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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I'm new to the forum but not the 1800. Had a '71E from '73 until marrige and kids (sold it to a friend in ''85). Just bought a nice '70E (kids are gone now!) some IPD parts and nice touches from earlier owners. After some familiarization, set out on a road trip but had to abort that when I saw the oil pressure gauge doing something very, very odd. The needle was quivering and generally reading a bit low. I shut down right away but noticed that the gauge reading actually went UP a bit as I slowed - very odd. At first I thought it was something in the oil pump; maybe the bypass spring is weak or stuck or it had some strange cavitation problem (not real likely at 2500 - 3000 RPM). I had just changed the oil, of course I checked it - it was fine. Knowing of Smiths' reputation from my experinece with my '71 (yeah even when they were new, they were flaky - I've never seen an E with a really useful oil temp gauge), and NOT real anxious to tear into the bottom end of the engine (which sounded fine all through this episode and still does) I decided to put a "T" in the pressure line and installed a second after market gauge in parallel with the Smiths. Bottom line: the Smiths seems to be reading about 8 PSI low - not a real surprise for a 40 year old gauge. I've since put at least 400 miles on the car and the oil pressure seems to be fine under all conditions. But - here's the punch line -> I've yet to see either gauge flicker like the Smiths did that one and only time.<p>SO, here is question #1 for you all: has anyone else ever seen a Smiths gauge (or ANY mechanical gauge for that matter) decide on its own to go into a little dance like that? We're talking the needle centered over about 30 PSI at highway speed (too low normally) and quivering very rapidly maybe +/- 4 PSI.<p>I've visited with the folks as Noiesinger (spelling?) and they tell me $125 for a rebuild; which I may do. But that (and the reputation of Smiths) has lead me to at least <I></I>consider<I></I> a different gauge (sorry to the pusiests out there) and <B></B>that<B></B> has me wondering if the 1800 was the only car to ever use what seems to be a really odd size gauge set. So question #2 is this: If I measure it correctly (and at my age that's a real question <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/zeroforum_graphics/screwy.gif" BORDER="0"> ) these are about 57mm gauges rather than the much more common 52MM. Did I miss something there?<p>Finally, if anyone has had experience with alternate gauges, both how they look vis-a-vis the originals and how they've worked for you, I am in the information gathering mode.<p>Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Re: A couple Smiths gauges questions (nadanutcase)

Welcome to Swedespeed, Dave.<p>Let's see some pics of your "new" Volvo!<p>The flicker of the needle may have been bubbles in the oil pressure line feeding the gauge - watch them 1g exit ramps!<p>Is your car's dash factory original?<p><A HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/smiths/show" TARGET="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/6.../show</A>/<p>Does it look like this?...<p><A HREF="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3259/2559611662_8cc19a9c3e.jpg?v=0" TARGET="_blank">http://farm4.static.flickr.com...g?v=0</A><p>57mm - the hole or the outside trim?<p>George Dill<p>
 

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VDO sold an adapter for their 52mm gauges to use in the 57mm? hole. It's a metal ring with a step. Don't know if there still available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: A couple Smiths gauges questions (gdill2)

Thanks for the replies. After a couple long test drives that convienced me it was most likely a gauge problem, I pulled the Smiiths gauge and capped the line to it leaving the other gauge in its temporary location. I measured the case of the Smiths, not the mounting ring and it's about 57mm. <br>I guess I can sort of understand how a bubble in the line might cause a weird reading, but that immediately leads to the question of how it got there? If the oil pump is doing something odd I'd like to know that, but with the possible exception of having the by pump bypass valve ball sticking or something like that, I can't envision what happened. It DID look like the pump was sucking air but we weren't doing anything even close to the extreme manuvers that could lead to that. For what it's worth I had been driving at highway speed for at least 45 minutes and we were in a mountain pass climbing when it happened. I wound up hauling the car home to Iowa where mountains are kinda scarce but I've charged up, down and around every river bluff, nook and cranny I could find and have yet to see that gauge repeat its dance. The only REALLY off the wall thought I've had and that I can't repeat here was that somehow the shift in atmospheric pressure as we climbed had some effect on the bordon tube in the gauge. But that's really a stretch. <p>The dash of my car is all stock the only interior changes the last owner made was a smaller more sporty steering wheel, and he liked some of the stylistic features of the early Jensen built 1800's so he installed a rear view mirror on the top of the dash. It's takiing some getting use to, but it is at least interesting. <p>On the outside it's also kind of intersting in that it's a '70E with the bullhorn front bumpers and longer wrap around rear bumpers from the Jensen era BUT it has some modern wheels with low profile tires. My description doesn't do it justice. It does gather a lot of nice comments. The last owner was more of a body, paint and style man than a gear head where I am the opposit. My '71 was a daily driver that was runnig fine but it had succumbed to mid-western weather. And in the pre-internet 80's I couldn't locate stuff like dash pads and arm rests so it was kinda sad looking when I sold her. One good thing about my "new" '70 is that, up to now, it's been a west coast car. As far as I can tell all the body panels are original and it's solid. It's also parked in my shop AND under a car cover where it'll sleep all winter.<p> I looked around this site a bit last time and don't see any way to post pics to it. Am I missing it or do I have to provide a link to some?
 

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Re: A couple Smiths gauges questions (nadanutcase)

Save the pics on your computer then set up a free account here...<p><A HREF="http://www.flickr.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.flickr.com</A>/<p>...or any other free photo sharing site then save the pics on that site and paste their individual url's in you text reply on Swedespeed like this...<p><A HREF="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/142/322673107_48115ece72.jpg?v=0" TARGET="_blank">http://farm1.static.flickr.com...g?v=0</A><p>Let's see some pics!<p>George Dill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are some pics and a bit of a status report

Hi George - well I tried to post some pics to Flicker... see if this works for you : <br><A HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadanutcase" TARGET="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadanutcase</A>/<p>If you follow the listings on Ebay motors your may recall seeing this 1800 on there back in January; that's when I started to formulate a plan to buy it and drive it back to Iowa - always with the idea that doing that in a 40 year old car that I'd not even touched was basically a crazy Idea. I got a lot of service history for it months before my attempted trip and went over it and it seemed like I had a chance of making it, but as I explained in my first posting I had to go to "plan B". So now I am in the 'discovery' phase of ownership finding stuff to fix with an eye towards a road trip NEXT year.<p>A couple examples: <br>1) when I got the car the heater control was stuck in a half on state because the cable had come off the control valve. So I remove the A/C unit and got to it. I found that it was very stiff which cause the cable to jump off. So I soaked with some solvent and got it free; put the cable back on, started the car and verified that no heat went to the heater core until the valve was opened. "GOOD" I thought, that's fixed. Then a couple minutes later I noticed that it now had a drip of anti-freeze hanging on it.. "%#@" I thought and now I have one on order from a dealer on Ebay. <p>2) On the other hand, the car has been running pretty good at any speed but had a rather rough idle. I started to search for vacuum leaks, found some small ones and it was getting a bit better but still too rough. I wanted to check the condition of the injectors (another possible cause of the problem per the Bosch fuel injection manual) so I bought some injector seals to replace them. As I was remounting the injectors I noticed that they still turned even with the metal rings fully seated; clearly that's not right. So I took a close look at the metal mounting caps and found that over the years they had been bowed slightly up in the middle by, who knows how many removals and reseating. I peened them back down a bit and then when I mounted the injectors they were snug in the mounts. When I started it up there was a great improvement in the idle. After a test drive to get it warmed up I tweaked the idle in to 1000 and it's a much happier sounding engine <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>SO, one thing at a time ove the next months I expect I'll have my road trip car in shape for the real deal.<p>Later,<p>Dave
 

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Re: Here are some pics and a bit of a status report (nadanutcase)

Cool color, Dave...<p><A HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadanutcase/show" TARGET="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadanutcase/show</A>/<p>Has the oil gauge acted up any more?<p>George Dill
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Here are some pics and a bit of a status report (gdill2)

Hi George - <p>re: the color - I was told by the guy I got it from that, that is Chev Hugger Orange. Not exactly a legitimate Volvo color but, as you can see, it does work nicely. This car, like my first one, started out green (not sure if that's really BRG but I've seen others call it that). Then it was given a really through red paint job which was getting a little care worn when he got it. He originally considered going back to the green color but decided to go with this. This is honestly not a show car paint job. Good paint where it's at but you can still see red in the door wells. It's fine for a weekend fun car and looks good in a parking lot, so I have no complaint there.<p>re: the gauge - I still have the after market oil gauge just sitting on the console and it's remained solid during all the drives I have taken. I am a bit undecided about what to do. If the Smiths weren't such an odd size, limiting my replacement options, I'd probably put a full gauge set on my Christmas wish list. (and I get all the lists <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> ) While I have the dash half taken apart waiting to get that heater control valve, I'll probably play around with the gauges a bit more. I sprung $15 to buy another "good" Smiths oil pressure gauge off of Ebay so I'll probably try piping that in to see how it looks vis-a-vis my add-on gauge. If it looks reasonable I'll likely use that for a while. But with Smiths out of business and the cost of rebuilds so high AND given that I'm sure my speedo is flakey AND that I've found that the tach hangs up near 5000 RPM (it won't go any higher but the old B20 sure will), in the long run I'll likley annoy any pureists I encounter with an alternate gauge set. One problem with that is the fuel gauge (which also won't go above about 4/5 full). I'm not sure what, if any options I have there. Any ideas?<p>Finally, should we take this discussion elsehwhere on this message board?<p>Dave
 

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There is one possibility that the flexable oil line is the cause of the eratic reading.<br>Look at the line and see if it looks like any rubber is oozing out of the braid. If so replace.<br>As for the gas gauge, it gets it's power from a voltage stabilizer. It also supplies the temp gauges. It's supposed to put out 10 volts.
 
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