Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder SuperDork
1/7/02 7:42 a.m.
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A lot has been going on over the past few months on our Volvo 122. The M41 D-type (early) overdrive transmission was installed with a shortened driveshaft. It shifts up into OD correctly, however it also has quite a bit of noise due to bad bearings and the OD slips out of gear when you try to accelerate in top gear. So, it's coming out and will be replaced with a later J-type which can handle substantially more power. We toyed with the idea of using a Getrag sourced M410 from the 1971 P1800E, but found out that it is not easily adaptable to the hydraulic clutch-equipped 122.

Speaking of clutches, the clutch disc, pressure plate and slave cylinder were replaced when the transmission was out. The parts are pretty cheap and we wanted to avoid taking the transmission out again soon. So much for that idea.

On other fronts, we finished up the interior with carpeting that we found at WalMart. Before you laugh, we found closed loop industrial remnants that look like older European style wool square weave material that is a medium gray. We cut the pieces to fit around the cage and floors and then had them bound by our local upholstery shop in a darker gray.

The original low back seats had to go. While not uncomfortable, they were unsupportive in cornering and the low-back design is quite unsafe in the event of a collision. We went with Cobra Monaco seats from Sube Sports. These FIA approved buckets are very comfortable, with holes built-in for a five point harness. They were mounted up with custom brackets for the 122 that were supplied by Sube Sports . While we were working on the interior, we replaced the stock bakelite steering wheel with a MOMO race model. It's smaller size makes it easier to get in and out of the high-bolstered seats.

Cars that were sold in the U.S. during the sixties had to have a foot operated dipper switch for the hi/lo beam circuit. This set-up is a pain in the butt for a car that sees any performance use because the foot switch is mounted exactly where you'd want to use your left foot to brace yourself during cornering. We first put a switch in the dashboard using the cigarette lighter location as we're not smokers. This was then moved to a spot under the dash when we needed the cigarette lighter location for the overdrive switch. We recently learned that you can use the pull-back feature of the turn signal switch to trigger the hi and low beam circuit. This was accomplished by using only a 140 headlight relay (Thanks to Cameron at IPD) and no other parts as the car is already pre-wired for this feature.

The Kumho tires have been working great on the autocross course, but we didn't want to keep wearing them out by driving them back and forth to work. We got a set of Kumho's new touring tire, the ECSTA HP4 in a 205/60/15 size. They're quiet and comfortable and should last a good long time. These were mounted on our Panasports and the Kumho race tires were mounted on Volvo 760 wheels.

The old Volvo has been doing pretty well in SCCA's Street Modified category, we're now regularly finishing in the top eight or so out of 80+ cars overall. The next race for us is the Ft. Myers ProSolo, it should be interesting to see how the old Swede stacks up against the best in the nation. I think you'll be surprised.

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