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Thread: Restoring a Volga

  1. #1
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    AND SO IT BEGINS

    Well you have likely read my search for a Volga thread and possibly my life with a Volga thread. However I thought I would start a new one that was devoted to the restoration work that I have planned for my 3102. I decided to put it in this category because it seemed the most appropriate, as it will be a story in and of itself.

    After I came home from work, I began by taking her out for one last drive prior to beginning the teardown. She did well. The alarm that was installed sure leaves something to be desired however and so that alarm will not be returning when I begin the reassembly phase. I invited my wife to come along and surprisingly, she accepted. After driving around for 15 minutes or so and listening to me blab on and on about the virtues of my Volga, she actually started to come around! She actually said that she liked it, though I couldn't tell just how honest she was being, but even that is major progress with her. :-) We stopped off for vanilla milkshakes and then headed back home. It was a good last outing for a while.

    So anyway. After returning home I decided that I wanted to do a compression check before disassembling anything. From front to back, I got these values for the readings:

    CYLINDER READING (psi) (bar)

    1 99 (6.826)
    2 97 (6.688)
    3 100 (6.895)
    4 101 (6.964)

    So the range is ok, but I don't have an FSM to compare them against. Anyone know if these are good or bad for a standard 4021 series engine?

    Some other issues that pique my interest and that are high on my priority list of things to address:

    1) I noticed a while back that the left rear quarter panel of my 3102 seems to be out-of-spec. If you look down the sight line of the top of the body, it doesn't line up with the rear passenger door, though that door closes ok.

    2) Related to the above, the seam of the trunk lid doesn't line up correctly with the body on the driver's side, but it does on the passenger side. It's almost like there was some damage there at one point, but my contact in Moscow reported that the sellers stated that there was no damage history. So we'll see once I can get a closer look. But something has to be done, I just can't leave it like that.

    3) The left rear also seems to ride lower than the right rear. After a quick inspection, it appears to simply be an issue with the leafs on the left, but I won't know until I can take it all apart. This too is something that I will correct; cannot leave it alone.

    I couldn't get too far into the teardown tonight, I just had too many honey-dos. Photos attached.

    Thanks!

    Jerry
    Attached Images
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  2. #2
    Senior Member alexandr's Avatar
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    The compression showld be 850-1000 kPa (8,5-10 bar?) for the 92 (octane number) gasoline engine modification, or 800 kPa (8,0 bar?) for the 76 (low octane) gasoline engine modification. Wich one do you have? Don't use high octane fuel if you have low octane modification! Else the valves will burn through!
    When measuring the compression, someone need to open the throttle to full and hold it, or the readings will show lower. The engine must be 80C hot. Let the engine rotate untill the readings stop to grow.
    Some people say they have 950-1000 kPa in their engines. Anyway instruction says: not less then...(see above).
    The lowest compression it can take (or found by me) is 670 kPa. Generally the engine need to be repeared if it "eats up" the oil, and the exhaust smoke is blue and extesive (when it's black it means "too much fuel, fix the carburator").
    "left rear quarter panel of my 3102 seems to be out-of-spec"
    It's OK, my father have 3110 Volga, he have same issue since he bought it brand new. The door is out-of-spec, not the panel. No one is putting the cars together like they did in 1950th. Back then they had a special device to bend the Pobeda door so it fitted the car. Then the slightest flaws were corrected with tin filler. The clearance between body and the door was 2-3 millimiters! The first Pobeda my brother bought have such.
    In your case you can try to move the door lock fixator (mounted on the body) 4mm deeper. Don't foget to mark the place where it stands now, in case you will not like the result. Then unscrew, move it, tihghten the screws, close the door.
    "the seam of the trunk lid doesn't line up correctly with the body on the driver's side, but it does on the passenger side"
    Same thing that it is with the door. It just need some fine adjusting. It's not the result of a car accident for sure.
    "issue with the leafs on the left"
    Didn't get it. My english knowlege is failing me again. You mean that the left rear of your car seems to be lower than the right? And the "leafs" are the parts of the suspension spring?
    If they are, then i have one easy way you could fix it. Put your car on jacks, let the springs rest every time your car is not in use. If it doesn't do the trick then you will have to change the spring. You could also go to a blaksmith, and have your leafs fixed, but that could cause the left side to stand higher then the right. Check rubber silentblocks in the rear suspention, they are almost always damaged after fighting with russian roads.

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    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    Ok alexandr-

    Thank you for the data. I'll re-do the test just to be sure, but I did everything you mentioned, let the car warm up, cranked for 5-6 seconds at WOT, etc. I don't know which octane engine modification I have nor how to figure that out. I will go back and check the paperwork to see if it says anything about this. However, I am currently running 87 without any signs of pre-ignition or "knocking". Engine has no leaks and no smoke. I need a new oil cap though.

    Perhaps the left rear misalignment is the door as you suggested. I did think about that, but I also noticed that the door jamb seems to have an odd-appearing shape, so once I take things apart I'll investigate further. Same goes for the trunk lid.

    Yes you are correct about what I was saying regarding the ride height problem that I mentioned, sorry for my abbreviated English. Upon taking a few measurements and eyeballing it, the leaf springs on the left side appear to be more worn than the right (passenger) side. You can visually compare the amount of flex between the two and that picture seems to confirm my initial measurements. The plan at this point is to have both sides re-sprung once they are off of the car or else buy new and replace.

    Thank you for the input alexandr!

    Jerry

    ps-I did manage to find a copy of the 3102 FSM online, but will need to convert it to PDF. Hopefully that won't be too much of a pain...
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

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    Senior Member maxmermer's Avatar
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    Jerry I'll be watching this thread closely, this is the funnest part for me, restoration threads are the next best thing to doing the work yourself, hands on. Please include video clips if possible.

    alexandr
    welcome, it's good to have another Pobeda owner on the forum,,, I would have to disagree with you on the body part fit quality comparison you made. Especially on the Pobeda, my car had no serious body damage as far as I know, and the gaps are terrible. The excessive use of led filler even on flat surfaces just shows that the soviet dies back in the 50's were not really good, but the 16 gage steel compensates for all that

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  8. #8
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    alexandr-

    Thank you for the feedback. It appears then that I have the 76 octane engine modification because the numbers on my cylinder head are 4021-1003010. That coincides with the fact that I am running 87 and don't hear any knocking, even at WOT. The paperwork I have makes no reference to the head but instead lists the number for the block, which is 40210D-20058770. I spoke with the previous owners who told me that the engine was replaced in 1991, but it wasn't clear just what that meant. Did they mean only the heads or the block too? When I first bought my Volga I was told that it was the original engine, but I am not sure about this now. One thing seems certain: the head isn't original. The previous owners also told me that all four doors were replaced at one point with newer 3102 doors. Perhaps the fitment isn't right for the driver's side passenger door, not sure. I'll know more when I take it apart.

    Max- I agree that I enjoy this part the most as well. I will try to upload some video of the work. I have the camera already set up in the outbuilding and will record everything I do, just in case I screw something up along the way. I'll also take pictures as a backup.

    I came down with a cold yesterday though (I'm sneezing as I write this post) so I won't get back to it until next week most likely.

    Thanks all,

    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  9. #9
    Senior Member maxmermer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandr View Post
    This is realy strange... If i will have an opportunity i will take some photos of the door clearance was refering to. It's the first car bought by my brother. It never was repeared since the factory, body rusted trough, but the doors, the trunk lid, the hood, they still don't have any "gaps" and the clearance is 2-4mm.
    And one more thing that is strange, i've dismantaled 5 Pobedas, cleared of paint 3 more, none of them had tin filler (no tin, no led) on any flat surface. Although i've read somewhere that the tin filler was used in body repear works.
    maybe it's just me, because I'm really picky when it comes to these things, of course the tolerance on gaps will never be perfect even on modern cars, but the quality control back in the 50's was not the same as today. There were more tasks performed by manual labor on the assembly line back then. The Pobeda's fenders (wings) for example were put together from two pieces, the welds were definitely filled in those areas. On my car (1952) I also found led filler on door edges, where it was used to achieve a flat surface with the fender. I think that was the only type of filler they had back then. I've heard that Pobedas were erroneously believed to have been covered with led from factory to prevent corrosion. I've read many complaints by owners on forums of poor new or donor part fit. It seems like each Pobeda has it's own character and rejects other body partsWe can discuss this further in another thread, lets not go off topic and clutter Jerry's thread

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