Posts about ‘Volvo 122S’

Playing catch-up

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Obviously it’s been a long time since my last post so I’ll do away with apologies and excuses and skip straight to the good stuff.

The catalyst for writing a new BP post is that my Volvo 122s has finally sold, and it sold sight-unseen to a guy up in Washington state. I’m usually on the other end of this kind of transaction, so I was both impressed and nervous about it, knowing that a car shows better in photos and in fantasies than it ever can in person. Still, the buyer knew what he wanted and somehow between CA and WA mine was the only 4-door automatic that he could find in his months of searching. As I write this, he’s hopefully arrived in Redding without any incident. I’m a tiny bit sad that California is losing a genuine black plate survivor, but the new owner has promised to send me the plates (such as they are) when he gets home, so maybe they’ll still see some use.

1967 Volvo 122S

The Volvo departs. The Super remains. The neighbors sigh.


Ongoing Volvo goings-on

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

And hopefully soon to be outgoing.

As today was largely a taken up by Alfa coupe madness, I did not, as I had intended to do, spend the day prepping the Volvo for sale. I did give it a pretty serious bath (discovery: Fast Orange is an ‘unorthodox but effective’ way to get rid of greasy fingerprints) and started messing with the twin SUs that do all the carburatin’ duty on this car. It runs ok but the idle and acceleration are bad, so I think the carbs are at least out of sync, and likely need individual tuning as well.

But first some back story. This car needed a number of very real fixes. (Warning: I took pictures of none of them, so this will not be a very interesting read.) To wit:

  • Problem: brake calipers stuck beyond hope.
    Solution: replace calipers with new.
    Outcome: fine, except booster is shot so is being bypassed.
  • Problem: trunk opener doesn’t work.
    Solution: use clothes hanger wire to fabricate new connecting rod for latch mechanism.
    Outcome: trunk opens. Yay.
  • Problem: rear main seal failing miserably.
    Solution: drop the transmission (extremely not-fun), remove flywheel and assorted gizmoids, R&R rear main seal with a new one that uses a rubber compound instead of horse fur or whatever it was inside the original.
    Outcome: permanent damage to whatever I was wearing throughout this job; lots of bleeding and swearing; leak fixed.
  • Problem: hood brackets broken, hood off.
    Solution: replace with good used units, reattach hood.
    Outcome: fully hooded.

Cool, lots of progress, right? Once I got the hood back on, I gave the old Amazon a bath. Here she is pre-wash:

The hood fit remarkably well considering I was eyeballing all measurements and using my head (!) to hold it in place as I frantically tried to secure the thing onto its brackets.

The hood fit remarkably well considering a) I was eyeballing all measurements, b) the brackets were from another car, and c) I was using my head (ironic, I know) to hold it in place as I frantically tried to secure the thing onto the brackets. Side note: there is no shortage of unfortunate dents on this car.


Giulia TI body shots

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

This may be a first: I spent a weekend working on the TI and didn’t discover anything that needed yet more work. And I got a fair amount done, too. Most of what remains will cost more in money than time, which is of course both good and bad. Anyway, the summary of accomplishments reads as follows:

  1. reinstalled heater
  2. reassembled and reinstalled dash and gauge cluster
  3. reattached trunk lid
  4. applied Bondo all over the place
  5. swapped out speedo cable
Heres the dash and heater. In addition to making the car *look* more carlike, this also makes it nearly driveable.

Here's the dash and not really visible heater, reinstalled. In addition to making the car *look* more carlike, having functioning gauges also makes it nearly driveable. Just add seat.


New blackplate arrival – 1967 Volvo 122S

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

As if I wasn’t busy enough with the TI, I decided to buy a ’67 Volvo 122S, aka Amazon. It’s a 4-door automatic, which means I won’t be falling in love with it any time soon. (It shares the same tranny, the Borg-Warner 35, as the Datsun 411 wagon my friend Luigi now owns.) On the bright side, it’s that weird shade of Volvo green that is arguably the best color for an Amazon.

The Volvo, green with envy as the Super looks on, greenly confident in its superiority.

The Volvo, very dirty, and green with envy as the Super looks on, clean and greenly confident in its superiority. The assisted living people across the street would rather watch me flail around on old cars than watch the latest installment of Project Runway. (Actually the guy sitting there speaks only Chinese and occasionally yells stuff at me, in Chinese, in response to which I can only smile and wave.)

The good news: it’s a 98% complete and original car. It runs. It goes. It stops. There’s zero rust beyond some surface stuff where the car suffered some fender benders and parking lot dings.

The bad news: 20 years of deferred maintenance. There is significant smoke (white) coming from the exhaust. The brakes are sticky. The hood brakets are broken (both of them) and the front end was bent in so the hood barely closes anyway. Half of the electrical stuff doesn’t work. The other half doesn’t always work. The trunk latch is broken. The driver window winder cable is gone. Lots of little dents to try to bang out. Etc, etc, etc.

Naturally I’ll be addressing the smoking motor first. I’m hoping–really hoping–that it’s not rings, and that it’ll go away (or reach a more acceptable level) with an oil change, check of the valve clearances, and possibly a good old fashioned Italian tune-up. Stay tuned.