When dressing up, one needs to...Accessorize! 

first published Aug 2004 R. Kwas (changes on-going) [Comments added]


Goodies to dream about: 

Roof Rack 
Trunk Rack
Trailer Hitches
Trunk Basket
Rallye Instrument Cluster
Stainless Steel Hardware


Engine Block (Pre-)heater
Rear Window Defrosters 


Roof Racks:  Sometimes, the passenger compartment just isn't big enough...

 Thread:  http://www.brickboard.com/RWD/index.htm?id=697541

Roof rack on a 2-door saloon [120-130]
posted by Ron Kwas on Wed, Oct 15th 2003 at 8:01 AM


I agree with Pearl...the Thule rack system (named I believe after that very cold place in Greenland), is a super practical, modular, quality system, with separate "Foot Kits", crossbars, and mounts for everything from skis, to canoes, to rooftop boxes, to lumber, to straps for moving your uncles' barkalounger....with the standard gutter foot kit, it fits everything from an 1800, to an Amazon, to a 700, and with a different foot kit easily also could fit more modern, gutterless cars in your stable...they have a website which I'm sure will take any search engine about a millisecond to find....plan on spending $150 - 200 to start ...not cheap ...but worth it!


Link to another Theard:  http://www.brickboard.com/RWD/volvo/1316277/120-130/follow_question_roof_racks_122.html

 I'm not affiliated with these guys, but I know a good product when I see one ...and have satisfactorily used their products and options for a loooong time...from the 122, to the 1800, to the 745 family truckster!

Screenshot from aYT video.



Trunk Rack: 

Hairy Land Snr picture posted with his kind permission.  

..when the "cavernous trunk" of an 1800 still doesn't have enough room because the Saint's traveling companion insists on bringing half of her Manolo Blahnik collection, this is a good luggage option.


Trailer Hitches:  I've seen a several different styles for 122s, from the heavier duty, European style which have an additional cross-member that attaches to the rear frame rails, to the lighter duty type, which bolt through the floor of the trunk and just reach under the bumper (also bolting to that).  Both styles shown below.

Trailer hitch common on European Amazons.  Anhängelast (Load rating) 1000kg (with brakes),  gebremst, 540kg ungebremst (without brakes), 50kg Stützlast (tongue weight).  Picture used with permission, credit:  Markus (Forumname:  marksmighty on the Volvoniacs Forum).

Here is another heavier duty type of tubular stock, which picks up the frame rails on either side, as well as Trunk floor, but does not require hole in bumper center section.

Rick Watson supplied picture and used with his kind permission.





Below is the lightest duty type...with no structural ties to frame rails! 

Light duty trailer hitch for 122...bolts into floor of trunk and also to bumper.


Link to 544 hitch info;  http://jazzbo.de/volvo/ahk_BOH_544.pdf


Heavy duty 544 Factory hitch, with a link under the tank.

Light duty 544 Hitch. 




Trunk Basket: 

Trunk Basket installed (however, diagonal securing stay is not present on left!).  I have added it on the right.

My response to thread: 

"There is no diff in trunk accessory rack between 2Dr and 4Dr models. The piece important for securing rack into place is missing in your picture! Refer to mark-up picture! Missing piece is another wire/rod which comes up from the middle of the lower front (A), and diagonally runs UP and BACK to snap into a half-moon cut and displaced semi-hole, from below, into the horizontal hat shelf above (B) [see next pic]. Quite simple and basic really, and nothing fancy at all! If you have a look, I expect you will find this receiving hole easily (I believe all 122s had them!), and now, you know what it is for, if you ever wondered!

I suggest you make this replacement rod from a 4mm stock, with a loop, unite it with lower front wire, with a loop at the A point, and cut it to length to reach and snap into the B point with a bit of preload...you might want to make a lighter, easier to deal with, test rod from a lighter (coat-hanger gauge wire) first, to check length and fit.

If there is a clearance issue at your shockmounts, as Peter notes, you may need to make some clearance bends, or add fender washers to top of shock mounts, and tuck the rack wire under those...this worked out well on a "copy" of the rack I have installed on another car. "


Felix Robers picture reposted with his kind permission.



Rallye Instrument Cluster:   

Picture of a Jaeger Rallye Instrument Panel in a 123GT...an impressive, and extremely rare accessory!  Stefan Frank picture reposted with his kind permission.

Excerpt of Jaeger Catalog: 


Additional Links for Jaeger Accessory Dashboard info: 





Stainless Steel Hardware:  ...is nice sometimes in that it stays looking shiny without being painted...BUT beware!  Stainless hardware is not as strong as that made of quality carbon steels, and Stainless on Stainless is known for galling...always use Anti-Seize when this combination will occur!


Radiator Grill for Auxiliary Lights:  Here is a nice factory accessory for adding Auxiliary Lighting to the 122...not exposed, but behind the Grill.  Dress-up rings are added to clean up the Grill ends.  This accessory is apparently rare!


Engine Block (Pre-)heater:  Powered by plugging into AC power, these are popular in severe cold climates, and used for keeping your car from freezing to the point of not starting, because when brutally cold, the oil turns into molasses (even if it has been changed to "winter Weight"), causes slow cranking and places a high electrical load on the Battery, which is down in performance itself due to the temperatures, and Starter. 

Several styles are available, from External Type (contained in a small Tank), to Lower Radiator Hose heaters, to Heating elements which get installed into engine block Freeze Plugs.  In the case of all of these Coolant heaters, breaking into the Cooling System is necessary to install them, and once in use, Coolant circulation occurs by convection, powered by the thermal energy being added by the heating element.  Note that this is the normal mode of flow for the Cooling System anyway!  

External Engine Heater:  Plumbed into Cooling System and located wherever there is room. 

Lower Radiator Hose Engine Heater:   

Freeze Plug Engine Heater:  

Each of these styles are acceptable for installing into a vintage Volvo.

Dipstick Oil Heaters:  This is the absolute simplest, and most commonly sold (because installation does not breaking into the Cooling System, but simply involves replacing the Dipstick).  Don't be taken in!  This style is also the least effective for heating the engine, because it heats the oil (which on the surface might sound good)...it is however, not very effective at heating the entire engine or even all of the oil because the otherwise freezing cold oil is not capable of circulating around itself OR the engine when not being pumped...what Dipstick Oil Heaters are very effective at from first-hand reports, is cooking away some of the oil in the crankcase they are in contact with, not to mention what it is doing to the oil they leave behind in there (does cooking, and coking, of oil in turbo bearing housings sound familiar?)...My advice:  DO NOT INSTALL THIS TYPE OF "ENGINE HEATER" IN A VINTAGE VOLVO...EVER...!  THEY ARE INEFFECTIVE, AND MAY/ARE LIKELY TO RESULT IN DAMAGE!...you have been warned!

No, it's not a Magic Wand, but Dipstick Oil Heaters are sometimes sold as one! 


Blanket or surface type Heaters are installed onto Oilpan by gluing-on from below.  They can also be used under a Battery, to improve its Cold Cranking Amps (CCA):  This spread out heating is not as bad as the virtual pinpoint heating of the Dipstick type, but it clearly does not have the advantage of circulation that the Coolant Heater types have.  This is a popular solution for those who must have to deal with super arctic conditions...better have "winter weight oil" in the crankcase too!  I still much prefer the Cooling System type, for the advantages convection flow brings with it, not to mention the fact that the Heater/Defrost System will be available MUCH sooner after Starting!  


Below is shown an example of a (European) 220VAC powered Freeze Plug type installed on a 544.  Note the beefy and almost excessive looking installation, with what looks like a metal jacketed cable running between the Engine and Firewall.  The installation looks like this for good reason!  Connecting things in a vehicle to line power is serious business(!), from an electrical safety standpoint, and must be done absolutely properly, since this wiring must jump from the frame to the (vibrating!) Engine Block, as well as being on the exhaust (hot!) side of engine, and involves high (potentially lethal!) voltages. 

When installing an Engine Heater, even one on (US) 110VAC power, author recommends powering it by way of Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) outlet, which will protect personnel from shocks in case the power cord becomes inadvertently shorted to the vehicle chassis, energizing it.

CAUTION:  When installing Line Power equipment into motor vehicles, electrical safety practices as well as automotive safety practices must be observed!  This is not the time or place for short cuts or to take liberties!  And plugging them into a Ground Fault Protected circuit is also good practice!   

Link to thread:  http://www.networksvolvoniacs.org/index.php/Spezial:AWCforum/st/id5680/Motorvorw%C3%A4rmung_(-heizung)_f%C3%BCr_B....html

Block Heater installed in the rear Freezeplug, with cabling running up the firewall to a connector (Orange). 
Picture source:  http://www1.garaget.org/archive/111/110324/338646/large_338646-3215492.jpg

PLACEHOLDER for Auxiliary Cabin Heater Notes


Rear Window Defrosters: 

My response to thread:  https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?590445-Rear-Window-Defroster&p=7223025#post7223025

"...any electrically powered rear window defroster with any kind of effectiveness, will be a serious load (typically ~10A+) [meaning it will be a ~100W heating element], which an OE Generator will not be able to keep up with...net effect: Battery will be discharging whenever it is in use! Heated wires "adhered" to the glass are less than impressive or longlasting in my experience...a little heating element with blower on the back shelf, also about 100W, is what I prefer, have, and recommend, which works well, and is much thermally gentler on the glass, but an Alt is also necessary to power it [the OE Generator just doesn't have that much extra oomph]. Search:  Rear window defroster blower." 

I located these two examples: 

Example of an electrically heater blower rear window defroster.  As can be seen from this picture of the box, it is intended by manufacturer to be plugged into Cigarette Lighter socket.  Hard wired with a switch and relay would be better and is always preferred!  The box doesn't give recommended fusing, I expect the instructions would, but for a 100W unit, 14 or 12ga wire protected in sleeving, and 15-20A fusing would be appropriate. 

Impressive but Highly Exaggerated advert for another heated blower defroster I ran across...maybe somebody in the Marketing Dept. just got Photoshop for their computer, because it would be generally rather bad to have actual flames coming out of your rear window defroster!  [...or maybe this is an actual picture of another one of china's finest products in action!]

From a FB posting...: 

Picture by G P Mercer and used with his kind permission.

He states:  "Not sure what happened here. I had this heated screen put in in 2010. It was about -1C this morning I'd been driving for about 40 mins. Rear screen was clear so turned off the heater then 30 seconds later BOOM! (I think I need a change of underwear!) and it split apart. Nothing big passed me so unlikely to be a stone strike. [I kinda doubt that, because those are MUCH more likely to hit the front glass...but if you insist on that explanation, may I suggest a meteor strike!]

Some kind of thermal shock?

My response: 

"This is precisely why I recommend against heated rear window (with embedded heating wires)...the thermal stresses (not shock, sorry! **) are localized and extremely high with this possible result. I prefer blowing heated air across the window from below, from an electrically powered little defroster located on the rear shelf. Beware, do not install these with only the output of the OE Generator as they are a pretty high load (10A+) and a Gen would not have sufficient output to power it and still charge battery

[**  shock refers to rapid thermal changes resulting in high thermal stresses...I think what caused this to happen, are the high localized stresses resulting from the hot wires embedded in the cold glass...a minor point of terminology, and of little matter to the broken glass...]


External sources are attributed.  Otherwise, this information is Copyright © 2004-2023.  Ronald Kwas.  The term Volvo and other Brand names reader might see on this site are used for reference only.  I have no affiliation with this any of these companies, other than to use and try 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 around the watercooler, 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!

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 don’t, you’re 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 odd metaphor and probably wise-a** comment. 


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