Changing blower motor '71 164
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    1. #1
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      Changing starter on 142 and blower motor '71 164

      Hello all,

      I'm new to Volvos, though I have a decent amount of mechanical experience.

      I'm looking a at '71 164 manual, and a late-'68 2.0 142s manual.

      The blower motor on the 164 doesn't work; is this a full dash removal, or is there another way?

      The 142s needs a starter motor; is straightforward on this car?

      Thanks,


      David, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
      Last edited by davran; 10-31-2019 at 04:13 PM. Reason: made the title more complete.

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    3. #2
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      I have a 1971 142 E. If the '71 164 is similar to the '71 140 and the heater unit is the same, you don't need to remove the dash proper.

      You will need to remove the plastic valence under the bottom of the dash which is relatively easy to do. Typically a 10 minute job tops once you know where the clips and screws are. Be careful when sliding the valence out from the retainer clips along the bottom of the dash as its a large floppy piece of plastic and its easy to twist and crack it. If the glove box is the same arrangement as on the 140 I think it would also be wise to remove the glove box at this time. On the 140 the next major hassle is the fuse panel which is mounted on the front side of the heater housing. If it is the same on the 164, you can unscrew the fuse panel from the heater housing; but, you will have to figure out whether that gives you enough slack in the wiring to slip the heater housing down and out below the panel or whether it is easier to just completely remove the panel (tag all wires with fuse number and top or bottom position and take pictures). I think you should be able to slide it down and out without disconnecting the panel (disconnect your battery ground to avoid and accidental short while you are shoving things around).

      On the '71 140, there are four mounting bolts, two each of the left and right sides of the heater housing. Once these are removed and the heater hoses are disconnected and the heater valve is disconnected from the firewall (I assume similar to the 140) and the heater ducts are disconnected and the control cables are disconnected you 'should be able to slide the heater housing down. Getting the heater out by pulling directly down and back may be a problem because of the manual shifter if it is positioned the same as on the 140. With the glove box removed it may be possible to slide the heater down and to the right. The other option is that if the heater is like the 140, the lower 75mm or so of the heater housing (the black piece in the photo below) is a separate piece held by two spring clips on each side.

      IMGP1283 comp.jpg

      Popping those clips to allow removal of the lower portion of the housing should make removal of the top part much easier. Re installation of those spring clips with the top part of the heater in the car will be 'more interesting'. I suggest you reattach the bottom with the top part sort of in positioned; but not bolted in so you can better position the housing to get the clips back on. While the heater is out, have the core cleaned and pressure tested at a rad shop. You are going to hate it if it springs a leak after you get everything back together. Also, be careful with the capillary tube which connects the heater valve to the sensor on the heater core.

      There is a round rubber gasket that fits around the top of the heater where it inserts into the metal cowl. That gasket will likely be toast and I recall that replacements are no longer available so you should plan to have some thick foam rubber weather strip on hand to fabricate a suitable seal.

      Of course, all of the above is predicated on the '71 164 being similar to the 140.
      Last edited by 142 Guy; 10-30-2019 at 01:27 PM.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    4. #3
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      Starter replacement is relatively straightforward if slightly awkward. The parts manual shows the mounting bolts fitting through from the back (bell housing) with the retaining nuts on the front side of the starter. My recollection was that the firewall is too close to the bell housing and that you need to insert the bolts from the front with the retaining nuts on the back side of the bell housing.

      If you are looking at purchasing a rebuild, consider an upgrade from the Bosch SR37X currently in the car to the later SR437X which Volvo started using in the mid '80s on red block engines. The SR437X is a permanent magnet starter. It draws much less current than the older SR37X starter with the result that for the same battery condition it spins the engine much faster. I have a SR437X on my 142 and my battery just recently developed an internal high resistance where the battery terminal voltage was dropping below 7 volts during cranking. The SR437 X was still able to turn over a cold motor with less than 7 volts and I got it started. Not a chance with an SR37X.

      The installation of the SR437X is slightly different than the SR37X because the 437X has threaded ears. It is meant to be installed by having the bolts inserted from the back of the bell housing and threaded into the threaded ears on the starter, eliminating the need for nuts. The appropriate bolt would be 12 mm, coarse thread (1.75 mm pitch), 85 – 90 mm long. On my 142 two things conspired against using the 12 mm bolts. The first is that the holes in the bell housing are a little too small for 12 mm shouldered bolts ( the holes in the block that match up with the bell housing are just fine). This would require drilling the bell housing holes out slightly, which would be an easy thing to do with the engine out of the car. Not so easy with the engine in the car. The second item was that because of the limited clearance between the back of the bell housing and the clutch / transmission tunnel, I don’t think it would be physically possible to insert a 90 mm long bolt from the back of the bell housing forward to thread into the starter.

      I improvised using a 10 mm bolt. It fits through the threaded 12mm ears on the 437X with a snug fit. I purchased some 100 mm long 10 mm bolts and inserted them through the starter mounting ears so that the retaining bolts are on the back side of the bell housing. The 100 mm bolt length is marginal, necessitating the use of a low profile nut with a nyloc locking insert. The bolt is just long enough to engage the insert with a complete thread pitch extending beyond the end of the insert. A better bolt length would be 105 – 110 mm which would allow a conventional bolt with lock washer and flat washer. However, the local bolt vendor’s next size up was 130 mm which was way too long and I wasn’t inclined to do any cutting.

      The only other minor installation issue is that the SR437X solenoid has two male spade connectors on it instead of just one as per the SR37X. I suspect that this second connector is to provide a starter engaged signal to the fuel injections system or a cold start injector. You can determine the correct terminal for the wire from the ignition switch by using an ohmmeter to measure the resistance between the terminal and the frame of the starter. The correct terminal will have some resistance (the solenoid coil) and the incorrect terminal will have infinite resistance.

      Starter.jpg

      Other than the bolt issues and the terminal for the starter switch, the SR437X is a direct replacement for the SR37X. In fact, because it is so much smaller and lighter (it weighed in at 8 lbs on my uncertified bathroom scale!) than the SR37X, it is much easier to install than the 37X.

      I got my SR437X from Rock Auto in 2014 and the price was around $160 Cdn for a genuine Bosch reman delivered to my front door. You are probably looking at over $200 these days. If you are inclined, I think just about every 200, 700 or 900 series Volvo after 1985 is equipped with a SR437X so you might be able to find one cheap in a pick and pull yard.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

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    6. #4
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      Excellent, thank you for the detailed response.

    7. #5
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      David;

      Welcome to this Forum!

      Good info from 142G as always... may I just add that BEFORE going through the major work of accessing and removing Blower Motor, you check elec supply and Switch wiring to assure you don't have a elec issue, which might be a lot simpler to remedy...also (a look at Wiring Diag or 142G could verify this) I don't know what kind of variable speed arrangement 140/160s had (if Motor had a separate winding or if they used a resistance wire/voltage dropping arrangement)...if the later, these can develop connection problems to the nichrome wire, which again will cause an elec supply issue...I guess what I'm trying to emphasise is: Exhaust ALL electrical possibilities BEFORE needing to have to do the PITA job of getting to the Motor itself.

      I also agree about Starter...the later Perm Mag/Planetary Gear, type are a good option...drilling out the threaded hole is a simple modification to accommodate installation...

      Please let us know what you find.

      Cheers from Connecticut!

      Edit: I just verified at Wiring Diag for 1800 E and ES (which would share this componentry with your chassis) and don't see any resistance link for blowermotor speed decrease...so just check switch has power and is operating as it should, and if possible, if wiring to Motor is intact and undamaged. Good Hunting!
      Last edited by Ron Kwas; 10-31-2019 at 10:15 AM.

    8. #6
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      Thank you for that; do the blower motors for the 14x and 164 have a resistor that goes like on VWs?

      An old-style starter was in stock at my local parts place where I get a discount, so that gets the nod for now. Next time I'll look into the SR437X.

    9. #7
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      Ron is correct. The heater motor does speed control with what I guess is a switchable field arrangement or a switchable brush arrangement. Definitely no resistor in the speed control arrangement. I think the final version of the 140 (1973+) and the 240s used a switched resistor for voltage control. This picture shows the front of the heater housing with the three motor wires that are accessible from the front.

      heater.jpg

      Black is the ground wire and red and green are the power wires. I can't remember which is high and low speed. Applying +12v to green gets one speed and applying + 12v to red and green in parallel gets the other speed (so perhaps not the switched brush arrangement). Applying +12v to green should be the safe test for the motor. The connections to the switch should be accessible without removing the heater. As Ron recommends, definitely test the motor before removal of the heater because you would hate to find out that the problem is the switch after getting the heater out!

      As an aside, I have heard that the following part is a suitable replacement for the gasket that seals against the cowl

      McMaster Carr 4061T351

      I found this reference after I got everything back together on my car so I cannot confirm fitment. Be aware that McMaster Carr may not sell to individuals. I ordered some items from them and had to order through my consulting service corporation.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    10. #8
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      Can you change the starter on a 14x from up top in the engine bay, or do you have to go underneath?
      No air, or any other options on this one except that is is a dual-carb 142s.

    11. #9
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      Unless you have long arms with multiple articulations and eyeballs on stalks, the only way to access the lower mounting bolt on the starter drive is from below. Also, you need to get a wrench on the nut on the back of the bell housing to loosen / tighten it and as I recall the only practical way to access that was from below. I seem to recall using or needing a crowsfoot wrench to do the work. Its been a few years so I can't remember whether the crowsfoot made it easier or whether the crowsfoot was a requirement - I guess you will find out.

      I am getting kind of old and the SR 37X starter has a lot of metal in it so its kind of heavy. Holding the starter in place while you are threading bolts is awkward and you definitely don't want it falling out on you during the process. An extra set of hands to hold the starter while you get the bolts started could be really helpful. Putting the starter back in with no assistance is when I really appreciated the light weight of the SR437X. When I did my starter I just had the front end raised on jack stands and chocks behind the rear wheels for safety. A hoist would be nice; but, not necessary as long as you are OK working from a creeper / on your back.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    12. #10
      Member spiked60's Avatar
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      I witnessed a wisp of smoke as my blower died, but I have ac so everything is slightly harder to get to

      Welcome to the red block club, curious to see which car you end up with!
      The daily, 2009 S60 2.5T AWD, Ice White, Shark Stage 1.
      The cruiser, 1972 164E, Alpine Blue Metallic.


      For the most current photos of the day, find me on Instagram

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