The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Customer Spotlight - Jack Adams

2014-01-06 - Jack Adams - ipd customer

My thirty five year “fling” with Volvo began late in 1966, I was working at Weiner Motors a Volvo dealership in Bridgeport, Connecticut preparing new cars for delivery. I spotted my first love, a1966 122 S ( which was sold to me as a 1967 with an updated title ). As I prepped more new Volvos for delivery I noticed the newer cars had some upgrades, a cooling system reclamation system, bigger wheels, and more horsepower that were missing from mine. I was not happy but the dealer dismissed my concerns so I checked with the Connecticut Motor Vehicle Dept. (they have jurisdiction over dealers) title updating was not permitted. The upshot was that the dealer, in an effort to “make it right” said to go to the parts department and choose some goodies for the car. I went to the performance pages and chose a camshaft and heavier valve springs, diaphragm clutch, limited slip differential, headers, performance needles for the SU’s.

That was the beginning, the upgrades were great but I wanted more. I had been doing gymkhanas and autocross with a 1965 Alfa Romeo Spyder but wasn’t successful. I was the president of the European American Sports car club at the time. When I chose the Volvo it was the club joke, too heavy, no power blah blah. I went to a local spring shop in New Haven Connecticut, they made stuff in house. I told the “spring Master” what I wanted so we lowered the car about two inches by cutting the coils, He used the stock sway bar as a template, took 3½ rod stock with the right properties and bent a new sway bar( the difference was magical). Next came Koni shocks, wider American Mag wheels with Good Year Blue Streak Racing tires. Installing a rear sway bar on this car was a bad idea, when high speed auto crossing, the car would go on two wheels, the first event, showed the problem so I changed my shorts and removed the sway bar. I added some Stewart Warner gauges temp, oil pressure and tachometer, a totally different car. The next several years were spent running many speed events (very successful, many trophies) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Maine. I used a trailer to carry the racing stuff to the events, I removed the seats swapped the road tires for the Good Years, did the event then undo everything and drive home. My nickname was “super swede”, no more laughing from the club ! I got a parts sponsorship from a dealer I worked as a service advisor at (Volvo City West in Milford Conn.) Sadly, a drunk ran a stop sign, badly damaged my car but totaled his Volkswagen. I drove mine for a while but it wasn’t the same. A fan wanted the car for a long time so I finally sold it, Several years later a friend saw the car in a field, rusting (it was very recognizable with dealership lettering and performance stickers on the sides ) Sad end to a great car.

My dad was so impressed with my Volvo he traded his BMW 2002 (the whispering bomb) and bought a 240. He traded every two years until his last car, a1999 S 70 which I inherited. The car was garaged and treated very well while he had it. About this time we had internet access and I found IPD, the stories and pictures from other Volvo nuts infected me again. It started with suspension upgrades, the IPD front and rear sway bars, the upper strut brace, HD upper spring seat, the HD end links from QBM, Bilstein gas struts, Eibach dual rate springs, a camber kit, Whew! Next came the poly firewall mount and lower poly trans mount then 302mm slotted rotor conversion kit, braided stainless brake lines, 17x8 Exel wheels, some Michelins with nitrogen fill. Now it was starting to feel like my old 122s. The engine bay seemed neglected so here we go, a Samco silicone performance hose kit (I thought the blue color was awful but it grew on me) the Samco radiator hoses matched. When I got the S70 Florida was home and I did yearly drives to Connecticut (a fun detour is the Blue Ridge Parkway, like Disneyland to me).

Bad luck reared its head again; a drivers side front collision totaled the car (ugly). With no collision insurance I had the car towed home. Over the next year I bought an identical (not quite) S70, and began disassembly of the wreck. I stripped it down to the bare body and kept all the good parts in plastic bags and boxes. Everything was cataloged, most of the performance stuff was good and all of it went on the new car plus more. Halogen reverse lights, all the vacuum hoses are silicone (blue), a SR5T ram intake system with IPD heavy duty turbo control, in line magnetic trans filter, new Empi drive axles. The ride was too harsh with the Bilsteins so I swapped for adjustable Konis, much better. I got a great looking IPD billet engine oil cap (don’t touch it after the engine has been running, without gloves). After about 150,000 miles the cooling system needed a radiator, expansion tank and heater core. The radiator flexes at the upper hose connection and being plastic, it cracks. The heater started smelling so I tried changing the “o” rings to silicone, that was a waste of time because the core is mounted in plastic, flexing again caused a leak. It’s better to change to a new core and use the silicone “o” rings, I also did the wiper delay relay.

The appearance things came next, IPD angel eye headlights and turn signal assemblies, black mesh grille, black matte mirrors and trunk spoiler, an IPD sunroof wind deflector and Weathertech window vents. I put some “R” badging on the car (it’s a reasonably racy replica of a real R). I painted the calipers with body matching epoxy. Recently I had the motor (from the first S70 w/60,000 mi.) refreshed and installed, O’Steen Volvo in Jacksonville, Fl. did a fine job. I just finished installing poly sub frame pads. I’m waiting for some heat wrap tape for the turbo oil supply line to lessen the oil caking inside, (the original line was blocked) I also bought the IPD trans flush kit which works fine. I can’t wait to straighten out the Blue Ridge Parkway again.

As an aside, when I installed the angel eye headlights, the euro city light feature wouldn’t work. After some research, and help from Andrew at IPD discovered that Volvo had a recall with a lighting harness modification, to eliminate an over voltage condition with the lights. The correction entailed a short 8” harness that changed the 4pin plug on the chassis harness to a 3pin (for the American headlights) The angel eye lights have a 4pin receptacle, when the 8” harness is removed, problem solved. The over voltage is corrected with the extra bulb on the angel eyes (city light) looks cool. IPD heavy duty coils are on the list next and some kind of correction for the crappy interior door panels. Thanks for the help, happy motoring. Do I need counseling for my insanity?