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volvo p1800 into ferrari 275gtb spyder: v12, 5spd, tube chassis

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    275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Next steps from here...


    Immediately, I need to address the hub bore issue as the wheels will not bolt up to the mustang/pinto rotors. I have figured out a fix for this that avoids machining but I'm waiting on some supplies.


    The engine will be set into place for motor mount fabrication next. before I take it off the stand, I need to seal up the upper valley cover on the engine. To do that, I need to pull the distributor, and to do that I need a lower timing mark plate to set the motor to TDC. For whatever reason that was missing from the engine when I purchased the car. I have one on order and it is supposed to ship soon.

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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Okay maybe I have a little more to post. The xjs ran a 3spd automatic th400 variant. I wanted to run something fun. There are a couple options out there but I decided to go with a t5 based setup. I purchased a bellhousing from the guys over at 5speeds. The strongest stock t5 out there is from late model 3.8 mustangs (99+ iirc) rated at 310 ft/lbs. We will see how it fairs. The jag motor makes somewhere in the mid to high 200s stock, and with the planned custom intake manifolds and stainless headers I might be pushing it a little.







    opened it up and checked everything, sealed with rtv just to make sure it wasn't junk.



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    So this is the last post before we're caught up to the current status of the project.






    The rack, control arms, spindles, rotors, calipers, and springs are all bolted up. I left the shocks out for now so they avoid damage from any more grinding and dust.






    old vs. new. Anybody need a full front end for an 1800?

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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    after a test fit, I ran into a little snafu. The springs and outer edge of the rails had a little interference issue and needed to be notched.



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    After that I could tack up the towers






    I'm still very much a beginner tig welder, but here are some shots of welds anyhow



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    The shock towers were next.








    with their location determined, I could finish weld the crossmember



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Next, I needed this thing to roll again. A wider subframe to accomodate the v12 is 100% necessary. In order to maintain the proper track width, I opted for a universal 56.5" mustang 2 style front end with manual rack. This was only about 2" wider than the original volvo front axle.





    For around $1000, it's pretty hard to beat this. After being covered in nasty stuff it was time to do some cleaner work measuring, welding, and fitting this into place.
    I'm a visual learner so mocking everything up to figure where to make the crossmember cuts helped a ton.







    tacked into place at 2.5" cut height



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Thank you IKAROS for your kind words. I have a few more posts so I can catch all of y'all up to where the project currently is. I realize I've left out a lot of details so far, but I will try to do better documenting this from here on.

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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Now everything could have its final prep and be welded together








    The frame rails have been left long intentionally. They will be trimmed later when the engine and radiator are mocked up






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  • IKAROS
    Senior Member

  • IKAROS
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    What a beautiful project...Bravo 275NART.Love the way you are thinking & doing things....

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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Before welding the rails to the floor and rear subframe, I wanted to create the gussett pieces to weld the rocker tube to the frame rails themselves. The compound angles were challenging but I feel that I got the fit to be pretty decent










    now repeat for the other side...

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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Next was removing the stamped rails underneath. So far this has been the dirtiest, grossest, job yet. so much dust, tar, rust flakes, metal sparks, and oil saturated chunks of undercoating got everywhere.






    weld through etch primer for good measure






    mocking up the main rails

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  • 275NART
    Active Users

  • 275NART
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    At this point, I had to go back to the body tub and remove the front and rear axles, front inner wings, and factory stamped frame rails under the car. This meant more plasma cutting, grinding, drilling spot welds, metal prep, to remove everything forward of the firewall.








    This was pretty much as "little" of the car as there would be for the entire project







    This will need to be later addressed. I will rebuild most of the firewall for bellhousing clearance anyhow



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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    building 2 identical rails turned out to be very challenging and I had to "math" my way out of it.





    In the end, I was successful; however.





    next, I had to keep everything square, shim, clamp, as necessary so I could temporarily weld the two rails together to install on the car.


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  • 275NART
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  • 275NART
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    Because the factory frame rails underneath are stamped, they would not provide enough strength for the vehicle. Another problem, the front axle sat 8" too far back if I wanted it to be close to the ferrari. Logically, I'd build some frame rails out of 2x3 that would tie back into the subframe and outer rockers. This would allow for extrra rigidity and I could place the front axle back in the desired location along the new rails.





    I would start by marking and making some pie cuts to bend the rails for the appropriate 6" rise at 30 degrees.





    wedge removed, prepped and beveled for welding






    If you have never tig welded steel it really likes to push and pull with all the heat, so clamping to extra tubing was necessary


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