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BMW e36 vs Volvo 240

Posted by Zach Gould 
Zach Gould
Zach Gould
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BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 19, 2019 12:02AM
Hello, I'm new here (been a lurker for a while) so hopefully my profile meets the rules.

My question is which of these two cars is better (cost and ease of repair) to start with. I know BMW has rally suspension and cage kits available from established sources, but what's out there for the Volvo? Are there any other good rwd options?
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 19, 2019 08:38PM
Depend really on what you want to do.

Clearly Volvo is a) MUCH cheaper to find a decent starter car of the model that works
b) Volvo is far easier to keep going being a much simpler design
c) Volvo is easier and cheaper to mod progressively into a better car as you can afford it and get better..

The E36 M3 with the 3,0 motor is nice because in one fell swoop you have gods of engine power. what is it 240 HP and 225 ft/lbs out of the box.. But those motors have catastrophic failures too often for my taste..

I any case what a Volvo initially may lack in HP it can easily be compensated for by its significantly lighter weight, and more importantly the easy of change ring and pinion ratio...Get the right 240 back axle and a NEW 4.88 ring and pinion costs only $128...still gotta put it in but even paying some truck place to set it up you'll still be thousands ahead on that one item...

Now does that file work?



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 19, 2019 08:44PM
There you see that there are solid reasons why in a country that has a LOT of experience and a field bigger and deeper than we do why there are so many of the normal guys who choose Volvo...and why a whopping 1,3% are Subarus and 2,6% BMW.. Weak shell, weak suspension components, weak diff output flanges, horrible weak differential mounting and subframe...all can be fixed but at astronomical costs..
Who is paying?



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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Zach Gould
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 19, 2019 08:53PM
Thanks for the info. It sounds like the Volvo is the clear winner!!
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 19, 2019 09:08PM
Quote
Zach Gould
Thanks for the info. It sounds like the Volvo is the clear winner!!

Your location says simply "Western Iowa"....we came up with that idea of a real location so we could try and put people together in rough geographical areas...So....where perzactly is you? (maybe change the location in the little box? Maybe??)

You know Justin Mason? He's just across the river from Kansas City which is kinda vaguely not that far from "Western Iowa" He contacted me with the exact question and after just a little talking turned out he runs or works at a BMW and Volvo shop...He's a good guy and he might be able to help you find a car for beginner kinda money..He got his by trading a horrible Fail Wheel Drive Volvo that didn't run straight across....



But the question remains: whaddya want to do? Good cheap yeeee haw fun? Impress unknown people with press releases about "next week we reveal our new vinyl wrap"?
Kick ass?



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2019 09:11PM by john vanlandingham.
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Zach Gould
Zach Gould
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 20, 2019 12:59PM
I just changed my location, thanks for the heads up. If I do get into rallying (right now money is the biggest issue) it will just be for fun, and if I'm competitive for wins that will be a bonus.
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 20, 2019 04:15PM
Quote
Zach Gould
I just changed my location, thanks for the heads up. If I do get into rallying (right now money is the biggest issue) it will just be for fun, and if I'm competitive for wins that will be a bonus.

Gloovy..You're a mere 300 miles N or Justin..The money thing is always the big issue even for millionaire guys...That is why it's good to plan and plan a Plan B and C

One of my suspension customers told me in the Army they have a planning protocl they call PACE and its fawkin brilliant--you should do it..
It goes like this
Primary plan
Alternate plan
Contingency plan
Emergency plan

Adopt that. And make a rough outline--in pencil not on some fawkin phone or poncy spreadsheet..Pencil and Paper...
Goal
Budget
Skills set
Progress.

So get hold of Justin and start search for a victim car for cheap. No RUST!!!!!
If you can find one, I'll find you one.
You wanna get something so you can start familiarizing yourself with how it goes together...

You work on cars?
Can you read?
Can you MiG weld?



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

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CALL +1 206 431-9696
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is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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RALLYRS
Mike Ball
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 21, 2019 08:03PM
Quote
john vanlandingham
Depend really on what you want to do.

Clearly Volvo is a) MUCH cheaper to find a decent starter car of the model that works
b) Volvo is far easier to keep going being a much simpler design
c) Volvo is easier and cheaper to mod progressively into a better car as you can afford it and get better..

The E36 M3 with the 3,0 motor is nice because in one fell swoop you have gods of engine power. what is it 240 HP and 225 ft/lbs out of the box.. But those motors have catastrophic failures too often for my taste..

I any case what a Volvo initially may lack in HP it can easily be compensated for by its significantly lighter weight, and more importantly the easy of change ring and pinion ratio...Get the right 240 back axle and a NEW 4.88 ring and pinion costs only $128...still gotta put it in but even paying some truck place to set it up you'll still be thousands ahead on that one item...

Now does that file work?

In before the BMW guys show up.

John -I could’ve used that pie chart the other day when the topic of Volvos came up the other day on one of my other forums and some Einstein there was trying to argue with me that there’s no such thing as Volvo race cars/rally cars.

Even me posting some good Finnish and Swedish rally vids didn’t convince him. He said I was just cherry picking. Facepalm...

When I grilled him on how he gets his rally knowledge ...turns out everything really he knows he is from his TV.....he never saw a Volvo rallying on his TV so apparently I’m wrong.

Anyway I Pm ‘d you the other day John(I’m good now I was just trying to get some links or info from you to help me argue with this moron)..but your inbox is full.

Anyway to try and actually add something useful to this thread -if you can’t find 240s in your neck of the woods and don’t mind put the car on a car hauler -the craigslistings here in here in SoCal usually have pretty large selection of inexpensive rust free 240’s.

Yes I look at the cheap Older BMWs too-and they’re starting to get plentiful.
But they scare me. So many of them with blown head gasket ,cracked head or overheating(so probably both of the above).

Yeah I know the reasons why- BMWs have shit cooling systems and the people who are driving these older beater BMWs are not maintaining them so the head gaskets blowing and the heads cracking.

I guess its just a maintenance thing -but I just don’t see these types of persistent problems with the crusty old Volvo’s.



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culberro
Ronald Culberbone III
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 22, 2019 09:08PM
Quote
Zach Gould
Hello, I'm new here (been a lurker for a while) so hopefully my profile meets the rules.

My question is which of these two cars is better (cost and ease of repair) to start with. I know BMW has rally suspension and cage kits available from established sources, but what's out there for the Volvo? Are there any other good rwd options?

If "better" is just the initial cost and ease of repair, the Volvo 240 could edge out the e36 depending on where you live.

Where I live, a decent 240 that doesn't need every rubber part replaced and has less than 200K miles will cost about $2k-$3k for a good manual car. You can find completely roached out 240s for $500-1k, but they will need serious work to make them reliable enough for rallying.

A bmw e36 or e46 in similar condition with similar miles is usually within a few hundred dollars of the 240. Will probably need all the rubber replaced as well, but is arguably a bit easier for the average Joe to do. Some of the suspension bushings on a volvo are a real bear to replace.

Both cars require reinforcements so they'll hold up in rally. It's probably a wash time/effort between the two cars. The BMW might be a bit less work on the reinforements depending on how much stitch welding you have to do on the front end.

Performance wise, the BMW wins every time. More hp, more torque, WAY more caster in the front, better weight distribution. Ready to race they're both in the 2900-3000lb range without doing any effort to remove any weight from the cars. When you go all out, they can both get into the 2400lb range for race weight.

The BMW is a better handling car hands down. The volvo is not even in the same ball park.

The volvo can get there power wise, but it'll take a while and some money, and usually a turbo. That being said, a stock or slightly warmed over b230 will be in the 120-130hp range, and will last forever at that power level as long as it has oil. Adding caster and a little bit of camber is a $200 pair of strut mounts and some 2.5" coilover springs away, and will really help the car handle.

I really like Volvos, I DD a warmed over 244, I have a 244 v8 powered drift car, and I co-drive and do a lot of the prep work and performance work on this one:
OTR-yump by robert culbertson, on Flickr

Either car would be a great starter, but for growing room and overall performance... I think the edge goes to the BMW. If I didn't have 3 Volvos and a shop full of Volvo parts, I'd start with a e36 or e46 330.
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culberro
Ronald Culberbone III
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 22, 2019 09:31PM
More thoughts from the drove home:
The BMW has better brakes stock, better front wheel bearings and stiffer front spindles, better stock clutch (the Volvo clutch is marginal at best).

The bmw does have some issues with the diff. But using stock rubber mounts seems to keep the differentials from falling out of the car and from breaking stub shafts. There is always the mk3 Supra diff swap that Dave Clark has been doing.
Or you can get an e46 which has the larger diff already.

The Volvo rearend will be at risk breaking axles if it’s welded. We never had issues until we doubled the stock power though. Replacing the welded diff with a lunchbox locker eliminated the broken axle issues altogether.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2019 09:32PM by culberro.
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Vincent Gagnon
The same thing that I just wrote
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 23, 2019 11:23PM
Quote
culberro
Performance wise, the BMW wins every time... BLAH BLAH BLAH

Aren't you the guy who fucked for 10 years with a golf, to abandoned the project and went co driving?

Don't you think that means you are only qualified to give advice to people who want to fuck for ten years with a car and go co-driving?

...just a thought.



Ask for work.
If they don't give you work, ask for bread.
If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2019 01:18PM by Vincent Gagnon.
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Philippe Bellefleur
same as above
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 24, 2019 09:14AM
Yeah, what's up with the new account... you now sound like an expert!
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accentto
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 28, 2019 07:00AM
We bought a Volvo 242 in Reno Nevada, to build for classic forest rallying. ZERO rust. Had it shipped over to Perth in Scotland (via Panama Canal), and worth every penny.

That's how good they are.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 29, 2019 01:00AM
Quote
Philippe Bellefleur
Yeah, what's up with the new account... you now sound like an expert!

New account some arrogant bullshit and lies...like "only a few hundred more for a BMW"
The car that works is E36 M3....and they need lots of work on shell, suspension, diff and the cheapest 2-3 days ago when he was bloviating and making up shit the cheapest on Seattle Cragslist was a high miles automatic for $2800...then they jumped to high $6000s then mid $7000...

And pearls of wisdom "If you get a cheap one you'll have to replace all the hoses"...wow.

This guy exemplifies "The sin on Onan".



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

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CALL +1 206 431-9696
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is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Saab 96 V4



Re: BMW e36 vs Volvo 240
March 29, 2019 01:07AM
Quote
accentto
We bought a Volvo 242 in Reno Nevada, to build for classic forest rallying. ZERO rust. Had it shipped over to Perth in Scotland (via Panama Canal), and worth every penny.

That's how good they are.

Need a rust free 242 turbo? 2 door. Red...rare.. Can help with shipping...
Oh maybe ya din't notice but the one rule that all the nice guys go along with cause its sensible is we want a real full name and a real local location..Mainly so we can put people together with others who might be nearby...so where's ya at in bonny Scotland? we have one other Scot here occasionally, named "Danster" or Danny from just outside of Perth....old moto-cross loon like me.
If you're nearby I'll ask you to go round and pull his ear up and tell 'im to ship my junk he has in is shed. then buy ya a beer for doing me the favor. Whassis called? Spittalfield!!!
Wanna go by and say hi for me? just a few miles West of town..



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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