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1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, a couple folks on this site have seen my Volvo build on some other forums, but I figured I would share with ya'll as well. So what's going to follow is a large update on on where I started to where I am as of about 2 hours ago.


Bought it. Picked it up about 2 months ago (April 2009). Four door, 1966 Volvo Amazon which I have purchased for the grand total of $2000. I have decided to name the car Lucille in remembrance of my Grandmother who passed away recently.

My wife already hates it, my Dad laughed at it, but I love it. To me, it reminds me of an old Nova II, but with better lines. I can't wait to put a wrench to this thing.

80,000 miles on the stock 4-cylinder. Look at this thing. Dual side-draft carbs!

I can't say that it's going to be in there that long. In fact it will come out very soon so I can fit a nice little 383 Stroker in it. This car is going to be a blast.

This is going to take some serious fab work to shoehorn a 350 into this chassis. I bought a full-size polyurethane 350 so it will make mocking things up a little easier than wheeling a stuffed 350 in and out of the bay.

I already sourced a poor man's Ford 9" rear-end out of police interceptor with 28K on it, disc brakes and an aluminum driveshaft. It cost me a grand total of one computer! my buddy is not going to use it in his '55 Chevy so we're trading even up! Momma wanted a new computer anyway, so this worked out nicely.

Here she is home!!!!

It was a real booger getting it hooked up to the tow dolly in the pouring rain at 37°. Fingers were numb, absolutely miserable! But it's home and I love it. I am so stoked for this build. This car has so much character and is freaking solid.

Here she is waiting to get strapped in. Forgive the blurry spots. I dropped my camera in a puddle and it was acting up a little bit.

Am I excited? Yes, I am.

Donovan (aka Big D) on the left and Chris, the guy I bought it from on the right. Seemed like a good dude.

Ready to roll home!!

Two hours later and we're home. Note the Sugar carcass (my old Honda build) in the background.

My daughter likes it too.

Off the tow dolly.....

...and into the garage. Don't worry, the glass is in the door.

Skullz are hard on my "billet" Ford Ranger alloys!!!

I scored a set of gauges today off Ebay. I love them. They're from a '56 DeSoto. I may have paid a little too much, but I really like them. Hopefully I can make them work!

Took her shoes off and put her up on jackstands.


1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
And decided to peek under her skirt a little. Freaking chassis is in really good shape. This is just a sample of the passenger fender well. Hardly any rust.

I then proceeded to drop the driveshaft, exhaust, pulled the exhaust/intake mani assembly off, raddy out, alternator and fuel pump off and also pulled the starter. I was going to drop the tranny, but it's an absolute mess of 80W90 down there that I really didn't feel like playing in. No additional pics because I had a fair amount of work to do around the house.

OK, did some more work today.

Back in black!
I hit the sack
I've been too long I'm glad to be back.
Yes, I'm let loose
From the noose
That's kept me hanging about.

For those of you that didn't know, that was AC/DC. The greatest rock and roll band ever. Leave the thread now if you did not recognize that song. Seriously. GTFO.

I like black IMs. With a silver carb, silver heads, black accented VCs, and a black block, this motor is going to be sick. No SS lines. Just black, and chrome/silver. I have wood.

Moving right along. I think it's a rule that any car manufactured before 1970 attracts wasps. These were in both headlight housings.

Nothing a shop vac couldn't fix. I decided to keep going to see if there is any terminal cancer. So far so good. There is one spot on the driver's fender mounting portion of the tub, but it's contained to about a 1" x 3" spot that can easily be cutout and rewelded.


Time to keep monkeying around. Pulled the dash out, prepping the bay to pull the motor, and I got to thinking.

I am just going to trash (or sell) the existing wiring in the car. It's old, it's been hacked up and I'm better off just starting over. I mean, look at this:

Yeah, screw a bunch of that. I'll get online tonight and look at some wiring harnesses by Painless. Much easier I'm going to bet.

It's not like I shouldn't have expected it, but it still sucks to find it. Pulled the rest of the interior and it looks like I will be doing some sheet metal work.

Passenger rear floor pan.

Driver rear floor pan. I hate it when people half-*** things.

Right rear trunk. Left rear looks about the same.

Passenger floor board.

Another angle.

OK, I mean at the end of the day it is a 1966 car, so it could be a lot worse. Plus the rear floor boards were going to have to cut out anyway to make room for the frame X-brace that will connect the front and rear subframes. Then in the trunk, it's going be tubbed, fuel tank removed and a fuel cell installed, so all that would be gone anyway. Up front is going to require a bit of work to get the T5 box to fit. So it's not a total loss. Even if the sheet metal was pristine, I'd be cutting it up anyway.

Here's that bit I was talking about up on the tub.

Again, nothing major and a lot of healthy metal around it.

The passenger side may or may not be salvageable. We'll see. I'd rather cut it off and start fresh than take a chance at it rusting out later on down the road.

Welcome to transmission boulevard. Sawzalls required.

Donovan and I did a little work tonight and I'm really tired.

Got her hooked up.

Apply a little leeeverage. Big D did all the work, I just fanned him so he wouldn't overheat and held the flashlight.

When you use a big rod, you catch big fish.

And we started mocking up the 350 block with the stock front end. Made a few adjustments...

and I guess it's to late to turn back now.

But then we ran into a problem. Without encroaching on the passenger compartment at least 6-8 inches - which would have pushed everything back and I probably would have lost the back seat - the 350 won't clear the upper A-arms. Booger. We entertained opening up the subframe, running a custom sway bar and linkage, custom u-joints on the steering column, moving bits of the frame, and doing a widebody to avoid this.

That's an awful lot of work to keep a stock 1966 suspension setup.

I'm smarter than this. Donovan is smarter than I am at this stuff, so collectively, our brainwaves can burn toast at a distance of up to 50 meters away.

We reached a decision.

Stock front end is out.


1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
And it's time to start looking for a Mustang II front end. Much easier to make that work than re-engineering the volvo front end or losing the back seat.

Done for the night. Tired. Here's my fake motor.

The parts hath starteth to arrive. Eth.

75mm bore is for suckas. 102mm (aka a "30 over" SBC) coffee cans! For those of you not in the know, 75mm is the stock bore for the 01-05 Honda Civics. More on why that's important during the intermission.

We're going to do a structural floor. Basically a frame of 1" square tubing is going to be the floor and firewall foundation that will be welded to the subframe, front - to back. Once we get the dimensions of the tranny tunnel done and welded in, the bottom of the floor frame is getting a nice smooth sheet metal skin welded in. I'm going to fill the tubing and cavities with foam (after running fuel, brake and power lines with bulkhead fittings) and cap it off inside with another layer of sheet metal held in with rivets and caulk. This way the floor becomes a structural member of the car. Once that's done, we'll make the X-brace to join the frames.

Oh yeah, gotta get a Mustang II front end and make the crossmember the right size for my 53" track width first so we know where the motor is going to be.

So much to do!

But here's some more motivation.

Did a little work tonight in spite of myself. Turns out there was an engine underneath all that grease!

Taking a lunch break. Got most of the cage done. Here's my start. Three pieces of 1" conduit and a piece of 3/4" angle iron.


THIS IS NOT A ROLL CAGE. It is a structural geometry cage to keep everything true until I get a frame back in the car.

Brackets cut and the first pipe sized up.

It doesn't have to be pretty or hold a seal so I don't care what my welds look like.

Done with x-brace.

I just need to tie in the front and rear to make doubly sure nothing flexes when the floor and bottom part of the firewall comes out.

Welding galvanized conduit gives me a headache. Something about toxicity or somesuchthing. Oh well.

Door geometry cage is done.

I tied the front braces up to where the hood hinges come through the firewall.

And used one old hood pin stud from Piggy and one D17 transmission bolt from Sugar (my old Honda) to run my braces to.

Then I drilled a hole in each fender to fit the rear braces.

Once everything was all tied in, I welded the back crossmembers together and then the front crossmembers together.

So my chassis brace is three pieces composed of the B-pillar cross brace, the front firewall brace, and the rear fender brace, all tied in and bolted together in the middle.

I think I'm safe to cut the floor and transmission tunnel out now.

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
And speaking of the floor coming out.........tada!

Pulled the rest of the firewall out tonight.


Kind of before, but after some modification to get the motor out.


This was followed by some rust discovery work with the abrasive disc on my grinder. Not bad, but there are some pieces that will need to be replaced. The car was red at one time.

After much hemming and hawing about suspension options - from custom 52" track width Mustang II, to an S10 blazer frame grafting job, I decided to just go with a Mustang II front end. It has a 55.5" track width which will push my wheels outboard by 1.75" per side. This something I can live with as cost climbs pretty rapidly when I start looking at custom bits.

And I ordered a soda blaster to make things easy on myself.

Picked up my front end this evening. Turns out the guy selling it runs a mustang junkyard. Seems to be in pretty good shape, but the first thing Mindy asked was, "How much did you pay for this rusty piece of poop?"

She has no vision.

But I paid $200 for it which is a deal. It has a power steering rack and one other key element that I was not aware of, but very pleased to discover. The length from inner frame rail to inner frame rail on the M II front end is 24" and that also happens to be the exact length of the inner frame rails on the Volvo! Color me stoked.

Yes, it needs a little love, new bushings, brakes, coilovers and so on, but it still beats a $1600 setup from Heidts.

I got 55 pounds of love today.

This thing is freaking heavy. I thought that the D17 crank was a handful, but it's got nothing on this 383 crank.

Pulled some of the Mustang II front end apart just now. After I removed the calipers, I was wailing on the rotors with my BFH (big friggin' hammer) and they would not budge. Who would have thought that the wheel bearings were inside the rotors and the spindle nuts had to come off first. Damn domestics. Makin' things complicated.

I decided to spend a little time working on the steering rack and some general organization. Aside from one tie rod end being a bit stiff, everything cleaned up really nice. I even ground down all the factory casting marks because I'm like that.



And then I organized all my go-fast parts.

Did some more work today since the shipping company doesn't work on Saturdays and I couldn't go get my motor. I starting looking at the car and realized I needed to get the hood off and the glass out. So I did. And without breaking it!

After that was done, I pulled out the headliner and cleaned up all the mouse turds and shredded foam. Lord knows when that little bastard was in there, but I'm sure he contributed to aroma that the car had. No pics, but take my word for it, it's out.

Hmm.....still lots of daylight left and energy to burn.

I had a half a can of aircraft stripper left so I sloshed some on the passenger fender well. That poop burns kiddies. I have a couple scars on my arms from it and it's not something I care to repeat.

Slosh, slosh.

You can see the spot that I worked at with a chisel before putting the stripper on. Well, the stripper didn't make it much easier. This took me a good 2.5 hours. I still have the other side to do. Thank God I'm going to cut the rear fenders out when I tub it otherwise I'd only be a quarter of the way done.

Undercoating FTL.

Oh, I also degreased the passenger front spindle and lower A-arm. No pics of that though.

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Motor = sourced.

My buddy has 4-bolt 350 from an '88 Chevy that we will use as the foundation for the build. Best of all it's going to cost me an engine hoist to get it from him. He wanted to give to me, but I don't roll like that.

Transmission = bought.
Just bought a WC T5 off a guy in Ohio on Ebay. Comes with a brand-new Centerforce DFX 6-puck sprung clutch, a new Hayes FW, a Hurst shifter and a couple other goodies. Scored for $750+shipping. Not bad at all. Hell, the clutch alone is worth that.

I'm ordering a set of Diamond Racing wheels. I'm just waiting on them to call me back and I'm going to order a set 15x10s for the rear and a set of 15x8s for the front, both in 4-inch back spacing. The pro/challenger series d-windows in powder-coated black.

I just check-booked the heads this morning. Couldn't help it. After running down the cost of valves, valve springs, getting new seats cut, hot tank, fly cut, lifters and then all the work I would have needed to do on the ports, and I still had iron heads, it became more economical to just get a set of aluminum roller rocker heads with all that already done from Skip White. 2.02/1.6 valves with 210 runners and 64cc chambers all for just under $700 for the pair + shipping. He's shipping them out today. Wee!!!!

I also picked up a couple goodies yesterday. Spare bellhousing, a set of cast Chevy ramhorn manis for Donovan and an air cleaner for me. I'm not sure if it needs a taller filter yet or not. We'll see once it gets in the bay. But I threw some stuff on the plastic block just because I wanted to see it.


Funny story about how I got into this project....

My previous fun car was a 2003 Honda Civic that I built pretty much completely. Garrett GT30, forged internals, PnP head, nice little Crower cam, custom IM, Hondata kpro, the works. Only thing left was a final tune and swapping an in LSD. Well, she was pushing just under 400 to the wheels when I had a final horsepower side effect that broke the camel's back. MAP sensor blew out of the intake manifold at 18psi and 7K on the tach. Blech. Rebuilt the head, re-ringed the pistons and could not for the life of me get the damn thing to start. I futzed with it for about two weeks and finally threw in the towel, parted everything out, cut up the car with a sawzall and bought the Volvo. It was fun while it lasted but I've fallen out of love with blown SOHC 4-cylinder motors for a while!

Here she was:

Older pic before I ditched the pillar pod for the gauge setup above.

Why I re-did the front-end:

And where the car ended up.

*******************BACK TO THE VOLVO*********************

OK, so I've been gone for the past week again and had a grip of yard work to do so no time to work on Lucille. That changes now. Both the motor and transmission are in my hot little hands.

The motor is a greasy mess but I don't care. It's also a 2-bolt main, which is also OK because I'm not building a motor that is going to top 500 hp. If I was, I would have to change a lot more than just the block. Not on this build.

My daughter and I worked on the block a little bit tonight. Main thing we did was get it out of the truck and on the engine stand. This was followed by removing the AC bracket, crank pulley and damper, soaking everything in PB blaster and attempting to remove the PS pump and bracket. Turns out I need a bigass puller for that which I will pick up tomorrow.

For those that were wondering, this is why I am not re-building the stock motor. Size does matter.

Then we unpacked my other goodies. WC T5 tranny with a B&M shifter....

Centerforce DFX 6-puck sprung clutch..... the new FW, tranny mount, and another bellhousing:

That's that for now. We'll be taking the heads off tomorrow night and possibly pulling the rotating assembly. We'll see how much time I have after work.

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
And for some motivation, a jet truck and Grave Digger that ran the strip right before the final round of IHRA Nationals on Sunday. What a fun day! Frickin' Grave Digger ran a low 9-second pass, unbelievable!! And everyone likes jet trucks. Stick that in your global warming.

Work work work. Most of the motor is torn down. I bought my pulley jaws and attempted to get the PS pulley off after work yesterday.

Hmm......something seems to be stuck...

Although I run my garage like the Amish and shun air tools, I don't mind using a power tool every once in a while.

*****, you're coming off! Had to break out the BFH and a cold chisel as well but managed to remove it without scarring up the arbor too much.

Moving right along.

As soon as pulled the VC bolts out there was an awful smell, and I had a feeling what I was going to find. Change your fracking oil kiddies or this can happen. I would imagine this takes about 3 years of just topping off the crankcase but my God.

I hate people who don't take care of their cars.

Anywho, pulled the heads off and the pistons looked like **** of course.

Nothing too surprising there. Time to flip it over and work on the rotating assembly. I think it got motion sickness or dizzy or something because it puked on the engine diaper.

More coke anyone?

Then all the pistons magically fell out on to the floor. Oh wait. That only happens when you pay someone else to do the work for you. Not in my garage.

Surprisingly enough all of the rod bearings looked good and so did the crank journals. It's not really relevant since I'm replacing the crank, but it is nice to see despite the poor maintenance on the motor.

Back to the top and down the bores. Everything looks good still, no scoring or pitting. They are getting bored .030 over anyway, but again nice to see. Pulled the timing cover and timing gear and chain of as well. The cam seems to be stuck probably because of the lifters, but I'll worry about that tomorrow.

And that's it for yesterday's bout. Three of the flex plate bolts are rounded off so I will have cut those off tomorrow otherwise the crank would be out of the block already as well. Today is another day.

Much better. The shop didn't take out the front cam buttons but 95% of the sludge is gone. Looks almost like a new motor.

Time to get to work though. I chamfered out the oil return holes in the back of the block to help the oil get back down into the pan where it should be so it can cool, get filtered and then come back upstairs and do it's business.

After that I dressed the head surface with some 120 grit sandpaper....

....and got out my grinder and took off all the rough casting edges that were all over the block. This is just an example on the oil filter housing.

I still need to get one freeze plug out of the top of the block. It's bent my 1/4" extension so I drilled it out and will hit it with PB Blaster over the next couple days to get it ready for extraction. Once my rod balancer gets here I'll balance my rods (still need to buy a scale too), and take the rods and pistons to shop to get the pins pushed in, the block bored out, dipped again, cam bearing and press in freeze plugs installed and that will make it ready to completely assemble!

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I didn't get anything done on the car today. I did detail Piggy (my old Hardbody) inside and out, plus shampoo'd the rest of the Joshcrud off the seats. She's shiny as a new penny that was sitting on the railroad tracks for too long. No pics though, it's not that awesome.

But I did work on a stand for an extra 40" plasma we have at work. One of our trainers needed something a little more mobile than a stand stuck on a wall so I picked up some (100' of) 1" conduit and set to work.

The bottom frame.....

All tacked up and level.....

Then I was just running my finish welds and I ran out of shielding gas. Figures. I had six more joints to go, the wheels and I would have been done aside from paint. Oh well. Doug will just have to use the projector on Monday and get the fancy Bubbavision stand on Tuesday.

Here's where it stands now. Top half primered, mount holes drilled and (three different mounting heights):

Finished the rack yesterday...

And then I finally got a little bit of work done on the car tonight. Not a whole lot, but some prep work on the front end. I'm getting ready to mount it to Volvo, but it had to have a some excess metal taken off it. This tab right here had to come off.

So out came the sawzall and die grinder, and it was a matter of cut a stretch, tack weld, cut a stretch and tack weld. Like so.

Then some finish welds....

Followed by a little wire brush and die grinder action...

And I'm done. For tonight anyway....

Almost done with the front end, I promise. I picked up a little hand-held sand blaster today which worked a lot better than the soda blaster. I took a buddy's advice and sifted Home Depot play sand to use as a blasting medium.

Before (with just the soda blaster):

After (with some help from the flapwheel):

I still need to do the other rail, but it's almost done. I'm all gritty now.

I was driving to work the other day listening to some song (can't remember now) that I used to love to drive fast in my Civic with. I mashed the gas pedal in 'bunny, the engine made some noise, but it didn't really get up and go anywhere any faster than I was already going. Slow cars FTL. I thought to myself. "Why am I dreaming about a fast car when I have all the pieces of one in my garage?" I've just been lazy so it's time to get back to work.

The main thing holding me up right now is getting the front crossmember installed. Once that's done, everything else will fall into place because I can weld up the motor mounts start the tranny tunnel fab , floor, frame etc... Time to get to work.

Here I am eyeballing things up.

Pretty simple stuff really, once I got to thinking about it. As long as I'm within 1/2" on the axle centerline the rest of my vertical alignment can be done with coilovers. Too easy. Time to get out the sawzall....

One side done and now to do a little reinforcement with some welds. With as much vibration as the chassis is getting with my sawzall, the 43 year-old tack welds were showing their age, just like me. More on that in a minute.....

Moving right along and running out of consumables. I'm down to my last sawzall blade and I'm out of cutting wheels for the die grinder but I'm almost there. I got to this point before I had to stop. I have to trim 1/4" of the radiator bulkhead on the driver's side and this thing will be able to fit and be tacked in to place.

But my back gave out and I had to stop. Seems I am no longer capable of full-weekend wrench fests any more. I spent nine hours on Friday installing a set of e-cutouts on a WS6 Trans Am - responded to a guy's ad on Craigslist who needed them installed - finished the wiring on it yesterday, and I could only work for about four hours today before my back cried uncle. It sucks getting old. I tweaked it at some point during Josh's turbo install and I got tired today and lifted the crossmember incorrectly so now I need a couple days to recover before getting back at the car. I'm getting there, it's just going to take a little longer now.

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Decided to do a little more work today. I've been working on our arbor all this past week, but it's finally done. I put all the top cross pieces on it last night.

But that only gave me permission to work on car stuff this weekend. This one-for-one yard work to car work ratio I've got going is for the birds....

Lined up, square all the way around, level, blah blah blah and being tacked in to place.

Now it's time figure the placement of the motor. If I'm not careful I won't be able to have power steering, an oilpan or radiator, nor will it be a 5-person vehicle anymore.

Oil pan and power steering (in otherwords, how high)? Check.

Space for the crank pulley, water pump and a radiator - going to have be a custom size with electric pusher fans - up front? Check.

Room for my piggies? Check.

I'm taking a break to play a little Xbox and let my back rest. I'll get the motor mounts cut and tacked up before the day is out.

Cut the mounts to fit and reinforced them. For some reason the company welded almost everything except about 3/4" on the underside of each mount. Odd. So i fixed it.

Then I was moving along, getting everything tacked in to place, even put a small tab in the rear for where the tranny stiffeners will be mounted.

And then I noticed something once I put the water pump on.


Yeah, that's a bit too far forward. Even if I swap out to a shorty water pump, it's still way too far forward. Damn it. Time to break out the grinder and move things back a little bit.

Measure twice, cut once.

Was moving along, happy as a clam in the sand getting a welder's tan on my arms (t-shirt welding FTW!) and got the driver's side done. Don't mind that thick vertical bead. For some reason the MII frame goes concave right there and I had bridge a pretty decent gap.

Then I was moving along on the passenger side. Hit the front vertical bead and was running the horizontal bead and ran out of gas at the last half inch. Damn it. Oh well. I'll pick up another tank tomorrow. Time to clean up the garage a little.

Well thank goodness I bought an extra bellhousing. For some reason the one that came with my transmission would have rotated it by about 30°, which I thought was really strange. Maybe some cars or transmissions are like that, my standard Chevy 350 and Borg-Warner T5 are not. Odd.

Anyway, for your third and final update today.

Popped the IM, carb and dizzy on the motor to see how things sat, and the hood closes, 'ray!!!!!

Well, there's more than meets the eye here. Have a peek from underneath. It's OK. This old girl is in her 40s so it's not that illegal...

Yep. About two inches of clearance between the top of the carb and the hood. Now I either do some custom intake tubes running into the grill (not a bad option) with cone filters on them. OOOOO!!!! Or maybe an interfooler!!!!! Teh awwwsum.

Or it's scoop city baby! Rawr!! With pointy teeth!

OK, enough funning around. Lookee. There's a transmission in the passenger compartment.

The shifter location is actually within tolerance for "Just about right" from a lateral standpoint. Once I get a floor and seats in it, I will see if I need to get crazy with a custom bent shift lever. For now it looks OK.

I've only come back about three inches from the stock firewall location. As it is, things are still going to be tight. I'm not completely sold about using these tranny stiffeners or if I'm simply going to make my own in a different orientation or modify these. Right now the driver's side one is going to interfere with a gas pedal.

Hopefully my pinion angle isn't going to be too severe either so I end up going through u-joints like oil filters. I haven't measured yet, but it looks like it's a about 5 inches higher than the old trans tunnel location. Again, I can work with the rear suspension height and geometry a bit and this may give me a reason to seriously tub it out and tuck the rear wheels up in the rear quarters. But we'll see. The build is still young.

Just went out to the garage to do some figurin' and measurin'. The bottom of the rear drum is 10.25" from the ground at this point. That's with the axle up on jackstands which will close to ride height. The stock jack tab underneath the front of the rocker panel is 11" from the ground and the middle of my cross member in 13" from the ground. The car is completely level across the rockers and motor. Measuring up from the ground to the middle of the tailshaft spindle is 21.75" and the top of the tranny tunnel is 19". I figure I can drop the front cross member 2" and make up the rest of the pinion angle by canting the motor slightly and rotating the rear axle slightly (and raising it if need be) as well. That will have to work to get my driveshaft angle straight.

Oh and I threw my valve covers on the fake block to take a couple pics because I wanted to see what they would look like.


1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Got a lot done these past couple of days. As ya'll may or may not have seen in my previous pics, the 2x4 frame tubing I bought from the local steel mill was a bit rusty so we had to strip the rust down with some navel jelly. I've been eating a lot and quit working out so there was a lot of jelly in my navel. We primed them afterwards.

LOL. It's Naval jelly. Not navel jelly. They get it from seamen in the navy......Wait. That's actually worse.....

A few measurements and some 2x4 guides later - yes I know a wooden 2x4 is actually 1.5 x 3.5 - and we needed to cut the front jack points off. I let Big D handle the driver's side after I cut off the passenger side. He uses Paul's (friend of mine) method of die grinding which is to hit the die grinder with a hammer until it cuts the metal off, kind of like an electric cold chisel.

I grew tired of this and took away his toys. In this shot we're notching the floor for the driveshaft hoop. We may end up doing a center console all the way back on this car. Buckets in the front and rear, seating only four, but we'll see.

A few cuts on the 14" chopsaw later and we had our driveshaft hoop. Big D is better at the measuring thing than I am. My philosophy is "get it close and fill the rest with weld". He prescribes to another school of thought. Weak.

As you see though, the frame is going to be teh awsum.

James came by (pronounced "yames" because I said so) and decided to give us a hand. He's the proud new owner of the '64 Rat Bug. Here's the box frame after I tacked everything up.

Big D levelin the frame before I run the finish welds.

In this next sequence, I'm running all the finish welds on the box section while James and Big D drill some holes in the angle iron to rosette weld it to the body of the car and the frame for the structural floor skeleton. James is the press master.

Token welding shots.

Not to brag, but there's a good chance that my welds are better than yours.

Blech. Mofracka is done. Yes I know. You might be thinking that this does not a complete frame make. But we have a few more tricks up our collective sleeves. When this car is done, if it happens to roll over on a curve, the only thing that will need to be fixed is couple of dented body panels. The 2x4 is just there to keep things true until I finish the front section.

My garage is all dirty and full of grit. I daresay I have exceeded my raw steel intake for the year. Between breathing it in, absorbing it through my eyes, and simple ingestion from it falling in water glasses, I probably have a pretty high iron content in my blood. Iron makes me stronger. I have to take extra time to rinse out the shower after I'm done, otherwise it will rust. Awesome.

And yes, this frame significantly deviates from my original plan, but it's going be nice and strong. I've been studying the Factory 5 tubular chassis and we're using that as a guide line for things. Big D has been the driving force behind most of the design on this though. The man is genius even if he can't weld to save his life!

Here's my original design plan again for reference.


This came up as Google image search result for "pooptacular". It's a little creepy and I don't know why this was the first result for "pooptacular".

And that's that. You guys are officially caught up.

1,743 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
man that was a great read and a great job you're doing. can't wait to see the final product after all that work.
You and me both. I want to have it at least running and sitting on a full suspension by winter. The machine shop will be done with their part this week and then I get to teach my daughter how to assemble a small block!

Awesome little Volvo. Wish I had the time and money to get my 66 Mustang resto going full speed...
Time I have, money not always easy to come by. This build was funded by the partout of my Honda where I think I recouped 105% of what I spent on all the go-fast parts and the car.

Nice man, well worth it once you hit the paddle..
I just can't wait to hear the exhaust rumble and know that I created that sound.
It's goign to be fun..
It certainly is, thanks!

6,781 Posts
Dude your my hero. That project is not just sweet but unique in the best way possible. Nice work

367 Posts
You have been workin hard I read a volvo deal years ago one was a chevy deal with a powerglide lots of work. the other was a 170 slant six turbo these were both mostly drag cars

1,149 Posts
Friggin awesome, thanks for sharing. Can you provide a link to volvo page? I know you will probably be updating that more regularly than you would be here.
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