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-   -   Bad Banana in SoCal (https://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=354955)

escondidoron 05-14-2020 11:04 PM

Bad Banana: The On-Going Saga
This is my 1st post here. I've got a '73 145 that I bought last year from the original owner. He took pretty good care of it over the years. I bought the car for a couple of reasons, 1, because I like the 140 series cars, and 2, to do a cross country road trip on Route 66 with my brother. That trip is on hold presently awaiting healthier times ahead. The basics are as follows:
B20F w/ D-Jet
4-speed w/ overdrive
210k miles

The driveline has never been apart. The previous owner stopped driving it regularly back in 2007 but would drive it around the block or to the store about once a week after that. It came with all of the maintenance records and receipts from new.

I found it on Craigslist up in the San Francisco Bay Area (that's 500 miles north from our home) and bought it over the phone. I flew up to pick it up about a month later and drove it home without issue. Since then I've been going through it one system at a time to bring everything back to proper order. Even though it was well cared for there was a fair amount of minor issue neglect. Little things like a wonky turn signal switch that was just worn out. The tires were brand new with only about 1500 miles on them since their purchase in 2007.

Here's some pics from the day that I picked her up:




matt b 05-15-2020 12:14 AM

I'll be watching this closely. I love the car and remember the ad well, we posted it here.

Nagrom 05-15-2020 12:36 AM

Seen this on Craigslist. Glad it found a good home!
Time for new tires!:lol: those gotta be crunchy regardless of mileage.

Redwood Chair 05-15-2020 01:24 AM


:love: the mini commandos!

Oh and get 195-65-15s when you buy tires for it.

Stiggy Pop 05-15-2020 08:09 AM

What a beauty, I hope this stays original!

escondidoron 05-15-2020 08:12 PM

Thanks all for your kind responses.


Originally Posted by Stiggy Pop (Post 6079380)
I hope this stays original!

That is pretty much the plan. I'm not against a few upgrades here and there however.

I do like the Virgos that it came with. They're gonna stay.

So far I have done a fair bit of maintenance related work. And the initial round was a classic case of, "While-I'm-in-there-itis!"

For instance it had a perished left front motor mount when I got the car. So I ordered up a new set of motor mounts and a new trans mount as well. Since I was under the car I also got a new carrier bearing kit for the driveshaft. Upon disassembly I found that the front U-joint had one tight bearing set. So I got a pair of new U-joints and installed them. I also noticed that it was generally wet from oil spray behind the bell housing / trans connection. So I got a new rear main seal and changed out the pan gasket at the same time. Since I had the gearbox out it received a fresh oil change. I noticed that the O/D solenoid wire was hanging freely and rubbing is several spots so I replaced it. I covered it with Nomex woven sleeve and secured it with tie-wraps and rubber hose standoffs at several locations. I also did a general clean up while under there to get rid of the accumulated oil and dirt mess. It has stayed dry since the service (about 1k miles ago).

But wait, there's more.....

While changing the engine right side mount I noticed that there was a bit of coolant residue on the side of the block behind the exhaust manifold. Closer inspection showed that one of the freeze plugs was weeping. So off came the intake and exhaust manifold so that I could get room to work.

The freeze plugs on the driver's side were not weeping but it seemed silly not to replace them all. You know, as long as I was in there.

I ordered up a set of coolant freeze plugs and replaced all of the coolant plugs in both the block and the head. Since all of the accessories were removed from the I/O side of the engine I thought why not pull the distributor and oil breather on the driver's side and then clean everything up nice and treat the engine to a rattle can rebuild with a fresh coat of shiny red paint.

Since all was bare and clean it seemed like as good a time as ever to add an oil pressure gauge so a new sensor was fitted. I had noticed that the coolant and fuel gauge weren't reading consistently so I replaced all of the temp sensors. This had the added benefit of improving the cold-start in the morning. Although better, I'm still working on that. Since the dizzy was out I replaced the ignition and EFI points. Hell might as well fit new plug wires and plugs too. Hey, this would be a good time to adjust the valves. Got a new valve cover gasket.

To replace the front motor mounts I had to lift the engine for clearance even with the bolt-on engine mounts removed. This pinched the heater hoses tight up on the firewall. Since I'm planning a cross-country roadtrip I thought it would be wise to replace those hoses as a precaution against failure out in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road. What the heck, I replaced all of the coolant hoses. Belt too. I took the alternator and voltage regulator to our local rebuilder and had them checked. Alternator good. Voltage regulator marginal. So I replaced it.

Since I was into the cooling system I thought a new thermostat would be a good idea. When I removed the water neck I found internal pitting and it looked like a leak wouldn't be too far away. So I replaced it. And since there was evidence of corrosion there I got a new water pump too. Since the pump was off and all of the hoses were removed it seemed that this would be as good a time as any to have the radiator serviced. So it came out as well for a flush and pressure test. Good thing too as several pin holes made their presence known during the pressure test. A new core was installed.

Since I was replacing hoses I replaced all of the fuel hoses. I took the opportunity to paint all of the on-engine hard lines with Hammerite and baked them in the oven. My wife absolutely loves it when I do that. She says the brownies that were baked following paint bake duty tasted just so extra special! New vacuum lines were installed as well.

The previous owner removed the clock for service and never re-installed it. He said that it never kept accurate time. Did I mention that before retirement he was a mechanical engineer that specialized in instrumentation systems. He used the clock hole in the dash to display the 100k and then the 200k miles badges from Volvo. I decided that an oil pressure gauge would be a better use of that location than the mileage badge. So I fab'd a mount plate, painted it and installed a new VDO gauge there instead.

While reassembling things I took the opportunity to clean up a few things. I didn't like the way the large breather vent hose that runs from the breather vent on the driver's side to the bottom of the air cleaner housing on the left side laid across the top of the engine. So I fabricated a little mount bracket to keep it off of all of the rest of the plumbing and causing wear while the engine is running.

The new oil pressure sensor required an elbow fitting to be installed as the sensor can was too long to clear the exhaust pipe. With the sensor hanging horizontal I didn't want it to rotate and leak, or worse, vibration causing the brass elbow to fail. I fab'd a little bracket to support it at the intake manifold brace mount on the side of the engine block.

Back up top side I cleaned up the wiring with a combination of plastic caterpillar sleeve and Nomex woven sleeve that I had laying around and re-routed and tied everything down as best I could. I installed new hose clamps throughout.

I replaced the air filter and gave it an oil & filter change along with the new coolant.

One more quick look underneath and I noticed that the soft fuel lines at the fuel pump were rubbing up against the hanger for the pump. So I pulled the pump, replaced the fuel hose and re-routed it so as not to contact the body. That had the pleasant benefit of getting rid of the fuel pump noise inside the cabin. I took the opportunity to install a fresh fuel filter as well. And as long as I was under the rear of the car I drained the rear axle and replaced it with fresh lubricant. A quick look around under the rear showed that the muffler was sometimes contacting the rear axle. This was what that rattle must be..... The tail pipe was near new but the muffler and pipe back from the resonator were both past their prime. So I replaced them and cleaned up the hangars. No more under car rattles over rough roads.

That initial service took me about 3 weeks to accomplish.

matt b 05-16-2020 12:02 AM

Nice work, that's a pretty healthy list! How are the brakes on it ?

JW240 05-16-2020 08:49 AM

Looking fresh! Nice to see this car landed in your garage :cool:

escondidoron 05-16-2020 02:58 PM


Originally Posted by Redwood Chair (Post 6079360)

Oh and get 195-65-15s when you buy tires for it.

I put fresh tires on it right after completing the service outlined above. I went with Yokohama the YK740GTX in size 205/60-15. The tires that were on it were 205/65sand would just rub in diameter under full rear axle deflection. In the front they would rub under full deflection and full steering lock at the front corner of the tires. And they were 11% too tall so that the speedo was reading 11% too slow. I.e an actual 70mph was reading 63 on the speedo.

I have been trading at our local Discount Tire for 30 years and I've come to know the manager. He was up for trying the 205/60s at no risk to me. We mounted one up and tried it on both the front and the rear. And all was fine. I've put about 1500 miles on them without any issue. The speedo is now pretty close as well as the 60 series are about 7/16" shorter in radius.

escondidoron 05-17-2020 08:24 PM


Originally Posted by matt b (Post 6079614)
How are the brakes on it ?

The brakes are fundamentally new by the previous owner with only about 400 miles on them at the time of my purchase. New rotors, wheel bearings, and pads. The calipers were rebuilt at that time.

escondidoron 05-18-2020 03:19 PM

I'm intrigued with the concept of retrofitting air conditioning. Has anyone here ever done this?

It is my understanding that this car's heater assembly is factory ready for an A/C install by the dealer. All of the vent ports are vacuum operated so this seems to make sense. My web search indicates that the heater assembly on early 240s is the same or very similar to mine. But what year is the model year range for that similarity is not clear.

Any thoughts?

escondidoron 05-22-2020 09:34 PM

The Bad Banana Saga
Washed the Bad Banana last night. She cleans up pretty well I think for a 57 year old car.





Since the relatively near term goal for the Bad Banana is a cross-country road trip, adding air conditioning would be a big plus. From looking at 240s it sure seems like my 1973 lower dash is just about the same as in one of the later cars. If that is the case, maybe the heater assembly is similar as well? My car already has vacuum operated vent doors for air flow control for the heater. So it seems like the nice folks back in Gothenburg set the car up originally for relatively easy dealer A/C installation from new.

The major components that I think that I will need for the A/C upgrade are as follows:
1) A/C Compressor (likely would buy a new one)
2) Compressor mounting bracket(s) (fabricate myself)
3) Evaporator (source from wrecking yard)
4) Condensor (source from wrecking yard)
5) Accumlator / Dryer. (likely would buy new 240 or 740 unit)
6) Hoses (likely I would fab new ones myself)
7) Wire harness (fab myself)
8) Temp control (source from wrecking yard)
9) Pulley (source from wrecking yard or fab myself)
10) Electric fan(s) (source from wrecking yard)
11) Idler pulley to tension the A/C belt (source from wrecking yard)
12) Evaporator Drain Hose (source from wrecking yard or fab at home)

There aren't a lot of 140s that I have found in wrecking yards, let alone ones with A/C. However 240s are very common locally in the pick-a-part yards. That said, if the lower dash and heater assembly are common with my late 140 I can score those 240 parts cheap and easy. And it would seem that the under hood stuff is pretty straight forward in that I can easily fabricate mounts for the condenser, idler pulley and compressor here at home. I wonder if the crank pulley from a 240/s B21 will fit on a B20 as I will need a double groove V-belt drive? Or I could convert to a ribbed belt drive, but likely not as most ribbed belt drive systems use reverse rotation water pumps and that is not a likely option for my B20.

So has anyone here ever retrofitted A/C in a 140?

Are the lower dash and heater assemblies on 240s compatible with my late 140?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

DD Ranch 05-22-2020 09:50 PM

Great looking car and so nice to see it being restored and put to use.

Don't know about retrofitting a/c but I can tell you that the 73 142e I had many years ago had A/C.

It looked stock to me - big old York compressor etc.

Good luck with it.

John242Ti 05-23-2020 02:57 AM

Looks nice. I probably wouldn't have added the rust from above option to it, though. A decent Yakima or Thule rack would've been the route I'd chosen. Did the same to my old '73 145. Wish I hadn't. Although, with the failed roof paint, the rack did sorta hide the craters.

The 240 heater box will work, but you may not have room to install the 1991-93 style AC parts with the B20 intake setup. Would have to use 1973-75 underhood parts with an updated condenser, then I'd use a 1985-90 heater box, since it's already modified for the replacement blower motors. I would also source a 1974 instrument cluster, so you can get rid of the wacky parking brake warning light indication of the 1973 models where both the Parking Brake and Brake Failure lights come on at the same time.

BTW: it's only 47 years old. Otherwise, I'd be turning 55 years old this December... :lol:

John242Ti 05-23-2020 03:20 AM

Re: the heater box, see my response in your other thread. Another thing you can do to the car is delete the license plate bracket and mount the plate directly to the bumper. Did that on my old '73.

Looks like this:


escondidoron 05-24-2020 01:25 AM


Originally Posted by John242Ti (Post 6081466)
I probably wouldn't have added the rust from above option to it, though. A decent Yakima or Thule rack would've been the route I'd chosen.

Haha. Rust from above. I'll have to remember that.

I didn't add the rack. It was already fitted from new. The seller had removed it to polish the roof before the sale. I re-installed it before driving it home from San Francisco.


Originally Posted by John242Ti (Post 6081466)
The 240 heater box will work, but you may not have room to install the 1991-93 style AC parts with the B20 intake setup. Would have to use 1973-75 underhood parts with an updated condenser, then I'd use a 1985-90 heater box, since it's already modified for the replacement blower motors.

Good to know about the '85-'90 240 heater box and blower motor assembly. My blower motor is semi-operational so I was gonna replace it anyway.


Originally Posted by John242Ti (Post 6081466)
I would also source a 1974 instrument cluster, so you can get rid of the wacky parking brake warning light indication of the 1973 models where both the Parking Brake and Brake Failure lights come on at the same time.

I agree about the parking brake idiot lights. I'd like to get a GT instrument assembly at some point. But the A/C upgrade is a higher priority at the moment.


Originally Posted by John242Ti (Post 6081466)
BTW: it's only 47 years old. Otherwise, I'd be turning 55 years old this December... :lol:

Good catch.

Thanks for the assistance.

polaris 05-26-2020 01:45 PM

On my former 1973 142e I swapped out the entire blower motor/heater core housing from a 240. The heater core was leaking and the previous owner bypassed the system by installing a u-shaped pipe on the engine bay heater hoses. Also planned was an update the dash to a mid 80s 240 type with a larger Instrument panel and the ability to house five 52mm gauges. Some of the things I came across and learned when going through the retrofit.




The HVAC housing of the 73-74 140s are the same foot print as the ones in the 240s (all white unit is from the 142.) The heater core is oriented differently (pipes coming out of the bottom of the unit) than the 240 units (hoses are out of the top of the unit.) The heater control valve is different and the hoses to the heater core are different as well between the 140 & 240. When pulling the donor, I removed the firewall hose connector piece and hoses along with the entire HVAC unit. The firewall piece will interchange between the 140 and 240s. Because the heater control valve is different, you may need to retain the cable to open/close the valve. I did that as I was converting the heater controls to the new 240 type on the center dash. Also the connector to the fan switch is different, that can be transferred from one unit to the other. One of the other design differences is the 140 units have two AC drain hoses, one on each side and the 240 units have a single drain in the center.




The 140s are SAE and 240s are metric. Where I ran into this issue around this was the HVAC unit mounts to the transmission tunnels. They mounts are different between the two series and I did have to bend/alter one side for it to line up and fit "correctly". When the HVAC system is out, it is a great time to clean out the cavity in front of the heater core and its the easiest time to change out the blower motor. If you are replacing out the entire unit, it makes great sense to do that at the same time.


On Flickr I have pictures of the HVAC unit swap along with a bunch of other work on my 73 142E. I never bothered with reviving with the AC aspect of unit, that was really secondary to having a working heater and defroster on the car. About a year and a half after doing this retrofit, wasn't getting very good heat out of the car and determined the heater core was partially clogged. Figured it would be as easy to to a wholesale replacement of the HVAC unit I did that instead of just pulling the heater core. On Dec 24 the Junkyard was having a 1/2 sale so went there a pulled a unit out of a 1991 244. Dec 25-26 I pulled the old unit out and installed the replacement unit in, solving the cabin heat issue.


blkaplan 05-26-2020 01:56 PM

i love the embroidered dash pad. So excellent.

Tfrasca 05-26-2020 02:17 PM

This car rules. Congrats.

escondidoron 06-12-2020 11:08 PM

New '89 donor 240 came in at one of the local pick-n-pull yards yesterday. Time to go score an A/C system.

Does anyone know if a 240 B23 or B21 crank pulley will work on a B20?

escondidoron 06-13-2020 11:11 PM

Went to the junk yard today and scored a complete A/C system out of an '89 244. It was an interesting experience and not as difficult as I had feared. The biggest issue that I had was that I forgot that the '89 donor vehicle was metric. My 145 is SAE and I didn't take any of my metric tools along with me to the junk yard. The good news is that Volvo uses quality hardware. The donor car hadn't been worked on previously by trolls so all of the hardware was still in good condition. And 1/2" and 9/16" 6-point sockets will work in a pinch on 13mm and 14mm nuts and bolts. The only adjustable wrench that I had along with me was a giant 12" piece. I used it to remove all of the 10mm screws. That was not too much fun on the 4 screws that secure the fresh air inlet to the cowl! I just kept reminding myself that patience is a virtue. It is also very nice of Volvo engineers to have used so many Phillips head screws everywhere in the dash assembly.

By complete system I mean the following:
1) Heater box complete
2) Heater / firewall junction panel
3) A/C to Firewall junction panel
4) Defroster ducts
5) Dash ducts
6) Cowl / heater box rubber gasket
7) Heater control panel w/ switches
8) Floor vent ducts
9) Vacuum valves for ducts - complete set
10) Receiver - Dryer w/ switch
11) Condenser
12) A/C compressor
13) Compressor mount bracket
14) B21 crank pulley off of the donor car (not sure if this is gonna work on my B20)
15) A/C hoses (all 3)
16) All securing hardware, hangers and grommets

Tomorrow I will start to clean up and inspect all of my treasure.

Now that I have all of the basics I am still going to need a few B20 or B30 specific items:
1) B20 Compressor mount bracket (or pictures of same as I can fabricate a new one if necessary)
2) B20 2-row crankshaft pulley
3) B20 Idler pulley

Can anyone point me to a source for these parts or pictures of the above 3 items?

escondidoron 06-14-2020 03:02 PM

Today I have been cleaning up the dirtiest of the A/C parts that I collected at the junk yard yesterday. I use a water soluble driveway degreaser that I buy from my local DIY store. Very cheap, and handy too, in that it comes in a variety of sizes from 1-quart squirt bottles to 1-gallon jugs to 5-gallon pails.



Now it's safe to handle the parts without wearing a hazmat suit!

Maybe after lunch I'll start making some brackets to fit the condenser and receiver/dryer to the car.

escondidoron 06-29-2020 05:16 PM

Fixing up the Bad Banana is a long term project. Now that it is an operational car I'm tackling projects one at a time with the goal of keeping it operational as much as possible and going after those little annoying issues as time permits.

The rheostat for the dashboard instrument panel lamps has been dead since I bought the car. After looking through the usual sources I determined that a new replacement rheostat was no longer available. So as a temporary fix I simply jumpered the wires together on the back of the unit. A functional but annoying repair. When I was at the junk yard a couple of weeks ago extracting the A/C components from an '89 I had the opportunity to score the rheostat out of that donor. Maybe I could modify it to fit my '73?

Here is a sided by side comparison of the '89 rheostat vs the original unit out of my '73.

Front view:

Top view:

Rear view:

As can be seen from the top view, the shaft of the '89 rheostat is too long to work in the '73 center stack. The later model rheostat is located in the top left corner of the instrument binnacle, just to the left of the instrument panel. A much more driver convenient location, but not a suitable spot on the stock '73 dash.

After a quick confirmation fit check I found that I could rotate the larger rheostat body to fit comfortably in the '73's center stack location. I also measured the shaft diameter and knob indexing flat 'diameter' I found that the original '73 knob would work on the new rheostat. So I went to work shortening the input shaft.

If you look at the pics, above, you'll notice a small circular groove about 0.340" from the knob end of the input shaft. This groove provided a snap ring locking feature for the adjustment knob. Basically this groove is what keeps the knob from falling off under normal operational vibration of the car. I initially marked the shaft where it would be cut off:


Next I clamped the end of the input shaft in a vise and used a small triangular jeweler's file to cut a new groove in the proper location. I then filed the new indexing flat on the shaft before finally cutting the shaft to length:


Not a big or important project. But satisfying none the less to cross off one of the items on my project list.

escondidoron 07-07-2020 10:16 PM

The A/C parts are starting to come together. The basic engine side components are now in hand. The new condenser should arrive in the next couple of days. I have been able to source an OEM dual row crank pulley, idler pulley and York style compressor mount for the engine side components.



I cleaned them up tonight, at least enough for them to go into the blast cabinet tomorrow. It's amazing how nice the crank pulley is. It is very nicely preserved thanks to many years of oil and grime accumulation. I'll apply some shiny red powder coat after sandblast.

I plan to fab another bracket out of 1/4" steel plate to mate the Sanden style compressor that I got from the junkyard '89 244 and bolt it to the OEM York bracket.

I also want to source a new replacement bearing for the idler pulley. This one feels smooth, and it is reasonably grease caked. But a new replacement seems like a lower risk proposition at the end of the day. Hopefully it is a standard size. I'll press it out tomorrow and see what I can find out.

escondidoron 07-09-2020 12:05 AM

I pressed the bearing out of the idler pulley this morning and found that it is a standard size 6204 bearing. And I also found that I didn't have any suitable red powder coat on hand. So rattle can it is, then bake at 400F for about 45 minutes to cure.

The new condenser arrived via FedEx today. That's the good news. The bad news is that the package was damaged and there were parts missing.

The condenser and its internal box was in excellent condition w/o any damage. Likewise for the receiver drier. However the 4 fittings, o-rings and switch were all missing. I sent an email off to the supplier. Hopefully they will sort it out and make this good.

Since the condenser was not damaged I did a trial fit to confirm that my initial measurements were correct. Fortunately my tape measure and the supplier's dimensions matched up:

If I have time I'll fabricate some mounting brackets for the condenser tomorrow.

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