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Holey water pipes batman! 16 April 2010

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I gave up on getting a later exhaust bracket as no one wanted to sell me one. Instead I just bent my original bracket back how it was and refitted it. I removed the freeze plug that was not fitted properly. It cracked very easily and so must have been rotten with rust. The replacement went home so easily that I decided to do the other three as well, they were all quite crusty as well so I was glad that I decided to remove them. Now I have one new fitted freeze plug and three empty holes waiting to have theirs fitted. I am going to try and flush out some of the crud that fell off the freeze plugs as they were removed before I fit the new ones though.

It looks like the Motorola alternator I bought 2nd hand late last year will actually fit OK with just a shorter bolt, no need for a spacer. At least that’s what the measurements I took tonight suggest. So now I have a plan to move forward with which is a big relief. Apart from actually fitting it I also need to source the correct voltage regulator. There are differing opinions about whether or not a Bosch regulator will work with a Motorola alternator but I think I’d like to have it correct.

Unfortunately while cleaning up the water pipe that goes from the head to the oil cooler, I found that it had a rust hole in it. As these are NLA new I asked Brookhouse Volvo to get me a good used one. Apparently they went through 5 pipes before they found me a good one.

Catch up 13 December 2009

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Well that was the last of the historical posts. From now on the updates will be further apart as I don’t work on the car that often.

I have painted the oil cooler so it is now ready for refitting. I may well leave the freeze plug as is, it’s not causing a problem and the cooling system is not pressurised so I think it will be OK. I’ll make a final decision when I go to refit the oil cooler.

I bought some more bits from the guy selling stuff near me. A pair of used rear wheel arch vinyl covers as mine are rotten, a pair of ‘D’ window seals, one new, one good used and a pair of clips for the jack handle in the boot. I also bought a drivers side armrest cover on Ebay. It was advertised as being in the original grain, but of course it isn’t. I’ll probably buy a vinyl repair kit and attempt to repair the armrest I bought and also use this new cover to repair the one currently fitted to the car, I’ll then see which one looks the better.

Spiral binding 12 December 2009

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21st February 2009

I bought the blanking plate for the head to seal off the feed to the oil cooler, but I need to get some gasket material to use with it and it also needs painting. I also bought an inlet ring and a freeze plug. I removed the rear brake backing plates that I had put in place so that I could get at the rear bearings. After a bit of an effort I managed to get the axle half shafts free, using the brake drums as a slide hammer. There was not enough space to use a real slide hammer. I put fresh grease into the rear bearings, the stuff in there was old and probably diluted with gear oil as it was quite runny. I’ll have to keep an eye on it and see if the inner grease seal needs to be replaced. I started to peel off the insulation tape that is wrapped around the wiring loom so that I can re-wire for the alternator. The braided covering underneath is in quite poor condition. I ordered some new cable and terminals to cope with the higher charging current that the alternator will supply as well as some spiral binding.

Freeze plug 12 December 2009

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24th August 2008

I should have mentioned that while cleaning up the manifold gasket surface that I noticed the freeze plug on #2 cylinder does not look particularly secure. It is at an angle with one edge practically coming out of the boss. I prepped and painted the axle tunnel over the last couple of days which is a great relief. All that exposed metal was making me quite anxious.

Insecure freeze plug

Overflow cured? 29 November 2009

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16th July 2006

I refilled the coolant system today and took the car out for a run. I only filled the reservoir bottle to a little over the minimum mark. When the engine was good and hot I stopped and had a look under the bonnet. The coolant level in the reservoir bottle had risen to just over half way to the maximum mark and no sign of overflowing having happened. So that seems to be just about cured which is a big relief. I’ll check the coolant level later with the engine cool again and see if it needs topping up a bit.

Correct thermostat 23 November 2009

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Previous and wrong thermostat

New, correct thermostat

15th July 2006

Today I replaced the thermostat with a correct one. As you can see from the photo’s above the old one (top photo’) was wrong in four different ways. First of all and most importantly it does not have the disc that extends down to block the radiator bypass when the thermostat opens. Secondly it is a 80 degree ‘stat instead of the correct 77 degree one. Thirdly it is actually too small. Finally it is missing the small hole with the loose, weighted pin in it that helps with bleeding the air out of the system when you fill it amongst other things. I hoped that this would cure it but when I ran the engine, again the level in the reservoir bottle rose almost to the top at which point I turned the engine off. Now this may just have been due to trapped air in the system, but to be sure I decided to swap the water pump and check for any blockages. This would also allow me to fit the chrome lower radiator pipe I bought at the Volvo national. Swapping the water pump was relatively painless although I have not been able to refill with coolant yet and see how it behaves. There was nothing obviously wrong with the old pump so I will just have to presume I had trapped air in the system and will try harder to bleed it all out when I fill it again. I will also only fill the reservoir bottle to the minimum level to give the maximum amount of room for any expansion if I don’t manage to get all the air out.

Wrong thermostat! 23 November 2009

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11th July 2006

I managed to find a sheet metal place that let me have a couple of pieces of steel to make a new bracket from which I have now done. All I need to do now is paint it and then fit it, at least I hope so anyway. Well I may cut one or two corners off just to lighten it up a bit. On Saturday I flushed out the coolant system. I have not been happy with the cooling of the engine and it has been ejecting coolant from the reservoir bottle as well. I removed loads of rusty sediment and freed up the drain cock in the block. Despite the coolant being only a few months old it was in pretty poor shape so I filled up with new. I thought that this would have a good chance of curing it as I suspected the block to be full of crud. I could not flush it very effectively when it was stuck in the garage as I had no running water nearby. Unfortunately after running the engine for a while it started to eject coolant again. After some discussion on the 1800list it looks like I may very well have the wrong thermostat in there. This was fitted new when I was initially sorting it all out but as far as I can remember does not look like the correct one that I have now seen pictures of. So I have had a new thermostat delivered and will fit it as soon as the opportunity presents itself. If that does not sort it out then I will swap the water pump and have another go at flushing the coolant system when the old one is off. I have a new pump that I got quite cheaply on eBay a while ago.

Hella H4s 21 November 2009

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20th January 2006

I only managed to get one of the oil cooler pipe gaskets by this morning so I put that on the end that attaches to the oil cooler itself. I reused one of the old gaskets on the end that attaches to the head where it will be easier to replace with a new one at a later date. Refitting the pipe was not too bad a job but was still a pain. I then parked the car outside the house where it would await collection. Looking at the headlights revealed them to be Hella H4s already which is good news.

Looking good outside my house

Then the man came to pick up Olaf and take him away to be assessed and I hope welded up at least enough for an MOT.

Approaching the loading ramps

Olaf departing into the distance

Blind 21 November 2009

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16th January 2006

I decided to talk to someone else about the rust on the car. This time I got a much more hopeful response. He will arrange for transport to his workshop and did not seem to be dismayed at my description of the damage. The previous person I tried was unsure whether or not he would want to take it on and I was going to have to arrange the transport to his garage, so this is a much better arrangement as far as I am concerned. I also ordered the new gaskets for the oil cooler pipe as well. I’ll have to get it painted and back on the car in time to be whisked away for welding which may well be on Friday. One of the bolts to secure the pipe to the oil cooler was tricky to get out so I am not looking forward to putting it back as it is so difficult working blind under the manifolds.

Red 21 November 2009

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15th January 2006

I cleaned up the oil cooler feed pipe today, it was completely clogged with rust and debris so I am quite glad to get that out of the cooling system. I also removed the old gaskets so I will have to replace them before I can refit the pipe. I bought a tin of red Hammerite to paint it with. I know it’s not the right shade of red, but it should at least stick to the less than pristine surface of the pipe.