Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Valve cover hold downs for the Volvo B-20 engine

Valve covers on the Volvo B-18 and B-20 engines are notoriously leaky and mine is no exception.
 This is the sweet orchestra that lives beneath the cover
Trouble is the valve cover is stamped sheet metal , and fifty six years of overly enthusiastic screw tightening have distorted the metal so the cover no longer puts even pressure on the gasket .
Before I painted it I did a bit of  re-shaping around the screw holes with a ball-peen hammer to flatten out the divets . Spreading the pressure of the crews over a larger area is helpful to prevent it from reoccurring . 
Yea , you can spend money on some store bought hold-downs , but that would just be too easy
A bit of fiddling with some cardboard and scissors . . . gets us something that looks like this
Transfer the general outline to a piece of dumpster salvaged quarter inch 6063-T6 aluminum and go to it with the band saw .
Twenty minutes making the band saw screech , we have four rough cut pieces
Clamp them all together for uniformity and go to it for about an hour on the bench sander with an 80 grit belt . Dipping frequently in a bucket of water to keep from burning your fingers .
And we arrive at something resembling what we wanted .
As the edge of the valve cover has a bead on it we need to make a rabbet to provide space for that
My cheap Chinese Harbor-Fright vertical mill saves the day once again
Looks OK to me
Been dragging those T handle valve cover screws around in a box for twenty years , I think I finally found a use for them .
After taking an eight day side tour of Georgia courtesy of the USPS the new rubber gasket finally arrived
Way better than the stiff ten year old cork gasket
Cleaned the valve cover and installed the gasket
. . . and snugged it all down with the T screws and new hold-downs .
Not bad for a hack . Yea the T handle screws are a bit tacky so I might swap them back out for screws

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Baby's got new shoes

The original wheels on the Volvo are four inches wide with 165/70/15 tires. Anything over 60 MPH on the highway and things got really squirrely .
Last year while scrounging behind dad's tool-shed I found some old Ford Ranger rims with 185/60/15 tires that needed new stems . So I brought them home and stashed them in the barn . I just replaced the valve stems and put them on the car and it makes all the difference. Now 75, even 80 mph is possible without inducing too much pucker factor . The Ford ranger wheels just barely clear the lower ball joint by about a half inch , but they work and the car drives so much better .
Added some bling too . Seems Volvo got their nose all bent out of shape over the prancing moose Ferrari parody , and sued Dave so he can't use the Volvo name anymore. But they are available on E-bay if you search .
Got an old grill badge we've had for years installed .
That should throw a few for a loop at the car events .
The valve cover has been looking a bit ratty for a while as that silver crinkle paint dad used on it was not heat proof and was coming off in big flakes .
So I de-greased the engine and transmission and stripped the old silver paint off the valve cover and repainted it with some 500 F resistant engine paint . Have a new valve cover gasket on order too .
Given I had a wide selection of Marden's Discount .99 cent spray cans.
I chose the one that claimed to be Volvo green . . . .
I'm guessing Volvo Penta , hey why not? Dad would have approved of the marine engine theme .

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Quasimodo Goes to The Ball

Last  Sunday Mike Mack , a local VCOAMAINE member hosted a gathering at his house about five miles from us, so of course despite the wet weather we could not miss the invite .
Quasimodo next to a pristine red P1800 and the three creme yellow 1995 855 T-5R's owned by the Mack family .
Photo blatantly pilfered from the club website . Yours truly top right on the back row .