When this Volvo entered our shop, it was supposed to be for a simple "Roll Bar" fabrication job. This is another great story that the only way to prevent addiction is to never start. Luckily, this Volvo owner hasn't lost their family, house, and future, yet...
What started as a roll bar, turned into a well tucked in cage with door bars and supports. The floor was modified to accommodate proper seat mounts to match the cage. Once the driver safety was taken care of, it was decided the vehicle needed a new frame, and chassis to match. If you have a bigger fire extinguisher, you might as well have a bigger fire, I believe that is the reasoning. Ron Sutton put together a suspension package that was engineered from the ground up.
The uni body design of the vehicle was retained, but additional "Box Frame rails" were inserted inside of the stock floor supports. This connected the front and rear along with the rocker panels of the car while retaining what appears to be a mostly factory vehicle underneath. This also means that no ground clearance and space for exhaust and suspension components was sacrificed. These frame pieces were also tied into the roll cage.
The rear end is a 9 Inch ford, with custom links and pan hard bar to accommodate the tight fit. The challenges on the rear end were getting the desired link angles, and mounting adjustments. The rear section of the car was not very forgiving, the custom sway bar was mounted down and behind the axle to help accommodate this.
Engine mounts and transmission cross-members were designed and built with two things in mind, secure the drive train, and somehow fit a real free flowing exhaust system in some of the tightest clearances we've dealt with. The transmission cross-member is actually inverted in order to allow the exhaust to run under it. It also doubles as an exhaust mount. The engine mounts were kept as compact and tight to the frame rail as possible for strength and exhaust clearance.
A quick call to summit and jegs let us know that we were properly hosed when it came to purchasing headers. The headers were hand crafted by John, and actually utilize components from motorcycle exhaust. There was no room to fit the merge collectors. In order to over come this and not sacrifice power, formed collectors were used, with internal bullet vanes to improve scavenging and flow. Seamless transitions cones were utilized to meet up with the v bands. Flanges were laser cut from 3/8 stainless 309 to match the tubing. The rest of the exhaust is more tradition, just tight. In the rear great care was taken to have the tips line up in the custom rear lower valance, The tips are actually secured to the valance, and use a slip fit in order for the exhaust to expand and move with heat cycles without sacrificing the appearance of the rear of the car.
With all the custom modifications, no off the shelf radiator would do. A custom core manufactured by C&R racing to our specifications. It was required to utilize a down flow which made core sizing a challenge. With the challenges of cooling the V8, and limited space, we opted for a reinforced extruded tube core. This core design was originally designed purely for race cars, but is now obtainable for street vehicles. The custom fan shroud was cut on our CNC plasma and it is adaptable for further cooling needs if they are required.
Hopefully the photos do the project justice, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.