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Volvo PV ○ 120 ○ P1800 ○ 140/164
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5th April 2017
Quick turnaround P1800E, not so quick B16 Amazon
Last week Iain drove from Aberdeen to have his P1800E looked at.
He's owned it for 21y, and the engine has never run very nicely, even after converting from the D-Jetronic to twin SU's.
We drove it onto the ramps, and sure enough it wasn't very nice at all. But the brakes! Were appalling - never have we known such ineffective brakes.
The engine running took a couple of hours to sort (ditch the KD needles and fit KN's), then a couple of hours to fine tune using our Wideband Lambda on the open road.
The brakes then took a good 2 days: there were 4 obvious faults...
  • LHR caliper seized (fronts were brand new and good)
  • 1 new brake hose, 5 very old ones (their failure mode is that they act as a one-way valve when they deteriorate
  • Horribly thin front discs, about 8mm (minimum spec is 12.2mm)
  • Pedal height completely wrong, way below the clutch pedal
However, the final solution was the first thing we'd checked: on arrival I'd pulled the vacuum hose off the manifold and sucked - it held vacuum. Normally this is our indicator of a "good" servo.
Later on a test drive whilst stationary, I noticed the idle speed increased when I pressed the brake pedal, ie bleeding air from the servo into the intake. New servo fitted, and the brakes were back to Volvo levels.

On this Monday Stewart brought his B16 (converted to B18 motor) Amazon for us to resolve the "engine noise", a knocking that sounded deep down.
In short, whilst the timing gear was loose on its boss (ie the both the valve and ignition timing were wandering about by around 10 degrees), the big end bearings were all stuffed - we are told that the engine ran low on oil a while back, and this would have initiated the failure, that then simply became big end knock. So the engine is out, and heading off to Scholar Engineering for the machining before we build it back up next week.

We're back out in Emma's PV544 on Saturday, as Emma & I drive it to Harrogate for the Ilkley Jubilee Rally on Sunday. If you're wondering why Emma actually gets to drive her own car: Amy is down in Fontainebleau bouldering (a very technical climbing discipline that uses no ropes, typically at heights less than 10m).
Amy will be back out competing in an Amazon on the East Anglian, and Emma & I shall be head-to-head with her in the PV...
   
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