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volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/21/14 10:48 a.m.

You still haven't sold that big stupid Ford, Jim? I just can't believe that. At least once a week I'm tempted to get it and throw that 460 we have in our LeMons car at it.

Inspired by the longroof festival ideas on the other board. I'm really tempted to put something like that together, either for New years Eve or next year some time.

JThw8 PowerDork
11/21/14 11:20 a.m.

Nope still got it, and the more I drive the Marauder the more I'm convincing myself the wagon is just going to get a 32v 4.6 swap and I will love it forever. I really haven't pushed getting rid of it because I like it so danged much and for the time being the need to replace it with a truck is lower so it may just hang out a bit longer. Who knows maybe I'll even get around to bagging it in the spring :)

Petrolburner Reader
11/21/14 2:21 p.m.

Just saw this build, I approve. I want a big steel wagon someday.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
12/2/14 9:22 a.m.

Thanksgiving weekend was a good time with the family; we ended up doing braised rabbit as our main course, and the usual accouterments. Automotive work consisted of doing some maintenance on the "winter beater" (my '67 four-door Volvo 122) which was cut short by a plumbing emergency on Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, I'd rather be replacing brake lines than running a snake down a 6 inch drain pipe, but, well, there I found myself in the basement, snake in hand, fighting the urge to vomit...

The Town and Country got snowed on the other day; possibly the first time in it's life that it has ever seen snow, being an Arizona car. I wonder what it must have thought. Anyway, I'm itching to get the few things done on it to make it a real driver, although I fear with this winter they're predicting it may not see much road time until April.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/5/15 7:24 a.m.

Wow, time sure slips by. It's been a month since I last posted here, talking about Thanksgiving dinner. Now that it's 2015, it's time to get back on the Progress Train.

Oh, didn't you hear? 2015 is The Year of Progress on Projects. At least, that's what I'm calling it. I think some cultures have some animal or something for it. Whatever.

After dismatling and crushing the rusty remains of that 544 I had, and pocketing $176.25 for a trip to the scrapyard, it was time to give the Town and Country some attention. After reattaching the choke (cough cough) the ole 383 started fairly easily; remarkable since it'd been sitting in the same spot in my yard for over a month. Even more remarkable, despite the all-day rain we had on Saturday, I was able to move the big battle cruiser out of it's hole in the yard and into the garage. Granted, maneuvering it in the mud was kindof like wrestling a whale tied to a pig and covered in lard. Steering inputs had to be gradual and even at idle, the tires would spin in the mud; brake modulation (such as there is with drum brakes) and gentle rocking back and forth and patience proved fruitful. Sure-Grip is a great thing. And so:


Well, it sort of fits.

Since the most expensive pile of parts sitting on my workbench is the Demon carburetor (bought from Rob) and the Edelbrock DB4P manifold, I decided to start on that next. The carb is new, but the manifold was NLA, and so I sourced one used from Fleabay. These manifolds are going up in price lately as everyone discovers they're a) compatible with spreadbore carburetors, and b) better at making torque at RPMs most cars get driven at than pretty much anything else on the market right now. Still, I lucked out and got this one for about $100.

It needed some work, though.


One of the carb studs was seized and snapped off, so I had to drill and retap it. Also, the vacuum port plug had been ham-fisted into place- it wasn't the right thread pitch. Luckily I managed to extricate it, and the threads were only buggered up for about 1/8" down. (The vacuum man from the old manifold has about 1/2" of threads, so it should go in just fine). I dragged out the palm sander and shined up the mating surfaces, and coated them with a couple coats of dat Permatex copper awesomeness, hung up the gaskets and coated them, and then decided to head inside for some lunch and tackling some household projects (thus keeping the better half of our household happy).

Here's to everyone, a Happy, Prosperous, and Productive New Year!

MailmAn New Reader
1/11/15 11:06 p.m.

Thanks, I will probably need it with the way things have been going lately. I certainly hope that 2015 is the Year of Progress on Projects for me as well as I have a lot of them that need finishing up right now! It just seems for me like for every minor achievement I end up experiencing 2 major setbacks shortly thereafter! I can't seem to get ahead here. Hope you have a bit better luck than I have at least. Good luck with your wagon. I was wondering what you've been up to and if you were going to post any progress again... (I know, I'm one to talk, right?)

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/12/15 6:25 a.m.

With below- freezing temperatures outside and a teething baby inside, progress has been slow yet deliberate. I've scientifically determined that I can work in the garage for about 55 minutes in ambient conditions near freezing before frostbite begins to set in. And the other day, 55 minutes was sufficient time to:


Take one final picture of the Stromberg carb for posterity, and remembering how the throttle and kickdown linakges work.


Convert the engine into pixels...


Remove the 2 barrel carb...


And remove the intake. Boy, that was easy. I need to get one of those magic, hovering, clicky wrenches!

MailmAn New Reader
1/12/15 6:38 a.m.

Haha!!! Street Rod!! Man, that game takes you back a ways... Aaaaaallllllll the way back to like the late 1980's or maybe early 1990's at the latest. Now was that Street Rod or Street Rod 2 you have there?

For the uninitiated: www.streetrodonline.com

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/12/15 11:34 a.m.

Street Rod. I could never get the hang of SR2, Mullholland Drive was killer.

I used to play this game at the garage in college, late 1990s. They had this craptastic (by the standards even then) shop computer that would do two things: keep track of shop supplies, tools, maintenance, etc and play Street Rod.

dropstep Reader
1/12/15 5:19 p.m.

I havnt touched my wagon in a while, im not interested in frostbite! Your dedication is a lot better then mine! I hope your year predictions are correct because I managed to pick up a second small project!

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/13/15 7:06 a.m.

2nd Project? Rookie. In no particular order, I have the following cars that need immediate attention...

1964 Corvair convertible (needs front suspension work and brakes) 1966 Volvo Amazon (painted, need to get back together) 1980 Mercedes 450 SL (Need to tune up and get back on the road for the spring)

Plus a dozen or so other "someday" projects I've accumulated. And keeping my daily driver, my wife's daily driver, our work truck, and the wife's Camaro roadworthy. I really need to cut back. Like I said, AutoADD.

Anyway, back to topic...

What really happened the other day, converted back from pixels:

Stromberg carburetor:


No Stromberg carburetor:


No intake manifold:


I need to clean the gasket mating surfaces and remove as much sludge from the cam/lifter valley as possible before the new intake and carb go on. I'm also waiting for the new valley pan gasket- Chryslers use a big metal gasket that covers the whole cam lifter valley and the one that was on there was...not reusable. I put it in a bucket and peed on it. Really. So, when the new gasket gets here, and the temporary warming spell we're supposed to get towards the end of this week comes, reassembly is planned. In the meantime...


MailmAn New Reader
1/13/15 8:13 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Street Rod. I could never get the hang of SR2, Mullholland Drive was killer.

Yeah, I always had major problems trying to "race" Mulholland Drive as well. The drag racing was much easier in that game than trying to drive through the twisties with crap-tastic 8-bit graphics. If it were a better, modern day race game, I would probably have no problems with it. But between the graphics and the twitchy steering, it was a bear to try to drive in that game! lol... I just liked the cars and easily swapping out parts with the "magic wrench" to upgrade your ride and then racing or selling it off to buy something better. (Plus, you gotta love how the whole engine was only held in with ONE BOLT at the bottom there, but the intake and carb were both held on with two bolts! lol...)

Hmmm... Actually now that I think about it, I wonder if Doctor Who got their idea for the "sonic screwdriver" that magically fixes everything from Street Rod's "magic wrench" there... It really makes you think...

MailmAn New Reader
1/13/15 8:20 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Stromberg carburetor: IMG-20150109-02691

Also, maybe it is just me, but if it wasn't for the next picture showing the intake with the carburetor removed proving that it is only a 2 barrel manifold, I would swear that the Stromberg carburetor on that engine looks like a 4 barrel and not a 2 barrel. That definitely looks like a huge carburetor to be only a 2 barrel. It looks about the same size as the QuadraJet on my Oldsmobile!

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/15/15 8:26 a.m.

Working parallel paths on the Town and Country...it's SO close to being roadworthy I can't stand it! Aside from the new intake and carburetor, I needed to fix the heater and the odometer- or at least figure out why the dashboard was clicking at me loudly at speed.

So, I decided to tackle the heater. I had fears that replacing the heater core would require removing the entire dash, but after some work I was able to figure out how to do it easier. The glovebox cardboard lining had deteriorated, so I pulled it out...


There were a couple of brackets under the dash, supporting the heater, so I removed those, along with the flexi-hoses from the heater to the defroster vents in the dash...


3 bolts poked through the firewall, with nuts in the engine compartment. I removed the nuts (after detaching the heater hoses from the heater) and noticed the studs pull through the firewall. It was loose!

There were a few vacuum lines and cables going to the box; I removed the cables and had enough slack in the vacuum lines that I could rotate the box 180 degrees about the lateral axis and have access to the panel covering the heater core.


The handful of screws attaching the core to the box came out without protest, and the old, leaking core was free! I need to vacuum out 40 years worth of desert from the heater, and install the new core- with new hardware- and then installation should be the reverse of removal...

MailmAn New Reader
1/16/15 6:47 a.m.

Nice... Yeah, I would have figured getting at the heater core would have been more of an ordeal than that. Of course, now you don't have a glove box anymore though... (I don't like the looks of that 100 year old insulation sagging down there either...)

Dusterbd13 SuperDork
1/16/15 6:55 a.m.

Most heater core jobs of this era are just as simple.

JThw8 PowerDork
1/16/15 7:19 a.m.
Dusterbd13 wrote: Most heater core jobs of this era are just as simple.

The one on my Colony Park is probably as simple as I've ever seen. in the engine bay, remove hoses, remove 2 screws holding the cover on, remove core. Revers for install.

volvoclearinghouse - if you'd like some heat I have a kerosene torpedo heater that is not going to use at my place that you are welcome to borrow for extended periods of time.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/16/15 7:28 a.m.

In reply to JThw8:

Thanks for the offer. I have a propane torpedo. Fuel's expensive, though, and since my wagon won't fit in the garage all the way, the door stays open. I like working inside the car though- I put one of those 250W halogen lamps in there and it's enough to drive off the chill and provide good light.

Our LTD race car had the same heater arrangement- I liked that better than the under-dash setup in the Chrysler because when the Chrysler started leaking, it went all in the floorboards.

JThw8 PowerDork
1/16/15 7:47 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Our LTD race car had the same heater arrangement- I liked that better than the under-dash setup in the Chrysler because when the Chrysler started leaking, it went all in the floorboards.

That's right, I almost forgot about the LTD. Yeah, keeping the mess out of the passenger compartment is a huge plus.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/16/15 8:23 a.m.

Speaking of which, I think I still have all the HVAC parts from the LTD. Since we won't be using them anymore, I'd love for them to find a new home. If you want spares, you can have them for whatever their scrap value is. I'll check and see what I have, if you're interested.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/20/15 7:03 a.m.

Making steady progress, even if the updates here are somewhat erratic. Work's been kinda busy lately, and the baby is learning to crawl now, so the time I get to park my butt behind a monitor and type something is growing small.

The other issue that I feared might require removal of the dash was the loud clicking noise coming from the speedometer. I had tried lubing the cable to no effect, so I knew the speedo had to come out. Rather than resign myself to dash removal, though, I started removing fasteners on stuff near and around the speedometer, and pretty soon I had this:


See those screws in the white tabs around the speedometer cluster? That's all that holds it in! They were hidden by a trim bracket. But, the steering column was in the way underneath...


4 bolts later (two holding the column under the dash, and two more connecting the shaft to the steering box coupler and stub shaft) and the steering wheel tucked down and to the side neatly. I then simply disconnected all the wires and cables and dohickeys attached to the speedo, and, voila!


A speedo in the hand, is worth...um....

With the heater core and the speedo out, the inside of the poor wagon is starting to resemble something you'd see in a late-70's junkyard...


gjz30075 Reader
1/20/15 9:27 a.m.

That halogen light ought to keep you warm. Just a quick run down to Napa for a new speedo.....right!

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/21/15 2:57 p.m.

I thought perhaps I'd have my daughter get started on learning some automotive repair skills, but she wasn't being terribly cooperative.


So I tackled the inop odo myself. Ah, found the problem!


The little plastic gear has slid on the shaft and wasn't engaging the worm drive. I slid it back over and glued it in place, but when I tried spinning the speedo drive it was VERY goey feeling. Some lube freed it up, but the odometer clicked and was stubborn. After an entire evening fiddling with it, I gave up and began searching eBay.

Luckily, the Newports of 65-66 share the speedometer cluster with the Town and Countries. Even luckier, I found a guy selling just the speedometer/odometer unit, as opposed to the entire cluster (which were going for $150 and up). $50 for the speedo/odo. It should be here in a week or so, which might give me enough time to get the heater back together and maybe the carburetor on. We'll see. It's snowing out right now, the attic needs insulation, and there's another trailer load of wood that needs chopped. Plus, you know, that cute little girl (above) who wants some daddy time.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/26/15 6:59 a.m.

Slow progress. But progress. The new speedometer/odometer unit arrived in the mail, very carefully packed, as befitting such a precision piece of instrumentation. Yesterday I stole a few minutes and cleaned off the intake manifold mounting surface on the engine block. One less thing on the list.

I like having things I can do inside the house, too- especially when it's going to be snowy and cold outside of the house. Tonight I can get the driver's information cluster back together while basking by the warm wood stove.

volvoclearinghouse Dork
1/28/15 3:50 p.m.

The speedometer cluster is back together! Hoping for some garage-friendly weather soon...

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