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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been driving my P1800 daily for a week and a bit now, and so far I'm enjoying it! I've had it up to 65mph where it feels stable, and the longest trip I took was 20 mins to a cars-n-coffee and 20 mins back. Interestingly while I was there I was talking to the owner of a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE and mentioned that I had the P1800. He said "Oh, I saw that pull in and thought it was the best looking car here - can we go take a look".

So, during this week, I've noticed a few odd things that I'll need to address. Maybe some are normal.

1. I sometimes have trouble going in to first gear. Sometimes it drops in real easy, other times I need to push with some force, other times it wont go at all. In those last cases, I need to go in to 2nd or 3rd, get the car rolling, then it'll drop in to 1st. Is this worn syncros?

2. The shifter doesn't rest where I'd expect it to. In any other manual car I've driven, the shifter typically returns to the center of the pattern, indicated here on a standard 5sp.


On my P1800, it seems to rest almost to the right hand side. Is that normal? If it returned to the center position, I'd reduce the number of times I hit reverse while trying to find 1st.
[

That's partially due to the pattern feeling like it's really tight. Is that normal?

3. The car has popped out of 4th gear on it's own a couple of times. It hasn't happened enough to know if its because I didn't put it in firm enough, of if something is worn. Could this indicate something?

4. My tach reads high. Hard to say exactly by how much, but my guess is 50-60% high. I've installed a Beru ignition coil when I did all my upgrades, and suspect this might be the issue. https://www.amazon.com/0/dp/B0743K2K2L Any ideas how to get it back to normal?

5. My speedo bounces all over the place. From what I've read, I suspect the cable is binding somewhere. I haven't tried to troubleshoot this yet, but I have found some old threads on it.

6. The shifter grinds when going in to reverse from time to time. I've read that this is due to the lack of syncros on the reverse gear. I've found I can reduce it by going in slowly. Any other tips?

7. I have a red light next to my ammeter. I think the bulb is burnt out, but I'm not sure what it does. The light looks to be hooked to 2 large green wires coming in, and 2 large black wires going out. I have a gen light on my speedo (which is what tipped me off to performing my alternator upgrade) - so I know that works. Could this light be a second generator light?


7a. I do have a parking brake switch. I was trying to troubleshoot it, but noticed that the wire leading from it seemed to be permanently grounded, rendering the switch useless. I cut that wire, and used the switch side hooked to a bulb that was also connected to switched power, and tucked that bulb in the red housing mentioned above. So now that light is for my parking brake warning. Which I needed because I drove ~4 miles the other day with it on.

8. My blinkers work well, and auto-cancel as I make my turn. However, sometimes when making hard turns and not signalling (mostly going around my works parking garage) I find the turn signals come on by themselves. Can this be fixed? When making a hard right turn, it's the left signal that comes on and vice versa. The signal stops when I straighten the wheel.

9. In order to turn on my hazards, there is a pull-switch under the dash. Pulling it does nothing, unless either the left or right blinker is engaged. So it seems that switch is just jumping the right and left sides. Not sure how to troubleshoot this one? A side effect of this is that when I put on my turn signals, the hazard indicator in the speedo also flashes.

10. There was a thread where someone mentioned cutting down the foot rest so it was narrower. I was wondering why someone would want to do that. Now I know.

11. The car feels small to me. I'd like to get my seats lower and back further. When I pulled the seat out, I made sure to re-install it at it's lowest possible setting. My legs are still pressed in to the steering wheel, and I'd like it if I had an inch or two more room to slide the seat back. Anyone done this?

12, Sometimes when braking, I'll hear a sound that sounds like it's coming from the front of the car. Somewhere between a 'tock' and a 'clunk'. It doesn't happen all the time and I can't recreate it when the car is stopped. If I hear the sound and let off the brake and then re-apply the brakes, it's never happened a second time. It almost sounds as if something is hinged, and then falls forward upon braking. But there is no converse sound of something falling back upon acceleration. I'm stumped. Sound familiar to anyone?

13. My fuel gauge doesn't work at all, but I have found threads on how to troubleshoot. Just need to get on that. As of now, I'm just trying to fill it well ahead of when it should be needed.

14. The water temp gauge works, but the oil temp does not. Do people find you need both? I would think they'd give similar warnings? My oil pressure gauge does seem to work, and in fact is the only gauge that does work. :)
 

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Here is what mine does with some of the above.
6) mine is the same with reverse - I will only find out why when it finally gets higher than everything else on my todo list
9) I never knew that I had a hazard light. Where is yours?
13) Even when the gauge works perfectly, it swings all over because of the age/type. It is an easy test when you get around to it.
14) To fix that gauge, you have to send them off. They can change your clock so that it has new innards - so I recommend doing that when you send off the others. I am currently testing my water and oil gauges myself - These cars traditionally run very cool. Running hot typically does not happen for these. Beyond that, I defer to the long term pros.
 

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I will constrain my comments to the gearbox because I have a 140, not an 1800 so can't advise on the other stuff.

Yes, no synchro going into reverse. The normal effect of that is that sometimes the transmission will block the shift into reverse because the teeth are too far from being aligned to permit engagement. A slight mis alignment may result in a small clunk going into reverse. If you get grinding going into reverse, that is a sign that the input shaft to the transmission is still turning when you shift into reverse. That means the clutch is not releasing completely or the input shaft is dragging in the pilot bearing. A little bit of drag on an older car is probably normal. The first thing to check would be to make sure that the clutch mechanism is releasing completely.

A clutch that is not releasing completely can definitely make the shift into first gear difficult / impossible so checking the operation of the clutch would be tops on my list. However, even clutches that are good seem to have a little drag. What weight oil are you using in your M40 (M41?). Volvo's official recommendations have changed over the years. Since even good clutches can have a little drag, if you are using a very light viscosity oil this reduces the viscous drag on the input shaft and even tiny amounts of clutch drag can cause a lot of input shaft rotation = grind / balk going into first. Worn synchros make the problem worse. You might want to try Red Line MTL oil to see if it improves the operation of the synchros. I use Red Line MTL on my M41. More than 130,000 miles on it; but, I am unsure how much more because the odo died a long time ago before I replaced the speedo. It shifts very nicely for a 48 year old original transmission.

Slipping out of 4th is not good. Is it slipping out under load? Its possible that something might be up with the shift mechanism causing incomplete engagement of the input and output shaft by the 4th gear selector / synchronizer thingy (can't remember the name of the thing). I have a 1971 with the truck lever gear shift so not directly comparable to the P1800 shift mechanism. On my car neutral is directly between 1 and 2 which is where the Volvo service manual says it is supposed to be so you might have a selector problem. Do you have any bearing whine? Because of the straight through nature of 4th gear worn bearings can cause shaft mis alignment leading to shifting problems and popping out of gear.
 

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RJ;

That's quite a list...

1. I sometimes have trouble going in to first gear. Sometimes it drops in real easy, other times I need to push with some force [if Clutch is being released fully, this should never be necessary...lay select lever up against gear you want, let synchros do what they do (align the gears), and it should drop in like butter and without fuss!], other times it wont go at all. In those last cases, I need to go in to 2nd or 3rd, get the car rolling, then it'll drop in to 1st. Is this worn syncros? [No, as 142g suggests, it is a clutch not being fully disengaging!...check fluid and adjustment! possibly bleed.]

2. The shifter doesn't rest where I'd expect it to. In any other manual car I've driven, the shifter typically returns to the center of the pattern, indicated here on a standard 5sp.


On my P1800, it seems to rest almost to the right hand side. Is that normal? If it returned to the center position, I'd reduce the number of times I hit reverse while trying to find 1st. [I don't see how it is possible to EVER mistakenly select Reverse, as this must be accompanied by lifting the Shiftlever over the Reverse lockout...maybe this feature is not present or somehow not working right...lift Shiftboot and inspect!]
[

That's partially due to the pattern feeling like it's really tight. Is that normal? [NO! M40/41 are some of the nicest feeling and shifting gearboxes out there...!]

3. The car has popped out of 4th gear on it's own a couple of times. It hasn't happened enough to know if its because I didn't put it in firm enough [doubtful...the detent should keep it engaged once in...], of if something is worn. Could this indicate something? [Yes, this also suggest a selector issue.]

4. My tach reads high. Hard to say exactly by how much, but my guess is 50-60% high. I've installed a Beru ignition coil when I did all my upgrades, and suspect this might be the issue. https://www.amazon.com/0/dp/B0743K2K2L Any ideas how to get it back to normal? [Generous Tach is somewhat typical of the Smiths tach as internal capacitors get old...it MIGHT be related to changing ignition coil...switch back to original coil as a test. See also: https://www.sw-em.com/Smith's Tachometer.htm

5. My speedo bounces all over the place. From what I've read, I suspect the cable is binding somewhere. I haven't tried to troubleshoot this yet, but I have found some old threads on it. [See what happens after you clean and lube cable plus right angle drive at Gearbox.]

6. The shifter grinds when going in to reverse from time to time. I've read that this is due to the lack of syncros on the reverse gear. I've found I can reduce it by going in slowly. Any other tips? [ Reverse has no synchro, and it grinding is a sure indication of insufficient throwout action at Slave!]

7. I have a red light next to my ammeter. I think the bulb is burnt out, but I'm not sure what it does. [Ampmeter and additional light are not standard, so how can you expect us to know their function...is this a SW-EM Alt conversion and done to the supplied wiring instructions?]The light looks to be hooked to 2 large green wires coming in, and 2 large black wires going out. I have a gen light on my speedo (which is what tipped me off to performing my alternator upgrade) - so I know that works. Could this light be a second generator light? [Trace wires and post, that's the only way we can help with non-oe add-ons]


7a. I do have a parking brake switch. [Do you mean the switch which senses Parking Brake lever is lifted and activated?] I was trying to troubleshoot it, but noticed that the wire leading from it seemed to be permanently grounded, rendering the switch useless. [If switch is indeed closed, grounding this wire, I would say it renders the Indicator useless as it would be ON all the time...disconnect wire from switch...if Ind goes OFF, closed switch is confirmed...all else being normal, replace switch - OR a few drops of Deoxit applied down the switch plunger, followed by exercising the plunger a few times might restor nomal switch function...otherwise replace switch.] I cut that wire, and used the switch side hooked to a bulb that was also connected to switched power, and tucked that bulb in the red housing mentioned above. So now that light is for my parking brake warning. Which I needed because I drove ~4 miles the other day with it on.[ ...don't understand this.]

8. My blinkers work well, and auto-cancel as I make my turn. However, sometimes when making hard turns and not signalling (mostly going around my works parking garage) I find the turn signals come on by themselves. Can this be fixed? When making a hard right turn, it's the left signal that comes on and vice versa. The signal stops when I straighten the wheel. [Clean and lube Dir Sw mechanism! Self-activating is an unusual failure mechanism, but how knows what 50 year old dirt or Fido hairs can do in that fine mechanism. See: https://www.sw-em.com/Directional_Indicator_Switch_Mechanism.htm

9. In order to turn on my hazards, there is a pull-switch under the dash. Pulling it does nothing, unless either the left or right blinker is engaged. So it seems that switch is just jumping the right and left sides. [ ...connecting the right and Left Dir Sig circuits together is one of the functions of E-Flasher Sw...the other is applying power, possibly through the original Blinker Element, possibly through its own...inspect wiring and determine what you have...E-Flashers were not factory OE so added on by either dealer or PO.] Not sure how to troubleshoot this one? A side effect of this is that when I put on my turn signals, the hazard indicator in the speedo also flashes. [What "hazard indicator in the speedo"...do you mean Dir Ind Control Lamp in Speedo? See also: https://www.sw-em.com/emergflash.htm]

10. There was a thread where someone mentioned cutting down the foot rest so it was narrower. I was wondering why someone would want to do that. Now I know.

11. The car feels small to me. [If you think the P`1800 is "small", try the passengers side of a Miata with its abbreviated Footwell...thankfully they left enough room for the driver!!] I'd like to get my seats lower and back further. When I pulled the seat out, I made sure to re-install it at it's lowest possible setting. My legs are still pressed in to the steering wheel, and I'd like it if I had an inch or two more room to slide the seat back. Anyone done this? [P1800 has plenty of room for big, tall Swedes!...assure Seatframe is bolted to Seatframe Rails at furthest rear (not just lowest) position.]

12, Sometimes when braking, I'll hear a sound that sounds like it's coming from the front of the car. Somewhere between a 'tock' and a 'clunk'. It doesn't happen all the time and I can't recreate it when the car is stopped. If I hear the sound and let off the brake and then re-apply the brakes, it's never happened a second time. It almost sounds as if something is hinged, and then falls forward upon braking. But there is no converse sound of something falling back upon acceleration. I'm stumped. Sound familiar to anyone? [With car on a lift and front-end off the ground and unloaded (except for Spring preload) feel around for looseness or slop...in bushings, Balljoints, Brake Caliper...if you can't find any obvious slop, remove spring to take away its preload of the Upper and Lower Control-Arms, and repeat.

13. My fuel gauge doesn't work at all, but I have found threads on how to troubleshoot. Just need to get on that. As of now, I'm just trying to fill it well ahead of when it should be needed. [Divide and conquer Gauge from Sender, determine which has issue. See also: https://www.sw-em.com/Fuel Gauge Notes.htm ]

14. The water temp gauge works [Great, consider yourself lucky!], but the oil temp does not. Do people find you need both? [Oil Temp was more important years ago when hot operation could approach operating limits of those oils...that's why they also installed the Oil/Coolant Heat Exchanger (I advise removing this component if still present as they are known to fail, allowing oil into Coolant...a real mess!!), modern oils have higher operating limits so will easily endure the operation.] I would think they'd give similar warnings? My oil pressure gauge does seem to work, and in fact is the only gauge that does work. [Oil temp, is higher than Coolant Temp, and it lags well behind Coolant temp, so Oil Temp typically does not come off the peg and become visible until a long way into a drive or while running fast and hard...your Oil Temp Gauge might be fine, and you won't see it until you are an hour in or in really hot operating conditions. Good Hunting!]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Yep, it was a long list. I just kept driving, and then typing, and driving, and typing and ended up with the novel you see in the OP.

So, most of my trans issues went away when I changed out the oil. I used the oil recommended on the IPD site (30wt) and it now shifts better and stays in 4th. I wouldn't say it feels super smooth, but it's working. I think another change (and maybe different oils as suggested) might help even more.

I checked my speedo cable for binding and found that the casing had worn through in one spot. I tried to repair it with a sheath, but eventually I replaced the cable and ran it along a slightly different path to avoid future breaks. It works now.

I think I read after posting that the normal resting spot for the shifter is where mine is. So that's fine. I don't have to lift anything for reverse, so I'm going to inspect that. Thanks.

I don't see any emergency brake light on my dash which is why I was confused as to what the switch at the brake lever would trigger. I didn't know the ammeter and other light were non-OE. I thought I'd seen other photos of them, and thus factory options. I'll get more details from tracing the wires and report back. I'm happy with my current set up using the non-OE light as the emergency brake indicator.

Good to know about the oil temp gauge. I haven't driven any more than 25 mins, so it's possible it's working.

Ron - I read your tach page (after my post - apologies for that) and will try to troubleshoot with it. So far, it's lower on my to-do list.

I pulled the steering wheel and inspected the mechanism for the turn signals. No debris - surprisingly clean (replaced at some point?) and seemed fine. Put the wheel back on and it no longer comes on by itself, but the cancelling doesn't work as well. I'll pull it off again and have a closer look at the collar.

As per the clunk, I'll check those items mentioned. I'd previously only checked the calipers and they were fine.

As per the Dir Indicator, it wasn't until just this moment did I realize I have 2 non-OE turn signal indicators. I have 2 little green lights, one on either side of the temp gauge. Right goes on with right, left goes on with left, but also, there's the Direction Indicator that ALSO goes off when either one is flashing. Not knowing that my 2 individual lights were non-OE, I just assumed the light at the bottom of the speedo was for the hazzards. Ok, problem solved.

As always, Ron and 142, thanks for the insights!

-Rick
 

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Seems like you might be the recipient of some creative wiring / improvements. I use the term improvements loosely.
 
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