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Shawn’s 64 Volvo project

1964 Volvo P44, rust free and fairly clean!

Shawn wants to build one serious little street machine/pro-touring monster out of his high school ride. He’s had this little P44 for decades just waiting for its day of glory. The plans were for a supercharged or turbocharged GM LS series engine and heavy duty overdrive automatic, 18 ” wheels and some wide but low profile rubber. Front suspension was a tough one for us. This car is only 60″ wide inside the fender lips so with some modern wide rubber under it, even with modern positive offset wheels the axle widths are going to be narrow. To try and get some handling, stay within budget and still get the engine and exhaust in place, we made the decision to use later SN95 Mustang front struts and knuckles with a coil over conversion. The rack will most likely be a narrowed Mustang II rack from Flaming river.

We did a bit of brain storming and decided to build a 2X3 Box tube frame for it and try and keep as much floor intact as possible. But with the tire selections for the rear and the needed engine set back the firewall, some of the floor and the rear wheel houses had to go.


Fabricated body mounts

This was the first car to get set up on our brand new fabrication table and the table has worked out very well. Brian fabbed up a set of body stands after cannibalizing our old pull post hardware (that we never used) for the pinch weld clamps and a bit of hard 3/4″ fine thread all-thread rod. Leveled out and secure to the table both Brian and I made some dimensions and planned some routing for the frame rails. Napkin sketches in hand, I headed for the computer and Brian started cutting out the firewall and old transmission tunnel. The engine (6.0L from a Silverado) got cleaned up a bit and mated to the Craigslist find, rebuilt 4L60E trans and propped up in place.

Checking engine location and radiator clearance

Pretty tight fit against the radiator. We ended up pushing the engine back two inches inside the new firewall line so we had enough room for a radiator and some electric fans. There might just be enough for an intercooler too!

Shawn and I discussed the methods of adding power to this 6.0 and turbocharging seems like a natural. Amazing amounts of power and street friendliness that just can’t be matched by roots or screw superchargers. This is after all a car that has to do double duty of hooning and daily driving AND have the occasional road trip across country thrown at it.



First draft Volvo frame draft



While Brian was working on the car, I started rendering the frame and producing a cut list and dimensions. I created rails and tubes to pick up the mounting points for the front bumper brackets and core support. I use the core support as my datum in this case. From there I created planes for the front and rear axle center-lines and the ZX plane is the table surface. This way we can work between the real parts and the computer rendering and have some consistency.

I finally decided on wheels and tires after doing a few hours of research. Since we are using the the Mustang struts it was a natural to use a set of Mustang Bullet wheels. I found several sources for them in 18X9 and 18X10 and they had a 24mm and 22mm positive offsets respectively . I was able to to punch in some numbers and render a facsimile of both wheels as well as some rubber skins for them.

I place the wheels and tires on plane and was able to measure for the rear axle. It’s pretty narrow at 47.5″ wide wheel flange to wheel flange! But now I had data and could start rendering the bit for locating the rear axle, coil overs and linkage. We are going to use a torque arm rear suspension. It’s what I know and it’s reasonably compact and very street friendly. So far guessing my antisquat line, I’m coming up with 139% antisquat and for now that’s good enough. I of course have designed in some extra holes for future adjustment.



Sorry folks, Shawn had to pull the project. Finances for this project dried up.

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