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orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/4/20 8:29 a.m.

A big reason that I posted this car here is because I knew there was a lot of expertise floating around GRM especially regarding these old Volvos. One thing I forgot to mention is that I'm currently in graduate school and so the pace of this project will be somewhat slow. That said I had a chance to stop by the garage yesterday and do some investigation.

I noticed right when I popped the hood this written on the core support in paint marker:

The side of the block seems to agree:

Lastly, the ID plate on the firewall:

Now, going off the decoder I found here: http://volvoamazonpictures.se/typeinformation/typeinformation.php

My car is as follows:

First digit = 1 for sedan

Second digit = 3 for two door

Third digit = 3 for B18B

Fourth digit = 4 for export model

Fifth digit = 6 for BW35 automatic

Sixth digit = 1 for left hand drive

And the year letter = M for 1967

It looks like this car is in the arrangement it was in when it left the factory 53 years ago. Pretty neat! I'll hopefully have time this weekend to crack open the SU's and free up the floats, clean out the jets, and otherwise assess their condition.

What's the verdict on the charging system by the way? My generator does not appear to work given the bench testing I did. Switch to an alternator?

 

[img]https://i.imgur.com/nIBH9J1.jpg[/img

My generator does not appear to work given the bench testing I did. Switch to an alternator?

unless you are shooting for a nut and bolt restoration I’d definitely switch. Alternators are pretty much better at everything, compared to a generator.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/8/20 12:50 p.m.

Once again, I get to be the contrarian on the whole alternator/ generator thing.

When I was initially getting into 122's, I was very pro-alternator.  I even did a conversion on my daily driver 122 wagon to alternator.  But there are problems one can run into in the mounting, and alignment.  I had more than one mounting bolt snap, and one belt wear out in 1000 miles.  On top of that, the build quality of alternators tends to be highly variable. 

The problem with generators is all of them are 50 years old at this point and knowledge of them is getting thin.  So folks switch to that which they're familiar with.  I talked to an old timer at a motor shop I used to take starters to, and he convinced me to let him overhaul one of my 122 generators.  The cost was about $100; it came back painted, with new brushes, bearings, etc.  He put on the test stand for me and UNREGULATED it made like 18 VDC at not much over 1000 RPM. 

I since had him do a generator for a '49 Plymouth, and a '64 Corvair.  Zero issues with any of them.  The 122 we raced had an original generator on it.  Zero electrical issues, ever.  I've run them with the Perktronics electric ignition and again, have had zero issues. 

My current 122 driver/ rallycross car sports a 9 year old parts store battery and a stock generator and mechanical regulator.  At idle it shows 13.5V on the meter. 

Sometimes, newer is better.  And sometimes, newer is just different. 

EDIT: This is not to say that Alternators are not better at what they do.  They are, understandably.  But in a vintage car like an Amazon, the advantages vs. the cost, time, and effort to convert may not be as noticeable as in something that has tons of electrical accessories and is driven in all sorts of weather. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
9/8/20 7:22 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

I'll second this. In particular the Bosch generators Volvo used were very high quality parts. The alternators that are an easy bolt on to a B18 or B20, not so much. I was replacing alternators on 140 series cars every day when I had my shop. I don't think I ever had to do more than a brush set on a generator Volvo.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/8/20 9:44 p.m.

In reply to orthoxstice :

Did you polarize the generator?  If it sat for any time not connected to a battery, it may have "forgotten" how to be a generator.

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/8/20 10:11 p.m.

I just read a rebuild walkthrough and it seems about as straight forward as can be. If I have any time this weekend maybe I'll pull it apart and diagnose. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/8/20 10:12 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to orthoxstice :

Did you polarize the generator?  If it sat for any time not connected to a battery, it may have "forgotten" how to be a generator.

I also read about this haha. My oldest car prior to this was a 1979 I never even drove so this is all uncharted waters for me!

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/26/20 7:28 a.m.

Alright, got a kit from IPD to reseal the carbs. The bowls were full of that powdery brown stuff so I cleaned everything out and got them back on the car. It started right up and no longer leaks gas all over the exhaust, so that's a success! 
 

it still runs rough. It will idle and rev (albeit slowly) but it doesn't sound right and the exhaust smells... strange. I put a timing light on and it seems to be properly timed. I think I need to prioritize dropping this fuel tank and getting fresh gas in. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/26/20 7:29 a.m.

Oh and I polarized the generator and it spun just fine. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/29/20 5:03 p.m.

In reply to orthoxstice :

Just thinking...did you check the valve lash?  I've seen folks set these b18s up too tight, and they don't like that. They're supposed to sound like a sewing machine at idle.

"Revs slowly" could be...open to interpretation.  These aren't some skinny, light doch Japanese mill. They're kindof a warmed-over tractor plant.  That said, I wonder if the sliders on the carbs are working properly. Sucks to try and troubleshoot over the forums; I'd love to put my hands on it and see what's really troubling it.

 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
9/30/20 10:05 a.m.

I did a rudimentary "drop test" when I had them apart. They seemed close enough. By slow to rev I mean, foot to the floor produces a sputtering, uneven, and slow (like measured in 2-3 seconds) climb to what I'd guess is around 4-5k rpms. 
 

This car was kept outside, the tank has rust in it, and it had no fuel cap just a rag! I'm thinking this gas is bad and I should put a new tank in before going farther. Or at least run off a Jerry can. 
 

This is maybe the busiest my life has ever been so I've been working very infrequently on this which is a shame. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 SuperDork
9/30/20 4:17 p.m.

When checking the valve clearance (every 10,000 miles) also pay attention to total valve lift. Camshaft wear is a real thing, and it sure kills the performance.  

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
11/2/20 11:12 a.m.

It's been a long time and I don't have much of an update:

Finally had a moment where I could poke around the fuel system and drain the tank. The gas had water mixed in and smelled old. Fuel filter spilled a bunch of brown crud out of the input side when I pulled it off. I'm soaking the level sender screws in PB because I only got three out. The goal for the weekend will be to pull this tank and install the clean one that came with the car, put a new filter in place, blow out the lines between pump and tank, drain the bowls again, and try to start with some fresh gas.

I can't believe how expensive the gas caps are for these cars... $106?!

I'm hoping to have time mid-month to get it up on the lift and pull the blown BW35 and install the other one that came with the car. First drive soon after, I hope? Also more pictures to come.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/12/20 9:05 p.m.

In reply to orthoxstice :

You need caps?  I got caps. Used caps, but caps. P.m. if you want one.

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
11/23/20 4:36 p.m.

I get at this thing for like, 20 minutes at a time. Level sender is annihilated by rust. Indeed, this tank was supposedly restored 10 or so years ago and when it went back in it looks like they used some kind of epoxy or other hardening stuff to cover all of the mounting bolts. There is a hole rusted through the top/side of the tank at the lower left corner so this tank is done, but this goop they put in is impenetrable.

And one of the carbs is leaking again. Also volvoclearinghouse I owe you a message back and will send that shortly!

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
12/31/20 12:43 p.m.

Guys it runs and drives. I feel like a moron but so it goes sometimes. First; a story. 
 

In 2012 I bought my third Scirocco, a 1984.5 Wolfsburg Edition and drove it from CT back to NJ. It ran... okay but had a weird stumble especially around 2000 rpms and the ideal was strange to say the least. After a week of fooling around with it I finally discovered the problem; someone had set the firing order as 1-2-3-4 and then either advanced or retarded the distributor as far as it would go. Couldn't believe it ran at all! After resetting everything ignition related it ran great. When you learn a lesson like this you're supposed to file it away for next time. 
 

Any guesses what the problem with the 122 was? 
 

Yep. Distributor 180 out with the firing order running clockwise instead of counter. I can't believe it ran at all. I can't believe it took me this long to double check. Now it revs great. It smoked A LOT for about 10 mins which had me scared but I think the exhaust was full of unburned fuel. That cleared up and I took it for a slow spin around the block. It goes into gear just fine and shifted smoothly into second. It's still on a jerry can bungeed to the core support so only slow jaunts up and down the street for now. Brakes feel good. 
 

The entire exhaust system will need to be replaced, but other than that I think I'll fine tune the SU's and start working on cosmetics. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/1/21 7:03 p.m.

Had a little more time today to fiddle around with the car. I did an oil change with Rotella T4 10w30, and a good thing too because the oil was old and stank of gasoline from my previous misadventures. I replaced the popped fuse 3 and am happy to report I have dash illumination now. Then I set to trying to tune the carbs a little. I used a procedure I found on vclassics and mostly followed it; did the tuning on a warm engine with the choke cables and throttle linkages disconnected.

He said to turn the jets in until their tops were level with the inside of the carb body then go back out nine flats on each adjuster nut. I couldn't get my rear carb's jet up that high, so I went out 8 flats instead for the base setting. I also don't have a carb synchronizer so I did it by listening with a hose and trying to match the sound and also eyeballing the level of the pots.

So next step was to adjust the jets a flat at a time to get the "highest idle" then set the idle a turn at a time with the adjustment screws. I'm not sure I understood this part exactly but I have it set, by my ear anyway, at around 800 rpm at warm idle. Any pointers? Should I invest in a tach and a carb synchronizer?

Also, here's a pic of the current fuel set-up:

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
1/3/21 7:41 p.m.
TurnerX19 said:

If you are planning to drive this there are two other must do items for any pushrod Volvo engine. You must use lead replacement additive in the fuel, and you must use engine oil with enough zinc or ZDDP additive. We saw camshaft failure a lot when they were new and all oil had enough zinc then. These are high compression enough with very soft valve seats so you will have valve recession without lead. On an overhaul you can go to hardened valve seats to cure that issue, but the camshaft wear will always need extra zinc or "classic car" special oil.

I completely agree with the need for ZDDP  sublime to for the oil. But the lead substitute might not be needed. If you richen up the carb ( 3 or 4 flats typically)  you probably can use 15% alcohol  to avoid valve seat recession.  
Around here they advertize it as 88 octane fuel  ( and its 4 cents per gallon cheaper)  

Since alcohol is so much cooler it avoids the valve seat recession common with the hotter burning  gasoline. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/4/21 6:57 a.m.

Glad you got the firing order sorted.  Its always some stupid problem that turns out to be the cause of 80% of your woes.  Again, without having the engine right in front of me, it's tough to suss these things out.  Gld your VW experience was learning-ful.  ;-)

Sorry I've been MIA regarding the fuel cap.  It's been a busy...month.  I will get back to you soon, assuming you still need one.  

Good luck, nice work, keep it up!  I just put a fresh battery in my blue 4 door 122 and try to take it out for a drive at least once a week.  Now that it has a radio and a working heater, it's much easier to be motivated to do so.  

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/4/21 12:29 p.m.

Not to worry! Bigger fish to fry these days. 
 

I swapped out the column trim and shift indicator bezel today and now... I can't seem to get the wheel back on haha. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/7/21 7:37 p.m.

I finished cleaning the turn signal switch with deoxit, mounted a new(er) shift bezel and column trim, and managed to fight the steering wheel back on again. I also tuned the carbs again. When cold the car starts first crank with some choke.

That meant it was finally time to turn my attention to the fuel tank so I can call this car somewhat road-worthy. I cut notches in the seized mounting screws for the level sender, got it out, and was greeted with this sight:

It's a terrible picture, but you can see a pile of rust collected around the tank drain hole. I knew that this fuel tank was garbage and this only confirmed it. After that, I set about removing the bondo/fiberglass that the previous owner had slathered around the entire perimeter of the tank. Here's a picture after about 75% of it was removed:

Notice the massive holes and missing sections of trunk floor where the tank is supposed to sit on. I knew the trunk of this car was rusty, but this poses a problem moving forward. Not sure what I'll do about this!

Lastly, anyone recognize this sticker on the window? It won't survive the first wash and I think it's kind of neat. Apologies for another terrible picture!

 

paddygarcia
paddygarcia New Reader
1/7/21 9:15 p.m.
orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/8/21 12:17 a.m.
paddygarcia said:

Still available!

https://classicvolvorestoration.com/decals-volvo-220-wagon/1536-volvo-decal-bella.html

Excellent find, thanks!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/8/21 6:10 a.m.

I mean, I could cut out some gas tank mounting sections from a parts car and you could weld them in...devil

I'll ship them to you with the gas cap. 

orthoxstice
orthoxstice New Reader
1/8/21 8:24 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

I mean, I could cut out some gas tank mounting sections from a parts car and you could weld them in...devil

I'll ship them to you with the gas cap. 

If you're able to that would be amazing. And I'd obviously pay you for the time and effort required!

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