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Rob Spiegel
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Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   7/10/2013 1:03:05 PM
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I'm still trying to get my mind around the details of this problem. Has anyone else out there experienced this?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   7/10/2013 1:23:30 PM
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That effect sounds so improbable, in the sense of how could anyone design the engine interior so it was possible? OTOH, I remember when smaller cars became more popular in the 80s, hearing from my mechanic that the under-hood environment had become very hard to work with.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 10:28:50 PM
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Ann, you machanic waqs probably used to the large American cars with plenty of room under the hood. I once owned a Doge Dart from the 1970s. You could almost stand in the engine compartment -- there was so much room. With the smaller cars, everything was crammed together. Now when you look under the hood, not only is it compact, it's hard to know what you're looking at.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   7/12/2013 1:19:21 PM
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You're right, Rob, this was back when most cars in the US were bigger and most mechanics were used to working on them. I had a boyfriend with a Dodge Dart--I remember all that room under the hood. Sure made it easier to find things.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   7/14/2013 6:43:27 PM
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Yes, Ann, the Dodge Dart my have beewn stylishly insignificant, but it ran like a dream. My Dart just kept going and going and going.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   7/15/2013 1:09:40 PM
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They kept going so long that the bodies started falling apart while the engine was still intact. We were living near the ocean then, so the salt air probably was instrumental in that car's demise. But the engine still ran!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   8/15/2013 10:43:18 AM
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One of the charming things about living in the desert is that car bodies don't rust. There are cars here in Albuquerque from the 50s with bodies fully intact.

tekochip
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
tekochip   8/15/2013 2:59:16 PM
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Not so here in Chicago. 
 
I didn't have a Dart, but I did have a Plymouth Satellite.  My car rusted out so bad that I had a gas tray.  That platform of Mopar cars had the gas tank under the trunk, so the trapped water between the tank and trunk would rust the top right off the tank and the bottom off the trunk.  I always wondered if I could fill up the trunk and consider it an extended range tank.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   8/19/2013 6:24:41 PM
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Well, I guess that's one big plus for having to live in extreme heat, Rob. Although it's also true that cars don't rust as fast in California as they do on the east coast.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2013 6:26:58 PM
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Ann, we're high desert here in New Mexico, so the heat isn't extreme. We're a mile up. Plus, it's dry, so if you get into the shade the heat's gone. There's no moisture to hold the heat.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2013 7:28:51 PM
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Rob, my apologies--I thought you were in Arizona for some reason, a very different environment. I used to hang out in NM  in the 70s.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   8/22/2013 3:48:02 PM
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New Mexico was pretty wonderful in the 70s. That's when I arrived. Now you have to go farther and farther out of Albuquerque to find New Mexico.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   8/27/2013 4:41:59 PM
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That sounds like what happened in Aspen, CO, also. I was there in the 70s, too, just as it was changing and not for the better.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   8/29/2013 1:26:54 PM
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You were hitting all of the hip places in the 70s. A wild guess -- you were in San Francisco in the late 60s.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   8/29/2013 2:21:04 PM
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I think I was mostly lucky because of who I hung out with. And yes, I was in San Francisco in the mid and late 60s as a teenager. Those were amazing times.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   9/3/2013 11:45:28 AM
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Those were amazing times, Ann. I lived in Berkeley in the early1970s before I moved to New Mexico.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ann R. Thryft   9/6/2013 1:12:42 PM
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Wow, Rob, then you know what I mean. You must have seen a lot in Berkeley, too. It was still interesting in the 70s, after the Haight had imploded.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   9/9/2013 8:09:28 PM
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Yes, Ann, Berkeley was a bit more mature than the typical hippie ghetto -- although Telegraph had its hippie ghetto flashbacks. What I loved most about Berkeley during the early 70s was the music. Live music was everywhere, and it was all great. It was in the clubs, the coffeee houses, the bars, the theaters, even the parks.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Cadman-LT   7/16/2013 9:31:34 AM
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Rob, yes Darts were great! My brother had one...awesome car. I remember whenever he was going to see someone he'd always say "yeah, I'll Dart right over!"...lol

Amclaussen
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Platinum
Re: One Dart we had was awesome!
Amclaussen   8/6/2013 5:12:21 PM
My father bought a used '72 Dart... and had to sell it. Not that that car had any real problem, THE problem was it was so fast, that Dad had to stop my sister and me, both teens, from running drag races with other young people. Ours was a two door olive green with black vynil top, and was labeled as a "Dodge GTS", with a factory modified 318 engine with some 340 parts, high compression, forged rods, 4-barrel and the very first "windage tray" that I saw in any production engine. functional air intake hood scoop with tachometer on top, dual exhaust and (then) wide Oval Firestone series-70 tires. It ran 0-60 times under 8 seconds and burned rubber in first, second and third. It was assembled in Mexico's Toluca plant. that engine sounded absolutely gorgeous, and required high octane (100) gas at sea level. The Hurst shifter was the fastest, more reliably shifting that I have handled in many years.

We were very sad to see it depart, but probably my Dad was right. It was too much of a toy for two young and fearless teens.

I hope the product design people at Dodge learns about the heritage of the brand, and installs the SRT-4 turbocharged four engine into a new Dart 2014, and keeps the tradition alive. Amclaussen.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   8/12/2013 5:15:52 PM
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Dart right over, huh? When I owned a Dart, it was the least cool car on the planet. Now I wish I still had it.

bob from maine
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
bob from maine   7/11/2013 9:39:55 AM
Actually, yes! When I was stationed in Germany I had a Volvo PV544 which after a long stint driving down the autobahn backfired while pulling into a rest area. After coffee and a meall, I started the car up and while attempting to accelerate accross the parking area the engine started missfiring. Driving on the autobahn with a significant misfire was patently unsafe and stopping on the highway was illegal so an immediate fix was required. I raised the hood and found the dipstick was about half out of the hole and the handle was against the distributor, probably pushed up from crankase overpressure after the backfire. I pushed in the dipstick and proceeded on my journey. As I remember, the dipstick was split and this provided some friction inside the tube to prevent movement. After many miles and hundreds or thousands of removals of the dipstick the split portion had compressed somewhat and it was necessary to use a pocket knife to spread the split portion a little in order to make it fight tightly into the tube. Good design doesn't necessarily prevent failure, but it should make repair possible.

Ratsky
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Ratsky   7/11/2013 11:43:49 AM
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I think your PV544 was a 1960 or later model, with the B18D engine.  I had a 1959, and I don't think Volvo used the "PV" prefix in 1959; that one had the B16B engine. The distinguishing factor that was pretty obvious was the B16B was the last one to still have a 6V electrical system.  The 1960 B18D introduced the 12V electrical version, with a slightly larger engine displacement.  That drive train was also used in the successor model 122S for some years.  While I never experienced this problem, I would classify this as an example of "serviced by monkeys," not "designed by..."  I still have my SU carb service kit including the "synchronizer tools."  Originally bought for my 1959 bug-eye Sprite, I used it until I retired my 1968 Rover 2000TC (which replaced the Volvo; it was the first new car I ever bought!).

bob from maine
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
bob from maine   7/11/2013 12:11:55 PM
Ratsky; It was a '61 PV544 Amazon, B18B. Same engine/drive train as used in the succeeding 122 and 144. Volvo stayed with this engine/drive train for many model years until stringent emission laws made carburators unworkable. The 144 was my first and only-ever new car. I felt so "used" by the new car process I vowed to never purchase a new car again. Every Volvo I've owned has safely seen me through well overe 200K miles with no major - though some perplexing problems. I once put four SU carbs on a flathead Ford V8 (they were cheap in junk-yards). Tuning was tricky but it was truly unique. Cars of that era were the culmination of years of incremental improvements and really didn't seem to represent any novel design features.  I have a 1924 Chrysler and you can trace virtually every automotive improvement from that car and others of that era.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Hard to see how this is possible
Rob Spiegel   7/11/2013 8:52:31 PM
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Bob from Maine, your story would make a good Sherlock Ohms post. Please send it along -- and feel free to elaborate. Also, please include a short bio.

Send to: rob.spiegel@ubm.com

DB_Wilson
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Gold
Inline Four Engine
DB_Wilson   7/11/2013 9:04:09 AM
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It been years since I have was under the hood but I recall the the old Volvos had an inline 4 cylinder engine.  As was typical of the inline engines, the oil dipstick on the side of the block.  I think the Volvo dipsticks had more of a 'handle' (L shaped) than a loop or hook on the end of the dipstick.  With the distributor nearby, I see that the dipstick handle could turn and possibly touch other things. 

Eric Tucker
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Iron
Old Volvo iron
Eric Tucker   7/11/2013 10:48:27 AM
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Since the oil pump and distributor are driven from the same crossed helical gearset on this engine type, it shouldn't be surprising that the dipstick is near the distributor: the dipstick needs to reach well into the oil sump near the pump pickup screen. What is surprising is that crankcase pressure would be a contributor to the problem. Being of a vintage before emissions controls, this engine had a "draft tube" instead of a PCV system. Here is a link to a photo of a nice example under restoration: http://canadianrodder.com/pv/photos/update8/update8d2.jpg

1800ES
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Re: Old Volvo iron
1800ES   7/12/2013 11:37:03 AM
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Good to see another 'straight 4' going back into service!   I've got mine re-seated, re-you-name-it, and heading back into a '72 Volvo 1800ES.  Good on you getting the 544 spruced up, I'll buy the coffee when we meet on the road-

GTOlover
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Title must be talking about me!
GTOlover   7/11/2013 3:14:35 PM
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"Dipstick Messes With the Distributor": I thought maybe they were talking about me trying to set the timing on my GM computer controlled engine! I could not get it to work right until, duh, read the instructions. Have to unplug some wire to disable the computer controlling the advance. Boy did I feel like a dipstick!

Cadman-LT
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Platinum
Reminds me
Cadman-LT   7/16/2013 9:45:05 AM
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Reminded me of my friend. He took his car in to one of those oil change places. The guy didn't put the filter on correctly. Let's just say he didn't make it too far before things went bad. I guess when you do something like that(the checking of the oil as well) so many many times you might get a bit careless.

Kirk McLoren
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Silver
Re: Reminds me
Kirk McLoren   7/24/2013 11:42:02 PM
The quality of the help in these quicky lubes can be a nightmare. I took my Ranchero into one of those along with 6 quarts of mobil 1. They drained the oil and then refilled forgetting to replace the drain plug. All of my oil in the pit. The manager offered to only charge me half price. Unbelievable! Of course I never went back.

William K.
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Platinum
Dipstick and the distributor.
William K.   7/24/2013 9:38:08 PM
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That is the sort of thing that I would expect to find on a Volvo.



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