KdL Automotive Volvo onderhoud voor youngtimers en klassiekers Middelbeers Brabant

A new oldie has arrived: ’78 Volvo 244 DL automatic

Two months ago I sold my good old 1986 Volvo 240 DL after Kevin and I restored the car. I didn’t want to sell the car for any price, but only when someone was interested in it and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Someone did, and the car was gone. Since it was a very nice car (after the restoration), and the ’84 740 GL was also sold a couple of months earlier I only had the V70 and the 740 GLE of my girlfriend here on the pavement. Not a classic car anymore, and after a while you’re going to miss a 240. So I decided to buy a 240 when a nice one or a good hobbycar would appear on the web. It’s a pretty good time to buy a nice 240 for a pretty low price since the Dutch government changed the tax-status of the oldies in the Netherlands, and it appeared most Dutch classic car owners doesn’t give **** about the car, but only about driving around without paying any tax. That’s why the Volvo 200- and 700-series are dropped a lot in price.

On a Dutch forum a pretty cool 1978 Volvo 244 DL automatic with 264 bignose front, 244 GL/GLE 1979/1980 H4 headlights  and 246 back lights was posted as an advertisement. The ad said the car was only running on LPG (didn’t work on gasoline) and wasn’t running well. The owner didn’t have a clue what the problem with the car could be and didn’t want to spend any money or time on the Volvo 244 DL since this car should pay about 100 Euro per month on road taxes in 2014.

Volvo 244 DL with 264 front headlighs headlamps grille bignose
My new old Volvo 244 DL automatic with 264 bignose front (click on the image for a large version)


I preferred a 240 of 1986 or later since these cars are slightly better protected against rust, are equipped with the AW71 automatic gearboxes (which have an overdrive, so it’s basically a 4-speed transmission) and also have better seats. But the old type dashboard is much nicer I think. So I couldn’t resist to have a close look and a testdrive on the ’78 244, so Kevin and I went to the even more Southern part of the Netherlands (I already live at the Southern part of the Netherlands, but the 244 DL was standing almost in Germany) and we agreed with the seller to perform a compression test to be sure the B21A engine didn’t have a big problem (the owner said the car was running pretty poor and slow). Kevin tested the compression but already noticed one spark plug was completely worn. The compression was pretty good on all cylinders: 2 cylinders had 9,5 bar and 2 cylinders had 8.5 bar. It’s good enough, but it’s pretty strange that one spark plug was broken. And it appeared the car didn’t get any maintenance the last couple of years. But the suspension feels pretty good, just like the brake system. So I bought the 244.

Problems of this Volvo 244

The 244 was indeed pretty slow with the broken spark plug (it runs on 3 cylinders and on 4 cylinders when the engine was running at 2.000rpm or higher), so after getting home I bought new spark plugs right away and changed them immediately. Problem solved: the B21-engine was running excellent and on all cylinders now! There was only one new problem: the engine was getting too hot! After the drive to my home (which was about 75 km) the car didn’t had any overheating-problems but now it had. After bleeding the cooling system the engine needed almost 2 litres of coolant, which is a lot. The compression is ok, the thermostat is also fine and all hoses seems to be good too. No sludge on the oil cap and gauge rod, and since the compression of the engine is pretty good the head cylinder gasket seems fine. The heater core radiator doesn’t seem to have any leaks, just like the normal radiator. The hoses of the heatervalve seems brand new and doesn’t seem to leak, so I need a close look why the car consumes coolant or if there is a small leak hidden somewhere in the cooling system.

volvo 244 DL 264 bignose front 1978 dls look b21 automatic volvo 244 dl 1978 240 sedan saloon blue 200-series 260
The bignose front of the Volvo 244 DL is looking pretty cool (click on the images for a large version)

The steering system seems also to have a problem, but it isn’t very big: there is some minor play on the steering wheel, so I think a ball joint or steering joint is worn. A pretty simple and easy fix. There is some minor rust on the car: on the bottom of the door, front fender and a small dent just above the trim on the rear fender. The sills, wheel arches and spare wheel containers already have been replaced and repainted (it’s done professionally and is looking pretty nice).

volvo 244 dl dls 264 look back boot trunk taillights light rear
The Volvo 244 also has the rear lights of a 264

Since the car is maintained pretty poor, I will give the car an overhaul on a very short term (probably next week). And since the car is running only on LPG and the new regulations for oldtimers here in The Netherlands the car needs to be running on gasoline. I will fix that also as soon as possible, and the LPG-system will be removed by Kevin (who is now specialised in removing LPG systems).

Specifications of my Volvo 244 DL

Here is some info of my Volvo 244 DL:

  • Modelyear: 1978
  • B21A engine
  • BW55 automatic gearbox
  • color code: 121 Aleutian blue (also known as Medium blue)
  • blue velours / plush upholstery
  • the car has run 283.000 km
  • power steering
  • rear headrests
  • excellent Goodyear tires on standard 14-inch wheels with chrome rings
  • a classic car trader removed the front electric windows, and now the car only has rear electric windows (pretty weird)
  • bignose front with 244 GL/GLE 79/80 headlamps (H4, not the 264 H1-versions) and rear lamps of the old type 264


volvo 244 264 look back sedan saloon blue dl dls profile volvo 244 dl 1978 264 front parking 240 260 series sedan saloon

I might sell the car at the end of this year: I was planning to sell my V70 since I like a 240 a lot, but with these small problems I don’t want to use this 244 as a daily driver. The problems are simple and small, but I Always want a daily driver that is in perfect condition and doesn’t have strange problems. So a V70 seems a better choice as a daily driver (but if someone is interested in the car, I might sell it after all). I’m also looking for a new house, and when the new house is having a garage I will keep the car. But first things first: get this 244 in a much better condition.

One Response to “A new oldie has arrived: ’78 Volvo 244 DL automatic”

  1. BlueVolvo244 says:

    Hi when are you putting hybrid 244/5 up for sale?

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