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140/164 Series General Forum for the Volvo 140 and 164 cars

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New Owner Queries & Parts

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Old Aug 13th, 2019, 18:29   #21
Halkyon
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Just had a tinker with the ignition system to see if I could get the car to idle more smoothly (see previous mentions of engine wobble).
  • The timing is currently set to about 13 BTDC, which seems a little aggressive to me although I haven't heard any "pinking".
  • There is a mystery box strapped to and wired into the coil.
  • A wire that looks ignition related to me has been cut where it emerges from the loom.
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Old Aug 13th, 2019, 21:14   #22
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1. 13 btdc may suit your engine but you can mark the dizzy position and then retard it a fraction. Return to mark if you prefer it.
2. The box is possibly an old school transistorised ignition booster. Some worked OK, but others just got in the way. The ignition leads with the plastic bits in also non-standard. Personally, I would remove the box and change to a good modern set of leads.
3. The cut wire needs to be investigated as it may be one that was cut to fit the ignition box, possible a lead to one of the coil connections. If it is live only when the ignition is on it may be the power wire to the coil.
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Old Aug 13th, 2019, 22:06   #23
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Thanks Derek.

I'll give it a try at 10 degrees tomorrow. I couldn't get a spark by simply unplugging the extra device and running the LT cable directly from the dizzy to the coil so I'm going to assume you're right about the cut one.

The green cable connected to the coil, do we know what that is?
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Old Aug 13th, 2019, 23:01   #24
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The green wire might actually be the power in and there would then be another wire on the other connection to the distributor, the LT/Low tension wire, possibly black. There will be rev counter wires in the mix as well. Best to have another 140 owner chime in here but the original wiring is much simpler than what is there now.
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Old Aug 14th, 2019, 09:14   #25
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Thanks for waking me, Derek! In the aviation industry all aircraft wiring was white (at least, on what I worked on - commercials and helicopters) and their functions were confirmed by crimped-on labeling - wiring diagrams were by numbers and there were labels at every wire junction/joint/access point, so no confusion.
Unless one has had a car from new and done all ones own maintenance the purpose of every wire could be questioned, regardless of colour. The amateur probably doesn't have all the colour options on his wire rack when a wire needs replacing, thus causing difficulties far later in the vehicle's life.
Neither my 144 or 145 have that black box and I have naff-all knowledge of anything electric (I was a structures engineer and not allowed to touch anything electric), but one observation on slightly newer Volvo models is that it seems the basic loom installed at the point of assembly includes several 'spare' wires. These on 240s must be for optional systems some cars were to have or could be specified-with upon delivery, otherwise these wires just dangled about not connected to anything. Again, on aircraft if left in the loom the ends would be doubled back, sheathed and crimped over so as to avoid possible confusion down the line. Everything had to be completed to the same standard such that any engineer anywhere round the planet can find his way around the systems. So different in our short-life motor trade.....
My conclusion - totally rewire the ignition circuit under the bonnet to your handbooks wiring diagram, and remove that black box.

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Old Aug 22nd, 2019, 18:45   #26
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I agree and may get the chance to do so this weekend (hurrah bank holiday!)

Interesting failure today - an intermittent misfire under load. First thought with that type of issue is ignition, and for once I was right.

The sprung contact on the inside of the dizzy cap had almost entirely disintegrated and blackened the top of the rotor arm. This was a replacement part I'd fit as a precaution so have now gone back the the old one.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 15:22   #27
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I did the tappets this weekend, as well as fitting the alloy grille and fixing both washer motors.

The tappets were very tight, perhaps at 10-12 thou, whereas the figure in my manual is 17 thou. The engine is now noticeably more "tappety" when cold but seems a little smoother when warm. I wonder if there is a consensus on a correct setting for normal unleaded fuel. For example; I know that it's common for A-Series owners to open up the exhaust valve gaps a little (+2-3 thou) to allow for the hotter burn.

The grille almost looks good - but with unfortunate gaps above and below - I suppose this is inevitable with the later front and can't be fixed with other panel swaps? If not I'll repaint the original sharpish and get it back on.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 18:22   #28
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A friend with a 145 has a similar-sounding gap above an alloy grill not designed for this age car. He too hasn't resolved it: I keep meaning to take my tape-measure to differing-age cars so I know how much that gap is: could it be packed out from below such that at least the gap is equal above and below it?

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Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 18:40   #29
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It may benefit from being raised half an inch or so. From looking at the earlier cars the space is taken up by a larger front panel behind the bumper (valance?). One could form a piece of metal to fill the space, or perhaps use a panel from an earlier car.
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Old Sep 7th, 2019, 12:52   #30
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I continue to uncover the odd weakness in the car after pressing it into daily service.

Charging system failure last night - AMP light on brightly and I observed the battery voltage dropping with a multimeter when the car was running. All the contacts were inspected, cleaned and protected with dialectric grease by myself and the fuses are fine.

The car appears to have an orgiinal style alternator and seperate metal regulator box. This is mounted next to a modern plastic relay (presumably for the supplementary electric cooling fan or the hazards) and another standard looking metal box - the headlight relay I believe.

I wonder if there is an easy way for a simpleton with a multimeter such as myself to identify whether the alternator or regulator is at fault?
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