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(probably not) cheaper than therapy: getting a 1967 122s back on the road

Oh boy

To beat the drum of reality you can get a shell here for cheap that would probably just need floors

But then
I have a pillar forward section sitting in my yard that I been using for reference

Have mikeP bring it back after kens memorial
I'm definitely on the wrong coast for getting these things cheap and in decent shape. But with that said, after getting this one I immediately found other amazons that would've been a better starting point and were closer to my house than the five hour one way drive this one was. Figures.....

A few months ago when I pulled the interior to poke for rust I knew I had to make the call on whether to abandon this one or try to patch it up. While there were other amazons available closer and in better shape by that point, they were around what I'd just paid for this one. After costing out what I'd need I decided to double down instead of starting over. It wouldn't take less time, but it was more affordable than scrapping what I'd just bought.

It's going to take a while to drive, and it's going to be even longer to be pretty, but it's what I've got so I'm going to make it work.
 
Back at it again over the weekend. No pictures because I'm still training myself to actually document my work and forgot to.

Started to take off the old fender wings when I realized the kick panels had even more holes than I thought. Passenger side needs two small patches in addition to the lower section that attaches to the floor, driver side needs a piece fabbed up to replace the top section. Take the photos from my last post and image them with less undercoating and more little holes and you have a good idea of where things stand. I tried to knock the dent out of the front grill too and I'm actually super happy with the results. Some wood and a mallet do an old volvo good.

Other big news is the gas tank. Finally pulled it out and surprise, it had a ton of dirt/rust/whatever in it, so I'm going to fill it with cleaner and some rocks or something and hopefully get that clean enough to keep using. Going to try my best to revive it as that's money the car could use literally anywhere else. As a side thought, has anyone fit an aftermarket fuel tank in their amazon without losing the whole trunk? It'd be nice to have more than 10 gallons of fuel and if I'm not able to save this tank I could get a larger tank for less than half what a stock replacement is. The area around the trunk is also a level of rusty that could absolutely be repaired, but with the same level of work could be widened for a larger tank. Just tossing ideas around while I come to terms with the amount of grinding and welding my future holds.
 
Still plugging away at this. Progress has slowed because the remaining rust affected areas can't be removed until we add some structure back, and we didn't get far into welding before running out of argon......on a weekend, which apparently means all the suppliers are closed. Scheduling time to get down to the shop has also been a nightmare. My birthday deadline is definitely no longer realistic, so that leaves mountain meet as the new goal. Every weekend until then and as many after work sessions as I can manage are going towards making that happen.

I've also decided to abandon the stock fuel tank. I don't feel like fighting the rusty one I have for hours only to inevitably burn through fuel filters and have to deal with a ten gallon capacity. Not to mention I'd have to recreate a good portion of the mounting area for the tank anyway. A 20 gallon cell that is damn close to the stock tank hole side is going in its place.

In the meantime, my photographer friend stopped by the shop and got some more artsy photos. Please enjoy, and rest assured the next update will be far more substantial.


 
rest assured the next update will be far more substantial.
Why do I set myself up like this?

I'm calling this substantial because it's the best I've felt about this car in weeks. Frame rail and the bit that connects it to the rocker are welded in. First photo shows the rail tacked in place, little pieces were made to replace the connection to the boxed section that makes up the front suspension mount. Going to weld a plate across the whole thing for good measure as well and take another photo of the finished product, but for now it at least looks more structurally sound from most angles.

Unfortunately the gap from frame rail to transmission cross member is smaller on an amazon than on a p1800, so the piece I grabbed from my junkyard transmission donor is going to need modifying. Not a big problem but it sucks that it's not just a drop-in deal. I'm honestly thrilled that this thing isn't just a hole on the passenger side anymore.

Moving on to the floor next, then I'll grab some core support side panels from the lovely gentlemen at HPA and the fender supports can be welded back on. If fedex remembers where they put my gas tank I'll show my plans for the trunk as well. P.S. someone convince me that moving the battery to the trunk is a waste of time and I should focus my attention where it needs to be.

 
Nice work! Love that green. Moving the battery is a great idea. Taking away a big source of corrosion and the battery takes exhaust heat in the summer. The next one would be to have the master cylinder that doesn't leak brake fluid down the firewall when failing.
 
Nice work! Love that green. Moving the battery is a great idea. Taking away a big source of corrosion and the battery takes exhaust heat in the summer. The next one would be to have the master cylinder that doesn't leak brake fluid down the firewall when failing.
Thanks! I'm very excited for the final green with tan interior combo. After more consideration the battery is definitely heading south. Brake system upgrades are a must as well, but I'm debating how to move forward with them. I'd love four wheel discs and an acquaintance of mine is parting a p1800es with the required axle, but I'm not eager to return to the realm of 5x108 wheels. At the very least I'd like dual circuit brakes. Just have to do some more reading on what doing that would entail.

Wow, you have my respect and sympathy.
Thank you. Wasn't the project I wanted but now I'm determined to see it drive again.

In other news, progress is still slow but steady. I just got approved to take a chunk of time off work at the end of August, so expect some more meaty updates then. In the meantime, the frame rail is full secured and I've opted to patch my core supports instead of replacing them. The floor pan is tacked in but needs some adjusting as I'm pretty sure I put in in wrong. The passenger side a-pillar is patched up too.


I've also made the unfortunate discovery that the trunk is even rustier than I thought it was. What appeared to be old panel gap sealant was actually wadded up bondo on a framework of chicken wire. Impressive sculpting, but it patched the area where the trunk meets the rear wheel tubs on both sides and even parts of both rear wheel arches. I actually knew there was some bondo in those arches and was choosing to ignore it for now since whoever did it matched the curves really well, but removing the chicken wire sculptures ripped out chunks of the bondo arches. Phooey. Guess I'm doing it the right way now. On the plus side, the amount of rust I removed around where the gas tank mounts has fully validated my decision to swap in a larger aftermarket one.
 
Still going. Got the last two holes in my passenger core support patched and the passenger wing support welded on. A couple small spots left before I can move to the other side but it's starting to look like a car again.

I also tossed a coin and decided to pull the headliner down. It smelled and had a couple small holes but wasn't sagging or terribly ugly, so I was torn on whether to leave it for now. After not enough consideration I decided if I was going to pull it down eventually it was better to do it now while the whole interior is out. Got down some of the mats where the adhesive was failing but the others started to put up a fight. I'll get the rest when I can roll the car outside so that I don't get cancer mat fuzz all over the tiny shop.

Should be moving over to work on the driver side soon. The floor pan there was patched incredibly poorly sometime in the past and the more I poke it, the more holes I find. It's almost completely separated from the trans tunnel, and the center that I thought was solid is actually two pieces of sheet metal with only a few tacks on the edges. A complete rust sandwich between them. I was hoping to patch that but the more I poke at it the clearer it becomes that it needs a full cut and replace. Thankfully the holes in the rear pans are patchable. The trunk is going to be a pretty complete redesign. The spare wheel tub is a total loss, as is much of the mounting for the original tank. My friend wants to see about mounting the larger replacement tank through the original hole, but I'm content to plate over the hole and mount the thing fully in the trunk.

Mountain meet seems like a lofty goal at this point but I'm still gonna try. We'll see.
 
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I've also decided to abandon the stock fuel tank. I don't feel like fighting the rusty one I have for hours only to inevitably burn through fuel filters and have to deal with a ten gallon capacity. Not to mention I'd have to recreate a good portion of the mounting area for the tank anyway. A 20 gallon cell that is damn close to the stock tank hole side is going in its place.
Mike JR as a coupe gastank in ATL that he tried to give me yesterday. Maybe You guys can work something out?
 
Still going. Got the last two holes in my passenger core support patched and the passenger wing support welded on. A couple small spots left before I can move to the other side but it's starting to look like a car again.

I also tossed a coin and decided to pull the headliner down. It smelled and had a couple small holes but wasn't sagging or terribly ugly, so I was torn on whether to leave it for now. After not enough consideration I decided if I was going to pull it down eventually it was better to do it now while the whole interior is out. Got down some of the mats where the adhesive was failing but the others started to put up a fight. I'll get the rest when I can roll the car outside so that I don't get cancer mat fuzz all over the tiny shop.

Should be moving over to work on the driver side soon. The floor pan there was patched incredibly poorly sometime in the past and the more I poke it, the more holes I find. It's almost completely separated from the trans tunnel, and the center that I thought was solid is actually two pieces of sheet metal with only a few tacks on the edges. A complete rust sandwich between them. I was hoping to patch that but the more I poke at it the clearer it becomes that it needs a full cut and replace. Thankfully the holes in the rear pans are patchable. The trunk is going to be a pretty complete redesign. The spare wheel tub is a total loss, as is much of the mounting for the original tank. My friend wants to see about mounting the larger replacement tank through the original hole, but I'm content to plate over the whole and mount the thing fully in the trunk.

Mountain meet seems like a lofty goal at this point but I'm still gonna try. We'll see.
Keep truckin dude. I know it's a ton of work but it's coming together nicely!
 
Mike JR as a coupe gastank in ATL that he tried to give me yesterday. Maybe You guys can work something out?
I appreciate it but I've already bought and started mocking up the 20 gallon cell. I haven't taken a photo of the current state of the trunk but to re-mount a stock tank safely I'd have to rebuild about 60% of the mounting lip. If I've gotta do that much fab work I might as well get some more range for my efforts.
Keep truckin dude. I know it's a ton of work but it's coming together nicely!
Thanks man! Seeing it come together is such a good feeling, I just need to find more time to spend in the shop.
 
I appreciate it but I've already bought and started mocking up the 20 gallon cell. I haven't taken a photo of the current state of the trunk but to re-mount a stock tank safely I'd have to rebuild about 60% of the mounting lip. If I've gotta do that much fab work I might as well get some more range for my efforts.

Thanks man! Seeing it come together is such a good feeling, I just need to find more time to spend in the shop.
Time is the biggest part of the equation. We are routing for you!
 
The past two weeks have been intense. I took advantage of a lull in my work schedule and getting yelled at for not using enough leave last year to take some time off and throw everything I could at the car. While I didn't reach my own (admittedly very lofty) goal of driving it out of the garage today I'm still happy with the results. Once again I neglected to start taking pictures until the very end, but that's when things started to actually look picture worthy anyway. Still, a lot of work worth listing was done so I'll do my best to make it interesting to read.

I started by patching the kick panel thing on the driver's side. Then, feeling motivated, I decided to tackle the driver's floor. My friend was confident it could be patched, but when I started to prep it for welding it became clear that wasn't happening. Sometime in the past the floor had been repaired by simply laying a replacement section on top of the rusted floor, tacking it in place, and then going absolutely crazy with pop rivets. I started cutting out the floor for full replacement and realized the shoddy floor repair had allowed water to enter and rot out the frame. After cutting away the affected area I needed an 11 inch straight section of frame rail. Simple enough, so I bent up some thick plate and remade that. The piece bridging the frame to the rocker was a total loss, but thankfully I'd ordered two of those. In it went, and the floor on top of it shortly after. Only needed make a little curved piece where the floor meets the firewall and voila, the front half of the floors were done.

Next up were the fender supports. I discovered the one that I'd already put on was done incorrectly and sadly had to cut hours of work off the car. Several more attempts were made at measuring for the correct position before I learned that you're supposed to attach the supports to the fenders and then fit the whole thing in order to get them in the right spot. Lesson learned, less shop beers from now on. I also ditched the self-tappers in favor of rivnuts, which are quickly becoming my new favorite tool. Then came the rear floors, where I discovered just how flammable that lovely factory undercoating is. I wound up patching the existing floors instead of replacing them since I believe I accidentally purchased replacement ones for the sedan, and the holes didn't seem that bad. This took much, much longer than I anticipated because the welder kept blowing through areas I thought were solid. Side note, if you need those replacement sections shoot me a message, I need the space.

At last came paint. Everything got coated in rust reformer, then rusty metal primer, and then rustoleum dark hunter green. Not a perfect match but for the garage "get it on the road" build this has become it'll do. Rest assured it's far less blue looking in person, although still a bit light for my liking. I saw someone here mention charleston green as a good match for the volvo dark green but unfortunately I couldn't track that down. The underside of the car also got a few layers of heavy duty bedliner as undercoating. I'm skeptical how it'll hold up, but it was cheap enough that I was willing to try it out.

And with spirits high from just how much had been accomplished in one day, my girlfriend and I decided to put in the engine and transmission. I'm happy to report that the b18/m41 combo can be installed in one go as long as you remove the shifter handle and have a good leveler on your hoist. Took a whopping 40 minutes too, even with restarting twice to adjust the boom and our hoist point. I'd also like to tip my hat to Polaris, whose amazon tunnel cutting photos allowed me to get the transmission in really snug without having to break out the angle grinder halfway through installation. And please pardon the messy shop, these photos were taken at 10pm after twelve hours of working on the thing. We were both exhausted and agreed cleaning was a job for another day.

That's where it's at for now. Next up is getting the thing towed back up to my house so I can work on it without having a second commute. Then comes the fuel cell, brake lines, sound deadening, and reinstalling the interior. The driveshaft will be taken to a shop to be shortened either this week or next once I decide whether I'm trusting a measurement I found on brickboard or my own shaky hands and a tape measure. I've got some great momentum now and my motivation has never been higher. Give me two more weeks to button this up and I'll attempt a test drive.
 
This is inspirational work since this winter I plan to really start addressing the rust in my project Amazon (that I've owned for three years now). I’m lucky it has floors still but everything else you’ve found on yours is looking really familiar to me.

Mine is also a green and tan '67 122S but a BW35 car, unfortunately. I am on the lookout for a manual, whether OD or not. Anyway, here it is a few summers ago when I first got it on the road. Seems spiritually similar to your car!
npuw91m.jpg
 
This is inspirational work since this winter I plan to really start addressing the rust in my project Amazon (that I've owned for three years now). I’m lucky it has floors still but everything else you’ve found on yours is looking really familiar to me.

Mine is also a green and tan '67 122S but a BW35 car, unfortunately. I am on the lookout for a manual, whether OD or not. Anyway, here it is a few summers ago when I first got it on the road. Seems spiritually similar to your car!
npuw91m.jpg
They're practically twins! I'm happy to provide motivation, and I wish you better success in welding than I've had. Why is it the ones that look the best are where no one will ever see them?

I see you're in PA too, if you're ever near Maryland shoot me a message and I'll send you home with the m40 from my car
 
I might take you up on that! I'm always down for a trip south. Two years ago I went out to Maryland to grab a new trunk floor/gas tank frame, FI exhaust manifold, and intake of a guy that had a whole bunch of them. Must be something about MD and Amazons...
 
I might take you up on that! I'm always down for a trip south. Two years ago I went out to Maryland to grab a new trunk floor/gas tank frame, FI exhaust manifold, and intake of a guy that had a whole bunch of them. Must be something about MD and Amazons...
Maybe a trip all the way to NC :oogle:


Love the progress on this car, and don't worry your floor looks much nicer then mine.
 
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