Volvo 140 Information
A selection of reports taken from back-issues of the Club's magazine, 'Volvo Driver'.
To keep up to date with these reports join the Club and receive the magazine. Joining will also allow access to the back-catalogue of magazines on this web site.
I make no apologies for repeating some of the points that I have men-tioned previously. Cheek and replace if necessary, your anti-freeze - inspect the hoses - make sure that your heater works properly. Examine and replace if necessary, your windscreen wipers, including the rear ones on the 145's. This brings me to a point:- Replace your wiper blade rubbers with genuine Volvo ones, some that I got from Halfords proved to be noisy in any-thing but a downpour. Your tyres should get a good examination - avail yourself of a free examination at a tyre centre, I did with my 850 when I had to get a puncture repaired - I had picked up a self tapping screw somewhere. It was reassuring to have all the tyres given a clean bill of health. Don't forget the spare! This reminds me of a request I had from a very good friend of many years, to take his car out for a test drive, as he was worried about vibrations and juddering from his 245. I had only gone just a few yards down the road when I felt that something was seriously wrong with it! It felt almost as though the rear axle was about to jump out! The other vibrations were obviously due to serious front wheel imbalance. Anyway, I thought I would get the car on a lift as soon as possible and no sooner was the car up in the air than all was revealed. The near-side rear tyre was seriously distorted, with a nasty bulge in the tread and parts of the carcass showing - very dangerous. A new tyre was immediately fitted! The front tyres were really beyond further balancing although still 'legal'. A further three tyres were later fitted and the handling of the car brought back to its impeccable self. A chassis/suspension/ steering check showed no irregu-larities. Please DO have your tyres checked regularly! ! ! Make sure that your brakes and steering are OK. Remember that with the 140's, if the steering joints are worn and/or dry they get very stiff and we all know that without power steering the 140's are a bit heavy on steering anyway, to put it mildly! Remember to only use genuine Volvo brake pads if you need to replace them - non Volvo ones just don1 work so well - honestly! Your battery and connections should be checked and all the lights tested. Remember to always carry a set of spare bulbs and fuses - just in case. A good wash and wax is a good idea before the winter sets in - down here we get seagulls doing most unsociable things over our cars and this is not good for the paint! I know I must have forgotten something but this lot will do for a start! Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please. I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter. Please keep those letters coming, they are very much appreciated.
Having just experienced what was probably the best BKV ever in terms of attendance and atmosphere, I must congratulate all the winners and those who took the trouble to enter their cars this year. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was particularly good to meet friends that I only get to speak to 'on the 'phone' the rest of the time. If you have not yet been to a 'National BKV' see what you can do next year. It makes Bob's Isaac's job that bit more satisfying if there is a good attendance. Well done Bob on a splendid effort this year! I must tell you that we had a record turn out for our Bentley Wildfowl trust meeting on June 7th as well. Whilst the rain kept off, there was quite a chilly wind but despite that we all enjoyed ourselves. It was good to see the cars taking part in the London to Brighton Classic Car Run too. See if you can make it to our meeting next year! Betsy is now fully 'un-leaded'. Mike Tanski, of Ferriday Engineering made a super job of her cylinder head. Mike informs me that he has just purchased a new state-of-the-art valve seat cutting machine which will make an even better job of final machining of the valve seats in the future. So, if you are thinking about converting to un-leaded petrol, you could do no better than to contact Mike on 01902 739690. The next job on Betsy is to sort out her vinyl roof. You may remember that I had written about getting a new tailgate for her, well I now have one. I got a very good, clean and rust-free one complete with glass, rear wiper, central locking motor, locks, handle, hinges etc for £50 from Stan Ford at Telford's Motor Engineering at Herne Hill, London, Tel. 0181 674 3898. They have an enormous amount of Volvo parts there. One little point if you visit them, don't wear your best shoes! (or clothes, for that matter!) I completely stripped the tail-gate down at home and my Son-in-Law, Graham made up her paint colour and sprayed it for me - good isn't it to have a body repair specialist in the family! I then took it over to Brighton to Steve Canip at CD Autos (Tel. 01273 325256) who are body trim specialists who did Betsy's original vinyl roof way back in 1972! They fitted new vinyl to the tailgate and all I have to do now is to refit the glass etc. and make it ready for fitting on to Betsy. But, not before she goes over to CD to have her roof re-done. Over the period of time, the original vinyl has hardened a bit and 'curled' away from the gutter, allowing a bit of damp to get at her. Not serious but it must be done. Next year she should be OK for the 'National' but I felt she was not at her best just yet for this year. As I mentioned last time, I stripped and re-built Betsy's Stromberg CD 175 carburettor. This was very straightforward and only took a short while. Scrupulously clean conditions are needed for this and just a bit of patience and care. Overhaul kits are available from Gower and Lee, Tel. 0171 262 0300. If you need any guidance on this topic, get in touch with me. I have still not got around to fitting electric window winders to her and even the central locking, but I promise, I will one day! Again, if you want the 'info', you know where to come!
Firstly, a date for your diaries Sunday June 7th, 1998. Come to Bentley Wildfowl Trust and Motor Museum again, Bentley is a lovely place if the weather is nice. It 'is easy enough to find: if coming South on the A22, look for a sign board just South of the Uckfield bypass, indicating a turn to the right, then just follow the signs. From the West, leave Lewes on the Ringmer road and again, follow the local signs. For the Boy Scouts amongst you, the 0/S map reference is: Sheet 198, 486158.The 'phone no. is 0182 584573. Remember this is a joint 140/850170 Series and Sussex Section meeting and ALL ARE WELCOME! I have just spoken to John Smith, our Membership secretary and he is going to make every effort to come along to Bentley with some Club paraphernalia and to bring along some Members from Hampshire and Dorset, It will be good to see you all, the more the merrier! As an added incentive, the 1998 London to Brighton Classic Car Run is stopping off at Bentley in the in the morning, Let us hope that it doesn't rain, that's all! ! On the technical front, there is not a great deal to report really, that has not found its way into the Newsletter recently. You will have by now read of the unleaded conversion that can be carried out on all 'pushrod' Volvo engines. Betsy's head should be fitted by the time you read this and I will let you know how it all has worked out. I shall, in the meantime be overhauling her Stromberg CD 175 carburettor. Overhaul kits are available from Jeff Carter of Cower and Lee, 24 Brook Mews North, (off Craven Road), London W2. Tel. 0171 262 0300. If you need any guidance on this topic, get in touch with me. Perhaps, this Summer, I might get around to fitting electric window winders to her and even central locking. Again, if you want the 'info', you know where to come! I have been asked by Vic Barnes, our Disabled Registrar, to advise you of a meeting in conjunction with the Kent Section at the Classic Car and Country Show at Losely Park, Guildford, on 1st. and 2nd. August 1998. Vic and Paul Till (of Kent Section) hope to have a VOC display of twenty plus cars there. See if you can support this worthy cause in aid of the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for the Disabled. For further details, 'phone Vic on 01953 453777.
As I write this, just after Christmas, I can't see Betsy venturing forth just yet! Soon though I really must get those jobs done that have been wailing for my attention. Her tailgate needs 'sorting out', or perhaps I will be lucky enough to get a much newer one to replace hers with. I expect you have all, with the estates at any rate, found the wretched rust on the inside, just below the glass. I wonder if the much later, 240 type, with the glass flush to the outside is similarly prone to this trouble? I think I will look for a complete tailgate of this type, glass 'n all to fit to Betsy. The heating elements tend to disintegrate after several years, being on the surface of the glass, rather than 'in' it, no matter how careful you are when cleaning the inside surface. Those servicing and 'preventative maintenance` jobs that we kept putting off must now be seen to, to ensure that your 140 is ready for the New Year after the ravages of winter. Make sure that your brakes and steering are OK. Remember that with the 140s, if the steering joints are worn and or dry they get very stiff and we all know that without power steering the 140s are a bit heavy on steering anyway, to put it mildly! It is important to only use genuine Volvo brake pads if you need to replace them - non Volvo ones just don't work so well honestly!
Your battery and connections should be checked and all the lights tested. Remember to always carry a set of spare bulbs and fuses - just in case. Previously I have mentioned that I was to fit a Broquet fuel catalyser to Betsy, well I've done it and chose the'in-line' version, which I have mounted on a couple of little brackets held by the two thermostat housing bolts. The Broquet-supplied brackets bolt on to these and a new fuel hose was fed up from the fuel PUMP and a new clip crimped it on to the supplied catalyst fitting. Similarly, on the feed side, a new hose was crimped on and fed to the carburettor. It is important to mount the Broquet securely as it is a fairly heavy unit and MUST NOT be just mounted to hang in the fuel line! The other alternative is to use the 'in-tank' version, although I prefer the way I've done it. Now, I've been in touch with a company in Wolverhampton, who specialise in fitting valve seat, inserts. Previously I have expressed concern about the validity of this, in the case of 120/140 etc. cylinder heads because of the cylinder head design. However, IF I could get hold of a 'scrap/cracked/rusted/damaged' cylinder head and get it to these people in Wolverhampton, then they would research the possibility of being able to do the job PROPERLY for us, using specially made inserts and at the right price too! So, if anybody in the Midlands could help me, PLEASE get in touch with me. It would, after all, be good for us all if our cylinder heads COULD be modified. Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please. I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter.
As I write this, we continue to enjoy superb weather down here in Sussex! Soon though it will change for the worse and it will be then that we will all wish that we had done all those servicing and 'preventative maintenance' jobs that we kept putting off! Now is the time to ensure that your 140 is ready for the ravages of winter. Check and replace if necessary, your anti-freeze - inspect the hoses - make sure that your heater works properly. Examine and replace if necessary, your windscreen wipers, including the rear ones on the 145's. This brings me to a point: I replaced my wiper blade rubbers with some that I got from Halfords. Great, I thought only a couple of pounds or so, (I can't remember exactly). Anyway, after fitting them, at the first drop of rain - they squealed nearly driving me mad! They were alright in a downpour but when just wet or drizzle they were awful. "Serves you jolly well right!" I hear you all shout, "You should have got genuine ones like you are always telling us to do!!" I did, later - Glorious silence! There is a moral here! Your tyres should get a good examination - avail yourself of a free examination at a tyre centre, I did with my 850 when 1 had to get a puncture repaired - I had picked up a self tapping screw somewhere. It was reassuring to have all the tyres given a clean bill of health. Don't forget the spare! Make sure that your brakes and steering are OK. Remember that with the 140's, if the steering joints are worn and/or dry they get very stiff and we all know that without power steering the 140's are a bit heavy on steering anyway, to put it mildly! Remember to only use genuine Volvo brake pads if you need to replace them - non-Volvo ones just don't work so well honestly! Your battery and connections should be checked and all the lights tested. Remember to always carry a set of spare bulbs and fuses - just in case. A good wash and wax is a good idea before the winter sets in -down here we get seagulls doing most unsociable things over our cars and this is not good for the paint! I know I must have forgotten something but this lot will do for a start. I still get 'phone calls from folk wanting to dispose of their 140's and occasionally from somebody who is looking for one. Ideally, please let John Skipper, our Sales and Wants Manager know first. John obviously keeps a register of all his 'clients' and can put you in touch with anybody either seeking or disposing of a car. Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please. I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter.
Remembering what I wrote about the exceptional weather we had back in the Spring, it certainly did revert to 'normal', or worse, afterwards but I hope it's now settled down again. I had a call today from a new Member about fitting a replacement water pump to his 140. It was not a genuine one and he had trouble getting a seal against the cylinder head. With some 'patent pumps, the fixing bolt holes do not have enough clearance to allow the pump to be levered up, under, against the cylinder head. If you find this, it is necessary to ease the holes out with a 'rat-tail' file in order to give that extra bit of clearance. I have now fitted my Broquet unit to Betsy so I shall shortly be running her on un-leaded petrol. I think the 'in-line' version is best as you can easily fit it across in front of the thermostat and utilise the thermostat fixing bolts to hold a couple of little brackets. The fuel pipe then runs up beside the alternator, through the Broquet, then through an in-line fuel filter thence to the carburettor. Those little hose clips which slip over the fuel hose and are then pinched up, using a special pair of pliers are superb, well worth getting some from Brown Brothers or a decent motor facters. They are much neater than worm drive clips. Well done to Martin Smith on winning his class at the National and to all the other 140 entrants. It was a pity about the weather but I think we all enjoyed the venue and the superb flying display. I've had many requests for the BKV to be held there again. I did mention last time about fitting a new oil pump to Betsy. I haven't got round to this yet, but when I do, I'll tell you all about it! I still get 'phone calls from folk wanting to dispose of their 140's and occasionally from somebody who is looking for one. Ideally, please let John Skipper, our Sales & Wants Manager know first. John obviously keeps a Register of all his 'clients' and can put you in touch with anybody either seeking or disposing of a car.
As I write this, with the exceptional weather we are having, it seems that Summer is with us already. Perhaps things will revert to normal in a little while! Looking at Betsy the other day, I realised that I still had some work to do before she is out and about' again. I am a bit concerned about her having slightly lower than normal oil pressure just now. I did replace her oil pump some years ago but admit to fitting a non-Volvo one (Shame!, I hear you cry!) I know that having an oil pressure gauge tells you, 'not just a warning, but how much pressure you have, unlike the oil warning light which just tells you that it's too low too late! Now removing the sump, in order to get at the oil pump entails either lowering the front axle or lifting the front of the engine in order to give sufficient clearance between the sump and the axle beam. When I did it last time I think I did it the 'lowering of the axle way', but this time I will try the alternative, This means you have to fit the special engine 'bridge tool' over the engine in order to lift it at the front, when you have released the front engine mounts and the top hose (after draining the coolant), You can hire one of these bridge tools from David Cheshire, who runs the Club's Tool Hire Scheme, I know he's got one because I made it for Trevor Nettteton, years ago! This tool is essential too for supporting the rear of the engine when you need to remove the gearbox etc. for a clutch change etc.
They are quite simple to make too so if you need a sketch of one, drop me a line, OK. I would like to remind you to inspect the lower wishbone road spring 'pan', to ensure that a crack is not developing there. I was browsing through some back number Newsletters and re-read Dick Smith's article in No. 81 about this fault. It is not easy to see, because of all the muck and undersea!. A total failure here could be very serious! I had a Technical Request the other day horn a Member with a 200 Series with a B21A engine which was suffering from the old problem of poor starting when the engine is hot. This was a very common problem with single carte. 140's but can easily be cured by venting the float chamber vent hole in the carte flange direct to atmosphere. This is done by simply bonding a piece of 8mm copper or steel tube into the hole (which is at the 10 o'clock position above the air filter mounting hole on the left and passing this tube through a hole drilled through the air cleaner to atmosphere. The outer end should be bent downwards, so as not to allow dirt to get in. This is not strictly environmentally friendly, but it works. The fuel-rich vapour from the Coat chamber then vents away and does not cause the engine to draw in over rich mixture when re-starting a hot engine. I still get phone calls from folk wanting to dispose of their 140's and occasionally from somebody who is looking for one. Especially, a Member is seeking a pre-1967 142 for Historic Rallying so, ff you know of one going, let me know and I'll pass on the details. Well, that seems to be all I can think of for the moment so I'll be starting to write up Newsletter Number 97. Oh yes, by the way I hope to see as many of you as possible at Bentley Wildfowl Trust on Sunday lone 29th, for our annual 140, 850 and Sussex Section meeting-ALL are welcome! Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please. I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter.
I am happy that Betsy now qualifies for her 'Free Tax Disc' now that she has 'come of 25 years of age'. Remember that, in order to qualify, your car must have been manu-factured during the year before you start counting to twenty five. It is not merely 25 years from the date of first registration. So, cars built during 1970 now qualify. I've not driven Betsy for a while as her Tax expired at the end of October last and there seemed little point in re-taxing her just for a couple of months. As she had a new battery fitted back in the summer, I am naturally keen not to let it deteriorate. Some of you will remember the battery charge controller that Gordon Read designed and I did an article on it back in Newsletter No. 81. Now not all of you have the time, means nor inclination to build one of these but whilst talking with Kevin Martin, (of EDTA fame - see N/L No. 95, p.5) he suggested a very convenient alternative. Connect up your battery charger in the normal way but via one of those automatic time switches that you plug into the 13 amp socket. Set the time to be ON for about half an hour a day or whatever you deem to be appropriate. I've set up Betsy's charger in this way and the battery seems just fine' Now, just this morning, the Postman bought me an amazing catalogue of competition goodies sent to me by Gurkamaljit Milkhu, of Volvo 142,1995 London-Mexico Rally fame who runs Pargan Autos (167 Dukes Road, off Western Avenue, London W3 OSL, Tel 0181993 0807). Those of you interested in performance or competition parts for your car, be it a 544 120,140, 240, 7/900, 850 or even S or V 40 then all you need is here! I for one am looking forward to the warmer weather and expect that I will have some jobs to do on Betsy in the Spring. Please refer to the 140 report in the Winter 1996 Driver for some reminders of jobs to do in the Spring if you haven't already done so! The tailgate on Betsy needs sorting for a start, the dreaded rust along the bottom edge of the window aperture for one! I think I'll have to replace her oil pump too, the pressure does not seem to be what it should be. I'll report on these points in due course, together with my observations on the Broquet fuel catalyser which will enable me to run her on unleaded petrol. Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please. I will be only too Pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter. Well, that seems to be all I can think of for the moment so I'll be starting to write up Newsletter No. 96 now!
Now that the season of poorer weather approaches, we should all be thinking about preparing older cars for it. I know that in many cases with the older car, routine services as specified by the makers, some. times get ignored (naughty, but a fact of life!) More especially if yours is in this category, you should really give your 140 a good, pre-Winter service. Now while you can still work outside, before it gets too cold! I will not bore you with all the normal service procedures, as you will have them anyway (or can contact me, if you don't). You should though give certain points a special check over. These will include your battery and all the lights and electrical systems. Ensure that your alternator belt is OK and correctly adjusted. Make sure that your ignition system is 100%, this includes spark plugs, HT leads, distributor cap, rotor arm, points and condenser. As it gets colder, the battery becomes less efficient and also the engine sometimes more difficult to start - a sort of vicious circle! The windscreen wiper blades should be replaced (I'm sure that we WILL get some rain!) Brakes, steering and tyres must be rigorously inspected. Ensure that you have fresh anti-freeze/inhibitor in the engine and that the hoses etc. are all O.K. Check that your heater works alright - the first cold snap is not the time to find that it doesn't!
Incidentally have a look at the heater water valve - a wet carpet is often the first sign that there is a fault here. A good look around the bodywork is worthwhile - if there is any rust, now is the time to make a real effort and get it sorted. Check around all the windows, especially the front windscreen. Tell-tale signs of rust along the scuttle, below the 'screen indicate rusting of the trim retaining clips. Changing over to the later 240 type trim with plastic clips is the only real cure for this one! (Contact me for details if you wish). Around the rear, side windows of the estates, especially along the bottom edge, is a favourite place for rust to get a hold, telltale signs are lifting of the rubber trim along the inside. Beneath the tailgate glass, on the inside is another favourite place for rust - the only answer is removal and rectification of the problem prior to refitting the glass once more. I could go on but space restricts me but if you are worried, get in touch with me, O.K. Remember, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line please I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter.
Once again 140 owners met up at Bentley Wildfowl Trust with the local Sussex section and enjoyed a very pleasant day out. It was particularly good to meet a Life Member from Holland, Hans Van Diepen, who had been over here for a few days break Nice to meet you Hans. Incidentally, looking through some back numbers of 'The Driver' I saw Hans' name in the Winter 1984 Edition. 'Been in the Club a long time - great! On a more technical note, I had a call from Colin, a Member in the Slough area a week or two ago. On his way home from work in his 140 Automatic, on leaving a roundabout the engine suddenly suffered an almost total loss of power. Naturally, under the circumstances, one normally thinks of all the most horrendous things that could have gone wrong! In this case, thoughts of a seized torque converter, slipped timing etc. all flashed through our Member's mind - accompanied by terrible feelings of imminent financial ruin! My immediate reaction was that the carburettor diaphragm had ruptured. This was met with a little scepticism but a message later left on my answering machine confirmed that 'there was a hole in it big enough to put your thumb through!' How very relieved Colin sounded, now that his prospect of forthcoming major expense had faded into a bad dream!
Strange how it is nearly always the simple things which can cause so much aggravation. I had several conversations a little while ago with Andrew Spooner about power assisted steering on 140's. He kindly sent me a section from a 1973 Volvo Service manual in which P.A S is depicted - although it appears only for the left hand-drive versions, what a pity we can't sort something for our R.H.D. models! Remember though. to ensure that ALL your steering joints are in A1 condition and that your tyre pressures are correct. Any drying-up or rusting of the suspension joints (especially top and bottom outer wishbone ball joints) and the steering knuckle joints will cause unacceptable (and dangerous!) tightening-up of the steering, making it very heavy indeed. With regard to the rear suspension bushes (and any other stressed parts for that matter) do ensure that if you replace them PLEASE use the genuine (Blue Box) Volvo parts. I have had several recent 'phone calls from various Members who have had to replace bushes fitted which, in good faith, they purchased elsewhere. These had prematurely failed, resulting in the whole lot having to be replaced after a thousand miles or so. If you have cause to replace your propeller shaft universal joints, again PLEASE, fit the genuine article. Some, as the saying goes, 'are just not worth the box they are wrapped in!' I could go on but, as they say, 'you know it makes sense!' Please, if you have any 140 experiences or tips that you would like to share, drop me a line, O.K. I will be only too pleased to pass them on, either in this column or in the Newsletter. If anybody knows of a 142 available for purchase would they kindly let me know or phone Mike Corns of Llangernyw, Clwyd, 01745 860288 as he would like one for building into a rally car. In the mean time - Happy Volvoing for the rest of (not so good so far) Summer!
I really do believe that Spring is almost upon us. It has been a long, dull, miserable Winter and I hope that by the lime you lead. things will be much better outside for our 140's, some of which will have been laid up for the Winter months. Thanks to the Chancellor's relaxation of Excise Duty on cars of 25 years of age or more, many of us 140 Owners will not be paying for our Tax discs any more. Betsy, unfortunately, will not qualify until January 1st. next year. When first apprised of the benefits, it was not clear that the vehicle would not qualify until the BEGINNING of the year AFTER the vehicle had reached 25 years of age! So, unfortunately, although she has been registered since April 1st 1971, she will not get her 'free' disc until 1st. January 1997. I thought that, as soon as the car was 25 years 'old', it qualified, that is not so, pity! I received several very interesting 140 Registration forms the other day from 'sown Under'. Bob Taylor, of Wangi Wangi, New South Wales, whom I most sincerely welcome to the VOC, owns a couple of the only 16 right-hand-drive 145 Express models ever built by Volvo in Sweden. These were ordered specially for use by Volvo Australia, Volvo BM and Volvo Trucks, as service vehicles. Just one was initially in private hands and Bob has this one. The other one, ex-Volvo Australia, was originally a van as they all were, but Bob has converted it into a station wagon, this now being the only 145 Express RHD Station Wagon in the world! I wonder if Bob can put any light on the often asked question of power assisted steering on 140's? 1 was once told that it was available in Australia. Any ideas Bob? Strangely, just as I was writing this report I had a 'phone call from Eric Higginson, of Hucknall, Cheshire, about a leak from his 144's thermostatic heater valve. The diaphragm on these valves fail and render them useless and the only answer is to replace them with a 240 version which has outlets at different angles. A little bit of modification to the 'plumbing is necessary to connect up to the heater hoses, otherwise replacement is fairly straightforward. If you need any details, just contact me. I have been trying to catalogue interesting articles from old newsletters going back to issue No 1. I have details of most of them on a database and what is more important, where to find the actual article! If anybody thinks that there exists an old article that may be of interest, let me know and I will see what I can find for you. In the mean time Happy Volvoing for the Summer!