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Just bought a very tired 1972 164E

Hi all,

Just joined the community as I bought a 370,000km 1972 164E on the weekend.

Surprisingly tidy if very tired. A little rust, but could have been much worse. Lots of little jobs to do.

Made it the 300km home but it's a) very noisy and b) very, very, slow.

Looking forward to getting into it and hopefully meeting some good folks on here.

(And don't believe the photos - had just given it a rinse and the old paint was hanging onto enough water to make it shiny! It's not shiny...)





  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.


    Have a look back at @Robs 164 projects on here , iirc he was doing a wagon and a 2dr as well, he isn't on here much anymore though.

  • Classy car the 164. I hope it gives you a lot of joy. If you are like me it will teach you a lot about persistence and maintaining a positive attitude.

  • I think it was only "positive attitude" that got it home! 😄

  • 1971_144GL1971_144GL @1971_144GL Launceston, Tasmania

    Glad someone bought it as I have been tempted by it for a few weeks. Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the exclusive Tassie 164 owners club. It shouldn't be noisy or slow in the end once you have given it attention - the injected straight six is a beast in good running order. But I also suspect that the BW35 wastes at least a third of engine output by converting it directly to heat and noise. I like the early bendy bumper look better than my late version. I look forward to hearing how you progress.

  • W'hay - another Tassie person. Brilliant! 👍

  • Vee_QueVee_Que @Vee_Que South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.

    Nice. They have a flat tappet cam and with age are likely to wear the cams out. It's relatively common actually.

  • Agreed - certainly one of my top theories. Even from cold it starts *right now* when you turn the key, so I'd say the absolute basics in terms if spark and compression are there to at least some extent. I want to check the valve gear first, but is there a way on these to get a peek at the cam lobes other than actually taking it out? And, if necessary, can the cam slide out with the engine in place?


  • You can pull the cam with the engine in place, but you need to remove a lot of the front end hardware to extract the giant bump stick.

    IIRC, the lifters can be extracted without pulling the head, it's a matter of removing the rocker cover, pushrods, and rocker shaft assembly first, then using a tool as per the pic.

    Extracting and examining them needs to be done anyway before pulling the cam, but the condition of the lifters might give you an indication as to the state of the cam lobes.

    The timing gears on the engine will hopefully be the steel set pair and not the part steel/part fibre set. The factory steel sets are a matched pair and never wear out. OTOH, fibre timing gears are crap and will break - hell, they even break on B20s which have two less pots.

    Pulling the engine.... B30s are heavy muthas; they weigh about 550 lb, so this needs to be taken into account.

    There's a couple of 164 Green Books (repair manuals) in the Oz Volvo Technical Archive.

  • That's brilliant - thank you!

    (Here I was hoping I could get lifters out with a magnet...🥴).

    Fingers crossed it won't get that far - though it would be interesting to do, so it's a win either way I suppose!

    I'll keep you posted, but I'm *very* slow, so it'll be a while til I dig in too far. (Want to start easy by sorting the paint...😉).

    Thank you all for the help and info!


  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    They should be decently fast.

    My 73 automatic road car never ran right, but it would move when you got the revs up. The 72 manual rally car was an absolute rocket in the context of an early 1970s luxury car.

    I would also pay attention to the fuel delivery. Old parts, modern fuel and sitting around are terrible combination.

  • Welcome to the 164 Club.

    Check out the 164 Facebook page and my OzVolvo thread about Viktoria, my 1974 164E.

  • Yes, I've been reading about Viktoria - great stuff! (And made me start thinking about white-walls! 😄)


  • AdrianHDrain74 @AdrianH Elphinstone, VIC

    Hi @Fickled, welcome and great to see another 164 here. I have one which is straight but will get a repaint and upgrade to TE spec.

    I have got a number of spares that came with the car, mostly a later model but reach out if you are after anything.

  • I've removed the white walls (flappers) from my tyres, so you are welcome to them. PM if interested.

  • Probably won't look much different in the pics (probably because it isn't...), but have given the outside a thorough wash (pre-soak + detailing brush around the details, then a handwash) and can now see what we're dealing with.

    The good news is there's plenty of paint to work with, so it should shine up reasonably well. I'm going for an "honest" look with this one I think - very clean, but not hiding the scars of a long life.

    The other news is that there are areas that will need attention - ranging from paint to new metal. Which I'll get to very slowly (as with everything).

    Next will be to start on the inside to see what we have there.

    This is all while I wait on the first shipment of bits to arrive from the US. I'm not in a hurry to drive it anywhere ATM. Apart from being downright unpleasant in its current condition, it's not exactly safe either. The passenger side front wheel bearing needs replacing *now*, there's the occasional wobble from the rear suspension and the tyres range from 12 to 19 years old. And no two are the same brand, natch...



  • VolDanVolDan @VolDan Launceston,Tasmania

    Looking good! Welcome to the Tassie chapter :)

  • Spent some time today with the vac, APC, detailing brushes and the steam cleaner to make a start on the interior. Will take a few goes, from the looks of it. And will need a warm da to do the shampooing/extraction of carpet and seats.

    No great change, yet, but definitely *cleaner*...

  • Looking good there.

    I had to clean the engine bay on mine three times to get the bulk of the dirt and grease out. Still find little sections here and there are dirty.

  • Yeah, never ending job, I think. I've still got that ahead of me...

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