122 Ignition Switch Dashboard plus Steering Column Special Configuration Notes

First Published Sept 2020  R. Kwas  [Comments/Additional Information added]


Ignition Switch / Armored Cable / Ignition Coil Assembly


The unusual configuration of Steering Column mounted PLUS Dashboard mounted Ignition Switches has been noted as a variation on late production European delivered Amazons (121, 122, 123 models).  This configuration has been observed on as early as 1967 in the European market, but never in the American market.  Since the Dashboard Ign Sw is a one-piece assembly with the Ign Coil, the two being connected by the Armored Cable, with the Primary Ign Power node being completely inaccessible, this begs the question of how the two Ign Switches play together to power the Ign Coil.  

Pictures by Aidan C. and Simon are used with permission and thanks.

Later Steering Column mounted Ignition Switch uses the 140 style key, and this assembly is not overly
susceptible to key Breakage, as the Dashboard mounted Ign Sw is.  This weakness is covered separately here
Dashboard location has a plug blocking off access to the old Ignition Switch (which is actually still present,
as can be seen in the following picture!).


Rearview of Dashboard mounted Ignition Switch.  It looks no different than the standard Ign Sw,
however, there are wiring differences, and if one were to demount switch and look under that plug,
there would be no Lock Cylinder, and switch would actually be in Position 3 ...and the question of
how the Ign Coil is powered is answered! 


View of the connector end of Steering Column mounted Ignition Switch.


Switch side view of Steering Column mounted Ignition Switch with cowl, and wires removed. 


Combined wiring of both Steering Column and Dashboard mounted Ignition Switches. Wire gauge in mm2 and colors are included.  
Also shown are both A - early Armored Ign System, and B - later non-armored standard Ign Coil configurations, which may be fitted.


This configuration is found, by Aidan C., a member of the British Volvo Owner's Club Forum, and considered in detail, in thread:  Electronic ignition with original coil ...which initially started out about how to supply Ign Power to an Elec Ign, and developed into understanding the interaction of the Armored Ign Assy and the Steering Column Ign Sw. https://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=310293 

Excerpts of Aidan's posting from the thread with results of inspection: 

..."the general consensus with the Swedish Amazon Club is that it was an aftermarket dealer fit accessory and not a factory option."   [...with a possible reason that an insurance discount may have been allowed for the dual anti-theft provisions.]


9 o' clock [Terminal 30, normally the incoming Battery Power connection, here a node for Ignition Power. ] has one heavy cable which goes to 15 (red switched positive on the ignition switch).

12 o' clock [Terminal 50, normally the Solenoid control (Start) wire, here unused.  The new Ign Sw or a separate Start Switch does this function. ]  has one connection which has been cut off, leaving a small stump of black wire.  [..actually, it would be the standard Green Solenoid control wire within a black sleeving.]

3 o' clock [Terminal 54, normally the Ignition Power output, here, it is the Ignition Power input for Ignition Coil.] has two wires, one heavy red that goes into the loom and disappears and one black wire which feeds the cigarette lighter. Do you need any more info on the heavy red wire?


This configuration was also noted on the Volvoniacs Forum under:  K(r)ampf mit dem Schaltplan und der Verkabelung





Reference information:

The Ignition Switch / Armored Cable / Ignition Coil Assembly: 


Installation Instructions for late Steering Column, with Ign Sw, into the 122 Model, by Volvo, for Swedish qualified readers.


Externally sourced materials are attributed.  Otherwise, this article is Copyright © 2020.  Ronald Kwas.   The terms Volvo and Bosch are used for reference only.  I have no affiliation with either company other than to keep their products working for me, help other enthusiasts do the same, and also present my highly opinionated results of the use of their products here.  The information presented comes from my own experience and carefully considered opinion, and can be used (or not!), or ridiculed and laughed at, or worshipped, at the readers discretion.  As with any recipe, your results may vary, and you are, and will always be, in charge of your own knuckles, and future! 

You are welcome to use the information here in good health, and for your own non-commercial purposes, but if you reprint or otherwise republish this article, you must give credit to the author or link back to the SwEm site as the source.  If you donít, youíre just a lazy, scum sucking plagiarist, and the Boston Globe wants you!  As always, if you can supply corrections, or additional objective information or experience, I will always consider it, and consider working it into the next revision of this article...along with likely the unique metaphor and probably (likely) wise-a** comment. 


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