Monday, March 31, 2008

Fuel Feed Line.

While working around the carbs, I knocked one of the fuel feed lines from its jet. After scrambling to stop the flow of fuel, I consulted the folks on Brickboard. They set me straight: on a SU HS6 carb, the feed line and jet are supposed to be one assembly, but if the feed line is worked loose over time (as mine was), it can be reattached by removing the jet, twisting off the brass compression fitting, reinserting the tube in the jet (making sure it fits between the brass inner nipple and Bakelite outer housing), and working the compression fitting back on the Bakelite housing.

While I was tinkering around, I replaced the oil pressure sensor wire, which had become brittle from the heat of the exhaust.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Valve cover hold-downs.

While I was tooling around in the engine compartment today, I decided to install valve cover hold-downs. These more evenly distribute force across the lip of the cover, creating a better seal, and reducing oil leaks. Here are further thoughts on the matter.

I considered fabricating my own, but figured I couldn't do it for less than $12, which is how much the kit costs from iPd. (Yes, I have a crush on iPd and their Vintage Catalog.)

Motor mounts.

iPd and Shamir to the rescue! I placed an order for the mounts from iPd last Sunday night (along with a valve cover hold-down kit and some POR-15) and I got the order on Wednesday!

Shamir kindly agreed to lend his knowledge and expertise (not to mention his floor jack, after he cautioned me against using the "widowmaker" from Jenn's Jetta).

Aside from being dumbfounded by Volvo's use of SAE fasteners, swapping out the motor mounts was a relatively painless process (in no small part thanks to Shamir's guidance on the matter), and the 122 is a lot happier now. Being short on time, we decided to postpone the tranny mount swap for another weekend.

all better.

well, that would explain a thing or two. new mount on the left.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rust, Part I.

Oh, did I mention that last weekend, while cleaning the car, I inadvertently poked my finger through a rusty spot in the rear driver's side floorpan? uhh... yeah. My finger went right through the bottom of the car.

My fingers are crossed and I'm desperately hoping it's not the tip of the iceberg... (I'm stocking up on POR-15 in case it is.)

yes. those are gaping holes in the car.

Learning to drive stick.

Last weekend, Jenn decided it was time to learn how to drive a stick-shift, and our new Volvo seemed like the perfect car to learn on.

The Good News: Jenn did great! After only 30 minutes in the Best Buy parking lot, she got the basics of a manual transmission!

The Bad News: I hadn't anticipated that the abuse inherent in learning to drive stick would result in the untimely demise of our poor 122's tired, 43 year old motor and tranny mounts.

Before buying the car, I noticed the motor mounts needed to be replaced. I just hadn't anticipated it'd happen so soon. A cringe-worthy metal-on-metal thudding now beckons replacement of the mounts ASAP. (Hopefully the tires won't fail quite so catastrophically.)

bulging rubber and cracked metal. yikes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Under lock and key.

Evidently, Willie got locked out of his Amazon at 2am after what sounded like a memorable party one evening in 1982. Rather than hire a locksmith, he and his buddies forced their way in, and the driver's side doors were never the same again.

Since I've been unable to undo so much of the other damage done during the Regan era, I thought I'd at least try to repair the locks in our 122.

I had a frustrating time trying to remove the window crank and door latch handle. Turns out they are secured using "omega" shaped circlips. Here's the technique I discovered (which does not require a special tool): while pressing the door panel inward, locate the free end of the circlip between the plastic spacer and handle with a dental probe or other thin, rigid instrument, and pop out the clip. The crank/handle can be replaced by putting the circlip back in the handle first, and then pressing the handle- together with the plastic spacer- back on the shaft. More info here and here.

The door handle assembly can be removed without removing the door glass. Lower the window, remove the glass guide channels, carefully push the glass clear of the stop, and then roll down another 1/2 inch. Carefully! This will permit access to the screws securing the door handle.

With everything apart, I found that the die cast "pot metal" lock cylinder had broken in half. (update: I purchased a replacement lock, only to find that the cylinder had broken in exactly the same manner, so I'm guessing this is a common mode of failure.)

I tried JB Welding the pieces together, but the strain of locking/unlocking was too great for JB Weld alone, so I reinforced the repair by cutting a slot with a Dremel tool, inserting some scraps of brass, and JB Welding the whole thing together. I also used a wire brush on the Dremel to clean the surfaces before JB Welding (since pot metal is porous and absorbs oils, making for a weak bond).

slot cut in both parts with a Dremel cut off wheel, and a reinforcing "key" made out of brass

attack of the JB Weld

rough filing

finish filing and sanding - needle files came in handy for this

So far, so good!

While I was at it, I tried renewing one of the lower window guide channels. First, I scraped out what was left of the rubber and felt. Then I used contact cement to glue in a new strip of weatherstripping felt sourced from my local hardware store. It seemed to work well, so I'll probably be renewing all of the window channels at some point.

Locking/unlocking the door now brings me great joy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Picked up a Brick.

While browsing Craigslist last week, and dreaming (as I often do) about getting a project car, I spied an ad titled:

Volvo 1965 122 Sedan (sunnyvale)

About a week, two trips to Sunnyvale, and one impulse buy later, I found this sitting in my driveway:

Second thoughts set in about two hours after getting back to San Francisco. Somehow, I'd managed to overlook front end damage, rust, and an interior ravaged by 43 years of daily driving...

Admittedly, I realized that I was buying a car with a "scant" 588,443 miles on it. (Yes, that's five-hundred eighty-eight thousand. But, she's a Volvo, so I figure she's just hitting her stride.)

Besides, she ran strong throughout the entire 40.8 mile drive home. And, honestly, how could I say no to Willie, the original owner of the car- a lifelong bachelor, retired tennis instructor, former escort to Miss Chinatown, and septuagenarian- who bought it new in 1965 from a dealership in San Rafael, and who teared up as he signed the pink slip?

So, there you have it. It's March 15, 2008, and I'm the second owner of Willie's 1965 Volvo 122S.

Here are some more pics:

odometer lacks hundred-thousands place, where there would be a "5"

the artist formerly known as "driver's seat"