REGULAR READERS will hopefully recall reading about the blokes road trip that Morley and I undertook in my new-to-me Volvo 262C chop-top two-door a few issues ago: Newcastle to Melbourne across the Snowy Mountains. It was a terrific few days – but despite my best attempts at recommissioning and servicing the car after eight years of no use, the trek wasn’t as trouble-free as I’d hoped, with the car failing to proceed two mornings in Melbourne. Around a month before our road trip, the Volvo had arrived at my house on a tilt-tray. Ramped to the road, the car was difficult to start and had a farty, erratic idle. I’d heard it running smoothly when I’d agreed to buy it – but that was six months earlier so any fresh fuel the previous owner Stuart had put in it to get it running back then would be stale by now… And mixed with fuel that had been in the car for up to eight years! Yuk! First, I drained around 30 litres of old fuel – anyone who has worked around old cars or lawnmowers etc knows that old petrol has a distinctive and horrible smell – leaving me with a problem… What to do with 30 litres of stale petrol? My answer was to gradually feed it through my Toyota Hilux over a few weeks! After fresh fuel was added to the Volvo, the noisy fuel pump resulted in me dropping the fuel tank from the car to replace the in-tank fuel pump – one of the Volvo’s two electric pumps. Take a look at the pics to see
“THE VOLVO RAN SMOOTHLY WHEN I’D AGREED TO BUY IT, BUT THE FUEL WOULD BE STALE BY NOW”
why I reckon my decision was the correct one. I changed the engine oil and filters – as you do with any classic car that has been dormant for a while – and fitted new spark plugs. This result? A frustrating but regular and constant misfire. I’d not properly re-installed one of the spark plug leads down the long, skinny spark plug wells on the inboard side of the Volvo’s driver’s side cylinder head. With that fixed, I changed the coolant – not essential for getting the car going, but obviously an important maintenance requirement for an all-alloy engine such as the Volvo’s – and had four new tyres fitted before I got it registered on NSW H-plates. I did five or six hundred trouble–free kilometres prior to leaving for Melbourne where, as mentioned, the car failed to start twice. Was it the fuel pumps – or a relay somewhere? Who knows? The car has never let me down since! Ahh… The joys of classic car ownership!
“FRESH COOLANT IS IMPORTANT FOR AN ALL-ALLOY ENGINE SUCH AS THE VOLVO’S”