FAQs about Interiors

  • How can I rebuild the front seat wire grid?
  • Third seat installation instructions.
  • How to replace the headliner.
  • The switch lights up but my seat does not heat up, what's wrong?
  • Can I replace the foam in my driver's seat?
  • My power windows have gone wacky, any ideas?

  • How can I rebuild the front seat wire grid?

    Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1993 10:58:25 -0500
    From: memsthd@prism.gatech.edu (MIKE WILEMAN)
    To: davet@ksr.com, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: 240 Front seats revisited

    To David about rebuilding the front seat wire grid:

    If you're going to go to the trouble of rebuilding it, you might want to take the small additional effort and expense of obtaining some higher quality wire. I suggest going to a welding supply dealer and tell him what you're going to be using it for. Coat hanger wire is notoriously brittle. If you are able to obtain piano wire, this may also be good.

    I've never seen the springs in the seat, but you can probably install them using a drum brake spring tool (remember those, my brick is my first four wheel disk, well, sort of, car). You can pick cheap brake spring tools up for less than five bucks at your local chain auto parts store. My experience is that for tight work cheap tools are better than the heavier, higher quality tools because they are thinner and easier to work with in tight spaces. Plus you can buy five cheap ones for the price of one good one, which almost makes them as cost effective.

    Good luck and let us know how this turns out. The lumbar support in my seat is shot, and I've been thinking about changing it for a long time now, but it hasn't really bothered me enough to make it worth the effort yet.



    From: Mike.Sestina@east.sun.com (Mike Sestina - Sun BOS Hardware)
    Subject: Re: 240 Front seats revisited
    To: nessa@mentor.cc.purdue.edu (Vanessa M. Cook)
    Date: Wed, 27 Jan 93 16:54:06 EST
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    > How do you guys open the seat back?
    > I had all of these piercing clips, almost like staples, that held the
    > uphostery together. They were a BIG PITA to undo and redo.
    > Any tips?

    I have removed the upholstery on a few 240 seats. I found it easier to remove the seat and work at a bench. just cut those metal clips/staples in half and remove the pieces with needle nose. twist the lumbar knob full stop and it will begin to unscrew if twist further. hte plastic covers on either side at the seat back and bottom joint are just snap fit. the seat back upholstery slides off. and u have full access to the lumbar mechanism. Upon reassembly i used small wireties where the metal clips were previously they hold just as strong and do not rust. they are not noticible once the seat is installed

    Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 11:56:52 EST
    From: Dave Teichholtz <davet@ksr.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 240 front seats rebuilt!

    Well, thanks to Volvo-net, I have front seats that a human can actually sit on!

    It turns out that the wire mesh assembly which supports the seat cushions on the 240 front seats is a part which Volvo sells. With my discount, they cost $7.61 apiece. I was missing a few of the springs which hold the mesh in place, and a trip to the local hardware store found replacements.

    I pulled the seats out (about a 2 minute job) and brought them into the house where it was warm. The real problem is pulling the springs into position on sides of the grid. I made a tool out of a wire coat hanger that was simply a long piece of wire with a loop at the end. I would feed the loop under the wire mesh and onto the loop on the spring. Then I fed the end of the wire thru the hole of a flat pry bar. I locked a vice grip onto the wire on the other side of the hole. Then, when I placed the pry bar against the seat frame and pulled, (the seat frame is used as a fulcrum) the wire pulled the spring into position and the spring hook locked onto the wire mesh. I was surprised that it was so easy!!. Total time from start to end was a hour and a half!

    Now for my next question. The drivers seat cushion has a few rips and tears and worn spots on it. Volvo has quoted my a price of $132 for the cover. I am thinking of just buying a high quality Sheepskin for about $100 instead. Does anybody have a good source of Sheepskins for Volvo seats?


    David Teichholtz Kendall Square Research
    davet@ksr.com 170 Tracer Lane,
    (617) 895-9466 Waltham Mass. 02154-1379

    Women think men will change after marriage. Men think women won't. They're both wrong

    Return to the top of the

    3rd seat installation instructions.

    Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 16:33:53 EDT
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: 3rd seat installation instructions

    Ok, lemme first apologize for failing to respond sooner...

    [It has been a helluva Summer & I am just getting caught up from May, on a lot of things... :>( ]

    I have the instructions for the 3rd seat installation (it's in a number of languages... German, English, Swedish, French, Spanish, & Italian, I think) & it's applicable for all 700/900-series wagons. The version is: P 8 85 34 Feb91. (for those of you wishing to install one from a yard, in your car)

    It is well laid out & fairly easy to follow, with lots of very accurate pictures. The actual work took me under 4 hours to do & that was incl. taking my time, running to Sears to get the proper sockets/star-headed drivers (similar to a Phillips-head, but diff... can't think of the name, dang it), and having a Sam Adams.

    I will be glad to either mail a copy of this, or the entire thing, as long as I get it back.

    I just found it buried in the garage under some papers on a shelf.

    Please reply to me with your snail-mail address & phone number (if, you're in North America :>) & I'll get a copy of it to you, ASAP.


    Return to the top of the

    How to replace the headliner.

    Date: 30 Sep 1993 13:30:28 -0500
    From: "Ed Fair" <ed_fair@me.rochester.edu>
    Subject: replacing 745 headliner
    To: "volvo-net" <swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu>

    hello friends, i refurbished my 745 headliner this weekend. The procedure was not documented in my haynes, so i did it myself and thought some of you might like the poop.


    The main 745 headliner (as opposed to the sunroof headliner) is a contoured fiberglass form fitted to the ceiling of the car. Bonded to this form is a special headliner fabric which has a 1/4" foam rubber backing. As the car ages the backing disintegrates and the fabric separates from it. Certain chemicals, in my case carpet cleaner, :-( may speed this process.

    Replacement of the headliner is straightforward with only one exception: gluing the new headliner to the contoured form. Even for me this wasn't too bad; I consulted the household seamstress for directions.

    You'll need just a few things: phillips and slotted screwdriver, socket set (6" extension helpful but not mandatory), a little electrical tape, an egg carton for all the parts, new headliner material and adhesive, a pair of gloves, a wisk-broom (small hand-held broom). You'll need a large table to work on. Most important of all, you'll need at least three sets of hands to remove and install the headliner. These phases will both take about 15 minutes each.

    My replacement fabric cost $6.50/yard; I located it in the yellow pages. The spray-on adhesive was about $5.00. I used the entire can. (Kar Kare, 1-800-241-6271, 1-800-822-8742 in GA). Many colors are available to choose from, all were solid. I chose Oxford White to match the original color.

    Once the fabric is attached to the shell the headliner attaches to the body of the car in five places: a slot just above the windshield; a slot above the rear window; a clip above the courtesy lamps; and two plastic "screws" which are visible to the second-seat passengers.

    Detailed instructions follow:


    o Lower all the seats so that the cargo area is clear.

    o Remove the upper attachment for the third-seat seat belt if you have the third seat installed.

    o Remove the d-pillar trim. This prys straight off.

    o Remove the cargo lamp from it's recess by prying it out. Note the routing and attachment of the wires. When you reinstall the headliner you'll want all the exposed wiring in the same place. Carefully remove each wire, wrapping the exposed end of the wire with electrical tape.

    o Remove the trim around the cargo lamp. This large piece is secured by five exposed "plastic screws" and one additional "different kind of plastic screw" hidden in the cargo lamp recess. Once all six screws are removed the trim piece can be lowered.

    o Loosen the tops of the vertical B- and C- pillar trim. The tops of these pieces are secured by a screw, which is hidden by a round plug. Pry out the plug and remove the screw. Pull the top of the trim piece out about 1/2" -1".

    o Remove the trim from over the four doors. Each side has three pieces.

    o The middle one must be removed first. The grab-bars over the rear doors hide the main screws for this piece -- the grab-bars themselves are integrated into these trim pieces, so don't try to detach them. These grab-bars have a plastic piece about 1/2" wide and 8" long that must be pried out from the end to expose the screws.

    o The forward trim piece is also attached via screws hidden in the grab-bars. In my case the driver side had no grab bar but instead had two "blanks" covering the spots where the grab bar should've attached. Carefully pry these blanks out if you have them - mine cracked but were still usable.

    o The rearward trim piece is attached with plastic "push-ins" and metal clips. I started from the rear, pulling down until the first "push-in" gave way, at which point I could peer in and see the remaining push-ins and clips. It is necessary to use a slotted screwdriver to get the metal clips to release the trim piece.

    o Remove the courtesy lamp by pulling downward on the rear edge. Once it is free note the routing and attachment of the wiring; remove wire and tape the ends. Remove the two plastic pieces from the recess by squeezing inwards.

    o Remove the sun visors and the small hooks that hold the inbound edges of the visors.

    o Remove the rear view mirror. The screws for this are hidden by a trim piece surrounding it; This can be removed by sliding rearwards. (The screws for the mirror are not interchangeable with the visor's.)

    o Open the sunroof all the way. Note the orientation one o'clock, three o-clock, etc) of the hand crank and remove the single screw attaching it. Don't manipulate the crank hereafter.

    o Remove the trim piece surrounding the crank by removing the two screws securing it. Once the screws are loose slide this piece rearwards to remove it. Note how the front edge of this piece mates with the headliner.

    o Loosen the A-pillar trim piece at the top only by removing the exposed upper screw.

    o Remove the edging in the sunroof opening. There is a small metal clip that must be pried slightly to release it; thereafter the edging can be simply pulled off.

    o You might want to take a moment to look at things now, especially the sunroof area, the slot in the front where the headliner is seated, the slot in the rear where the headliner is seated, and the opening in the headliner where the courtesy lamp goes. In this opening you'll see a clip securing the headliner. This clip will become important.

    o Summon your friends. You get in the middle, via the rear doors. Remove the two exposed "plastic screws" by turning them 90 degrees and pulling them out. Slide the headliner back and forth to free the headliner from the clip in the courtesy lamp opening. Once freed, bow the headliner by pulling down on the middle section (use the courtesy lamp cut-out for a grip) until either the fron or the rear edge can be freed from it's seat. bow carefully and evenly - the headliner is rather fragile in the area surrounding the sunroof. Don't panic if it cracks, though, as these can be repaired. Once one edge of the headliner has freed drop that end down to release the bowing and free the other end, then guide the entire headliner rearwards out the hatch. You'll probably have to manipulate the A-pillar trim slightly to ensure safe passage. As you guide it out keep it flat to avoid cracking the fiberglass.

    o Lay the headliner down "fabric side up". Take a few minutes to look at the relationship of the fabric edges to the fiberglass edges, especially in the large opening for the sunroof. You should observe that the hole in the fabric is smaller than the hole in the fiberglass, i.e. there is a flap of loose fabric within the opening. Also, note the places where there are holes in the fabric and fiberglass. Once the new fabric is applied you'll have to cut these holes.

    o Clean the old fabric and it's backing from the fiberglass. I suggest you lay out newspaper and try to be as neat as possible, as the backing can be difficult to clean from a floor or driveway after it gets stepped on. To remove it thoroughly rub it off with your hand (use a glove) or use a wisk-broom, in either case supporting under the work, pressing down hard and scrubbing with a back-and-forth action. If the fiberglass begins to chip off back off some. It took me over two hours by myself to get it thoroughly clean. The quality of the final project depends upon completely removing the old material and backing.

    o Make any necessary repairs to the fiberglass at this point using the adhesive and a suitable splint. (I used the broken case of an audio tape.) Not all cracks need mending, just the ones that compromise the structural integrity of the fiberglass.

    o Lay out the new material on the fiberglass, squaring it up. Leave several inches of overhang over both ends.

    o Starting from the rear apply the fabric to the fiberglass. Don't try to do the whole thing at once - take two feet at a time, unrolling the fabric as needed. In my case the adhesive had to be sprayed to both fiberglass and fabric and allowed to sit for three minutes before applying the fabric. Keep the following points in mind for an excellent appearance:

    o As you apply the fabric you will be required to press down the fabric in order to make it bond. When you press down be careful to apply "even pressure", the lighter the better, just enough to bond the fabric to the fiberglass. If you apply too great pressure unevenly the foam backing will "compress", absorbing the adhesive, and will not "uncompress" and you'll have a streak in the fabric (it won't look too bad but will detract from the desired perfect appearance). The flatter and more even the pressure the better.

    o Draw an imaginary line down the middle of the fiberglass, from front to rear. You'll start in the rear; press down to bond the material to the headliner along the imaginary line, then work your hands out towards the edge of the fiberglass.

    o As you approach contours keep the fabric loose to allow it to fit into the deepest contours.

    o At all times ensure that the fabric remains square. Small deviations are easily corrected, but larger ones may not be so easy.

    o Keep the spray adhesive away from the visible side of the headliner material as it is difficult to remove.

    o You don't need a thick coating of adhesive to hold the relatively lightweight material on.

    o Allow the adhesive plenty of time to dry.

    o Trim the fabric as follows:

    o Along the front edge, allow a 1" flap. Fold this flap back over the headliner, gluing it down.

    o Inside the sunroof opening, allow a 4" flap. In other words, the hole in the fabric should be much smaller than the hole in the fiberglass. This flap is critical as it will be exposed and is required on all four sides of the opening.

    o For the other openings (visor, mirror, sunroof crank, courtesy lamp, cargo lamp, and "plastic screws") trim the fabric flush.

    o Summon your friends again. Guide the headliner back into the car. Bear in mind that the holes in the headliner for the "plastic screws" will have to line up with the holes in the ceiling. Route the courtesy lamp wires thru the opening in the headliner. You may now need to manipulate the A-pillar trim pieces to allow the headliner in. Simultaneously guide the headliner into it's seat over the windshield and it's clip in the courtesy lamp recess. Slide the headliner as far forward as it will go, then bow the middle down, route the cargo area wiring, and ensure that the rear edge of the headliner finds it's seat. As it finds it's seat relieve the bow and you'll be able to slide it slightly forwards and rearwards - make sure that the headliner stays within the clip and it's seats, and that the holes for the "plastic screws" stay aligned. Finally, re-insert the "plastic screws", turning 90 degrees to lock them in place.

    o Re-attach the edging to the sunroof opening by folding the flap of fabric over the edge and pressing the edging over. Work the edging completely around the opening, ensuring the fabric remains taut. When complete, be sure to crimp the metal clip down.

    o Reverse the removal procedures to complete the task.

    Return to the top of the

    The switch lights up but my seat does not heat up, what's wrong?

    From: Mike.Sestina@east.sun.com (Mike Sestina - Sun BOS Hardware)
    Subject: Re: Heated Seats
    To: whackwor@hawking.nhgs.tec.va.us (Andrew Hackworth)
    Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 15:11:52 -0500 (EST)
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Andrew Hackworth writes:

    > Hi all. As the cold winds begin to blow in the east, I have begun
    > to wonder about the status of my '87 240 Gl's heated seats. When
    > purchasing the car used, we had it checked out by a Euro-specialist who
    > could not determine whether the heated seats were functional. The
    > illuminated switches light up, but neither passenger or driver's seat seem
    > to gain any warmth. I was under the impression that both the heating pads
    > were only activated by weight in the seat and a thermostat, making it
    > difficult to distinguish electric heat from body heat. Do others with this
    > option feel a noticeable amount of heat, or is it just a weak boost?
    > Thanks, and enjoy warm seats.

    I believe 200/700 seat heater are similar...

    check for continuity with an ohmmeter between the two leads into the seat on a day the temp is below 60 deg F. If open circuit, either a seat heater wire is broken, spade plug disconnected from the thermo, or thermo is defective. thermo is easily accessible in lower seat pad. check also u have 12 volts at the connector

    for more heat upgrade the thermo but I wouldn't recommend much higher then 110 F (hot tub temp) else you'll melt the heater pad webbing and seat foam

    here's my posting on thermos from awhile back


    u may recall some months or so ago I was looking for an alternate source for the rather pricey Volvo seat heater thermostats. I discovered Volvo OEMs from Elmwood Sensors, Pawtucket, RI their model 2450 button thermostats rated for open at set point ~90-97 degrees F. But Elmwood would only sell to me in quantities of hundreds... I don't own that many Volvos!

    anyway found a reasonably priced 2nd source who offers an exact replacement part IMHO of higher quality then the Elmwood part.

    Selco Products
    7580 Stage Road
    Buena Park, CA 90621
    1 800 229 2332
    1 800 257 3526 (order #)

    They advertise in NASA Tech Briefs magazine. I've tried their stock 1/2 inch disc thermos model OA, they match all the physical and electrical characteristics of the Elmwood and are available in temp increments of 10 degrees. I tried a few different models between 90 to 120 and found that open at 110 deg F temp to be much more comfortable heat thru the sheepskin covers I have on my 240s, your mileage may vary. specify your choice temp range for the OA model and ask for thermos _without_ bracket so they fit the mounting holder in the lower seat heater pad.


    '84 264 diesel M46 259,xxx miles
    '81 245 petrol M46 248,xxx miles

    Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 13:52:19 -0700 (MST)
    From: Joe Rosse (Joseph.Rosse@colorado.edu)
    To: Andrew Hackworth (whackwor@hawking.nhgs.tec.va.us)
    Cc: SWEDISHBRICKS@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Heated Seats


    This is a common problem. Most of the time the problem is broken or disconnected wiring at or near the thermostat. You need to remove the cover on the seat bottom, peel it back, and check the exposed wiring. Adding some slack to the wires may help avoid a relapse. The job's not hard, but for my money (at least with 240s), it's easier to remove the seats.

    BTW, my sense is that heaters are more effective with cloth seats than vinyl (I have no idea about leather); adding an extra seat cover (I have ipd's covers) will certainly reduce the warmth.

    P.S. The heaters are activated by the switch and thermostat, not by any weight sensor.

    Joe Rosse
    College of Business
    University of Colorado at Boulder

    Return to the top of the

    Can I replace the foam in my driver's seat?

    From: Kekenj Jim
    To: "'Swedishbrick'"
    Subject: Seat Foam Breakdown
    Date: Mon, 04 Dec 95 11:21:00 EST

    The driver's seat in my '87 240DL is in sad shape, it use to be very comfortable. The backrest is twisted (sagging on the inner side). I think the frame is cracket. The fome is broken in the backrest (can feel steel frame through cloth), and a lot of fome particles have fallen out of the seat.

    1. Has anyone removed and rebuit or had proffetionally rebuilt these seats?

    2. If one was to attempt a rebuild on the seat, are there any recommended procedures and type and quality of foam to be used?

    3. Can the frame be welded and strengthened so as not to break again?

    Jim Kekenj
    Hamilton, ON. CAN.

    Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 12:00:43 -0700 (MST)
    From: Dave Black
    Subject: Re: Seat Foam Breakdown
    To: Kekenj Jim
    Cc: "'Swedishbrick'"

    Jim, I had the same problem some time ago on my '83. The lumbar support was broken, causing a huge 'hole' in the seat back. I ordered a new support from IPD, and that took care of it. A similar condition existed in the seat bottom. IPD also sells a new bottom support. I replaced this, and now the seat is in very good shape, except for the cloth exterior. Seat covers are next!

    '83 244dl 156kmi

    Return to the top of the

    My power windows have gone wacky, any ideas?

    Subject: Re: Window switches
    Date: Mon, 18 Dec 95 06:45:46 PST
    From: glenn@alldata.com (Glenn Thompson)
    To: woof@ott.hookup.net
    CC: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The contacts get dirty on the electric window switches, pop them out of their holder then remove the rocker part of the switch with small screwdriver. Take some emery paper or knife and clean the small contacts of the switch. Put it back together and plug it in to try before remounting. The window switches are prone to doing this and cleaning sure beats buying a new switch which would be the alternative fix. That's why playing with the switch gets the window to finally work, the switch is not really bad, just dirty and in need of a cleaning.


    The power windows on my 760 Turbo have gone wacky. The one of the rear windows goes down but not back up, certainly not a desireable feature in the current prevailing weather conditions here in the east. Both the driver's switch and the remote switch go dead. Any ideas?? (BTW, If you sit and happily fiddle with the switch for twenty minutes, it eventually goes back up.) TIA.....

    Subject: Re: Window switches
    Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 16:02:34 -0500 (EST)
    From: "Richard Stessel (CE)"
    To: volvo mailing list

    Depending on the locale of the original poster of the question, I would wonder about using emery cloth or a knife. I don't know about window switches; my comment is based upon other electrical contacts. However, often these kinds of contacts are plated. Er, very thinly plated. A bit of a scratch on the plating, and corrosion accelerates. I suggest first trying contact cleaner. If that doesn't work, get a pencil eraser and apply that. I think the rule, unless you're dealing with major knife switches, is "gently, gently."


    Rich, who now goes back to %^&*( grading.

    * Richard Ian Stessel, Ph. D., P. E.   * Everything    ======= o
    * Associate Professor                  * eventually    |Solid|/
    * Dep't of Civil & Environmental Eng'g * becomes       |Waste|
    * stessel@sunburn.eng.usf.edu          *               |_____()

    Subject: Re: Window switches
    Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 12:56:30 -0500 (EST)
    From: V093P9MD@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
    To: Mailing list Volvo

    My '84 240 had the same problem. It turns out that part of the problem is not just corrosion due to the elements, but also carbon deposits formed by the arc formed then the contact is closed. The first time I repaired the switches I cleaned then very gently. Afterwards they still did not work. My dad then took one, and ground the tip of the contact (the stationary part) until there was no more sign of pitting (apparently the carbon, and pits insolate... thereby preventing proper operation). Now this switch works perfectly. I guess I have to go and remove all the other switches again, and re-do them.

    The moral seams to be that is the car is older, and the contacts are corroded so far that gentle cleaning won't work... use the slightly more brute force technique. So I might make it easier to the switches to corrode. Personally I am not worried. It took them 11 years to get bad. If they last an other 4, I'll be happy.

    Happy Swedish Motoring,

    Return to the top of the