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Old 03-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Default 164RS project


Welcome to my project. I am creating a high-performance sporting 164, which I have called the 164RS.

The project has been on UK forums, I finally got around to putting on turbobricks as well so here is a catch up.

20 years ago, when I was a student, I had two 164s. I enjoyed them both but then I did not have the funds or expertise to modify them as I would have liked to. Now I think I can, so I've returned to the 164 to build the car I really wanted. Several areas of this project will be new challenges for me, so I'll often be seeking advice!

As a base, I wanted a good condition, manual, small bumper 164E. In April 2007, I bought the best one I could find for sale. It was in Germany (bought via an internet ad). I flew out and drive it 800 miles home.

For 12 months I have used the car quite a lot and did some running upgrades:

Suspension upgrade (part completed)
Wide wheels
M410 overdrive gearbox
Volvo sport instrument set

In May 08 I took the car off the road to start the major work:

Right-hand-drive conversion
Bodywork restoration & respray
Engine rebuild
Supercharger & intercooler installation
Engine rebuild (& modifications/upgrades to suit supercharging)
Mappable engine management (ignition & fuel)
Gearbox and overdrive rebuild
Rear axle rebuild, probably with LSD
Full suspension upgrade
Partial re-trim, including fitting sports seats

Rather than taking the whole car to pieces at once, I have planned the project in phases. Between the phases, the car can be put back on the road if I want a break or need to get remotivated.

Here's the first installment of photos:

Engine block on the stand, not dismantled yet

Head, not dismantled yet. More engine updates later

RH inner wing, virtually no rust

RH chassis rail, small repairs in progress on both sides

Underneath RH chassis rail, awaiting repair

RH inner wing, battery tray removed (the battery will be moved to the boot to help weight distribution)

LH inner wing had one rust patch, repair in progress

Front chassis cross-member had some rust on the right-hand-side...

... this was repaired and strengthened over original design (seam welded and corner piece added) to give extra torsional rigidity to cope with uprated suspension and grippy tyres

Matching strengther added on the left side also (this side was not rusty)

For the same purpose, the left and right chassis rail supports have been strengthened with extra welds

RH front floor, rusty! Not repaired yet

LH front floor, zero rust

That's as far as I've got on bodywork.

Onto the right-hand-drive conversion. This is proving harder then I expected. The RHD 1973 144 I got my parts from had an ambidextrous bulkhead with removable panels on both sides. However, my 164 of the same year has a non-symmetrical bulkhead with a removable panel only on the left side. So quite a bit of manufacturing was required...

Removing dashboard

First trial fit of RHD steering box and column

Trial fitting of RHD 140 pedal box

Trial fit of servo and brake cross-bar

Beginning to make the servo mounting bracket...

... and the support bracket inside the car


Chassis rail repairs in progress

Chassis rails finished (to be painted later)

RHD conversion:

Test fitting pedals. (LHD 164 throttle is being modified for use on the right)

Priming the various RHD brackets

Reassembling the heater after checking the matrix

Starting the wiring for RHD

...here's a shot of some helpers at the garage. Can't get the staff!!

Seeking some opinions please folks.

I'm in two minds about whether or not to fit a front spoiler to the 164RS. It would be something subtle and period, quite possibly the same spoiler I fitted to my last project, the Scimitar V8 (see below, this is a modified Dolomite Sprint spoiler).

On looks alone, I think I would go without the spoiler, but I'm keen to reduce lift. There will be blasts across Germany from time to time once the RS is finished and above 110-120mph the 164 front-end gets a bit "floaty"

So, do you think someting like this would look OK on a lowered 164?



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Old 03-28-2009, 04:07 PM   #2
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009

Next chapter:


Removing underseal from inside front wings. Not a nice job, but necessary to tackle the rust that starts underneath the underseal when it's old and brittle. Luckily nothing too serious here, surface rust.


... and priming

Same treatment for the front panel, but so far I've only done the underseal removal and cleaning.


No work done on the engine yet - keen to start but forcing myself to get the boring rust-killing done first. However, an interesting ebay purchase has arrived.

Spot the previous owner's error?

I might sell this on, becuase I have a Volvo intercooler with bigger surface area, which will fit the 164, But this does look pretty!

I've also done almost all the wiring now, for the RHD conversion, but that really is too dull to take photos of!

November 08; the last few months I have been tied up with other things. Work has been busy, plus...

Got the track-day car ready for sale to help fund the 164RS, so the old Cavalier has gone to a new home in Ireland.

Also bought a '98 BMW 540i touring as daily driver, and had some mechanical and body-work jobs to do on that.

And got my Mum's Peugeot 106 prepped and sold... good price on ebay.

And help my friend repair a rear-ended Ford Ka, of all things!

Anyway, back to the 164RS...

Following on from that last update, I found some more rust. I think its suffered from the water leak problem, because the floor has rotted out from the inside; it looked solid from underneath

Right front floor, rust cut out. The outrigger was fine, no rust. Rear floor section repair in progress here

Left rear floor, rust cut out

Right rear floor, repair in progress. (Sill is OK. The rust inside is just debris from the work on the floor)

Floor repairs seam welded in, primed and with seam sealer in place:
Right front

Right rear

Left rear

From underneath, right...

... and left

Inside, painted:

Left front, zero rust here.

Seatbelt boxes and belts are now refitted (no photo)

All wiring is competed for the RHD conversion (no photo)

Part-way through installing RHD dashboard. You can see my Volvo Sport ambient temp guage, mounted centrally instead of the clock - that's a rare item! I am looking for a sender for this, if anybody can help I'd be grateful. It is the same sender as the 240 type VDO analogue amb temp guage.


Engine bay prep for painting.

Extending the lower radiator mount. (I am moving the rad back to allow the intercooler to mount in front of it.)

Painting the RHD brackets etc in satin black

Stone-chip on the chassis rails, inner wing panels and inside the front wings

Ran out of stone chip here... finish this later. Once the stop-chip is done, inside the front wings will be painted with black chassis paint then, after all the other paintwork is finished, covered with dinotrol rustproofer before it goes back on the road.

The primer...

The primer was carefully dry-flatted all over (no photos).

Then.... finally time for the long awaited base & lacquer. (Four base coats, one of 2 pack lacquer).

I'm pleased with it so far. It's not perfect up close (e.g. some dust particles in the lacquer), but it's OK and the engine bay will look good when fitted up with all refurbished components.

I have not painted the front panel yet because it needs some surgery first to help it accommodate the intercooler and a cold air feed.

I soooooo love that colour!


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Old 03-28-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009

The next installment...

RHD conversion

Fitting the brake servo and master cylinder to my fabricated bracket. I am using a modified 144 RHD cross beam. The brake components aren't too old, so they were just resprayed and refitted.

Steering column, pedal box, cross beam bracket and RHD 164 steering box fitted.

Engine bay & bodywork

Engine-bay wiring is partially refitted (the rubber mat is a precaution to avoid any drips of brake fluid on the new paint). I will be making something to hide the ugly row of mismatched relays and wires on the left inner wing. Although Volvo originally left these on display, I think it's messy and spoils the look of the 164 engine bay, so mine will have a neat cover.

Right inner wing with the stonechip completed (I ran out when doing this originally).

Both inner wings painted with black chassis paint

Wiper motor and manifold pressure sensor cleaned up and refitted, and some more of the wiring back in place

Coil refitted

Front panel part-way through de-rusting

Modifying the front panel to accept the intercooler.

A close-up of the parts cut out. It's similar on both sides of the car

Here's the trial fitting, showing where intercooler will be mounted. There is more work to do here yet. If I use the original radiator, I'll need to modify the side pieces. I also need to make some brackets to hold the radiator at the top (like the 240 & 740 have) because the original 164 mountings (at the sides) had to be removed to make the intercooler fit. Further mods are needed to reposition the radiator expansion tank and PAS reservoir, and to accommodate an air filter box at the front of the engine bay. So it will be a long time before I can paint the panel.


My seats. They are from a Japanese market mid '90s Mazda RX7. I chose these because they are similar to the '70s Volvo P1800ES seats, which I was thinking of using, but these have much better support bolsters. They will be reupholstered in leather to match the 164, with box-pleats added to the centre section to match the 164 rear seat.

Subframe fabricated to attach the RX7 seats to Volvo 140 brackets (which are shown in primer)

I have moved the hand-brake to the right hand side.


Finally, a very nice package through the mail from Norway... my wheels!

They are 17x8.5 Super DTM, correct fit for RWD Volvo with no spacers. Having said that, the rear wheel arch clearance will be very tight, so some ingenuity will be needed there. I couldn't find a UK distributor, and for some reason the Swedish dealers won't ship abroad. In the end, I managed to track down a company in Norway who would ship to the UK.


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Old 03-28-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009

Next installment:

Front suspension

Cross member during underseal removal. A messy and unpleasant job!

Looks much better after cleaning and shot-blasting

Dismantled and primed

The cross-member was originally grey with black wishbones. I haven't quite decided yet, but I think I'll be going for satin black for all parts; I don't really like the grey - it looks like primer. Any views?

Seat fitting is going well, I forgot to take photos I'm afraid. I have welded strengthening plates onto the floor so hopefully my front mountings will be very solid. I'm using threaded bar to give some height adjustability, as Volvo did originally on the passenger side, but I'm using two mountings instead of one, and thicker bar.


Drilled some drain holes in the newly repaired floor. A car this old is likely to leak a bit, no matter how careful I am. Volvo's solution was to let the water rust its way out; I prefer to give it an exit. The metal around the holes is angled so water won't come in as the car drives along.

Water-proof sound insulation stuck down & Waxoyl applied

Battery cable fitted

Cover panel refitted

RHD conversion:

Reinforcing the centre console moulding before fitting. This is a weak part of the dashboard and was flexing a lot when I was refitting switches so I strengthened with a piece of stiff wire, fibre-glass filler and resin

A few shots of the dashboard and wiring coming together

The pedal box installation is now complete. A RHD 144 box modified to suit the 164 (the bulkhead is different, as is the angle/position of the steering column). The bar and hole you can see bottom right are for the throttle cable.

The LHD 164 clutch cable is fitted temporarily, to check everything works. I will need to get a longer cable made up. Brake linkage is finished.

Other bits

Driver's seat test fitted, adjusting things to get the driving position as I like it.

My period '70s Volvo R Sport wheel; found on German ebay. I was going to do a test fitting, but the boss kit it came with is way too short, so I can't yet... but I thought I'd post a picture anyway. It needs to be recovered.

Can anybody tell me what horn-push badge this wheel would have had originally? Any help or old photos would be appreciated!

Steve is now helping me on Saturdays. He was looking for a Saturday job and I was wanting to move the project on more quickly, so it all fitted together very well! He has a mint '79 244called Thor. Although he's only just 17, he has good car skills already, and he works hard.


The job we started out to do was test fitting some rear seatbelts from a 240. I was quite confident they would fit the 164, but I wanted to check and be sure. We got a bit distracted when we removed the rear seat (see below) but the belts will work fine.


Bit of a nasty shock here. Not a disaster, but some repair work I hadn't planned for. I knew that repair panels had been fitted in the past in the inner wheelarch, above the shock absorber mounting. But we found out yesterday that the job had been bodged. Instead of cutting out the rusty metal, the repair panel had just been tacked over the top. Of course this makes everything rust faster.

The left inner wheelarch as we found it. The "repairer" hadn't even removed the sound deadening whilst welding the other side of the panel! You can see that the rust continues past the bulkhead seam and into the boot area. Inside the boot, the repairer had put wide sellotape or something similar over the rust and sprayed it body colour... mmm, quality work!

The right wheelarch looked better, but when we removed the sound deadening it was also rusty, with a repair tacked over the top.

Left side with sound deadening removed.

At first, we thought we might be able to cut out the rusty metal and weld a sheet to the back of it, retaining the repair panel. So the grot was cut away.

Part of the rear bulkhead to be cut out to gain access. Unfortunately, because of the bodge, the repair panel had also rusted and become very weak and easily holed.

So, the only way to do a proper repair is to cut out the repair panel completely, right back to solid original metal. Cutting in progress...

We got a bit further than this, but we must have forgotten to take photos later in the day.

Steve also did a lot of underseal removal under the wheelarches, we'll photograph these soon.

The good news is that rust is confined to the inner wheelarch and has not spread into the chassis rail at all. The rail takes the vast majority of the shock absorber load, so I am very confident that a seam welded repair, with reinforcement on the inside joined to the bulkhead, will give a strong and permanent repair.

But it's still annoying that this work is needed purely because of shoddy workmanship. I am sure a previous owner paid good money for this repair, back when it was in Switzerland or Germany. Done properly, it would have lasted many years but I'm sure they would be horrified by what we found.

Cutting out rust. I took out the lip above the shock mounting to ensure that I was back to strong, rust free metal.

I was surprised to see that the floor panel is not welded to the shock mounting section, it just sits next to it.

Here is the lower repair section I made.

Test fitting...

... view from inside the car

Here is the strengthening tube...

... which fits like this

Stage 1 of repair, seam welding the shock mounting to the floor

Stage 2, welding in the lower repair section...

... and seam welding the end of the original bulkhead where previously it had just two spot welds

Stage 3 is welding in the strengthener (no photo)

Stage 4 (when both sides of the car are done to stage 3) is welding in the cross-brace tube. This gives torsional rigidity by joining the strenthening tubes; it's also welded to the fairly flimsy original bulkhead near the middle of the car

Stage 5, closing panels. This is work-in-progress. Will be seam welded soon

Rear wheelarches seamwelded, with welds cleaned up prior to painting.

In primer

Rear suspension

On volvoforums, Sam raised a point about the upper shock mountings: should they have an outer mounting, with the inner wing panel continued downwards and drilled for the bolt to pass through? The Scandcar repair panel does have this.

I've done a little research on Sam's point. It seems that they did not originally have an outer mounting hole; these pictures are from one of my workshop manuals:

General layout shot, shows the strengthening plates but no outer mounting.

This diagram confirms it, showing the detail of the top mounting. You can't read the compenent list on this photo, but there is only a washer on the outside edge.

I'm told that the Scandcar repair panel has an outer mounting because it is a 240 part.

I decided to leave mine as is. My chassis rails are completely solid, and the area is now much stronger than when Volvo built it - and it seems they did not fit an outer mounting.


Rear arch repairs at the seam-sealer stage. No photo, but I was very careful to fully seal the area underneath the lip so there are no gaps that water and muck can get into.

And primed

Not the prettiest repair ever but I know that the area is now totally rust free and very strong. The wheelarch areas will be left in primer for now, because there is further work to be done there in replacing the outer wheelarches and making my big wheels fit!

Last edited by john r h; 03-28-2009 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009

Front suspension

All the new bushes are fitted to the wishbones and here they are in primer

Front cross-member has been sprayed satin black

And here's Steve dismantling one of the front hub assemblies, prior to refurb

Front cross-member refitted, and part-way through assembly.

I'm glad I went for satin black rather than the original light grey; looks better in black in my opinion.

Using extra shims at the top wishbone mounts, I have dialed in some negative camber (approx 1.5 to 2 degrees) and quite a lot of postive caster angle... I'm determined this is one 164 which won't understeer! The set-up is a guess at this stage. When it's up and running, I'll get the angles measured and equalised, then suss out how it handles and adjust it from there.

You can see that the top wishbone pivot is no longer parallel with the turret (the rear mounting bolt is shimmed more than the front one, to increase the caster angle). To avoid any undesirable stresses on the top wishbone pivot bar, I made and fitted some wedge-shape shims so that everything still bolts up tight and square.

The shiny black is waxoyl. Not very pretty, but this car is built to be used a lot and I want to avoid it going rusty as long as I can!

Lower wishbones fitted

Steve de-rusting the brake backing plates


Fitting and wiring the kill-switch into the dash

Front suspension

Here are the hub uprights and the anti-roll bar refurbished and ready to fit.

Springs, dampers and uprights refitted,

Steering being reassembled

Anti-roll bar and droplinks refitted (it is a 25mm IPD bar)


I've had several really lengthy sessions making brake pipes. I had to reposition the junction box for the front brakes because moving the radiator back (to allow for the intercooler) clashes with the original location. I fitted it on top of the chassis rail under the master cylinder. My relocation meant that all pipes had to be made from scratch with no patterns to work to. I wanted to make them look as neat as possible, and doing that takes a long time!

The brake pipe tool, which is a cheap and effective peice of kit.

Bending using the vice (I don't have a pipe bender unfortunately).

This shows the front/rear junction box fitted and piped to the master cylinder. Pipes for the front circuits in progress.

Front circuits finished (except for flexi pipes). I used the steering idler as a "clamp" for the brake pipes because it has a gap behind it which is exactly right to hold, but not crush them.

Trial fit of rear circuits. These will be neatened up and fitted properly later on, after the underside of the floorpan has been repainted.

Back plates refurbished and ready to fit. I am just waiting for new wheel-bearing oil seals to arrive, then I can completely finish the reassembly of the front cross-member.

Calipers refurbed; I fitted new dust covers because they were distorted but I choose not to dismantle the calipers at this stage; the brakes work fine and all pistons move freely. (I do have some new piston seals, in case I have any problems in future).


Steve is doing a great job of removing old underseal from the floorpan. I hope he can get it out of his hair!

I'm making a plywood rear shelf to provide a strong mounting for 6x9 speakers. (Wood is not my best skill area, we don't really have tools for wood and I can confirm that plywood smokes a lot when cut with the angle grinder!)

Original parcel shelf cover cut to accommodate the seat belt covers and the speakers.

This will be fitted as a cosmetic trim over the top of the plywood shelf... here's a mock up:

The seatbelt boxes and the speaker grills will all be sprayed satin black to make them less obtrusive.

March 09. Phew, that's the catch-up done... thanks to anyone who waded through this far!


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Old 03-28-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
Good news everyone!
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Damn what a project!! very nice!!

where did you get the super DTM's? I'm looking for a set as well.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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holy crap. awesome!
1998 S70 T5M
1999 boxster

i sell welders and welder accessories
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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wow lots of work is going into that thing. It's going to be amazing
Originally Posted by grnmachine02 View Post
Someone say crazy rays?
1978 244dl - Down for paint/16vt
93 245 - Kaplhenke Shortened coilovers with adjustable Koni Reds, adjustable rear spring perches with revalved bilstein S-10 shocks. Turbo 2.5 motor in the works.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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That's quite an impressive project. Looking forward to seeing the end result. Thanks for sharing.
"No man would listen to you talk if he didn't know it was his turn next." E. W. Howe
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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nice those RX-7 FD3S seats are great
Originally Posted by blkaplan View Post
i love vibrators. How loud is that one?
Originally Posted by Fivehundred View Post
The things you can achieve with a bit of vibration......
1987Volvo 780 GLE: stock, boring and in questionable condition
1989 Volvo 740TiC wagon:B230ET,G80 Locker, Port polish,Oversized valves,10PSI(MBC) ,M cam (parts car now)
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #11
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My friend just got a 164.

That's a really nice project, and I'm sure, an inspiration to a lot of 164 owners
Originally Posted by diponyou View Post
yeah gotta wait for jbweld to dry before I do anything today
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #12
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This looks a really good project when are you hopeing to get it done by
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:49 AM   #13
john r h
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Join Date: Mar 2009

Hi folks,

Thanks for the positive comments, very motivating to read sitting here!

A few responses:

Originally Posted by t5 pete View Post
This looks a really good project when are you hopeing to get it done by
There is no target date... it's a hobby and if I feel like a break I take one. Sometimes the money runs out and I also have some other projects coming up, such as building a new garage to put this lot in! So, overall, I would put it at 1 to 2 years from now for completion.

Originally Posted by fige View Post
My friend just got a 164.

That's a really nice project, and I'm sure, an inspiration to a lot of 164 owners
I hope so; I love the 164 and it's a more capable car than people think. Smooth 160bhp stock for an E in europe (175bhp SAE) and the only real weakness in standard form is the roll and understeer, but dual front anti-roll [sway] bars or an IPD bar, with nothing else done, makes a huge difference. This is the one mod every 164 should have.

(Well, actually, the other problem on an auto is the gearbox, but I guess that's the same with most 70's autos? In the late '80s I had a '75 164E auto; and had the auto box checked as being in good health. Later I converted it to an M410 and, with nothing else done, it felt like it gained 30 to 40% more power. Subjective feel of performance went from 'not bad but a bit frustrating' to 'this is quick enough to really surprise people'.

I wonder if anybody has ever retro fitted a more modern 80s/90s auto box with 4+ speeds and lock-up? That would make a nice 164 because the auto does suit the character of the car).

Originally Posted by ovlover View Post
Beautiful car. Its a credit to you. Will be nice to see when its done and on the road, also more updates. ahah if you were going to call it an RS, you shouldve called it a Porsche lol.
There is a logic to the name. I thought it would too sad to explain it, but since you raised the point...

I thought of 164GT, Volvo used the tag for tuning upgrades. Then I thought 'what would Volvo call it if it was a step beyond a GT?'. I thought 164R, then 164R Supercharged, then just 164RS. As well as Porsche, Ford (& maybe others?) used the RS tag in the early 70s so I settled on that (even though a supercharger not definite at the start of the project).

Originally Posted by ovlover View Post
I just loaded all of it......dial up...... and im amazed. That is brilliant. It is awsome to see the extensive work you have done. Bloody brilliant mate. Makes me think twice about cars that a small amount of rust on the OUTSIDE. Good work mate. I cannot wait to see the continuing process and final product. Saving this link so i can come back to it when it gets lost.
Wow, thanks for getting it all through dial-up. Hope it doesn't cost you too much!

Yeah, there is always more rust than you can see (even when you can't see any!). I'm sure your climate in OZ will be kinder to car bodies. The vast majority of 164s in the UK rusted away long ago; they were already quite rare here 20 years back. My car was put into dry storage in Switzerland for 15 years, and this has helped it last fairly well for a European car.

I am focused on the final outcome and I have a clear picture in my mind. However, I don't work fast (it's a fun hobby, not a job) and have lot's of other things to do, so don't hold your breath!

Originally Posted by Vee_Que View Post
Holy crap. That is one of the most extensive projects on this board at the moment I think, the amount of work you're putting into it makes everyone else doing little bits here and there seem like amateurs, other then BB-Q, who is basically making a whole car..
BBQ's 142 is awesome... mine is like a wash and polish compared to that! We are amateurs, but have fiddled with lots of cars over the years and built up experience by trial and error. Also have the very big asset of a close friend who, in the 70's, was a mechanic for a vintage racing outfit (300bhp 30's Lagonda and supercharged V8 Morgan that would pass a GT40 on the straight), and also he used to do bodywork and paint to show standard.

Originally Posted by Vee_Que View Post
Using the stock Volvo IC isn't the best idea however, they are thin and don't flow that well, that other one you have pictures is a lot thicker core and bar and plate, so it will flow a lot better then the Volvo one.
Yeah, I've had similar feedback. I do need an intercooler that is quite thin for space reasons (plus big frontal area, not thickness, gives good heat transfer). The alloy IC in the photo is really too small I think, but I have been recommended to try an IVECO turbo-diesel truck intercooler which is similar size to the Volvo 740 one but thicker. Anyway, the final call on this will wait until the engine is back in because I need to be able to measure accurately. The standard 164 water-pump has a long 'nose' which restricts space, but it could maybe be shortened? Jobs for later.

Originally Posted by b4_ford View Post
Cool project. What are the details of the supercharger and engine build? Have you nailed down details or are you still in the planning stages? I just got a '75 164 with an auto that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.
Engine spec... more than planning, but not fully nailed down.

It is not a 'max power' project. I am seeking a reliable 250-270bhp for road use
I don't want it highly stressed; I am hoping to get at least 70 or 80k miles before another rebuild is needed
Strong torque and good drivability
Reasonable fuel consumption when cruising

I have worked out the spec using Corky Bell's excellent book, "Supercharged!"

The definites (95+%):
Fully rebuilt & balanced
Reduced CR (10:1 standard in euro B30E)
Heavy duty oil pump
Mild flow work on the head
Pistons to cope with boost/heat. Forged pistons, or ceramic coated (I may have to use a 74 or 75 metric B30 because I could then use B21 forged pistons)
Oil cooler & remote mount oil filter
Higher flow fuel pump
Supercharger (Eaton M62)
Megasquirt (or similar) for fuel and ignition. Knock sensor. OE injectors will flow enough
Extractor exhaust manifold [header] & custom large bore system
Different air flow meter (don't know which yet)
OE inlet manifold, modded to accept AFM
Cone type air filter with cold air feed

The possibles:
Larger exhaust valves
Over-bore to 3.2
Water injection (fit later if needed)
Electric water pump

If the B30 has the nerve to blow up after all that work, I'll weld a chain on top, sell it as a boat anchor and drop a Chevy LS in there!

Cheers all

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Old 03-29-2009, 05:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by john r h View Post
I wonder if anybody has ever retro fitted a more modern 80s/90s auto box with 4+ speeds and lock-up? That would make a nice 164 because the auto does suit the character of the car.

I may be able to get hold of a BW35 to AW71 convertor, but they weren't cheap to machine up.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
john r h
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Originally Posted by Fivehundred View Post
I may be able to get hold of a BW35 to AW71 convertor, but they weren't cheap to machine up.
I'm happy to stick with my M410, but thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by john r h View Post
Pistons to cope with boost/heat. Forged pistons, or ceramic coated (I may have to use a 74 or 75 metric B30 because I could then use B21 forged pistons)
On my PV's 6 bolt B20 I was able to easily use B21FT pistons with the 6-bolt rods by having a machine shop press out the brass bushings, then ever so slightly reaming the small ends (they said they barely took any metal out at all) for an interference fit with the bigger 8-bolt/B21 wrist pins. No circlips.

Oh, and PS: Awesome project, you guys are doing Herculean work on it!
'63 PV Rat Rod
'93 245 16VT Classic #1141
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:28 AM   #17
john r h
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Hi folks, and happy Easter.

Been working on the car this weekend:

Test fitting the wheels

Luckily, my BMW 540i has the same size tyres that I want to fit to the 164. So I saved a scrap tyre from the BM and had it mounted on a rim for test fitting. I love how it looks; exactly what I wanted! (Personally, I don't think an ultra-low profile tyre suits an old car, hence I went for 17s with a 45 profile tyre).

I cut the lip from the wheel arch on both sides. The left was good condition, little rust. The right one was nasty, new metal welded over rust.



The moment of truth... and the wheel almost fits!

This is "worst-case" scenario with unadjusted Panhard rod fitted. On the right side of the car, the wheel will sit about 10mm further into the arch when I have modified the rod.

Full bump (so far, with original bump-stops still fitted. I will check clearance and if possible get some more wheel travel by moving thing out of the way of the axle and shortening the bump stop).

My ride height will be something like this.

Looking straight at the wheel from the side, it catches at about the 10 o'clock position. So I will do the modification suggested by towerymt [thanks!]. When fitting new arches and spare wheel wells, I'll detach the outer skin and pull the lower rear edge of the wheelarch outwards by 20-25mm. This will give me the clearance I need whilst (pretty much) keeping the appearance of stock bodywork.

I was prepared to fit wheel arch extensions if necessary. I had in mind these, cut down to fit and painted body-colour with a thin black beading at the join:

However, I am glad to be able to keep to my first choice; the OE look but with well packed wheelarches.

Now I just need to find a way to refurb the chrome trims, which have a few dents. Can anyone help with advice on that?

And sorry to Steve... (he wanted us to do the arch extensions!)

Engine bay

I am working through the engine bay parts refurbishing and detailing. Here are the PAS pump, reservoir, pulleys and brackets being worked on.

Can anyone tell me a source for these stickers? If possible, I'd like to fit new ones.


Dull stuff going on here; it can't all be exciting work! Installing wiring for rear speakers, rear fog lamp and rear alarm sensors... rustproofing... refitting floor components... fitting sound insulation


The block degreased prior to going to the engineering workshop for acid dip, rebore, crank regrind, etc.

In the past, there has been a coolant leak. You can see that it took paint off the block (and the bodywork); is that normal?

The sump in etch primer

Well, I think that's all just now. But before I go, just to prove that not all cool bricks are Volvos, look at this awesome early 70's racing Merc 300 6.8

Imagine Volvo had done this with the 164; then built a road legal version for homologation. That's the look I am aiming for!


John & Steve
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:58 PM   #18
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OK here's a few 164 vids I watch when I need remotivating (sorry if they're repeats):

1969 car with triple webers, built by Scandix.

This one has too much traction so mine will have a little more power and torque! This sounds great I think.


Rally 164, going in a bit too deep! Full marks for commitment.


And a 600+bhp 164



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Old 04-14-2009, 04:37 PM   #19
Matt Dupuis
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Originally Posted by john r h View Post
This is a great project, and informative. I never knew, for instance, that the B30 block was so heavy. You should maybe chain that engine stand to the wall or something sturdy to keep it from completely tipping over forward.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by john r h View Post
Can anyone tell me a source for these stickers? If possible, I'd like to fit new ones.
Motoroldies.se might have the stickers, Im not completely sure tho.. I looked on their page but I could'nt find pictures of those stickers, I KNOW there is a place that have almost every sticker and label that was on the older volvos (PV and upwards), I just have to find the page again. Will do some reaserch and come back to you.

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Old 03-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #21
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just read through, looks like some serious effort going into this. can't wait to see how it turns out.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:59 PM   #22
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Amazing job man! Gonna be one sweet ride

Daily Driver: '83 242Ti w/ B21FTi and M46. IPD Sways, Bilstein HD Struts, Lowering Coils. Mistu 13c @ 10psi - Her name is Domino.
Hi my name is Jason, i'm addicted to boost
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:16 PM   #23
john r h
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Hi there,

Today's update:

Front brakes

Everything going back together. For now, I am reusing the old discs, just cleaned up the surfaces. They are good condition and, if the car turns out to be too fast for these brakes, I'll upgrade to something bigger. But I think they will be OK.


Steve has done a great job removing all underseal from the floor

Painting in progress

That's all for now!


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Old 03-28-2009, 05:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by john r h View Post

Thats meeee!!!

Yes as many of you have said to John - this is going to be an awesome project. Personally I cant wait for the engine rebuild!


Thor - 1980 244 R-Sport project. +TIC, sports suspension, sports interior, galaxies, and rebuilding to epic standards!

Click the banner to go to project thread...
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:07 PM   #25
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Cool project. What are the details of the supercharger and engine build? Have you nailed down details or are you still in the planning stages? I just got a '75 164 with an auto that I'm trying to figure out what to do with.
Be your brother's keeper.

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