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Irv Gordon's Classic Volvo

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    I think, if I recall correctly, that the 444 and 544 steering wasn't very heavy at all. It's when the cars got heavier and the tires got fatter, like in the 140 series, that Volvos started to feel like locomotives. I guess the 240 was the first with power steering? A Volvo 140, when parking, steers like a 1930s American car.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Yes, the 240 was the first with power steering, but they, and the following 740s/940s do steer like old American cars; very heavy and trucklike. No fun at all and very disappointing. In comparison, my 850 steers very precisely, like a Miata.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    WEll, the joke back then in the 70s and 80s was that "Volvo built cars for people who hated cars but needed to drive somewhere".

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  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    There were 140's and 160's with Power Steering also. THe 140's were rare, though.
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    This engine didn't have enough HP or torque to hurt even that crank.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Want the complete, entire story on Irv and his car? There's an excellent article about him in the Dec. issue of Classic & Sports Car, a great British publication I read on occasion. Here are a couple of Irv quotes from that article:

    "I've paid for all my parts, all my gasoline, all my servicing: no discounts."

    "The Smiths gauges, I've probably had repaired or replaced numerous times."

    "The transmission seals and 3rd gear synchro have been replaced and the overdrive has been stripped and clean, but that's all."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Well, I've stripped down those overdrives and it's tough! The quote makes it sound like a 20 minute job but it's a bear to do.

    The Smiths gauges on a Volvo P1800 are a very bad joke.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Per many comments made on this board about the safety of old cars, is a '66 Volvo still a safe automobile, or at least really safe compared to many other cars of that same year?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    It's a strong little car but back them other cars were mostly larger, so I think the billiard ball rule applies....if Ball A weighing 4,000 lbs stirkes Ball B weighing 2,500 lbs, Ball B is going to go flying off somewhere. I guess it depends on what hits your Volvo and what happens to your body as it flying around among all those little pointy things in the dashboard. I'd rather take the hit in the Volvo P1800 than the VW Bug of that era, but if I had a Cadillac Deville, I'd rather take the hit in that.

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  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    Agree with shifty. When the 140 came out in august '66, the big new safety feature was the crumble (sp?) zones. Having been rear ended on I-76 yesterday, that's a big safety improvement.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    You were rear-ended yesterday? I'm really sorry to hear that. Were you in your Volvo?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Gee, that's too bad, sorry to hear that. Somebody asleep at the wheel behind you?

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  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    I was driving on business from Central Ohio to a little hole in the wall north of Pittsburgh, PA. It was 6:40 AM and the traffic didn't move due to an accident ahead, so I stopped. All of a sudden I heard tires squeeling and a big bang. I stepped out of the car (a '98 Intrigue- company car) to see what the damage was. The whole rear end was pretty much gone. The girl driving her Jeep Liberty said that she was doing about 55MPH at the time. She didn't realize that I wasn't moving at all. I guess she thought that I had only slowed down.

    BTW, I sold the Volvo ('00 S70)last February due to quality problems, and bought an '03 Acura TL instead. Accidents like this do put things in a different perspective, however. Was selling the Volvo a mistake? I only have a sore neck now, so I think I came out OK after all.

    Thanks for asking.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,633
    Central Ohio ?

    The company I used to work for was in Washington Court House before it moved to Columbus.

    I remember those two lanes and some horrific accidents.

    Glad you didn't get hurt!
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    Cool! Yes, those two lane roads ca be deadly.... Didi you live in Ohio too?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,633
    Just had the pleasure of flying in for corporate meetings four or five times a year.
  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    I came across a 1967 122S for sale this weekend. I don't know a lot about this particular model. The car started right up without smoke, ran great and was surprisingly smooth on the road. I'm looking for information about fair market value, known problems, issues or concerns and availability of parts for restoration. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Great little car, but don't buy an automatic if that's what it is. The automatics have a dreadful Borg Warner transmission that ruins the car and makes it drive like a garbage truck.

    Otherwise, value depends mostly on cosmetics, since bodywork and upholstery is ten times more expensive than the simple mechanicals of the car.

    Mechanical parts are no problem to find, and there are even performance parts for this car, but little chrome trim pieces, lenses or grillwork could be costly and hard to locate.

    It's not a very valuable car nor will it ever be. I'd say $1,500 for a tired running car with some dents and holes in the carpets, $2,500 for a clean daily driver with a few small needs, and $5,000 for a stunning better than new show car.

    Issues include weak water pumps that leak,(grab the fan at 3 & 9 o'clock and wiggle it and see if the water pump shaft moves) exhaust systems that break their rubber doughnut hangers and fall off,(see if doughnuts are cracked and ready to let llose) bad rear brakes caused by the fact that the rear drums are a real pain to get off to check the brakes (low pedal, noise in rear drums). The power brake booster can fail (you'll feel a very hard pedal but little stopping power) and are *very* expensive to rebuild. Timing gears are one steel, one fiber, running on a chain, and they can get rather noisy and sloppy. You can check those by wiggling the fan and belt and seeing if the rotor in the distributor moves as the pulley moves. If the pulley moves 1/2 inch but the rotor doesn't move, then your gears are sloppy. The car won't run right. Sooner or later the fiber gear will break its teeth off.

    Engine bottom end is indestructible. Valve clatter up top is pretty normal. If car seems gutless, probably cause (after tune-up) is worn camshaft, as factory shafts are very soft and a known defect. So watch for this on a low mileage original car that might still have a factory cam in it).

    But basically this is a tough simple little car that isn't hard to work on at all. Some people don't like the SU type carburetors but that's only because they don't understand them. Their biggest problem is worn throttle shafts, so they leak air into the engine, and this causes an erratic idle. Solution is to rebore both throttle shafts.

    But again, take a pass on the automatic transmission, you won't be happy.

    And ALWAYS use high test gasoline at all times!

    Overall, a tough, fun, affordable old hobby car that can be driven daily.

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  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately this car is an automatic. Seemed to shift fine, just a bit abrupt. I would categorize this car as a clean daily driver with a few small needs. The person selling the car is firm at $3500. Based on your $2500 estimate and automatic transmission warning I will pass on this one. Thanks again
  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    We are currently restoring an 83' 242T. The car seems to have fuel system issues. Are there kits available to rebuild this mechanical fuel injection system? Any info greatly appreciated! Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Oh sure, you can get parts and manuals from Bosch. Try IPD up in Oregon.

    Volvo 122S -- well I don't want to discourage you if you HAVE to have an automatic, but that herky-jerky tranny just kills any fun factor. You'd get so bored driving it!

    Sounds overpriced for what it is but I haven't seen it. For $3,500 it had better shine and look good inside.

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  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info, Mr. Shiftright. New problems tonight with the 242T restoration........ Just completed installation of rotors, calipers and brake lines on all 4 wheels. We seem to be unable to get the system to build up pedal pressure...???... We have followed the bleeding scheme recommended in the manual. Girling calipers on the front and ATE on the rear. We have tried to bleed with the vehicle running and not running...???... Any suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Hmmm....are you pressure bleeding? Some cars just won't respond to the old "pump and squirt". You might try bleeding into a partially full jar of brake fluid with Person B only in charge of replenishing the ridiculously small brake fluid reservoir. You just pump from the caliper bleed nipple which is attached with plastic line into the bottle of fluid. Of course, the plastic bleed line must always remain submerged in the fluid.

    This method allows you to give the pedal good long strokes to get all the air out. .

    Another thing...if you've bled and bled and can't get a pedal, you are usually sucking in air somewhere.

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  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    Thanks for info. We tried again this afternoon. Still no luck. I'm thinking that there is just too much air in the line being that the system was 100% dry until I got the new calipers and rotors.

    I decided to brake down and get the IPD power bleeder. That will keep constant fluid and pressure going into the master cylinder.

    I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    power bleeders work great....especially good for clutch master cylinders, which can be very tough to bleed.

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  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    OK. Egg on my face. Front calipers were on upside down. In other words, bleeders should always be on the top! Once I switched them air was spewing from all corners. No power bleeder needed.

    Next issue - the speedometer in 1983 tops out at 85MPH. Is there a 120MPH speedometer that will work in that cluster? If so, do you know the part number that would be scribbed on the face? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    You know, with 127HP and 7.5 compression in a close to 3,000 lb car, you might be fine with an 85 mph speedo.

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  • esommeresommer Posts: 24
    Understood... The exising cluster is in such sorry shape I figured now would be the time to install a different one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Well you might be able to do this since I think the mandatory 85 mph speedo went away quickly---but it's such an odd bit of compatability knowledge (unlike say, transmission swaps, which are easier to figure out from one year to the next) that you'll probably have to talk to a "pioneer", that is, someone who's done it.

    I guess if I were as determined as you, I'd just go to a wrecker with your car (and maybe a photo and a measuring tape) and just hop from one old Volvo to another until you see a possibility....this presumes of course that their majesties at the "salvage emporium" would even LET you in the yard.

    Maybe one of those "pick a part" places. Not only might you find a suitable swap, but you'd learn how to take it out on someone ELSE'S car!

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,905
    the timespan of the 85 mph speedo, anyway? All I know is that my '76 LeMans goes up to 100, so I guess by then they were working down towards it. I've had two '79 Mopars that only go to 85, and my '86 Monte only went to 85. And I had an '88 LeBaron that would register three digits, but it was digital. I dunno what the analog versions would have registered. My '89 Gran Fury went to 125, but it was a copcar.

    That era seemed to take forever when we were going through it, but now that it's a distant memory, it seems like but a blip on the radar screen.

    As for that Volvo, did they ever offer a gauge package, which might have offered a better speedometer?
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