Swedishbricks.net Model FAQ


Wow, I Coulda Had a V8!


Dan Roth

I was privvy to the V8 swap done on the one from the Boston meet. A few things I picked up from doing this; The Converse kit makes the Ford conversion quite easy. You might do well to look around for a dead diesel to do the swap in. The reason for this is that the Diesel has a lot of parts you're going to need, like the struts and the radiator, as well as being a high end model. Most diesels were GL's. Also, since the diesels died early, mostly, you'll find a car with less wear than a same vintage gas model, usually.

The only real way to do a V8 in a brick is if you're going to *at the least* do the H.O. motor from 88-up with a roller cam. Otherwise its just not worth it. The V8 that I helped out with is mildly breathed on as well, with a Motorsport B303 cam. Converse doesn't generally clean things up all that much. It makes a big difference if you take your

time and make sure things are done right the first time and clean things up and just generally make it very presentable. Thats the difference between show cars and real cars, the show cars have had attention to detail lavished on them. We stripped the engine down to the block, had the heads all cleaned up, painted the block and heads, bead blasted the intake, detailed the injectors with the same color as the block and generally just made sure everything was as clean as it could be.

It makes a difference, believe me. The factory headers will fit, although the passenger side one will have to be tweaked. Another tip is to not cut any corners with the sensors. They have to be all hooked up to make the thing run right, on top of that, replace the ones that are prone to dying, as they're not quite as accesible in the Volvo as they are in a Ford. A Helm manual on the electrical systems in the Mustang is a handy thing to have, its got all the pinouts etc.. The Chilton's for this car is actually pretty good, thats a good one to pick up.

You're going to need a custom exhaust, and no matter what anyone says, PUT CATS ON IT!! You won't need to go any larger than 2.5" with the pipe, just how much more do you think you can fit under the thing anyway? Duals are the way to go, with cats and then go all the way back to some mufflers hung where the stock rear muffler is. We managed to get two 3 chamber flowmasters hung under there, we welded them together and they fit. Sounds nice and mellow with a raspy blat at higher RPM.

If you're looking for all around performance and not just straight line, you'd be best to get yourself the GT-40 Motorsport heads, because you'll save a bit of weight over the stock iron-head engine, as well as making more power. iPd springs are good if you like the lowered look, and the thing looks badass lowered, just make sure you get that exhaust tied up underneath as high as you can or you'll be cringing over bumps. iPd swaybars keep the thing from wallowing around like a Crown Victoria, and with all that horsepower, you’re going to need them. Bilstiens are also a must, lowered or not.

iPd poly bushings everywhere you can put them are also one of those musts, they can better deal with the added weight/torque from the V8, they make a very noticeable difference. You're going to have the thing mostly apart anyway, so now would be a pretty good time to address common Volvo problem issues such as wiring, replace that switch that sometimes goes bad in the brake system(the one that controls the brake failure light), and just generally clean it all up. The thing is, even if its not a show car, you might as well take the time to make it all nice and clean and pretty, you'll thank yourself later, because now is the time that its easiest to clean. I would caution you away from using butt connectors on things, they're too much of a potential weak link, worth it to use solder and heat shrink.

Brakes are one of those things you may have to upgrade. I wouldn't think about doing this without having the vented front brakes, remember, there's a couple hundred extra pounds up there that the braking system was never designed for. Cooling is another issue. Converse tells you to get a GM fan, this thing is a *really* tight fit. I would spend the extra money and get a very slim Flex-a-Lite or something and perhaps even a pusher fan, most definitely a pusher fan if you're going to run A/C. I'm not sure if a 3-row radiator will fit with the V8 in there, but if it will, do it, you'll be glad you did.

From my experience, if you're going to be doing any kind of beating on the thing, go with a stick or a C-6. The AOD isn't a strong tranny. If you're going to be gentle with it it should hold up, but I personally don't really like autos, and the T5 or a T56 should fit without much trouble at all. The T56 if it fits is really the way to go, you'll get some good mileage from that steep, steep overdrive. Converse recommends you use the 3.31 diesel gears, this makes the car seem a lot wimpier than it actually is. I would say a good compromise is a 3.54(automatic gears). 3.73 gears really wake the thing up but you'll pay at the pump and it may wind a little more than you want on the highway. When you change the rearend, make sure you calibrate the speedo, or you'll have an error. The rears in these cars, if you didn't know is a Dana 30, which has been used extensively in Jeeps. You should be able to find a limited slip Dana 30 chuck in all sorts of gear ratios for all different prices...pick up a magazine that specializes in 4-wheel drive and see.

Converse's recommendation of using the stock mustang fuel pump hung in the Volvo tank works, and it works well. Its just LOUD, very very loud. You'd be better off using the prepump and main pump setup from the Volvo. They provide more than adequate flow probably up to about 300Hp. Thats about all I can think of for now, if there's any questions you have, let me know and I'll try to answer them.

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