Project Amazon Part 2
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The Engine Room
with alternator installed
Engine out again
parts for my Amazon was not always straight forward. I have
ordered most parts such as bearings, oil pump, rings, gaskets,
seals, frost plugs, camshaft, rubbers, nuts and bolts, etc. from: Brookhouse
Volvo in the UK
Brookhouse Volvo is specialised in Amazon and 1800 parts however
recently they extended their service to later Volvo models. I
found their prices most competitive, up to two-third of the prices
quoted by American companies. One reason is that UK companies do
not charge GST (VAT 17.5%) for orders outside the European
countries. However you will be charged GST on goods when they
arrive in NZ, if you are lucky, not. I have placed several orders
and they arrived by air within 7-8 days, one order within 4 days,
that is better than some NZ businesses can do.
The original B20/M40
Bellhousing on the left and the new B20/M46 on the right
B20/M46 Bellhousing, arrow shows where two sections have been
New gearbox support
I'm running on lower 60 series tyres, the engine revs higher. An
overdrive was desirable. I have been investigating the option of
installing a 5-speed Volvo M47 gearbox out of the 200/700 series. It
would be great to have a 5-speed in an Amazon, however that is not
so straight forward. Firstly the 200/700 series are using a
different bellhousing. That means getting a special bellhousing
made, although they are used in the USA for racing and cost US $350.
Huke Basart, a
Volvo enthusiast in Holland made this special bellhousing for me by
cutting both the B20 and B23 bellhousings in two halves and welding
the B20 engine half onto the B23 gearbox half. Aluminium welding is
specialised work and the installation of an M46/47 gearbox in an
Amazon requires a wider tunnel to be welded in the floor. Also
special supports for the gearbox and shortening of the driveshaft.
The 4-speed manual with electric overdrive (M41) were not available
in NZ. Finally I got hold of a rebuilt M46 overdrive box from Ian
Priestly in Rotorua, a local overdrive specialist.
I already used a top tunnel out of an 142, I got away without having
to widen the tunnel further, however it is very, very tight. The
making of the new gearbox support was a process of several trips to
a workshop and trial and error. They made an excellent job of it,
and it is so well built that it could support a truck gearbox.
B20 - M46 unit
the M46 installed in the Amazon, with removable tunnel cover from a
142. Good access to limit switches gear mechanism and driveshaft
All covered up
installed an illuminated switch on the dashboard, handy to the
gearlever and steering wheel, in the location of the Fan switch,
which was moved to the cigarette lighter position, which was
The installation of the M46 gearbox was a very costly exercise, all
the specials had to be made and to be honest, I wouldn't recommend
anyone to follow this process. Try to get an M41, that's my advice.
Alternators, on the left one out of a 140 and on the right one out
of a 1982 244GLE
Blue arrow showing location of generator, green arrow,
mounting for alternator
Alternator in position
Amazon had a standard 240W generator (dynamo) with external voltage
regulator mounted on the RH wing. Alternators with a higher output
are a desirable modification, especially with added accessories,
like driving lights. I got a Bosch alternator out of a 140 which
needed an external regulator, however I preferred one with an
integral voltage regulator, so I got a 55A (770W) Bosch
k1>14V55A20 alternator out of a fuel injected 1982, 244GLE from a
wrecker for NZ$50. The mounting of that alternator is quite
different from the earlier models so I had to make up a special
adjustable bracket for it.
In the RH drive Amazons there isn't a lot of space on the RH side to
install an alternator (steering box) So I used a standard lower
alternator bracket from a later B20 in combination with a new top
bracket to install the alternator on the left hand side of my B18
(now 2 litre) block.
I re-directed the existing wiring from the old voltage regulator to
the new alternator on the other side of the engine.
Although the alternator has two pulleys, only one belt is used.
Electrical connections were straight forward, the 2 wires that were
connected to the regulator were now connected to the alternator. I
may have to upgrade the main output wire from the alternator at a
A new full 2" exhaust system was built by a local garage, which
turned out to be quite expensive but it is very well built and it
In the spray
exterior of the Amazon has now been painted by a local spray painter
and all the small dents are now gone, the car looks great ! This was
just what the car deserved.
Bonnet on garage
floor to install insulation
reduce the noise levels in the car a little, I installed 20mm thick
special black foam on the inside of the bonnet.
This job was a good opportunity to clean the inside bonnet and paint
the remaining exposed metal. It is quite a tricky job to cut the
sheet of foam in the right size and glue it to the bonnet.
The result looks good and works well.
interior was improved with new carpets and some noise control - what
a difference that made !! The Amazon is a lot quieter and therefore
more pleasant to drive. The exhaust sounds still very good inside
the car though. McDonald Motor Trimmers in Tauranga have done an excellent job for
reasonable money. Money well spent, I reckon. The carpets are all
removable in case water is leaking into the car for one or another
reason. The carpet over the gearbox is also removable for easy
access to the gearbox. Now all that's left is to tidy up the seats.
a second-hand period rev counter and mounted it under the dashboard.
The gearbox tunnel was an ideal location to create some extra
storage place for camera, phone, pen, coins, etc. in the form of a
small plastic basket which was fitted with Velcro strips
plan was to build this Amazon into a “fast road” car. I have
achieved that, however I'm not finished as yet. Lots of small
improvements to be made......... Photo shown my Amazon at Tauranga
Bay, Northland, New Zealand during a 1300km "test
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