Feedback and Testimonials on SwEm Site and Kits

A General Big Thanks(!) to all who have responded with kind words to my SwEm Tech articles or kits, and feedback to, in some cases, improve kit engineering or instructions.  If you have a problem or complaint, you probably wont see it here, but I will certainly address it in whatever way I can and which is appropriate!  Ron K

Some excerpts of e-mails  [My clarifications and (sometimes questionable) comments added!]


Feedback on Brk Lt Sw 1800 quality and install
Unsolicited Compliments on Alt Installation Instructions
Brakelight Sw variations vs YOM
Rocket-Scientist Feedback on O-Rings
Bill Matuscak Feedback (6V to 12V conversion)

"Two weeks from everywhere"


Ben writes:  

Thanks for your excellent resources regarding these cars, I'm finding them exceptionally valuable.  Thanks right back atcha!

I'm currently carrying out a full restoration of a 1968 Volvo 1800S... 


Jeff writes after installing an Alt Kit:

"'ve got another satisfied customer!

I received the Alt kit and the excellent documentation and was able to practically throw the bracket and alternator at the car and have it go together and work without incident.

The B20F motor I am using had never had its trio of 5/16-18 holes used, so I did chase those threads with a tap and that was a good tip. I suspect it would have galled the threads had I not done that. I used the Gates 7360 XL belt which was a perfect fit.  Turned the key and the alternator light went out and I'm showing 14.55v at the battery. Woo-hoo! "


Jason writes:

"brake light kit [for 1800] is great and the installation went very smoothly, it only took me about 20-30 minutes.  I even used dielectric grease on all of the electrical connections!   ÖJOKiNg!!  I used ACZP as instructedÖ  ...excellent brake light safety kit."


E-mail feedback from Bryn R.:

"The [ST] switch arrived safe and sound and is now installed, itís brilliant, Iím very pleased, easy install and works a treat."


David C. feeds back:

"...the P1800 momentary start switch procedure was very well-written."


Michael C. writes:

"I have the pedal brake light kit. Really happy with it."


Richard G. writes feedback on an Alt Kit Installation(s) after initially having a terrible squeal:

"All is fine after the initial problem of the God-awful squealing was solved. The problem, as it turned out, had nothing to do with the belt or the alignment of the belt. If you recall, it was the alternator itself. In the end, it finally froze up and fried the belt. [I don't expect the front bearing was actually replaced during "rebuilding", and although it was beyond the warrantee of the supplier, he pointed out to them that he had very low hours on it, so they were kind enough to replace it with another unit.]

I liked the results so much on the í67 last year that I did the conversion on my í65 this year as well. That has worked out perfectly from the get-go. Both cars start faster which I attribute to the batteries staying in a better state of charge than did they did with the old factory set-ups. [Correct, typical, and one of the advantages of the Alt conversion!]  The lights are brighter, turn signals faster, wipers faster, and blowers work better.[...and those are the other advantages...!] In addition, both cars actually seem to run better which does make sense. [That may just be an owner perceived improvement...!]

...getting the needed s-curve on the adjusting bar is easy with a good bench vise, the right hammer, and a little patience."

[I had to gently talk him out of instead using a stack of washers!  See:  ]


Jonathan P. e-mails: 

Gorilla spring bypass push button works really well!!


Charlie M. writes on Swedespeed:

"...Your SW-EM website is a terrific resource."  [Thanks!]


Michael M. also from Connecticut writes:

Brake switch installed. Works perfectly!


Olli in Finland writes: 

I received the package [St Sw Kit] today with clear instructions, thank you very much! 

[He also had some questions as to connecting it, in conjunction with a 123Ign, Elec Ign Sys, so I directed him to this SW-EM site link, where this is covered in detail: ]


Rob L emails (after an Alt kit installation):

...Your instructional page was perfect!


Charlie M. writes (after installing a Brk Lt Sw in his 1800): 

"I installed the kit and it works perfectly!  It was quite a wrestling match to install, due to the cramped location.  I ended up removing the driverís seat and lying on my back, with some prying to get space between the steering column tube and the existing brace the saddle clamp was bolted to in order to slide the kitís bracket into place.  Once in position, there is enough wiggle room to place the switch so that barely touching the brake pedal will light up the brake lights.  [...but this is maybe (no...IS) the first time anyone mentioned needing to remove the Driver's seat to get access for installation!]

Itís a very good kit.  Really nicely made stainless steel bracket.  Feels like a robust switch.  Complete instructions, including wiring the new switch and the existing hydraulic switch up in parallel for redundancy.



John C. Writes:

"I did everything you said and it fired right up!... " [Static Timing for first start after engine build.]


Rob L writes:

"Your tech articles and in depth information / descriptions have been incalculably helpful!  We especially appreciate your attention to detail and inclusion of the scientific principles behind the operation." 


Bill H writes on

"Your site, which I have visited numerous times, is a fount of Knowledge for the dedicated Volvo Voyager. "


Phil e-mails:

"...and I sure enjoy your web site." 



Chris A, who operates a '68 1800 up in Canada, writes:

"...your site has been very helpful and you are an engineer's, engineer - you make wonderful critical arguments and explanations and I am truly thankful. "  WOW...thanks!...I try to combine my engineer's training, and as an analytical thinker (and occasional BS Artist!), with my vintage Volvo requirements and targets (dependable, satisfactory function, at least as good as OE) and present this in an understandable and useful way to all!


John C. feeds back:

Installing the (1800) fuse block was a breeze. 


Greg V. says per e-mail: 

(Alt) Kit is here Ron!  Looks good.


Matt H. writes per e-mail: 

...received the kits for the brake lights and remote start.  Well thought out, detailed instructions, quality parts----you covered all the bases.


Chris H. on writes: 

"'s been extremely useful, so thanks! "


Joel G. writes in

Hi Ron, I used your AC Delco alternator conversion bracket on my B20 for decades. Because of the many advantages of your product, others have asked where to find your conversion bracket.  [Contact info forwarded!]

He did note that he had failed VRegs a number of times, and that stopped after he "...coated the exhaust with ceramic."  If there is a direct correlation can only be inferred, but would not be unreasonable, as it is known that Thermal management of Alts is important...if they are highly loaded electrically, or don't have enough cooling, or both, they can fail, and failures due to this are the more frequent than for any reason.  I directed him here:  

Joel G. pictures posted with his kind permission.

Joel's sharp looking 140...and his equally sharp looking engine compartment! 


Penelope P. writes on :

I fitted the pedal position switch from Ron Kwas in parallel with the hydraulic switch. Much improved Brake Light response! [By design, and as intended!!]


Tobias J writes:

" 1967 122, just broke the 3rd key and knew someone else had to encounter this problem, your article was extremely well researched and entertaining," 


Trent M. writes: 

"Good news is the start/kill switch [on an 1800] works like a charm."


Ron R wrote:

"Per your great advice I was able to fix the goofy (544) windshield wiper problem.  Hooray!"  [Apparently, Ron had a similar issue to this situation occurring on an 1800, which I documented at the link, where getting the Wiper Linkage wrong on reassembly makes the park position and or motion not quite right!]


John F writes:

"Thanks Ron, you know your sh*t."  [John may be a charter member of the Men of Few (but emphatic) Words Club!]


In the most comprehensive feedback any Alt Kit installer has ever communicated, Richard G. writes, in part:

"My í67 is back in running order. The lights are brighter, blower is better, the wipers are faster, the turn signals are more lively, and the car actually seems to run better."  [All of the listed improvements are well known and expected..."better running" might be attributable to a higher power buss voltage, causing more Ign Coil primary current and stored energy, which might make itself known as a higher energy spark...or it could just be a placebo effect!]

Richard also did not make the recommended "S" bend into the Fanbelt Tensioning Bar, instead spacing it away from the Cyl Head with a stack of washers.  Since I have seen the securing bolt back out at this location, I must wonder and question if this is a good long-term solution...I have suggested he keep a close eye on this fastener!

See:  Loose Fanbelt Tensioning Bar


Trent in Canada writes:

"Great technical website that you have, really appreciate your efforts into dissecting, troubleshooting and providing repair solutions for these older Volvos." [I'm happy if they help keep more of these great cars on the road!]


Jeff L writes:

Your diagrams and parts you sent are fantastic!! 


PK in Sweden writes:

Thanks for your work to keep these lovely cars on the road!


Jack B writes: 

"I have... installed a start switch...  The photo was meant to say thanks. ... I own a 67 123 GT. You have also helped me learn about engine bay wiring....  ". 

Jack's Volvo Key Collection (from before he installed the SW-EM Start Switch Kit ...Jack keeps it for I expect sentimental reasons!]

Jack B's picture used with his kind permission.


Mark H writes:

The ignition bypass switch works great and was a snap to install. Cheers  Mark


Jim H writes:

'67 122S, and some years ago I bought a starter switch kit from you, love it, now I don't break keys anymore! And I have your brake light switch kit also, thanks, feeling safer...[Good long-term feedback is always nice!] ...your Tech Articles much good stuff there... great service to the community! Cheers,


John B write:

"Kits arrived last week...very clear instructions and everything working fine."


Quinton D. writes:

"considering how perfect my SWEM goodies work, my first thought was to turn to you" [WOW, thanks!]

See the troubleshooting and repair details of failure of his "diode cable" powering his electronic ign:

...further, and this is possibly (only) slightly embellished, he writes: 

"...install[ing a] SWEM Kit... It's as easy as installing a rock in a rock garden, and it lasts longer too." 


Kevin O writes:

Your webpage is a great resource. 


JCG writes on Faceplant (}:

....after many years Iím still enjoying your alternator conversion bracket. I just wanted to express my gratitude for a durable performance improving product.


Adam P writes:

...your ignition switch instructions are really easy to follow! 


Chris J writes: 

"I followed your advice and instructions and the [Alt] conversion came out great. 

Notice Chris left the old VReg in place for a stock appearance, and he reuses one of the
terminals (D+) as a tiepoint for the energization wire (original Red wire ties to White wire of Alt harness). 
The heavy Alt output wire is also still in the same location, but it simply runs under the now non-functional old VReg.  
Chris J picture, and used with his kind permission. 


Jason H writes:

"...I...can see now, why you have these upgrades, so appreciated..."


Rich K writes:

Thanks again for your attention to detail.  ['s the way I roll!]


Chuck B. wrote:

Received the upgrade kit last night.  This is good stuff!  I'm surprised you're not selling in bulk to the Volvo parts guys like...XXX

After he installed the [Alt] kit, he wrote:

This puppy works great! My fans and wipers move at full speed again.... just like in the mid-1980's when I learned to drive on this car!

Thanks, Ron! Great kit! Makes me want to do some more high-tech upgrades to this car....


Damien in the UK writes:

"Check this out for service: I ordered from Ron on Sunday evening, and the full kit arrived in North Yorkshire from The States on Wednesday." a point of information, (Brake Light Switch Kit, OEM Option) was a padded (thick) envelope...perhaps those get faster auto-handling than parcels...!


Rick R. writes:

"Just wanted to say thanks for the [Alt] bracket. It fit beautifully. I needed to get shorter bolts as the OEM ones bottomed out. I also needed a different belt, but I think that had something to do with how my old bracket was set up (it's different to anything else I'd seen)."   "But it's in, charging nicely, and no GEN light!" Great!  [Several belt sizes (lengths) will fit, and this variation will be able to be adjusted for in Fanbelt tensioning, but I have no way of knowing if the fanbelt you have installed previously is the exact one called for (Gates 7360 or equivalent), so this can account for variations in fitment...]

"I also cleaned up some of my dielectric grease and replaced it with the zinc paste." Good on ja...!


Duncan E. writes:

"I thank you in advance for your brilliant products and excellent service."


Seth V writes:

"I have bought your alternator kit and brake light kit in the past few months and they are great."


Rick W. says:

...  And a thank you. When I got the brake switch conversion you were fairly confident that the configuration I was describing was from a '67, rather than the '68 I was told I owned. It provoked me to inquire with Volvo archives in Sweden and after a lengthy wait they confirmed my car was built in March '67. 

His chassis had the older brake system pressure sensing Brake Light Switch, but he was saying his was a '68...which is not consistent with what production documentation suggests (a true '68 would not have a Pressure Sensing Brk Lt Sw!). 

My response to Rick:  " ['66-]'67 was the changeover year for Brk Lt Sw, so depending on date of manufacture, if it was early they would have had holes for the later bracket in Pedal Box, but still installed pressure switches (maybe they used up the stock of pressure switches they had on hand), later in the year, they actually installed the later Pedal Position Sensing Brk Lt Sw.  That's why its possible to encounter all three combinations from the factory.  I don't recall if your (March) chassis had those holes or not (my '66 chassis already did, so I expect yours did also, but you could confirm this for me), but your results are consistent with what I expected.  Not infrequently cars manufactured in one year were documented in the sales and registration documents by dealers as from the following year."


Bruce C says:

[Start Sw] Kit received a few days ago. Excellent quality by the looks of it. Instructions clear and concise (once I remembered my wheel is on the right). Surprised it is so easy to fit. Thanks for your help.


Ryan B says:

"...the brake light wonderfully and I canít wait to install the starter switch."

My response:  Hint:  Install Start Switch BEFORE breaking key...installing it AFTER is akin to locking the barn door AFTER the cows get out...not nearly as fun or effective...!


Matt F. in UK says:

"...Thanks for making the website I know itís a great help for people. "

...and after installing a Start Switch Kit...

" Iíve received the switch and I have fitted it with your great instructions. "


Larry (redblk63, swedespeed forum)

"As one who works for NASA, I do appreciate orings. Your root cause analysis of the slave cylinder failures because of side loading looks on the mark. I can see definite side loading from the linkage angles on my car. " 

It ain't "rocket science" as they say, but I'd like to point out that this "rocket-scientist" agrees with me!


Mar 2009:  BIll M. Long-term Feedback

"  This is Bill Matuscak from Wisconsin who you helped with the 12v conversion
on my PV444 a few years back.  (Reference:  )  I've got to say the system is still working fine and I'm very pleased.  (Long-term reliability and success is always a goal and it's sure nice when achieved!)
    The car sat all last year (I own 4 older cars so I kind of rotate their use
each summer) but this year my wife and I want to take the Volvo on about an
800 mile tour.  I've been in the garage going through the thing to get it
safe and ready to roll.  In checking things out, I noticed the pressure
switch for the brake lights only works with tons of pedal pressure.   I've
got this same problem on my other cars that use the same type switch (all
with silicone brake fluid).  (...sounds familiar!  See:  )   I began to ponder adapting a mechanical switch.
I went to "Brickboard" and searched the archives and found you have designed
a kit for just that purpose.  "  (*BTDT,GTT-S...yep!)

*...been there, done that, got the T-Shirt!


Brian H. ...has come up with an interesting new grammar twist...swemming (verb usage!) a Fuseblock!

"I have one fuse box, maybe two that I want you to "SWEM", or rebuild- I was looking for an appropriate verb."


Russ M.

I was very impressed with both the quality and the application notes.  And anti-seize on the pivot bolt.

He added:

I ended up deviating from the Delco recommendation.  They were not available locally, and I did not want to wait for mail order from XXXXX.  I bought the best alt from the best store (non-chain) in town.  I'll know in 5 or 10 years if this was a mistake...My Response:  I am a rather surprised to hear that the Delco was not "available locally" must really live in the sticks...or as George Clooney's character says in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou: "at a location of geographical oddity...two weeks from EVERYWHERE...!", because Delco does have a very good distribution network through automotive suppliers around the entire country...did you follow the procurement instructions in the installation documentation to locate nearest distributor?  Typically, at least one of local auto parts place will carry the quality Delco rebuild you say...the quality and longevity of the Alt you got [from an alternate, non-Delco source], will show itself in time...hopefully you will get "5 or10" years out of it, which isn't too bad either...but keep your receipt, just in case!


Drew P writes:

...Love the alternator kit!  ...I'm really impressed by how well everything works and how easily it all goes together.  Great kit!


Simon S. writes: 

Thanks so much for running your site and spending the time to make these products.


Chris M. writes: 

"...I appreciate your tech articles... I've found them very useful over my past 18 months of Amazon indoctrination."


Gregory M writes: 

"...I had been using your static timing guide with great success..."  Reference:  Static Timing A B18/20


Jack A write: 

"Alternator works beautifully on my í67 Amazon 122s with an upgraded í69 B20 and M41 with overdrive.  Adding your alternator bracket and an actual AC Delco alternator with internal regulator was single best upgrade I made to the car, besides the B20 and M41 setup."  I did recommend that he fuse the OD circuit separately with a 20-25A Fuse.


Luis M writes: 

"I installed the kit and followed your instructions on the wiring, I just want to let you know that it works perfectly!"


David H writes: 

"I ordered the start switch upgrade kit and brake light switch upgrade kits from you back in 2013. They work fantastic!"


Harry G writes: 

"Thanks for the excellent Web info on 123 Distributors for classic Volvos.  This is most helpful..."


William G. writes: 

"...PV544 B18 engine, SWEM alt kit already installed, nice job on conversion, easy to understand)." 


Rex C. writes:

" have some good stuff on your site..."


Ken R. writes:

"I installed the fuse block - no problem. Nice job on the block, great quality....Thanks for all your help."


Chris D writes: 

"I am very partial to your kits, BTW.  I have had the starter/cut-off Kill switch and alternator kits installed for years on my '67 1800 and they are still working great.  [Why wouldn't they be? advice is to now just loose that stupid Lucas's the next weak link!]

...I also have the rear brake light kit installed as well - all very quality items." 


Chris R. says: 

"Your fuse box is a gem."


From Andrew C.: 

"I got all your kits today, they are very nicely put together!...I used to be a hardware design engineer...

...I put the alt bracket on, and got one of the alternators on your list. The plug is at 12 o clock. Absolutely brilliant! Looks great, thank you!"


From Greg W.:

"Appreciate the documentation you've shared on your site by the way, a good resource on a number of topics to keep these cars on the road! "


From:  Kenneth R:

"...I received the (Alt) kit and am very pleased. A perfect fit and nice quality...."


From Andrew C.

"Thank you for your wonderful web site.

...the AMP light problem. You could have read my mind...mine used to do the same thing..."[AMP Indicator issues are quite common...actually typical, on Amazons, that's the reason for Tech Article:  AMP Light ON covering the subject.]


From pstevens3307 on  post #23

Alt Kit."..It's also rugged as hell, works great, it's easy to install, and Ron's instructions are excellent...."


From Theodore S.:

"Thanks for supporting the vintage Volvo community! "


From Dave F.

"...Lastly, I'd like to thank you for putting this Alt kit out there. It's the most substantial and well thought out solution I came across in my search for a charging system upgrade.


"Thank you for the prompt reply.  I have been on your site...very informative, also enjoy your comments.  "



"Thanks for everything. I love your products and your website. It has been a great source of information." 



From S DeWolfe: 

"You don't have to buy Ron's kit to get quality. But you will get quality if you buy Ron's kit."  Excerpt from Brickboard Posting:


From Justin S.: 

"The switch kit went in perfectly!  Thanks for creating such a great solution, your instructions were superb! " 


"From Dwight C. in Canada:

Well I finally got my 66 1800S on the road this spring.  All you kits worked really well.... "


From by timbert:

"I switched over to an alternator on my '66 122 - using the fabulous SWEM kit (WOW...Thanks!)- several months ago. The one piece of advise that I didn't heed was to not buy the cheapest AC Delco type alternator I could find ... I bought one for $45 at the local auto parts super store. Everything seem(ed) to work okay for a couple months. For a while now, the alternator has been making quite a racket & the alternator pulley/fan looks to be wobbly - but everything seemed to still work & it has been awfully cold & wet & dark to be swapping out the alternator, so I just let it slide.

Today, when driving home at night - in a cold rain with wipers & fan going, the headlights seemed quite dim & then, when I switched into overdrive, the radio cut out momentarily...."

[...sounds like a typical cheapo "rebuilt" by degreasing and electrical checkout and (maybe if you're lucky) new paint on the outside, but little else...with a 30 day "guarantee"! usual, and certainly in this case, you get what you pay for!  See also:   ]



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