Saturday 25 February 2017

p1800s update

The last 3 weeks have seen tremendous progress on the 1800s, and I am happy to report that things have been going very well. The kids are fully engaged and working well together. The car is just about stripped down.

We were pleased to see under the rocker cover and find very little mess - just a light coat of crud, and given this has not been used since 86... about as good as we could possibly expect.

Riley’s friend Jakob is 6'6" and always looks a little comical when he is working on the car.

Riley and his friend Adam draining the oil out of the engine. 

The oil tank was peppered with rusted holes, so we decided to cut into it to make sure there wasn’t anything dangerous left inside. We figured it would be fine, but wanted to be safe. We will definitely be looking for a new tank:)

The radiator is out, and a clear shot of the great yellow fan. I am somewhat tempted to leave the fan as it is and not paint it... but Riley gave me ‘the angry eyebrows’ when I suggested it...opinion clearly noted! 

The engine came out without too much trouble. We separated it from the transmission before we removed it not knowing how much gymnastics we would be able to do if we left it attached. 

I have been taking hundreds of photos to document what things look like before we strip the car down. The body is in remarkable shape given its age - especially when you compare it to most of the p1800s restorations people are doing. I am feeling pretty lucky about it.

Riley and Jakob inspecting the B18 engine. 

The rear brakes are drums and the front are disc - a fairly common configuration for this vintage of car.

Still had lots of Mountain Dew.

The rear suspension system has been pulled and set aside. We are going to pull out major elements like this and work on them separately to help keep things organized. Once we start on the rear suspension, we will pull it all apart, replace what needs replacing, prime and paint it, and put it all back together as a completed system.

Kinda looks like a guppy.


It is too bad the seat belts will need to be replaced... love the dated tag.

The engine is coming apart nicely and should be completely pulled apart by the end of the week. I think Jakob and I will then start working on the dash and organizing all the wiring. I am still undecided about buying a new wiring harness, or inspecting this one and keeping it. Most of the cloth wire housing is pretty ratty, but the wires inside it are in better shape than I would have guess. We are labeling everything regardless - as part of the process and to help establish good work habits.



It is pretty amazing what can happen when a bunch of kids are engaged and start working together - so far, I have no regrets about bringing the car to the school to be worked on.

In other news, my shoulder continues to heal very slowly. I have been picking away at a vanity and medicine cabinet for the boys bathroom on the second floor. I am using quarter sawn Douglas Fir for both pieces and posted a short clip of sawing the veneer on Instagram. The medicine cabinet is solid Douglas Fir, with sliding mirrored doors. The case is simple - 3/4" thick, by 5-1/2" wide and dovetailed in the corners. I have been nervously looking towards those dovetails, not entirely sure if I would even be able to cut them. Interestingly, I did a test cut with a Western style saw and it was a disaster - no control and the strength needed for the push stroke was physically painful. My Japanese saw on the other hand was a different matter, and while I was really slow, I was, for the most part, able to do it. The above photo shows the first corner with only one major mishap... on the second pin down from the top... but I can splice in a wedge shaped piece to fill that gap. Given how frustrating the last few months have been and not being able to work, this felt like a pretty massive accomplishment. Between working on the car, and these small victories in the shop, I am starting to remember what I used to be able to do, and feel like it might be possible again some day. 


Anonymous Steve D said...

When you are done with that I have a '67 Alfa GTV for you to work on. I love the P1800 Volvos, especially the wagon version. Looking forward to seeing the progress and I won't be surprised to see a desert ironwood shift knob on the completed project.


27 February 2017 at 09:24  
Blogger JW said...

An awesome project, for sure. I'd keep the dated seatbelts... I'm sure there'll be some accessory project where they'll make for a nice detail. Even if it's just a fob for the keyring.

And your comment about 'remembering what you used to be able to do,' hit home. It's been a couple of years for me, since I've had time and space to work. And I'm itching to get back to it.

28 February 2017 at 22:03  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Steve,

Too funny. If I ever do another car, I would love to do an older Porsche... but given how incredible the prices are for them these days, it likely won't happen. I missed that window by about 10-15 years I think.
I have thought about a desert Ironwood shift knob... it will be tough to decide... but it will be something fun for sure.

1 March 2017 at 08:51  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks JW, I will figure out a way to keep the seatbelt it some capacity... just not sure what it will be yet. It is safely tagged and bagged in a box right now:)
Good luck with your recovery and hope you find your way back into the shop sooner than later.

1 March 2017 at 08:53  

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