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Repairing Volvo P1800 Choke System

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The previous owner has disengaged the choke cables in the car, and the cables were not connected to the carburetors.

Recently as I were tuning the carburetors of the car, with and without air conditioning ON makes a big differences in the idling of the engine. If I tuned the carburetor to idle steadily without the air cond ON, the engine sounds smooth. Once I power ON the air cond, the engine would choke and died. If I tuned the carburetors with the air cond ON, then it would rev too high when I was not using the air cond, which I seldom use.

I prefer to tune the carbs with air cond OFF, but I don’t want the engine to die when I switch ON the air cond, especially if I were to carry my wife or kid in the car. In such case, CHOKE comes into place to save the day. Ideally, I can pull the choke cable to increase the revving of the engine, so that the engine won’t die with air-cond ON during idling speed (at traffic light especially).

So, that started my project of correcting or reviving the choke system of my Volvo P1800. Some cable retainers were missing, and the plate that hold the cable were painted as black same as the inner engine compartment of the car. I decided to remove and recycle the choke plate, as new replacement unit costs US$88.33 + shipping from USA.

I removed the plate carefully from the car, and I wanted to repaint the plate into silver instead of black. Sanding off the paint was time consuming and difficult, so I decided to try out paint remover. Bought 500ml container size, and use only small portion of it. Later did I know that paint remover was really harmful chemical. Minor liquid splashed onto my skin and created burning paint on the skin immediately. I did wear face protector to prevent hurting my eyes and face. Wore rubber gloves and clean the plate carefully. After removed all the paints and putty from the plate, I rinsed it with water and dry it under the sun before applying rust converter onto it.

I applied two coated of rust converter on the plate before painting it with silver spray paint the next day. By the way, I coated the plate with primer spray paint before the silver spray paint. Two layers each, and waited 12 hours before the silver paint. I am quite happy with the results.

As mentioned before, some parts were missing in the original choke system. I google around and found figure out that an universal choke nuts / screws might fit, so I order a set online at only RM6.55 + shipping (total RM11.64). I won’t be using the cable, but the bolts and nuts can be useful.

Yesterday I was able to install everything onto my Volvo. Looks good, and I was able to do some adjustment and test driving today.

Still need to do some adjustment to set the idling speed correct with and without choke.

Volvo choke system repair done. Mission accomplished. Thank God for the experience.