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Old 01-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
afrat
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Default Finally, she is mine: 1966 Volvo 122s

I began looking for a 122 what seems like forever ago, but I quickly realized I wasn't going to find one in the condition I wanted, for the price I wanted. Every now and then I'd check forums and Craigslist to see if there was anything new out there worth looking at. It always resulted in cars that were either too expensive or in my price range but just too far gone. That all changed yesterday when I bought myself a nice birthday present: a 1966 122s automatic, with a bonus of a Frigi-King AC!









It's a little rough around the edges but I think she'll clean up nice. The previous owner informed me that he was the second owner of the car and that it had always been a town car up until 2005 when he bought a truck and garaged the 122. He had an alternator in it when driving it but swapped it out when he listed it for sale because he wanted to keep it original. To my knowledge, and it's not a very broad knowledge of these cars, this car is all original.











It's missing a few bits here and there, and the interior isn't perfect, but it's good enough for me. The radio is gone, as well as the dome light, and the bands in the seats are shot, so I sit very low right now. Surprisingly all of the exterior trim and pieces are there except for the trim on the right front fender. Cosmetics won't be too much of a concern right now because I need to get this thing reliable so I can sell the 245. A lot of people have told me that it would be a shame to make this car a daily driver but I think it would be a shame not to drive this every day.





As far as I can tell, everything on the engine is stock. If someone notices something that isn't, please let me know! I don't know a whole lot about this car but I plan to become very well acquainted with it. It isn't currently running because the generator took a crap. The guy I bought it from gave me a new generator but the pulley won't come off the old one, the bolt is stuck on it. My goal right now is to put as little money as possible into it to get it running, and only buy what I need to make it safe an reliable at first. Here's some goals I have so far for this car:
  • Upgrade to an alternator.
  • Rebuild the carbs.
  • Complete tuneup.
  • Upgrade the brake system (not sure of my options yet).
  • Possibly rebuild the wiring harness.
  • Clean, clean, clean.
  • DRIVE IT.

That's the short term goal list for now. Sorry if this was too much text and not enough pictures, the only camera I have is my cell phone so I have to take pictures in ideal light or else they turn to crap. I plan to list a wanted ad for parts soon so all of you guys who have 122 parts laying around, I might need them!

Thanks for taking the time to share my excitement about owning this wonderful car!
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Last edited by afrat; 01-25-2012 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #2
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My favorite color! You will love it, a 120 is easy to daily, you get to have so much more fun below 25 mph!
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Nice score. I had a 66 122sback in the early 90's but it had an M40 and no A/C. I daily drove that for 2 years. I did have a real high-powered stereo in the car with two 10" subs and three amplifiers. I had the generator rebuilt and it put out 68amps when they were done with it. You may not have to convert to an alternator if you can find a shop near you that rebuilds starters and alternators (or generators). 60 plus amps will hang with that a/c compressor. Have fun.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #4
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So jealous of you CA guys. You don't even know what "rust" means..
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Handsome old bugger!

Stock AC back then meant an aftermarket dealer installed option, the factory had no involvement AFAIK, not even in making the kits.

Generally speaking, unless you stick something over 200 hp in it, the stock brakes, in good condition, are probably all you need, the only thing you might want to worry about is converting to a dual master cylinder and a front/rear split system. Single circuit brake systems are a bit risky, not that that's stopped me from driving my PV with them for the last ~14 years.

Unless someone got 'handy' with the wiring in the last 45 years, it should be pretty good. They don't seem too prone to wiring rot, the fuse boxes develop resistance and need to be worked on, but by and large, if you're keeping it stock the wiring should probably be pretty good. Volvo's were (back then) good combinations of British style drivetrains and German electrical systems.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1970_Volvo_142S
You may not have to convert to an alternator if you can find a shop near you that rebuilds starters and alternators (or generators).
That's good advice. I'll need to look into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow240
So jealous of you CA guys. You don't even know what "rust" means..
I only moved here a year and a half ago, and I used to live in Charlotte, NC. Believe me, I know what rust is. They think I am weird here for looking under the car before I buy it, like I'm looking for a hidden leprechaun or something.

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Originally Posted by JohnMc
Handsome old bugger!

Stock AC back then meant an aftermarket dealer installed option, the factory had no involvement AFAIK, not even in making the kits.

Generally speaking, unless you stick something over 200 hp in it, the stock brakes, in good condition, are probably all you need, the only thing you might want to worry about is converting to a dual master cylinder and a front/rear split system. Single circuit brake systems are a bit risky, not that that's stopped me from driving my PV with them for the last ~14 years.

Unless someone got 'handy' with the wiring in the last 45 years, it should be pretty good. They don't seem too prone to wiring rot, the fuse boxes develop resistance and need to be worked on, but by and large, if you're keeping it stock the wiring should probably be pretty good. Volvo's were (back then) good combinations of British style drivetrains and German electrical systems.
The AC is a Frigi-King aftermarket unit. I thought it would be cool to have an old AC in there to keep some of the originality, but after looking at how much space it takes up, I think I'll end up tearing it out. We don't need AC here anyways.

The master cylinder is a tiny little thing and the brakes need to be pumped once or twice to get them to really stop the car. Do you have any suggestions for a master cylinder upgrade?

There are a few stray wires hanging around that I'm unsure of where they go. I have OCD tendencies so in my head I'd like a super clean wiring harness so I can know where/what everything is, but in reality, it will probably just stay how it is now.


Thanks for the replies everyone! I think I really lucked out on this one because my wife seems more excited about getting it running than I do!
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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There were a few extra wires here and there on stock cars. Some things like headlight flashers (pull the turn signal stalk back) weren't used on US cars, but the switch and wire is still there (a gray wire partway along the left side engine bay wire bundle). Other things like electric rear window heater things.

The pump to work brakes might just need to be bled. Or the rear drum brakes might be way out of adjustment - if the pump to firm thing gets a lot better when the hand brake is on, it's probably the drums. I think they were supposed to have auto adjusters by that model year, but they could be stuck. And... taking the rear drums off is a real task on old Volvos.

The old piston A/C units like that tended to suck down a noticeable amount of HP, make the engine vibrate, and didn't really put out a lot of cold air in return. If you were keeping it, I'd suggest getting a later model rotary compressor for it, but probably a better idea to just do without.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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Great car - I'm going to disagree with a few things...ditch the generator and get a 140 alternator and regulator. Big upgrade, and that wiring looks sketchy. Change the fuel line so it is coming in the right direction...it is supposed to pass in front of the valve cover - you'll need a clamp for the fuel line. I also don't run a filter after the pump, it should be before the pump.

The brakes are OK - but are not spectacular (even when in good condition) - plan on this when driving the car. Also someone has switched the rad to a later model (good upgrade) and you need a cover for your fuses. What is that relay sitting down where the hood hing almost hits it?

When rebuilding the carbs, remember to do the throttle shafts or else forget about doing it...also I would re-route the PCV set-up to the later B20 set up. You'll need a later B20 or B21A fitting for the manifold. Having a little blow-by feeding into the throat of that carb is frequently a problem.

Basic stage zero stuff. Compression test, Sea Foam, all vac lines, fuel soft lines, plug wires, cap/rotor, belts, battery wiring, check and clean the grounds (they are often a problem), change all fluids.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
There were a few extra wires here and there on stock cars. Some things like headlight flashers (pull the turn signal stalk back) weren't used on US cars, but the switch and wire is still there (a gray wire partway along the left side engine bay wire bundle). Other things like electric rear window heater things.
Wire it up with the 240 bi-stable relay - works like a charm.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Oh, and B18 + BW35 = painfully slow. Unless you *really* have to have an automatic, I'd start looking for M41 swap parts. It will make it incredibly more fun to drive.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Wire it up with the 240 bi-stable relay - works like a charm.
Yep - I did that on my '63 - great handy upgrade from the floor dimmer switch.

Of course, I waited until my dimmer switch fell apart. One dark night. On a twisty road. With an oncoming car. And a huge shower of sparks down by my foot as the headlights went out.

It was an exciting few seconds of my life.

But yeah, grabbed a relay off a 140 in a JY (same thing), looked at a 140 wiring diagram for a few minutes, snaked the wires that used to run to the footwell into the engine bay, added a few wires, and voila. Hi/lo beams and pull to flash on the turn signal stalk.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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Nice find! I have a soft spot for the 122 sedans.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:13 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the response so far everyone. I have a few questions that I am hoping someone could clear up for me.

1. Where do these wires go from the generator? They were just hanging there since the guy I bought it from didn't have it hooked up. There is a regulator under the hood that has some wires hanging as well, could they be soul mates?





2. There is a button on the floor board to the left of the brake pedal. What does that do?


That's all for now, but there will be plenty more questions to come.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:21 AM   #14
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that car was off of old ranch road in sierra madre..... i live 200 feet from that car. The guy is a good guy. I looked at it. He gave me first dibs but I just didnt have enough space for it. Glad you got it buddy. Enjoy that car!!!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:25 AM   #15
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that car was off of old ranch road in sierra madre..... i live 200 feet from that car. The guy is a good guy. I looked at it. He gave me first dibs but I just didnt have enough space for it. Glad you got it buddy. Enjoy that car!!!!
Yes, this is it! He is a good guy. He told me I had to come back by when I got it up and running because the old guys who get together in town with their old cars always asked him to join them with the Volvo.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:31 AM   #16
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2. There is a button on the floor board to the left of the brake pedal. What does that do?

Headlight dimmer? I had an old Ford pickup with the headlight dimmer down on the floor.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:32 AM   #17
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Headlight dimmer? I had an old Ford pickup with the headlight dimmer down on the floor.
I honestly have no idea what a headlight dimmer even is.

When I push it the car goes faster, is that normal?

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Old 01-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #18
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It's the dip switch between high and low beam. Turn your headlights on then stomp on it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:18 AM   #19
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Noice!

I have a 140 alternator and regulator with brackets sitting on my shelf if you decide to upgrade (highly recommended)

the single circuit system is scary. Had brakes fail on me once because the brake light switch broke apart....
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #20
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It's the dip switch between high and low beam. Turn your headlights on then stomp on it.
Ah, I see. I just need to get the lights working to test it out then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fige
Noice!

I have a 140 alternator and regulator with brackets sitting on my shelf if you decide to upgrade (highly recommended)

the single circuit system is scary. Had brakes fail on me once because the brake light switch broke apart....
The brakes failed because the light wasn't working? Yikes. I might be interested in your alternator setup. I do have a brand new generator for the car, the only problem is I can't get the pulley off of the old one, the nut won't come loose.

Anyone got a generator pulley laying around?
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:14 PM   #21
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No, not the light.
this is the switch that broke. That plastic face (on the back of that in the picture), "popped" off and drained the entire brake system instantly


Also, I would recommend an alternator setup... generator is super heavy and inefficiency.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #22
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EDIT: Treed... He means the brake light switch - it's a hydraulic switch that screws into the brake system, senses hydraulic pressure in the system and turns on the brake lights. I guess his switch mechanically failed and let the brake fluid spew out.

Is it possible the pulley has a left hand threaded nut on it? No clue, but sometimes rotating things like that have backwards stuff.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:28 PM   #23
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Is it possible the pulley has a left hand threaded nut on it? No clue, but sometimes rotating things like that have backwards stuff.
This is a possibility. The PO said he hit it with an air gun so if it is reverse threaded I'm sure it's really stuck on there now. I will try and yank at it when I get home today.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:36 PM   #24
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So jealous of you CA guys. You don't even know what "rust" means..
youve never seen beach or coastal cars have you

Nice find....where abouts in LA are you?
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #25
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Nice find....where abouts in LA are you?
I live in Elysian Valley (Frog Town), just north of Dodger Stadium.
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