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164RS project

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Hi,

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.

RSCN1090.jpg


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

P9300029.jpg


164sportdash.jpg


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
Picture027.jpg


Head, not dismantled yet. More engine updates later
Picture028.jpg


Bodywork:
RH inner wing, virtually no rust
Picture005-1.jpg


RH chassis rail, small repairs in progress on both sides
Picture004.jpg


Picture010.jpg


Underneath RH chassis rail, awaiting repair
Picture009.jpg


RH inner wing, battery tray removed (the battery will be moved to the boot to help weight distribution)
Picture006.jpg


LH inner wing had one rust patch, repair in progress
Picture008.jpg


Picture007.jpg


Front chassis cross-member had some rust on the right-hand-side...
Picture012.jpg


Picture011.jpg


... 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
Picture017.jpg


Matching strengther added on the left side also (this side was not rusty)
Picture018.jpg


For the same purpose, the left and right chassis rail supports have been strengthened with extra welds
Picture016.jpg


Picture015.jpg


RH front floor, rusty! Not repaired yet
Picture019.jpg


LH front floor, zero rust
Picture020.jpg


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
Picture013.jpg


Picture014.jpg


First trial fit of RHD steering box and column
Picture021.jpg


Picture022.jpg


Trial fitting of RHD 140 pedal box
Picture023.jpg


Trial fit of servo and brake cross-bar
Picture024.jpg


Picture025.jpg


Picture030.jpg


Picture026.jpg


Beginning to make the servo mounting bracket...
Picture029.jpg


... and the support bracket inside the car
Picture031.jpg



Bodywork:

Chassis rail repairs in progress
30508003.jpg


30508004.jpg


Chassis rails finished (to be painted later)
30508007.jpg


30508008.jpg


30508009.jpg


30508010.jpg



RHD conversion:

Test fitting pedals. (LHD 164 throttle is being modified for use on the right)
30508002.jpg


Priming the various RHD brackets
30508001.jpg


Reassembling the heater after checking the matrix
30508006.jpg


Starting the wiring for RHD
30508012.jpg


30508011.jpg


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

30508005.jpg




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?

Thanks

John

ScimitarSept05014.jpg
 

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Next chapter:

Bodywork

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.
220608015.jpg



220608016.jpg


De-rusting...
220608014.jpg


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... and priming
220608018.jpg


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Same treatment for the front panel, but so far I've only done the underseal removal and cleaning.
220608021.jpg


220608020.jpg


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Engine

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.

220608026.jpg


Spot the previous owner's error?
220608025.jpg


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!
220608027.jpg


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.
Sept08037-4.jpg


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
Sept08010.jpg


Left rear floor, rust cut out
Sept08008.jpg


Right rear floor, repair in progress. (Sill is OK. The rust inside is just debris from the work on the floor)
Sept08009.jpg


Floor repairs seam welded in, primed and with seam sealer in place:
Right front
Sept08006.jpg


Right rear
Sept08007.jpg


Left rear
Sept08024.jpg


From underneath, right...
Sept08025.jpg


... and left
Sept08026.jpg


Inside, painted:
Sept08040.jpg


Sept08041.jpg


Sept08043.jpg


Left front, zero rust here.
Sept08042.jpg



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.
Sept08006-1.jpg



Bodywork

Engine bay prep for painting.
Sept08009-1.jpg


Sept08010-1.jpg



Extending the lower radiator mount. (I am moving the rad back to allow the intercooler to mount in front of it.)
Sept08011.jpg


Painting the RHD brackets etc in satin black
Sept08013.jpg


Stone-chip on the chassis rails, inner wing panels and inside the front wings
Sept08016.jpg


Sept08017.jpg


Sept08018.jpg


Sept08015.jpg


Sept08014.jpg


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.
Sept08019.jpg



The primer...
Sept08020.jpg


Sept08021.jpg


Sept08022.jpg


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!

Sept08023.jpg


Sept08024-1.jpg


Sept08025-1.jpg


Sept08026-1.jpg


Sept08027.jpg


Sept08028.jpg



Cheers

John
 

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 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.

Sept08029.jpg


Sept08030.jpg


Steering column, pedal box, cross beam bracket and RHD 164 steering box fitted.
Sept08031.jpg


Sept08037.jpg



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.
Sept08034.jpg


Right inner wing with the stonechip completed (I ran out when doing this originally).
Sept08033.jpg


Both inner wings painted with black chassis paint
Sept08036.jpg


Sept08035.jpg


Wiper motor and manifold pressure sensor cleaned up and refitted, and some more of the wiring back in place
Sept08038.jpg


Coil refitted
Sept08039.jpg


Front panel part-way through de-rusting
Sept08040-1.jpg


Modifying the front panel to accept the intercooler.
Sept08042-1.jpg


Sept08043-1.jpg


Sept08047.jpg


A close-up of the parts cut out. It's similar on both sides of the car
Sept08046.jpg


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.
Sept08053.jpg


Sept08052.jpg



Interior

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.
Sept08051.jpg


Subframe fabricated to attach the RX7 seats to Volvo 140 brackets (which are shown in primer)
Sept08050.jpg


Sept08049.jpg


I have moved the hand-brake to the right hand side.
Sept08048.jpg



Rims!!

Finally, a very nice package through the mail from Norway... my wheels!
Sept08054.jpg

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.


Cheers

John
 

Sander

Good news everyone!
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Location
NL/DE
Damn what a project!! very nice!!

where did you get the super DTM's? I'm looking for a set as well.
 

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Next installment:

Front suspension

Cross member during underseal removal. A messy and unpleasant job!
Sept08055.jpg


Looks much better after cleaning and shot-blasting
Sept08056.jpg


Sept08057.jpg


Sept08058.jpg


Dismantled and primed
Sept08059.jpg


Sept08060.jpg


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.


Bodywork:

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.

Feb09004.jpg


Water-proof sound insulation stuck down & Waxoyl applied
Feb09005.jpg


Battery cable fitted
Feb09006.jpg


Cover panel refitted
Feb09007.jpg



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
Feb09008.jpg


A few shots of the dashboard and wiring coming together
Feb09009.jpg


Feb09011.jpg


Feb09010.jpg


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.
Feb09002.jpg


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.
Feb09001.jpg



Other bits

Driver's seat test fitted, adjusting things to get the driving position as I like it.
Feb09012.jpg


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.
Feb09013.jpg

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.

Interior:

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.
140209005.jpg


Bodywork:

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!
140209001.jpg


The right wheelarch looked better, but when we removed the sound deadening it was also rusty, with a repair tacked over the top.
140209002.jpg


Left side with sound deadening removed.
140209008-1.jpg


140209003.jpg


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.
140209007.jpg


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.
140209010.jpg


140209014.jpg


140209015.jpg


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...
140209013.jpg


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.
140209037.jpg


I was surprised to see that the floor panel is not welded to the shock mounting section, it just sits next to it.
140209041.jpg


Here is the lower repair section I made.
140209043.jpg


Test fitting...
140209044.jpg


... view from inside the car
140209045.jpg


Here is the strengthening tube...
140209046.jpg


... which fits like this
140209048.jpg


Stage 1 of repair, seam welding the shock mounting to the floor
140209052.jpg


Stage 2, welding in the lower repair section...
140209053.jpg


... and seam welding the end of the original bulkhead where previously it had just two spot welds
140209054.jpg


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
140209056.jpg


Stage 5, closing panels. This is work-in-progress. Will be seam welded soon
140209058.jpg


Rear wheelarches seamwelded, with welds cleaned up prior to painting.
010309004.jpg


In primer
010309002.jpg


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.
010309013.jpg


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.
010309012.jpg


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.

Bodywork

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.
080309001.jpg


080309002.jpg


080309003.jpg


And primed
080309005.jpg


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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:

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Front suspension

All the new bushes are fitted to the wishbones and here they are in primer
140209050.jpg


Front cross-member has been sprayed satin black
140209049.jpg


And here's Steve dismantling one of the front hub assemblies, prior to refurb
140209051.jpg


Front cross-member refitted, and part-way through assembly.
010309007.jpg


I'm glad I went for satin black rather than the original light grey; looks better in black in my opinion.
010309006.jpg


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.

010309008.jpg


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

010309009.jpg


010309010.jpg



Steve de-rusting the brake backing plates
080309009.jpg


080309010.jpg



Dashboard

Fitting and wiring the kill-switch into the dash
080309008.jpg


080309011.jpg




Front suspension

Here are the hub uprights and the anti-roll bar refurbished and ready to fit.
080309012.jpg


080309013.jpg


Springs, dampers and uprights refitted,
080309018.jpg


080309017.jpg


Steering being reassembled
080309015.jpg


Anti-roll bar and droplinks refitted (it is a 25mm IPD bar)
080309027.jpg



Brakes

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.
080309020.jpg


Bending using the vice (I don't have a pipe bender unfortunately).
080309025.jpg


This shows the front/rear junction box fitted and piped to the master cylinder. Pipes for the front circuits in progress.
080309024.jpg


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.
080309026.jpg


Trial fit of rear circuits. These will be neatened up and fitted properly later on, after the underside of the floorpan has been repainted.
080309029.jpg


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.
080309014.jpg


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).
080309016.jpg




Bodywork

Steve is doing a great job of removing old underseal from the floorpan. I hope he can get it out of his hair!
080309031.jpg


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!)
080309030.jpg



Original parcel shelf cover cut to accommodate the seat belt covers and the speakers.
090325002.jpg


This will be fitted as a cosmetic trim over the top of the plywood shelf... here's a mock up:
090325001.jpg


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!

Cheers

John
 

fige

KING OF TBOT
300+ Club
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Location
Tucson, AZ
My friend just got a 164.

That's a really nice project, and I'm sure, an inspiration to a lot of 164 owners
 

Quin

ಠ_ಠ
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Location
Alaska
just read through, looks like some serious effort going into this. can't wait to see how it turns out.
 

john r h

New member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
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.

090328001.jpg


090328002.jpg


090328003.jpg


090328004.jpg


090328005.jpg



Bodywork

Steve has done a great job removing all underseal from the floor
090328006.jpg


090328007.jpg


Painting in progress
090328008.jpg


090328009.jpg


090328010.jpg


That's all for now!

Cheers

John
 

b4_ford

Looking for Bay Area work
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Location
Portland
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.
 

VQ

Not such a PRVert Anymore
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Location
Melbourne, Australia
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.

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.
 

Tanglefoot

Ham fisted idiot
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Location
VT
Wow, that's a lot of work you've done so far. You guys are definitely doing the right thing and not cutting corners. I'm excited to see the end result!
 
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