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Old 12-09-2016, 11:03 PM   #1
Canuck
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Default Volvo 122S Build Thread: Scope-creep the Sequel

I really should have started a P&R thread a few years ago - but there's lots of time to populate this thread until I'm done this build.

The car:

As purchased in 2006
1966 Volvo Canadian (122S)
B18/M40
White
Stock
Clapped out

Version 1.0
B20/M41 with all the usual stuff except for JVAB Rods and CP pistons, VPD street cam. Made 134/134 hp/torque at the wheels.
Wilwood brakes on all corners.
1031 rear end with TruTrac.
Bilstein HD's VPD springs, poly bushings
240 leather interior
Wooden steering wheel made from an original wheel.
Rechromed custom bumpers and grille
So some stuff done.

It's this car.



Then when I was thinking about a little more compression and a bigger cam and EFI and a nice coat of paint on the outside of the car, three events happened.

1. My battery exploded (externally regulated alternator - grrr) causing a massive acid leak.



2. A 960 oil pan fell from my rafter storage through my back window.



3. My neighbour crashed into the front of the car when parked (never admitted fault).



So that's three pretty strong signs that I needed to do something with this car. It went into the garage in 2012. It's still there. I built a 242 for no good reason that was supposed to be just a simple winter car.

Here it is at the Canadian Autocross Nationals.



So that took some time.

Now I'm back on the 122.

Version 2.0:

The basic idea with this build was to make a 122 that could really stick on the track and have the power that I wanted, but be a little more refined than what I had. I was inspired by builders like Singer and others that go a little nuts with the details and re-vision what these vintage cars can be. I've kept a very detailed blog of the build and my intent here it to provide the highlights or summaries rather than re-hack the "how I got here" which I kick around on my home forum (www.calgaryvolvoclub.com). There's a millioin details in a build like this and I'm trying to hit them all. So, if you're still reading - welcome to the worst case of scope-creep that I can think of, or as my wife says "So, you're doing it all over again for no reason?"

Here's the build list:

Engine and transmission:
B5234T3
T5 Transmission (A-5 gear set)
TTV flywheel and clutch
Borg Warner EFR Turbo (haven't settled on which one exactly right now)

Suspension Details:
Modified Corvette C4 IFS
Toyota Supra MK3 IRS
Bilstein ASN coil overs
Woodward racing steering rack

Other stuff.
Floor mount Tilton pedals
Roll cage (bolt in is planned)
Full body reinforcement for strength (Stiffer inner rockers and extra bracing to deal with front end flex that this chassis is known for).
Mini-tub rear end to accomodate more tire.
Custom aluminim fuel tank
New Acura front seats (with Sparco's for racing)
Original back seat is making a come back.
All interior will be trimmed in leather.

And much more that I'm forgetting.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:36 PM   #2
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I actually started the engineering while still driving the car, but in keeping with the "how did we get here" nature of this particular story, I'll start with the basic disassembly and repair of my neighbour's efforts to cave in the front of my favourite car.



A short time later, parts off that don't need to be there for cleaning, blasting and priming.





Then those parts go back on the car and I start the easy sheet metal work. I like sheet metal work so thought I'd at least get that done.



A few pins and pulls and we're making some progress.



Now, that's better.





Then the interior was stripped (did I mention that I had dynamatted the entire inside?) and the floors repaired (it must be absolutely rust free - no excuses).Most would think these floors were fine.




Not bad shape all things considered. No need to replace the entire front pans as far as I'm concerned. But they are a little scruffy and I don't like the seam placement - they rust there all the time.

Drivers side...one little hole.



Worst of the lot is the drivers side rear. Previously repaired by me.



Test fit the new seats...fall off the seats multiple times (stop using wood - make small jacks).



Find a good place for the seat. Looks like a good fit.



Jacks front and back to fix a few reference points.






I had a nice set of rust free doors...so they went on.



It's a start - evaluation really. More to come.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:41 PM   #3
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I think I've welded floors into a dozen cars over the years. It always is WORSE than it looks. I didn't think it was all that bad until I got poking around and dug out the seam sealer between the firewall/floor panel. It was pretty nasty. So out came the plasma, and off came the panel.

Here's my CAD (cardboard assisted drawing) template. Make these as accurately as possible. It needs to fit dead tight to make my weld process work.



I was going so fast I forgot to take a picture of the panel out of the car...it looks just like the cardboard.
Tacked in place.



The fit wasn't perfect - these little clamps help hold things in place. Lots of tack welds.



The old spot welds were drilled out and the panel was treated to some really good weld through primer. I generally hate this stuff, but the UPol brand with copper was as good as I've ever used. Use it - it keeps the corrosion between the panels down. Note I've also reversed how the panel overlaps the trans tunnel. It was just easier to go under instead of over.



This shot shows the tacks and my use of a hammer to keep the panels parallel. Note, that the panel is not flat at the firewall, there is some shape. I hammered that bulge in over my wooden form and then planished it smooth.

Here it is on the other side.



Should finish up pretty seamlessly.

Get the welds tight and 100 % penetration and you're repaired. Again, I try not to stack tack welds to weld sheet metal as the distortion is crappy. Tight joins and small beads are your friends. It wasn't perfect, I had to stack a few tacks to fill a few 1/8" gaps. The welds are then ground top and bottom. Here's the back side.



Finished - that'll do.



Inside - looking good. A little oil can - it'll straighten out when the frame rail and the outrigger are installed.



On to the driver's side.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:46 PM   #4
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Next up on the list was the drivers floor repair. Same as before - CAD template, sheet metal and welding.



I think I could do this stuff all day. I love making new panels. It's so fiddly to get just right. Lately I've been scribing with a sharp tool instead of just marking with a sharpie. It's nice to see the fits are like puzzle pieces and it makes the weld seam go in really easy as there are NO big gaps to fill which causes much heat and distortion.



Here's a close up of the fit. This was taken from the back side showing the tack penetration.



While this was the last weld, it worked really well. Stringers not tacks.



By way of explaining how...I started at the rocker panel on the long seam to tack and worked towards the tunnel one tack at a time. That way if you get shrinking (which shuts up the gap) you can just tap the weld when cold and bring the gap back. It takes a long time to do it this way instead of jumping around like I used to do...but time spent here is time saved in how the panel turns out.

As I worked towards the tunnel, the panel needed to be ground down a little as it shrunk and wouldn't move back. It still had somewhere to move, so it didn't end up all wrinkly and warped. I just used my cut off wheel to grind my line back. It's amazing how much sheet metal will move. I was also cooling the tacks with compressed air to try to help.

Anyway, it went in like butter and finished up really flat. I could metal work it to make it perfect - but I still have to put in the frame and things are going to move then. Here's the finished panel.



The cut out in the firewall is to accommodate the pedal cluster which goes in next.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:27 AM   #5
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This post is going to be my Bible when I have to redo the entire floor of my Duett in the spring. What welder are you using?
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:47 AM   #6
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This post is going to be my Bible when I have to redo the entire floor of my Duett in the spring. What welder are you using?
I've got a Miller 252 - it's way overkill for what you'd need. Just remember, heat is the enemy and don't stack tacks...that's just a bad way to weld.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:52 AM   #7
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Overkill indeed! It's a long way from my $100 Harbor Freight flux core only POS.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:38 PM   #8
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Back to the story. The floors in a 122 are annoyingly angled to the outside of the car, making fitting modern seats a pain (originals are tripods, so the slope doesn't matter). Now, we're going to have two sets of seats for this car and I'm going to use the same rails on both seats for a quick 4 bolts swap per seat, therefore I wanted to get the seat mounts put in place for good and that means levelling the floor.

So I made some 18 ga boxes and cut a few holes in the floor.







All welded in and finished off.



I'm always worried about the forces that a seat sees, so I doubled up the skin and will tie the whole thing back to the cross member when done. A little more bending and some weld-through primer later and...



Now to turn my attention to the rear floor pans. I repaired the drivers side in 2006 as it had rotted due to a leaking windshield. It was functional, but I'd rather not weld seat brackets to suspect sheet metal.



Drill out all the spot welds (the floor pans close the rear cross member...so I cut those out too).



Broke out the plasma and BAM - that's the floor gone.



Then I carefully removed the section with the cutout for the handbrake and used it as a template for the new panel.



There are a bunch of details that had to get put into the panel including a little 1.5" step in the middle of the panel to accommodate the rear frame member. Here's how I accomplished this little swag.

First, I clamped a piece of 2" steel flat bar under the panel and clamped it down to my bench (the swag is exactly 2"). Then I used my modified chisels to swag the panel - holding them at an angle to exactly replicate what was there.





Finished swag.



Then I had to drill all the spot weld holes...and there are a lot of holes. I also put a joggle in the top of the panel so when it's done you wont see what I've done.



Then I made some doubling plates for the seat mounts. I'll show them in a later post.

Next job was to clear the undercoating off the passenger side pan to ready it for welding. Every single ridge on the bottom has a 1/2 circle cut which I assume was used to reference the panel in a jig in the factory. They were then pounded up sort of flush and after paint, the holes were covered in seam sealer on the top side and undercoating on the bottom. My intent was to weld these up.

I thought that the panel was fine and when I chipped all the undercoating off (about 3 hours of "fun") I started to prep the surface for welding and found a lot of heavy pitting under the seam sealer and paint that I was not impressed. The bottom side is literally shiny and smooth.

A few minutes revealed this...


Close up of the craters.



Then it failed the light test where I inspect the panel from below (don't worry about the half circle cuts) - that's a lot of little holes and large areas of pits.



Including little wee ones that are hard to see without the light.



Here's the panel now extracted. See - it looks clean to me.



Factory fresh paint underneath...it was just a few spots where the water must have got trapped under the rubber matting and just like a water-jet, rusted through. Weird. There was no way to fix it and make it look good, so off it came. Note the condition of the underside and compare it to the top. Rusted from the inside out.



Just a bit of prep and that's a wrap on the removal. Two weeks out for the replacement panel to get here. I've got some reinforcing and pedals and stuff to get done.



Then for the same treatment as the other side.



Just about done. Just some weld through primer/epoxy primer in various areas then they can be welded in for good. I am actually keeping them off as it makes access to the bottom of the car really easy for now.




Here they are in primer before welding.







See, you can get the primer over the entire part this way.

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Old 12-10-2016, 06:04 PM   #9
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Very nice sheet metal work!
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:24 PM   #10
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Starting to wrap up the floor mount pedal installation. I didn't take pictures of the various hammer forms and things that I tried and didn't like (the parts are scattered around in the background of the photos). So we'll start sort of mid project. I know where the pedals will go and wanted to make a sheet metal enclosure that looks reminiscent of the original pedal box with nice rounded corners and some shape to the form. It will attach to the trans tunnel and then overlap the other areas like the original. I'll use lots of plug welds, I just don't see any point in trying to merge the panels.

I decided that I wanted to have a little embossed area where the bulkhead fittings pass through the panel. It will add stiffness and a little interest visually (for a part you won't see...I know ). So I made a little die and chased the outline with one of my rounded chisels to form this embossed area. In the picture, I'm just folding the curve at the top, the embossed area can be seen.



I then folded up the other bends that I needed. They all needed to have radiuses that I couldn't find so I had to hammer them. Results were great.



Had to play with where these curves were situated - a little work on the T-Dollie gets them perfect.



Then another hour or so of filing and fitting the end plates. and we get this.



Kind of how it will be mounted.



Just another shot. I'll weld it up and finish the seams and build the corners properly tomorrow.



All welded up and done. I used the "move fast" method. Here's a shot of the inside. 100% penetration. Nice.



A little metal finishing later and we're getting close.



Just have to finish off the corners nicely.

Like this.



Fits the pedals like this.



I thought it would be a good idea to actually fit up the pedal box.



That'll fit right in with a little sheet metal massage.



A bit of fettling at the bottom and we should be good to go on this side. Should still have lots of room at the top of the trans tunnel to get that widened out to fit the bell housing.



Full bump with a 245 section race tire.





Clearance looks fine to me. Not the best shot, as the wheel rides outside of the box...in the picture it looks tighter than it looks.



Just a little trimming and fitting to do inside.



You can see the slope of the floor...I really hate working around this floor. The pedals mount to a 10 ga plate mounted below the floor and welded to the frame crossmember (which are my design and 10 ga not 18 ga).

Here's the finished product.



Transmission side. I'll weld it in for good when I work out the trans tunnel.


Last edited by Canuck; 12-10-2016 at 11:39 PM..
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:37 PM   #11
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Your fabrication skills are jaw dropping
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:53 AM   #12
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Hey Canuck, where are the front rails gone? Strange look. All new from the bulkhead to the front?
Why you chouse staying pedals instead of haniging one's?
Looks good, I like to build metal parts too, but only for my own car, not for customers anymore.
Good luck, Kay
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:05 AM   #13
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Awesome Project!!Really Nice plate work, will follow this thread closely
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Old 12-11-2016, 12:16 PM   #14
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Hey Canuck, where are the front rails gone? Strange look. All new from the bulkhead to the front?
Why you chouse staying pedals instead of haniging one's?
Looks good, I like to build metal parts too, but only for my own car, not for customers anymore.
Good luck, Kay
The front rails are in the recycling pile. The Corvette IFS is so different from the original that there was no grafting it on. I'll cover all of the process and thinking that went into this decision in a later post. The engineering was all done a long time ago. I can share parts if there is interest in that level of nerdgasim.

The floor mount pedals were placed there for a couple of reasons. A quick review of other whiteblock of 16V swaps show that the intake gets very tight at the clutch MC. The original pedal spacing is also set up so you can drive the car with winter boots on and I've never been a real fan. I also wanted to be able to adjust brake bias. I could have modified the top mounts and put the MC's inside the car, but that seemed like more of a compromise when I didn't want compromises.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:34 PM   #15
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At a car show several years ago, a guy walks over and announces that he was the genius that did the stereo install. I recall saying something reasonably rude as it's a complete hack job. The holes for the speakers on the parcel shelf are enormous and were completely hacked.



So I got a donor parcel shelf and cut out the parts that I needed.



There that's much better. All fixed.



You can see the rust through in the window channel. The same car yielded a complete C pillar that is rust free and will be installed when I get to that stage.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:54 PM   #16
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At a car show several years ago, a guy walks over and announces that he was the genius that did the stereo install. I recall saying something reasonably rude as it's a complete hack job
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:54 PM   #17
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You don't happen to watch Project Binky on YouTube, do you?
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:01 PM   #18
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So at this point we've got floors fitted up, a new pedal box fitted and past damage taken care of - pretty basic restoration stuff. Next, I'm going to start to show the more serious processes of fitting in the new rear suspension. I'm going to try to carefully lay this out in a logical manner - please note that none of this has gone in the order it will be shown. I've actually done a lot of this at least twice.

So I'm going to start with some basic sheet metal mods. The existing rear frame was cut out (no pictures of that for some reason) and the spring cups were removed as they will not be reused. This gains over an inch of extra room for wheels/tires. The biggest problem is that the wheel articulation changes and I wanted around 1" more width in the wheel housing to make sure I won't get rubbing on the inside. So I cut out the inner wheel tub and added the inch.

My objective is make this disappear so it will have to be shaped. First a band to the outside.



Then I installed it and metal worked the seam.



Then welded in place.



Careful grinding so that I didn't put too much heat in the panel and a bit of stretching later and we've got this.



That's just been scrubbed off with a vixen file. Nothing more.

The other side is a bit more complicated as I'm keeping the spare wheel where it should be.

I really only need room at the top of the wheel tub, so doing some fancy cutting will allow me to use my small light weight spare.

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Old 12-12-2016, 09:03 PM   #19
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You don't happen to watch Project Binky on YouTube, do you?
Yup - but this all started way before that...for the record, my grandfather is from the same town as those two guys, so maybe it's in the blood?

They have a way cooler jig.

I also drink tea when I think.

I have a level that "makes the noise"
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:49 PM   #20
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Thanks for a good read. Great thread!
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:05 PM   #21
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One of the first jobs I did back when this car was just getting EFI and a head swap was I wanted a fuel tank that didn't slosh. Now I know this is the way all 122 owners see if there is still fuel in the tank (quick yank on the steering wheel while driving...did the gauge come off empty? If it did, you're going to make the gas station. If not - sorry about that.) - but I just wanted a few more gallons of range, the ability to have a return line and while my tank wasn't rusty at all, I just didn't want to have it boiled out and fiddled with. So I built a tank.

First I had to get some 6061 sheet out of the T6 state so it would bend nice without cracking. I could have ordered 3003, but I'd have to get an entire sheet and that was stupid expensive - so 10 ga 6061 T6 was the order of the day.

End caps were going to be formed as I don't like to put seams in corners, so we're going to bash out end caps. I first mark up the sheet with a sharpie and when the pen marks burn off, it's been heated to around the right temperature.



The sheet is then clamped in a wooden hammer form. There is no way I can get this to shrink 10 ga by hand, so I form the puckers, then cut and weld them.



That gets me to here.



Sender mount made.



Sump with supply and return - could have gone with a little less heat with these welds. Return line has a tube attached so it empties into the main body of the tank.



Mocked up with frame and tank body.



Weld those parts on.





Tack the body together and add internal baffles.



All welded up.



I added some scatter shields on the front edge.



Added a filler neck and frame and tossed it in the trunk.



It's around 12 imperial gallons of volume.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:19 PM   #22
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Impressive build!
And skills!
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:28 PM   #23
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Beautiful work.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:44 AM   #24
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5*****'s! Inspirational build and impressive skills.
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The 245 GT
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:02 PM   #25
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If you ever become interested in making another gas tank, I would probably be interested!
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