What's new

Question: Anybody got any photos of Volvo 122s rotors and calipers on ford spindles?

#1
Anybody got any photos of Volvo 122S rotors and calipers on early Ford spindles? This was a semi-popular set-up in the seventies, and apparently, its a bolt-on, you use a ford inner bearing and a Volvo outer, you just have to make caliper brackets, which I can manage easy-peasy. I have easy access to the Volvo parts, and I have a project that this would be ideal for, as the later GM rotors and calipers that everyone likes to use nowadays are a little too big and bulky for what I am thinking of. I would just like to see how it looks and how they did the caliper brackets. I am hunting my seventies magazines for some pics, if I find them, I will post as well, just wondered if anyone has some pics, or better yet, any experience with this set-up?
 
#2
OK, some progress. Total Performance made the caliper brackets. Very nice clean simple looking bracket, it looks like this may be the ticket. Street Rod magazine apparently did an article on it in 1972, but I only have Aug thru Nov '72 its not in any of those, so it must be earlier.
 
Last edited:
#4
George, I’ve been putting a similar deal together but I am using Wilwood calipers.
A couple years back I got a hold of Volvo P1800 rotors, I think they are the same as 122’s. I thought about using VW Type II (or are they Type III?) calipers but then I scored new Wilwoods for .810 rotors complete with the recommended pads for $200. Cheap money, complete with $80 worth of Wilwood Matrix pads! I removed the spacers in the calipers and now they were correct for my rotors.

Machine work will be minimal but I do need to find someone to do that job, I have no access to a lathe. In the photos you can see a spacer and plate holding the rotor against the inner bearing, that is because the required machining will be to cut the length of the .750 outer bearing diameter back about 1/4” on the spindle.

Here are the part numbers-
Calipers- Wilwood 120-6818
Outer bearing- SKF CK 09074.
Inner bearing- Timken B 1201.
My rotors look to be new but I don’t know for sure, they are .485 thick, so I may need to have them cut just a few .001’s. Everything is mocked up and will work but I have yet to put pads in so I am not sure of how much of a cut they need. Regardless, it will be minimal.
Grease seals are National 224046.
Caliper brackets are from Speedway, they are for 5 1/4” c-c mounting holes. I found those in the Garage Sale listings, they are Total Performance brackets, SW bought TP out years ago.

Uh, oh, photos tomorrow, my cell phone pics are too big to post. I will take new photos in the morning and post them ASAP.

My sedan has a Maverick 8” rear and it now has Chevelle rotors, I had intended to re-fit the car with Aspen rotors for the 4 1/2” BC but after I began researching the Volvo rotors I had on the shelf this new deal just kinda fell into place.
 
#8
Ha! There it is! Thanks again Larry! I knew they had done it, because there was a letter in the Nov. readers letters saying how helpful it was. Unfortunately my collection of Street Rod doesn't go back that far.
 
#9
I have some VW calipers and brackets and from some measurements I made I think the rotors can be centered by milling 1/16" from the mounting ears. That would require the same cut on the spindle as on my deal, the outer bearing needs to be moved in.
DSCN3354.JPG DSCN3356.JPG

The pads highlighted with soap stone are where the 1/16" milling is needed. Also, I should have mentioned in the first post that the 3/4-16 thread needs to be lenghtened and then the tip of the spindle shortened.
 
#11
Early Ford spindles are not center drilled on the back side but they need to be to accurately support them for the machining needed. Actually, the very earliest 1928 spindles were center drilled and even had a round back (although smaller) like a '37-'41. OK, back on track, to hold them for cutting back the .750 diameter I would chuck one in the lathe using the inner bearing diameter and then center drill. Next take a piece of 1 1/4" bar stock and tap it for a 3/4-16 internal thread, screw that on the spindle and chuck it up with a live center in the tail stock to support the spindle on center for the cut using the newly center drilled surface.
35 years at GM running mills, I never had the opportunity to run a lathe, unless one was a general machinist you were pigeon holed on one job. The General had rules and the Union had lines of demarcation. Anyway, does anyone see an issue with this plan? Will the steering arm get in the way? Scan_0081.jpg
 
#12
I actually plan to use '32-'34 spindles (I have an extra pair that aren't slated for any particular project, and they look nice) So I will have to slightly alter the caliper brackets.
Larry, I don't see anything wrong with your plan except like you say, the steering arms are going to be in the way. I would skip the centering hole, and try to mount the other end of the spindle in the chuck, and bring the cutter in from the chuck side, there should be enough room.
 
#13
I figure you want to run the chuck around 380-400 rpm, maybe a little less. Just a guesstimate, but I would figure you want an actual cutting speed of around 75-80 ft/min, so you don't need to spin it real fast. From what I usually see, the #1 mistake most amateur lathe operators make is WAAAY too much rpm/cutting speed and #2 is trying to remove too much material in a single pass. You don't want to spin it way fast, you will get chatter, and its the vibration that makes things get "hairy". I would wrap the threaded end in brass shim stock and use a 4 jaw chuck on the threaded part of the spindle, zero it off the bearing surface, go slow and take lots of light cuts. I think you could get by without the live center, and save yourself lots of hassle. I don't think using a live center in the tailstock is an option anyway, I think the steering arm will hit the tailstock.
 
#15
By the way, I should point out, when I say "wrap the threaded end with brass shim stock" I mean only one layer. I know you have machinist experience, so you get that, but I don't want anyone to do something stupid and get hurt because they mis-interpreted something I said.
 
#16
I was thinking along the same lines, the steering arm might get in the way of the tailstock but I still like the idea of using a center for support.
Tom, the guy I used to crew for has a lathe with a big enough swing, I need to give him a call.
 
#17
You could try it, but you would have to crank the live center way out of the tailstock before the steering arm would clear, I think you would have it all the way out to the end of its travel, even on a big lathe. The further its cranked out, the greater the magnitude of any play in the tailstock, I'm kind of "meh" about the idea of using the live center. I would rather do the four jaw chuck, and focus on getting the piece precisely on-center, and getting the cutting speed right on the money. But I do understand your qualms about having that big chunk of steel (the steering arm) flailing around at 400 rpm with no center support. It'll look scary.
If you are really afraid its going to fly out of the chuck, get it all set up on center with the dial indicator, get the speed where it should be, fire it up and then shut it down without taking a cut, and check again with the dial indicator, if it HAS moved, you will see it right away.
 
#18
Found some more cool stuff that kind of pertains to this, or at least what I am doing with it. I should give some background here, I have two '65 Falcon HT's one fairy intact factory four speed car, and a second car that came with it as a package deal. The second car is back-halved, and missing some of the oem stuff like side trim and so on. I didn't even really want the second car, and tried to negotiate a deal just for the intact stick car, but in the process of negotiating, the price difference for the second car was negligible, so I decided to take both cars.
At first, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with the second car, but I had a street/strip 428FE/C-6 combo left over from another car, so I started to think in terms of putting the FE in the '65, but it never REALLY started to gel in my mind until I picked up a decent used 6-71 at the Monroe swap two years ago. The hilborns I picked up for my T were originally on an alky sprint car, a Enderle 80A pump was part of the package, too big for a gas burning small-block, but suitable for a blown gas big block application, so you can see where this started heading. This is a back-burner project that I am just SLOWLY accumulating parts for, if I get them free or dirt cheap, and I have a surprising amount of stuff so far.
A central feature of the plan is scabbing a late sixties style full tube 1.5x3 chassis onto the existing rear 1.5x3 rails and putting an aluminum floor and firewall in it, along with fabricating a dropped tube axle with a panhard, four bar and coil-overs, ala late sixties drag car practice.

So this is how the Volvo discs came into it, I REALLY want dual piston Hurst Airhearts, but unless I get REAL lucky and find something at a swap, that's not going to happen, so I started looking for a small, light, compact disc brake set-up that will mate with early ford spindles, and I remembered that A) guys used early Volvo discs, and B) that my dad had multiple 122s Volvos and there were sure to be rotors and calipers up at the other house.
So tied into this is the need to fabricate a dropped tube axle. I want to use '32-'34 spindles because A) they look really nice, and B) I have 3 sets, so in keeping with the cheap/free theme. I GOTTA use lots of free parts, because at some point I need an Enderle bug or a Hilborn 4-hole, and there is NO WAY ON EARTH THAT is going to be anything even remotely resembling cheap.
Ok, so problem #2, '32-'36 spindles are shorter than the others across the axle end. I really wanted to use pre-made king pin bosses and weld them to the ends of the tubes, but all the pre made bosses I found were for the '37-up 2 3/8 king pin boss. Then I found this, courtesy of NeedsLouvers on the #@M&. And I checked, the numbers for the bearings are still good.




Theres more to follow on this, but I am getting ready to leave, so I will follow up in Sept., I came up with a very cool trick for making a jig to hold the bosses in alignment, which I will share when I get back, but then I found another solution that is probably even BETTER.
 
#19
I’ve seen the Torrington thrust bearing deal before too, but it always bothered me that they would not be shielded. How about using the early Ford thrust bearings and cutting the brake actuating cup off the king pin? Once cut off you could weld a heavy washer on top of the pin (maybe a 1/4” thick) or even something custom turned and more detailed looking.
 
#20
Yes, I saw where Dick Sparado wasn't too excited about the Torrington deal too, and said basically the same thing. For what I am doing, the car will NEVER be driven in wet weather (call me chicken, but something about rain and a 109" wb car with a blown injected FE and "DOT" tires spooks me a little:)) but for a car that's going to see more all-around street use, that's probably a better way to go. For what I am doing, I would just grease 'em up when I install them and go with it. I think it would probably get some grease squeezing past the kingpins whenever you grease those as well.
 
Top