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Operation Pig Iron: Volvo 740, sorting bits of trim. Pg 19.

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Well, it’s Saturday so some time for car tinkering again. Or so I thought. I had intended to start fitting the front fogs today but it’s started pissing down yet again so that’s that. Maybe tomorrow?

For now I’ve gone through all the bits I need to do it and had a quick check over of the front of the car to see how easy or not it’s going to be to actually fit the lights into the front bumper. So far everything points to this being a pretty easy job, on the face of it!

So, Heres the ingredients:





Two brand new fog lights, with the plastic holders and bulbs. These aren’t OE but are very very close. They seem about all that’s available anyway!

Two brand new plastic fog light brackets. These bolt onto the underside of the front bumper and hang down behind the lights themselves. The big bolt and cup washer on the back of the light then attaches the two together.

Wiring kit. This is just a generic kit off eBay for fogs, spot lights etc etc. It’s got wiring, in-line fuse holders and the relay needed to completely wire in a pair of lights. It’s also got a switch and holder but I’m not using that here as it won’t look original with that switch!

And finally, an original Volvo front fog switch with the correct logo and green led tell-tale illumination. This will fit in the dash next to the rear fog switch and will look like it was factory installed. At the moment there’s a blank fitted here with a red led for the now disconnected alarm. I’ll simply pop that out, fit my new fog switch in its place and probably tuck that blank and red led away behind the dash somewhere since it doesn’t do anything anymore.


So, at the front of the car this is how things are.


The original front bumper with the original underslung valance/spoiler whatever it’s called. You can see the rectangular mark where the fog light is meant to fit, unfortunately though it’s not as simple as just popping out these blanks! They’re not removable and are moulded as one piece with the whole part. Looking up behind it however shows a raised plastic edge around this ‘blank’ so it’s shape is easy to see. 

Given the front valance is a bit scuffed and scratched I think the best way to go here is to remove it entirely from the car. I’ll get it on the bench, drill a hole through it in each corner of each of the fog light blanks then, using the raised edge on the backs as a guide to get the shape right I’ll cut out the blanks with a hacksaw blade or my model making razor saw. Then sand it smooth. After that I’ll rub the whole panel down and completely respray it into the same blue-green metallic so it looks nice and fresh. Once it’s back on the car I’ll fit up the lights and brackets and start wiring them in. I’ve got a fair bit of black loom tape left from the Capri so I’ll be using some of that to wrap the new wiring with to make it look a bit less obvious once it’s in place. I’ll probably cable tie it to the existing loom too to keep it tidy.

All I need is a bit of dry weather... yeah right!



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Saturday again, and it wasn’t raining today for a change so, tinkering time!

Ive not done a thing to the Volvo since my last update, either the weather has been on the shit side of utter bollocks or I’ve needed the car in one usable piece for various things. I’ve got a clear diary now so taking it to bits no longer matters!

So, time to start fitting up the front fog lights.

First job was to remove the front bib/spoiler/whatever the hell its called from under the front bumper. This is held on by six 10mm bolts with D shaped washers and bolts directly into the underside of the metal girder that forms the front bumper. At this point I’d feared the worst as 10mm isn’t very big, and these have likely been sat on the front of the car untouched in over 30 years now and were almost certainly going to be seized solid and probably snap off... They didn’t though! All six undid easily and without hassle, which is always a bonus.

With the front spoiler unit wrangled free of the metal lip on the bumper I could now see exactly how everything was supposed to fit. That’s the good thing about using parts designed to fit this car and not generic aftermarket stuff! Looking up at the underside of the front bumper showed the two (per side) holes already drilled in the bumper to take the fog light mounts.


The bolts, washers and nuts required for this don’t come with the new parts I’d bought unfortunately so I had to scrounge some suitable ones from my toolbox ‘odds & sods’ draw! Never throw anything away!

Heres the bolts, washers and nuts with the light brackets.


Then they just bolt on so they hang down ready to take the lights themselves. They’re actually very awkward to get a spanner onto the backs to hold the nuts as there’s not much space and it’s an awkward place to bend your arm to hold it. The bolt heads will be hidden by the lip on the bumper and spoiler afterwards. There’s also a lot of adjustment in these with elongated bolt holes so you can align them properly after it’s all fitted.


With the brackets both fitted it’s time to modify the front spoiler.



You can see the moulded marks in the part where the fogs would usually fit but, bizarrely, they didn’t make them simple pop out panels like they have for the front tow eyelet hole and additional centre holes (which presumably are for turbo models additional cooling?) So, being moulded in, that means they need to be cut out.

Luckily, on the back of the spoiler there’s some moulded edges for this that can be used as a guide to help cut them out.


Here’s a light unit and the spoiler to show the sizing.


Cutting them turned out to be a bit of a pig! The panel is curved so a jigsaw etc won’t really work. I did try using the dremmel with a thin cutting disc but that just started melting the plastic and shattering the discs so in the end I had to use a big drill to go through each corner then use a fine hacksaw blade to cut out the bulk of the material, using the moulded edges on the back of the panel as a guide for size and shape. Once the bulk of it was cut out I used a Stanley knife with a new sharp blade to tidy up the edges and finally a file to finish up. A round file did the rounded corners.



It’s actually not something I like doing, cutting big holes in old hard to get parts like this! I googled lots of pictures of cars with the lights already fitted and offered the lights up several times, just to be absolutely sure it was right then just had to go for it!

The spoiler is a bit scuffed and scratched tbh, and it really does need rubbing down and painting fully. It’s not really the weather for that now though, too cold and damp really, so I’ll do this next year one it warms and dries up a bit.

Next job is to fit it all back onto the car. First thing to fit was the light units to the brackets while there was more room. Annoyingly, the new lights came with mounting bolts a fraction too short to fit through my plastic brackets! They’d go but I couldn’t get the nut and spring washer both on together. So I had to take it all apart and fit some replacement longer bolts instead. Once they were on, the spoiler could be slotted back in place over the lights and bolted back on. I’ve taken the time here to grease the bolts threads to prevent future seizing. I’ll also do the same to all the mounting bolt threads for the lights and brackets once everything is finished.

Which leaves the car looking like this.




Overall, they’re a very good fit but they both need adjusting! Both of the lights are way too far forward and poke through the spoiler way too much so I’ll slacken the brackets and slide them back. Also, both lights are pointing upwards, one much more so than the other, so I’ll slacken the bolt for that and just slide the lights around a bit to point straight! Should be easy enough.

Thats as far as I got today as I started running out of light and dry weather in the end. But, now the lights are actually fitted to the car all I now need to do is wire them up, fit the relay and switch and of course adjust the position of the lights. Hopefully that should be easy.


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Well, it was pretty decent outside up to now so I’ve been out and adjusted the position of the lights. They’ve slid backwards a bit more and now seem to be pointing forwards instead of upwards!

A face only a mother could love!!



Next task was figure out how to wire in the lights, which is pretty easy, but complicated by my insistence on using an OE dash switch instead of the generic one that came in the wiring kit. The big difference between them being the generic ugly switch has 3 terminals but the OE one has 4. It took me a while to work out how best to wire this into the car but after a bit of thinking and trial & error I think I’ve got it sussed.

So, I drew a pretty little diagram to make it clear(er) and tested it by rigging up all the components along with some off cuts of wire and an old indicator to act as the fog light on the car.



As you can see from my writing on the drawing I got it wrong the first time! It worked the first way but the illumination tell tale LED on the switch wouldn’t work. A bit of head scratching and swapping two terminals over on the relay had it working perfectly. You’ll have to take my word for it as I couldn’t hold all the wires onto the battery, operate the switch and take a photo at the same time!

I might use two in line fuses on both the battery live wire and the sidelight circuit live wire. Just for a bit of extra protection.

The weathers turning shitty again now so I’ll continue next weekend if it’s dry. Hopefully it should just be a case of running the wires out, testing it then taping everything up and securing it all neatly.

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Just been watching YouTube and stumbled across this guys videos.

A Swedish guy doing an early car up on a budget. There’s four or five videos in this little series for this car, interesting viewing imho and the car comes up pretty well.


One thing I forgot to mention in my previous updates was that while I’ve been driving my car around a fair bit recently I’ve noticed a sudden very loud wind noise coming from the top corner area of the passenger side front door. It’s very loud at motorway speeds. A look around showed not much on that door or the seals. However, looking at the top corner of the windscreen on that side revealed the likely cause to be the little metal & plastic trim around the screen to have come loose! The top plastic retaining clip that holds it on has snapped letting it flap and whistle in the wind. Lucky it hasn’t come off and been lost really as they don’t seem easy to replace!

Should be an easy fix though and I’ve ordered some new replacement clips off eBay ready to fix it with.

And I found my new poly bushes for the front anti roll bar earlier too... I’d completely forgotten I even had them, so that’s another outstanding job to do!

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2 minutes ago, danthecapriman said:

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous updates was that while I’ve been driving my car around a fair bit recently I’ve noticed a sudden very loud wind noise coming from the top corner area of the passenger side front door. It’s very loud at motorway speeds.

^^^ as soon as I read that I thought of the windscreen corner piece. Then I read the next sentence! :-)


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1 minute ago, Mrs6C said:

^^^ as soon as I read that I thought of the windscreen corner piece. Then I read the next sentence! :-)


It’s bloody annoying isn’t it! Still, can’t moan too much given those clips are 31 years old now! I’m just so glad I’ve not lost the trim strip or the corner filler bit.

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Another weekend of poncing about on this! Weather made things difficult and extremely frustrating at times but the front fogs are now finished-ish.

First job was decide where I wanted to fit the relay. There’s a metal bracket on the inner wing specifically for mounting relays onto so that was my first preference. Unfortunately though it was on the passenger side inner wing and the cars battery is on the drivers side. Ideally I wanted the relay and battery to be as close together as possible so I didn’t have to run long lengths of wiring across the width of the car then back across again as the switch also goes on the drivers side. In the end I noticed an unused 8mm stud attached to the drivers side strut tower which was a better much tidier option than drilling holes to take self tapping screws into the inner wing.

So with the relay bolted in place, I ran a thick power feed cable with an in-line fuse from the battery to the relay. Then another thick gauge wire to join the relay to the front fog lights. One thing I hate is bits of added on wire just hanging in engine bays, I think it looks horrible so I’ve tucked all of mine here into the original loom and cable tied it all together. The big cable joining the two fog lights together (side - side) took a bit more effort to hide away safely. Instead of just running it under the bumper I’ve poked it up through a small hole in the underside of the battery tray then run it along the back of the headlights, through into the area behind the grill and then back out under the car to the other fog light through a similar hole under the air filter box and screen wash reservoir. Everything being tightly secured in place with cable ties. It’s actually very hard to see the cable across the front end!

Last jobs at the front was to make up two earth wires, one for each fog light. These have just been attached to a bare metal patch on the underside of the metalwork under the front end. I’ve taped up all the connections and put a blob of contact grease over the body connections just so nothing can corrode. Then the relay needs an earth, which was easy as the relay sits a few inches above the cars main earth - battery connection so I just bolted it straight to that.

The last wire from the relay needs feeding into the cabin to the switch. Again, this was tucked into the cars loom, tied together and poked through the bulkhead with all the old wiring into the cabin.

All I need to do here to finish off is to use a bit of loom tape to tape up the wires where they go up under the coolant reservoir bottle, should tidy it up a bit.  I’ve run out of light for today though.


Here’s inside the cabin where the wiring comes through for the light switches.

This actually took a bit of thinking about as the fog light kit uses a three terminal switch. My OE Volvo one is a four terminal switch. Got it in the end though! I’ve wired it in so the front fog switch takes its live supply from the sidelight wire in the back of the headlight switch. This is ideal as it means the fog switch will only ever become live when the sidelights are switched on. Being fog lights you only want them on if your other lights are also on. I couldn’t find any terminals to tap into on this short sidelight wire so I just stripped a chunk of the insulation off then soldered my new power feed wire onto it, then taped everything up nicely.


And here it is with the switch and light switch holder back in as it’s supposed to be. This is exactly what I wanted! Looking at everything you’d think it was all factory installed! No ugly aftermarket switches here.


And proof the lights actually work.



All I want to do now to finish this job off is tape up a few areas of wiring and tidy them out the way a bit more.


Up next for this car will be to remove the nearside screen trim and fit the new clips to hold it on properly now I’ve got some. And I’ve also ordered a set of four new door handles...

Yes, I did replace one not long ago but the ones are an upgrade! They’re the chrome versions of the handle as fitted to some high end 760’s and a few top end 740’s! Should add a touch of class I think!


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Frick me, it’s been ages since I’ve updated this!

Not much has been done tbh, it’s been used very little since we went into lockdown, though I have given it the occasional run up the motorway and back just to keep it moving. The MOT was due, so I gave it a check over but then got myself a Boris MOT so left it at that. I’ve also given the floorpans and chassis a clean off and sprayed on some new black stonechip paint, so that looks a bit tidier now. And I changed all the wiper blades!

Today, I had planned to do a bit on the Capri but it was raining on and off this morning so did a few jobs on this instead.

First one was to replace the fucked B pillar trim on the passenger side. The original one was missing the trim around the seatbelt opening but the colour coating was peeling off on the edges, and some of the fixings were broken too so it was a loose fit and vibrated when driving. I managed to get a good used pair of these in the right tan colour off a breaker on eBay for not much. Changing them is pretty easy, just two screws and a few clips to pull it out. New one back in and it fits well, tightens into place properly and now has the trim for the seatbelt too.

These replacement trims were obviously from a smokers car too, they absolutely stink of fags!

Since I had the pair, I salvaged the drivers side seatbelt trim from that as mine had broken clips and it kept falling off! So now that’s sorted too. Tidies the interior up a bit more.

Sorry about the pics, the sun made them come out a bit dark!




Here’s the old one showing the broken bits on the back, and the broken seatbelt trim.




Next job was to sort out that loose windscreen trim.

I had the screen changed a while ago but not long after this trim came loose, making a horrible whistling sound at higher speeds. I bought some new clips for it, so today pulled the trim off and replaced a few of the old loose and worn clips. Some weren’t fitted properly either which probably wasn’t helping things.


With the new clips pushed on, the trim itself was looking a bit crap, with the plastic strips on the outer sides all coming loose. 


It’s currently sat in the shed on my workbench with some glue applied, and tape around it to hold it together. Hopefully by tomorrow morning it’ll have gone off and go back onto the car. It’s not easy to glue tbh, no glue I can find seems to want to stick! God knows wtf they used at the factory. In the end I’ve tried some polyurethane adhesive for the thicker plastic bit, and superglue for the thinner strip. We’ll see tomorrow if it’s worked.

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On 12/8/2019 at 9:13 AM, volvoman said:

Bloody hell..................................a 740 with Yank stylee twin headlights!!!...they look the bollocks too, nice one.

I will have to go read 19 pages of this whole thread now.


Plenty of American Volvo enthusiasts have retrofitted Euro headlights but I've never seen anyone replace their Euro headlights with US DOT Sealed beams.

It seems strange to me because, over here in the US, the European lights were always seen as more desirable.  Back when I had my old 240s and 740s I even retrofitted the Euro-spec side repeaters!  On US models, the holes in the front wings were covered with a VOLVO badge.


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38 minutes ago, Madman Of The People said:


Plenty of American Volvo enthusiasts have retrofitted Euro headlights but I've never seen anyone replace their Euro headlights with US DOT Sealed beams.

It seems strange to me because, over here in the US, the European lights were always seen as more desirable.  Back when I had my old 240s and 740s I even retrofitted the Euro-spec side repeaters!  On US models, the holes in the front wings were covered with a VOLVO badge.


I like both light types tbh, but I prefer the US style. They look much more stylish and less plain and featureless than the big euro style. The big chrome effect trim looks the part on the US ones, and the 4 lamps resemble that era of US car too, which I like! Plus, you very rarely see them like this over here so it’s that bit different!

I had noticed on the US market cars the wing badge was different to euro ones. Ours have the Volvo letters but show body colour through between them, but US ones have the letters on a solid black back piece (to cover the side repeater holes!). I was tempted to get a couple for mine!! Obviously retaining the side repeaters for legal reasons. Some of the US cars also have chrome beading around the wheel arches, which I fancied too! Maybe it'd look a bit over the top doing that though?

Maybe this says a lot about my sense of style and taste!

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Results are in for the glue.

Not bad, but definitely glued together so good enough! Pulling the tape off I’d used to hold the two parts tight together showed the bond to be strong so I’ve gently scraped off the excess with a sharp blade, then a quick wipe over with tissue soaked in white spirit to get rid of the sticky residue.

Fitting it back onto the car was a right pain in the arse. I’ve fitted new retaining clips to this side of the screen which just slide onto little lugs on the screen frame, then the trim should just push onto the tops of these clips. I could get the top two on ok but the bottom two were an absolute twat to get on. Managed in the end, but skewered my thumb on the end of the metal trim and hurt my hand by thumping it down onto the clip! Still, injuries heal, fingers grow back etc and the important thing is the trim is now solidly back in place.


It looks pretty good now, but I think the rubber/plastic that sits against the glass has become distorted from so long sitting in its old position, now it’s slightly different there’s a tiny gap between it and the glass in the top corner. Hopefully after a while it’ll settle and sit down again.

The masking tape is there to hold the top rubber and again on the other side strip. These were peeling away from the chrome at the ends, so I’ve squeezed some glue into the gap, then pushed them back together with the tape to hold it overnight.


Hopefully it’ll be ok tomorrow. It’s one of those problems that looks crap and irritates me!



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    • By dozeydustman
      Mrs Dustman has a dash cam she wants me to fit to her '99 frog face Corolla. It came with a hard wire kit as opposed to the usual fag lighter lead, so I might as well make a decent* job of it and hide the wiring completely. Trouble is I can't remember how I got the radio pod out when I fitted the DAB unit she now has. I've also got a few dash illumination bulbs to change so I might as well do it all in one hit while it's a sunny afternoon.
      A bit of googling comes up with the US spec dash which appears to be different from the European model, or the 2002-on model. I seem to remember spudging out the dash vents to access some bolts/rivets.
      Failing that, is there an easier place to get a switched live from (besides the radio) that doesn't involve destroying the car's interior?
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