1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 15

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I am trying to catch anything that need to be done before it goes to body and paint.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 missing nut

Like this weld nut that decided to take a walk. This nut holds the upper panel on the door. Now would be a good time to fix it. Threads are 1/4 -20.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 weld nut

I enlarged the hole enough to hold a nut in place and then used my 180 AMP metal melting device. I doused the screw and threads with anti splatter spray to make sure I didn’t weld the bolt to the nut!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 weld nut in place

Nut job! Threads in place and all is well.

All chassis component on this car are semi flat black including the front cross member. On later cars, Volvo changed it to a blue gray color.

I found a perfect match to the black at my local powder coating company.The have a one time set up charge so it makes sense to bring in all parts for coating in one swoop.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ugly front end 2

It is amazing how many little parts are on one car! Like the front end, after disassembling I have another hundred…or so…parts to…ugh, to clean and keep track of.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 front spring compress

NOTE spring compressor!  PLEASE NOTE: The front A-arms are holding the front springs under EXTREME pressure. DO NOT unbolt the ball joint or A-arms without taking precautions. If this spring was to let loose it could seriously harm or kill an individual. If you are not comfortable with this task, take it to a professional.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 front end blow apart

Sometimes I wonder why I do this :-/

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 A-arm petrified

Petrified! The dirt and grease have become petrified over 50 years.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 A-arm clean

OK, this is a bit of overkill but I like clean…I plan to blast and powder coat everything anyway.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 cross member

Front cross member ready for the next step. I will have it dipped in the rust removing solution as well as I want any internal rust gone.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake stud removal

Volvo’s service manual tells me that the minimum thickness of the rotors in 12.2 mm. These were less than 10 mm so these are going in the recycle bin. The early cars had different rotors and they are no longer available. Here I am pressing out the studs so I can separate the rotor from the hub.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake hub

Rotor and hub.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake rotor difference

Here you can see the difference between the early style (left) and the later style. The “hat” is 2 3/16 tall compared to the 1 3/4 height on the newer style. The old style lasted through chassis number 6999.

I have been told if I use the newer style caliper bracket, I can use the newer rotor. However, I also have to use the newer style backing shields and I would like to keep the original stuff. They looks very different and they are in excellent condition.

I have some ideas…more on this later.

 

Now I have to inventory all parts so they can be accounted for when I bring them to powder coating. Tip: Take lots of pictures!

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 13

We don’t trust rust!

From Wikipedia: Rust is an iron oxide, usually red oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture. Rust consists of hydrated iron (as in an old Volvo), oxides Fe2O3·nH2O and iron oxide-hydroxide (FeO(OH), Fe(OH).

The next exciting stop in the restoration journey is to remove this stuff!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 ready to go

Since this is a unibody car it is not easy to remove and stop rust inside the “frame channels”. By dipping the whole car is rust removing acid I can get all the hidden rust dissolved and then a protective rust preventative coating can be applied.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 mystery penny

After disassembling the doors I turned them upside down to empty out all the junk. I noticed a round copper object in the pile. I thought it was a penny. I was curious what year penny it would be.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 mystery volvo logo

Turns out it was a small brass or copper Volvo logo. I have never seen this before. It has very nice detailing on it. Can it be a top of a shifter? A lapel pin maybe? I button on a Volvo coveralls??  If you know, contact me!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 empty door

Here is the door completely disassembled and they are going to enjoy a bath in the rust removing soup as well.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 visor chrome

Anything that needs to be rechromed have to be completely disassembled. These are the visor arms.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 to be chromed

The “To be chromed” box is growing. This will not be cheap!

Got some family stuff to deal with so it will be a couple of weeks until I can bring the body to the dipping company. Stay tuned.

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 12

The body is finally stripped:

As mentioned in part 11, I discovered that the top bolt holding the vacuum tank was a Phillip head screw and obviously installed BEFORE the fenders were installed.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake tank screws

After a fair amount of “fiddling” we got the screw out. If you read up on Volvo 1800 history you will learn that the bodies were made by a company called Pressed Steel a few miles south of Glasgow. They were then sent on to Jensen for assembly.

Some smart ass at Pressed Steel grabbed a Phillip head screw for the top mounting of this tank as I am sure it was installed before the front fender was welded to the body.  Just to really mess with my head, they used hex bolts on the lower mounting point. Oh well!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 brake tank

This was an interesting surprice after I got the tank down. It felt very heavy. Guess what? It was full of break fluid. About two liters to be exact. I am going to guess that the brake booster failed at some point and the vacuum started to suck in the brake fluid. What is amazing is how much brake fluid the owner must have been adding to the brake cylinder.

I feel sorry for the poor owner that had to add fluid to that little master cylinder as the fluid was mysteriously disappearing! Maybe this was going on over many years, who knows.

The Jig is up!

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 frame jig

I built a metal frame and I added support beams that will hold the body to the frame so it can be transported to paint stripping and body shop.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 empty body

I sacrificed my lawn tractor trailer for it’s wheels and also the beam that connects to the tractor. It is going to stripping in late April 2016.

Comparing equipment between the 1964 parts car and this 1961 car reveals some subtle differences.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 speedo

Like the tachometer for example. The red line on the 1961 is at 6000 rpm. The red line…ish starts at 5500. That is code for: Hey Sven, you better start thinking about popping this baby in to another gear or your push rods will start denting your hood!

By the way,  these gauges are just gorgeous!

 

1964 Volvo Jensen P1800 speedo

This one is not so gorgeous but it is from the 1964 parts car.  The red line starts at 6500 rpm. I guess Volvo got a little braver or they got better valve springs…or both.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 fuel gauge

Also, the fuel gauge is different. The indicator stems from the center unlike the ’64 model where it is off to the side. Not a big deal but I want to make sure I don’t mix them up.

 

1964 Volvo Jensen P1800 fuel gauge

1964 gauge. See how the needle stems from the side as opposed to the center.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 trim piece

Another note for the nuance department: The metal trim piece that is located inside the car on the top of the B-pillar was made of aluminum. (top) The later cars had this made in stainless.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 modular shop

Modular shop. Having the axles on the wheel dollies help when shop space is tight.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 key lock

I finally got the ignition lock cylinder back. I was very excited that they were able to make a key but the pretty chrome fascia was now sporting a big scratch. Idiots!

I will be looking for a new cylinder I guess. Got one? Early style with small cylinder diameter…please  Email me

Folks along the way:

One of the fun aspects of playing with old cars is the people you meet along the way.

Having the same interest is reason enough to spark a conversation between two strangers. Maybe they have that part you are looking for or vice verse or just comparing notes in general.

Dave Lucas in Columbus, Ohio checked in with me. He is knee deep in a restoration of a 1963 Volvo P1800. This is the before picture:

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Dave’s P1800 is chassis number 6065 so I am thinking it was assembled in Sweden. The transmission and engine has been rebuilt so now he is working on the body and interior. We look forward to updates.

 

Lucas 1963 Volvo P1800 dog

We know Dave is a good guy as he is also a dog person. Here his best friend is checking out the dismal back seat! “I think I will ride shotgun in the passenger seat”

 

Gary Ramstad 1967 Volvo 1800S

Gary Ramstad from Seattle is almost finished with his 1967 Volvo 1800S. He named it “Puzzle” as the assembly of all the interior pieces resembles a puzzle.

Mo later…

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 9

Damn, there is a lot of parts on a car. The stripping continues so we can go to body work.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door handle removal

The original door panels are nice enough that I did not want to tear them off.  The sheet behind the crank is teflon designed to be used between spring leaf springs. Slippery and very strong. I used it to protect the panel to get the tool behind to remove the clip.

Well, so I thought…there was NO flexibility in the door panel and the rubber ring behind it. I had to break the chrome ring to get to it.  Blasphemy, yeah probably but I saved a 57 year old door panel.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 door panel

This is nice enough so someone could use this for a driver.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 nice chrome early style door

These early P1800 doors are nothing like the later model Volvos. The top plate unbolts and then you get the whole vent window, crank mechanism and glass out. It makes it very serviceable though.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 nice chrome

The chrome on the vent window assembly is absolutely amazing. I may not even have to replate it.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 nice chrome bandy stick

These “bandy stick” door moldings are cast as opposed to the front fender pieces that made from stainless stock.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 pentrating stuff

My new friend: PB “Catalyst-High Flashpoint-Magnetic-Lubricant-Bolt Buster” are some of the buzz words used by the manufacturer so it must be good, right? Used by Volvo restorers and spacemen.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 flamed

When the above mentioned “Catalyst-High Flashpoint-Magnetic-Lubricant-Bolt Buster” spray ain’t making it the solution is heat. To remove the moldings I heated the nuts to a glowing red and then I could break them loose. Hot nuts are good!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 wet blanket

Having a wet towel over the stainless kept it cool to prevent any discoloring.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 fender moulding off

It was 57 years ago since the front fender moulding was separated from the body.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 moulding clips

My friend Gary calls his 1967 1800S the “puzzle” for all the parts on a Volvo 1800 car. Here is one of the reasons: These are the clips that holds the front fender moulding in place. They are all different. They were secured inside the moulding by a piece of fiber board pressed in behind it! Classy!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 stainless chrome

I was convinced that the rear fin molding was cast as it appeared to be chrome and it has spiderweb cracks and small pitting. However, it turns out that it is not magnetic so it must be stainless after all. Chrome stainless…go figure…never heard of it. Need to do some reasearch.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 spreading out

It is amazing how much room a car take up when you blow it apart. Parts everywhere!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 quarter window

Quarter window and fin mouldings are out.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 oil press clamp brass

I am not sure why I find this to be so cool but the clamp that holds the oil pressure line is made out of brass. Of course I had to polish it. The sad part is that it is under the dash but now we all know it’s there.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 heat duct

The air duct between the heater and the body looks like it was made in shop class!
I give it a C. Having said that, this is the cool part with a low serial number car as some parts are still crude. Part of the history.

’nuff for now!

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen Project, part 8

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen crossmember

The nice thing with Volvos from this era is that the front cross member unbolts easy. Basically six bolt and the whole thing comes down. My motorcycle lift is once again put in to service.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen crossmember detail

Imagine how many thingies (technical term)  that have to come apart to be replaced or refurbished and then assembled just in the front end. This will be a long road.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen crossmember new

A complete restoration is a huge undertaking for anyone. Being in contact with other restorers is very helpful and a great way to get ideas and motivation. This is the front end from Richard Nyberg’s 1961 P1800 with chassis number 115. Richard is blogging in Swedish here and his blog is serving as motivation for your truly.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen drain

Draining by leakage! The front seal was leaking anyway so I just let it drain out this way. This axle does not have a drain plug and I really did not want to pop the cover before cleaning the outside.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen wiring

I am trying to remove the wiring in one piece. It appears to be in good shape except I have to replace the cloth cover material.

Title

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 1962 title

The car was originally licensed as a 1962 model year. This was pretty typical back in the day when it came to imported cars as they did not change the body style as American cars.

Very few people could tell the difference and the dealer wanted to offer a “new” car.  They could never do that with a 1961 Chevrolet for example.

Also, based on research, this car probably did not make it to the American shore until 1962. The car was built in late 1961 and the factory documentation shows Date of dispatch Aug 8th, 1961. It is my understanding that after dispatch they were all shipped to Sweden for quality control.

Volvo letter Sweden

I wrote Volvo’s Heritage department and they were kind enough to write a letter confirming that a car with chassis number 423 was indeed a 1961 model year.

I thought I had to go to State Patrol and have the car inspected. Instead, I broght the letter to the Department of License and behold, the nice lady in the window corrected it right there.

1961 Title

Now I can get a 1961 license plate as well. It should be green background with white text. A 1961 sticker would be a bonus.

 

1961 Volvo plate

Cool, huh?

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen Project, part 7

Today was a productive day.  My friend Tam came over and helped out with the heavy stuff. The goal was to get all of the drivetrain out…and we did.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 engine out

I was  not able to turn the engine over at the crank so I could not wait to get it out to see what was going on.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 engine goop

Whether you have a latex fetish or work on gooey engines like this, it does make you appreciate this material.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 engine turning over

Bazinga!  Archimedes was right, leverage is awesome!  It did not take much to make the engine turn. This is the documented original engine so…me happy!
Also, here you can see the oil cooler that was only on the early cars.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 transmission

Next out was the transmission and as you can see, it does not have an overdrive. Some of the early cars did not come with this option. This transmission is kaputt gewesen and that is probably why the car was parked for so long. It spins freely in any gear so I venture to think it experienced a small internal explosion.

I will upgrade the car with an overdrive unit.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle

Drive shaft and the rear axle came out next. I will just move it aside as the first goal is to strip the body so it can go to stripping and the metal shop.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 engine cross member

Speaking of goop. About a pound worth was nested inside the transmission cross member!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle color

After removing the spring pad and the rubber dampener below it I can get a good look at the original color of the suspension.  It’s a semi flat black.

Anyway, a good day.

Volvo Wagon Meet in Sweden

Ragge Fransson was a relentless Volvo wagon and 123GT enthusiasts.

Story time…He was also a true gentleman: I had just connected with him about Volvos so he barely knew me. I was bidding from US on a rare Volvo part on a Swedish auction site. Turns out he was bidding as well. When he saw that I was the bidder he backed off and let me have the part. I did not know until later.

Unfortunately he left us last year…way too early. RIP Ragge!

Ragge sent us these pictures a few years ago from a wagon meet in Sweden.

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Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagon red

The red wagon is a 1968, Automatic.

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagon red side

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagon red interior

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagon white

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagon blue

Roof rack is the norm.

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagons more

 

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden Ragge

Ragge Franssons 1968 122 Wagon Sport.

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden Ragge rear

They look great with the 5.5 inch wide rims. Tires are 195-60-15

Vintage Volvo meet in Sweden 122 wagons

Photo: Ragge Fransson

Bonus picture:

Volvo PV544

Magnus Johansson from Karlshamn, Sweden sent us this picture of his car and trailer.  The car is a 1965 Volvo PV 544 Sport. The car is un-restored and is even sporting the original paint. The trailer is an Opio also from 1965.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen Project, part 3

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen dissasembly interior

All this have to come out. I am taking pictures and documenting as I go. It is always easy to tear stuff out, putting it back in the right order is another thing.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen dissasembly interior apart

It is amazing how the interior from such a small can spread out.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen dissasembly interior rear 2

All gone. I have to hack away all the sound deadener so the media blaster can get to all the surfaces. Having said that, I am researching a chemical dip as an option.

 

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The antifreeze was very clean. That is a good sign as the car has been sitting and clean antifreeze have good corrosion protection.

1967 Volvo 1800S

If one 1800 is good then two must be better. This rather solid 1967 1800S followed me home. It will be a parts car for now but it may be a project for someone in the future.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen jack tool

Here is one of the benefits with parts cars. I was missing the crank for the jack, One look in the trunk and here is what we need. Also the washer for the spare tire was found.

1964 Volvo 1800S

Well, if two 1800 is better than three must be bestest?? This is a 1964 with a perfect right side front molding. Guess what? I have a ding in the right side molding on the 1961. This car also have a bored out B-18 with a D cam and overdrive. It also have a Volvo AM-FM Radio, could be useful.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen kick panel

Back to tearing out the rest of the interior. This must be the coolest kick panel…evar. Chrome vinyl! Looks like something Chrysler would have cooked up in the late 50’s.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen dissasembly interior all out

A/C unit is gone and so is the rest of the interior.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen air intake

It should be a felony to paint this air grille.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen air intake Binford

Binford 6000 Professional Paint Remover to the rescue!

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen in garage done for the day

All done for the day. Sometimes I just have to stop and sweep up so I can get a good start on the next shop day.

Volvo P1800 Jensen history

Volvo 1800 S

The Volvo P1800 was created in 1957 as Volvo wanted to offer something sporty for the export market. Volvo turned to Frua in Italy to design the car as they wanted…you guessed it…a car with Italian design.

Volvo P1800 Prototype

Turns out…A Swedish designer, Pelle Petterson was working for Frua at the time and he was asked by the Frua management to come up with a design. They submitted several ideas anonomysly to the current Volvo president Gunnar Engellau in December 1957. Once he saw the P1800 he said: I want that! He did not know at the time that a Swede actually penned the car and was rather mad once he found out. He wanted “Italian design”. After Mr. Engellau cooled off a bit he gave the go ahead and aren’t we lucky he did!

Volvo P1800 Prototype 2

Volvo did not have the capacity to build the car so they turned to Karmann in Germany  and they were indeed interested. However, VW got wind of this and said they would pull their production from Karmann if they made a Volvo. So…Volvo looked around in Europe for other companies and finally made a deal with Pressed Steel in the UK to build the bodies and then have Jensen in West Bromwich to assemble the car. Jensen was for example building the Austin Healey.  The contract was to build 10,000 cars.

Volvo P1800 interior

Some of the design element were scrapped in order to streamline the production. For example, the drawings had the tail pipes coming out of the rear valance and the rear license plate recessed. Also, the rear quarter windows were fixed as opposed to the original design where they could open.

Volvo P1800 styling

Volvo also wanted a new engine for this sports car so they developed the B-18. It was a quite an engine for it’s time:
It developed 100 hp SAE at 5 500 rpm while sucking Swedish air through a pair of 1 ¾ tums SU HS6 carburators.

Volvo P1800 interior

Borg&Beck supplied the clutch and they opted for Volvo’s bullet proof M40 four speed transmission. You could also order a Laycock-de-Normanville electric overdrive that would give you a total ratio of 0,76:1. With the overdrive the rear axle ratio was 4,56:1 and without the rear had 4,10:1 ratio.

Volvo P1800 design

Volvo was not happy with the quality of work from the Jensen factory and decided to bring the P1800 manufacturing back to Sweden. The good news in all of this was that Volvo’s new car factory on Hisingen, Göteborg in Sweden was finished in 1963 and that meant that the older Lundby factory could be used for the P1800 manufacturing. After 6,000 cars made by Jensen the Volvo 1800 was now made in Sweden. This is why the designation P1800 changed to 1800S and the “S” stood for Sweden, not Sport as I have believed for all my life.

Volvo 1800 E and Volvo 1800 ES

Volvo continue to improve the 1800S through out the years for safety, convenience and power until it’s demise in 1972 for the coupe and 1973 for the ES model (wagon). Volvo produced a total of 47,485 of which 8,078 were the ES model.

Photos: Volvo Herritage Press Kit

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen Project, part 2

I continue to look over the latest addition in the garage, the 1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen car.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 side

The car is quite straight but with some rust in the usual spots. What surprises me the most is how nice the trim and bright work is.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 interior

The interior is actually quite decent or being 55 years old. However, as soon as you start replacing anything it all has to go.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen door panel

The 55 year old door panels held up well.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 body number

I think this s the body number. If that is correct, Jensen (and Volvo) had already gone through over a thousand bodies by the time they got to this car, number 423! Is that possible?

I wanted to make sure about the engine, it would be great if it was the original engine. This is the delivery information that Volvo used to keep track of the cars coming from England. As you can tell, Excel was not yet invented! This is the 400 series chassis number so the circled number is 423.

P1800 delivery information

As we can see, the Chassis number 423 should have engine 149.

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen engine number

Ha!…there it is…149! Good to know.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 Jensen door trim

All the trim is in an amazing condition.

 

i am documenting and taking photos of all items for reference. This will be a big job!