The New Year has arrived which makes for the perfect time to clean off the desk so to speak and bring you up to speed with what has been accomplished on the “Georgia Peach” Volvo 122s project over the last six months. Due to the 1914 Simplex project taking much longer than expected, not as much work was accomplished on the car as was originally hoped for. But, on the plus side, while driving the station wagon 2500-miles during last year’s April to December old car driving season a number of smaller problems that turned up were corrected and some of them are covered here.
- The lead image and the rear view above show the 122s in mid-December on the day it brought home the Christmas and was also taken off the road for the winter. The image above was taken at the Green River, Vermont covered bridge (1870) which was recently restored and painted in its original red hue.
- The free-flowing Italian Abarth exhaust system found in the Netherlands has been installed.
The new-old-stock Italian Abarth performance exhaust system with two mufflers and a resonator as seen above were installed after Part IV of the series, and replaced the worn out original components. The resulting loss in back pressure allows for a few more horsepower and the classic sound of an 1800cc four-cylinder sports car engine built in the 1950 to 1970 period comes through without being loud or harsh.
- The reliable B18 1800cc 115 h.p. four-cylinder o.h.v. engine with valves actuated by rocker arms and its compartment are in dirty but good condition after the passage of 49-years and 190,000 miles. One of these legendary engines has traveled over three million miles in a Volvo P1800s setting a Guinness Book Record.
Under the hood, a cracked upper radiator neck that was leaking coolant was reinforced and soldered with a high-strength solder consisting of tin and a percentage of silver. The reason for the crack was due to the engine running rough for years because of an incorrect jet was installed in one of the two British SU side draft carburetors. The motor and transmission mounts in these cars are made of soft rubber that allows the engine to float on them and not transfer vibrations into the body structure – when rough running is encountered the engine will shake back and forth on these mounts.
The gas tank was close to full with old deteriorated gas after siting for six years in storage which was drained out before running it. All of the rubber fuel lines under the hood, and the fuel filter were changed to be on the safe side while using today’s fuel containing 10% alcohol.
The Volvo of America supplied air conditioning system was installed before delivery when new and has not been used for decades. It will be restored in the future and in the meantime the Borg Warner compressor, dryer, and hoses and the under dash unit have been removed to provide improved access for other repairs and maintenance.
- Cracked upper radiator neck after being soldered. The solder joint will be dressed down when the unit is cleaned out and painted this winter.
The engine was running a bit warm when caught in traffic this past summer and the air conditioning condenser which is mounted only one-half of an inch in front of the radiator was removed to provide a better airflow. The space between the two was found to be completely packed with old leaves, dust, dirt and dead bugs which was contributing to the problem. A quarter of the condenser fins on the back side of the unit were found to be bent over due to rough handling during repair work in the past that also reduced airflow. After removal the engine ran cooler and did not overheat during the very hot summer weather last year.
If the condenser passes a pressure test when the air-conditioning unit is restored, the fins will be straightened out with a radiator fin comb. If the bent fins are still tightly connected to the tubes after straightening is will be re-used, if not a replacement unit will be found.
- Damaged fins on the back side of the air-conditioning condenser blocked air flow though the radiator.
After getting the car registered, inspected and on the road more issues that needed to be addressed were uncovered, and a new set of KYB Gas-a-Adjust shock absorbers were installed to replace the worn out Gabriel rear shocks. During removal it was found that only the right-hand one was actually working, the other was not and was just along for the ride – the change reduced an excessive leaning condition during left-hand cornering and improved the ride immensely.
During braking there was a strong pull to the right front caused by one of the largest of three left-front Girling disc brake caliper pistons being stuck in it bore due to lack of use and a deteriorated rubber dust and water shield. After being repaired the vaccum-boosted system returned to it’s normally exceptional braking power and the pull was gone. An inspection of the complete hydraulic system did not turn up any leaks, and it did not use any brake fluid during the season, so its restoration will be preformed on the system in the future.
If you are a new reader check back on the first four parts of the “Georgia Peach” series to learn more about the car and the period Judson supercharger at is being rebuilt for future use on it. We will return with Part VI of this series soon.