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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Given the number of 142 project cars that have shown up on the Swedespeed 140 forum in the recent past, I feel like a bit of a bandwagon jumper; however, I probably have a history with this car that is longer than most of the others who have posted about their projects. The car in question is a 1971 142E that I purchased after graduating from University in 1975. It had about 50,000 mi on it and had been sold to its first owner in Manitoba. The build date on the VIN plate was June 1971 so it must have been close to the last of the 1971 model year 140s coming off the assembly line. I drove it until about 1981 when I noticed rust perforations on the inner front fenders just behind the headlights. It also had some rust around the rear wheel arch on the passenger side. With about 110,000 miles showing on the odometer, I decided to park the car in my Mother's garage (I am sure she didn't mind!) and started doing some sheet metal repair. I had purchased a new 242 GT in 1979 so I didn't need the 142 as a daily driver. Removal of the front fenders and the front sheet metal showed that I also had some rust perforations on the inner fenders just back of the hinge mounting points. No biggy! I got out my oxy acetylene torch and started forming sheet metal and hammer welding in the new pieces (MIG welders were not so commonly available or cheap back in those days). Shortly after getting started on the project, I got distracted with the usual stuff, promotions, house purchase, travel, competitive sports, marriage, children ..... Anyway, the car kind of sat until my Mothers house went up for sale in 2004 and it was either pick the car up or its going to the scrap yard!

When I parked the car in 1981, it was a classic case of ‘ran when parked’. I did not put it into storage mode (I wasn't planning on leaving it for 23 years) with the result that it was not in good shape when I got it back in 2004. If what I wanted was just a nice 142 E, it would have been much smarter and cheaper to search for a nice survivor from the US West coast or Southwest; however, that would have been too easy. About a year after I got the car back to my house, I started pulling it apart to check the condition of its various components. It needed a lot of work including a complete engine rebuild, some interior work (mainly to deal with cigarette burns on the door card, the seats and around the ashtrays from the previous owner) and slightly more extensive sheet metal repairs than I had initially anticipated.

I spent about 3 years sourcing the various components that I needed for the repairs. Most of the engine rebuild parts came from IPD when they had a more extensive line up for the older Volvos. The majority of the body parts and miscellaneous bits including the exhaust system came from Scandcar with some other parts coming from CVI, Genuine Classic Parts and Iroll. Ordering parts from the European suppliers is easy; but, expensive because of the shipping.

I knew that there was no way that I could do a repaint of the car myself. I also came to the conclusion that I was not up for completing the body repairs myself. More poking around showed more rust and I did not have an enclosed work space to do the repair work. I took the car to the point where it was a rolling body shell, wrapped the shell up tight to minimize further deterioration and started work on the engine rebuild and the repair of the interior. Through a gearhead friend, I got the name of Dave Cape who runs Just Dave's Hot Rods. He is a one man shop who normally does muscle car rebuild / restorations and what I would refer to as classic US rods. He was interested in doing the project as it gave him an opportunity to work with some European product; however, he had a 24 month back log (it turned out to be closer to 36 months) before he could get started on my car, so we had a bit of a hiatus.

I took a lot of photos during disassembly of the car; however, they were for the purpose of assisting with reassembly. As such, they tend to show the location of parts rather than showing the car and probably are not of much interest. Work finally started on the car body in late April of 2013 and that is the point in time that most of the photos that I am going to post start. When I have a pre restoration photo that directly relates to a post restoration photo, I will include it for reference.

The first set of photos shows the rolling shell pretty much as it arrived at Dave’s shop; however, by the time these photos were taken most of the major sheet metal repairs had been completed. The significant rust repair areas included:

• Both front inside fenders just back of the hinge mounting points for the hood
• The seam between the sill and the rear quarter panel on the passenger side
• The passenger side rear wheel arch
• The lower part of the rear fender where it joins the well that holds the spare tire.
• Both wells behind the rear wheels because they were kind of beat up.
• The upper mounting point for the rear shock absorber on the driver side
• The floor pan on the rear seat passenger side and a small hole on the rear seat floor pan on the driver side.
• Patches in the rear wheel arches around the reinforcements for the seat belt mounting bolts.

First some photos of some of the rust damage






The following photos show the right and right rear side of the car after the repairs. Eagle eyed observers will note the recessed license plate arrangement (my opinion is that the stock license plate bracket and light is ugly and looks like an afterthought), the flush Mocal fuel filler cap and the elimination of the side marker lights. I also eliminated the existing turn signals on the front (more on that later) and had Dave fill in the hole for the antenna on the right front fender and fill in all the holes for the trim strips along the belt line (although he clearly has not done that yet in these photos). At a later point, I had Dave fill the seam above both sills with a weld bead so that we would not have that join between the panels which is impossible to paint. Dave suggested that we do the hot rod thing and shave the door handles; however, I wasn't prepared to go that far.







Aside from the other repairs noted previously, I had Dave weld up those 5 cm holes in the floor pan which are normally filled with those glued in metal plugs. No need for another seam at which rust can form!

As soon as I get some time, I will post some of the photos after getting the car back from the sandblaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A photo of the interior after sandblasting. You can see the patch in the panel below the passenger side rear vent window. The section around the rust hole in the passenger side back floor panel was cut out and a patch panel was fitted. You can also barely see the patch around the seat belt anchor point in the passenger side rear wheel well. I drilled out the tack welds that held the reinforcement plates for the seat belt anchors (on both sides of the car) and these were reattached after the sheet metal around the anchor points was repaired.



This photo shows the repair on the inside of the driver side rear wheel well (really hard to make out). A new reinforcement plate for the upper shock mount was welded on the outside. The interesting thing is that the shock mount on the driver side was really badly rusted and the shock mount on the passenger side was in excellent condition. Same thing with the panel below the rear vent windows. The drivers side was excellent and the passengers side was badly rusted.



Another photo of the repair in the panel below the passenger rear vent window. You can also see the repair around the rear wheel arch. As a note, the sills were in excellent shape.



A view of the driver's side of the car. You can see that the anchor holes for the side trim have been filled and you can also see the new spare wheel wells that were tacked in on either side of the gas tank.



A final view of the front of the car.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
After returning from the sandblasters facility, the car shell was fitted on to a rotisserie.



Its obvious that the sandblasters missed a few spots, in part because the front suspension was left on the car during the blasting process. I am not sure why those sections along the outside sills were missed unless they had the body raised up and resting on blocks during the blasting process.

 

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Nice start to a great project.. On the rust... What rust? :) I find that these days people see one bit of rust then run off to find a "flawless" shell instead of putting the effort in to get a few panels changed out. I've seen MUCH worse when it come to required body work and I would consider yours a good find had I come across it.

ANYWAYS, glad to see you're doing it right and not slapping body filler on it.

Looking forward to progress pics.
 

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What are those wheels...I like.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What are those wheels...I like.
They are ATS wheels that were an option offered by Volvo up to some time in the '70s (not sure of the start and end dates for the production of this particular style). They were on the car when I bought it and were one of the reasons that I was attracted to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Neil, how do you heat your shop?

George Dill
The shop in the photos belongs to the guy doing the majority of the body work and the paint work. He happens to use radiant floor heating which made it nice when I was groveling around under the car trying to remember how to route the brake and fuel lines. 'My shop' is an un insulated 1 1/2 car garage which I bring up to workable temperatures with a portable propane construction heater. That has ended for now as the unseasonable warm weather that we have been experiencing ended with what looks like a fairly permanent application of white stuff on the ground starting last night. In short order I will be wrapping the car up in a giant 'baggy' with some desiccant to keep it dry and rust free until spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice start to a great project.. On the rust... What rust? :) I find that these days people see one bit of rust then run off to find a "flawless" shell instead of putting the effort in to get a few panels changed out. I've seen MUCH worse when it come to required body work and I would consider yours a good find had I come across it.

ANYWAYS, glad to see you're doing it right and not slapping body filler on it.

Looking forward to progress pics.
I offered up my comments in the context that body and paint work is not cheap. The price of just the paint products used on the car was in the order of $800. Once the body is back to near perfect, then you start looking at all the rubber bits and all the other wearable parts and that really adds up. Also, the car went together with all new bolts / hardware, generally grade 8 or stainless for screws and the like. There is probably $300 - $400 worth of bolts and bits on the car!

If you can make the leap in logic that a rust free survivor has been well maintained (as opposed to parked under a tarp for 20 years), even if you had to pay a premium price it would be much cheaper than doing a resto. However, that would be too easy, and this is a hobby and hobbies are supposed to be black holes for money, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some photos after completion of the primer, bottom coat and shooting the top coat around the openings.

First photo shows the interior. The black stuff is seam sealer. The two square panels on the floor under the back seat are the reinforcing plates for the IPD rear sway bar. Rather than bolt these in, I had them welded in place on the inside to eliminate the need to drill holes in the body. You can also see that those 5 cm holes in the bottom of the floor pan with the glue in plugs have been welded up rather than having the plugs glued back in.



A couple more photos showing the car and the paint used on the under body.





Some photos showing the application of the top coat around the body openings and some of the body panels. The paint color is 102 Steel Blue Metallic.









 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Some photos after initial assembly of the body panels and a preliminary go at trying to remember how the fuel and brake lines were installed.







The following photos show the front end after reassembly (minus the brake calipers) and partial reassembly of the back end.





The front end has all new bushings and ball joints. The A arms and front suspension cross member were powder coated black and the hubs and dust covers were powder coated silver. Although it looks like it, the brake discs were not powder coated silver. They just look like it because they were sandblasted when the hubs were prepped for the powder coat. They are currently developing a nice rust patina!



Those are new Bilstein gas shocks. The springs are also new and came form Scandcar. I think that they are the same spring that Skandix sells. They are supposed to ride 30 mm lower than stock. They have significantly larger wire size than the stock springs so they are definitely going to be firm. The car is getting an IPD front sway bar, not because I wanted a larger sway bar (with the stiffer springs I think the larger sway bar is going to make the front suspension quite harsh); but, because I seem to have misplaced the factory sway bar during disassembly. I am sure that I will eventually find it stuck under some storage container in the garage,

Steering gear back in. New seals on the steering box; but, otherwise untouched. The brake and gas lines definitely need some fixing / rerouting.



The steering wheel is a Moto Lita. Nice feel; but, it definitely contributes to muscle development during parking. Its also going to create a problem with the overdrive switch (the switch wand is way too close to the wheel rim) which is going to require some modification of the OD switch.



A couple of photos of the back end showing the IPD rear sway bar. All new bushings on the back end with the big bushing at the front of the trailing arm being poly. At this point, we were still waiting for the differential. When I parked the car in 1981, the differential was noisy (howled on the highway) and had a fair amount of lash. We pulled the back axle out as I was going to have all the seals replaced. I had the specialist check the ring and pinion and the verdict came back - toast! Since we were pulling the diff apart to replace the ring and pinion I gave some thought to an LSD; however, the Dana 30 LSD is out of production and I am not keen about lockers so I am sticking with the open differential. I am changing to a 4.56 rear end (stock is 4.3).





Not shown in the photos is a new adjustable panhard rod to allow for the reduced ride height. Its an aluminum tie rod with heim joints at either end. I could not find a heim joint in the right thread size with a hole large enough to fit the mount on the axle end (it about 1/16" too small) so we cut off the existing mounting bolt and welded on a new shouldered bolt to fit the heim joint. In retrospect it would have been much easier to cut a couple of inches out of the existing panhard rod and just use a threaded rod and some jam nuts to adjust it; but, that would have been way to inexpensive and not nearly as trick looking as my gold anodized aluminum rod! I just hope that we did a good job welding on the new shouldered bolt!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
George:

A sharp eye for the words! Perchance a lawyer in some other life?

Its a collective 'we' where I plan, authorize and pay and Dave (of Just Dave's Hot Rods) cuts and welds. Ownership of the idea and acquisition of the non fitting panhard rod was all mine. Dave just had to make it work. Its like the 'I am changing to a 4.56 rear end'. I'm paying and acquiring the bits; but, I don't have the means to pry open the Dana rear end and do the replacement.

With respect to welding (and as such body work), I came to the conclusion some time ago that my infrequent forays into welding were not up to snuff. Many many years ago I worked as an engineer on the commissioning team in a power plant and our derogatory term for low quality welds was 'snot ball'. My welding skills definitely fell into the 'snot ball' category.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The engine required a significant level of rebuild. After pulling the engine and opening it up, I discovered that the bores were rusted and the rings had pretty much bonded themselves to the cylinder walls. The usual tricks with different types of penetrating fluids were to no avail. After removing the crankshaft and wrapping the rods with lots of cloth to prevent them from getting banged up in the process, the use of a chunk of 2x4 and a 2 lb mallet were required to persuade the pistons to come out of the bores. A number of the valves were quite badly corroded and required replacement. Any of the cylinders where the exhaust valve was in the open position when the car was parked seemed to have suffered from rusting. I am assuming condensation was the problem as the engine breathed in outside air during the dramatic temperature changes that southern Saskatchewan can go through during the winter months. The camshaft and lifter faces were quite badly pitted; however, from what I have read that seems to be a standard condition for the OEM lifters. About the only thing that did not require reconditioning was the crankshaft and rods.

I cleaned up the block and head (including stripping the paint) and sent them to a machine shop to have the cylinders bored 0.030 over. I ended up with the 0.030 over because it so happens that was the only oversize pistons that IPD was offering in their engine rebuild kits at the time. I also had the machine shop replace the valve guides with bronze guides that I sourced from IPD, add inserts to the exhaust valve seats to deal with the use of unleaded fuel and do a three angle cut on the valve seats. While the engine was apart, I had the local engine shop that caters to the racing community balance the rotating bits of the engine.

A couple of photos of the engine block after cleaning and disassembly; but, before it headed off to the machine shop.





After getting the head and block back from the machine shop, I wanted to cc the heads to confirm the chamber volumes. That was a disaster. The valves would not hold the measuring fluid on 3 of the cylinders. The application of some Prussian blue to the valve seats showed that the contact area between the valve and the seat was uneven and had significant gaps on a number of the valves. A recipe for burned valves. The original shop that worked on the heads had come highly recommended; however, its clear that whoever did the work on the head screwed up. I went to the race shop who did my balancing to see if they could fix the problem rather than retry the original machine shop. Unfortunately, it was well into racing season and they were too busy supporting their regular customers. However, they gave me the name of the shop that they recommended for their overflow business. This shop was able to do an excellent job of cleaning / re cutting the seats. I also had this shop re surface the rocker arms to deal with the grooves that had been worn into the rocker face. I checked the clearances on the re bore that the original shop did on my block along with confirming that the clearances were consistent over the height of the bore. The clearances were correct and uniform; however, I had no way of confirming that they did the re bore straight, so only time will tell.

The following photo shows the valve seats after the repair job by the second machine shop. This time I was able to cc the combustion chambers without any problem.



I reassembled the engine with all new standard sized bearings. Checking with plasti gauge confirmed the clearances were spot on. The camshaft is a new stock D grind from IPD along with new camshaft bearings and IPD's pushrod and lifter kit. I also replaced the front and back crankshaft seals with IPD's covers with silicone seals. Although I had purchased double valve springs and keepers for the engine a long time ago, I decided against installing them. I decided against trying to raise the rpm limit on the engine and as such, didn't need the additional parasitic losses associated with double valve springs. This rebuild is about reliability and driveability rather than trying to increase peak engine output.

The spacer on the front of the crankshaft that fits in the front crankshaft seal was quite badly worn and required replacement. I did not replace the timing gears as the fiber gear did not show any signs of wear or cracking. I have heard that steel timing gears are the hot ticket; however, the steel timing gears that I have seen have straight cut teeth which is great for eliminating side thrust but are noisy (relative to helical cut gears) and the B20 is already a noisy engine.

A couple of photos of the mostly reassembled engine. I was using the dial gauge to confirm the valve lift.





The next couple of photos shows the engine being test fitted with the header. I did not plan to fit a header as the consensus seems to be that the stock manifold on the B20E is probably as good as it gets; however, after glass grit blasting the stock exhaust manifold to clean it up, I found what appeared to be a crack. I know welding cast iron can be tricky and the locals I talked to suggested that it was not worth the effort, so I sourced the header from IPD. Test fitting showed that the header interfered slightly with the intake manifold which required a small amount of grinding on the intake manifold between cylinders 1and 2 and 3 and 4. The holes in the header flange did not match up with the exhaust ports so I had to do a limited amount of grinding on the header flange to try and eliminate most of the discontinuity. While cleaning up the header flange, I noticed that the seam in the seam welded tubing on the #1 runner had started to open up where it was attached to the exhaust flange, probably due to the stress on the tube when it was being shaped to fit the exhaust flange. Wonderful! I got a welder to grind the seam out a bit and fill it in. The seam is on the inside facing the #2 runner so the repair is difficult to see. However, I am not confident that the repair is going to survive the heat cycling associated with operation. I may be looking for another B20E manifold!





Another down side to the header is apparent in the second photo. The front runner is really close to the alternator which is not good for its long term life. Electrical insulation does not like high temperatures. I am going to have to wrap the front runner with some of that high temperature Nomex-like wrap to try and reduce the radiant exposure from the header.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Some photos with the engine back in the car, the exhaust system in, the clutch, transmission, driveshaft and back axle installed and the brakes and parking brake assembled.



The brake discs are original. I was expecting to replace or at minimum resurface the brake discs. However, inspection showed no perceptible wear which is a little bizarre with over 110,000 miles of use. I installed new braided steel flex lines which were fabricated by a local firm which specializes in that sort of stuff. I had the booster rebuilt about 6 years ago by a guy I found on the BrickBoard. I rebuilt the front calipers (new piston seals and dust boots). I had planned to rebuild the rear calipers; however, each caliper had one piston which was seized up. I applied 125 psi of air pressure to try and pop the seized piston out; but, nothing was moving, so I decided to go for some rebuilt calipers. That was not as easy as I expected as a lot of the websites that list the calipers end up sending 'unavailable' messages after you attempt to place an order. I think some other poster had noted that the rear Girling calipers seem to be getting in short supply. I ended up acquiring one rebuilt caliper from Rockauto and the other from Iroll. I partially dismantled the pressure limiting valves, cleaned them up with brake cleaner and put them back together with a new gasket after greasing up the spring and retainers with brake grease. I cleaned up the external surfaces of the calipers and the pressure limiting valves by bead blasting them and then sprayed them with VHT silver caliper paint to match the powder coated hubs and dust shields.

The brake system was filled with DOT5 fluid. This is a good thing as after bleeding the system, I notice that I seem to have a very small leak with fluid weeping from the rear fitting on the distribution block that leads to the rear brakes. Fortunately, DOT5 doesn't damage (my fresh) paint. The fitting is not loose so the threads may have been damaged during reassembly. Something that I will have to attend to in the Spring.

The exhaust system is the 2" sport system from Simons. I ended up getting it from Scandcar as I could not find any vendors in Canada or the US. As it turned out, I had to wait a couple of months for it. Simons appears to do these 'vintage' systems in limited production runs and if the stock is gone when you order, you have to wait until the next production run. When I placed the order with Scandcar, they were upfront that I would have to wait several weeks for delivery. Since I was not in a panic for the parts, that was not a problem. Also, previous experience with backordered parts from Scandcar had always been positive. The system appears to be well built (it definitely is not light), the bends are smooth and it went in without hassle. For a 'sport' system, the tailpipe is uninspired as in 'its a piece of pipe on the tail end of the exhaust'. Its been shortened a bit; however, I am going to look for a simple piece of slash cut brushed stainless to try and finish it off in a more appropriate manner.

A photo showing the installed pedals and parking brake bits.



The clutch is a new Sachs unit. The driveshaft received new U joints, center mount and support bearing and a balance job. Balancing was a bit of a hassle for the shop doing the job as they had to fabricate a mount for the center bearing. The rubber boot for the splines on the driveshaft for this vintage / model of 140 is no longer in production. My boot had a small tear in it; but, the rubber was otherwise in reasonable condition. After cleaning the boot with toluene, I glued it back together with some cyanoacrylate adhesive that claimed to be good for rubber. So far seems to have worked. The tear did not open up when I stretched the boot to fit over its mounting flange.

The transmission and overdrive received new external gaskets and seals and a new OD lockout switch; however, no tear down. At the time the car was parked my recollection was that the transmission and OD worked OK. Inspection with the top cover off didn't show any obvious problems and thee were no metal bits dropping out when drained the old oil out. After the transmission was back in and I was wiring up the overdrive, I discovered that the I had not tightened up the lockout switch. Bugger! I am now going to have to purchase or fabricate some kind of short arm box end wrench to tighten up the switch with the tranny is in place. Does anybody know whether it is a 1 1/16" or 1 1/8" wrench size for the lockout switch?

A photo of the trunk showing the installed fuel tank and the battery mount. I decided to relocate the battery from the front to the back to try and improve the weight distribution a little bit; but, primarily to free up some real estate in the front. At the time, I was giving some thought to the future possibility of installing a B230FT engine and that I might need the battery space for the intake plumbing / intercooler. After some reconsideration, that's probably not going to happen. However, the battery tray was toast and I needed to do something to fix it. How's that for rationalization!



Sharp eyed individuals will spot the two circular patches in the top of the fuel tank. The original tank was seriously gunked up. There were no local firms that were prepared to do chemical cleaning and sealing of the tank. New versions of the tank for the fuel injected cars are / were not available and the cost of a custom fabricated tank was $$$$$. I sourced a fuel tank off of a 144S from a local wrecker (that was pure luck - salvage Volvos of any year are rare in my area). I cut two circular holes in the top of my tank large enough to let me get in there and grit blast the interior to clean the gunk out. After washing out and drying the tank, I cut patches out of the top of the donor tank and soldered them in place on my tank. Pressure testing showed that the patches were fine; however, the return line fitting on the tank leaked and required re soldering. I then finished it off with a POR tank sealer kit. Sealing a fuel injected 140 tank is a pain given the number of holes and fittings on the tank and trying to insure that the sealant does not collect in and plug up any of those fittings!

A final photo of the car sitting on the roll around dollies.

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
An update showing the work on the front end sheet metal. Once I got into the body restoration part of this project, I decided that I was going to go for a bit of a late sixties - early 70s Euro sports look (whatever that is). As such, a spoiler for the front seemed in order. The obvious choice, in part because it seemed to be the only spoiler in production, was the one offered by IPD. I was going for the same no bumper front end look that IPD had in their 1974 catalogue (of which I still have a copy!). However, I wasn't keen about the Volkswagen grill look on the front as shown in this grab I took off of IPD's web site.



I explored a few alternatives by using a photo editing program to do a rather crude job of mocking up some alternative front end arrangements. The alternatives I considered were:

1. No grill opening but leave the bumper openings



2. No openings at all



3. Cut out the grill and create a new center opening retaining the openings for the bumper brackets



4. One single large opening joining the openings for the bumper brackets.



I ended up picking the fourth alternative. Rather than retain the existing profile at the end of bumper openings, Dave modified the bumper openings to give a more symmetrical profile to the ends of the opening.



We ran into a bit of a problem with the spoiler. There was a significant discrepancy between the curve of the spoiler and the curve of the front end sheet metal. The discrepancy was large enough that the spoiler was not going to come into 'compliance' with a little force. In addition, bending the spoiler in this manner would likely lead to its premature failure because of the stress on the glass. The solution involved cutting it in the center and re glassing / re molding the cut point with a curve that more or less matched the curve of the sheet metal.



Here is a photo after the reglassing and initial fitting to the sheet metal



A final photo after priming of the spoiler.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
A few photos showing the car after it came out of the paint booth with the base and clear coat.





In this photo of the passenger side, you can see what looks like a whitish area along the bottom of the door. There was a lack of coverage with the base coat so the door had to go back in for a re spray.



Some photos after an initial polish. The frames for the glass in the doors have been installed along with the rear tail lights and the trunk latch hardware. The plastic trim around the taillights had lost all of its thin aluminum coating so it had that typical amber plastic look to it. Rather than buy new trim, the trim was painted to match the body which I think worked out well. The yellow pieces of tape on the body mark paint flaws that need to be fixed.











A few photos showing final assembly of the car at Dave's place before it is loaded up on the flat bed for the trip home. The front and back glass is in along with the associated trim, the rear bumper is on, the door latch hardware has been installed and the front grill has been temporarily installed along with the trim on the front. The front glass is new (the original glass having a 30 cm long horizontal crack in it) and the back glass is original. Since I was getting new front glass, I gave consideration to getting glass with the antenna built in (I shaved the antenna hole on the front fender); however, after some comments from others on this form about the effectiveness of the Volvo in-glass antenna, I elected to go for an amplified antenna mounted on the rear window.

The bumper was painted to match the body. The thin polished cover on the bumper was long gone and the actual aluminum bumper was quite pitted, particularly along the seam with the rubber rub strip. This ruled out just polishing the aluminum. We considered powder coating the bumper with one of those highly reflective finishes that emulate chrome; however, the issue became whether we could find a filler for the pits in the aluminum that would handle the high temperature baking process associated with powder coating. In the end, painting the bumper to match the body was the easiest thing to do and didn't turn out to badly. The rubber rub strip had some scratches and gouges which were sanded out and then touched up with a filler / adhesion promoter and a suitable black paint.





While trying to decide what I wanted to do with the car, I had trolled the web looking for other examples of lightly customized 142s. There are a couple of nice examples with blacked out trim around the windows. There is a particularly nice light blue version with minilite wheels (or a good copy) that I found particularly appealing. However, after some straightening and polishing, the brightwork on my car looked particularly good. Also, since I was going for more of a late sixties early seventies look, the polished metal versus blacked out look was more appropriate. Blacked out trim was something that started to show up in the late seventies. Also, I had sent my door handles out to be re plated because they were pretty scratched up and pitted and having forked out the $ for that, I was not about to paint them black to match a black trim treatment of the green house.



My original grill was pretty bent out of shape. It definitely didn't match the front end profile anymore. It almost looked like it had been sat upon and flattened out. The grill was also pretty nicked up from stones and the like. Because of the thicker material in the center section, it was fairly easy to fix up. However, the brightwork around the center section is now paper thin because of the bending, hammering and sanding required to get it smooth and back into shape. It looks good but I am a little uncertain as to how durable it is going to be. When I was doing reassembly of the car which required me leaning over the front, I would remove the grill to avoid pressing against it and bending it out of shape. I was not able to find a used grill in reasonable shape from the usual Volvo salvage places so I may have to explore some kind of custom grill. If anybody has a handle on a later style grill in reasonable shape, let me know.

In the last photo, you will see a pile of Volvo 'stuff' in the background. I had a bit of an interim period where my garage was occupied by my other 'toy' car until it went into winter storage in mid October. I did not want to bring the Volvo home and have it sit outside so Dave let me use a corner in his shop gratis for a few weeks to get the wiring in, some of the interior mechanical bits in (heater, wipers ...) and do a bit of work on the interior.

On October 17 it was on to the flat bed for the trip home!
 

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nicely done!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Beautiful! Love the color. Nice to see a 142 get so much love. :thumbup::thumbup:

What's the plan for the car? Stock engine?

Nice NSX too, btw! ;)
Thanks. The NSX is also an equally entertaining piece!

The plan is to retain the B20E with the reliability upgrades that I have made, but, no performance upgrades. I am converting to Megasquirt; however, I don't anticipate any significant performance improvements from that conversion. I am doing that primarily for reliability, driveability and the ability to get parts since a lot of the mission critical pieces on the D jet are out of production and only available as salvage or rebuilds for $$$$$.

One of the things I wanted to change on my car was the instrument cluster. I trolled eBay and the other sources looking for the R Sport or GT instrument clusters. A couple of constants popped up. Most of the clusters were showing their age and the vendors wanted significant $. If the cluster looked really nice, or had been refurbished, then we were talking $$$. I can understand that if someone was doing a restoration, they might be prepared to spend a significant amount of money to get a correct cluster; however, I am doing a resto-mod so I am not constrained by that objective. I also had the problem that I have changed from a 4.3 to 4.56 rear end ratio and will likely be fiddling with tire sizes so a cluster that retained the mechanical speedo with stock drive ratios was not going to be accurate.

I checked around to see what was available and what I could get to fit within the space occupied by the original Volvo cluster. I ended up going with the 3 3/8" gauges offered by SpeedHut. Specifically a GPS speedo, tachometer, and quad gauge (oil pressure, water temp, fuel and voltage). The GPS speedo should eliminate the problem with the mechanical drive ratios and offers some interesting features such as 0-60 mph and 1/4 mile time measurements (providing the GPS antenna works through the windshield - which is as yet untested). The fuel gauge is programmable so I should be able to match it to the Volvo sender.

I fabricated a mount for the gauges to fit in the stock cluster location using a couple of sheets of Baltic birch plywood (cabinet makers use this stuff for drawers).





You can see from the pencil lines which are the outside of the bezels that the gauges pretty much maximize the available space.

The gauges come from Speedhut with individual pigtails terminated in Molex style connectors. This works well for individual installations; however, the excess wire associated with the individual pigtails makes it hard to have a neat installation. I gave some consideration to fabricating a circuit board that I would mount on the back of the cluster on stand-offs. I could then cut the pigtails, connect the gauges and warning lights to the circuit board and use a multipin connector to connect the circuit board to the car wiring. However, I decided against cutting the gauge wires in case I had to remove the gauges to return them for warranty work.

The next photo shows the back of the cluster with my wiring in place. Its not the nicest looking piece. The black blob at the top of the cluster is the inverter for the lighting in the gauges. The lighting in the gauges is not LED lighting. It must be a planar discharge type of lighting as what comes out of the inverter is a variable output squarish type AC waveform up to about 120 volts (I was wondering why I kept getting tingles off of this thing when I was fiddling around with it). I had plans that I was going to use the variable voltage from the gauge lighting to dim the lights on my heater controls and radio; however, that's not going to work. Right now the lighting for the heater and radio is stuck on full bright. I will have to work out something separate for diming those pieces.

The gauges are fairly shallow. With the thickness of the plywood that I used for the instrument mount, I could not use the stock retaining rings provided by Speedhut. I opened up the mounting holes a little bit so the gauges were a 'loosish' fit in the holes and 'glued' the gauges into the mount using four dabs of RTV silicone. The RTV holds the gauges securely and if the gauges need to come out, it will be easy enough to cut the silicone with a narrow Exacto knife.



The speedometer has lights in it for the turn signals and high beam. I drilled holes in the cluster mount for LED warning indicators for oil pressure , over drive, brake and charge light. I retained the charge light even though I have a voltmeter. The voltmeter reads the system voltage which is a trailing indicator of whether your alternator is working. The charge light is connected between the battery bus and the regulator and gives you an immediate warning if the alternator stops working. I retained the oil pressure warning light just so I could have 4 warning lights which would allow me to balance the appearance with two lights on either side of the center instrument.

I mounted a piece of Lexan on the front of the cluster to give it a finished appearance. The Lexan is retained with a number of SS screws. I may end up exchanging these for black screws in the future. Right now I am undecided as to whether I like the SS look or not. I have some roughly .2" high white modern (arial font?) block letters (model railroad decals) to letter the warning lights - when I get around to it! The decals will go under the Lexan cover.

Speedhut offers up a bunch of options for appearance. I wanted something that looked like the early Smiths black face gauges so I picked an option with black face, white sans serif font, white needle and polished aluminum bezel. Here is the result:



Somehow I managed to scratch up the Lexan cover during assembly; however, the scratches are minor and should polish out fairly easily.
 
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