Volvo Duett (P210)

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So it has been slow going in the shop so I have nothing new to report for now.
I hope this upcoming weekend will open up some time and I can keep working on the P1800 project car.

In the mean time I will entertain you this cool car. A Volvo Duett, also known as the P210 in some markets.

It has the same nose and dash as the 444 and 544 cars but that is where the similarities ends. The Duett actually resides on a separate frame. The thought is that they will be used for heavy loads and need the structural strength of a frame.

The Duett also had leaf springs in the rear unlike the passenger car’s coil springs.

The Duett was made between 1953 and 1969 so it actually outlasted the 544 passenger cars. It was also used for several Swedish coach builder to build pick ups and even convertibles.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 24

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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…

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 23

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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.

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This is the bottom of the A-pillar. It is attached to the inside rocker panel support and hides under the front fender.

 

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Since I can not go to “Bottom-Of-P1800-A-Pillar-metal-part.com” and order this part I have to make one.

 

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Looks OK.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 22

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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.

 

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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.

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Looks like the quarter panel fits well. Repairing rust is not exactly glorious work so these “test fit parties” are good for motivation.

 

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The rear inner wheel wells are in excellent condition except the bottom. The fender obviously attaches to this so it has to be solid.

 

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So…

1. Template.

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2. Make metal part look like what was there before.

 

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3. Test fit.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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There…solid corner and a lip to attach the quarter panel to.

 

 

Adam Featherston’s most excellent 1961 Volvo P1800

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Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Volvo cars is a world wide hobby.  Another virtual visitor drove by Vintage Swedish Cars with his newly restored 1961 Volvo P1800.  As I am knee deep in to a full restoration of the same car, I am always looking for inspiration and motivation.

Adam Featherston resides in Marple Bridge, a town near Manchester in the UK.  Adam imported this car from San Diego and it turns out that the So Cal weather had been very gentle on the sheet metal.

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The car was described as “scruffy and a little sad” and in need of cosmetic and mechanical rebuild. That’s what  you would you expect after 56 years or so.

 

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Adam commissioned Keith and Simon at the to bring the Volvo back to it’s former glory.

 

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After blasting: Check out how solid this car is.

 

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Photo: P1800 Specialists

Adam had some thoughts about the color. These cars looks absolutely stunning in a gun metal grey metallic and if you step up for red leather you will have a Swedish car that rivals a similar era Aston Martin.

However, after seeing the Saint’s car in the original off white color the decision was made to keep the car all stock. After all, if Roger Moore was happy with it, we should be too!

 

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The paint came out excellent and the body is perfectly straight.

 

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“Installing the chrome”

This is probably the most satisfying period of any car restoration: Installing new chrome on a freshly painted car.  Doesn’t get any better than this.

 

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Engine compartment.

Like the car was built yesterday.

 

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Ivory car with red interior is about as about a sexy as it gets. Yeah, I’m running out of adjectives here…Note how the early P1800 doors are very different compared to the later ones.

 

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Since I have run out of adjectives I will just say: Nice, huh!?

 

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Thank you Adam for sharing your car with us…and the world. This twin of your truly’s project car is excellent inspiration and motivation. The car is on it’s way to great fame as well. It was used for an arts project: The Spy Who Loved Himself

If you want to see more of this car make sure to visit Adam’s blog Saintly Wheels. Adam did warn his reader that the blog will now shift focus: Less restoration and more driving. We sure hope so.

Photos:  Adam Featherston

 

 

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 21

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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???!!

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Oh my, what have I done now?? A huge hole. Remember the movie Wrist Cutters?? If not, watch it and you will understand.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2. Subrocker

Connects the lower part of the A and B pillar.

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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.

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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.

Mo later…

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 20

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Now I have done it!! There is no way back now.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With the rocker and sub rocker gone we can now see the inner rocker support structure.

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This is part of the crud I found inside the rocker panel. I did not have a banana handy so…glove for scale.

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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.

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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.

Mo later…