January - December 2021
Jan to Mar 2021 were spent in another jolly old lockdown which
allowed the garden, front bedroom and loft to be tidied up a
lot, thankfully, for the first time in decades.
I had noticed that
the 360 had an occasional issue of idling too fast (2000 rpm)
which I couldn't easily sort out. It turned out that the problem
was due to the plunger at the side of the carb (which is to do
with float chamber ventilation) kept getting pulled into the
down position by the plastic lever. However, a couple of hours
fiddling about revealed that it had a *very* simple cause - the
choke cable had become a bit bent in all the previous
shenanigans and was not allowing the carbie cams and levers to
go fully back to ground-zero when the choke was pushed in.
However, after a bit of straightening, I can sleep peacefully
In early March I found that the car started after 2-3 weeks
standing with fuel level in the filter really low and on a
fairly flat battery. This seem to suggest that the non-return
valve seems to do the business. The mixture is a bit rich,
though. Maybe, a tweak of that well-hidden screw is needed.
The 360 gear-change died on 5th April 2021 so she was brought back
by the AA on the back of a lorry. The gear lever was incredibly
loose but I couldn't see anything wrong apart from the fact that
the rubber seal with the chassis beneath the two gaitors had given
up the ghost. Turns out that its due to a well-known weak point in
the linkage and it gets welded up by the garage for £531, which
sounds like a lot but they had to drop the gearbox, so its not too
bad really. All that remains to be done is to repair the
waterproof seal with the chassis which sits under a plastic frame
beneath the two rubber gaitors.
It turned out that the plastic tray can be removed by tapping out
little plastic pegs which sit in the 0-shaped holes, one of which
is visible in the above right picture. Removal goes quite well,
although the rubber seal turns out to be unobtainable and not easy
to duplicate. There's even a bit bona fide
welding visible on the linkage below.
Mid-April 2021 and it's coming back together with Gorilla tape as
a substitute for the original rubber moulded seal - just want a
bit of waterproofing at that point in case I have to drive through
floodwater again, although I have to make holes in the tape for
the plastic pegs!
As can be seen, the pegs tap back into their holes to about the
right depth quite well, I think. Now moving towards the end of
April 2021 and the car is back in everyday use.
Effort is now concentrated on Red Ness whose boot floor was given
a hasty coat of red paint in the autumn that didn't match too
well. However, a coat of black Humbrol enamel, diluted a lot with
white spirit, has toned it down quite well.
Blast, it looks like a second coat overdid it.
Anyway, after much cursing and climbing in the boot, I got the
back seat re-fitted, but my back was telling me I should not try this
Still a bit unhappy with myself over the colour so I went over it
with some original Volvo touch-up paint, thinned-out with tons of
acetone (shown below right). Dried very quickly so I am happy with
the result, but now it's too red again, but I think its OK.
I then got the boot boards back in place, etc, so now (mid-May
2021) it's time to show off my latest restoration piece: a
3-compartment toolbox hand-painted to match, I hope.
Now, it's time to start freeing-off the rear brakes so the car
goes up onto wooden blocks again and, thankfully, the drums came
off fairly easily. You can see my slightly embarassing over-spray
on the exhaust pipe and spring shackles from 2 years ago. I just
assumed they'd be rusted-up by now ;-0
All came apart pretty well on the first side I tackled. The lever
was totally seized-up since the garage had used brake-cleaner to
remove all the copper-ease I had put on it to stop it seizing-up.
However, it freed-up fairly quickly with some hammering and WD40.
A spot of copper grease and it's all gone back together on the
driver's side. I think it's alright.
The other side came apart and the lever was found to have
seized-up, but not as badly as the first one. Freed-up and copper
greased, it's going back together in mid-May 2021.
Got it back together, adjusted the handbrake and back on the
ground again. Seems ok now. All the while, the deep blue 1.7
soldiers on out to the wild bogs as reliably as ever, touch wood.
Next up, servicing Deep Blue herself. She needed a new fuel
filter, but, as can be seen in the second picture, the dizzy cap
was in good condition compared to how it usually looks (third
picture), so, like the rotor arm, it was simply cleaned-up and
refitted. Waste not, want not.
Oil change, plug-clean and air filter change all done. The current
mileage on Deep Blue is 95k. There are a couple of jobs that need
doing over the Summer, namely the speedo needle keeps jittering
and the left-indicator does not self-cancel when the weather is
hot!! However, it makes a loud enough click to tell me that it has
not self-cancelled, Mr Insurer, so can be remedied by hand.
Everything went well with the 360 until the middle of May when the
welded repair to the rear exhaust hanger broke, so limped home
with piece of string holding the rear silencer up. Back to the
newly serviced deep blue 1.7 for a bit. Meanwhile, the garage
re-welded the 360 exhaust hanger and put on a new exhaust rubber
but when I drove it back to its garage, guess what, the mounting
broke again and the rubber O-ring went flying somewhere on the
route. Need to find someone who knows how to weld. Hope the gear
lever has been welded better, hmmm....
They also broke another mounting in their efforts, but thankfully
the third one survived intact.
Needless to say, a day or so later, I was able to retrieve the new
but, by now multipli-runover, O-ring (shown below) by carefully
retracing my steps. Set against a backdrop of Murder Most Foul,
the full enormity of these pigeon poo dramatics is plain for all
to see, but a hole is a hole...
to the rescue with some
super-high quality welding (below left). I managed to get a new
exhaust hanger from Dafhobby
and this was welded on by Tony who realised that the old one had
been welded on in the wrong place, before it broke off!! The
hanger should be bolted on but the captive nuts in the chassis box
section were long, long gone, so welding it on was the right
answer. The other mounting that was broken (below right) has been
repaired quite innovatively, too. Could that be a bolt-on solution
So now its 12th June 2021, but lets call it 1st
, and all Red Ness needs is a new
twin-tailpipe exhaust and some stylish alloys.
You might detect some failry rubbish pixel editing by a
photoshop-style program there and you'd be spot on. Anyhow, the
idea came from this
which I remembered fondly from my mid-secondary modern school
days. Yes, no 11-plus here, sorry! Well, I wouldn't be into 340's
if I had the brains to pass ;-0
Anyway, the full enormity of my lack of IQ came to the fore when
trying to locate where this item left-over by the welders two
years ago should really go.
Finally, with help from the volvo300mania forum, I found it on the
deep blue 340 next to where the radiator goes. So lets see how it
looks on the red 340. OK its there, but hang on, its also
different, facing forwards rather than backwards!!
Oh well, its definitely missing on the other side of the red one,
so we'll fit the left-over one in its vacant slot.
All's well that ends well, but the niggling worry is whether it's
really right? A look at the other side of the radiator on the blue
340 leaves me baffled in the extreme since its definitely facing
the other way to cover over the air inlet. In one of those eureka
moments (that rarely happen to me) I realised that the welders may
have fitted the trim panels back on the wrong sides of the
radiator, so off they come for a clean-up and a bit of a silicone
I then experimented with fitting them the other way round. Nice
one, top one, sorted and I think that they are finally back in
their right places.