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1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Electroshite.


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What a shit day here so time to update this.

That's the clutch plumbed in now.



Now is as good a time as any to fill and bleed the system and test for leaks, while things are out of the way.

But first, pedals.


Pressure bled the clutch but couldn't get the pedal to work the clutch. Hmm. 

Onto the brakes, found quite a few leaks but managed to eventually get a reasonable pedal. I'm still getting small bubbles in the fluid at all corners which I don't know is maybe just coming through the bleed screw threads. It's good enough for now.

Back to the clutch, I had to take the master cylinder off and dismantle it again. It simply had stuck at the bottom of travel after being rebuilt and not used for a while. I coated everything in fresh brake fluid and refitted it. Clutch now works!

Fitted the heater box properly. Foam seal kits for these are expensive so I just cut up some closed cell foam and used that. It works perfectly.


Fitted the remaining coolant pipes and dynamo.


Then realised I forgot to fit the oil pressure switch which is right behind all that..

Screwed that on and.. for fucks sake!


How I managed to snap that by tightening by hand is anyone's guess.

Off with the manifolds and dynamo again to get access..

It did however come out easy enough with a torx bit hammered into it. Thank fuck.


Also, thankfully I have another working switch.


And now to see if all the work that has went into the engine has paid off. Filled engine with oil. Hooked the multimeter into the oil pressure switch, then hotwired the starter motor to turn the engine over.


Success! The oil pressure rose quickly and cut the pressure switch. Can also clearly see oil being pumped through the rockers.

Next I thought I'd do a compression test. The results here were inconclusive as the starter is turning so slowly. I got pretty much the same 50psi on all four cylinders. I suspect the engine is just turning too slowly to get an accurate reading, but them being all the same is encouraging.

Why the starter is turning so slow is another issue, it might just need a better ground point.

Still, not long off till I can start this off a fuel can.


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  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. First turn of the engine

Time for another update dump, or is it a dump update?

Attempted to get to the root of the starter motor slow cranking issue. Basically it was just full of rust and sludge.


I'm really finding buying the scrap donor car a lifesaver, as I have two of almost everything. If I'd had to buy replacements for every part that was dead or needed overhaul I'd be bankrupt.

So I swapped the starter with the other one and it turned over nice and sharp.

Time to get this fired up.

Pulleys and belts.


Carbs and coolant hoses


Rad. Throttle and choke linkages. Oddly frustrating to set up.


Checked the dizzy over. Somewhat stinky.


Rebuilding with all replacement bits and a good clean.



Took me an age to work out how to time the dizzy, until I figured out the marks are on the pulley rather than the timing case.


Getting very close.


HBOL says static timing is 19 degrees BTDC. Really? Ok then.

Let's try that shall we?

I'm not going to build up the dash just to turn the engine over so I've hotwired the ignition using croc clips and jump leads and taking fuel from a jerry can.

Firstly couldn't get fuel up then realised the pump is leaking. I fitted a non return valve after the pump which was enough to get fuel to the bowls.

Well that's the very first turn with fuel in the bowls, and it's very encouraging. It really wants to live but it sounds like it's pinging like mad.

19 BTDC? Really?

Let's sanity check that by nudging the dizzy back to around 8 degrees.


Holy shit.

I'd planned to spend the entire day messing round with this and it only goes and starts and idles lovely. At this point I was really thrown and didn't know what to do.

A few issues. A couple of coolant leaks that just need nipped up.  Valve cover throwing oil out everywhere. Float bowls could do with new gaskets.  But very minor things and I'm well happy!

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  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Go for auto sequence start.
16 minutes ago, GrumpiusMaximus said:

Volvo did make these right.  That engine is running very sweetly indeed!

Pictured.  Fat man approves of Volvo Amazon in Volvo Museum.


I had a plan to drive this Amazon to the Volvo museum for the anniversary. Even if I don't I'd absolutely love to visit it.

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5 minutes ago, juular said:

I had a plan to drive this Amazon to the Volvo museum for the anniversary. Even if I don't I'd absolutely love to visit it.

It's really good!  Spent a couple of hours there back in August.  Apparently they're constructing a World of Volvo in the middle of Gothenburg, due to open next Spring.

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Top work @juular.

It's a nice feeling when it's not being an ungrateful bastard for at least once. Totally agree with getting a donor car if you can, helps massively.

Also want to show how sad/nerdy I am. Suspect folk already knew this.


See that line. That tells you where No.1 cylinder is. Just about every Bosch dizzy I've come across has had that mark. Handy when you forget/muddle up the ht leads 😅.

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On 10/09/2021 at 12:10, juular said:


The car is not as rusty as expected.


^ Just nipped back to page one and spotted this. Bit of a rollercoaster ride ever since that bold statement! 😂

Great to see this old girl inching ever closer to being ready for the road once again after a long hiatus. Superb work.

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Currently sitting in a van in a field while it rains heavily, so may as well bring this up to date.

Filled the gearbox and diff using the little electric fuel pump I was using to transfer veg oil. It's pretty good.


A nice milestone as the car goes back on its flat tyres.


@MrsJuular started refitting the new headlining. THIS IS A SHIT JOB. But she made a very neat job of it. I personally would have set it on fire within precisely eight nanoseconds.


I started fitting the carpets we picked up on the way to shitefest. I never really knew what I was buying but they are very nice.



Glued on in some door trim. The original windlace trim is extremely expensive so I've went for some Chinese rubber instead. Enough to do the entire car and still change from £20.



Next up, reconnecting the wiring and finding all the things that don't work.


Refitted the fusebox complete with a 100A slow blow fuse (top).


The original armoured ignition cable and integrated coil would have sat in a big hole in the firewall. Since I'm fitting a standard coil I decided to make up a plate to convert this space to something more tidy.



Much better.


Relays wired in, and a new electric fuel pump .


Voltage regulator and washer pump.


A lot of wiring was dead or had been butchered by past owners. The starter trigger cable had just been chopped and left in the loom. Shrug. I remade it with proper ends.



Pulling the horn cable through the steering box with some welding wire.



Steering column going back on. Again a lifesaver having a whole spare car worth of parts. The horn push mechanism was dead and a new one is stupid money.


Steering column shroud, modified to take the new overdrive switch. Again, used the better spare.


What a bonny sight.


Eventually got everything working electrically.

The cluster isn't in the best nick so I used the spare one to combine the best parts and make one good one.






An Amazon dash really is a nice thing.


Very close to being functional now, it's really just a case of bolting things back on and some aesthetic stuff. On that front @MrsJuular has volunteered to make new vinyl door cards to replace the ones I sent on fire. 

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  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Refitting interior.
  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Electrics.

Haven't been online much but have been working away on this, mainly redoing the wiring and making the electrics work.

This is a long post!

Starting with the fuse box I binned off the strange stumpy top fuse fitting as it's a pain to get fuses for. As you can see the one currently there is just a normal fuse that has been chopped to fit. Ugly.


Pliers and a drill used in anger fixed that.


Current state of affairs.

Alive : wipers and washers. 

Dead : everything else!

To cut to the chase I've essentially had to rewire much of the car. The loom behind the dash was fine but everything else was varying levels of shit. 

One of the main issues was the factory multiplugs were heavily corroded and brittle, but also the factory fitted scotchlok and screw-in connector blocks. Yes they really did use these.

For your consideration.


Continuity through this mess was, well, it wasn't.

It was decided that this whole section would be snipped out and flung across the garden. I redid it with solder where possible, and spades where not. Don't worry, this fire trap will get all heat shrink wrapped once I know it works.


The rear multiplugs were just as awful and got the same treatment.


Frustratingly although this made the connections reliable a lot of things still didn't work, such as the horn, high beam flash, overdrive and reverse lights. What's more frustrating is that everything looked ok, continuity and good voltage to everything.

Eventually I found that all of the old style relays were completely unreliable and would work when they felt like it.


Those got launched across the garden too and replaced with modern equivalents. Originality be damned.


Lo and behold once I wired these in things began to actually work.



That narrowed the list of faults to just the horn, the rear lights and the fuel and temperature gauges.

The horn was a simple fix. The original sounders were dead (off into the depths of the garden.. bye!). Replaced those with some Halfords value units. Still no luck. Turned out the horn ring wasn't actually making a connection.

Simple fix here, it just needed cleaned up with some sandpaper as the ring around the outside is what makes the actual connection.





That provided about 73 more beep.

Here is a Halfords horn in place and the tidied wiring loom.


Front lights - replaced these with some new halogen units. They seem good.


Rear light problems were traced to poor bulb contacts and bits of corrosion in the light units.



Again simple enough, these were tidied up and rewired. Where the bulb contacts had fallen off, big blobs of solder on the ends of the wires worked perfectly.




Ghetto resilvering done with some foil tape.



Redid the lens seals with some generic rubber.



Just the number plate light to sort. It's part of the very beautiful boot handle.


The bodged wiring is not so beautiful.


Redone with solder and crimps.



Fuel gauge was a head scratcher for a long time as I'd previously tested the sender as good. But it wasn't, and it took a lot of pain to get to that realisation.

The resistor wire that the float runs along turned out to be no longer connected at the left side.


 A bit of ugly soldering got me a working fuel gauge again.


The temperature gauge was much more complex. The original gauge is a mechanical one which works using a copper tube full of ether running all the way from the dash to the cylinder head. Of course after all this time the copper tube had burst and the ether is now in the ether.

It's a beautiful bit of engineering inside but its also very expensive to replace.

I had a plan.

Step one, get an electronic temperature gauge and sender for £8. Test it in a cup of hot water. Rejoice.


Smash the gauge to bits and graft the original gauge face onto the new gauge internals.


Looks legit next to the fuel gauge.


Install into the dash using a bit of board and wire it up.



Amazingly it seems calibrated exactly to the same points as the original mechanical gauge. Happy with that.

One final job. To make the 1/8"NPT sender fit into the 5/8UNF hole in the cylinder head. For this I tapped the collar from the original sender to 1/8NPT to make an adapter.





Now the dash and windscreen trim can go back in properly.


The fiberglass dash top I got was absolute shite and doesn't fit properly. It'll do for now.

Have a teaser of the interior being put in at night.


Not too far off now.

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12 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

its not the fuse for the charging circuit, going from the dynamo voltage regulator to the battery was it?

It's essentially the main ignition switched live that runs everything else. There's no fuse in the charging circuit. Most of the electrics are primitive and clunky and nowhere near modern standards. There are for example no relays to run the horn and lights, everything is fed through heavy switches.

Something I might fix in the future, as well as doing an alternator conversion (plans already in motion).

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  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Random stuff ticked off.
On 16/11/2023 at 23:19, Jim Bell said:

Its going to be fantastic seeing this old tub out and on the the road. It's come so far when sitting still it'll be great to see it making distance under its own power. 

Surely not this side of Christmas though, that'd be an Amazong miracle 

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Well here goes.



Out of the naughty corner at last.

Some issues.

The fuel filter very quickly looked like this.


And the contents of the float bowls.




Cycled the contents of the tank through a series of filters for around 3 hours using an electric pump.


The next attempt wasn't much better.


Could go through a pallet of filters in no time so I set up a syringe with a bit of hose that I can use to backflush the filters with petrol and refit them.

Have also stuck an uberfilter on. This is a fuel injection filter for a Volvo T5 so it should stop this shit getting into the carbs.


Seems to be working. Here is the contents of the filter flushed twice.


Float bowls are still clean so that's something.

Still plenty of work to do.


The mobile editor on this site is really frustrating..  it insists on you seeing this photo again and it can't be deleted.



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  • juular changed the title to 1964 Volvo 122S - Amazonian rustforest. Forward motion.

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