84 volvo wagon 245


Above is a link that describes my new problem. I currently drive only short distances in 2ND gear. I just recently got my license back and want to take my kids camping real soon in my new car but The guy I bought it from lied to me. Oy. I can’t shift while driving. Clutch seems to work as the vehicle won’t stall out when I stop at stop signs. I choose second gear to stay in as it gets me going faster than 1st while third makes a smell and takes forever to get going… I got access to a garage with a pit in seattle next week, what should I do. ???

1984 wagon 245 stick shift with push button overdrive button top center of shifter

Offhand, it sounds like the clutch is going out. You might set the park brake, shift into 3rd gear, and rev the engine a bit while letting the clutch pedal out and holding the foot brake also. The engine should die instantly and yes, I’m aware this procedure makes it seem like you need 3 feet. :slight_smile:

If the engine revs a bit the clutch is slipping and doing those 3rd gear starts is probably finishing it off.

This description is very confusing to me, and I have done a lot of work on old Volvos… It sounds like the clutch is engaging and disengaging OK, but you cannot shift once the car is moving but you can shift and start in any gear you choose while the car is not moving?

Even if the synchros are toast (as I presume they are), you should be able to shift with or without the clutch with just a little finess on the throttle once the car is moving.

I am guessing that when you pull the drain plug in that transmission, the oil will come out as a sparking river of gold-colored sand.

These transmissions cannot be repaired because Volvo transmission parts are cost-prohibitive. The only solution is a junkyard transmission, which will set you back several hundred dollars. A junkyard tranny should come with a 90 day warranty.

Be careful. That tranny is surprisingly heavy. I can hold a Toyota tranny with one hand while I start the bolts with the other, but this is a two man job unless you are stronger than I am.

The smell when starting in 3rd is from the clutch, which is probably slipping. I think you need a new clutch. Not just a clutch plate but all new parts, throw out bearing etc. You should examine the fly wheel carefully and resurfacing it would be good.

The transmission not shifting could be the clutch dragging, or could be an internal transmission problem. Drain the transmission fluid and examine it. If it is full of metal shavings, not a good sign. If it looks OK, you might just do the clutch job and see how the tranny works with fresh fluid.

Since you have to pull the tranny to do the clutch, try to evaluate the transmission’s condition before you do the clutch job. No use pulling the tranny twice if you can avoid it.

Do you have a clutch cable or a hydraulic clutch system? My information indicates it could be either.

If you have a clutch cable the adjustment may have slipped. There is a friction piece that may have gotten tired and has allowed the cable sheath to slip closer to the release lever not causing the clutch to fully disengage. One suggestion the source recommends is to set up the clutch pedal free play and then lock the cable sheath from moving by tightening a small hose clamp to the cable sheath abutting the friction piece – the adjustment and clamp location are under the car at the bell housing. Clutch lever play should be 2.5 - 3.5 mm at the lever. Sorry no pedal play specification.

If you have a hydraulic system that is not adjustable. You may be just low on fluid; the system needs to be bled; or the master cylinder is leaking internally not allowing full disengagement of the clutch.

You could also have a binding pilot bearing for the input shaft at the crankshaft. These work in a hot enviornment; loose their grease; and collect clutch dust causing them to drag. If you change the clutch, you might just replace this prophylactically

Hope this helps.

I am now able to shift from 2ND into 3rd while driving. I will check thereabouts fluid later this week and answer the good questions…

Is that you on the hood when it was new? :wink:

That’s my oldest son.

I saw the discolored hood, and guessed it was a recent picture. Cute kid! I don’t know if you can afford it, but he would be a lot safer in a modern car. Any modern car.

In response to Researcher - It uses a cable. The cable is designed to self-adjust, but that function does not work too well unless everything is clean and perfect.

jtsanders - don’t you be ‘diss’in’ our bricks! They were the safest thing on the road in their day, and I would still confidently put the safety of a brick against anything short of stability control and side curtain air bags, and not all cars have those things even today.

@Manolito, the only thing your brick has going for it is that it is big. Does it have modern, engineered crumple zones? What about enhanced side structure to prevent intrusion if t-boned? I agree that it was about as safe a car as was available in the 1980s, but car safety has come a long way since then. Maybe bscar2 will provide his video where a Volvo like this loses big time when it collides with a smaller, modern car.

“Clutch seems to work as the vehicle won’t stall out when I stop at stop signs”

Understand that in addition to allowing you to disconnect the engine from the transmission, the clutch also should enable you to make a solid connection between the engine and the transmission. The fact that the engine doesn’t stall at stop signs does not mean that the clutch is good.

Having read the whole story, I’d bet lunch that your clutch is shot AND either you have problems with the parts that allow engagement (the release fork, the throwout bearing and/or the pressure plate) and perhaps the cable system between the pedal and the release fork.

As regards the “better car” coomments, the heart is in the right place but it has been my experience that people driving '84 Volvos are not doing so because it’s their preferred vehicle. They’re doing so because it’s what they can afford.

Besides, a good driver in an '84 Volvo is far safer than a drinker, texter, newspaper-while-driving, or meal-on-the-steering-wheel driver anyday. I could list 50 types of drivers that are unsafe no matter what they’re in. There’s nothing inherantly unsafe about an '84 Volvo.

@jtsanders I clearly remember magazine ads from the 80s advertising the engineered crumple zones and enhanced side structure for t-boning.

I’m not sure if the ads showed a 740 or a 240, though.

This is an image of me and my Volvo 244 1975 after a bit of fun. As you see, there is a substantial bar across the doors. And, yes they had crumple zones also. And they also had them in the old 142/144 series from the sixties. Btw. both doors on that side could still be opened and closed. That is 23 years and 40 pounds ago. Those were the times when you could have some fun.


I too am starting to look less like Asterix and more like Obelix

I certainly hope you know what I’m talking about, considering your chosen screen name

Ahh - umm. I’m still a few pounds short of Obelix, but both Budweiser and Tuborg makes a good potion. Unfortunately, Budweiser over here is only a sorry excuse of the real deal.

“king of beers”

Front and rear energy absorbing crumple zones - Yes decades before any American car had them. It is also designed to use the mass of the whole drive train in conjunction with the crumple zones to absorb energy so the passenger compartment is not exposed to so much impact in the event of a front or rear collision. That is why the drive shaft does not telescope in spite if the fact that this model does not have independent rear suspension.

Enhanced side structure - Yes. If you take the door panels off, you find heavy gauge 2" tubing in the doors that interlock with the body when the door is closed to prevent side intrusion.

Passenger compartment fully enclosed in a cage - Yes Remember the ads where they stacked a half dozen Volvos on top of each other, or put a 30’ straight truck on the roof of a Volvo sedan? The caption was “How well does your car stand up under heavy traffic?” The ads also showed Volvos smashed all the way to the windshield and the rear window, drive train ripped completely free of the car, with almost zero deflection to any part of the passenger compartment, and the doors still opened…

What it does not have is great handling, stability control, or side curtain air bags. Passengers do not fare well in a side impact, not because of intrusion, but because of the violent sideways acceleration. The car is not likely to collide with anything sideways though, because it tends to understeer when you loose control. That is, if it leave the road, it will generally lead with its nose, so its front crumple zone will take the impact of whatever it hits.

In fairness, there are a LOT of cars out there today that don’t have great handling, stability control, or side curtain air bags.

So what did the other guy look like after that fight? Gotta admit I’ve never seen a Volvo in a demo derby before. Best I ever saw was a guy in a 60’s Ford Fairlane. Nothing left of it and crunched into a V but just kept on going. I think he was probably a little sore the next day.