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NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
10/13/13 11:59 a.m.

The game is afoot. This shell, along with a complete parts car that smells like a rodent urinal, are all mine.

This shell will be by far the most rust free thing I have worked on. Other than the roof panel, the whole car has been sandbalsted and epoxy primed. No worries about hidden rust on this one.

Lurking in the garage is a Miata front and rear suspension and a 302/autotragic from a T-bird.

I see no way this carefully thought out plan could fail

bgkast
bgkast HalfDork
10/13/13 12:19 p.m.

I like the sound of this...

Slippery
Slippery HalfDork
10/13/13 12:23 p.m.

Oh man, this is going to be cool.

Are you going to paint it yourself?

Sine_Qua_Non
Sine_Qua_Non Reader
10/13/13 12:29 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: I see no way this carefully thought out plan could fail

You are in for a surprise. Never came across anyone restoring or modifying these having it easy or trouble free. You could be the first. Good luck.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
10/13/13 1:43 p.m.

Sine_Qua_Non:

"I have never come across any restoration or radical modification that was easy or toruble free..."

THAT is why we do this merde And HELL yes, I am going to paint it myself. The Bugeye in the avatar was painted by myself and taught me a lot.

This was a a bit of a problem for a first time restoration:

Came out OK in the end after a lot of help from this and a few other boards.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
10/22/13 10:30 p.m.

Picked the car up and it is safe in the shop. Keeping in mind that the shell has been sandblasted and it is in epoxy primer, it is remarkably solid. Why the dooors were not primed is beyond me. going to take them to the blaster next week

The new owner is looking pretty happy with her new toy. The Miata suspension is waiting on either side to become one with the |"IKEA SPECIAL".

Bear in mind this is a 4 car shop...where the hell did all my space go! First cut will be to determine how much fun it is going to be to get Miata front suspension attached to this thing.

The reality of this project is that a sane person would leave the suspension alone. It has good geometry front and rear, is solidly mounted and isolated, and has 4 wheel disc brakes and posi rear end from the factory. The engine was fuel injected and the transmission has overdrive. You can just see one of its contemporary competitors behing the Volvo

While there will be a measure and wait component, I would like for :first cut to come within 2 weeks

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
10/23/13 7:25 a.m.

Well I will say that the front suspension on those Volvos can be pretty good. Out 122 (which is much the same in a lot of ways) ended up being a pretty good handler with a bit of work, but I support the Miata idea as long as it doesn't require too many compromises.

I am not sure about the automatic though, that I would swap, but it's your car.

I am very envious of the state of that things, how did you find this thing in this condition? Is this someone's abandoned project? The only way I can see that is if the bodyshop isn't getting paid for the work they've already clearly done or something, because the hard stuff is done and a good parts donor should have it running in just a few weeks from where it sits.

Either way, it ought to be very fun.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse HalfDork
10/23/13 7:53 a.m.

Love me some pre-brick Volvos. I've had a few 1800s, and ES's, they are pretty cars, but the rust monster ever lurketh. You got started right. Agree with tuna, the stock suspension (at least the front) is pretty good, though an IRS on one of these would be fun to drive. A 302? Honestly, with that power/ weight ratio, I doubt I'd care that it was an auto. :-)

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
10/23/13 7:54 a.m.

Awesome project. I'll be watching this......those are the prettiest wagons EVER.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
10/23/13 7:58 a.m.

Tuna...actually its the womans car and she will not drive a manual. That said, since the car is meant to be a long legged relaxing cruiser, the auto should suit the nature of the beast.

It is a twice abandoned project based on a southern shell. It is not perfect, but better than I have ever started with.

As to having it running in three weeks! I think you have lost it Tuna...I stoped taking the blue pill a long time ago...this one is on a three year timeline. Lets see if I can get it on its (Miata) wheels with a drivetrain fitted by the time the snow leaves. Would be fun to test it on the slalom course before Ido the paint and assembly.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
10/23/13 8:14 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: As to having it running in three weeks! I think you have lost it Tuna...I stoped taking the blue pill a long time ago...this one is on a three year timeline. Lets see if I can get it on its (Miata) wheels with a drivetrain fitted by the time the snow leaves. Would be fun to test it on the slalom course before Ido the paint and assembly.

Hey I only meant if you had a spare parts car and were putting it together all-Volvo. If you're swapping and modifying it will surely take longer than that!

I am curious about VCHs idea, are you doing the Miata IRS as well? That would be a good upgrade.

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
10/23/13 8:21 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME:

Umm... actually... the front suspension is not very good. The camber curve goes positive under compression rather severely. However, this can be fixed somewhat by moving the upper control arm mount down a bit on the cross member.

Yes, the rear isn't bad - basically a 4-link with a panhard bar.

The 4-wheel discs are a double-edge sword. They provide practically new-car levels of stopping power (ignoring the lack of ABS), but the somewhat odd 5x108 bolt pattern limits wheel choices.

It's funny... what you are planning is EXACTLY what I was planning to do with my ES, Keith's MGB-GT being an inspiration. Just be warned, the 1800 being a unibody means you'll be cutting and re-engineering some rather important parts of the chassis in order to mount the Miata subframes.

IMHO, since the current car is so clean and could be used as a base for an OE restoration, PLEASE use the rusty donor car as a prototype to cut up first to figure out the mounting requirements and to make sure everything is actually going to fit since the engine bay of an 1800 is surprisingly small. To be honest, I've gone back to simply rebuilding my car simply because I wasn't seeing the benefits of converting it to a Miata V8 being great enough. But I really enjoy the ES in stock form, despite the general lack of power.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
10/23/13 8:50 a.m.

The front needed some modification, which could have been done more elegantly than we did. This is an Amazon, but I am pretty sure it's pretty much the same story.

NOHOME
NOHOME UberDork
10/23/13 9:10 a.m.
Ian F wrote: In reply to NOHOME: It's funny... what you are planning is EXACTLY what I was planning to do with my ES, Keith's MGB-GT being an inspiration. Just be warned, the 1800 being a unibody means you'll be cutting and re-engineering some rather important parts of the chassis in order to mount the Miata subframes. IMHO, since the current car is so clean and could be used as a base for an OE restoration, PLEASE use the rusty donor car as a prototype to cut up first to figure out the mounting requirements and to make sure everything is actually going to fit since the engine bay of an 1800 is surprisingly small.

Yeah...Keith is basically an evil person in that his MGB GT project started me down this road. Originally I was going to cut up a pristine MGB GT that I have had for 33 years and am getting bored with, but then broadened the search box and this landed in the net. And yes, the Miata rear is going in with the Cadillac CTS differential and Flying Miata conversion bits that might apply.

Saved from the Knife...

As to carving on the rust bucket first: The logistics of having the parts car in residence preclude me using it as a mule. So, we are going into the deep-end and prepared to build a full tube frame car if I must. Besides, I have found that the best way to focus on parachute design is to jump out of the plane with the book and tools!

Wish me luck.

hobiercr
hobiercr Dork
10/23/13 9:15 a.m.

When you pull the rear axle to replace with the Miata driveline, let me know. I'll grab it and put in my 122S for 4 wheel discs.

Also, this car has been on the local boards for some time if you need more parts.

http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/4112557038.html

alfadriver
alfadriver PowerDork
10/23/13 9:17 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: The reality of this project is that a sane person would leave the suspension alone. It has good geometry front and rear, is solidly mounted and isolated, and has 4 wheel disc brakes and posi rear end from the factory. The engine was fuel injected and the transmission has overdrive. You can just see one of its contemporary competitors behing the Volvo While there will be a measure and wait component, I would like for :first cut to come within 2 weeks

We, here, are not sane people. But that is preaching to the chior.

I, too, have considered putting a Miata suspension package under a European car- Sider, GTV, and TI/Berlina. Of those three, the spider tends to be cheap enough- but that seems more pointless in the world of Miatas.

But a 4 seat Alfa sedan with a really good suspension. Now, that's an idea.

At this point, I will live my fantasy through you, if that is ok.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
10/23/13 9:22 a.m.

I will actually be selling both sets of axles from both cars and the engine with OD transmission form the parts car. NO idea what the stuff is worth. I would think that the Amazon guys would like it for their own hot-rod projects.

I would expect that the box and engine is worth about what MG parts would fetch here in Canada.

I tell you that the rational engineer in my has a hard time cutting out a factory designed 4 link suspension with a posi rear end and disc brakes so that I can replace it with an unknown and untested alternative. I just spend a small fortune putting a 4 link in the MGB GT because it was a good idea! It is a very good thing that I am a non-rational person.

alfadriver
alfadriver PowerDork
10/23/13 9:27 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: I tell you that the rational engineer in my has a hard time cutting out a factory designed 4 link suspension with a posi rear end and disc brakes so that I can replace it with an unknown and untested alternative. I just spend a small fortune putting a 4 link in the MGB GT because it was a good idea! It is a very good thing that I am a non-rational person.

Wait- do you speak ill of "the answer's" rear suspension? Blaphemy.

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
10/23/13 9:27 a.m.
alfadriver wrote:
NOHOME wrote: The reality of this project is that a sane person would leave the suspension alone.
We, here, are not sane people. But that is preaching to the chior.

So very, very true...

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse HalfDork
10/23/13 10:32 a.m.
hobiercr wrote: When you pull the rear axle to replace with the Miata driveline, let me know. I'll grab it and put in my 122S for 4 wheel discs. Also, this car has been on the local boards for some time if you need more parts. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/4112557038.html

I put an 1800E suspension under my '68 122 many years ago. A couple of things to note:

The later 122's (1967 on, IIRC) use the same rear suspension pick-up points as the 1800E/ES. The suspensions are directly interchangeable. The pre-67 122's use a different rear suspension setup and some modification would be necessary to fit the E/ES rear axle.

The 1800E/ES came with either a 4.10 rear (automatic) or 4.3 rear (manual). I put a 4.3 rear in my 122 with a warmed over B20 and it would scream...so much so that 1rst gear was almost un-needed.

The 1800E/ES bolt pattern is DIFFERENT than all Amazons. the Amazons use a 5 x 4.5 pattern, the 1800E/ES use the funky 5 x 108mm pattern. Thus, if you just swap the rear end, the front and rear will have different bolt pattern wheels. However, luckily, the front brakes/hubs/calipers from the 1800E/ES will swap right over onto Amazon spindles, which is what I did. This gives you the same bolt pattern all around, and the use of the wider 1800E/ES wheels (or any other 5 x 108mm wheel for that matter). Also, the front brakes on the 1800E/ES have 4 piston calipers and (IIRC) vented discs, so stopping is much improved over the 122's 3 piston / solid discs.

The '67-on 122's also have the dual chamber MC, which makes plumbing the brake system easy. I left the stock 122 MC alone, and the proportioning with the new rear disc setup from the E/ES seemed fine for my tastes. No power assist, either, but I'm a 185 lb male with strong legs. I have heard the MC/ booster from a first-gen RX-7 will work...haven't tried yet though.

And, of course, 122 wagons have a COMPLETELY different rear end than 2drs and 4 drs. Not compatible.

Starting with a bone stock '68 122 2 dr, I converted all 4 wheels over to the 1800E/ES setup in a weekend. It was easy and fun, and the braking was MUCH improved. I had a 1800E parts car that I was working off of, too, so I was sure that I had all the parts I needed.

NOHOME
NOHOME Dork
10/23/13 11:54 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Starting with a bone stock '68 122 2 dr, I converted all 4 wheels over to the 1800E/ES setup in a weekend. It was easy and fun, and the braking was MUCH improved. I had a 1800E parts car that I was working off of, too, so I was sure that I had all the parts I needed.

So, what is a fair price to put on this stuff when I want to move it?

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse HalfDork
10/23/13 12:40 p.m.

I've parted out a few rustbucket 1800E/ES, and if someone came to me and said, "Mr Volvoclearinghouse, I want to convert my Amazon to the 1800E/ES front and rear brakes, how much for all the parts to do that?" I'd probably sell them the 4 good working used calipers, brackets, rear axle, 4 used discs, and other sundries for $500. And I'd tell them to buy all new rubber parts (bushings, hoses, etc).

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
10/23/13 1:02 p.m.

Well, it still pains me a bit to see a nice car get chopped up. My car is a bit different since it's so rusty that cutting it up for a project like this wouldn't be a big deal - any sane restoration person would consider it too far gone.

It's just that I've seen so many failed 1800 V8 swap attempts that I'm natrually pessimistic when I see another attempt. The car really is wrapped tightly around that B20 drivetrain. The engine bay of an MGB is actually larger.

I've had my ES since early 2005. This is a subject I've spent a LOT of time thinking about... The only way I'd even attempt the plan now would be if I could 3D model everything before I even thought about cutting.

For example, since my car has only essence of rocker-sills, adding some serious lengthwise reinforcement to the chassis there would be relatively easy to do. Adding reinforcement anywhere else starts a snowball of bad ergonomic issues of moving A moving B which moves C and so on. Part of the reason I abandoned the idea was I figured out that by the time I was done I'd basically end up with a Cobra wrapped in an ES body. As cool as Cobras are, they are not known for being comfortable cars to spend time it. Especially if the end goal is a daily-driver type cruiser and you want to consider things like HVAC, comfortable seats, a decent stereo, a gas tank with reasonable range (measure the rear assembly against the ES axle line and where the gas tank is), and so on.

Like I said - I've spent no small amount of time pondering not just the big picture of fitting the drivetrain, but the little details of making it a nice car - and there are hundreds of them. This is somewhat contrary to the common GRM way of looking at things: make it go fast, comfort be damned. The older I get, the less I care about going fast.

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
10/23/13 1:13 p.m.
Ian F wrote: The car really is wrapped tightly around that B20 drivetrain. The engine bay of an MGB is actually larger.

This is actually a good point. For lemons, we didn't even consider any V type engines for the Amazon when we were swap talking. It may be better to find a nice I4 you want instead.

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
10/23/13 1:26 p.m.
Ian F wrote: It's just that I've seen so many failed 1800 V8 swap attempts that I'm natrually pessimistic when I see another attempt. The car really is wrapped tightly around that B20 drivetrain. The engine bay of an MGB is actually larger.

He's a GRMer....stock firewalls are more a suggestion as to engine placement than a mandatory requirement.

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