The circle is from the last time I wiped dust off the car. Poor car. My boss has done a lot of woodworking in here since I parked it, so it's actually abnormally dusty in the warehouse. Hopefully it's not always like that.
On Sunday I spent an hour or so stripping all the undercoating off the headlight buckets so they can be sandblasted in preparation for POR15. I used a heat gun and scraper, followed by scrubbing in a parts washer. This was the last hurdle preventing me from rustproofing the front end of the car, now all the smaller parts can be sandblasted. Then I just have to prep the car itself and the fenders/grille.
So then the next big thing blocking my progress is the hulk of a car body hogging up my workspace. I just want to saw 4 things out of it. The rear suspension mounting points, the center bearing hanger, and the transmission tunnel. Here's my buddy Martin holding the car up. It is surprisingly light in this condition, we just lifted it easily.
Next I started on the rear suspension. I tried to be clever with this, which is why there are a ton of ugly cuts. We used a battery powered sawzall with a 10 inch blade, and an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. It went pretty fast.
Once we had the driver's side out we could see easily how to cut it out with the least hassle. So to get access to the passenger side mount, Martin kicked the car over. he also wanted to drop it from a forklift but I'm not done with it yet. I made a movie of him kicking it over, was fun. Yes we were listening to trance. He's a rave kinda dude and has a huge stereo in the warehouse. I don't know why there is a giant INDIANAPOLIS sign in here.
After that, we cut out the other side, and my sawzall batteries were done. Since I have to recharge before doing the tranny tunnel, we just left it upside down, put it back on dollies and rolled it back into my slot. I'll cut that out tomorrow.
So in the end, I don't actually know if any of this will weld into my car, but I can at least use it all for templates to do custom stuff otherwise. Especially the rear axle mounts. I would so much rather modify the car body to accept the late model trailing arms than to modify them, even though modifying the arms will be easier. I just don't think the mounting scheme is as strong, and I'm eventually going to be putting 300 or so HP through it. Anyway, I'll cross those bridges when I come to them.
It's been a fun week.
06-24-2010, 12:23 AM
Alright, another update. I started really cleaning up and sanding the front end this week, starting with the body. It should be ready for POR soon.
This is a bit of a problem. I'm not looking at the sanded joint here, but the brake fluid that's worked its way into the body joint and is running down the fender well. My clutch cylinder reservoir is completely empty, and this is where the fluid went. I was already planning a slave cylinder rebuild but now it looks like the culprit is up top. This also means more paint work on the firewall, and I have to be super careful to not let this joint corrode from the inside out. The clutch fluid is most certainly removing any metal protection from it.
Ugh, there's a rubber strip here to seal against the body right in front of the door. Well, apparently the rubber sealed any water that got forced in, inside the joint and held it there. This is the worse of the two. I'm just hoping a wire wheel and some POR will hold it for a few years until I can hot tank and media blast the whole car.
The underside of the actual fender joint isn't bad either, just surface rust. Although it looks like they put the body together as bare metal and then just sealed the joint from each side after assembly. Of course when the joint was compromised at the front, it rusted in there.
Then I moved on towards stripping the P1800 cross member. I'm just swapping the brake rotors for now, but I want all the rest of the pieces for a full front end rebuild later. I don't need any of these pieces though, the ball joints all have cracks in the rubber and the steering box has tons of play in it. And who needs a stock sway bar?
I'm going on vacation next week so it'll be after the 4th before I do another update.
07-19-2010, 04:30 AM
So vacation was great, my kid made me proud by catching the biggest fish of the weekend. I'm not even a fishing dude, I slept in while my buddies took her out on the lake and she showed 'em up. 8 years old and her first fish was an 18 inch trout. Ignore the scissors, they were just using them for a handle on the line. Next she discovered that she likes eating it. Ah, youth.
So since my return, I decided that the leaking clutch master has got to go. So I took it off, tore it all down, and cleaned it up in the solvent tank. Here's what I started with after initial cleaning:
Looking down the reservoir, this had a thick black gunk in it. It appeared to be something dissolved into the fluid, might have just been aluminum corrosive remnants or something. Anyway, I cleaned it all out.
Then I honed it out with some scotch brite in a drill press. It's hard to see but the bore was super smooth afterwards, and measured exactly the same diameter. Still more pitted than I'd like, but good enough for now I think. We'll see how long it lasts.
So I decided to paint the master cylinder after sandblast, black to match the brake cylinder (also black paint was available and free). This is also the rebuild kit, 4 rubber pieces and a small wave washer. I already assembled the smallest rubber piece and wave washer onto the plunger, so here's the picture.
It was at this point that I learned that I ordered the wrong slave cylinder rebuild kit, as there were two sizes possible and I thought I measured it correctly, but it turns out I didn't. So that's on order, and I'm done with the clutch stuff for now. After that I didn't feel like digging in to body rust, so I just worked on tearing down the donor car front suspension. I got all but one lower control arm freed from the cross member.
I then laid the 1800 cross member onto my T5 motor just to begin figuring out the mounting. First thing I notice is that it looks like the suspension is just barely wide enough to handle this motor, we'll have to see how it flushes out with the alternator and serp belt routing. It'll definitely need a custom exhaust manifold to set the turbo up high.
Next thing is that the lower control arms are definitely going to force the motor more rearward than I think I'd like, but that pan can be notched if needed. It'll just mean that suspension work will be a bit of a pain, but I may want the motor set that far back anyway. It's already in the plan to cut clearance into the firewall, I'm just not sure how much. I'm still working on overall front/back placement. And again, the motor stuff is just for long term planning fun, I'm still not doing it for another year or so.
The sad part is that I just got new insurance cards for this car, meaning I've owned it for a year and have only put 100 or so miles on it. :( I gotta get it back on the road. I definitely didn't plan for things to move this slowly.
Anyway, that's about 2 weeks of sporadic car fun wrapped up in one update.
07-19-2010, 11:31 AM
There are at least 3 different sizes of both clutch master and slave cylinders. Not sure all were furnished on Volvos but they are out there now. Be sure and look at or measure the bore before ordering parts! (Most have the size cast on the outside.) This MAY provide the opportunity for an overbore to next larger size, but I have not tried that yet.
07-19-2010, 12:19 PM
Nice fish - cool kid!
Brake/clutch cylinders - if you don't want to go new (recommended) skip the hone job and bore the cylinder to accept a pre-selected sleeve then bore the sleeve to original ID and use the correct rebuild kit assembled in the correct order.
If the cylinder has ANY visible imperfection it will eventually leak.
07-20-2010, 01:45 AM
Yeah, once I had the cylinder out I was able to accurately measure it. The problem with overboring to the next size is that you'd also need a piston, which doesn't come with the rebuild kits.
I wrestled with whether or not to buy new cylinders, but since I already bought the rebuild kits, I went for it. Also in the mix is that my home a/c compressor died this month, and so did my washing machine. $$$. I'll just watch for leaks and if it only lasts a few thousand miles, that'll still be several years on this car. Do not underestimate the fine precision of my honing. :D
07-20-2010, 11:52 AM
In my case since I have several different sizes I figure I can bore two and sleeve one and have 3 good ones!
08-02-2010, 02:11 AM
More updating, I've been getting in a few hours a week now with some regularity. I tore down the rest of the front and rear suspension from the parts car and boxed them up.
I test fitted the wheels on the rear axle, with spacers this assembly is only 3/4" narrower than stock from inside to inside of tire. I know I have more than 3/8" play on each side, so I should be fine with this setup. I'm pretty happy that it's so close.
I set about grinding down the rust and prepping it for POR. For some reason in all these pictures the rust still looks red, but when I look at it in regular light it looks black. Either way, it's been ground down with a nylon abrasive wheel and is ready for POR.
This kinda ticks me off, the prep work for the previous paint job sucked. Someone put silicone in this joint, and then they painted over it. So just removing it lightly with my finger removed the paint from the corner. Ah well, it's mostly covered by turn signal trim anyway.
Even though I decided to wait to start on the grille section, I felt like I was forgetting something at this point. I couldn't put my finger on it so I figured it was just the grille section and I put everything away. Then it hit me, the headlight buckets were in the trunk all sandblasted and ready to go. Ah well, next time.
I hope to have the front end bolted back together with the car running by the end of the month.
08-02-2010, 11:33 AM
What are your plans for the single-circuit brakes?
08-03-2010, 02:48 AM
Plans are to use them for now but no more than the next thousand miles or so, and I'm mileage restricted by my insurance anyway so that'll be a couple years, and I'll find some time in there to do the conversion to dual circuit. That will be dependent on getting the emergency brakes adapted and working in the new axle as well. That shouldn't be too hard, I just have to put a couple of cable end brackets on the floor of the car, but I definitely don't like being completely dependent on the single circuit.
08-13-2010, 01:17 AM
48 pics in this update and the car STILL isn't done! Hehe. Take a breath and grab a drink, this is a big one. (that's what she said)
I left off with the headlight buckets. I started playing fast and loose with the POR as evidenced by the mess I left on the cardboard. I'm really glad these were in good shape, because this represents about $250 if I buy new replacements.
Next I laid a ton of POR on all but the front face of the grille section, including a small ring around the headlight, but smaller than the chrome ring. I did get a few runs on to the grille rim but I wiped them back to where they'd only show with the grilles out. And with that, my painting was done and it became time for reassembly!
I forgot to take pictures, but the last two pieces to get POR were the battery clamp and the radiator top support. New stainless nuts for the clamp, and a new negative cable. As you all know, the car's stock setup was just a braided negative that screwed to the body right there next to it, where I have the tiny extra wire going. So now it's got a 4GA line right to the block, as it should. Also, optima madness.
I spent about a half hour lining this all up, and it's not quite there but good enough. As good as I can make it anyway. For example, the top gap on the passenger side is slightly larger than on the driver's side. I kinda wish I'd banged on it a little more, and understood better how it all fit together while it was apart. I'll have whoever does the full restoration bang it into compliance when I can afford it in a few years.
The hood naturally falls a tiny bit to the left, but the latch should fix that. Also, the color mismatch is just that I worked with the fenders so I had to wipe all the dust off. The hood still has a year's worth of dust on it.
This was all bent up and covered in overspray and dirt and grease. I forgot to take a before picture, but I pounded it flat, scrubbed it in the solvent tank, and rubbed it down with steel wool to turn it back into this. Then I greased it.
New hardware for the hood release was also included. In fact, the only hardware the kits I bought didn't come with were the 4 bolts that hold the upper radiator support on. I'll be remedying that at some point.
Moving on to turn signal cups. I had to fit that fitting through that hole. I spent far too long on it when I had decided to use a punch and open it up. I asked my friend if he thought that was the right thing to do, and he said "I'd try grease first".
The turn signal rubber was extremely difficult to assemble, and this one ended up sticking just a little low in the center top. I'm going to let it sit a week and then try it again and see if I can't get it to line up better.
Then I tried to close the hood, and it didn't latch. Oh right, because the latch was all bent up and I straightened it! So I tried to adjust the hood pin. It was fused solid. I clamped the pin in the vise and put a breaker on the nut. Nothing. I put PB blaster on it and let it sit for half an hour. Then I hit it with an impact wrench. Nothing except it broke the nut off the main plate, it was just swaged together.
But have no fear, because... Sandblasters rule! I need to paint all this, and I'm going to paint the badge with the modern logo colors, and then polish the crap out of the metal outline and letters. Oughta look great!
The grilles are out, and my buddy is going to polish the rim and center bar for me. Here's his first test pass just to see if it'll do anything. I'll paint the mesh black I think, although I might not do that right away.
I like these pics better than the ones with the flash, because the color is more natural even though they're slightly blurry due to the long exposure. Also the POR is extremely glossy, and makes all kinds of weird reflections from the flash.
And gone! We had parts from at least 5 different cars in there, all scrap from projects here in the shop. It was amazing. A parted out Audi S4, the 940 I worked on earlier this year, my boss' motor home suspension, some bent Subaru suspension parts, and of course the throwaway parts from my T5 donor motor. With everything piled in the trunk, the tongue weight was just a few pounds off neutral, it was cool. The dude picked it up for free, and probably made a couple hundred bucks.
I had a huge surge of free time, and did all this over the last 10 days, with a huge push all weekend. Probably a good 30 hours of labor in this post. Some of which was spent helping my shop mates on their projects, and eating/drinking with them. Since I won't have much time to work on it this weekend, I decided there were too many pics piling up to delay an update. Remaining in this phase of the project:
New horn brackets/mount horns
Paint hood catch assembly
Wash a year's worth of dust off.
I still don't want to drive it because I need to undercoat all my joints from inside the fender, it's monsoon season here where it rains every day but you don't know when or where or if you'll get caught in it, and I just can't risk driving in it lest I cram some water into a joint and start this rust all over again. But I'll easily hit my goal of having it back on the road by the end of the month, and I'll enjoy it as best I can through Sept/Oct until winter hits. Then it's time to swap the rear end! (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!)
Yeah I watched a rerun of The Office just before writing this post.
08-13-2010, 10:13 AM
Once you retire and open your Classic Volvo Restoration Shop I'll dig up a bunch of old guys and their old Volvos dormant from "I was gonna...".
Did I see a rare steering wheel on that 122 parts car?
Any active VCOA people in your area?
08-13-2010, 10:53 AM
Not a rare steering wheel. That was a steering column out of a Chevy Blazer that the junk man threw in there as a gag. "I'll just drive it home!". It was an 1800, and I did save the full Smiths gage set out of it, which was in moderate condition. My dad used everything else for repairing a rusty 1800, and we have the whole interior, but it smells like mouse pee. Or it did 14 years ago when we got the car.
And yeah, the local VCOA chapter is pretty active, at least the FWD/R crew is. We had more Yellow 850Rs than 240s at the last GTG.
Hey maybe you old round fender nuts might know this: inside the fenders at the front and rear upper corners, they sealed the gaps between the fender and body with what appeared to be a large ball of putty. Is that putty still available or is there a modern product for filling large gaps like that? As it stands, if I spray undercoat in there it'll shoot into the engine bay and grille. It's all clean and prepped right now, I might just soak it all in undercoat and let water trickle in there, hopefully the only water this car sees is when I wash it anyway. But I want to do it right if it's out there.
08-13-2010, 12:27 PM
I use butyl body putty, sometimes also known as dum-dum. You can get it in rolls or strips at many parts stores, and I'm sure any place that sells automotive paint would have it.
08-13-2010, 03:42 PM
Seems to me that I've heard of a spray-in insulation that is ultra-light, paintable, dries instantly, seals/sticks to just about anything and is not degraded by fumes, chemicals, gasoline, etc.
I'll go ogle.
08-13-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks, I do have a very sizeable auto body supply shop local to me (they're where I got the seam sealer and POR). I'll go check and see what they have.
08-19-2010, 10:22 AM
On with more fresh paint! I painted all these pieces, I would have liked to do POR15 but my supply dried up in the gladware I had it in. So this is just regular paint. I also got a new stainless spring and I used a stainless cotter pin as the hinge, kind of an easy replacement for the smashed pin that it used before.
And, when I went to put it in I felt up above the flange where it mounts, but couldn't see. So I snapped a pic and figured the flash would be enlightening... looks like this is my next project, yank the hood and refinish this in here. And it looks like they put the letters on the front of the hood with liquid nails or something. Disappointing.
I thought this stuff would be less sticky than the butyl adhesive used on windows, but it appears to be exactly the same thing, just chopped into little bits. Kind of annoying because I already had some of the window adhesive so I wasted the money on this. But it is in convenient little 12 inch strips. I probably should have used it between the fenders, body, and grille instead of that foam tape.
And after! I noticed after I did this, that I could see light through the seam below the headlight. I'll add a little more butyl calk and put a second undercoat on there in a few days after this sets up.
And I drove it home tonight, it was really enjoyable. Although the temp gage doesn't go up more than 1/3 of the way, I'm worried that the new thermostat I bought is stuck open somehow. It's more likely that the gage is just reading incorrectly, as the car runs really nice. Tomorrow I'll pick up my little girl from her first day of the third grade in it, she should like that.
Oh, and I got the worst news of all, our building was not up to code for automotive work, and the fire marshall did a surprise inspection and basically shut us down. We did research and it'd take a huge investment ($50k or so) in HVAC to bring it up to spec, and that's a lot of scratch to spend just so we can have our cars in there, so my boss is choosing to kick us all out, including himself. Which means the car comes home and my wagon sits outside this winter. :(
Ah well, I'll enjoy the car for a bit and then start on the axles, maybe next month.
08-19-2010, 02:56 PM
Nice batch of photos ... especially the first one with a matching hood latch and wrench. :p
So yeah, it's that time again, what's it been a month? Two? Okay, split the difference. Anyway, with me losing the shop and lift access, I decided it was time to go all out and do the disc brake swap, as that was the only thing keeping me from really enjoying the car as it is - the way it looks and handles. Yes it's original and all that, but seriously, it leans over at ridiculous angles even with the fat sway bar, and the tires are like jelly. Right after my last post I pressure washed the 1800 transmission and axle.
Between my last post and now, the only thing I've done to the car is measure the rear end. I've been super busy, I went to Australia for a week, my parents came to visit, etc, etc. But this weekend I handed my daughter off to her mom and just worked on this project. This is the result of 6 solid days of working on the car for a few hours a day. Except Sunday, I worked 9 hours on it then.
Refresher: As the experts here know, if this car was a '67, it would already have the later style trailing arms, and this would have been the FIRST mod I did to the car, even before rust repair. But because it's a '66 I had to make custom trailing arms it took me a while to research exactly what needed to be done. By the way, thanks guys for the advice.
I pulled out the old style outer trailing arm from the car to measure it up. For the outer arms, I have to add a threaded end like the arm on the left. I sawed the end off already to measure the I.D. of the tube.
Then I bought 3/4" 4130 bar stock, and some 1" I.D. 4130 tubing from McMaster, along with some 1/2-20 nylon lock nuts and two of those large flanged washers. Total cost: $60 (the tubing came in a 6 foot length so it was $38 of that). I dropped the bar stock off with a local machinist who works for cheap and for $40 more I had these two days later:
While waiting for my friend who welds to stop fooling around all weekend with his girlfriend, I decided to install the front spindles. These are a direct swap, although they didn't measure out identical. The newer ones have a separate hub and brake disc, which is nice for resurfacing:
Then the disc install: This all went much harder than I planned, but in the end it worked out great. When I took the 1800 calipers off, I noticed they had a shim behind the mounting bolts. When I bolted the '66 calipers on the 1800 discs, the caliper hit the back side of the disc. I decided to try the shim, but to complicate things the bolt spacing is different between the 2 style calipers. So testing with only one bolt, I found that the shim was also needed on the older caliper. The old calipers had a lock plate used to bend over the hex of the mounting bolts that happened to also be a perfect shim. Since it broke when I un-bent it, rendering it useless as a bolt lock, I used it as a shim and put loctite on the caliper mounting bolts. Another reminder: The only reason I'm doing the fronts is because the bolt pattern is different on the disc rear axle, so now these match. When I later upgrade to the dual circuit brakes, I'll have to swap the entire steering knuckle for the later caliper mounting bolts.
Test fit! The upper trailing arm is what holds the axle in position front to back, the lower one resists rotation and also sets the pinion angle. Notice that I left the front joint un-welded for test fitting?
The slip joint allowed me to set the pinion angle and mark the trailing arm at the exact right length, when the axle was jacked up to my chosen ride height. I used a screw jack to lift the front of the diff housing, then used a protractor and a hanging weight to set the diff flange angle to match the transmission output flange angle. For the novice car customizers wondering why I did that, it's to prevent any u-joint created vibrations which can happen if your driveshaft output angle is different than its input angle. The crazy part is that I measured the old axle's position and estimated the length of this arm, and when I did this setup it came out to the EXACT SAME LENGTH that I estimated. Dang I'm good.
This is another thing I worked on while I had the car in the air, the E-brake linkage is about 6 inches shorter on the 1800 than the 122. No worries, I'll get a coupling nut and some allthread and extend it. It is just a threaded rod after all.
I had to bend the old brake lines to fit the calipers, as I don't want to mess up the dual circuit brake lines which I'll adapt in later. I was careful, and while it doesn't look like machine bends, there are no kinks so I felt good.
So now that I had everything figured out, I forgot my camera on reassembly day. So no pics of the arms all welded and painted, except these after they were installed. My buddy did a very nice job on the welds.
Now before anyone points it out, yes I used all the existing worn out rubber and I didn't clean or paint anything else. I was planning to, but even as it sits I spent about 23 hours doing all this. There was a lot of trial and error, I had to add some clearances to the wheel spacers I have, and while I was at it I decided to chop down my spare springs and see if I could get the stance exactly the way I wanted it. I did the rears once and the fronts twice to get it the way I want, but in the end I only cut out the dead coil, and one live coil from both the front and the rear.
And here it sits! Absolutely perfect. I am in love, it's exactly what I was looking for.
So I'll finish with the bad news: Problem one: The tires are too big. I get zero tire rubbing on the front, but a small amount on the rear when hard bumps are hit. These tires are the absolute biggest you could ever expect to run on this car, and the truth is they're too big. They're 215/50 R17s! I only have them because they came with the wheels. My plan is to wear these out if they don't rub tooo badly, and then downsize to 205/45 or maybe even 40 series. If they rub a lot I'll sell them or put them on my daily driver, and get the smaller tires sooner rather than later. I haven't tested the rubbing at high speed on the freeway or those kinds of undulations yet, because of problem number two:
The first time I stepped on the brakes, the rear calipers locked up! I even bled them out and everything! So all the money I was going to spend on new suspension rubber and powdercoating the parts, and cleaning and painting the brake rotors and calipers is now going to buy new calipers. The good news is that I got a refund check today for the home air conditioning repair that I paid for but was never done back in July. So the cash there is a wash. But yeah, the next time I have a couple hundred extra to blow on the car, all the bushings are coming out and I'll have the trailing arms and other assorted parts all stripped, media blasted and powder coated. and I'll fill in that retarded gusset on the trailing arm that allows water to pool in it. Sounds like a winter project, eh?
Anyway, the car is now ready to be enjoyed for another short time before winter storage. Oh and I've determined that the temp gage is broken. It's always something. All of the old brake stuff is for sale now, for anyone who needs it. The rear end has 209k on it, the drums are worn out and can't be re-turned, but the shoe assemblies are new, the e-brake cables are brand new (200 miles on them) and the front rotors should be worth something to someone. I also have a rear drum puller for sale, and the full set of steel wheels with Yokohama tires. Decent condition hubcaps and trim rings, although the hubcaps are dented more than I'd like. PM or post if you need any of those parts, I'll also make a for sale thread later when I know all of what I have and have researched prices.
Also for anyone else who has a pre-67 car but wants disc brakes, I'll be glad to help you obtain what you need, and can provide engineering drawings that you can take to any machinist and/or welder to get these trailing arms made. Basically once you have the parts, contact me and I'll set you up.
09-30-2010, 11:48 AM
Wow!! It looks amazing!! If I can ever find the time/garage space/cash needed, I would love for my wagon to have the same stance, and those rims are perfect for the car. Great job on it, it's nice toe see people doing what it takes to make things right.
Will send PM Re: parts for sale.
10-18-2010, 12:26 AM
Minor update, I just thought this came out really good. Here's the first pass, I used hobby paint and I had to thin it out really thin to get it to level the brush marks out of it. Unfortunately that made the paint very very weak and I had to both put multiple coats on, and be careful not to scratch it, as even a fingernail would take it off.
But rattle can clear coat will save it! The blue is a decent match but I thought I grabbed black paint, and it turned out to be anthracite gray. I don't hate it though, I think it goes with the antique nature of the car. Now to find new push-nuts to hold it on to the grille. I think I should wait until I've polished/painted the grilles to put this back on, but it sure is nice to look at for now.
Other than that, I got the new brake calipers in the mail and got them installed. Bleeding them was really easy too. In fact, It didn't occur to me that with a freshly bled brake system, I wouldn't need to pull a lot of fluid through it, I'd just need to pull the air out, which I did very shortly.
The result? The car brakes incredibly quick and firm and smooth. The best news is that the proportioning valve for the drums appears to be well calibrated for the discs. It was very difficult to get any brake to lock up, but when it did it was a rear brake, and just slightly. Maybe that's not good balance but regardless it's not a safety issue as I can brake pretty much as hard as I'd need to without locking up a wheel, and these tires make a tremendous difference in stopping power.
On the subject of the tires, they're definitely just way too big. I drove the car home tonight, and the rears rubbed on any firm bump I hit. And I did rub a front wheel pretty badly when I had the wheel turned sharp, and then hit a dip in the road. I'm not going to do anything right away, but that's because I'm not going to be driving it much in the near future, as winter is coming. But I will need to change up the tires before I put miles on it next summer.
Other than the tire issues, it's clear the car needs an alignment as it's very twitchy on the road. But the lowering with the Bilsteins is FANTASTIC. The car feels very smooth and sure footed, and because it's so light it doesn't even react to large undulations in the road like my other cars do. It just kind of moves over them.
Anyway, all my cars are home now and the wagon is outside for the time being.
10-20-2010, 08:03 AM
Unbelievable Documentation! You Motivate Me To Do MY 5 Pot Conversion Too On My 262c!
03-03-2011, 12:12 AM
So it's time for an update I suppose, it's been a cold winter this year and I just haven't been up to getting out in the garage. But I do have the car dialed in and I fire it up about once a month and drive it. I'm just finishing my 4th tank of gas since I bought it. I'm about to turn over 210k.
I did do some tinkering in January, I dragged my daughter to the hardware store. New stainless bolts for the radiator support:
I'll re-install the badge after I finish polishing and/or painting the grilles. I haven't decided what to do, I messed with the pictures on my pc to try and visualize the centers painted black and it just doesn't look right. See?
But the biggest news is I'm getting a monster tax return. I've been overwithholding in an attempt to cope with extra income from working two jobs for the previous 3 years. Well last year there was no extra income, and I withheld about $500 a month too much. Well that's changing, and it's like getting a bonus. I already got my state refund a few weeks ago.
So when the rest of the tax return comes I'll get some springtime projects going. Next in line:
- Full suspension rubber and ball joint replacement, I have about half of the parts already that came with the car.
- Brake caliper powder coating, I'm thinking that bright Volvo logo blue to complement the body color.
- Brake hose replacement and rotor turning.
- Wheel bearing packing.
I still haven't decided if I want to powder coat my suspension pieces and all that stuff now, or in a year or two. I think for speed and simplicity I'll just leave them for now.
The next issue I'm struggling with is whether or not to do a full T5 swap or maybe get a normally aspirated manual and do that swap first. It'll be a significant bump in torque and useable revs, and it'd allow me to design all the cooling and motor mounts and tranny adapters and wiring, without the extra hassle of building a custom turbo manifold and making room for a turbo and intercooler. Plus the N/A manual cars are super easy to find where the turbo ones aren't. And my plan is to use factory ecu and wiring, I'm not looking to do standalone engine management at this time, unless someone talks me into it.
Anyway, soliciting opinions re: tire size, brake caliper color, n/a vs turbo as a temporary project for next winter.
03-03-2011, 02:16 AM
Beautiful work!! I loved reading the two pages and pictures, great detail and enthusiasm; you know your stuff! Beautiful daughter too, my son is a huge helper as well! Keep us posted - subscribed. :)
05-22-2011, 10:08 PM
Well, lack of motivation and indecision have kept me from working on this car, but I finally broke down this week and just made some decisions. I've decided I'm not powdercoating the calipers because to do it right means disassembling them and removing all the rubber, and I'm not up for that yet, especially on the rear which are brand new. I also just didn't feel like spending the money to strip and coat the suspension parts, I figure I'll do that in a few years when I restore the body.
So I started back in March by removing the remaining spare front control arm. Turns out all I needed to do was hit the bolt with a hammer, it wasn't rusted in as tight as I thought.
Here's where a nice chunk of my tax return went (the rest paid this car off, it's now mine free and clear). The stuff on the far left came with the car from the previous owner, everything else I just bought.
So then two months went by and I finally started on the rear this week. Various large sockets round out the puller's capabilities. I ended up using a 2 jaw puller on these though, because I needed to spray WD40 into it to get it to slide out. The rubber is very sticky in the bore.
So then I wrestled with the big end bushing trying to get it in. It compresses at least a quarter inch to get through the narrow part of the control arm. I fought with these things for an hour, the ball joint puller couldn't keep anything straight, and it required lube to get it in there. So I'd get it shoved about 75% of the way in, and it'd rock the bushing over to the side. I had plenty of force, just not the stability. So I packed all this up and took it to work:
I had to kind of force the parts on, so I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do. The mount on the body of the car twisted some for me to make this happen. Otherwise it centers things up nicely. At some point I'd like to get an adjustable rod just to make the axle 100% perfectly on center, I think it's slightly to the right but I need to measure and make sure.
So that's as far as I got today, took it out for a test drive and I really like it. It's quiet, solid, the rear doesn't lift when I accellerate, which it did with the loose and worn out rubber in there. The only problem I have is that the upper front bushings are too thick. I went to tighten the nut against its stop and one of the bushings squished out of the cupped washer. They're way too thick. Any of you guys who've done the pre-67 poly kit had that problem? There was only about 1 thread showing when I got the nut started, so I ran the nut down just until the locking ring engaged the thread. This will not do, so I'm going to measure it up and cut them so they compress about 1/8" each when the nut is down all the way, like the stock rubber does.
Next I start on the front suspension, because this desperately needs an alignment. Road grooves yank it all over, and it's kind of squirrely in general. Now that I've decided not to clean and repaint all the parts it should happen fairly soon.
05-22-2011, 10:22 PM
Oh, and I should say that in the time I haven't been working on it, I've taken it to a couple club meets. The CO volvo crew are pretty nice, and the oldies get a lot of attention.
So then I took the offending bushings to work and just made them thinner on the bandsaw, finishing with a disc sander. Basically they were being compressed 3/4" (3/8" each), so I took 1/4" off each one, leaving them to be compressed 1/8" with the nut tightened down against the stop.
Thanks George, it's actually interesting how everyone seems to comment positively on the color, and when I bought it I was thinking about changing it. But it's totally grown on me. It really is quite nice and I think it's just perfect on these. When I do body restoration in a few years, I think I'll leave it exactly the same, except I want to put a light pearl on top to give it a faint custom 'kick'. So basically it'll look stock in photos but really pop in sunlight. I'll seek the advice of the restoration shop and also shoot some samples before I take the plunge though. I don't want it to look cheesy or like a fad.
05-29-2011, 05:18 PM
Great story and thanks for all of the pictures during the journey.
05-29-2011, 06:50 PM
What a great contribution you have made to this blog!! Congratulations on the "resto-" ration, and thank you for sharing it with us!! Every change that you have made is in keeping with what Volvo did or would have done with the Amazon.
I agree with you wholeheartedly that the aluminum grills are 'too bright' as they came from the factory. What I did with mine was flattened them out by spraying them from the rear at a 45 degree top down angle with flat black lacquer to 'dummy them up' a bit. I found that to be a big improvement. IMHO if you scribed each horizontal tine of your painted grill shells and polished the fronts of them, leaving the rest of the tines black, you would achieve what Volvo had intended the car to look like before the bean counters came along.
The "originality" of your 122 is what keeps it classically unique. I think that when this model gets "bull nosed", shaved, chopped, de-bumperized, etc. it looses some of that character.
I would favor keeping the bodywork in the original (beautiful) color combination when you decide to refinish the automobile.
08-17-2011, 11:28 PM
I hate to post when I haven't accomplished anything major all summer, but it keeps me motivated. A while ago I discovered what I thought was a huge pool of diff oil, which has kept me from driving the car, but it turns out it was actually fairly small. I assumed I had a leaking gasket, but tonight when I looked closely I saw this:
The fill plug is leaking, and it is worn out to the point of not being able to be tightened. When I opened it, the diff oil poured out, so I must have overfilled it with the axle at a different angle when I put the fresh oil in it last fall. I put a whole bunch of wraps of teflon tape on it and put it back together, hopefully it stops leaking. If not, I have a new diff cover gasket that I can use if I get a new cover or plug.
They're horribly pitted but only mildly dented, I was already quoted $400 to make them perfect by a professional vintage car metalworking guy so I'm going to try my luck on my own. I have a friend who's really good at polishing metal so he's going to help. These are from '64 and half of '65, and are my favorite grille design for this car. Not original to the year, but I'll definitely like them better than what I have now, provided I can make them look good.
I also have cleaned up my front control arms in preparation for welding the sway bar mounts, I just haven't stripped the paint yet. Lazy. I can't decide whether to just try and weld bead fill this gap, put in a blank gusset, or grind off the mount and move it in snug. I'll probably leave it up to the welder.
I did wash it tonight for the second time since I've owned it, it didn't look dirty but after one swipe of the sponge I could tell it definitely was. I'll be picking my daughter up for the first day of school tomorrow in it.