Wheels, Tires and Suspension Notes
first published Apr 2017 R. Kwas, changes on-going! [Comments Added]

Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
    Panhard Rod
Anti-Sway Bars
Shock Absorbers / Dampers

Reference Information:
Tires and Wheel Sizes

Tube or Tubeless?
Valvestem Sizes
Manufacture's Wheel List
Power Steering
Splitting Tapered Suspension Joints



Early Bolt Circle:  544, 122, early (carbureted) 1800:    5 X 4 1/2" (= 5 X 114.3mm)  See also Ref:  Manufacture's Wheel List

Late Bolt Circle:  Late (Injected) 1800, 140:    5 X 4 1/4" = (5 X 108 mm) 


No my brother does not sell Minilite style wheels...I just know what I like!

Chris M's '66 122 sporting some sharp Minilites style wheels...and I believe that's the "Before" picture of what Chris calls a "20foot paint-job"...which I guess is better than a "50foot paint-job", but he is in the process of having a "Standing-Next-to-paint-job" done (which I would expect to be even better than this one) on this car...that should be really nice! 



Checking and comparing tires sizes, and change in actual speed vs displayed speed.:  https://tiresize.com/comparison/.

After Changing Tires, one might want to verify Alignment settings.  Camber and Castor are somewhat involved, but Toe can simply be checked at home!  (Link to:  Camber and Caster)

See:  Front Suspension Notes, Alignment  Toe-In and Toe-Out

Tires I like: 

These tires, of current production are available [no, I'm not a salesman for the seller, and I receive no consideration from them...I'm just rather happy (at least!) that a reasonably priced, good performing and correctly sized tire is available again...they were hard to locate at one point!]  https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Vredestein&tireModel=Sprint+Classic

Winter Tires I like for the Snow Weasel:

I also liked the Gislaved Nord Frost.  I couldn't find a picture of the older square block tread pattern that I really liked, but here is the most recent tread pattern for the Nord Frost...I expect it will also get you through to your ski lodge!



From:  http://www.vintagecarconnection.com/vintage_tire_size_conversion_chart.htm

Size of interest highlighted

Note:  Circumference is affected a bit by inflation. 


From:  http://www.networksvolvoniacs.org/index.php/Spezial:AWCforum/st/id7144/#post_49649

670429 ist eine 4J x15, LK 5x114,3, verbaut mindestens auf Amazon Limousine als Serie
670451 ist eine 4,5Jx15, LK 5x114,3, verbaut mindestens auf Amazon Kombi als Serie
ich meine mal gelesen zu haben (Quelle vergessen), dass der 123GT auch die 4,5J hatte. Confirmed! Diese Information kann ich nicht belegen.
Beim P1800 aufpasen, der wechselt vom P1800 und P1800S zum P1800E / ES den Lochkreis auf 5x108, dieser ist dann auch am 140er zu finden

Die Einpresstiefe der Serienfelgen ist nicht dokumentiert, müsste aber 25 sein. Begründung: in den diversen kursierenden Felgen-Freigaben von Volvo für die 5,5J KPZ Felgen sind diverse ETs entsprechenden Spurverbreiterungen zugeordnet. Daraus kann man auf ET25 für die Serienfelgen schliessen, und zwar für beide da die Freigaben für Limo und Kombi gelten. Obacht: da die Felgen ja paarweise verbaut wird ergibt eine Änderung der ET um X eine Spurveränderung von 2 mal X.......

Zum Reifenrechner: für Deine Zwecke ist die Angabe der ET völlig egal, da Du ja nur wissen musst welche breiteren Reifen möglichst den gleichen Abrollumfang der Serienreifen haben. Und minus 5 ET ist dann tatsächlich auf der anderen Seite der Nulllinie, google mal nach Einpresstiefe, es gibt jede Menge Erklärungen dazu.
Gängige Reifengrössen für die 5,5J Felgen sind mindestens die in den Freigaben, man kann bestimmt auch noch mehr eintragen lassen wenn man bestimmte Zwecke verfolgt ('jetzt mache ich ihn schneller oder spritziger')



Front Suspension:  

Toe-In and Toe-Out 


Adding Greasing Nipples to Ball Joints which don't have them. 

My answer to a forum question of what the difference is, between Ball Joints with and without grease fittings.

Ball Joints with greasing nipples are maintainable, and without are "maintenance-free", or as I like to call them: UN-MAINTAINABLE (similar to Batteries with and without cell caps, and I feel the same way about those!) ...but that is the way of the modern world. Planned obsolescence...screw that!  Besides, that's not consistent with owning a 50 year old car whose original ball joints have already outlived those unmaintainable ones of a modern car...several times!...so they can keep it!  When I get Ball joints without greasing nipples now (the only way they are available), I drill and install them, and feel pretty good about having improved them!  What do you think is better, not being able to inject a few CCs of grease every few years vs. letting them dry out or deteriorate even faster when the boot gets damaged or some moisture gets in there (and it will, considering their location)...it's a no-brainer for me!


Good Front Suspension info:  http://volvo-122s.blogspot.com/2014/06/tie-rods-and-steering-track-rods-ends.html  I can't for the life of me find who this is or contact info for the author (he looks to be in Australia), but he has put together some good general and specific info for a 122 front suspension.  I left a comment...if the author reads this:  Please contact me per e-mail!

I've made some changes and additions to this scan of the Steering Gear from a 122 manual.  Notice that internal threads of Tie Rod are Right and Left hand! This means that Toe can be simply adjusted after loosening locking nut, by simply turning it (rather like adjusting the Turnbuckle on a barndoor)...but it also means that R and L Ball Joints are side-specific when replacing!  This is not a big deal, just a minor item to be aware of!  See also additional info below, on machined Brass (Bronze) Idler Arm Bushings available.


My input to Amazon Steering Track Rod Thread:  http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=261964 Info not part of the original posting added. "...threads on the Track Rod Ends are right and left-hand...this means that to adjust Toe-In, the TR simply needs to be turned* (after loosening jamnuts [13])...TR Ends do not need to be removed...

HOWEVER, if TR is not centered to the extent that it concerns you, and you wish to change it (this would only concern me if insertion into St Rod was less than about an inch...notice also at that link, that threaded part of Ball Joint is quite long to allow for adjustment, so you may be unnecessarily concerned!), you will need to separate one Ball Joint to turn TR in the direction required...and IF you elect to do this, you should make a reference mark on the Ball Joint ends, carefully measure and record that, so that after reassembly, you can readjust critical Toe-In adjustment to the same exact dimension it was previously.

*...and to make this adjustment, they typically grab the (round) TR with a pipe-wrench, and wrench away, scarring the bejesus out of it...I didn't like that style so much (too rustic for me!), that's why I drilled out a big nut, slipped it over one end of TR, and had it welded in place...now, a proper wrench can be used on the hex, sparing the (painted) TR shaft from insult. Details... Details..."


See also:  Toe-In and Toe-Out


See also:  Splitting Tapered Suspension Joints


OE Rubber vs Brass (Bronze) Idler Arm Bushings (15A) to replace Volvo part number 671444: 

Have you noticed that the rubber on replacement bushings is not as beefy (in scientific terms:  ...not as high a Durometer as the originals), and just seems cheap...this also explains why replacement bushings last from about 11:00 o'clock until noon!  Here is a really nice alternative...a Brass/Bronze machined bushing, with greasing provision...just like the factory used to install in "the old days".  Available from manufacturer or Skandix, maybe others as well. 

Link to Skandix page for this item:  http://www.skandix.de/en/documents/installation-guide/bronze-reversing-lever-bushing-with-grease-nipple/3000286/

Ebay listing of user: "boedr"  (  http://www.ebay.com/itm/111633607497?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT  )  This is is presented strictly as info... I have no relationship and received no consideration from (Skandix, or boedr, [Ebay ID] , apparently located in, in Oisterwijk, Netherlands) who makes and offers these, but they look pretty good from where I'm sitting!  Search E-Pay for:  Redesigned idler arm bushings for Amazon, 1800, 140, 164

 The new bushing will fit on the following cars:
•Volvo Amazon 1966 +
•Volvo 1800 1966 +
•Volvo 140 all
•Volvo 164

Thread about this bushing and related matters:  http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=242478&highlight=Idler+arm+bushing  apparently the (rubber) based OE replacement one got pounded out on the not-so-good-roads of Zimbabwe so Maver1ck was looking (and found ) a better solution.

Link to a Skandix info page on installing Bronze Bushing:  http://www.skandix.de/en/documents/installation-guide/bronze-reversing-lever-bushing-with-grease-nipple/3000286/

A couple of pictures from that page.



Toe-In and Toe-Out.  With a solid rear axle, X is naturally equal to Z, so Tracking (or where the Rear Tires point) is less of an issue. 

Checking Toe can be done with simple tape-measure measurements, while car is on the ground and suspension loaded with vehicle weight, Steering Wheel pointed straight ahead.  X and Z would certainly be expected to be the same, given the solid Rear Axle.  Intereurope 120 Manual specifies the fronts (Y and Z) on the other hand, should have 5/32" (4mm) of Toe-In. 

Adjusting Toe-In/Out: 

Loosen Locking Nut (13) on Track Rod (12).  Track Rod and Ball Joints on either end have Right and Left-Hand threads, so note which direction TR must be turned to get the desired lengthening (for increasing Toe-Out) or shortening (for increasing Toe-In), and turn TR to affect the desired measurement change.  Torque Locking Nut when adjustments are completed.  


Camber and Caster: 

Link to a thread Camber Adjustment http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=264507  

Link to an informative article by David A. Hueppchen, on the VClassiscs site:  http://www.vclassics.com/archive/align.htm

Camber Shims at Red, and U-Bolts and Nut which secure Upper Control clamps at Yellow and Blue.  There is a second one, on the other end of course, not visible here.  


Caster Adjustment is by way of Shims between Frame and Front Cross-member, highlighted here in Green
Picture Source:  Frame capture from a David B. video. 


See also:  Power Steering


Rear Suspension:  

122 Wagon Trailing Arm Bushing replacement.  Link:  122 Station Wagon Trailing Arm Bushings



Panhard Rod: 

How's your Sagitta?



Anti-Sway Bars


Link to thread:  Installing IPD Front Sway Bars on '64 1800S   http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=81022


Shock Absorbers / Dampers 




Single bolt saddle bracket for Anti-Sway Bar vs. two bolt.  (Ancient article by this author.) :   http://www.sw-em.com/nagging%20clunk.htm


Durometer is a testing standard for materials.  See also:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shore_durometer 

Link to popular reference site:  Schrader Valve


Reference Information:

Tires and Wheel Sizes


Tube or Tubeless?  

Question:  How does one know if one has Tires with Inner Tubes, or "Tubeless" Tires?

Answer:  Note the size of the hole in the wheel, where Air Valve penetrates, highlighted below in Orange!  A small hole with a fairly straight tube which has the Schrader Valve at the end, suggests an Inner Tube, while a larger hole, where the protruding filler rubber of the Valve Insert extends over the edge of the wheel in a cone-shape (in order to support, locate and seal it, and keep it from from falling into the wheel) suggests a Tubeless Tire.  Notice also the height difference above wheel (Valvestem length), however this can vary, so is not to be taken as the deciding parameter...I've seen some pretty short rubber Valve Inserts (see also Valvestem Sizes below!)!

Innertube on left, Tubeless on right! 
The measured of 0.6"(15.4mm) ID of Valvestem hole in the OE wheels calls for a TR-15 Valvestem.


Valvestem Sizes: 

Recently, I blasted, brush primed and spray finish painted (using ipd's wheel paint by Sherwin-Williams), a batch of OE wheels...when I brought them to the Farmington Avenue Sunoco Station (and Gentleman's Club) to mount the Vredestein Sprint Classics I got from Tire Rack (current production, see also below!), I was told the holes for valve stems were "too big"!!  Apparently, they only stock the "standard" Valvestems for 0.45"...measuring the wheels gave an ID of 0.6" (or 15mm), and a little research later, shows that this is a standard size for a "TR-15 Chubby" valve stem. 


Source:  https://www.bigtyres.co.uk/tr415-tr15-snap-in-rubber-valve-pack-of-4.html 




Manufacture's Wheel List: 


Here is a of Manufacturers with 5 X 4 1/2" (= 5 X 114.3mm) Bolt circles (Source:  ?).  Note, this does not take into account the Offset, so does not automatically mean wheels for a given manufacturer are suitable for a vintage Volvo without further fit checks!




Power Steering:

My answer to a question:  Has any body added power steering? Thinking of the wife!

" Part of the reason people want power steering is that with it, like in contemporary cars, it helps and allows the Steering Wheel to be turned without effort (including by wives and wimps!) while NOT MOVING, and that is BAD PRACTICE anyway!

The rule which used to be taught, but has been forgotten (because most cars have power steering now, and cars with power steering allow steering while stationary) is: NO Steering while not moving, PERIOD! (Steering while stationary puts much higher forces into out Steering Boxes, which I prefer to avoid anyway!)

Keep your tire pressure up and proper, and even when parking, the slightest creeping will reduce steering effort TREMENDOUSLY and this whole question and consideration becomes instantly UNNECESSARY!

It's a vintage car!...give it some consideration and drive it, and enjoy it, as it was meant to be, don't try to turn it into your 2020 Honda...! Cheers "




Splitting Tapered Suspension Joints:


My comments to post about learning the technique of using a 3lb hammer to separate Suspension Tie Rod Tapered Joints from an "Old Shadetree Mechanic":


"I suppose the "Old Shadetree Mechanic" had a 10lb BFH and not the proper tool, because beating the bejesus out of a tapered suspension joint mechanical connection is I suppose one way of getting them apart... 


Did that OSM previously have British cars?...just asking...because the beat-the-bejesus-technique is derived from the British preferred technique of getting Lucas electrical components to work again! 


It is generally preferable to use a Puller/Splitter, which applies high force, and precisely to where it needs to be applied to split the joint. ...and although the "Pickle Fork" type splitters will also work, they inevitably will trash the joint rubber boot...and maybe I don't want the boot trashed because I am separating the Joint for another reason, and I want the option of reusing that link, so I don't use these either! Cheers


Edit: I wonder what that OSM would have done on a stubborn rear Brake Drum removal...tried it with just a 20lb hammer?"




External sources attributed.  Otherwise this information is Copyright © 2017-22.  Ronald Kwas.   The terms Volvo Minilite, Vredestein, Gislaved, Tire Rack, or Schrader are used for reference only.  I have no affiliation with any of these companies other than to try to use their products, and keep them  working for me, to maybe help other enthusiasts do the same, and also present my highly opinionated results of the use of their products here.  The information presented comes from my own experience and carefully considered opinion, and can be used (or not!), or ridiculed and guffawed* at, (or worshipped), at the readers discretion.  As with any recipe, your results may vary, and you are, and will always be, in charge of your own knuckles! 

* [Yippee...I actually got to use that word in a sentence for the first time!]


You are welcome to use the information here in good health, and for your own non-commercial purposes, but if you reprint or otherwise republish this article, you must give credit to the author or link back to the SwEm site as the source.  If you don’t, you’re just a lazy, scum sucking plagiarist, and the Boston Globe wants you!  As always, if you can supply corrections, or additional objective information or experience, I will always consider it, and consider working it into the next revision of this article...along with likely the odd metaphor and probably wise-a** comment. 


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