RandolphCarter
RandolphCarter New Reader
8/25/20 7:16 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to RandolphCarter :

Whatever these are.  See pics below.  There was some literature in the box from 1950; assuming that was the year the AF stuff is from.  There was also an HO setup, HObbyline, from 1955.  Cool old toys, they run great despite being boxed up for 20+ years.

My dad actually got them from a friend of his.  They're both in their 70's, and the friend has no one in his family who was interested in them, and knew my dad had grandkids (and a mechanically-minded son).  In an ironic twist, shortly after my dad brought the trains down, his friend ended up in the hospital with some serious illness.  My kids made some cards this morning to send to him, thanking him for the trains and wishing him get well.

 

Nice setup!

Here's an illustration of the different couplers:

The kind you have are called 'link' couplers. Second from right are 'knuckle' couplers. Most American Flyer sets have either of those. Far left is what's on the more recent repop/re-issues, second from left is from around when they were going bankrupt.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/26/20 7:49 a.m.

In reply to RandolphCarter :

Thanks for the info.  I was into model trains when i was younger- mostly HO, though I dabbled a bit in N scale.  All of my old equipment's been boxed up for years now in the attic.  When my dad asked me about this, I was enthusiastic because of the American Flyer history, of which I knew some.  When I got it, neither the AF steamer nor the HObbyline diesel ran, though some quick disassembly, cleaning, and lubrication fixed them right up.  I just set up a quick 4 x 6 sheet of plywood in the basement so I could make a couple of ovals to run them on.  Yesterday I let the little VCH's run the controls, which was fun to watch.  My son (3) was content just chugging the trains around, but my daughter (6) had to be cautioned multiple times not to run them so fast.  There were a few derailments. 

This winter I plan to start going through my old HO and N stuff, and maybe consolidating things and setting up a little nicer layout. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
9/10/20 7:59 a.m.

I hit a bit of a wall with the 1800ES...a firewall, to be precise.  *hyuck, yuck*  The goal here is to make the firewall at least partially removable, to allow access to the back of the engine, transmission, etc.  So it's been slow going, planning this out and making sure one end of a panel isn't bolted while the other end is welded.  And figuring out things like how large to make the panels and in what sections.  Here's how it looks so far:

The other night I got mentally exhausted so I just cut out and tacked in the new section of floor at the bottom of the picture there.  It needed to be done, anyway.  Basically the entire floor of the whole passenger compartment has been replaced.  The transmission tunnel and the top of the doghouse should finish it all up.  I'm using 16 gauge sheet for everything; it's a little thicker than OEM but easy to cut and weld, and doesn't burn through.  The plan is to add a driveshaft loop or two as well. 

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
9/10/20 10:06 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

You have a floor that you cannot see the floor through! Hooray!!!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
10/14/20 11:29 a.m.

I happened to be going back through this story this morning, and realized that the first post was almost exactly 1 year ago- October 10, 2019.  Wow.  OK, so in a year we've gone from a rusty, but complete, 1973 1800ES to one that has

  • Lost of rust cut out, and sheet metal welded in
  • The old B20F/Borg Warner automatic pulled and a Ford 302/T5 resting on actual mounts
  • A widened front suspension and front brakes from a Volvo 240
  • A steering column and rack from an NA Miata

By reality TV standards, that level of progress in 12 months wold get my show cancelled.  But by the standards of raising 2 kids, having a wife, a full time job, an old farmhouse, and a bunch of other stuff....I guess I'd call it "solidly mediocre".

Oh, and the garage where the ES project had been, up to now, occurring, now looks like this:

That oil stain on the right is where the volvo was parked.  The new garage is sort-of visible off to the extreme left of the picture.  More on that later.

Recent progress has consisted mainly of work to the new engine doghouse.  I've gotten it about to where you see above so far; now I'd like to get the new driveshaft fabbed up before enclosing it further.  Obviously I'm not going to make the new driveshaft inaccessible, but it's just easier to do the initial pass of installation and fit up and all with less bodywork encumbering the process.  So I've switched to working on the pedal area.  The way they mount to the firewall and the offsets in the lever arms meant that the pedals were somewhat unergonomically shifted leftward.  So I started cutting, bending, and welding the accelerator pedal to bring it as close to the doghouse as possible.

First, a heat shield was added where the manifold comes close.

Than, the pedal arm was straightened out and welded back together.

Next, bring the brake pedal over.

Cut off.  *deep breath*

We put the "funk" in "funktional".

And, finally, modify the clutch pedal lever accordingly. 

After all is said and done, the whole pedal cluster will have been moved toward the center of the car approximately 2", without moving the firewall attachment points.  Success...I think?  Sure, let's call it that. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/14/20 11:45 a.m.

i'm calling it success

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
10/14/20 11:52 a.m.

New Go and Whoa pedals!

mikemonster
mikemonster New Reader
12/31/20 9:50 p.m.

Hi,

I just ran across your build while looking for parts for my 1800es resto. I've done a few Volvo resto's 444 & 1800es. also (240 in progress).

Question /comment is did you consider that Ford small block manifolds are interchangeable (reversible) ? For my Volvo 444 (HiPo 289) we swapped the the manifolds and exited forward due to interference . This helps reduce manifold transfer heat to the cabin as well as provided EZ exhaust routing. I also used the thin aluminum backed insulation inside the tunnel and inside on the tunnel & floorboards (REALLY HELPS).  In looking at your pictures I see you have the mechanical fuel pump (which you will want to get rid of) removing this will also provide extra room if you choose to flip your exhaust. Of course, custom headers is also an option......  

Looking forward to following your project.

Mike "monster"

Note: both of my cars were "front end totals" when we got them.

 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/14/21 9:54 a.m.

So, a little update here, since it's been since last year that I posted.  The Holidays sort of put a damper on garage stuff happening.  And I started to feel a little Project Burn Out with the 1800ES.  Our LeMons team has also sort-of gotten it together and, depending on how things go this year with the '19', we're going to get Plymford back in action.  Last weekend I pulled the 302-swap Volvo out of the garage and pulled in a Volvo 122 I'm stripping out and blocked it in with the Plymford.  If I can get motivated enough I'll start a new thread for the 122, and continue over in the existing Plymford thread. 

The 1800ES is going under a cover while I mentally rest from it for a bit and think over how I want to move forward.  Oh, and to answer your question, Mike, yes, I did consider flipping the exhaust manifolds.  For what I had planned, I found other ways to work around that, though I'm not claiming any way is better than another. 

Happy 2021, y'all. 

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
1/14/21 10:48 a.m.

I completely understand this.  The only thing keeping me going right now is that I should have a usable car by spring.  If I were staring at a bare chassis, things would be at a standstill.  Rest up and enjoy other stuff for now.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic
11/29/21 3:29 p.m.

Great project Volvoclearinghouse. I have enjoyed reading about your project last night that I just discovered. That's quite the undertaking you started. There is another 1800 out of England with a small block Ford engine out there on the internet. I think I remember that he also had to shove the V8 back into the engine compartment. I understand why you wanted to raise the crossmember up to try and raise your roll center and I really like how you adapted 240 vented rotors to your spindles. I am really interested to see how the Miata rack works and how the bump steer is.

Here is my 1800e I built 40+ years ago after I shoved a B30f engine with it's 4 speed o.d. trans, driveshaft, and rear axle into it and had some awful machine shop weld up and redrill my axles and hubs for a ford bolt pattern which wound up 0.05" out of round. After about 90, it quits shaking. lol  

I have some cad drawings somewhere of a 164 front suspension i want to slide under my car showing the roll center at static height and 10 degree body roll i think. I will have to see if the drawing files are corrupt since some are unopenable after my last computer crapped out. And figure out how to size them for this forum.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/29/21 4:57 p.m.

After spending hundreds of hours crawling under an 1800 and 164, I have come to the conclusion that after shortening the wheel base, the 164 subframe / floorplan would just about perfectly fit under the 1800 body. Especially after seeing all of the work you are having to go through. :) 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/29/21 5:05 p.m.

You could shove a 2JZ in there with a hood scoop. :)

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/29/21 6:26 p.m.

164 front suspension at static stance, right side stock with the 10" Weld wheels and 265/50-15 tires and left side with Wilwood extended height pinto spindles and 9.5" Corvette wheels and 265/40-17 tires.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/29/21 7:10 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

After spending hundreds of hours crawling under an 1800 and 164, I have come to the conclusion that after shortening the wheel base, the 164 subframe / floorplan would just about perfectly fit under the 1800 body. Especially after seeing all of the work you are having to go through. :) 

With apologies for the thread derail. There are advantages to the chassis swap.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/29/21 7:37 p.m.

Nice, have any upskirt photos of the crossmember and oilpan?

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/29/21 9:40 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

He's got a whole build thread for it. You should check it out, it's really cool. 

Appreciate the feedback and comments. As you can tell by the date stamps, this project went on hiatus a while back. I felt like I was sort of "building myself into a corner" , and needed a break. Also, my original plan for the car was to LeMons race it, but with all the effort I was putting into it, that no longer seemed like the way I wanted to go with it. 

So, in the best GRM fashion, I started a different project.  No build thread on it, at least not yet.  But it is Volvo related.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/30/21 12:19 a.m.

Volvoclearinghouse, I understand your dilemma, it took me over 3 years to get my 1800 running again after I first yanked out the engine and I have just finally started to think about getting it going again after a 30 year break while I raised 3 kids and got old and tired. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/30/21 7:17 a.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Bumper-bumper it is a Miata chassis with a V8 conversion. Front suspension is a tubular unit as used by most V8 Miata conversions.  If you have some time to kill here is the build thread. Nothing particularly difficult in the execution, but there was a fair bit of execution to the project. https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/volvo-p1800eskinda/72311/page1/

I had been wondering what happened to VolvoClearinghouse's ES project. Bummer that it went on the back burner since these cars with a V8 are a hoot to drive and get a lot of attention.

 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/30/21 7:46 a.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

Volvoclearinghouse, I understand your dilemma, it took me over 3 years to get my 1800 running again after I first yanked out the engine and I have just finally started to think about getting it going again after a 30 year break while I raised 3 kids and got old and tired. 

I have two kids myself, one nearing 5 and the other 7-1/2.  Both love to help in the garage, but most of my productive time is after they go to bed.  I typically get 1 or 1-1/2 hours in the garage to myself, 3-4 nights a week.  So maybe 5 hours of project time per week.  In a night I might get one small bracket fabbed up, or a few suspension components bolted on.  I have done an engine swap in a week's worth of nights.  The mountain is large, and my shovel is small. 

 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/30/21 6:59 p.m.

Volvoclearinghouse, what ever you do, don't just give up on any of your projects and dump them and get rid of them. How many people here have dumped their '70s gas hog car for nothing to support a family and lived to regret it (me)? As an example, just look at my only two personal unfinished accomplishments to fulfill my dream of becoming the world's greatest car designer, accomplished before I finally grew up and joined adulthood with a family at a latter age.  

1978. "World Scariest Volvo"

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/30/21 7:26 p.m.

Keep up the good fight...

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/30/21 7:36 p.m.

I want to mount (two) Volvo Mitsubishi turbos, one on each dual exhaust mounted in the trunk. 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic New Reader
11/30/21 7:45 p.m.

Sorry to hijack your thread, but I thought that maybe you needed an inspirational speech, :)

Edit: I have removed my photos so as not to muck up your thread too much, I will post all of my crap on my own new thread, for a good laugh. You can't take this hobby too seriously or it will kill you.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
11/30/21 8:11 p.m.

Is...is that 2 B18's married together?  I've thought about doing that. 

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