1968 Volvo project Pure Volvocity
Compliments of 68EFIvert @ forums.swedespeed.com
There are a few threads on here that are a take off of the Vox inspired P1800. I am new to Volvo's and was lured to them because of the beautiful lines of the cars as well as the the Vox modern interpretation of the classic. As I started to do some research about the cars 10 months ago there wasn't much info out there about putting a V8 in these cars. Most people had to cut the car up pretty bad to position the engine where it needed to be, behind the suspension.
Then I ran across some threads from Iamtheonlyreal1 and I was intrigued. Long story short I decided to pick up a good "core" to start with. My 68 had not been driven since the early 90's. The engine would not turn over because of electrical issues. I am in the process of stripping the car. The interior is out with the exception of the dash. The engine, transmission and suspension has been removed from the car. I borrowed a rotisserie from a friend which should make the removal of the undercoating much easier.
Here are my plans for the car. I have already ordered the front and rear suspension kits from Iamtheonlyreal1 or Swedish Ops. I opted for 14" front brakes with 6 piston calipers up front. The rear end will be an 8.8 from a Ford Explorer. It will be sporting 13" discs with 4 piston calipers to match the front.
The engine will be and LS. I am not sure if I will go with and LS6, LS3 crate engine or the Cadiliac CTS-V LSA supercharged engine. I am leaning toward the LS6 at this time. Just how much power do you need? The transmission will be an automatic, 4L60E or 700R4. I plan on driving the car on a regular basis and don't want to be stuck in traffic playing with the clutch. I have a T56 6 speed in my classic Mustang now and it is a pain in that situation.
Where am I at now? As I mention the car is pretty close to being stripped. I need to decide if I want to blast it or dip the car. I know both hasve advantages and disadvantages but I am leaning more toward dipping so that I can be sure all rust is gone.
I mentioned that I am using an 8.8" Ford Explorer rear end and here is why. The bolt pattern is the same as the front suspension. You can pick up a good core with 31 spline axles, traction lock and disc brakes for $175. I narrowed my rear end by 3" so that it would fit the car. It was actually easier to narrow the rear than I thought it would be. Since the Explorer has a long side and a short side axle I simple pressed out the axle tube, cut it down 3" and pressed it back in. I then went to the wrecking yard and purchased another short side axle. There are a few more steps than that but you get the idea. I have spent another $200bucks or so on wheel bearing, seals and clutch packs to rebuild the track lock. This is a very affordable option when you compare it to a 9" Ford.
I am now waiting on the front and rear suspensions before I can go much further. Robert says they are just about ready and when they show up I will post some pictures of the hot rod candy. I am bad about taking pictures of my projects but I will post a couple I have on my phone. I hope this build thread forces me document my project better than my last. If anyone is interested here is a link to an article recent published on my last project, 1968 Mustang convertible.
Here is a tool I made to help me with wheel and tire fitment. It is adjustable from 15-20" diameter and can go as wide as 12". The back spacing is also adjustable. It should work well.
Not much progress to report on the car lately. I have been doing some work on my Mustang and I am still waiting for the suspension parts to come in.
In the meantime I have been researching wheels. I saw a set on a new Lexus IS250 I liked. They didn't have a a brand on the center cap so it will require a little research. Anyone recognize them? As you can see the is a slight difference in the distance between the spokes. They alternate narrow to wider. I have also been looking at billet Specialties LeMans wheels. Nice looking but the price is not so nice......
Here is another wheel I like.
I have not had much to work on this past few weeks. I am still waiting on the suspension stuff to be crated and shipped off to me. It may be on the way right now but I am not really sure. I know it is close.
While I am waiting I finished up on the rear end. As mentioned earlier I am going to use an 8.8 but want to run large Wilwood brakes on it to match the front brakes. I ran into a problem with the brake kit and using C clip axles. The factory axles use a floating caliper and the c clip's allow for a little movement of the axle in and out. Mine is pretty tight and only has about .005 backlash after I rebuilt the posi unit. Wilwood says becasue of the difference I can't use their kit. To use it I would have to cut the ends off the axle and put in ends and axles that would utilize press on bearings. Basically 9" Ford stuff. I was about the cut down the axle ends and weld on different ends when I decided to have Dutchman Axles do the work. I told them my dilemma and they said that the Wilwook kit will work if you make sure the backlash on the axles is .005 or less. Cool!
The next problem I encountered is my shortening job. I intended to shorten the axle 3" and use an original short side axle from the wrecking yard and slide it in. Well when pressing in the axle I went in .15" too far. I could either shim the backing on the housing or get new axles. I decided the latter. I figure it can't hurt and it is on $230 for new custom axles. While I am having Dutchman make me new axles I will have them increase the size of the button on the axle by .002 to further reduce the axle backlash. This should give me a little more room as the posi unit starts to wear down the frictions. The other driving force to get new axles is they just look better.
I pretty much have the car ready to strip. I need to take off the doors and remove the headliner. Other than that it is simple cleanup like removing the sound deadener.
I think I will just sand out the doors to strip them. They are in pretty good shape and would be easy to do. My biggest decision right now is wether to dip the car or walnut blast it. The dipping is a little more money but not a big concern. I am leaning towards walnut blasting followed by sand blasting in the bad areas. What do you guys think?
I have a little progress to report. I took my gas tank down to the dippers and had them strip the gas tank. The put it in two solutions. The first removed all the debris and the second removed the rust. The results were not what I wanted to see. The top of the tank is pretty much shot and the bottome looks a bit better. The bottom look like I can save it by some welding and then sealing the tank. The top is a different story. I now have a few options. I have been searching for an aftermarket tank with a built in EFI pump or the second option is to take the top off my existing tank and replace it.
At this time I think I will take the top off my tank and see what it looks like inside. If it is not very bad on the inside I will likely pursue this path. When a new top goes on I will use a Tanks Inc. in tank fuel pump and sending unit. They are pretty neat and would feed my engine all the fuel it needs. In addition I will eliminate the in-line fuel pump and the excess sound they make. http://www.tanksinc.com/index.cfm/pa...prod/prd84.htm
It sounds like the suspension items were shipped on Wednesday but I am just waiting for tracking numbers. I will be out of town next week so I won't see them when they first come in. I hope to have some pictures posted by the 28th of the front and rear supspension.
Well Christmas finally came tonight. I picked up the rear and front suspension from the shipper. Swedish Ops did a fantastic job crating everything up. When I opened the box it was well organized and secured.
I am amazed at the quality of the workmanship of the parts. Welds appear to be good, the powder coat finish looks terrific and all I can say about the brakes is WOW! Freaking awesome!! I took everything out of the boxes and inspected it. No surprises at all. I have a couple extra items on the way still so I won't be able to put in the rear suspension yet. I also new the rear brakes which are on back order at Wilwood.
It is getting late but I will post some more pics of the stuff as I get started working on it.
I wanted to post some pictures of the rear suspension setup. I still need to do some welding on the brackets but you get the idea. Included is the crossmember, link bars, double adjustable coil overs and mounting brackets for the shocks. I did a trial fit of the crossmember and it fits like a glove. The last picture is of a reinforcement plate that mounts on the floor of the trunk.
I almost forgot the heim joint spacers for the link bars.
I have the rear end in the car. Install took a couple hours and was pretty easy. The most difficult part was putting my 8.8 rear in. I didn't have a helper so it made it a real pain in the rear.
I did have a small setback on the install. I purchased one of those nice covers for the 8.8 that adds some support to the bearings. Unfortunately the cover doesn't clear the panhard bar and I threw the original away last month while cleaning the garage. I now have to wait for the new one to arrive before I can get the panhard bar bracket welded on.
When that is done I will be waiting on my rear brakes to arrive. The calipers are on back order at Wilwood. After they come in I will be able to measure for tires and wheels. Her are a couple pictures I took before adjusting the pinion angle. I now have it set a 2 degrees.
I am waiting for a couple spacers that take up the space between the crossmember and floor. One of the pictures above shows the support plate the mounts below the rear window.
I have started doing a little work on the wheels. I still don't have rear brakes or a new rear end cover so I can't setup the panhard bar or measure the rear wheels. I did pull the front wheels off my Mustang to see if 17" wheels fit over the 14" discs. They came very close but touch the caliper slightly. If I used a different brand than Boyd Coddington they may have worked.
I originally planned on going with 19" wheels but I think I have changed my mind. I like the way my Mustang looks with staggered sized wheels and think the Volco may look better this way as well. I will use 18's in front but stay with the 19's out back.
My initial measurements on tires look like a 245/35/19 may work with some fender rollin in the rear. I am thinking of doing a slight mini tub on the car to make the rear wheel well's even with the frame rail. If I do that I think I could fit 265 or 275's back there. The final issue I have is with the rear wheel width. Ideally I would like to use a 9" wide wheel but the wheels I want only come in 8" or 10". Mini tub would allow me to use the 10's which would make a bolder statement as well as provide a bit more traction. Lots of things to think about.
Earlier this week I purchased all the items I need to do the brake plumbing. After consulting with the Wilwood guys I will use a dual master cylinder manual brake setup. I have the master cylinders ordered and think I know what pedal assembly I will be using. It will all be Wilwood components.
I think I am ready to send the car off to the media blaster but won't have the time to take it there for a week or so. I kind of want to finish the rear end setup before I take it back off the car for blasting. An exercise in patience I guess.
Here is a picture of the calipers and where the were rubbing.
I got a call from the blaster that he was done. It took a day and a half longer than anticipated. It looks like the last body man did not know the difference between a body hammer and ice pick. The front fender repair was terrible. It warped both panels of the overlap joint. I wonder if it is useable at this point. Pretty frustrated right now.
Rust really wasn't bad. A couple places in the passenger front floor. One on the DS floor and some small spots in the wheel wells which will be removed for the mini tub. The trunk only had one small area on the curved area that leads to the gas tank. All of those are pretty easy fixes. I will take care of those repairs.
I think you are right about the rear quarter panels. I plan on rearching the wheels so I will cut out a square above the body line and blend it into the new arch below the line. I think I will have the bodyman take care of that. That makes my job of mini tubbing the car easier. I no longer have to worry about the wheel well and the connection to the fender. I can cut where I want and replace it with the existing modified wheel well later or just make a custom one. Still have to decide after I get it home.
Thanks for the contact info Jon. After looking over the car with the the body he thinks the car won't need new panels. We plan on raising the wheel arches to the body line so I will cut ou the worst part. After the car got into primer it doesn't look quite as bad.
5 minutes after the tow truck dropped her off at my house i had the grinder and plasma cutter out. i started taking out the inner wheel well to prepare for the mini-tub. I hope to gain about an inch to the inside and about the same or perhaps a little more on the outside. I really don't want large flares on the car. I want to look close to stock but with slightly more bulge to the fender. Here are a few pictures of her.
It looks like I will need a DS floor and a couple patches on the PS
We'll have to see how are this goes. I hope it is contained the the fender but it looks a little deeper than that.
The worst of the rust is in the trunk.
I will need to fix some horrible old repairs.
I am about half way through my mini-tub job. It is looking good and it looks like I will pick up about 1.5" in the back and middle. I didn't measure the front because it will have more than enough clearance there. I still have some work to do on the outer section of the wheelhouse. I hope when I am done I will have 2.5"-3" more space.
I ordered some tires today and they will be here on Thursday. I will get a good idea where I am at that time.
The underside of the car doesn't show any sign of damage. That is what made me so surprised when I had it blasted. Not even evidence of wrinkled sheet metal.
I started welding in patch panels tonight. My welder kept jamming so I eventually gave up. I will break out my other welder tomorrow and finish up. I still need to use my shrinker stretcher to fabricate some support pieces at the floor and where the upper part of the tub connects to the seat area. Pretty easy to do but just takes time.
The spot welds are a little ugly right now. A grinder should help me out with that. I also help my other welder will do a better job. In addition to jamming I noticed my welder was running low on gas. How much tank pressure to you guys have when you take it in for a refill?
It has been a very busy week so not much to show. I did pick up my new tires on Thursday and finally got my rear brakes from Wilwood. The brakes are14" with 4 piston calipers. This car should stop on a dime!
I finished one side and started the other. I am tracking the time on the 2nd side and so far 45 min to remove the inner tub. Plasma cutters sure are handy.
I haven't done any grinding work so it still looks a bit rough. It should clean up well. I also need to box in where I trimmed the spring pocket.
I jacked my 265 tire in place to get a rough idea of what I have. I will take off a bit more from the spring pocket but an very pleased so far. It looks like a 265 will fit without a problem and could go bigger with a flare and more trimming.
I picked up a new rear panel today. It is pretty rough in spots but much nicer where my rear panel is terrible.
Not much to update on lately. I ordered the wheels mid November and thought they would be here by now but they aren't. It looks like they are at the polisher now and should be here in about two weeks. I will post some pictures when they arrive.
In the meantime I have been working on some rust repair. I put in a patch panel for the drivers floor. It also needed a new jacking brace. One I got everything cleaned up and the floor out of the way I realized the section of the frame rail under the jacking brace was rotten. Luckily a patch could fix the problem and I did not need a new rail.
I have a little work to do on the mini tub before it is fully complete. Some grinding, filling and sealing before I will be satisfied. I hope to have that done by the time the wheels arrive.
My wife and I purchased a new Audi Q7 last week which took some money from my Volvo budget. I still may be able to swing getting the engine in February but we will see. When that arrives I should be able to work on firewall and trans tunnel mods.
I will have some downtime early next year that will take me off the car for a month or longer. It looks like I will need to have ACL surgery on my knee. I hope to have a bit more time when the holidays are done and in front of the health issues.
Not much to update right now. I am still waiting for the wheels to arrive. I am told will be here by mid to possibly late next week. It will be nice when they do show up so I can doublecheck my measurements. I sure hope they are correct.
In the meantime, I've been considering the engine option I chose. I have been doing some research on the new TwinTurbo V6 EcoBoost engine from Ford. There seems to be pretty limited information on the net about its dimensions. Does anybody have an experience with this i there own vehicle with the 3.5 L engine?
It looks like the engine will be coming out in a crate engine formats this spring. But it doesn't look like there's any kind of computer control package at this point. That's one of my biggest concerns about this. Would I be opening up a can of worms?
I swung over after lunch and picked up the wheels. They look pretty good. Can't wait to get them on.
Well I was a little conservative with the wheels on the rear. I don't mind where the outside of the tire is but I have about an extra inch on the inside I should have used up. I think I could have put on 10" wide wheels and about a 295 tire. Oh well.
The front are really close. I could have done about 1/4" less back spacing there. The car is about an inch high in the back but will settle with more weight in the car. The front is about 2-3" higher than the end rise height. Overall I think they hit the bulls eye
Here is what I figure the cost will be:
Car was $1650
sand blasting and epoxy was $1700
Suspension and braking system including lines, mc, pedal assembly will be $9,000 when all is said and done
Wheels and tires $4200
Paint, glass, chrome and body $20,000+/-
Interior will be full custom and I will ball park $15,000 (Likey much less)
Misc stuff which adds up quickly $3000
Engine and transmission (from electric fan to rear end) $15,000
These estimates may be on the high side but if my math comes out right it is close to $70,000. I hope it comes out lower than that. I tend to estimate on the pessimistic side and am ususally happy when done. Robert and I have discussed this topic and he feels I am high on my estimates but we'll see. I tend to add things on to the build as I go and when you do that things get expensive real quick. It is easy to say that is only $300 more and I may as well do it now.
My dad has always said that speed cost money. How fast do you want to go? To me the car is not an investment. Cars are liabilities for the most part. I do this becasue I use it as a creative outlet and I love it. When it is done I will have an very unique car that I will love. That is all that matters to me. I am just blessed that I have the financial abililty to afford to do this.
It does seem to be a lot of money for a set of tires and wheels. I wanted to keep the cost under $3000 but didn't like what I could get for that. About 7 years ago I purchased about the same quality wheels and the same tires for my Mustang and it was about $1500 less. If you think about other things like hamburgers. What were they back in 1968, $.10 each and what are they now $5? Times change and things get more expensive.
My car got hit pretty hard in the rear. The rear panel was already replaced but there was so much damage hidden by bondo by the lights I got a new panel to replace just those areas. I'm not going to replace the whole back panel, it is decent shape.
I am not too worried about the damage to the quarter panels. I will be raising the wheelwells to almost the body line. When I do that I'll have the metal that is wrinkled above the body line replaced and then they knew fenderlip will cover the areas below that. I'll pretty much be a custom quarterback when I'm done with it.
I have a lap joint on my passenger side front fender that looks a lot like your quarter panel. Pretty bad repair actually. The black primer really seems to hide a lot of the details of the damage. I'll have to slice the fender and then rewelded it after I removed the lap joint. After that I think it'll be a decent repair.
For the rear bumper I'll likely use these old Corvette style that Robert showed in his build. I really like the lines and how it just seems to flow with the car very well. I may shorten it slightly so does it doesn't extend quite as far to the center of the car. For the front bumper I'm still undecided. I have the original bumpers here but I also have an old bullhorn bumper as well. I have also been given some thought about old Camaro RS split bumper. I'll have to wait and see how the front valance goes and just what bumper will fit best with the car at that time.
I ordered a new steering column yesterday. After reviewing the expensive parts it would take for the original steering column I decided it was cheaper and easier to buy a new column to into the car. I decided to stay with the straight steering column so the steering wheel would be a little closer to the dash than if it was the tilt column. The Tilt column just seems like it would extend too far into the cabin. I would give up 5-5 inches of space. I fear the steering wheel would be too close for my driving preferences. I will drop down to a 14 inch steering wheel to get a little bit more leg space.
I will be going into knee surgery in about 30 days so I'm trying to wind down some of my projects. I think I will put the car back on the rotisserie and install some subframe connectors and then call it good. When I recover from my surgery I'll start working on the engine, firewall and transmission. I will likely be out of the garage for a couple months.
The front wheels are 6" bs but I think I could have gone with 5.75". I have not done anything with the alignment but adjust the tie rods a little. IIRC the Wilwood brake kit I am running increases the track width about 1/2". If that is true then if you use the standard Swedish Ops brakes a 5.5" to 5.25" bs may work great and the wheels would look better.
The rear wheels are 5.75". If I were to order them again I would have ordered 10" wide with 6.5" bs. I would have then put on a 295 tire. . It really wouldn't have had to change my plans for the fender flaring much.
Robert may have some input on the effect of the different brake options effect on the track width. Wilwood could also answer that question.
I'm making a little progress on the firewall. I've got the majority of it cut back to the vertical section of the battery box. I narrowed the pedal assembly by 2 inches and have mocked in the steering column. I will be using an Ididit column. I need to double check some measurements before welding everything together. I won't be able to do the new transmission tunnel until I get the engine and transmission in. I hope to get the engine by the end of April. I need to make sure the IRS is happy before I buy that.
I had to modify my plans for my pedal assembly. I originally planned to use a Wilwood pedal assembly but I ran into interference problems with the master cylinders. I will be using the original pedal but I will be converting it to a hydroboost system. I plan on retrofitting a hydroboost system from a Chevy Astro van. It should be here in the next few days and then I'll be able to do a little bit more mocking and hopefully welding.
I got a little bit more work done to the firewall today. I don't think I'll be able to do much more until I get my engine and transmission though. I also plan to work on putting in my hydroboost in this weekend.
My Budnik steering wheel finally arrived today!
I got a bit more done today. The hydroboost is fitted, some more smoothing, grinding and welding. I still need to fill the holes for the original coil and an old heater related hole on the top. The hydroboost should clear the engine but I am not going to do anything else until I have the engine in place.
I have to wait until I figure out my tax liability before I buy the engine. Once that is done I will pick up the engine. I have to have my ACL and meniscus repaired on Thursday so I will be out of commission for a little while.
I haven't been able to do much lately. I had an ACL reconstruction surgery two weeks ago and am still pretty sore. I did make it into the garage last night for the first time and put new webbing in the Recaro seats I picked up. But the good news is I finally have an engine lined up. http://www.pro-touring.com/showthrea...L92-LS3-Engine It is a little more powerful than I originally planned but it sure will be fun! By the time it gets here I should be well enough to put it in. I also paid for my radiator and headers from Iamtheonlyreal1 and hope they will show up by the time the engine gets here.
A little update. I am healing well from my surgery and am able to spend a little time in the garage again. I have rebuilt the seat bottoms of my Recaro seats using a repair kit from http://www.2002parts.com/bmw/recaro-seat-parts.html. I also purchased some Recarro seat sliders a seat mounting brackets from Wedge Engineering. http://www.wedgeengineering.net/OurS...6/Default.aspx Both places are good to work with and provided great service and products. I ran into a problem with my steeriing wheel location though. When I mocked in the column I had the seats too low and now the steering wheel interferes with reading the gauges. I will have to drop the column down on the engine side a couple inches. Not a big deal but I just have to redo some of the work. Oh well.
I have the engine on the way and am almost ready for fitting. I will borrow an empty transmission case for mocking up my firewall and transmission tunnel. My transmission won't be ready for a little while. I purchased a set of headers and radiator from Robert Jackson (iamtheonlyreal1). We are waiting on Sanderson headers to finish them up though. When they come in I should be ready to set the engine in place. After the engine gets set in place I will start to deal with the fuel system, heater/AC and wiring. I hope to have it ready for the body shop by fall.
I actually went through three setups before going with a hydroboost. I was going to use a manual Wilwood pedal assembly but I ran into problems with the master cylinder mounting. I didn't want the master cylinders reverse mounted (under the dash) so I got there standard mount style. The problem with that was the master cylinders would have had to be mounted in the fender well. The pedal is not nearly as long as the stock setup.
My next option was a vacuum booster. I did not think I would have enough space for a dual 8" booster and wasn't willing to waste the money trying. My third option was a hydroboost from a Chevy Astro van. My thought process for using that was they were compact enough, readily available, available at the local parts store if there was problems and affordable ($111 shipped). For lines I will be using 6 AN braided lines which should look a bit better than standard rubber lines. The last reason for using a Astro hydroboost is that the pressure should work well with GM power steering pump.
The disadvantages of using this setup is the plumbing is more complex and there could be a loss of feeling.
I really didn't give much thought to an electric assist setup. I know they are substantially more expensive and would assume they will likely have a loss of feeling as well. I suppose the main reason is not wanting to spend $1000 on a setup I could do the same thing for $300. The second is I am the least familiar with electric boost systems.
Yeah the cost is a lot more and hydroboost does work very well and AN lines do look very nice. I did some on a Firebird
y engine finally shipped out on Friday. I hope it will be here by next weekend. I have a lot of family obligations in the next week so I won't be able to look at it for a couple more weeks.
I went to the Portland Swap Meet today and got a killer deal on a new Vintage Air Front Runner accessory drive system. That will take about 3 weeks to show up. It looks like I need to follow up with my tranny guy now.
An exciting day today. My engine arrived! The tranny will be late next week and the accessory drive in a couple more. My biggest thing now is waiting for the headers and motor mounts. Hope to have those by the end of the month. Once they arrive my knee will be strong enough for the final firewall and trans tunnel fabrication.
I was able to cut the floor to the rough shape of the transmission. I won't be able to put the engine and transmission in for a little while. I am at a stopping point while I wait for parts. The VA Front Runner setup should be here very soon, the transmission will be ready in a few days but I just ordered a paddle shifter kit and billet converter from Steve at Twist Machine. I should have the radiator and headers from Swedish Ops in the next week or so. The big delay is with my motor mounts. Don't have an ETA yet and it it looks like it will be more than a couple weeks I may just fab up my own. I received my F-body oil pan and have it on the engine.
Here are the places I am working with for these items. All of them are great to work with.
Here are a couple pictures if the items that got delivered today. The radiator is top notch. The welds are great, it is very thick and was packaged well. I had tabs mounted on the front of the radiator that I will mount a tranny cooler and AC condenser to. After I get my car mocked up I will likely have a shroud made for the Spal cooling fan. I just don't know how much space I will have once the Vintage Air kit is in place.
I got my power steering/hydroboost hoses from gottashow.com today. The only modifications I will do to them is to run AN fittings on the return hoses instead of clamps. I will run the same style hoses for my AC/heater hoses and fuel hose. I think they are very clean looking and make the car easy to work on.
My last surprise was a Swedish Ops work shirt! Thanks Robert! It looks and fits great.
I still can't do much until the transmission and torque converter are here. In the meantime I am trying to get all the items I need ready and here. I ordered some Raptor bed liner for the underside of the car. I can't spry it until I get the trans tunnel and firewall completed. I really want to get all of that done ASAP so that I can return the rotisserie I am borrowing. I hope it will be back to its home by July.
I went to the IPD swap meet this morning and picked up a couple items. I got a new rear view mirror and some intake tubing. A guy had a box full of mandrel bent 4" tubing. Most of it is aluminum, one stainless and a smaller steel piece. I offered him $20 and it was a done deal. It was well over $100 in tubing. Score!
Most of the parts I am waiting for should be another couple weeks before they arrive. I learned long ago that things never happen on my timeline and not to sweat it. June and July should be productive months for the build. I have almost everything I need to finish the mechanicals.
I couldn't wait anymore so I used my cherry picker to lower the engine in place today. It looks pretty good and there will be a lot of hood clearance.
I made some adjustment to the steering column as well. I had to lower it so that my steering wheel would clear the gauges. I will have to do a bit more clearancing here and there but I got it pretty close from using my estimates. Once the headers and engine stands arrive I will be able to dial it in.
It sounds like my headers will be in tomorrow and the engine mounts in the next week or so. In the meantime the transmission is ready to go. My paddle shifter is a couple weeks out.
To kill some time I pulled all of the suspension out, which only took about an hour, so that I could spray the undercoating. I used Raptor liner and was surprised how easy it was to use. I did as much as I could and used 3 of the 4 bottles in the kit. The final bottle will be used on the transmission tunnel when that is complete. I want to wait for the transmission tunnel construction until the engine is permanently mounted.
I should have some engine stands in soon and then I can make some real progress. I am about to buy my AC unit for the car but I am undecided between Classic Auto Air/Restomod Air or Vintage Air. It sounds like CCA/RA (same company) build a better box but I really haven't heard anything bad about Vintage Air except there service may be not quite as good.
Other than that I am still waiting on the transmission controller and paddle shifter stuff from Twist Machine. That controller should have arrived at their place earlier this week and with any luck is on its way to me. I will also be ordering my engine wiring harness in the next few days from easyperformance.com. I plan on mounting all my wiring behind the back seat. I will have my engine, transmissions PCM's and my American Auto Wire fuse box mounted there. I figure by the time I get the AC in place withere will not be much room for wiring. I also hate climbing under the dash to look for problems if one ever comes up. This way I will just remove the rear seat and have easy access to everything.
Later today I am going to pick up a rear seat from a 1982-1992 Camaro that I will modify to fit my car. The back seat is pretty small and I am sure I will have to modify the seat to work but it should be more comfortable and sporty looking than the original.
I am starting to get some of the interior planned now. I will be sending off the gauges to North Hollywood Speedometer today. I will have them rebuilt unless the cost is way out of my range. In the process they will convert the tach to V8, change the speedo to an electric unit and customize the faces a bit. I need to get a sample of the interior leather I will be using before I can send it off so that the gauges can be pulled into the rest of the scheme I have planned. I considered using an off the shelf gauge but none seem to fit just right. The verticle oil/water gauge kind of messes things up. If I changed out the gauges I would then need to redo all the aluminum on the face of the dash. That gets expensive and I am not sure I could duplicate the look of the original. I think Volvo did a great job with the layout of the early 1800's and don't want to deviate too much from it.
I ordered a Vintage Air AC system last night but I did not order any of the vents. I still have some planning to do on the vent layout before I commit to a specific type. There just isn't a place in the dash that will look good to add vents in my opinion. I will have to come up with a different solution. I have some ideas but I need to get the transmission tunnel completed before I go too far and to do that I need to get the engine in its final resting spot.
I received the paddle shifter and transmission controller this week. The engine harness has to be made and will be about 3-4 weeks before it is completed. I plan on putting all the wiring (engine computer, transmission controller and fuse box) behind the back seat but in front of the trunk. It should clean up the wiring under the dash and make it much easier to work on later if I need to. It will all be hidden behind the seat and I will have a package tray made to enclose it from the top. The back of the rear seat will fold forward or be removable for easy access to the wiring.
It looks like my personal life may be starting to slow down a bit and I should be able to get some of the parts I have been stockpiling on the car. About the only thing I haven't planned out mechanically is the fuel tank. I have some time before that is the bottle neck so I am not worried. I am debating building a new top for my tank (pretty rusted) or waiting for Sweedish Ops to finish up on their tanks. It will be sometime this Fall/Winter before that becomes the most important part.
Here is a picture of my steering wheel mounted on the paddle shifter.
I had a little time to work on the car today and started a couple projects. Earlier in the week I received my Vintage Air kit and realized I have a clearance issue with the condenser. It was about a 1/4" too high. It was 12" high by 24" wide. When the hood raises it is pretty close to the hinges.
I decided to buy a piece of 1" x 1" x .065" tubing. I cut out 1 side and then cut out a section of the panel behind the grill and in front of the radiator support. Since I was working in this part of the car I decided to open up the radiator support to the frame rail. This will allow me to run a 16" x 24" radiator.
I still need to weld everything in place and to add a drain in the bottom of the channel so water doesn't pool and cause rust. It should look great when I am done and be very functional.
Anton thank you for the great compliment. I am not nearly as talented as a lot of guys out there, including Robert, so it is always nice when someone appreciates what I am doing.
I would really like to see the sketches of the car. I pretty much know what I want to do to the car but the front end has me still thinking. I know I need to bring it down but I am still thinking about how to do it. My art skills leave a lot to be desired so you sketch would be terrific!
I was able to finish up on the condenser mount today. I wend down the the hardware store a purchased a 3/8" pre-made brake/gas tube. I cut it down and welded the flare side to the bottom of the channel. I just need to weld the brake tube to the bottom of the crossmember then trim it so that it is flush. I forgot about that until I had everything put away. LOL!
Here are a couple pictures.
I had a chance to put the engine in the car today. It went in without any problems. The Swedish ops engine stands and headers worked out great. It sits about 1" further back than my original mock up position. That has solved one problem but created another.
The radiator now has plenty of room for either a puller or pusher fan. Before I was questioning if I could use a puller like I wanted. That isn't an issue now.
The problem that developed is with the steering. I had it all planned out and now one of the header tubes interferes with my u-joint. Not a big deal but it now forces me to redesign that area. I should have waited to get all my conversion pasts from Swedish Ops before cutting. The one thing I haven't tried was to raise the engine via the adjustable motor mounts. That may fix the problem but I did not think about it until my wife started to give me a hard time for spending a few hours in the garage.
I think my Dad may come over tonight and help me put in the 4L60E automatic transmission tonight. When it is in I should be able to finish up the steering, trams tunnel and start on the driveshaft tunnel.
I now have the transmission in place and can focus my efforts to the firewall/steering shaft and then the transmission and driveshaft tunnels. It has been busy around the house lately so I haven't had much time to work in the garage.
I still need to do a little work on the transmission mount. I need to make some plates where the bolts go through the frame rails. I hope to have that done later this evening after the kids go to bed.
After thinking about it for a few days I started working on my transmission tunnel today. I want the transmission tunnel to be as small as possible but strong. I don't have an English wheel so I can't make it out of one piece very easily.
I decided to create a frame around the shape I want using a combination of angle iron and flat stock. I designed a wide but short lower level to hide the valve body. I will start wrapping it tomorrow with 16g sheetmetal. It is a little heavy for this job but 18g wasn't readily available. It looks pretty crude now but I think it will work out well and look nice when completed.
I have thought about that. I plan on making a couple access holes like the factory tunnel had. Most items should be accessible from the bottom with the exception of the computer plug on top of the valve body.
I made 3 of the six pieces to cover the tunnel so far. It is starting to come together nicely.
I stopped by a local fabrication shop yesterday to talk about having a driveshaft tunnel made. It will have to be very narrow (4.5" wide by 7" tall) to fit between the seats. I will be running with a 2" or 2.5" thick wall driveshaft. After the tunnel is complete I plan on adding additional supports for driveshaft safety loops.
I did a little bit more on the trams tunnel today. I am leaving the tail section alone until I figure out the driveshaft tunnel. About 3 more hours and I will be done with this part!
I ran into a problem with the driveshaft tunnel. The fab shop could only roll a tunnel 5.75" wide. I had buy a 4.5" exhaust tube and then use my metal shears to cut it in half. I then got a half sheet of 16 gauge sheet metal and cut it down to 6" strips. I will weld the 3 pieces together to make the tunnel I need. When I get the pieces back from the fab shop I can finish up the rear of the trams tunnel and all the ds tunnel.
I am having the fab shop use their bead roller to run a 1/2" flange on the sheet to make it easier to weld together. I have a manual bead roller but I don't think it will work on this thick of metal.
I still need to finalize the steering shaft location. I have it eyed out but just don't have much time to finish it. Once that is done I can finish the last part of the trans tunnel by the drivers feet.
I can also finish the back of the trans tunnel and driveshaft tunnel when I get the stuff back from the fab shop.
I haven't had much time to work on the Volvo lately. Been building a deck and hope to have it done this weekend. Here is what I have done this month. I have the steering worked out along with the brakes. I installed the Lokar shifter and routed the shifter cable. That was a major pain in the butt since I have kept everything as tight as I can.
I have the driveshaft in and a large porting of the driveshaft tunnel. I finished the shifter last night and can now finish the tranny tunnel. I still have to raise the driveshaft tunnel near the rear end but that will be pretty easy to do. When I finish up all the welding I will take it apart again and put it in the rotisserie. While on thee I will weld the bottom, undercoat and plumb the car.
After spending the last month working on house projects I can finally get back to the Volvo project. I'm almost done with the driveshaft tunnel. There's just a small section next to the shifter I need to weld. After that I'll be able to put the car back on a rotisserie and weld the bottom then prime and undercoat. Picture of the radiator and back portion of the driveshaft tunnel.
I picked up a new custom radiator today. I had it designed to my specifications. It is about 4 inches wider than the factory radiator and has the transmission cooler I need. It was even built to follow the contour of the radiator support. It retains the factory dowel on the bottom. I just need to fabricate some mounts for the side. I think it turned out awesome!
I took a step backwards this week. I pulled the engine, tranny, front suspension crossmember, rear suspension and steering column the other day. This car is so familiar and easy to work on that it only took about 2.5 hours to do all that! I also put it on the rotisserie in that time period.
Now I can flip it over, weld it from the bottom, epoxy prime and then hit it with some more Raptor liner (truck bed liner). After that I can address the fuel system, plumbing and wire it so that I can start the engine/tranny.
North Hollywood Speedometer sent me a picture of my rebuilt gauges today. They should be done by the end of the week. They have some work to do to the water temp gauge. I can't wait to get my hands on them!
Well all the metal work is done to the firewall, transmission and driveshaft tunnels. I have a couple misc unused holes to fill and I will be ready to prune and undercoat.
Since I no longer have the original seat belt mounts I need to add those. I am not sure where I want to place the front mounts though. There was a bolt the is currently there but is not large enough for the seat belt. Can someone on here tell wat it was originally used for?
I was thinking of placing the bolt/mounting plate where the silver dot is. It is at the same location as the mount on the outside of the car. What do you think?
Here are a couple pictures of the final shape of the metal work. The area around the steering column was by far the most complex. It is tight around there. There is a small flat spot to the left of the column that is ther to mount the DBW throttle pedal.
I've had a little bit more time to work on the car recently. I was able to complete the metalwork, prime the car again with epoxy and then undercoat the bottom of it with Raptor Liner. I had some Raptor Liner left over so I coated the inside floor of the vehicle as well. I really cleaned up the look. I think it looks nice.
I have now started working on the plumbing. The master cylinder and proportioning valve are in. I am working on the front brakes. I had to order a few fittings to work with the stainless tubing so it will be a few days before that arrives. Once it arrives I will have all the fittings I need to do the brakes, fuel and air conditioning.
Once that is completed I plan on doing the wiring. I want to get the car so it will actually start and drive before I take it to the body shop. I am in no hurry to take it to the body shop though. I plan on using the flush mount glass kit that Swedish Ops is building but it doesn't sound like it will be ready until this coming summer.
Here are a few pictures of the car right now.
I had a couple helpers to assist in assembly. It was right before bed so they are wearing their "work jammies". LOL!
It has not been a very productive month. Between going on vacation and a family member dying I've been pretty busy. I have made progress on the plumbing of the car. The fuel line is in from the tank to the engine compartment. The brake lines for the rear of the vehicle are done. I'm waiting on a fitting to fit the front brake lines.
Sam came over a few weeks ago and helped me out on a couple things. He identified that my ratio for my manual break pedal was off. I ended up raising the master cylinder about 2" to get to a 7:1 ratio. He also helped me out on some wiring questions I had particularly with the layout.
I picked up my new gas tank today. I had it made locally and I think it turned out great! I rerouted the inlet hose to make room for a dual exhaust and I plan on doing a little bit different set up for the gas cap.
I have some body damage on the rear valance. Once it is repaired the gas tank should be pretty much even with the rear of the car. I'm actually thinking about taking it over and having a black anodized finish put on it. That one only cost me about $50, will make it look better and help it disappear.
I haven't worked on the car much lately. I've started to rewire my old Mustang. I do have the engine back in as well as the transmission in its final position.
I started laying out the hoses and I've had to buy a couple new AC ends since I don't like the angles on a couple. I've put the wiring harness on the engine but have not drilled a hole in the firewall. I must say that the Easy Performance harness I purchased goes in very easily. LOL!
My next obstacle is finding a place for an air filter. It's really tight in there and with the addition of an overflow tank I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. If anyone has a suggestion I'm all ears!
I also need to fabricate a mount for one of the coils. It has a slight interference with the brake pedal assembly.
one filter placed front left or front right of the engine bay connected to the intake with a 90degree pipe or an S pipe if needed.
Or, it does look like there's room for just sticking a filter directly on the front like we have on our '68 corvette. Is it a 4" air inlet? Plenty of universal cone, rectangular or oval filters that would probably fit.
Thanks for the idea on the filter in the front. I have purchased a filter/MAF setup that is very similiar to the one pictured from Street & Performance but the base of the filter and hose bib for the crankcase vent system interfere with the drive by wire throttlebody. If I was using a throttle cable setup I think it would have worked just fine. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that I will have to do the 90 fight out the throttle body and put the filter there. Hood clearance becomes a major issue on the 1800's compared to the Amazon where it is much more forgiving.
I was hoping to have a setup that mounted the filter in the area below the radiator to act as a cold air intake but I can't find a way to snake the tube down there. I even tried using oval tubing which is only 2.5" wide instead of the full 4" inlet tubing. I also considered exiting the fender panel behind the radiator but was concerned that it would have issues with the tire/headlight if the filter was located in the wheel well. As I mentioned earlier I am wiring my other car right now and that will take me a couple weeks to complete and after that I will scratch my head a little bit more.
We'll I was able to start the car up today. It runs for about a second then turns off. I had the computer reprogrammed from the Escalade tune to a Vette Tune and they were supposed to shut off the VATS but I am questioning that now. I also forgot to put a ground on the engine to the chassis so I will do that in the morning and see if that corrects the problem. I don't have a code reader but it looks like I will need to invest in one. Any other ideas for simple things to check?
The Motive bleeder did not work for me either. The dual Wilwood master cylinder is too long to get a seal. That sucks because both my cars have that MC.
I tracked down what I thought is the problem in the wiring. I'm not sure so I am taking the computer over to be reprogrammed for my camshaft and to make sure that the VATS are turned off. I hope to have it back tomorrow or Wednesday.
In the meantime I was able to fabricate a new throttle body mount for my air filter. I offset the hole and was able to use the rest of the assembly. I still need to tap a hole in the mount for a hose to connect to the passenger side valve cover.
She is Alive!!!
That is a good queston dd. I originally planned on adding subframe connectors to stiffen the chassis but after listening to others on this forum I decided to hold off on that till the car was being driven. I also have a 1968 Mustang convertible that has considerably more horsepower than this car and it needed to have a fair amount of work to stiffen the chassis enough to handle the power.
Where I can say that this car would be more rigid than a Mustang is the way the front end is permanantly attached to the car instead of having bolt on fenders. It would allow for more triangualtion. Wether that is enough or not is the question here. If I find out that the chassis needs to be strengthened I will first start with SFC's and then go to a 4 point cage. I really don't want to do the cage unless it is needed because of the safety of the passengers in the rear seat.
The other thing that will help me with not twisting the chassis is tire spin. I will never be able to just stand on the throttle and have the car hook up like a drag car. I just don't have enough tire for that. I will have to use part throttle until I get the car moving then ease into full throttle. Like any high power, light weight car it will require logic and technique when driving it. I do know that it will be one fun car to drive and I am looking forward to that day.
Officially off to the next phase of the build and likely the most noticeable part.
I was planning on running it in the channels below the driveshaft where the seat pans curve up. I have also been thinking of using oval tubing to gain another .75". The tightest part will be the crossmember under the seats which a stock 1800 also has to deal with.
The other thing I am considering is using some shocks from JRI Shocks that have a hydraulic ride height adjustment. They are a bit spendy but they would give me 3" of ride height adjustments with a flip of a switch. The advantage of that over air is the package of supporting items (pump and fluid tank) are substantially smaller than air. That kind of sucks because I have all the items I need with the exception of bags to do a fully adjsutable Ridetech setup. I picked up an Air Pod with levelers and digital controller for a song and a dance. I may end up leaving that on the shelf until the next project rolls along.
Since the car is at the body shop I haven't been able to do much. I did paint the engine and the transmission the same red as the Wilwood calipers. I figured it would act as a nice accent and tied and other areas. I sprayed down some epoxy primer first followed by urethane.
There isn't much to update at this time. I am still waiting for the body shop to START working on the car. We have a lot of time before the agreed upon completion date (next year this time). I have placed a deposit for the interior to be done. I am going to ship the car off the The Recovery Room in Nebraska when the time comes. It looks like I am on a completion date of March 2016. It is a long time away but I want to make sure it is done right the first time around. I hate doing things twice. That is when it gets real expensive real fast.
I agree that restoring/customizing cars is a journey that is often frustrating but if done right well rewarding. It looks like Sharp Touch does some nice work. I really like the Mustang on their Facebook profile picture. That thing looks nice!
The link I had put on the thread origially regarding my Mustang is gone. It was an article that Mustang/Auto Enthusiast wrote and I think they are out of business now. I am doing some modifications to the engine managment system on that car as I write this. It is at the tuner right now. Is there a particiluar question you have about the car?
Over the past month I have converted the old Ford Computer/Harness from a early 1990's Mustang to something more modern. I had an SCT chip to handle all of the modifications I did to the car but unfortunantly I was not happy with the way the computer was processing all the information. I was having idle surge issues when I would lift off the gas pedal. I have switched over to an Accel DFI Thruster engine managment system that should easily handle everything I can throw at it and at the same time upgrading to a race bypass valve for my Vortech supercharger. I am hoping to have about 600 RWHP when all is said and done.
In addition I have been making improvements to the handling to the car. I recently switched over to a new set of shocks from JRI whom I consider the best shock out there for the money. In addition to that I put on wider wheels and tires. They require a bit of fender rolling to fit perfectly so the old ones are still on until I have time to work on that. My end goal is to drive the car a lot on the road and take it autocrossing. The last time I was out on the autoX I ran about 1.5 seconds slower than a brand new track prep'd Roush car complete with a factory installed roll cage. That was before the wheel and shock upgrades. I hope to close or eliminate the gap with the the recent mods.
After all those mods are done I honestly think that car will no longer be a work in progress. I have to call it quits at some point and I think I have gotten there. That is until I head to SEMA in a few weeks and see what kind of new performance items are out there.
Overall I want to do the same thing with my Volvo. Combine old styling with modern performance to create a fun and exciting car to drive.
I'm starting to see some progress on my bodywork. It started at the rear of the car to do repairs and modifications. It looks like the planet this point is to widen the rear sheet-metal by approximately 4 to 5 inches. That should give us A closer look to the rendering of the VOX rendering. The fins will be reduced in size while the quarter panel is having the taper from the wheel well to the rear valanced reduced.
We are currently evaluating our options for a rear diffuser and it looks like I will need to make custom taillights to get the look I want. There is not much to see at this point but it's a start and you can see the general idea of where we're going.
I have a minor update on the car. I did some measuring and it looks like the rear will be about 6" wider than stock. This will make it the same width as the front (outside of headlights) and 5" narrower than at the doors. It will still retain general flow of the car but will be closer to the Vox renderings visually.
When I first ordered my wheels I was a little conservative and could have gone with a larger backspacing on the rear. It has driven me crazy and this past few weeks I narrowed the 8.8 Ford to fit the way I want. In the process I converted the rear end to have 9" ford ends thus eliminating the C-clip axles. I think the fixed caliper Wilwood brakes will work better and I feel a whole lot better with that setup. The narrowing really wasn't that hard to do. I purchased a jig on Ebay and went to town. I forgot to take any picutes but it looks about the same as it did before. The tires fit right inside the fenders now and will reduce any kind of flare that may have been needed. Now a simple fender lip like stock will work fine.
Sorry for the late reply and update. I have been reworking some of the rear suspension. We took some of the bulk out of the crossmember and boxed them even more for additional strength.
I also added a rear sway bar. The bar mounts are pretty simple. I used 2.5" angle iron and welded nuts on the back side. I boxed them in on the ends to create additional rigidity. I then had my bodyshop weld them in place. I wish I had at home for that part but it was a pretty simple job.
The bar is 37.5" long and is.188" wall hollow tube. I will likely pick up a .250" wall swaybar to swap out for track or autocross events.
I have started working with Ultimate Performance for some new JRI shocks and tuning advice. I met the owner JJ last summer when he helped me with some shocks for my Mustang last summer when he worked for JRI.
As I mentioned before, the car will be a few inches wider than stock in the rear. We've started to rework the fin in the back. They will be slightly reduced in the height as illustrated by the tape lines. It should look very close to the rendering when we're done.
The shop has also repaired the horrible fender overlap on the passenger front fender. It must've been a repair from 25+ years ago.
As far as the rear valence goes it will likely take a little trial and error. Weplan on ordering a few rear valances from Newark cars. The body shop likes that idea because they'll be able to return any we don't want or don't think will work. We plan on using as much of the original panel as we can but by adding metal to widen it to fit the car. One thing that will be nice by widening the panel is that the Corvette rear bumpers should fit better and will not need narrowing. I will keep you posted as that begins to develop. They should be starting on that this week or next week.
I plan on having some chrome trim on the top of the fin like the original but it will be custom made from brass and then chrome plated. On the top of the quarter panel we will have a 7/16" wide flat area to mount the trim to.
You are not alone Pete. There are a few of us crazy guys around here. LOL!
There is a bit more progress to report this past week. They continued working on the rear quarter panels. As you can see the fun is still there but just a bit smaller. We will make some trim to fit on the flat piece on the top of the quarter panel. They have started working out the plan of how to reattach the original rear but making it about 6" wider. I am pleased with how the shape is starting to take. It should look very much like the Vox rendering. There will be some variation on the rendering on the front and rear valance. You have to have some personalization don't you?
I had to move the firewall back about 5". It is basically where the back of the battery area is. You will also need to redo the transmission tunnel as well as the driveshaft tunnel. It is all pretty easy if you are decent with a Mig welder. The mini tub wasn't that bad either. I basically cut the wheel housing down the middle and added about 1-1.5" of metal in the middle. The wheel house is now at the frame rail. I don't have my car here but you can take that measurement on your car to yield the distance.
I think I am going to relocate the lower rear link to inside the frame rail to give me a little more room. Right now I have a 265 tire and don't think I would have to do anything to the outside of the body if you wanted a stock look. By relocating the lower link I think you would have enough room for a 295 or 305 tire. I know that Robert has done this mod and he is running a 315 tire but he notched his frame rail about 3/8". You can also fit a 275 tire on the front of the car with the use of his suspension.
I know that Robert has had some problems prividing suspension parts to people for the last year or so but in the last week has partnered with another complany to produce, ship and track all the orders. Basically eliminating him from that side of the equation. I hope that takes care of some of the problems he has had in the past.
Thanks for the compliment. It sounds like you have a pretty fun project you are working on.
Progress has been a little slower this past month. We had to wait for some new trunk drop down panels from Wolf to be made. They were insulted and now they have started working on the rear panel now. That is off to a pretty good start and is coming into shape .
We are still taking about tail lights and I am exploring a few options right now. I think I have a plan there but I am waiting to hear back from a guy that may be able to make what I want. Fingers crossed.
I decided I wanted to add a little touch of Volvo history to the car. Instead of advertising the wheel brand on my center caps I had new caps made. They incorporate the prancing moose logo. They came out pretty cool!
I keep forgetting to take pictures when I go over there. The rear panel in pretty much done. They are finishing up the gaps on the trunk to make sure everything is the same. That involves a lot of cutting and welding to make it just right. When that is done they will have to finish off around the exhaust holes. I will also need to mount the Corvette rear bumper on there. Once that is fitted we can work on the diffuser. I guess we are quite a ways from done now that I think about it.
The tail lights I decided to use are from a Lotus Elise S1 and were shipped over from the UK. I got them in 2 days! I went for a set of aftermarket lights that were full LED and will give it a great look. The lights will be slightly frenched into the rear panel and I will have trim made to simulate the original bezels that came with the car. I will post some pictures when I get some.
I also go the new tires in. My plan is to have two sets of tires/wheels for the car. The existing set will be for street use and the new set will be for more track or autoX use. The new tires are 315/30/18 BFG Rival S and it doesn't look like much will be needed to make them fit! Between the mini-tub and body modifications I think I can get them to slide in there with about a 1.5" fender lip. I don't think I want the look of a flare so I will end up relocating the outter link bar to the inside and I will have all the real estate I need at that time. With all the modifications I actually thingk I could get a 335 under there without too much drama. I won't do that since that would create too much of a difference in width between front and rear tires. From what I have read and experienced you want to keep the tires no more than 40-50 mm different in width. (315-275=40mm)
The front tires will be 275/35/18 but they are still on backorder. I hope to have them in a few weeks which is in plenty of time before they will start working on the front fender modifications. The tires should fit without any major mods but I want to raise the wheel arches up an inch or two to acheive the look I am after.
Here are the new tires in their place. I will move the back spacing out by about 1/4" to allow the new wheels to all all the extra width to the inside thus allowing the old and new wheels to look exactly the same. No need for wheel spacers. The only change is to relocate the lower link to the inside.
I was at the body shop today to discus ride height. It looks like the diameter of the tires I am using is the same as the original tires from what I can see. It looks like the car had 185/70 15's as an available tire. If someone can confirm that I would appreciate it. I would like to have some assistance with on thing. I would like to know what the original ride height is from the bottom of the rocker to the ground. If anyone can help me with that measurement I would be in debt to you.
I want the car a little lower than stock but not obnoxiously low that I can't drive it. Thanks!!!!!!!!
On a side note, the Amazon wheel arches will cover the 315/30 18 rear tires perfectly. No need for a flare other than the stock lip of the fender! I am so happy I mini-tubbed the car! After I relocate the the outter link bar to the inside everything should clear just fine.
I have all the components for the sound system. A little early but I hate to wait for parts when I do need them. The head unit is a navigation unit from Pioneer and appears to have all the bells and whistles my new cars have including a backup camera. Should be a decent sounding system.
I have had a bit of a delay in my build. The guy that was doing the metal work on my car left the company and moved to another place down the road. They have been working on the hood this past month repairing areas around the hinge mount and attaching a hood scoop. The rear fender arches have been tack welded but still need completed.
I was talking with the shop owner yesterday and it looks like there is another year of work to do on the car. Just about every panel is having pretty significant modifications done to it and that takes time. I am a little frustrated since there hasn't been too much done in the past year. I can see this extending another 2 years. I need to evaluate options to make this project progress a little faster. I think I will take the car home and do some of the work myself.
I am glad to hear that Tom. I am also going to place an order tomorrow for lower 4 link relocation brackets tomorrow. I understand they are ready to ship some parts and hope to have mine next week.
I will pick my car up in the next few days so I can make all the suspension modifications I plan on doing. I will add a new splined sway bar to the front as well as moving the outer link bars to the inside. I need the room for the 315 rear rubber.
I sold a bunch of parts at a
Swap Meet this spring and made enough to buy a 3 post lift. I had it installed a week ago. It will make the suspension mods much easier than laying on my back welding on the car.
I had a conversation with my body guy last week about wanting to take the car to another shop so it will progress at a faster pace. He asked for anther chance and has really picked up the pace. He finished the hood and has the new buckets for the tail lights built and ready to mold in. I am really pleased with the progress he is making now.
The light turned out terrific! I couldn't be more pleased with the results. It is almost identical to the VOX rendering except the inside light is slightly smaller on the rendering.
Here is a picture of the rendering.
Black and there will be a chrome bezel that goes on the outside of the lights here are a couple photos that show the body and then with the trim that will be chrome. The recessed part will be black. We considered using carbon fiber on that area but I fear that will date the build.
I started the process of relocating the upper link bar to the inside of the frame yesterday. I got the bar in and plan on working on the body brackets and floor modifications this weekend. Thanks for the offer to walk through it. Robert has been helpful with some tech questions I have had. I think I have it under control but you never know.
I was hoping to have the new wheels here by now so I could have it all rolling on the wider rubber when it leaves my house in a week or so. Fingers crossed they will be mailed the first of the week.
I have been making progress on the suspension modifications. I changed the springs to PAC Racing Springs but 1" shorter to allow for more ride height adjustment. The orange color isn't my favorite but they will work.
I changed out my lower control arms for a newer version that has additional reinforcements. They were provided to my by Mad Volvo who too over the production and sales for Sweedish Ops. They are really nice and the finish was a perfect match.
I also installed the front splined away bar. That took a little planning since the sway bar bushing has quite a bit larger spacing between the bolts. I mounted the bushing to a piece of flat stock with a nut welded to the cack side of the steel where the back hole is attached. The front hole is mounted where the factory mount is bolted to. For the back mounting point I used an existing factory hole and installed a Rivnut.. This way I can go back to a factory bar style setup it if I want.
The arms for the sway bar was kind of fun. I ended up buying some pretty nice end links from Total Control Products that utilize heim joints and are rebuildable. The have a stud that comes off at a 90* angle that attaches to the arms. I had to cut the arms down and then tap them to accept the studs. Looks really clean and should work great. I still need to shorten or buy shorter bolts for the suspension crossmember mount. It looks like they may rub on the arm if I don't.
I also moved the upper link bar mounting pint to the inside of the frame rail. I picked up some brackets from Mad Volvo Performance. I had to cut some of the floor under the rear seat and still need to make that look pretty. I also picked up a revised upper shock bar that adjusts the shocks to a slightly different position and is less bulky than the original Sweedish Ops design.
I still need to mount the rear end back in the car but it is getting close to done with the suspension for now. I do plan on getting rid of the QA1 shocks for a set of JRI's. I am not sure if I will go with triple adjustable a or stick to singles. One last item, My wider wheels should be done this week. Once I get them mounted I will give the car back to the body shop so they can work their magic.
Here are a couple pictures of the rear suspension bar and brackets installed. And welded in place. The entire piece is removable for service if needed. Now it needs a little paint!
I got the new wheels in and tires mounted. The prancing moose center caps set them off nicely.
When I was welding the brackets on the housing to move the link bars to the inside I had a little problem. I must have warped them and now the housing is leaking gear oil. I think I am just going to get a new housing and call this a learning experience. A 9" is now on the way.
I have a couple updates. The body shop started welding on the rear fender arches. They look good but will require some rollingandjusent to the body lines and work at the bottom of the fender.
The rear end housing I purchased from Mad Volvo Performance arrived. It was drop shipped from Speedway Engineering and looks fantastic. I am waiting on the axles to arrive from Dutchman. I couldn't be more pleased the the rear end.
I received the new 9" from Mad Volvo Performance and it looks great. I had it powder coated after welding on some brake line tabs. It is ready to go to the body shop and put under the car. Those 315 tires sure do look good. I am pretty excited.
The body shop was supposed to start on the quarter window modification on Friday or perhaps tomorrow. I think that is when the car will really start to visually transform.
The rear windows are starting to take shape. I am starting to get a little excited now. The car is starting to transform! We are reevaluating the front lights to create a more modern look than using VW/Porsche buckets from the 60's. I will keep you posted on that one.
We have almost finished up the quarter windows. The glass guy needs to come over to make some measurements and figure out a solution for that. After that is done the flange for glueing in the windows will be added. The interior portion of the Windows is done except for the addition of upper seatbelt mounts. The seams on the rear roof and on the A pillars have been removed and the drip rail fully shaved.
I have been wanting to add some sort of rear spoiler to the car for high speed downforce. I don't want to destroy the lines of the car and have come up with a creative solution. I purchased a spoiler from a Crysler Crossfire which is an active spoiler. It looks like a a flat panel but when activated my speed or a switch it raises up.
I plan on integrating it into the deck lid of the car. The only difference you will be able to see will be a 3/16" line that will run the width of the trunk lid and be about 6" from the end. I should have the spoiler in on Monday and will keep you posted as that idea comes to reality.
After I came up with the idea I was doing some googling and
Came across a Chevelle that has already done it. Here is a picture of it.
Thanks for the comments guys. I am not sure about the one piece roof glass. As of this time it is not available but if it becomes available I will give it serious consideration. There are pros and cons to this mod but if I can't get it by the time I need glass it becomes an easy decision.
The hydroboost unit bolted in easily with room to spare. It was the hoses that I encountered the problem with. There is not room on the bottom of the unit to run the hoses without having them run into the wheel well. I did not want to do that and could not reposition the the hydroboost the opposite way because it would interfere with the valve covers. If you were running a 4 cyl there would not have been a problem and I would still have it on the car. If I find out that this setup doesn't work I will look into electric assist for the car but that would require reworking the pedal ratio back to where it originally was for factory power brakes.
Once the car is on the road I will give you some feedback on the braking as well as how the car overall works. On a side note to this, I have hired Ron Sutton http://www.ronsuttonracetechnology.com/ to look at all of the geometry of the suspension. The case is using Sweedish Ops suspesnion as well as my own tweaks to it for sway bars, shocks and spring rates. He will look at the front and rear of the car to give me an idea of how it should work and how to optimize it. I am confident that the suspension is good but I will get feedback from Ron as to what it will take to make it great. He will provided me with spring rates, sway bar rates for my objectives as well. It is up to me to decide how far I want to take this. For example, if Ron says I need to raise the upper axle mounting point 5" to create more traction for the car I may not do that since it would involve the removal of the rear seat.
The car will be primarily a street car but will see some track time. I am setting the car up so that it is easy to change sway bars and adjust the shocks if I need to. I will keep you posted on what I find out. I do know that the rear suspension geometry isn't very good from the factory and will likely have to be addressed. The upper link really should be mounted over the axle which will increase the ability to transfer the weight to the axle. The original design does not do that and quite honestly may not need to due to the lower power output than what I am dealing with. From what I understand the upper bar would be about the same distance above the axle as the lower bar is below but I could be wrong about that and that is why I have hired a specialist to help me out. If that is the case it would make sense. It give you the leverage of the weight of the car to better plant the tires where the lower mount provides more of the push forward.
I was at the body shop yesterday checking on progress and there isn't much to report. He has been spending most of his time getting a car ready to go out to interior late this week. The other guys should start working on the front end either today or tomorrow. I hope to have some pictures to show next week on the progress of fitting newer style angled headlights into the car.
I am still trying to decide if I want to put the roof glass on the car or just stick with flush mount glass. What do you guys think?
I taped off the lines to get an idea of what it would look like.
The rear spoiler work has started. It looks like it is going to work of great. The spoiler has been cut out from flat stock and currently has 1/2" extra all the way around to form a flange to wrap wround the mechanicals.
The modifications to the headlights and front of the car will start shortly.
I had some progress and a setback this week. The setback was some structural damage from years ago the twisted the front end slightly. It appears that the front end sheetmetal is pushed toward the drivers side about 1/2". That will have to be fixed before we can start on the front wheel arched and headlights.
We were able to get the new swaybar mounted along with some tabs to mount the oil accumulator. The oil cooler will be mounted in front of the Accusump. The grill panel will be repaired and reinstalled after the front end realignment is complete.
The rear spoiler is coming along nicely. The top of the spoiler is done and they are now working on the substructure. That should be done in a couple days. It should be pretty clean and stealthy when done.
The spoiler is in. Still need to work on the gaps and inner structure but it is coming along.
Not much to show for updates on the last couple weeks. The finish welding is done on the spoiler opening and they have been working on the rear wheel arches. The back of the car was 1/2" lower on the driver's rear and they needed to straighten that out. They are now able to finish off the lower sections of the quarter panels. We are going to lower the rocker panels down to the lowest part of the pinch welds to make the car seem lower. I will have pictures of that later.
I have been working on straightening an early egg crate grill to use in the car. I am not sure I will get it to the point where I want it to be so I have ordered a new one. It is being shipped directly to a facility in Tennessee to have some custom touches done to it. It will likely be a couple months before they are done with it but when I get it I will show the modifications I planned. It should be really cool and goes along with some of the other mods done to the car. More to come...........
I started working with a glass guy to work on the quarter window glass. it looks like the plan is to make a mold of the window opening and curvature then do a little shopping in junk yards for front windshields. He feels that we can use a windshield and cut out the area we need. It sounds pretty hard to me but he seems confident he can do it. Fingers crossed on that on because I really don't want to use plexi on the car.
The rear quarter panels are almost done. We are going to extend the rocker panel down to the bottom of the pinch weld and will need to do that before we can finish it up. That should visually make the car look about 1" lower.
They started working on the outer wheel wells and the headlights. More pictures to come on that.
I am having a custom emblem made for the egg crate grill. It should be really cool. They sent me the first rendition and they will be making some adjustments to soften it up a bit. Overall I like the direction it is going and will add a little detail that nobody else will have. A 3D printer will likely be used to create the details we
Are looking for.
It should be a nice spin off the Ferrari grills of that time.
I have also decided to put a cage in the
car. It will be made as tight to
The sides as it can. 4 or 6 point with a removable harness bar. I plan on tracking this car and need to make sure it is as safe as possible. Here are some samples I pulled off Facebook that are being used as inspiration.
Thanks guys. The progress the last few days has been slow. The front of the car was not square. The nose was pushed over about 1/2". The last day or two has been spent of fixing that so that we can start on the front end sheet metal modifications. The outer wheel wells are formed and they are ready to weld in place. The body man has been smoothing the quarter panels and adding some of the body lines back in that started to become less pronounced. The main one is the line that goes along the middle of the quarter panel to the tail light. It is now back on the car.
I scheduled the car to go in for the cage. it will be late may to June sometime. I will leave the design work up to Rohm Innovations so that it is safe. I have some ideas that I want incorporated into it but I will see what they have to say. It will have a removable harness bar as well as mounts for a 3 point seatbelt system for daily driving.
The car is back on the ground and they have started on the front fenders and headlights. I am amazed how low these cars are. It is sitting next to a 1969 Chevelle at the bodyshop and it makes the Chevelle look like a jacked up 4x4. Overall height is right at 48".
We will be using much of the original fender lip but raising it and reshaping it. The original turn signal will become a driving light and will be pushed outward slightly so that it has better balance with the new headlights. Here are a couple pictures of the car.
This is a picture of the details on the rear quarter panel. I like how it drops down a little bit. We will have a similar transition on the front but it will not go down. It will utilize the same look but curve up. I will show a picture when it is done.
The pinch welds have been transitioned into the rockers giving the car a look it is lower than it is. All the drains have been extended down to allow for water to drain away like stock.
I am really excited about how it is starting to take shape.
The front end was pretty messed up from previous body damage and inferior repairs. The headlights were not level and the fenders were also messed up. It is coming along nicely now.
Hard to tell repairs from modifications.
What is going on here with the piece let in along the fender to shroud? Are you making the valley more of a "V" shape or is this a repair effort?
A little bit more progress in the past week. The majority of the metalwork around the headlights is complete. They still need to finish weld the joints where the metal revisions were made. The old turn signals, which will be used as driving lights, were centered under the headlights. The width across the lower from fenders is substantially wider than original. It should be a much more aggressive look to the front end.
Here is a stock car for comparison.
We will now work on a flange to mount the driving lights in. We also will start working on the lower valance. It will be quite a bit lower and have provisions for oil coolers and brake cooling ducts.
I received the prototype rear valance from Royalworks Speed Shop. It is a beautiful piece of work and should be available for everyone to buy soon. John does great work! We will be modifying this to fit my car. We widened the back about 5" so minor changes need to be made. It gave me a huge head start though. Thanks John!
In a couple weeks the car should be heading over to get the roll cage installed. The car is really progressing nicely now.
The car is off to Rohm Innovations for a 6 point cage. They will lay it out early next week and have me come over to look at things before burning it in place. They will put in attachment points for 3 point belts as well as a removable harness bar for a 5 point harness for teach days.
The body shop finished up the driving lights and I am about 90% satisfied. Still have a bit of blending to do here and there. As it is they kinda remind me of a 57 Chevy bumper.
When the cage is done it will come home for a few days so that I can measure the car's suspension and see ho it all looks. The measurements will go down to Ron Sutton Race Technologies for a full analysis.
The plan for the front of the car is to extend the lower valance down to about 5.5". The lower valance will have an additional opening below the grill for PS and oil coolers. It will also have a carbon fiber splitter to help with downforce. My hope is the splitter will balance out the additional force applied by the rear wing.
Here are some pictures car. The front will be quite a bit lower when fully assembled and at ride height.
It looks like the grill emblem is done and is being shipped back. This is a photo that Jesse at Greening Auto took for me. I will post better ones once it arrives.
I received the grill and emblem today. They look great and I can't wait till I can put them on the car.
The roll cage is coming along nicely. We are waiting for the fittings to bolt on the harness bar and that should be in tomorrow. I had them put in a very low profile door bar that will still allow the emergency brake to operate. I forgot to take pictures but it is going to make the car more rigid, safer and allow easy safe access to the rear seat. They designed it to have a very little impact on the side profile and the down bars run parallel to the side of the window. The down bars will connect to the frame rails behind the real wheel tubs.
It will have provisions to mount 3 pt belts as well as reinforced mounts and removable harness bar for a 6 point harness. The seats will also have reinforced mounts. I really don't trust those small 5/16" bolts holding me in place if things go bad.
I hope to have the car home early next week to measure the suspension and send off the measurements to Ron Sutton for analysis.
The cage is almost done. We were waiting for harness bar hardware which arrived while I was there. It is looking pretty nice and should help keep the car from twisting with the added power. They added a nice pad to the bottom of the main hoop that connects the floor, rockers and rear brace to create a much stronger attachment point. They also tied the door bar into the rockers. The door bars won't provide much side impact protection but will mostly be utilized as a replacement for subframe connectors. Bungs will also be added for rear 3 pt seat belts.
I am pretty pleased with how it is turning out. I think I will add some sheetmetal to attach the bar to the inner body sheetmetal so that is flows better and will further triangulated the car to the bar.
With the help of a friend, I spent the better part of last weekend measuring the suspension of my car. That was a pretty involved process but I feel good about the measurements I took. I will the details down to sutton-racetechnology.com/ for a complete analysis and recommendations for adjustments if needed. They will also provide me optimal spring rates, sway bar sizing, custom tuning for my shocks (secret sauce as he puts it.) and alignment specs to get my car setup. I am pretty excited to see the results and I will share them when I do. It should put some closure to some of the questions out there.
the car is now going back to the body shop to finish up the metal and paint work. I hope that part is done this fall.
I have a few updates but no pictures. The body work continues. Due to the fact that my car is about 5" wider in the back than stock I will be widening my rear valance I purchased from John Royal. I will also be making some minor changes to the design so that the fins are more aggressive. The front is starting to take shape. I will wait to tell the details of that until I decide if I like it or not. It is a pretty innovative solution to the problem and should look pretty cool. The valance will extend down quite a bit from stock. It will incorporate brake cooling ducts, as well as a lower opening for the oil and transmission coolers.
I heard a little bit about the suspension analysis and it looks like I will be making some changes to the rear of the car. I am not sure about the front yet as he is still crunching numbers. What I have learned is that the original design while works fine for low hp 4 cylinder engines will not effectively plant the torque of a V8. The upper links need to be at least as high above the axle as the lower links are below. My design, and I think the original design, has the upper links slightly above axle centerline. To make a 4 link work to its fullest I would loose the back seat. I am not willing to do that.
The plan at this time is to eliminate the upper bars and to add a torque arm to the suspension. The rest of the suspension can stay but I may change out the mounting points of the panhard bar so that it is adjustable on both sides. I will confirm with Ron Sutton before going to far with that aspect first. The torque arm will do a much better job of planting the tires from a start as well as exiting from corners. It will also allow me to add more rear brake bias which will help me get the most out of my 14" brakes. I don't think the torque arm will be very difficult to install and am looking forward to doing it. I will have to wait for that part of the build until it comes home from the body shop.
Here is a snapshot of some of the support that Ron has given me regarding the rear suspension. I really like how he explains everything in detail. He really knows his stuff!
There are four common types of rear suspensions utilized in Pro-Touring cars today ... 3-link, Parallel 4-link, Triangulated 4-link & Torque Arm. Ladder bars should not be seriously considered for any corner carving car, as they go into instant bind with body roll & offer practically no articulation.
The typical Torque Arm suspension is similar to a 3-link, using two lower trailing arms (or "control arms") ... but instead of the third link being on top (centered or offset) & pivoting ... it mounts solidly to the housing & extends quite far forward (closer to the center of the wheelbase) with its 3rd pivot point.
Assuming each type of rear suspension is set-up correctly, rod ends spaced away from brackets properly with high misalignment bushings & clocked correctly ... the 3-link & Torque Arm suspensions allow the rear axle to articulate more (roll angle in relation to frame) than the 4-links.
They all will bind at some point of articulation. The Parallel 4-link allows the least articulation before bind ... the Triangulated 4-link allows a little more articulation before bind ... and the 3-link & Torque Arm offer quite a bit more articulation before bind ... all things being equal.
A triangulated 4-link is simple, and fairly common as a factory style rear suspension in many cars. It could be argued it will handle more torque under hard launches than 3-links, but if you were going to drag race it with slicks, you would want a Parallel 4-link, not a triangulated 4-link. You want the push & pull forces going through the links to be parallel with the chassis … not angled within the chassis.
Torque Arm suspensions are also common as a factory style rear suspension in some cars. They are the simplest of the designs, allow a high degree of rear end articulation & can take high shock loads from hard launches. They can be made "a little" adjustable, but typically offer less adjustability than the other designs, as far as controlling the front Instant Center, rise leverage & anti-squat. If designed well & installed as instructed, these make a great all around suspension for the person that doesn't want to tune much.
3-links are very common in road racing, especially in full body cars like GT1 & the Trans Am series, because they allow for the most articulation & can be highly adjustable & tunable for track conditions. You also see them a lot on top AutoX racers.
3-links, Parallel 4-links & Triangulated 4-links can be made very adjustable if designed & installed with multiple or variable mounting points. But most "street kits" are sold with little or no adjustment to protect non-tuning novices from themselves. If you know set-ups or plan to learn, you may want to pick a system designed for adjustability. If not, pick a system designed for your application, install as directed & run it.
3-links can handle drag racing up to a point, but it wouldn't be my choice if the car was planned for super high hp, high rpm, clutch dropping, slick running, wheelie pulling launches ... as there are only 2 rod ends "pulling" through the top link to lift the whole car. 4-links can handle more launch load (like drag racing), because the force going through the rear end & rear suspension that "pulls" the top links(s) is spread over 4 rod ends.
Parallel 4-links, 3-links & Torque Arm suspensions require a device to keep the rear end centered in the chassis, like a panhard bar or watts link. A triangulated 4-link does not require this, as the 2 or 4 links running at an angle keep the rear end in the location you put it. There are pros & cons both ways.
A suspension with a panhard bar or watts linkage ... "can" allow for easy roll center changes, if the mounting brackets allow for adjustment. (Many ProTouring focused kits offered do not have adjustment capabilities) Again, decide if you want to "set it & forget it" (sorry Ron Popiel) or if you want a suspension that is tunable for optimum performance & varying track conditions.
For a track car, I can’t fathom not having an adjustable rear suspension. But if your PT car doesn’t have a rear suspension, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do track days. Rock on & have fun. Just know if the rear needs to be loosened or tightened up, to balance out the car for neutral handling, you have less tuning options.
For the best adjustable rear suspension for road racing, track car, or AutoX car, is the adjustable 3-link, as it has the best articulation. The adjustable parallel 4-link will work well as long as the car doesn’t require a high degree of roll angle for the suspension to work, but it's not my weapon of choice.
For the best non-adjustable rear suspension for road racing, track car, or AutoX car, is the Torque Arm suspension, as it offers good articulation. The non-adjustable 3-link & parallel 4-link “can work well” … providing the instant center location provides a decent anti-squat percentage for your application. Triangulated 4-links are rarely adjustable, but still ranks at the bottom as the push pull forces aren’t parallel with the car (which is desired) and the roll center is not separately adjustable, as it does not use a panhard bar or Watt’s link.
For drag racing, the advantage goes to the Parallel 4-link, with the Torque Arm suspension 2nd (for handling launches BUT not very adjustable), Triangulated 4-link 3rd & the 3-link 4th (only due to strength concerns).
For a "cruiser/driver" that will only occasionally see the track, with little or no tuning ... any of them will work fine ... but the Torque Arm suspension is best here & the triangulated 4-link 2nd ... which is why you commonly see these two suspensions in factory production cars. They both work fine in many hot rod & street performance applications. They are not better than the others, just simpler & effective. Plus these two allow you to keep the rear seat if that is important to you.
The rear end housing wants to rotate the same direction the driveshaft is … counter clockwise from the rear view, clockwise from a front view. So as torque is applied the left rear tire is loaded more & the right rear tire is loaded less. This makes the car want to “drive” to the right, a small amount, under hard acceleration. As you make left hand turns the car has more “forward bite” during corner exit … than right hand turns, which have less “forward bite” during corner exit.
The difference isn’t huge, but it exists. If it isn’t counteracted … the effect amplifies with increased power output.
For 3-links, the upper link can be offset to the passenger side to help counteract this torque on acceleration. Very few people can tell you accurately how far to offset it, because it changes with gear ratio & friction within your rear end. I have my own proprietary formulas I use, based on my knowledge of where the force comes from & high tech testing of dynamic loads. This allows me to calculate the amount of force difference from the left rear to right rear tire & offset the top link precisely to zero out any torque steer. I don't share this formula publicly, but I do offer this service as one of my 70+ tech services you can see HERE.
The formulas I’ve seen other people use involve rear steer, which makes no sense for handling cars. A rule of thumb is 8-12% of track width. In many race applications, it makes sense to make the top link mounts wide, so you can adjust the top link side to side to dial this in. Sometimes in the real world, packaging challenges play a role.
Second, this is from farther down on the 1st page ...
First, calculate the max torque going through the rear end:
Peak Engine torque x 1st gear ratio x rear gear ratio = max torque going through the rear end
EX: 500# of torque x 2.64 1st gear ratio x 3.90 rear gear ratio = 5148# torque going through the rear end
Second is torque distribution:
(Distance from Axle Centerline (CL) to lower link rod end CL) vs (Distance from Axle Centerline (CL) to upper link rod end CL) = torque distribution
EX #1: 6" Axle CL to lower link CL vs 6" Axle CL to upper link CL = 50/50 torque distribution
This means 50% of the rotational housing torque is going through the lower links pushing the car/chassis forward & 50% of the rotational housing torque is going through the upper links pulling/lifting the chassis & loading the tires.
EX #2: 7" Axle CL to lower link CL vs 3" Axle CL to upper link CL = 70/30 torque distribution
This means 70% of the rotational housing torque is going through the lower links pushing the car/chassis forward & 30% of the rotational housing torque is going through the upper links pulling/lifting the chassis & loading the tires.
EX #3: 6" Axle CL to lower link CL vs 12" Axle CL to upper link CL = 33.3/66.7 torque distribution
This means 33.3% of the rotational housing torque is going through the lower links pushing the car/chassis forward & 66.7% of the rotational housing torque is going through the upper links pulling/lifting the chassis & loading the tires.
Third is max torque with torque distribution:
So if we use the 3 torque distribution examples above & the example 5148# torque going through the rear end, the max torque going through the brackets would be:
EX #1: 5148# with 50/50 torque distribution = 2574# max torque through lower brackets & 2574# max torque through upper brackets
EX #2: 5148# with 70/30 torque distribution = 3604# max torque through lower brackets & 1544# max torque through upper brackets
EX #3: 5148# with 33.3/66.7 torque distribution = 1716# max torque through lower brackets & 3452# max torque through upper brackets
Realize these brackets only see this amount of torque for an instant ... and these amounts are based on no tire spin, as with a racing slick or optimized suspension. The rotational housing torque diminishes rapidly, as the car gets rolling. The brief instant at initial power application is the only time the brackets will see these load numbers.
OK, after that primer ...
There is a lot more than just the anti-squat percentage setting in setting up a rear suspension. The torque distribution discussed above is KEY! Remember the torque distribution that is lifting the chassis & loading the rear tires is one key ... a big key ... to how much traction we have for acceleration.
Torque arms & IRS always have 50/50 torque distribution. Is 50/50 optimum for every car & usage? Well ... there is no set-up that is optimum for every car & usage. The tire design plays the biggest factor in how much torque distribution we want loading the rear tires. The power level of the car is the 2nd factor. As a rule of thumb ...
* Stiff sidewall and/or harder tire compounds (like PT tires) need to be loaded harder for maximum grip.
* Soft sidewall drag slicks and/or super soft rubber compounds need to loaded less ... or we could experience tire shake (like top level drag cars do).
Because 3-Links & 4-Links can be designed with the top links & lower links mounted at DIFFERENT distances from the rear axle centerline ... the torque distribution is variable. At least until the brackets are built & welded on. I find that space above the rear axle housing in production cars ... or lack of it ... prevents us from placing the top link mounts where they need to be for optimum torque distribution.
Refer to example #3 up above in the torque distribution discussion. If we could mount your top links higher ... farther away from the rear axle centerline that your lower links ... are below that same centerline ... you'd have MORE than 50/50 torque distribution. That would be good. But if your top links are closer to the rear axle center line than your lower links ... you'll have LESS than 50/50 torque distribution. Not good.
Since ... in this case Darreld ... I have your measurements & know your top links are super low ... I can confidently advise you that your current 4-link design will not produce anywhere near optimum grip on acceleration. Your torque distribution loading the tires is far less than 50/50. Soooo ... a torque arm rear suspension with its inherent 50/50 torque distribution would be a major improvement in grip on acceleration. Not as much as if you cut out the trunk floor & placed your top link mounts 12"+ above the rear axle centerline (extreme race setup) ... but far better than you will have with the current set-up.
Small update to report. The rear valance is coming together and I hope it will be done next week. Forgot to take pictures though. I will post some when it is done.
The outer wheel wells are welded in. Trunk drop down panels will need to be fabricated and then the lower fenders near the rockers will be completed.
The front is going in a different direction than I originally thought it would. We will be using split bumpers off of a 1970 Camaro and modifying them. We will add metal in a few places and reshape the bumper where it goes to the side of the car to better match the 1963 Corvette rear bumper.
The front valance is where it is really deviating from my original thoughts. We are going to start with a fiberglass bumper cover from a newer car and rework it. By doing so we can reduce the weight and make repairs easier than if we used steel. A splitter will likely be added when it is done.
The lower opening will be used for the oil and transmission coolers. I am not 100% sure I like the look at this time but we will see what it looks like as they make the adjustments to fit my car. I like the fact that it will lower the front and create a more aggressive stance. With a little luck we should finish up the metal work next month and then start slinging mud and sanding.
Here is a picture of the raw bumper cover to get a general idea of the direction we are headed. I am kinda scared to ask but, what do you think?
The rear valance from John Royal at Royalworks Speed Shop is looking good. A flange was fabricated to allow it to bolt on. We still have to make trunk drop down panels but it is getting closer. We plan on modifying the valance a little on the center section by indenting it a bit more to add dimension.
Thanks for the compliment Frank.
There has been minor progress on the car in the past week. They are finish whiny up the rear valance. The mods made from the last update were to increase the size of the verticals ridges, recessed the center section and extended the valance back to be flush with the gas tank. They are finishing up on the exhaust ports now. The exhaust will be the same oval shape as the tail lights and the opening will be 1/4" larger on all sides. It will involve creating a lip in the balance for additional depth and visual appeal.
I should hear back from Ron Sutton Race Technologies regarding the suspension analysis anytime. Overall, the suspension appears to be good but improvements can be made. The rear suspension on the original car simply won't allow me to provide enough traction. My plan is to eliminate the upper bars and add a torque arm. This will force me to remove some of the bracing from the bottom of the car (glad I put a cage in it already). I will have to fabricate new supports and likely change some items with the e-brake. I won't start that project until after I get the car back from the body shop. The car should have better acceleration, handling and braking. A win win win.
The front will have a couple changes. The changes will require me to trim a little here and there from the original structure of the car to ensure I am getting the most out of it. I haven't seen the final analysis but it sounds like I will move the lower coilover mount out about an inch, changling the height of the lower control arm mounting point as well as adding longer upper control arms. The last one will require the trimming. We are also evaluating using Wilwood spindles for better KPI and using custom steering arms.
When it is said and done the car should be able to hang with the best of them on a race course and at the car show. I can see why Swedish Ops designed the suspension they way they did. To take it to the level I did you would never be able to go back to a stock setup again. It would require a massive amount of body modifications that almost everyone would not be willing to do. I want this car to be the best it can be and don't plan on compromising on much to get there.
The exhaust holes have been made into the valance and the drop down panels are in. I also added a tow hook that is removable. It tied into a boxed in frame rail. Once removed a filler panel/bolt will go in to cover the hole.
The license plate is about to go in. It will be flush on the bottom and recessed on the top. The corners will be rounded and a trim piece will go from both sides and on the top. The trim will be removable and 1/4" thick and chrome plated. Basically the same as the trim around the tail lights. The sheetmetal on the outside is to keep the panel from warping while cutting and welding the license plate
Next up on the rear will be fitting the rear bumpers.
The recessed license plate is now in. Only thing it needs is the trim that goes up the sides and across the top.
The latch assembly can now be installed.
Thanks for the compliment. The rear bumper is coming along. It started out on a 1963 Corvette but has gone through massive modifications to work on the Volvo. Still has a bunch of work to go but it is starting to take shape. When this is done it is back to work on the nose of the car.
I just received the suspension results back so I wanted to give an update. As I have mentioned in the past I had Ron Sutton of Ron Sutton Race Technologies perform the analysis. There is some good and some bad. I will start with the rear. The rear suspension is very close to what the original car had other than coilovers. Link locations are very close to the original car but neither is good for planting power to the ground. I am planning on making some pretty serious changes back there. I am going to remove the upper links and add a Torque Arm. This will improve traction, handling and braking on the car. I won't go over the details of specifics but it will make a bid difference on the track. For the street or occasional auto-X it is fine.
The front suspension has some challenges as well. The upper control arms are a little shorter than optimum. This causes a couple issues. The roll center is not as good as I want and the Ackerman leaves some to be desired. According to Ron the front suspension works for a street car, auto-X setup and daily usage but isn't optimal for track use. Basically fine for the average guy that want to enjoy his car and not want to modify the entire front clip in the process. Much of the problems are a result of the narrow track width of our cars and the fact that the kit is designed to be a "bolt in" piece requiring minimal modifications.
As it is the front is functional but not for my intended purpose of the car I am building. I want a car that has good road manners but will also dominate on the track. I will be the limited factor to the performance of my car. I know that most people won't care to have the ultimate in handling on an 1800 but I am the type of guy that if I don't do what I feel is best from the start I will regret it and eventually redo it at a much larger cost. I have hired Ron to design a front suspension that will have no compromises. Every component on it will be the highest quality and designed for optimization.
The front brakes will still use 14" Wilwood brakes and a splines sway bar but everything else will change. I will have to have a front clip made and it will be welded to the chassis instead of using a bolt in crossmember. It will require a massive amount of surgery but I can honestly say that in the end I will have the best handling 1800 around. The front tire width will be increased to 315 tires so that I am running the same size on all 4 corners. I will keep the exiting 275 front tires for daily driving but have another set of matching front wheels/tires for track days. When is is all done the car should be able to take corners at over 1g. Here is a picture of the same basic design but is for a Cuda project and is running a 335 front tire. As you can see a radical redesign and will require the car to have serious modifications.
With all that said I will be selling my existing suspension to someone who wants to cruise around and have some fun on the auto-x. If you are interested let me know.
One interesting thing that Ron told me was regarding OEM's and what they put out. I think everyone would agree that a Viper is a pretty awesome performance car but the rear suspension leaves much to be desired. The geometry of the rear suspension is far worse than the front suspension I have now. When the analysis was brought back to Dodge so that they could fix the suspension for a track car Dodge told them there was no budget for it. So they ended up putting 1400 lb springs and a 1100 lb rear sway bar to make the car handle! Basically if the geometry is way off make it stiff as hell so it can't move. LOL!
Here is a picture of the front as the body shop begins the modifications. The 1970 Camaro split bumpers should look pretty sleek. The lower valance is starting to take place. The curve on the valance is almost exactly to that of the Volvo sheet metal. It should make for a smooth transition.
I am starting to get some parts in for the redo of the suspension. The UPS brought me the Torque Arm rear suspension components today. It mounts to the pinion of my 9" Ford housing and tabs are welded to the bottom to set the pinion angle. I will have to fab up a front mount when I get the car back from the body shop. Here are a couple pictures. It has a soling billet mount on both ends. Pretty stout unit!
The front valance is coming along nicely. There is a little bit of work to do on the outer edges to transition into the fenders. The boxy parts is to provide a shelf where the bumpers will be. It will be hidden by the bumpers.
We still have to find a place to mount the tranny and oil cooler but we will likely wait to do that until the new suspension clip is in.
The front of the car is starting to take shape. Still have some fiberglass work to do but next will be the modifications to the grill opening.
The valance is done and now we are looking at a bolt on splitter. It still needs to be narrowed but it sure add a little bit of aggression to the front of the car. I am not sure if I like it or not yet but a few bolts and it is easily removed.
The gel coat is on the front valance. Now on to the grill area. In addition I have also started to look into a radar jammer/detector setup.
Thanks for the tips guys. It looks like Bel is coming out with a new system around March that should set the bar higher. I am going to wait till then to see what it is like before buying.
The rear bumpers are getting the finishing touches.
The work on the grill has progressed nicely this week. The first phase is pretty much fabricated. We are eliminating the chrome grill surround and making it out of sheet metal and round bar. A return flange still has to be made that will pull the grill back further in the opening. We want the egg crate grill to be recessed instead of protruding past the opening like a stock car is. We will also add a chrome surround. It is a little difficult to explain but will make more sense as it progresses.
A little more progress on the grill. It still needs the chrome trim fabricated and mounting tabs to mount the grill in place. I think it will have a nice look when completed. As a contrast I have also posted an original grill. The difference is pretty noticeable.