Nov 8, 2004 update to the Volvo 142 project car

Cruisin’

We’ve been having a lot of fun with the 142, both driving around and in the garage. Our latest trip took us to Jacksonville for a house warming party at Jerry Sira’s new place. Jerry has an exquisite 122s that’s the “sister” car to our old 122, 1967 light blue, black interior, Panasport wheels.

On the way home Saturday night, the AMP light started glowing dimly at revs, and brighter at idle. This is a sign that the brushes in the alternator are at the end of their lifespan. Sure enough, they measured shorter than the spec 8mm. Oddly enough, the AMP light then went out the next day. It’s possible that one of the brushes hung up. We’ll get that sorted out.

Meanwhile, a nagging high rpm miss was tracked down. It turns out that our SUs that we had rebuilt were built in 1968, complete with spring loaded needles. The spring loading was pushing the shoulder of the KN needle past the bottom of the piston, acting as an overly lean needle. We dug through our pile of old SUs (doesn’t everyone have one?) and got a pair of domes and pistons and KD needles from an earlier SU set. Problem solved. Although we think that now that we can rev to 6500, the extra revolutions probably pushed our above mentioned 35-year-old alternator to the breaking point.

We’re going to convert our spring loaded pistons to the fixed kind, so we can use our matched and much smoother set of pistons and domes. Joe Curto sells little thingamabobs to make this happen for $6.

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