By on March 5, 2015

15 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf you listen to those who claim to love the Volvo 140, every example of the breed is extremely valuable and must be saved… and yet there’s a greater disparity between the Talking The Talk Quotient (TTTQ) and the Walking The Walk Quotient (WTWQ) seen among self-proclaimed Volvo fanatics than found among aficionados of any other marque. Yes, the TTTQ:WTWQ value approaches something like 100:1 when it comes to the poor old Volvo 140, a car whose basic design lived on well into the 1990s (in the form of the 140-descendent 240), and so almost none of these cars get rescued when they get down-at-the-heels (and the same goes for 240s). Here’s a San Francisco Bay Area 145 that shows signs of being well-cared-for during its first 15 years and then forgotten in a side yard for the following quarter-century.
18 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIn this series so far, we’ve seen quite a few 140s, including this ’68 142, this ’69 145, this ’71 144, and this ’71 142. (plus there’s this bonus 164, which was based on the 140).
07 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car was full of registration receipts, smog-check certificates, and other stuff dating from the middle 1970s to the late 1980s. I didn’t find anything newer than that, so odds are that the car broke and then sat outdoors for decades.
01 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt appears that the car’s owner did a lot of camping and outdoor-type activities. Most of the maps date from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
14 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow that’s what your organized Volvo owner does!
29 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou need to know what the weather is like when you’re heading to Mt. Lassen, and so you need this Radio Shack weather-band radio that transmits through the car’s AM radio.
19 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFour-wheel disc brakes were extremely rare on US-market vehicles when the first 140s appeared for the 1967 model year, and even front disc brakes weren’t universal as late as the early 1970s.
26 - 1973 Volvo 145 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlanning makes your camping trip go better!
StreetViewI thought I’d removed all the identifying stuff in the photos, but couple of readers were able to figure out the car’s former address (from a photograph of registration paperwork that I’d missed) and find it on Google Street View. I’ve removed that photograph (don’t want enraged Volvo fanatics tracking down the former owner), but have now added a photo of the car before it got towed away— MM.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

89 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1972 Volvo 145 Station Wagon...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So much documentation and paperwork! The owner really needs to show up here and tell the story of this car. Those labels are fantastic. I always admire how well old labelmaker labels stay on.

    I wonder what happened to Gail. She must have loved taking pictures in all those scenic places.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    What a great find of personal effects in this ride. Much fodder for Crabspirits.

    It takes a special kind of anal to make all those labels in the engine bay.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Where the heck would you get 10w-50 oil of any brand?

      I have an old Yanmar tractor that somebody went nuts with the label maker on. Every control and feature has a label, even the fuel cap.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        I had a 82 Volvo GL with 260,000 miles on it and also used 10w-50. My local Volvo service center kept that weight in stock. Think it was a 2.3L or 2.1L and the heavy oil would keep it quieter and slowed the oil burning.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        We run Aeroshell 15w-50 in the club Cessna 150. From what I gather, they did make 10w-50, but I can’t seem to find it online.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          AutoZone had a huge clearance on synthetic & semi-synthetic blend oils in December (that I told everyone here about, you’re welcome), where Mobil 1, Castrol Edge, and many others were $1/quart and $10 or $5 per 5 quart jug.

          I saw 10W-50 at two AutoZones at that time – it was a major label, and marked as “for classic/muscle cars” or something to that effect.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            I live in Norway. We pump the stuff out of the ground. Castrol Edge 5W40, 4 litres, is 115$:
            http://www.mekonomen.no/bil/reservedeler/olje-og-vske/motorolje/motor-castrol-edge-fst-td-ti-helsyntetisk-5w-40-ps6685a41-C4003022no

            Bork.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I took advantage, but I think it was still $2.00/qt here for conventional and Royal Purple was still $5/qt.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        It is odd. Used 20W30 tractor oil on one of my misused Volvos myself…whatever rocks your boat.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          I’m 99% certain that the plug gap in all red block engines was .030″, so the owner did some customization here too. I’m not criticizing- if it ran right for him, well then great.

          There is another benefit to 10w50 oil in these engines- anybody of the B&B remember the felt main seals? (Very old fashioned choice of materials.)

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            I remember. This is why I spent almost $1000 on oil leaks over a two year period. They also had some kind of breathing element that leaked. Lots of maintenance on the old Volvo’s.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “They also had some kind of breathing element that leaked”

            Oh yes, but at least the breather was right there, accessible and in plain view under the hood of the 140. A lot of 240 owners didn’t know to maintain their breathers because most of the apparatus was out of sight below the intake manifold on those.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Interesting juxtaposition seeing what appears to be a very late model Volvo station wagon positioned directly behind this derelict – wonder what happened to that one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Those early Cross Country models are infamous for transmission issues!

      Parts are also costly, and those are getting pretty old nowadays. That’s probably a 1998 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I concur with Corey. This one probably did have a trans done to it and broke 150K but those models are not stone simple as the 100/200/700/900s and eventually it gets to the point where it is not worth keeping due to some other maintenance issue.

  • avatar
    baggins

    Seems like that Volvo was really well loved, then NOT. Surprising someone so organized would leave all their stuff in car. Perhaps the owner died, and then the car was left derelict.

    Interesting read.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    I love that vehicle. I wonder if the owner fell ill a long time ago.

  • avatar
    linkpin

    Google street view shows this car in the driveway of its final home complete with spider webs, dust and flat tires.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    This car must be saved! What an indignity to such a fine old piece of Swedish iron! Why, this car would be worth TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars to any real volvo lover! Oh, the humanity!!! Whoever scrapped this car is clearly of low moral standards and has no appreciation for the craftsmanship that went into this amazing vehicle.

  • avatar
    CAMeyer

    An ex-hippie college professor who liked his weed but kept strong opinions and was particular about lists and organization. I suspect this guy had some big change in his life–I hope it wasn’t a bad thing–that led to the car being forgotten.

    BTW, the headline says this is a ’73 but date of mfr is Nov ’71. Can this be?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      It’s not a ’73 – the dashboard is different. Probably a ’72.

      • 0 avatar
        Numbers_Matching

        Definitely a ’72. Bumpers, side markers/turn signal lights, grill and dash panel were revised for ’73.

        These were very prone to rust in the front fenders and windshield surround. It was not uncommon to see fiberglass fenders on 140s in the late ’70s.

        These cars had a unique sound. You could always tell when your dad was on his way home – at least a few streets before you could see him!

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I had a ’73 142 once a long time ago. Disk brakes were rare back then, but Volvo had the safety thing going even then – they touted the unique feature that the two brake circuits each went to three wheels (both to the fronts and one each to the rears) so that if you lost one, you would still have front and back braking power.

    • 0 avatar
      Sjalabais

      The 140 is the first car with two brake circuits and among the very first production cars with four disc brakes. Massive discs that fill the 15′ wheels!

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Yup, Volvo’s “dual triangular” hydraulic circuits. Each circuit provided braking action to one back wheel and half of each front wheel. Volvo sales literature and the Haynes manual bragged about this for years and years and its superior safety to single circuits and other ways of splitting dual circuits (diagonal or front/rear). Then with the 850 they quietly went to a conventional dual diagonal and with the S70 they went to a (cheapest of all) front/rear split.

        So I guess the 1967 design was superior to the 1993-2000 designs?? Although by the 1990s, brake hydraulic failure was about as likely as getting hit by a meteor.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Unless you have an old W body with dissolving brake lines

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “Unless you have an old W body with dissolving brake lines.”

            Ouch. Good point. Never underestimate the collective stupidity of the corporate bean-counter department!!

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Would have been tough to make the old dual-diagonal system play nice with ABS. So you traded one safety item for another.

          Volvos have about the longest lasting brake lines around anyway. The metal lines are of copper-nickel alloy, so they don’t rust, and the rubber lines are very high quality. These were not penny-pinched American cars with dissolving lines.

          • 0 avatar
            segfault

            “Would have been tough to make the old dual-diagonal system play nice with ABS. So you traded one safety item for another.”

            Did the newer RWD Volvos ditch the triangular brake setup? I know the 1995 model 960 (and I think the 940) had standard ABS.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            At seq:

            In ’91 Volvos got ABS standard including the 240, its a decent setup but their computer “brains” often crap out.

            I think I prefer the ingenious triangle setup.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The dual diagonal setup went away as the cars got ABS. The 760 had it as early as ’85 or so, with a weird trunk-mounted setup. The 740 Turbos started getting it in ’88 or ’89, my ’89 was the first car I ever owned with ABS, a conventional under-hood Bosch system.

            I think Royku75 is off by a year for when they got it across the board – my ’91 245 did not have ABS, it was only an option on 240s at that point. I think it became standard on all of them in ’92. While I appreciate the thought behind the dual-diagonal setup, it was a PITA to bleed. And 2X as many bleed screws to break off in the front.

            I have never heard of widespread ABS computer issues in the RWD cars, that is a “feature” of FWD Volvos. Not a big deal, they can be rebuilt on the cheap. Mother Volvo will want to sell you the entire ABS unit for roughly the cost of sending a kid to college back then though.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            I stand corrected on the year.

            With ABS failures, a craigslist browse will often yield 740s-940s with broken computers, but then again, this is craigslist.

            My ‘ 92 240 never had an ABS issue, but that thing was maintained pretty well before I got it.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Poor old thing ~ I don’t see any rust / dents .

    I had a 1970 144S , with the dual SU carbys and a slushbox , it was dog slow but handled well and rode nice too .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Did you take the maps and stuff with you? I’d possibly be interested in an American manual. :)

    I’ve owned a 1971 145 as a daily driver between 2008 and 2011 or so. It was the best assembled, most practical, cheapest $/km car I’ve had. Picked it up for hugs and kisses of a guy who had intended to disgrace it with a BMW I6. It only had 180000 original km. I miss it sorely.

    The 140 has for a long time been a tech donor for the more collectable Amazon and 1800. Falling between two chairs by simply not being the legendary 240 either.

    Compared with a ’77 242 I daily drove ca 2003-2005, the 140 is a more antique construction, especially up front. But the pre-’73 model is also a more solid quality product: One example are super solid aluminium handles to put down the second row. In 240’s, the breaking plastic sh*t is one of the major issues.

    I know a guy who took down an entire forest to store 150-200 Volvos, mostly 140’s, until his municipality knocked on the door with regulatory papers. Might have some photos somewhere, too… Lots of words, but: I will own a 140 again one day. For real. :)

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Gavin was heading to an intersection.

    The sun beat down on the green tent fabric, forcing those within to awaken. The San Joaquin River trickled relaxingly nearby. Gavin watched Gail awaken, brushing back the hair from her face lovingly. It was a moment of extreme content. Here, there was beauty all around. Here, they could get away from the cares of the world. Here, they could be free of Berkeley’s oppressive educator-student protocols. Gail’s otherwise young features carried the weariness of last night’s tryst. They laid there beaming at each other in a fresh state of love for nearly an hour to the sounds of nature around them, then they heard the other tent unzip. “I suppose we better make an appearance.”, Gavin said, giving the blonde a peck on her dry lips.

    “It’s soooo coooold!”, Gail shrieked, wading up to her knees in the river. “Just be careful.”, Gavin called out from the shore. “Whoaa. It’s slippery here. Whoaa-ahhhh!” The inevitable happened. Gail disappeared in the water, and then re-emerged 10ft downstream, soaked, and laughing at her own stupidity. Jim and Paula laughed as well. “That’s good stuff right there.” The only one who wasn’t laughing was Gavin. He didn’t think it was funny at all, shouting, “God dammit Gail!” Jim and Paula quietly helped the shivering Gail climb back to dry land. She added “Ohhhh noooo. I forgot the towels.” This angered Gavin greatly. “Well…did you put it on the list?!”, he forcibly asked. No comment. “Let me see if I can find something.”, he scoffed, storming to the tail of the Volvo. “This is why we make fu*king lists!”, he said to himself, scattering the carefully packed contents of the wagon.

    Gavin took stock to make sure all the gear had been collected. He whipped out his pad and noted the departure miles from Clovis at “71,219”, right under the arrival milage of “71,219”, and added “6:55AM”. Gail needed to stop in town for some new clothes. With any luck, there wouldn’t be further deviations from the schedule. He broke the code of silence in the droning stationwagon. “I can’t believe you used Paula’s towel.” Gail was going to fight back now. “What did you expect me to do? Use your oily, dirty shirt?” It was at that moment, that the romance in this little relationship was dead, at least for Gail.

    The drive up 41 into Yosemite was very quiet. Gail sat perched on the window sill, pointing her Canon at an expanse of never ending trees, never committing to trigger the shutter. Foam headphones shut Gavin out, as the Walkman spun on her lap. Gavin could hear the emotion spilling out.
    “Hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry”
    It unnerved him. He played with the weather radio, which offered nothing but a staticcy crackle over a dull report.

    The couple’s time at Yosemite was apology-laden. Gavin became enraged further when the apologies didn’t generate satisfactory results. Now this trip, that Gail looked forward to for a month, couldn’t be over soon enough. She was wearing out the ‘Til Tuesday cassette in that nasty green wagon.
    “He said shut up
    Oh God, can’t you keep it down, voices carry”
    Gavin had been so distracted by the goings-on, that he had neglected to jot down the arrival mileage, then he goofed the departing miles. He sighed, placed the booklet in the crack of the seat, and started on the four hour journey back to Oakland.

    Gavin looked over frequently at the despondent Gail, taking in her beauty with a great sense of loss. “There will be others though. You can count on it.”, he told himself. When he looked back at the road, he was startled to find a big buck staring at him, it’s glossy eyes black and vacant. Gavin swerved, and Gail was thrown into him. As he swerved back to avoid the guardrail, the deer inexplicably rammed into the rear door. The wagon glanced lightly off the guardrail, and the right front tire discovered a large rock.

    “Looks like the suspension’s all bent up. Hopefully we can make it back home.”, said Gavin while bolting on the spare. He paused to laugh, “I thought our number was up!” Gail could not be humored at the moment however.

    Gail left the stationwagon with only “Bye.”, then Gavin continued on to Albany. The Volvo’s tortured front tires squealed into the driveway, and Gavin silenced the motor. He indulged in some aspirin, then noted the arrival time and mileage into the logbook. He stared at the entry and sobbed, before hurling it into the back seat.
    “Why?”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Here, they could be free of Berkeley’s oppressive educator-student protocols.”

      I can comprehend how some have the ability to write fiction (or not?) as well as you, but I can’t comprehend how you are able to do so as quickly as you do.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      Just brilliant, CS!

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Are you collecting these somewhere? Please say, “yes”.

    • 0 avatar

      I generally love your stories, and I think they usually deserve their own space rather than going into the comments. but this one stretched my credibility to the breaking point. I have trouble with the idea, on the one hand, that Gavin can spend the hour beaming at Gail so lovingly, and then turn on her like a totally effed up esso bee, or that Gail, who seems so wonderfully easy going and loving, would put up with an effed up SOB.

      I hope this is helpful for future stories.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I disagree. I think the characters are very credible. Gavin clearly has some serious anal retentive tendencies, just as the owner of this Volvo clearly did. People like that don’t always realize that what they think is normal is actually anti-social behavior. As these tendencies aren’t always immediately apparent in a person, Gail may have been stricken with Gavin as an authority figure. By the end of the story, she clearly had discovered enough of his tendencies to get fed up and leave him. The relationship doesn’t appear on to have been long lasting.

        • 0 avatar
          Crabspirits

          This is exactly the picture I was trying to paint. Gavin is a suave a-hole of the type that easily acquires a relationship, but doesn’t know how to keep one. I’ve known a few of these guys. They always claim to be Mr. Nice Guy with their tales of woe, and then have another girl on the hook the next week. They may or may not be aware of their abrasive personality. I left the final quote at the end up to the reader’s interpretation.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Um, what’s in the zip-lock baggie to the right of picture 30? Looks like it was alive until just recently.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    youtube.com/watch?v=GvZKE4ylm7I

    Francis was very methodical.

    Standing over the green open hood of the 140, he poured 10W-50 oil into the Volvo’s B20 engine. He looked up to see his wife in the background carrying luggage behind the car.

    “Honey make sure to cross things off the list as you load them” Francis softly said to his wife Jean.

    She smiled and produced a small notepad from her blouse and held it up for him to see. Francis smiled as he looked up at the notepad but then quickly looked down as he felt oil spilling on his right hand. He corrected the flow, then tipped the bottle up and drained the last of the dinosaur juice into the motor before replacing the oil cap. He reached left for a bright white rag and wiped the spilled oil from his fingers one at a time. Using the dry erase marker on his right, he bent over and carefully noted the date and mileage next to the label above the grille.

    “Honey, are we about ready to go?” Jean asked, now standing over him.

    Francis looked up and replied slightly annoyed “Just, just about”. She smiled and walked back to the rear of the wagon to slam close the rear hatch. Francis picked up his oil stained rag and marker and then gently lowered the hood of the car. He stood for a moment as he seemed to lose his train of thought, then recovered, heading for the utility sink in the laundry room adjacent to their garage. He pushed the GoJo dispenser several times washing his hands in warm water. Looking into the mirror, he noticed the bathroom light shine off his bald head. After drying his hands he combed what was left of his snow white back and put in his dentures. The Volvo’s horn could be heard from the adjacent garage as Francis found himself washing up, again. He again dried his hands and headed back into the garage to open the driver’s door take his seat in the Volvo.

    “Where, where are my-” Francis mumbled to himself. Jean pointed to his glasses sitting on the top of the dash.
    “Oh, thank you dear” Francis said as he leaned in to kiss Jean.
    “I hope to see the Edmunds at camp this Memorial Day” Jean said softly.
    “I hope so too, Norman and I had so much fun fishing last year” Francis replied. The Volvo came to life and they slowly left their postwar tract-style housing and headed into the mountains.

    The sun was still high in the sky when they arrived at 8:00 o’clock on that windy May day. Jean exited the Volvo and felt a gust of wind nearly blow off her floral head wrap to expose her own snow white hair. Francis enjoyed the stiff breeze over his bare scalp and adjusted his glasses before shutting the car door. He turned and met the couple approaching the Volvo.

    “Frank it’s so good to see you and Jean again”, Norman Edmund said shaking Francis’ hand.
    “Very good to see you Norman. How’s Betty? How’s the practice?” Francis asked.
    “Betty’s good, she’s preparing the grill” Norman paused “I had to sell the practice, my hands just shake too much anymore for me to treat patients”.
    “Oh” Francis said in sympathy.
    “My son Luke took over” Norman continued “Betty and I are happy for him, he just gave us our first grandchild. Come to the trailer I’ll show you!” he said with excitement.

    Now with dusk approaching Francis and Jean sat in collapsible chairs next to Norman and their other friends as the campfire danced in front of them. They passed Norman’s family album around and everyone spoke highly of Luke’s little baby boy. Betty served everyone from a plate of hot dogs, Francis took one for himself and one for his wife, handing it to her. He took a bite from his plain hot dog and looked up at his host.

    “Betty these are fantastic” Francis said enthusiastically, to which Betty smiled. He leaned in to his wife and asked “Did you unpack the salt shaker yet?”. Jean replied “Yes I did, its on the counter in the trailer”. The only thing which could make this hot dog better, is salt, he thought. Francis faintly heard his wife reiterate his doctor’s warning on salt intake as he stood up and headed to the trailer.

    The lake could be seen just beyond their trailer, Francis suddenly changed course and decided keep going until he was standing on the edge of the water. The sun bathed the lake in a beautiful purplish yellow haze and Francis was suddenly transported forty years back in time. He looked behind him and there was Jean, her long red hair blowing in the dusk wind. He also felt wind blowing through his own full head of black hair, he opened his arms to Jean and his brown pupils locked with her emerald green eyes.

    “I love you, I love you, I have always loved you Jean” Francis said.
    “I love you too, Francis; everything about you” Jean replied. They held each other in embrace and watched the sun finally sink into the lake, when Francis looked down at his hand and suddenly remembered his hot dog…

    Francis lay with his arms outstretched on the campground, a dirty hot dog to his right, with Norman on top of him pounding his chest and breathing into his mouth. Francis turned his head and locked eyes with his wife and whispered “I love you” as he drew his last Earthly breath. Jean knelt down over her husband sobbing uncontrollably and whispered “I love you too” while closing his eyes to this world.

  • avatar
    74DodgeD300

    nice find

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    “There’s a greater disparity between the Talking The Talk Quotient (TTTQ) and the Walking The Walk Quotient (WTWQ) seen among self-proclaimed Volvo fanatics than found among aficionados of any other marque.”

    Amen Murilee. I owned an 850R and despite a substantial investment in maintenance parts and upgrades, I nearly had to set it on fire to get rid of it, for much less than I bought it for and way less than I had into it. Volvo enthusiasts are probably the cheapest car enthusiasts out there.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Second only to Saab pilots, in my experience…

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Same story with my 850, only it was a naturally aspirated sedan. Sold to to a non-Volvo enthusiast at a loss.

      My 240 sedan though? That actually turned a small profit, but then again the guy that brought it wasn’t a Volvo guy, just someone whos meticulous with their cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Mine was a wagon so I tried my heart out to get one of my construction contractors to take it to use for a work vehicle. Out of principal, I’d rather have one of them get use out of it and beat it into the ground than sell it to one of those cheap b-stards. But they had no interest in an old Swedish car that uses expensive parts. So I had to get on my knees, pucker up, and do things I wasn’t proud of to get it off my hands. Never again!

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I know what you mean, you pretty much had the “Holy Grail” of 850s, yet it was too exotic for regular folk, too expensive for tightwad enthusiasts.

          I’ve sold maybe 10 cars in the past, only one of them went to an actual enthusiast, and it was an air-cooled VW.

          I think what statles me with Volvos are how cheap the owners are, yet how expensive the parts are on ebay. FCEuro and other sites are pretty cheap, but that old 240 clock on ebay? Oh boy.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    What’s a dwell angle?

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      Basically a measurement of ignition coil charge time in a points style ignition. It’s funny that it’s on this car, because it’s kind of an anal way to fine tune it. Maybe it’s different with older cars, but all the tune-ups I’ve done on points fired stuff have consisted of installing a new set of points or filing the old ones back into condition. Then, set the point gap with a feeler gauge and check the timing.

      Checking dwell requires more screwing around while trying to make worn parts (distributor cam lobes and shaft bearings, pitted points) perform IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        That’s why you’re supposed to adjust the dwell angle ” On The Fly ” by doing it with a Dwell Meter , spark plugs removed , dizzy cap and rotor off , adjust the points as you’re cranking the engine…

        Takes but a moment and ensures hotter sparks .

        Me , I convert everything (but my Russian Motos) to some version of electronic ignition , there’s no down side .

        I thought this beast had an old CDI box on it .

        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          That or you can check the dwell after the fact (hook up the dwell meter when the engine is running). Trial-and-error approach, but if it is in limits (or close enough for your liking) then good. If it’s not, well then hopefully you get it in with your next adjustment ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Dwell angle is the angle of distributor rotation that the points are closed. This affects the coil saturation time. You can adjust the points roughly with a feeler gauge but it is not as accurate as using a dwell meter which compensates for the wear and ensures top performance. Unless you properly clean your feeler gauge before using it to set the points you are setting them up for early failure, the oil will cause pitting.

      It does look like this car was equipped with some sort of capacitive discharge box, likely a DIY kit judging by the other dymo encrusted box. Those early boxes would need the points to trigger them still so they would still need to be adjusted. The only difference is because they would be carrying current in the milliamps range the actual contact points could last for almost ever. The rubbing block on the other hand would still be subject to wear and thus need periodic adjustment and eventually replacement.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Very interesting, the former owner of this car gives a new definition to anal. I would assume that the person that did this would have taken some of these things with him like the spiral notebook with a list of supplies. Something must have happened like a sudden illness or death because someone this meticulous would not have let this car reach this state. I would like to find someone who takes this meticulous care of a car and buy their vehicle. I am very conscious about maintenance on my vehicles but I am a slouch compared to this. You learn a lot about people just from reading these junkyard finds.

  • avatar
    shadow mozes

    So much History in one car!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The owner was quite finicky with his Volvo to the point of using a Dymo Label maker instead of a mere sticker to record service data. The Dymo Label maker was quite popular in the pre-digital era. The one in our family was frequently used on various items.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I noticed the Scottish Independence bumper sticker on the rear. “You can take me freedom but you can’t take me Volvo!”

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    You ain’t kidding about Volvo owners being tightwads, whenever I look at used examples (used RWD examples at that) they tend to have interior issues, buggy ABS systems, broken gauges, broken exterior trim, missing hubcaps…

    But heres the thing, the vast majority of this stuff is easy to fix and fairly cheap. Got a broken odometer? Spend and hour and $20, replace the gear, done! Almost no Volvo owner seems to know about this though.

    You don’t get to a million miles without a little wrench work and investing.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    With the article and comments combined, this is the best junkyard find yet

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dantes_inferno: You need to order the Exxon option with this vehicle. A dedicated Exxon tanker truck escort to keep...
  • MoparRocker74: THIS. Also, what they would more likely care about is whether you have side mirrors relocated when...
  • MoparRocker74: Never driven an old CJ Jeep, I see. I’ve owned 3, and all had the “full view” soft doors at some...
  • tomLU86: Since the Audi 5000 (aka my teens), the car magazines and Consumer Reports have liked Audi. Back in the Audi...
  • tomLU86: Massive extravagance, yes! I saw an Escalade in Greece a few months ago. At a gas station! And this was a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber