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Bleeding brakes 13 December 2009

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26th July 2009

I fitted the rear brake backing plates with the new gaskets. I just cleaned up the seal carriers and used them as is for the moment. I then connected up the brake pipe to the rear brakes and removed the clamp that had been on the flexible pipe for about 18 months. I left the joints loose for a week and found brake fluid oozing out when I went back to it today. For good measure I bled the rear brakes out with fresh fluid so they should be good to go now. Unfortunately the dripping brake fluid has taken some of the paint off so I’ll have to touch that up soon but otherwise I am about ready to refit the rear wheels at least long enough to tighten the castle nut on the axle end and then adjust the brake shoes so that they will be close to the inside of the drum as they should be. When disassembling the axle one of the torque rod bolts was very stuck and I used a blow torch on it. This slightly burned the rubber piece that locates the lower spring mount. I bought a pair of these rubber pieces on eBay and replaced the burned one today as well. I jacked the axle up and then put spring clamps on the spring, then lowering the axle again took the pressure off the mount enough to change it over. This was all a bit nerve wracking as I don’t like working with suspension springs under tension but went OK in the end.

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.

Stripped threads 29 November 2009

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Near side rear brakes

Painted hub in place

1st October 2006

Yesterday I assembled the rear brakes as can be seen above. My attempts at reassembling brake shoes on other cars had led me to dread this operation but having read the Volvo service manual it turned out to be quite easy after all. I also read the instructions on creating double flares which turned out to be quite simple if a little fiddly. So I made the brake lines for each side of the rear axle but left the fitting for today. Well the fitting of the new brake lines did not go well at all. The near side line, which is the shorter of the two, seemed to go OK and made me feel as if the job would be not too hard but the problems started with the offside line. First of all the junction block is very close to the differential meaning that the brake line has to bend up very close to the fitting which is not easy to do. Then as I was tightening the fitting into the brake cylinder it stripped the threads. This end of the line bent sharply close to the fitting and by the time I had cut off the flare I could not get the flaring tool and the fitting in the space so that meant making a new line during which I managed to forget to put the fitting on one end of the line before I made the flare. Fortunately I managed to cut the flare off leaving enough space this time for the fitting and flare tool. As I was fitting this second new line I noticed that there was a copper colour in the bottom of the brake cylinder hole. When I removed the old line it had sheared off the flare which meant the new line did not seat properly which was why it stripped the threads. So off came the hub again and I removed the cylinder from the backing plate and then I could dig out the flare and then put it all back together again. This time the fitting tightened up OK. Having been filled anew with confidence I decided to tackle the lines from the engine bay to the rear. I managed to reuse most of the junked rear line for the connection from the engine bay junction block to the proportioning valve without any major problems. Finally, or so I thought, I started work on the long line from the proportioning valve to the rear flexible hose. This also went relatively smoothly. Then I noticed brake fluid dripping from the off side of the rear junction block so I attempted to tighten the fitting and managed the strip the threads. So I cut the flare off, removed the stripped fitting and made a new flare, then cut that flare off, put a new fitting on and then made another flare. This was particularly galling as I did not want to disturb the brake cylinder end of the line so I did it in situ which makes a fiddly job even worse. I was still not happy with the seating of the lines in the junction block and after removal and carful checking it seems that I should have been using a shorter fitting without a lead in to connect to the junction block to get more threads in contact. I put the fittings I had in and tightened them gingerly to hold it for now and then went and ordered the correct parts.

Cleaning up 29 November 2009

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16th September 2006

OK the rear brake fitting kit includes the correct number of those caps, it was just that my car was missing the ones from the inner ends of the springs. The support arms got painted last weekend and the new bushings fitted. I spent half the day today cleaning up the rear brake backing plates etc and then painting them. I also painted the axle end mounting points for the support arms. The body end mouting points just got a spray of undercoat. I bought a pair of genuine Volvo rear shock absorbers which I will fit once the support arms are back in place and can hold the axle in check. I think new springs may be on the cards but not yet although I will clean and paint the lower supports when I change the shock absorbers.

Cold chisel 29 November 2009

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8th September 2006

Well I got the off side support arm off eventually. It took another 4.5 hours with a blow torch, hack saw, 4lb club hammer and a cold chisel. The fitting kit came and includes twice as many of the locking caps as needed so I think I am not the only one ever to break them. The weekend will probably be mostly sanding and painting of the support arms and possibly the axle and mounting brackets. I am also off to pick up a set of bumper brackets that will fit the correct bumpers for the car. The bumpers currently fitted are from an earlier car. It’s going to be a close thing for me to get the car driveable again before the weather worsens too much.

Stubborn bolt 29 November 2009

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1st September 2006

I have spent a few hours working on the car since my last update. I decided to disassemble the rear brakes to get better access to the stuck bolts in the support arms – yes plural, both sides. I also bought a new, bigger club hammer. This has allowed me to get the near side support arm off the car and I have removed the old bushings from it, it just needs cleaning up, painting and the new bushings fitting. The off side bolt is being more stubborn as it won’t even turn in the bracket. I bought a new gas cartridge for my blow torch and intend to try heat on it over the weekend. Whilst removing the near side brake drum I managed to lift the brake shoes off the backing plate sufficiently that it tore through the little locking caps and I am now awaiting the replacement fitting kit that I ordered. I also bought some 3/16 kunifer and fittings in order to replace the hard brake lines whilst I am at it. The tow bar has also now been removed.

Collapsed seat 23 November 2009

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17th February 2006

We picked up Olaf from the welder yesterday. It had even passed the MOT. I drove it home which was a bit nerve wracking as it was dark and in London and I had never driven an 1800 before. My ability to see out was somewhat impaired by the collapsed seat which didn’t help. I will be renovating the seat supports as a matter of urgency I think. Both the tachometer and the speedometer seemed to be working and reading reasonable values which is good as I thought at least the tachometer was not working previously. Unfortunately the fuel gauge did not register the petrol that I put in and I thought I had checked that out already. In the preparation for the MOT some lights were fixed, the rear brakes were done as the linings had come adrift on one side. Then the spark plugs got fouled just before I picked it up. The mechanic did a quick tune up on the carburettors as they were very rich and fitted new plugs.