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My wife fell in love with an original (except paint) 142s. The car looks to be a good driver with some rust (previously repaired, I think, popping out in the end of the rockers. Minimal bondo found and inner rockers seems very solid as are the floors and jack points.
My question is in regard to the rear wheel wells. On both sides there is rust through behind the tires into the trunk area. Just sheet metal The driver's side is a bit more serious than the passenger side as the rust is on the sheet metal down to the "frame rail" where the shock attaches. Frame rail appears to be very solid and no sags, etc. Can I repair the wheel well sheet metal if the frame rail and support area is OK or does the rail need to be cut out for the repair?

Unfortunately I can't seem to add pic.
 

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The driver's side is a bit more serious than the passenger side as the rust is on the sheet metal down to the "frame rail" where the shock attaches. Frame rail appears to be very solid and no sags, etc. Can I repair the wheel well sheet metal if the frame rail and support area is OK or does the rail need to be cut out for the repair?

Unfortunately I can't seem to add pic.
Fist off, no 'frame' rails since it is unibody construction; but, I know about the channels in the body extrusion that you refer to. You are referring to the upper rear shock mount, correct? If so, as long as the threaded area that receives the upper shock mounting bolt is in good condition you are 'good to go'. The 140s have a reinforcing plate that that is tack welded to the inner wheel well wall - the shock mounting bolt goes through this plate. This plate traps moisture behind the plate leading to rusting through on the inner wheel well into the trunk (been there, done that, got the Tee shirt). You can remove the reenforcing plate, patch the rusted inner wheel well section and tack on a replacement plate - they are available. That is what I had done. However, after patching the inner wheel well replacing the reenforcing plate is optional. On the later 240 models Volvo eliminated that outer support plate for the upper shock bolt and the bolt lives happily with this cantilevered arrangement - as long as the threaded area that receives the bolt is in good condition. Replacing the reinforcing plate does create potential problems if you don't get the spacing perfect. Too tight and you can't get the upper shock mount into position. Too loose and the upper shock clevis will bang back and forth over bumps (my problem). If you search back several years you will find posts where people have eliminated the outer shock reinforcing plate following rust repair on 140s and 160s.

From experience, other areas to carefully check
- in the rear wheel wells there is a reenforcing plate for the attachment for the outer rear seat belt. Check around that plate because it also traps moisture just like the shock reenforcing plate.
- rear wheel lips rust like crazy all the way around
- the trunk wells behind the rear wheels - check the seam where they are attached to the fender and bottom platform.
- front wheel wells - check the inner fender wall just behind the headlights. May require that you remove undercoating to find rust.
- front wheel wells - check the area at the back where the fender meets up with the firewall. Its common for undercoating to loosen and accumulate moisture leading to severe rust all along the firewall at this point.
- front wheel wells - check the area around the hood hinge attachment points. This is a very common rust area.
- on the 142 check the horizontal seam between the rocker and the rear quarter panel. rust shows up on the inside first. It is notoriously hard to get that seam painted properly - getting the base of the seam rust free and paint into the base of the seam = impossible. After rust repair, I had that seam filled in with a weld bead and ground smooth. Painting is much easier; but, if I ever had to do a rocker replacement it will be much harder. I pop the inspection caps on my rockers and keep them well sprayed with Rust Check.
- if the car was a winter driver the floor pans may have interior rust because of moisture soaking into the carpets from melting snow from boots.
- the bottom of the doors can be a problem if the drain holes got plugged. My 1971 did not have any problems with door rust.
 

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There are lots of sources for the panels, so if you do a careful inspection of the areas noted by 142guy you can get all the panels required.

Here is the VP selection,

http://212.247.61.152/us/main.aspx?page=article&artno=1401090307

NOTE that they have some components listed as "Economy", these aftermarket parts are fine but if you get aftermarket parts for the area around the Spare Wheel Wells in the trunk from a different "Non Volvo Expert" supplier make sure that you double check the year of your car and the chassis number against the exact part number for fitment, as changes in the middle of the 1973 production evolved into 1974 as the 140 morphed into the 240.


Here is a list from Rock Auto

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/volvo,1972,142,2.0l+l4,1286726,body,wheel+arch+trim,12415
 
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