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Old 11-28-2001, 02:50 AM   #1
Jonathan
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Default OT: Ford 302 HO V-8 ---> Volvo ???

Some while back I read a news item about some place in Maine (Naples ?) that specializes in dropping in Ford V8's into RWD Volvos. (240, 740, 940 series cars).

The concept seems interesting (A high performance car that doesn't attract attention). Has anyone else heard of this place ?
Any information (good or bad) ?

Thanks !!!
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Old 11-28-2001, 07:22 AM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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The magic of the Google search: http://www.converseengineering.com/index.html

An article in the Boston Globe about said company: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/31...int_job+.shtml

Rather use a small block Chevy for your conversion? How about http://www.jagsthatrun.com/ (one of my college buddies had a '79 Jag with a 350 in it - purty cool).

I've heard good things about the V8 Volvos. Specifically, as mentioned in the Globe article, I've heard about Paul Newman and Dave Letterman both having nasty Volvos done up by Converse Engineering. It's definitely one of those sleeper projects that in the back of my head for whenever I have disgusting amounts of money to just throw around.

Speaking of disgusting sleeper projects, did you know that the Chevy Astro AWD uses the same drivetrain as the GMC Syclone/Typhoon? And did you know that a small block Chevy will drop into an Astro with no changes other than motor mounts? Mmmmmm, 400+hp AWD Astro.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 11-28-2001, 03:28 PM   #3
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Pat don't hurt yourself...
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Old 11-30-2001, 03:58 AM   #4
Jonathan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Patrick Olsen
...Did you know that the Chevy Astro AWD uses the same drivetrain as the GMC Syclone/Typhoon? And did you know that a small block Chevy will drop into an Astro with no changes other than motor mounts?

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
No Pat, I didn't know that. What sort of a setup is the Astro AWD thing ? Is it like the soon to disappear Oldmobile Bravada ? I heard all sorts of stuff about how a GM V6 would drop into an old Chevy Chevette (RWD T-car), and yeah the Chevy V8 - Jaguar thing has been around for years (Jaguars used to use GM TH-350 transmissions as did Rolls-Royce, but now that Ford owns Jaguar and Volvo I doubt they still do).

Thanks very much for those links, Pat. (Next time I find myself with an extra 8K spending money, I will be on the look-out for a nice Volvo 740 with a blown motor)
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Old 11-30-2001, 08:23 AM   #5
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ACtually you can put a Chevy 305, 350 or 400 small block in a Chevette. Why would you settle for a V6?
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Old 11-30-2001, 09:18 AM   #6
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Well, you could do a turbo Buick V6.

Roger
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Old 11-30-2001, 12:12 PM   #7
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My roommate (who is into Volvos) told me about this.. I couldn't believe it.. Saw one with my own eyes in San Diego in October. White 740 "Turbo" wagon with 5.0 badges, fat rubber on stock Turbo rims and large chrome exhaust. Looked good, actually.

lb
www.trancelab.com
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Old 11-30-2001, 05:52 PM   #8
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A small block chevy V8 will go into a Fiero using the 4cyl bellhousing and a little bit of creativity with the exhaust manifolds/headers.
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Old 11-30-2001, 11:16 PM   #9
titsataki
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actually I have seen one with the Mustang 5.0 that looked as stock as it can be. LOL the guy was taking it to the ford dealer for engine service. One of the reasons he put the 5.0 in the 240 was so he can also tow a boat :0


cheers

T.
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Old 12-01-2001, 12:44 AM   #10
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
No Pat, I didn't know that. What sort of a setup is the Astro AWD thing ? Is it like the soon to disappear Oldmobile Bravada?
Oh, no, no, the Astro isn't anywhere near that glamourous. The Astro was Chevy's first minivan, which they still produce (but only as a work van, no passenger minivan version anymore). It originally was RWD and I think was based on Chevy's small truck/SUV platform, both of which distinguish it from modern minivans. It still uses the Vortec 4.3L V-6, so it's got a good towing capacity and all that jazz.

Here's a nice sample shot of a mid-90s AWD Astro van:

That's the passenger minivan type, which is a bit heavier than the bare-bones work van version. Tell me that doesn't just scream "LS1 Eater"!!

Pat
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Old 12-01-2001, 07:59 AM   #11
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We had two V8 conversions show up at the Mt. Philo Hillclimb.. neither of them competed, but both were pretty cool. One was a Volvo 740 with a Chevy 350 under the hood.... and the other wa a Mazda Miata with a 302 HO shoehorned in there.... Sweet rides.

Fitz
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Old 12-01-2001, 02:02 PM   #12
Jonathan
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Patrick

Sorry, I know perfectly well what an Astro van is. Yes, its shares much of the frame and powertrain with that of the old S-10 Pickup. Given that, I always figured it had the crude truck based part time 4x4 setup as an option, not a true AWD arrangement. Is this true ?

Even with a real motor, such a vehicle will always basically be a truck. Getting it to handle correctly is a very expensive undertaking I fear.
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Old 12-01-2001, 11:10 PM   #13
Chris N
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Default 5.0 volvo

I remember reading about this subject -(5.0 Volvos) in Car & Driver many moons ago. The Company is in Falmouth, Maine... just north of Portland, just south of Longshot.

The guy has supplied alot of kits to alot of people, to include Robert Redford, and Jay Lenno. Turns out rich people originally from the northeast want a fast engine, with a wide market for bolt on goodies, in a car that fits in with the native northeast surroundings.

I don't know the name of the company but a few people at Cumberland Motor Club www.cumberlandmotorclub.com do know alot about this subject.

In the magazine article it stated the kit was under 2k, if I remember correctly. And, very easy to install.
Good luck
Chris
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Old 12-02-2001, 06:36 AM   #14
Jonathan
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Default Re: 5.0 volvo (it all adds up)

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris N
I remember reading about this subject -(5.0 Volvos) in Car & Driver many moons ago. The Company is in Falmouth, Maine... just north of Portland, just south of Longshot.

....

In the magazine article it stated the kit was under 2k, if I remember correctly. And, very easy to install.
Good luck
Chris
Thanks for the info, Chris.

Actually the place being credited with doing the work and offering the kit (from Patrick's link) is Converse Engineering located on 448 Lewis Rd, in Naples, Maine.

2k for the kit is only the starting point.

in order to do this conversion you need a few extra things :

# 1. A Volvo (Preferably in fairly decent condition).
Figure 2K minimum there, although you MIGHT get lucky and find an owner whos Volvos engine just started making expensive motor sounds, who will sell cheap.

# 2. A Ford Engine & Transmission. Whilst you might get lucky and manage to find a USED Ford Engine and transmission in good running order for under a grand at a junk yard, dont count on it. You could easily spend 3-4K here. Your best bet might be to order a factory crate short block, and build it up from parts at a junk yard.

Unless you are very good and have a lot of time on your hands, you really should get this installed professionaly. Converse was offering their services for around 6K.
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