Since I don’t have any Swedish car updates yet I may be able to entertain you with the sixth installment of the Swedish Banger Tudor Project posted over at ClassicRoad.com
Happy Fall, Swedish car enthusiasts!
I have not posted much Volvo stuff lately as I have been feverishly been working on my 1931 Ford model A Tudor, also known as the swedishbangertudor.
There is still a Swedish element to the hot rod as it is getting a Volvo B18 engine with 4 speed overdrive. Also, it will enjoy a Volvo steering wheel, speedometer and pedal assembly.
You can check out the fifth installment of the Volvo powered hot rod here.
When I was growing up in Sweden (a very long time ago) the Volvo 122 cars were in their heyday and extremely popular. Rally racing was the sport of the day and when you modified your Volvo it was the rally look that was popular
“Extraljus” as in auxiliary lights was all the rage to achieve the rally look and brand and style was very important as well. The Hella or Marchall lights were good choices but if you really wanted to be cool you added the big Bosch Rally Knick.
I found these on that auction site and they are in very good condition.
Short of building a rally car around these lights I decided to replace my small Hella lights on my 122S Wagon.
Turns out that these lights had 100 Watts Halogen bulbs in them. This should ne enough to melt the paint off the car in front of you.
They look right at home.
For those who are waiting for progress on the P1800 project have to wait…longer.
However, there is some Volvo related action over at ClassicRoad.com. Check out the progress on the Volvo powered Hot Rod, Project Swedish Banger Tudor here.
The most rewarding part of being a motor head is the people you meet along the way.
Peter checked in as he is doing a full bottom up restoration on a 1963 Volvo P1800, chassis number 6023
Looks like a pretty decent solid car to start with. Some people would drive this car as is.
Peter went to work and fixed any questionable sheet metal.
This is the track that holds the weather stripping on the doors. Since you can not go to Volvo1800doortracks.com and buy these with your Visa card, Peter made a wooden buck to duplicate this track and then made a tool so he can shape the inside exactly like the factory part. Impressive!
Peter actually built a bath for the car to run rust removing solution through it. According to Peter, the key is fluid movement. He used a pump and as the fluid is moving about, it keeps destroying rust. This he used a spy camera to look inside the cavities to make sure he did a good job.
All open seams got sealed to keep out moisture.
Protective coat of paint.
Peter is returning the car to it’s original color, 79 pearl white. You know, like the Saint!
Peter even built his own paint booth.
THIS! is when it really get to be FUN. Installing all the trim and chrome on a freshly painted car.
All hardware was re-plated to factory specs. Note the black bolts as some bolts were not shiny and some bolts that were painted like the trunk bolts for example were also black.
I met a lot of car guys that tells me “they” restored the car. A lot of times that means that they wrote checks! Peter not only do all the paint and body work…get this…he does his own chrome!
Front cross member painted in the correct blue gray color.
This is the frame that holds the headliner. The advantage is that you can work on a bench with it to make sure all wrinkles are gone before it goes back in the car.
I look forward to updates from Peter and of course the finished product. There will be some serious awards handed out to Peter for the incredible work on this car.
Door stopper! I added this crude adjuster in the door opening to hold out the door so I can line up the body panels as I am test fitting everything.
Like this. This is still just approximate as the door will get a new skin and I am sure that things will change again but at least we are close for now. These parts will be removed and test fitted a thousand times! Nothing will get welded until e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is perfect. Puh!
The front fender is welded to the body and not only have to line up with the door and nose, it is also part of the hood opening cavity. If I move any part in any direction there will be a problem elsewhere. You know, that cause and effect thing you heard so much about! I installed to hood so I can line up the fender for good fit.
I made these shims quickly to be used between the body and the hood hinges so I can get the hood just right. I will use some nicer ones in the end.
I hope there is an end!
Where the front fender (wing is you reside in the UK) meets the A-pillar.
It looks like Volvo used part of the fender in the window channel. Sine my channel is very clean and solid I don’t need to disturb it. I will cut at the dotted line, that way the edge is still intact. The edge is where the strength is so as long as I keep that, I should be OK. I did run this by my Swedish experts and got approval.
Looks like Volvo gave me some extra material in the cowl area. I get suspicious when a manufacturer gives you extra material. The mind in my cynical and conspiratorial Swedish brain starts going….Why?? Am I missing something??
Once I mellowed out it looks like an extra 14 to 9 millimeters. Maybe Volvo was just feeling generous when they made the P1800 fender mold.
Now it starts to look like something.
I have ways to go but the weekend is over and I have to go to work tomorrow.
To Be Continued…
This is a short update as work is interfering with my ability to play with cars!
As stated before when doing rust repairs: Make template, make replacement part, install…you know…rinse and repeat.
This is the bottom of the A-pillar. It is attached to the inside rocker panel support and hides under the front fender.
Since I can not go to “Bottom-Of-P1800-A-Pillar-metal-part.com” and order this part I have to make one.
I am realizing that I will test fit the rear quarter panel and front fender about a 1000 times. They fit in to a recessed area on the rocker so the rocker has to be…you know…just bloody perfect.
Speaking of perfect…Let’s get screwed!
In order to test fit everything before I start to tack and weld it in place, I use sheet metal screws in order to “suck in” the sheet metal when it belongs. One push or pull here and there will change the fit in another corner. Puh!
This sure is an interesting corner. This is where the front fender meet the body. This is NOT an Amazon, where one would just bolt on the fender and call it a day. Then you go and have ginger snaps with Gevalia coffee.
I guess this is why they call this coachwork…as in lots of work!
Another interesting area. This is the top of the front fender by the windshield. It looks like the fender was actually a part of the windshield frame. Since this area is very healthy on the car I think I will just cut the fender on the dotted line and weld to body. Then I can smooth out the windshield channel with lead.
Also, I ran this by the experts in Sweden and got approval 😉 You don’t mess with Swedish experts!
Well, that all I have to say about that.
I hope to get some quality time in the shop in the upcoming weekend.
I was looking for a smooth way to rotate and hold the body as I need to move it quite often. This is the expandable load bar I use in the truck. The rubber ends offer traction and it works like one of those domestic ratchet car jacks.
This is very premature but I just had to do a test fit. With the rocker sheet metal temporary held in place I can now see how the rear quarter panel and the front fender. Both connects to the rocker panel via an overlay. It is important that I achieve a smooth transition between the panel for the correct look.
Looks like the quarter panel fits well. Repairing rust is not exactly glorious work so these “test fit parties” are good for motivation.
The rear inner wheel wells are in excellent condition except the bottom. The fender obviously attaches to this so it has to be solid.
2. Make metal part look like what was there before.
3. Test fit.
4. Weld in place.
Looks good. Since this will never be seen I don’t need to grind the welds completely. Besides, the weld is stronger if not ground down.
This is the front lower part of the wheel well. Based on the weld “lump” it appears that the factory just filled this corner with weld.
There…solid corner and a lip to attach the quarter panel to.
Rotisserie Apparatus: $1300.00
Used Spitzenagel Pneumatic spot weld drill: $149.00
Standing up straight while drilling out rocker spot welds: Priceless!
Repairing a rusty car is really simple:
You remove all the rusty parts and replace them with not rusty parts! Done! Right?? Right???!!
Oh my, what have I done now?? A huge hole. Remember the movie Wrist Cutters?? If not, watch it and you will understand.
Since this is a unibody car, I need to make sure it stays straight and square while I remove any supporting panels. I added these support beams just to make sure the body does not move while I remove this part.
Nice and shiny, eh? The jack supports were a bit weak as so I decided to replace the whole beam. It is often easier and even faster to replace the whole component rather then try to patch areas. Besides, it looks like a factory job.
Milestone?? I guess so. This is a card board template of the first piece of metal that is actually added/welded to the car. It is just the lower A-pillar support that attaches to the lower rocker panel.
Cleco. A metal worker’s best friend. You drill a small hole and then use these Cleco fasteners to hold the panel in place during fitting and welding.
1, 2 and 3!
The rocker assembly on a Volvo P1800 consists of no less than three components.
1. Bottensvällare: The first piece is the inside panel. The Swedes calls it bottensvällare and that directly translates to “bottom sweller” as it rises from the floor.
Connects the lower part of the A and B pillar.
3. Rocker panel. Hey, we finally arrived at the outer layer. The ironic part is that the rear quarter panel and front fender covers most of it but I am sure all this add a lot of strength to the P1800 body.
Just held in place with the aforementioned Clecos but hey, that looks like a genuine Swedish rocker! I need to tack it in place and then test fit the rear quarter panel and front fender before I dare button it up. Nobody said this was speedy work.
Now I have done it!! There is no way back now.
In order to get to the rocker assembly the fender have to be removed. This right side fender will be replaced with a new fender. The driver’s side fender appears to be in much better condition, I am not sure if I need to replace it.
This is the edge left from quarter panel. After cleaning up the spot weld remnants I have a nice surface to attach the new panel.
This is why it is usually not enough to replace just the outer rocker panel. If the rocker panel is weak chances are that the sub rocker below have issues as well. …and it does!
And…if the sub rocker have issues there is a good chance the sub rocker support panel also have issues…and it DOES! This panel goes all the way back to the rear wheel well.
Bottom line, once I am in this far, there is no excuse for not replacing all components. Fun fact: the original rocker assembly from Volvo came as one unit. The aftermarket parts come in three sections. This makes it easier to bang them around to fit the body.
I HEART my plasma cutter. I obviously need to drill out all the sport welds that holds the rockers in place but it is easier if I remove most of the rocker first. By doing this it is easier the see how it is attached, what metal overlaps what etc…Instead of using a cut off wheel and filling the shop with metal dust I fired up the ‘ol plasma cutter. It is fast and much less messy compared to the cut off wheel.
With the rocker and sub rocker gone we can now see the inner rocker support structure.
This is part of the crud I found inside the rocker panel. I did not have a banana handy so…glove for scale.
Since the front fender is being replaced, I cut the fender off about an inch from the edge so I can see what was going on below.
The Spitzernagel Special is an amazing tool for removing the spot welds. Also, because of the clamp that holds it in place, there is no effort. It only removes the spot weld but stops short of digging in to the bottom layer.
This is what the fender support looks like under the fender. It even has little indentation to ensure dirt and moisture will lay around and eating your Swedish sports car from the day you leave the show room! Brilliant!
I guess these cars were supposed to last ten years at the most so these “engineering blunders” were probably not an issue at the time. I bet they did not expect car guys restoring these cars 56 years later. Luckily, this part of the car is very solid.