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Up your reliability!  Presented here, are items no well dressed and maintained 122S or 1800S should be without.  Listed somewhat in the order of importance, these items were developed out of a 20+ year first hand experience with vintage Volvos and you'll see them referred to in some of the tech articles.  Some of these kits are "made to order" and labor intensive, involving in some cases, time consuming, manual work, so thank you for your understanding, and patience!  Every kit and purchaser gets my personal attention!  Also, since these kits are presented to help other vintage Volvo owners, if you can see any way to improve a kit, or its instructions, please let me know! Ron

Click on links for pix.  
START SWITCH
UPGRADE KIT
FOR 122S:
Prevent the well known "Beatles Effect" (?) for vintage Volvo keys...you know...Twist and Shout...  Retain the security of your ignition key, but don't break your key off again!  Push the momentary button to start the engine. This kit eliminates the typical cause of broken keys (turning the key to the momentary "Start" position against a Gorilla Return Spring).  Also, unless someone knows the location of the start switch, they won't be able to start your car even if they had the key. This means added security!  The installation is simple, and does not require messing with the armored cable.  About a 20 minute installation - the 122S even has a hole in the dash ideally suited to mounting the switch. 

$23 includes switch, wiring, detailed installation instructions. 
 
Links to additional information:  Ignition Switch Key Breakage Tech ArticleLocks and Keys in Service Notes section.  
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Prevent this!  

 

 

Additional:  Another advantage of the SwEm Start Upgrade is that power for the pushbutton is taken from the IGN power terminal (54), which retains the security of the key, but because the key is no longer turned to the momentary Start Position (which disables power to this terminal) an electronic IGN upgrade like the Pertronics or Crane can simply be powered from that terminal, and NO diode OR'ing of power or additional complication like a "Toggle Relay" is necessary!  In simple terms, this means that if you want to install an electronic IGN upgrade, combine it with the installation of a SwEm Start Switch upgrade, always a good idea, and you're DONE! 

Link to Tech article123Ignition in a Volvo with Armored Cable    

 

START/KILL SWITCH KIT FOR 1800S (PRE 1969): Have you broken keys in your ignition yet (see above)?  If not, I’m surprised and I suggest that its only a matter of time!  If you have, here’s the ultimate fix you're looking for…a combination Start/Kill switch, which both eliminates the typical cause of the broken keys, as well as giving you an ignition disabling Kill function in one discreetly located heavy-duty toggle switch.  No modifications to the ignition switch or armored cable are required for installation (except some minor rewiring) so the appearance is absolutely stock for the concourse judges!  Installation takes about an hour plus a certain amount of patience and agility…you will be working under your dashboard…OK, maybe an hour and a half! 
Start/Kill Switch: $46

Start Switch Only:  $38

Both kits include a new first quality switch, SS bracket, wiring harness and detailed installation instructions. 

Additional:  Another advantage of the SwEm Start Upgrade is that power for the pushbutton is taken from the IGN power terminal (54), which retains the security of the key, but because the key is no longer turned to the momentary Start Position (which disables power to this terminal) an electronic IGN upgrade like the Pertronics or Crane can simply be powered from that terminal, and NO diode OR'ing of power or additional complication like a "Toggle Relay" is necessary!  In simple terms, this means that if you want to install an electronic IGN upgrade, combine it with the installation of a SwEm Start Switch upgrade, always a good idea, and you're DONE! 

Link to Tech article:  123Ignition in a Volvo with Armored Cable

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RESTORED FUSEBLOCK 122/544 (12Volt Electrical System): 
[Note:  6v 444/544 Fuseblock refurbishing service available by special arragement also.  Please e-mail!]  

 

Improve the charging system by preventing corrosion-caused excessive voltage drop across your fuse block (it's part of THE reason your AMP light glows lightly when the heater blower is switched on...the more corrosion, the more glowing AMP light, and the less voltage to run things on the vehicle - beware!).  See also:  Gas Tight  Joint tech article.  Core fuse blocks are disassembled, terminals cleaned up, and reassembled with special brass hardware and soldered.  All three areas of corrosion are addressed.  This is a labor intensive procedure and thus a bit expensive, but it is important, as it is The Permanent Fix for a marginal charging system due to terminal corrosion, and highly recommended when installing the Alternator Upgrade Kit.   

$55   (not including a $15 core charge) easily installed, and Anti-Corrosive Zinc Paste (ACZP) is included for reassembly.  (Only includes FB base, reuse your cover!  Replacement (used, clean) covers are available, add $5)  Jump to Ordering/Payment Options info.

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WANTED! Dead or Alive:  Fuseblocks suitable for restoring!  We will pay $15 apiece, for intact (corroded only) 122 fuseblocks, so that we can restore then and keep ahead of the demand.  Please contact us.

 

RESTORED FUSEBLOCK 1800 (carbureted only): 
[Note:  '69 and later Fuseblock refurbishing service available by special arragement also.  Please e-mail!]

 

Replace the two fuse, original equipment Lucas fuseblock of your 1800 with an upgraded  ULTRA-RELIABLE SwEm improved fuseblock, before you get nuisance symptoms or much worse!   This is important!  See:  SwEm Technical Bulletin No. 3  and also:  Gas Tight  Joint Part II tech article. 

New, replacement fuse blocks are disassembled, cleaned up, and upgraded to replace the totally inadequate original fuse-clips with standard industrial fuse-clips and soldered to make a gas-tight assembly.  All three areas of corrosion are addressed.  Once installed, without a detailed inspection, the improved Fuseblock is virtually indistinguishable from the original...especially with the cover in place, but electrically superior, and years down the road too! 

This is the Permanent Fix for an intermittent electrical system due to terminal corrosion, poor fuse contact, weird electrical problems to Lucas (insert gagging sounds here!), and absolutely required when installing the Alternator Upgrade Kit.   

$140 (expensive yes, but it really takes a lot of precision, manual work to complete), easily installed, and Anti-Corrosive Zinc Paste (ACZP) is of course included for optimum reassembly. 
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Additional:  Please read about a recently documented reliability weakness in the 1800 Ignition Power wiring.  1800 Ignition Wiring...Swedish vs. British Design

 

ALTERNATOR UPGRADE KIT FOR B18/20: [Suitable for all Volvo vehicles with these engines.] Probably our most popular kit!  I bet you won't find a place in these 50 states or Canada, where you can't easily get repair parts for the modern, high-output AC Delco alternator that you install in place of your o.e. Bosch generator with this kit.  This kit also eliminates the mechanical voltage regulator with it, because the new alternator has an internal, solid state type.  Please see also:   Comparing Generators and Alternators. 

Transform the electrical system of your oldie!  You'll really enjoy your "new" whiter Headlights, more rigourous Wipers and appreciate a fully charged Battery, especially in winter!  If your original generator is still working well, more power to you (no pun intended), but the next time your charging system fails, or its finally time to retire that original Bosch, you should really consider this upgrade.  Please see separate Alternator Upgrade Kit Info page for answers to all your questions.
 
$117 for the kit, 2-4 hours installation time.  Kit includes a custom, professionally fabricated bracket, detailed installation instructions, with Before/After wiring diagrams, and recommended AC Delco alternator part numbers.  Please wait for information package supplied with kit to get one of these recommended alternators.   
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BRAKE-LIGHT SWITCH UPGRADE
(Order by model, see details and options!)

544

 As found on Volvo models after 1968, as well as every other car on the road, the "Hydraulic-Pressure-Sensing" switch of the early design is replaced by reliable and a much earlier acting, mechanical "Pedal-Position-Sensing" switch.  See also:  SwEm (Safety) Bulletin Number 4.  Check the proper operation of your Brakelights often!  The early design (pre '67 with variations!) is a known reliability weakness, especially if you don't stomp the brakes every time, or on seasonally used vehicles which spend a lot of time in storage. 
When you fail to show Brakelights, or show them "late", it can cause you to have a very bad day!  With the upgraded, modern  arrangement, you don't need to make pressure in the brake system to show Brakelights, just depress the pedal a slight bit, and give those behind you more time to react and keep your bumper (and neck) straight!  This kit uses an original O.E. replacement switch type, mounted on a custom fabricated bracket specific to each vehicle model.  Original hydraulic Brakelight Switch may be left in place, or removed and replaced with a plug, but this is optional and would require bleeding the Brake System.

Order by Vehicle model.  See below!  

Link toTech Article:  Hydraulic Brake Light Switch Failure Investigation
See also:  Brake Light Upgrades
  

 

122 Vehicles:
  Left Hand Drive (LHD) Right Hand Drive (RHD)
122 Brk Lt Sw Kit, Fit Option A - Non Original Equipment SW-EM design in Stainless Steel...simpler to install, than option B!  Specify if chassis was originally equipped with M40/41 or BW35.)
$46, kit includes a new OE switch, SS bracket, wiring harness and detailed installation instructions. 
Order: 
122 Option A Std
or
122 Option A Auto
No Fit Possible!  X
     
122 Brk Lt Sw Kit, Fit Option B - Original Equipment Design (Stainless Steel clone of OE bracket design, suitable for either Manual or Auto gearbox!  Direct fit on '66 chassis with OE holes in Pedal Box, but more difficult to install on pre '66 chassis without mounting holes in Pedal Box, these holes need to be retro-fitted.)  Absolutely factory stock appearance! 
$64, kit includes a new OE switch, SS bracket, wiring harness and detailed installation instructions. 
Order: 
122 Option B
(Suitable for Std or Auto Trans.)
Order: 
122 Option B
(Suitable for Std or Auto Trans.)

 

444,544,210 Vehicles:

After no small development effort (
brake pedal and master cylinder arrangements are totally different from the other Volvo models), a Brake-Light-Switch Upgrade Kit for these vehicles, based on the same early-acting "Pedal-Position-Sensing" concept, is now also available.     
$43, suitable for both 6V and 12V systems, the kit includes a new OE switch, SS bracket, wiring harness and detailed installation instructions. 
 

 
1800 (pre '68) Vehicles:
  Left Hand Drive (LHD) Right Hand Drive (RHD)
1800 Brk Lt Sw Kit, Fit Option A - Non Original Equipment SW-EM Design , (...but simpler to install!)   $48, kit includes a new O. E. switch, SS bracket, wiring harness and detailed installation instructions.  Order: 
1800 LHD Option
Order: 
1800
RHD Option

 

EMERGENCY FLASHER SWITCH:  A sensible safety upgrade, given the tiny lenses of vintage Volvos, because turning on the E-flashers doubles your visibility!  Late 122s and 1800s had them as OE, as did the the 140 series and every car since then, so your installation will look just right.  We occasionally have some of these style switch (used) available at $60 each, and we are currently evaluating at other options.  Please e-mail for availability.  See also the tech article covering the installation. 
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SERVICE SWITCH (122, 1800): Allows you to "Start" or "Kill" the motor with a toggle switch permanently mounted in the engine compartment...very handy when doing maintenance under the hood (it certainly beats pulling the coil wire and getting sorched to shut off the motor!).  Also, can be used to disable the ignition when the car is parked in a bad part of town.  All of my cars have one!  It's really just a "Start/Kill" switch as seen above, but when located under the hood, I call it a "Service Switch".  $38, for the switch, wiring and instructions. 
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O'RINGED CLUTCH SLAVE PISTON: Philosophical question:  Where does the Girling fluid of the clutch hydraulics go when the car is parked for an extended period, and you go to drive the car... the reservoir is empty, but there's no wet spot under the car?  Answer: Upgrade to silicon fluid and don't worry about it!  See also in progress tech article:  Amazoning with Silicon Brake Fluid.

The number one cause of hydraulic system failure is a scored cylinder bore which allows fluid to bypass the seal.  The next time your clutch hydraulics need attention, don't just polish the bore and replace the seal, replace the piston with an improved O'ringed piston that won't score the restored bore again. The old bore can only stand so much scoring before it goes beyond the point of rebuilding. Naturally, with an O'ringed piston is a great way for a new slave cylinder to start its service life. Two sizes were used in production, so don't forget to measure your piston diameter and include this dimension (3/4 or 13/16) with your order. O-rings are synthetic rubber and compatible with all (DOT3,4,5) brake fluids.  O'rings...they can make you, or break you...ask NASA!  See my analysis of what causes the scoring, and why this simple upgrade is "the cat's a** ".  $24/exchange ($5 core)**,  1/2 hour installation.  Jump to Ordering/Payment Options info.

UPDATE:  We have recently had a beautiful batch of clone 3/4" pistons with grooves for the O'Ring made up, so they will now be available outright, no core necessary!  Please see tech article:  Hydraulic Clutch Tech Article 

SwEm replacement 3/4" pistons are dimensional clones of the originals, made of A2 air hardened tool steel, but with the important addition of a groove for an O’Ring at the dry end.  They still satisfy the “hardness difference requirement” between piston and bore, but with the O’Ring preventing piston to bore contact, the bore will not be expected to suffer from new scoring, so periodic “rebuilds” will necessary only when the seals wear out (and that should be a long time), and at the modest cost of a replacement seal kit only. 
Piston outright cost:  $45, two O-rings are included along with detailed installation instructions.  Assemble with grease compatible with the fluid which will be used in the system (Girling red hydraulic grease for DOT4, OR silicone Grease for DOT5). 
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SEAT SUSPENSION UPGRADE KIT 122/1800: As described in:  Service Notes section.  See OVER the steering wheel again!  All metal wires and springs are superior to the O.E. rubber band suspension and permanently replace these, as they  probably have no spring left and are likely totally sagged out by now (...and you thought your spine was shrinking...).  I suggest you check under your seat cushion...you might be surprised what you find! It's also highly recommended to replace both driver, and passenger seat suspensions at the same time...so that passenger doesn't feel like they're being looked down upon!   
$38 per seat, 1/2 hour installation. 
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Remember this ad?...this kit will help you get another 11 years from your seat - likely more!

[If this list was in order of importance, this could really be at the top!]

 

INTERMITTENT WIPER CONTROL
available for 544,122, and 1800
:
There are many variations for the various vehicles in Wiper Motors, and Wiper Switches, which need to be carefully considered when installing an Intermittent Wiper Control.  It's tricky!...more tricky that one might think!  Please e-mail for information and installation options!

 

FUEL INJECTOR PORT
BLOCKOFFS FOR B20F

It's well known that the B20FI heads breathe the best.  So when fitting a Fuel Injected head for its better breathing, but using it with Carburetors, the FI ports must be securely blocked off to prevent what would otherwise be a major vacuum leak. 

I've heard of some pretty rustic methods of sealing the ports...and that would be OK if they were located somewhere out of the way.  But after all, the ports, and whatever method you use to block them off, are in full view of anyone inspecting the engine compartment.  So if you are looking for a clean, professional appearance that shouts "ATTENTION TO DETAIL",  look no further... 

This kit seals the ports perfectly, and is compatible with fuel and temperature extremes it is exposed to.  It can also withstand the manifold pressures of possible backfires. 

The set includes four laser cut 5052 aluminum block-offs, silicon polymer seals, socket head cap screws , insulators and washers (identical to original securing hardware).  Installer supplies gasket sealer and threadlocker...  $34 for the set. 
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Other specialy items:
PVC Harness tubing (black): As used for the harnesses of the above kits, and matching that originally used by Volvo.  We have 3/8" and 1/4"sizes.  Perfect for protecting that additional or restoration wiring!  Please contact us!
304 STAINLESS STEEL REPAIR PANELS: As described in:  DeLorean had it Right tech article...panels should be available soon...please e-mail for current status.
CHOKE-ON REMINDER KIT: As mentioned in:  Check your Choke Article.   By special order only.  Please contact us!
 
 

NOTES: The term Volvo is used as a reference only.  I have no relationship with this company other than to keep its vintage vehicles working for me, and to help other enthusiasts do the same. with quality engineered and produced kits.  Installation times are estimated.  All kits consist of quality components and engineering as applicable, so you will NOT find one of these stupid little stickers (which virtually guarantee disappointment by knock-off, shoddy goods) on ANY SwEm kit...isn't that part of why we restore and drive these cars?   Incidentally, I didn't buy anything to get the sticker above for a picture, I picked it off some cheap-as-dirt product at the store...is that considered stealing?  Sorry, but that's the way I feel.  Someday, just like Japan, maybe they'll get their act in order, but for now, I'll pass on their products!

 

Ordering/Payment options:

You may order by (e- or snail-) mail.  Normal stateside shipping is included. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery, as many items are made to order.  Non-US orders, please contact us for additional shipping information.  We do try to keep a stock of the popular alternator upgrade kit, so if your need is urgent or you need more information, please e-mail us, and we'll try to help.

Please don't forget to include year and model of your vehicle, with all correspondences, and make your check or money order payable to Ron Kwas and send to:

Intelab/Swem
P. O. Box 370193
West Hartford, CT 06137-0193

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