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Volvo C202 Laplander - 5 years on and newest member of the SVM


warninglight

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A bit more progress with the stripdown, with a fight to get the heater out, the windscreen off, and the first cut in the body as I'm getting ready to lift it off the chassis.

The heater is going straight on the scrap pile. I'll work out a better solution than this...

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With the heater and windscreen removed the cab doesn't have a whole lot left to do. The pedal box will be a bit of a pain. It has a weird brake master cylinder arrangement, with 2 cylinders for the early twin circuit system, 2 fluid reservoirs visible on the dash top, 2 servos behind the rear bumper etc. I'm going to look at making it a more moderns etup, with one master, one servo and a check valve...

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The first rough cut behind the cab, making sure to cut aft of the body mounts so the cab is held with 4 bolts as per the factory ones, not 2! The Makita recip saw is great for stuff like this.

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On 26/11/2020 at 22:23, warninglight said:

Where in the country is that? It looks as rough as mine, and has likely had an axle swap 

It was near Hereford. Had a walk past, Volvo has now gone and the yard  has these two to keep the welder busy. 

As seen on street view - 935140465_Screenshot2020-12-06at14_54_49.thumb.png.f5c5ed625e14cf60753e391eabb292d6.png

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What a lovely old beast, and will be interesting with a D5252t engine in.

Electronic wise, they're pretty simple but if you're not going down the fully mechanical pump route, then you'll need the Accelerator pedal too.

Good luck & keep the updates coming.

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Thanks, I assumed I'd need the pedal and possibly the clocks too.

Some more progress with the stripdown. The wiring on these is a nightmare, every core is either blue or yellow (very Swedish) with aluminium tags on each end. Of course the tags are now mostly white powder, and with the changes I'm making anyway, it's getting ripped out and done from scratch.

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The rear body is now liftable, just waiting a reshuffle (and this spare Amazon to be sold) so I have room to move stuff around.

Of course nothing can ever be lifted without forgetting something. This time it was a load bearing handbrake cable which might now be knackered, probably already was though!

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The chassis still seems solid for the most part, which is encouraging.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a busy few weeks, but been chipping away most evenings.

 

Rear body is now gone, and the chassis is pleasantly solid underneath, no nasty surprises, and just a bit of rust on the rear crossmember to deal with. I'll get the chassis blasted in the next few weeks all being well.

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The cab is stripped now, including the sound deadening stuff on the inside and a fair bit of the paint on the outside. Need to dig the doors out of storage to strip those too. The cab is almost ready to lift - just need to remove the handbrake and gearstick and it'll lift straight off. Waiting on doing some work on my new daily before taking up more shed space by splitting them. Once the cab is off and the chassis is being blasted, I'll make a start on the axles - I have 2 sets, they're all Salisbury which if they were for a series Landy would be a very good thing, but may prove tricky to get some parts for. Won't really know til they're stripped down. I am hoping to change the 6.17 ratio diffs to something more suitable to diesel torque, like the 5.38 from earlier Laplanders, or maybe even 4.7s if LR Salisbury gears will fit. It'll never be fast though - I'm told they get pretty scary above 60mph!

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3 hours ago, warninglight said:

It's been a busy few weeks, but been chipping away most evenings.

 

Rear body is now gone, and the chassis is pleasantly solid underneath, no nasty surprises, and just a bit of rust on the rear crossmember to deal with. I'll get the chassis blasted in the next few weeks all being well.

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The cab is stripped now, including the sound deadening stuff on the inside and a fair bit of the paint on the outside. Need to dig the doors out of storage to strip those too. The cab is almost ready to lift - just need to remove the handbrake and gearstick and it'll lift straight off. Waiting on doing some work on my new daily before taking up more shed space by splitting them. Once the cab is off and the chassis is being blasted, I'll make a start on the axles - I have 2 sets, they're all Salisbury which if they were for a series Landy would be a very good thing, but may prove tricky to get some parts for. Won't really know til they're stripped down. I am hoping to change the 6.17 ratio diffs to something more suitable to diesel torque, like the 5.38 from earlier Laplanders, or maybe even 4.7s if LR Salisbury gears will fit. It'll never be fast though - I'm told they get pretty scary above 60mph!

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ANYTHING with tyres like that on is terrifying anywhere above 50-60.  Especially if you're not carrying significant additional ballast.  Oh...and let's not forget that on wet tarmac it will be like driving on black ice.

A friend back up north has something that was at some point in its life an ex military airdrop Land Rover.  It's been significantly modified over the years and goes like hell.  Among other things that have changed, it wears massive balloon tyres, think the wheels are something like 12".  Fantastic for bombing around off road without destroying your back, on the road however I discovered them to be... somewhat sub optimal.

I made the mistake of going above 50 in it one day, this was immediately regretted as it started bouncing...which rapidly escalated to the point where I'm pretty certain I was physically leaving the tarmac several times a second.  To this day I do not know how I kept it pointing in the right direction, but I never made that mistake twice!

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I have a few ideas for reducing the scare factor - well as much as I can given my arse will be on top of the front wheelarch and in road use it's RWD...

The tyres on it are older than me, made in Romania by 'Danubiana' - I googled this brand and found out that even when new they were dangerous.

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There was never any chance of them staying on anyway! There are a few tyre options around the right size, including the BF Goodrich A/T which I've used on a  couple of old Discos in the last few years, albeit in a smaller size, and they've behaved pretty well. No point going for noisy Mud Terrains or anything - I've never got stuck on ATs with good tread.

The other thing to soften the ride somewhat is to look at removing some leaf springs, and fitting some supplementary air springs - it can self-level then and hopefully provide a nicer ride. Handy if the eventual camper plans come off too, as it can level the body up very easily.

Some people have suggested PAS helps a lot - so in time I may look at the Corsa electric PAS system, but initially it'll just be a new steering damper and everything properly adjusted.

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  • 2 months later...

I had a few weeks of little to no progress, as I've been working through my new to me daily XC90 when I've had a chance. I did manage to separate the cab from the chassis, and decided it was worth getting a local fabricator to sort the rusty rear crossmember and few other bits for me, to speed things up. The portable gantry crane made easy work of this job! I'm weighing up whether to get the chassis galvanised at this stage. It's not without its risks, it could warp the chassis. I'll take advice from the fabricator on that, as I may regret not doing it.

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  • 11 months later...

One year on and I've made some progress, even though life got in the way a bit!

 

There was quite a lot of rot in the chassis, I realised it would take me ages to sort it myself, so I dropped it to my friendly local welder/fabricator, who replaced fairly large sections of chassis rail, made a new rear crossmember, and also modified a pair of late Series 3 Landy axles to fit my leaf springs, as the Volvo axles are incredibly hard to get parts for, and had the wrong gearing for what I wanted.20210405_143853.thumb.jpg.fdeae7e545dbc512648e7aa3b8c11bde.jpg

 

The reason I wanted some longer gearing was because I had also pickup up this 2003 Octavia TDI donor car, to get its engine. It's an ASV, so a 110bhp with the Bosch pump. I originally wanted the VW 5 pot that Volvo used in the 850/V70, but didn't really want or need the extra bulk of it. The 4 pot should be simpler to setup too. My current plan is to stick with the ECU as a fly by wire throttle would be handy in this, and a manual setup is never quite perfect.

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Whilst I've been getting the engine ready (flywheel and adaptor plate from Sweden, removing ancillaries that I don't need) I've also been cutting the extensive rot out of the cab. There's a lot! Most of it is now out, so I need to get good at fabricating new footwells etc. before it can go back together with new body mounts.

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I've also managed to get an original back panel for the cab, from the owner of a pickup in the Netherlands, who was enlarging his cab and making his own new panel, so that's a big help!

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  • 7 months later...

Amazing! Thanks for the thought.

I really must post an update soon, however small it will be.

Currently looking for a new workshop where I can work on this, somewhere around Lockerbie/Dumfries.

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  • 1 month later...

Another few months on and not much progress made. Haven't been able to do much this year as I moved away from where my workshop is, but 2023 is looking better in that regard.

 

I now have the Skoda's engine mated to the original 4 speed gearbox and transfer box. I need to have a couple of parts machined to make the clutch work with this setup but it's mounted on the chassis at least.

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The cab is really pretty rotten but I'm getting there. Probably halfway to making it solid. I've just moved house over the border into Scotland, so can now work away at the cab at home this winter which should help speed things up.

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The chassis is now solid and sits on a pair of late series 3 109" Land Rover axles, still on drum brakes and not too wide for what I want. More modern axles might have been nice but I reckon these will be the best all round option. 

 

Next year I'll get the body back on the chassis and get it running. I'm keeping the ECU from the Skoda so it will have some sensors but I'll be waterproofing them where I can. It sits pretty high in the chassis anyway so I'm not too worried about drowning it in water.

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  • warninglight changed the title to Volvo C202 Laplander - 5 years on and newest member of the SVM

5 years into Laplander ownership, and it feels like driving it could be another 5 years off. Let's hope not! I keep finding other things to distract myself. In the last 18 months...

3 house moves (including North of the border, owning all these Volvos it was inevitable)

Full shed move including 4 post lift, gantry crane, dead Austin 1100, driving Amazon etc.

Gained a puppy, a kitten, a new job and a new business venture.

Luckily between jobs, whilst in a short term let, I had some time to work on the cab, so it went from this with just 2 new horizontal brace pieces holding the cab in shape:

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To this, with floors and body mounts on, and the tunnel and 'face' made up. Floor/step panels are now the only thing between me and the cab being the right way up again. 

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Also whilst on a trip to the Midlands, I bagged these wheels to go on my Land Rover series 3 axles - I'd quite like some modern replica 1 ton wheels, but these Wolfs are a close second, and a fraction of the price. They'll do for now at least!

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  • 6 months later...

Since then I've moved house again, and for the first time I have my workshop next to the house, and I don't work on Fridays. In theory, perfect to get this done, in practice I keep finding other projects, another Volvo Amazon, exhuming a barn find Lotus, including now a VW Crafter camper conversion.

Back at the start of the year I took a bit of time off and got the cab floors, front panel and structure all done.


The engine is now turning over on an Audi 80 starter (took a few attempts to find a starter that would fit, with the right tooth count) and I've got a spacer made up for the clutch release bearing so it can reach the pressure plate.

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I'm really pleased with the track width of the series Landy axles on Wolf wheels, they're bang on for the cab. I will be fitting taller tyres, these 235/85/16s look right on a Defender, but the Laplander needs a bit more sidewall really, and it can only help the gearing.

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I had a couple of days on it last week getting through some of the jobs I've been putting off for ages. I always seem to procrastinate with metalwork, but once I get into it I enjoy it.

When I scrapped off the rotten rear body, I lost 6 out of the original 8 body mounting points. The 2 remaining under the cab floors were rotten, so I had to redo them anyway. I wanted to keep the original brackets on the chassis, so have built these rear mounts, which I'll be bracing a bit more - but for now I'm happy! I've braced them to the cab structure for strength and they'll all sit on rubber mounts.
 

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Then I sorted the rot on the bottom of the passenger door - this was the better of the two so made sense to start with this. I'll clean the welds up properly when it comes time for paint, but for now just a coat of weld thru to protect it. It's handy that the doors are just on basic gate hinges, so the doors lift off in seconds. Fully expect to use it without doors in summer!
 

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Then it was on to the driver's door, the worse one! Ideally I'd have sourced a good replacement, but there are a few issues with that. These C202s were all built in Hungary using poor quality steel, whatever was available to the Soviets, and they only built around 2000 of these, so finding a good replacement or two will be impossible. The earlier Laplanders in the 50s and 60s were built in Sweden and are much more rust resistant, and were produced in higher numbers. The doors on these were a totally different pressing - the frames would probably fit but the C202 has those angular bulges on the doors and B pillars, which the earlier ones didn't. If I could find some better C202 doors, I'd be paying for a pallet from somewhere in Europe, and still have some repairs to do.

So with nothing to lose I started cutting rot out of the driver's door.

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And that's up to date! When I'm back over there I'm going to finish the driver's door, then there is a day or two's work in finishing off the cab welding, it'll be back off the chassis and upside down for some of that. I have a machined spacer on the clutch release bearing now too, so the engine and gearbox will soon be mounted on the chassis more permanently. Not far off the point of starting to build it up - mostly from scratch as with the engine swap and not much of the interior kept, it'll be a fair task.

Anyone want to buy an Amazon, or two?

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Always a delight when this thread pops up again. And some pretty serious progress since the last update. Good work! 

Those Amazons, though... The last thing I need in my life right now is an Amazon, but that estate. Gnaaah! Where's the emoji for going crosseyed with misplaced impossible desire? 

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