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-   -   R32rennsport's Amazon Thread (https://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=344479)

R32RennSport 08-31-2018 04:12 PM

R32rennsport's 1966 Amazon Thread
Well it's long over due that I post up here, believe me I've attempted to start this thread many times and have been sidelined many times. I have mainly posted over at Swedespeed but after becoming reacquainted with Turbobricks again I think I should share over here as well, after all this car originally came from this forum many years ago via 122power.

That's where this story starts nearly 7 years ago. Pointed in this direction from my service writer at the time who had a 240 wagon, as I was in need of an old car in my life. I picked up this respectable 1966 2 door Amazon from forum member 122power never having owned a Volvo before let alone a vintage one. I believe it was a rescue for him as he already had a very nice 122S parked in his garage already, he will chime in here I'm sure. From what I gathered the car had sat in a side yard for many years, had a cheap respray at some point and had some moderate rust in a few areas. Alas, it was in one color, was 99% complete, drove, stopped and was registered. Oh yeah, and it was a great deal!



The first few years with the car were spent learning it's quirks and Volvo's in general, fixing and replacing tired components, making due with what was working but mainly just enjoying it for what it was. I bought the car about the same time my wife and I started dating and in 2012 we got hitched and used the car as our honeymoon car, driving it over 800 miles round trip. Eventually I ended up putting some sport springs and shocks on it and picked up some widened steel rims.





The Amazon largely remained this way for a couple of years as the car was lightly driven. Then at some point along the way the engine, the stock B18, started consuming coolant and overheating consistently. I would limp it to various events and around town for the next year or two knowing that eventually I'd have to do something about it. Then I had my first daughter. Around that time I made the totally rookie mistake of completely disassembling the car for an overhaul :roll: Fast forwarded two more years, here I am with yet another daughter still trying to put my Amazon back together in a semi respectable fashion.



Family life has settled down in the last 6 months and I can honestly say I've made more progress on this car in the last 6 months then I have in past 6 years. I infamously call this my rattle can restoration as everything I touch ends up getting blasted and painted in Rustoleum, seriously, I should buy stock in the company. When possibly, I replace the hardware with new and anything rubber if it's available. Complete overhaul on the front and rear clips, underbody, interior, rebuilt M41 with driveline and a minty fresh big bore B20. Many small sub assemblies have been gone through and freshened up as well (steering box, heater box, bumpers, fuel system, etc.). Basically everything short of having the car resprayed which is out of my time and financial budgets. I figure if I still own the car in 20 years I'll consider it. I've taken care of structural rust along the way as well as modifying the trans tunnel for a P1800 remote shifter.

I'll continue to post pictures as I go along and also some of my previous efforts over the past year. I really wanted this to come together this fall but as usual with most builds I'm more optimistic then reality will afford me. Hope you enjoy following along and as always I love good constructive criticism.

R32RennSport 08-31-2018 04:17 PM








R32RennSport 08-31-2018 04:19 PM







R32RennSport 08-31-2018 04:20 PM

Original interior from a 123GT that I swapped out a few years ago for my crumbling red interior.



R32RennSport 08-31-2018 04:22 PM












doucheNozzle 09-01-2018 05:48 AM

Looks good Kraft!

MSGGrunt 09-01-2018 08:16 AM

I am amazed at how the wider wheels and lower stance really changes the whole look of the car. Nice detailed work.

AndrewNance 09-01-2018 09:27 AM

Badass dude! Glad you came back to the dark side. Swedespeed is dead.

SML 09-01-2018 01:04 PM

Noice! Keep it up! 10/10 for Rustoleum use lol.

dl242gt 09-01-2018 02:02 PM

That looks wonderful! Great job.

Looks like a 911 under the cover. I used to have a 65.

122power 09-01-2018 07:47 PM

Ahhh yes this car. I regret selling it a little but it found a good home for sure. This car was at rusty's RPR in albany, CA for some time. He was closing his parts store and I saw it out back and threw him an offer and that's how I ended up with it. Black with red interior which is a real nice combo.
Good job on all the work you've done on it!

Canuck 09-08-2018 10:46 PM

Thanks for posting. Lots of great looking 122 builds going on right now on this forum.

Vol242vo 09-09-2018 01:21 AM

Absolutely incredible, beyond impressed.

PAULDRIVER 09-10-2018 01:11 PM

Looks very nice, those rims transform its look perfect. :cool:

Jack 09-10-2018 02:20 PM

what cam you're going to run with the 45s (?)
also thats a lot of massaging on that fender. wheel still fit ?

if you decide to sell your front grill panel I would be interested

matt b 09-10-2018 02:58 PM

I think have bought and sold 5 Amazons since you bought yours but what you have done with yours continues to inspire me. Glad you're making progress on it again, it will be amazing I'm sure.

I know you told me already, but why was the passenger area of the engine bay hammered out ? Were you thinking white block and ITB's ? Are you still looking at dual Webers ?

R32RennSport 09-17-2018 06:52 PM

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I really apologize for the delay in response, I have been locked out of my account since my first post but it looks like the admins got things sorted out as I could finally type this response today.

To answer a few questions:

Yes, plenty of room to spare for tire movement. I did a dry articulation run without shock or spring on that side, you'd be surprised how much room is in there!

I'm running a 1974 B20 8 bolt crank engine with IPD big bore kit making it approx. a 2130CC displacement engine. I'll be running 45 DCOE's on VCS replica long runner manifolds. The intake manifolds coupled with longer velocity stacks necessitated the need for more room on that side.

R32RennSport 09-17-2018 07:11 PM

Making some progress in multiple areas. Did some metal work and paint on the early nose piece and got that assembled and mocked up on the car... now I think I'll have to blend into the fenders because the new paint looks so nice, oops.


R32RennSport 09-17-2018 07:39 PM

Rebuilt the rear brake proportioning valve, boy was that thing full of muck, ick!!!

Mocked up the engine, trans and subframe to check for header clearance and a few other assembly items.




R32RennSport 09-20-2018 07:33 PM

Here's a few goodies I've collected along the way...

Not sure if I'm going to leave these be color wise or have them powdercoated something fancy. I'm keeping the widened steel wheels for daily use but I wanted something stronger for autocross and rally days.

15x7 American Racing VN 309 -6mm offset, 3.7 inch backspacing (average $99 each all day long on the interwebs)


Earlier this year I was doing some research on aftermarket steering wheels and after a bunch of leg work I found out some cool stuff that our cars have in common with early jeeps besides front differentials. Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote over on Swedespeed:

I've been researching for quite some time on an alternative to the reproduction 123GT steering wheel that would do my Amazon justice. I love the look but not the cost so much of the original, reproduction or not. The first part will probably interest many of you and perhaps some will be interested in the rest.

After digging and digging in the far reaches of the internet I learned that our Amazon steering column (1966) shares the same spline as a 1955-1975 C5/CJ5 Jeep. Do I have your attention? Well in comes adapter kit number 4405 from Grant Steering Wheels. You can now fit any aftermarket steering wheel with the universal 3 bolt arrangement.

Now I remember from back in my aircooled Volkswagen days that nearly every aftermarket steering wheel in the parts catalogs were offered in this adapter bolt pattern. Specifically a company called Flat 4 imported by EMPI had a premium, very stylish and simple 3 spoke steering wheel that was close to original diameter and looked very similar to a GT steering wheel. It was offered in a 15 1/2 (400mm) rim with polished aluminium spokes with a medium dish and was in fact labeled as their GTV steering wheel. Adapter with horn boss is also polished and includes the Flat Four GTV logo. Part number I-180, boss kit fitting early beetles. You'll only need the top half of the boss kit, though if you'd like to adjust spacing you could cut the bottom half to use as a spacer.

Ok, let's talk cost. A reproduction steering 123GT wheel without reproduction horn button is around $800. The real deal, north of $1k I'd imagine. A basic Grant 4405 adapter kit through Summit racing is around $30. The I-180 GTV steering wheel through CPI1.com is a smoking deal at $270 plus $90 for boss kit. (and if this isn't to your taste there are plenty of other classic and modern styles available in this pattern).

For half the price of a reproduction 123GT wheel you get something very smart looking that's also very comparable. It's roughly the same size as a stock wheel so no increased effort required. If you don't like the polished aluminium look brush it with some Scotch brite. Dont like the horn button? It's a sticker so fit your own.

UPDATE: On a side note for everyone, I test fitted this yesterday and it will definitely need a spacer. Even with the dish in the wheel it's a good inch less then a factory wheel and my knuckles almost touch the signal stalk. A good 2-3 spacer will probably make it just right which can be made from the supplied boss kit lower section buy anyone that knows how to use a lathe.


stick70 09-21-2018 11:49 AM

Nice wheel! That's good information to know for sure.

You should have gotten the horn button with the clock! :-P

dl242gt 09-21-2018 05:04 PM

Looks like a great setup. Moto Lita also had adapters and wheels for these cars. They are also a bit more expensive than the grant setup but less than the 123GT stuff.

I bought the Moto-Lita stuff to put on my 123. that way I could stash the original wheel. but it looks the steering wheel being original will disintegrate if I try to take it off.

Those American Racing wheels are the Classic Torque Thrust D if I recall correctly. Lots of Amazon racers and performance enthusiasts have used them since the 60s to put a lot more tire on their cars.

R32RennSport 09-21-2018 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by dl242gt (Post 5857441)
Looks like a great setup. Moto Lita also had adapters and wheels for these cars. They are also a bit more expensive than the grant setup but less than the 123GT stuff.

I bought the Moto-Lita stuff to put on my 123. that way I could stash the original wheel. but it looks the steering wheel being original will disintegrate if I try to take it off.

Those American Racing wheels are the Classic Torque Thrust D if I recall correctly. Lots of Amazon racers and performance enthusiasts have used them since the 60s to put a lot more tire on their cars.

I looked into Moto Lita and others but this was significantly cheaper with just as classy a look in my opinion, but there is the matter of making it work which requires a little more time and effort then a direct bolt on. Also, I'm not fond of the gigantic centers of the Moto Lita's.

The idea for the rims came from my love of old vintage race cars which this will definitely lean toward when it's done. Definitely thinking about a removable half cage, side exit exhaust and race graphics to go for a period 60's Trans Am look.

vintagewrench 09-23-2018 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by R32RennSport (Post 5857467)
The idea for the rims came from my love of old vintage race cars which this will definitely lean toward when it's done. Definitely thinking about a removable half cage, side exit exhaust and race graphics to go for a period 60's Trans Am look.

Steven, your car is coming along nicely.

A couple of things to keep in mind if you do build a side exhaust like the one I built:

It will be LOUD when the engine is under a load and as there is only room for one muffler for street or track use if one is required for racing. You will need to build a baffle to insert in the end of the pipe. I am making one up for the street and for driving to and back from VSCCA race meets so I don't have to spend all the time needed to load it into trailer and get the rig all set up and ready to go.

Since your wife and kids will likely ride w/you at times, when you are stuck in traffic or moving slowly, at times exhaust fumes will come thru both the the drivers and passenger side windows.

Because of this issue systems like this are illegal for road use through out the country and you could get ticketed.

Will be building a baffle as soon as I get back from the last race of the season at Lime Rock this upcoming weekend. If it does not quiet down the side pipe enough for street use I am planning to build an easily removable under the axle rear exhaust with a resonator this fall or over the winter for use on longer trips.

matt b 09-23-2018 08:23 PM

I had a Moto Lita on my last Amazon. Let me know if the info isn't on TB and I'll post it up. Wooden wheels look great in these cars.

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