my time are showing.

Things I've done since April:
Limited slip differential (new clutches and a full rebuild). Rear bushings, 2 sets of lower control arms to get 2.3 degrees of negative camber (fist set gave me 3.3 degrees negative and I lost front brake), now running zero toe. New rear shocks. New adjustable endlinks.

It already has an aftermarket anti roll bar, Wilwood brakes and a host of other mods.

My front tires have no shoulder from my initial efforts and are getting close to the wear indicators.

Things I think would be good ideas.

1. Stiffer springs - help stop the ship from rocking so much. Don't want to go nuts with rates as I don't want to exceed my Billy HD's valving. I haven't modelled the suspension to know where roll centres/couples/CG's are, but I should get on that.

2. Tires. This has to be worth some confidence at least. I can't hit things like sweepers fast as I'm grip limited. I can't back side a cone to save my life either, so keep that in mind.

I removed a big rear anti roll bar and am looking for a stock ARB as I had so much rear roll resistance that I was loosing grip. Volvo guys that run these things mostly remove the rear ARB (live rear axle BTW).

Or just give up for now, swap fronts for rears, drive it on the door handles and stop over-thinking it.

Craig
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

NickST

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 12:50:02 PM »
Fat wide 200w tires.... it would do wonders for your car over what you have now!

James@SpecR

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 01:13:40 PM »
Modifying is a slippery slope.  Get some 200TW tires and leave it at that...

MurrayPeterson

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 01:34:08 PM »
Tires!  Get a set of the modern tires -- they may wear out too fast and cost a lot, but they will give you your best bang for the buck.

Oh, and driver mods.  Improving the driver will do more than anything else.
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Canuck

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2015, 02:43:35 PM »
I'm running Hankook Ventus V12 Evo's TW 280...it's not rolling on bias plys or anything.  I've been down a very slippery slope of mods on this car...FWIW it was retrieved from a JY in 2007.  Literally every mechanical part has been changed. 

Looking at Bridgestone RE-71R's...anyone running them?
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

NickST

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2015, 02:51:43 PM »
I'm running Hankook Ventus V12 Evo's TW 280...it's not rolling on bias plys or anything.  I've been down a very slippery slope of mods on this car...FWIW it was retrieved from a JY in 2007.  Literally every mechanical part has been changed. 

Looking at Bridgestone RE-71R's...anyone running them?

Best street tires you can get right now, the runner up is the Dunlop Star Specs. They only last about 100 runs, while the Dunlops will last twice that.

Also; Go as wide as you possible can, haha

majormojo

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2015, 02:54:00 PM »
Yeah, you've got good advice so far. Here's a quick cheat sheet for autox success:

- 80% driver
- 15% tires
- 5% everything else

The downside of course is that it's way easier and more convenient to buy stuff and put it on the car than to work on the driver. The upside is you can take all your "driver mods" with you if you change cars.

Do the tires first and see what your body roll and tire wear looks like. Grippier tires might require stiffer springs to keep them working well and lowering if possible might help. When going stiffer, you will probably dislike the ride before you exceed the capacity of your HD shocks. Your alignment seems reasonable. A bit of front toe out (1/4 in or so) should give a bit quicker turn in. I'd adjust that in the AM before running and then put it back to something more reasonable for the drive back home.
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apexcone

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2015, 05:22:49 PM »
Sell it buy a Miata and stick the Volvo badge on it.  :o :o LOL
Terry Johns #8. 2015 CS Miata
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Canuck

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2015, 08:13:55 PM »
Sell it buy a Miata and stick the Volvo badge on it.  :o :o LOL

Best advice so far...given the number of events left, I'll probably just rotate my tires and suffer through the learning curve.
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

apexcone

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2015, 08:22:19 PM »
In all seriousness, I would totally agree to Jim's comments.

Yeah, you've got good advice so far. Here's a quick cheat sheet for autox success:

- 80% driver
- 15% tires
- 5% everything else

The downside of course is that it's way easier and more convenient to buy stuff and put it on the car than to work on the driver. The upside is you can take all your "driver mods" with you if you change cars.

In the end it is what it is, enjoy it and don't try and make it what it isn't. The 240 Volvo is a wonderful car, it is what it is.  :)
Terry Johns #8. 2015 CS Miata
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Canuck

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2015, 09:16:55 AM »
I've just finished reading Smooth is Fast Autocross Performance.  Ever since April, I've focused more on little details on the street driving at legal speeds and working on developing good habits that transfer to this sport.  The author has some good tips for finding out your car dimensions and I'm currently dodging pot holes (trying to put either a front or rear tire one the edge). It's harder to put the rear tire in place - but I at least feel like I'm able to get some practice time in on car placement that's not at the frenetic pacing experienced at the track. 

That said, I've also got some stiffer springs that are going in before the Canadian Nationals and will be working on suspension development over the winter.  Driver development never stops.  I'd be very interested in what you do on a daily basis to work on honing your skills. 
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

apexcone

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2015, 01:30:58 PM »
Sounds great, where did you find the book ?

Terry
Terry Johns #8. 2015 CS Miata
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Canuck

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2015, 07:50:13 AM »
Amazon has it for Kindle.  Pretty good read actually.
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

apexcone

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2015, 07:12:53 AM »
Amazon has it for Kindle.  Pretty good read actually.

Thanks. By the way, sitting in my garage I have an overdrive unit that came out of a 1968 122S  :)
Terry Johns #8. 2015 CS Miata
Competitive car, driver is a work in progress

Canuck

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Re: What Next: Tuning an old Volvo
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2015, 05:43:04 PM »
I've got a few parts for one of those as well...


 8)
1981 Volvo 242 GLT
1966 Volvo 122 (long term project)

 

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