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Volvo's That Run


Active member
Jul 15, 2009
Volvo's That Run - A Volvo/Ford 302 Swap Manual

I have spent over 3 years installing a Ford V8 into an '82 245 and have now declared completion. During this time I have been keeping both picture and narrative documentation of the problems and solutions of the conversions. As some small payback to the many contributors on this forum that made it possible for me to accomplish this I would like to post the entire document here to aid another generation of converters.

This project was done for entertainment during retirement and to be able to drive a car I loved when it was new over 30 years ago. But I did take it to the 2014 EuroFest in Greenville, SC just to be with several thousand other car nuts and their cars.

The surprise was that at least a few folks thought enough of my efforts to vote the V8 Volvo first place in the Volvo class.

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My 1982 Volvo 245 Diesel, that I purchased new, quit running in 1995 after 13 years and 180,000 miles despite very detailed and regular maintenance. The car had always been garage kept and the paint and the interior were in great shape. Due to its failing health I had already begun to explore an engine/transmission swap back then. Found the JTR books but the process seemed beyond my time and interest at the time. I put the car in storage with the intent of getting to it one day. Sixteen years later, retired and looking for something to do, I began this restoration project. The objective is to restore the car for use as a reliable daily driver with no intent at high performance. No turbo’s, moving from 83 horsepower, more likely 50 near the end, to 240 hp seems adequate for me. I will evaluate future enhancements sometime in the future.


The internet had arrived in that period and I began a year long education process. The intent of this build thread is to summarize the information I have collected from web searches, input from great folks that responded to my questions and my personal experience during the swap. It is intended to answer the many questions I started with for those similarly situated in terms of experience and capabilities. While written in first person, it is not my original work but the sum of many, many people that helped me through this project. It also contains not only my personal opinions but my do over’s which, perhaps, you can avoid. Hopefully, this will encourage others, like me, who want to do this but do not feel comfortable starting on their own. Special attention is paid to all the little details without published solutions, at least that I found.

Before starting on the swap I spent a lot of time on the car completely rebuilding the brake system, new master cylinder, calipers, rubber hoses, rotors and pads. I also completely rebuilt the suspension, including all bushings, ball joints, shocks, upper strut bearings and mounts. After 30 years it just seemed the correct thing to do. Used about a gallon of Leathereque leather conditioner and got the interior about as soft as it was new, but that was never really soft.

The 240 series Diesel is really the most perfect car to begin this conversion with as the springs, torsion bar, radiator, exhaust system and rear end ratio are just about what you would select if building from scratch. You do have to add the gas fuel system as the diesel relied on injector pump suction without any fuel pump.

It should be noted that this discussion is very specific to the 240 series Volvo Diesel and a 1996 through 2001 Explorer 302 V8 with the 4R70W transmission. There are a great number of deviations, in all directions from that combination. Some of this discussion may apply to other combinations, some may not. For some this is more than you need, for others not enough. It is hoped, by separating the chapters into separate threads that there will be many comments and experiences on how to do it better and the community will end up with a complete reference source for such conversions.

I should have taken more pictures before taking everything apart.






1. Selecting a drive train http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4005709#post4005709

2. Removing and installing the engine and transmission http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250516

3. Engine Exhaust http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250576

4. Transmission Clearance and Shift Linkage http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250597

5. Motor Mount Brackets and Motor Mounts http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250266

6. Transmission Cross Member, Bracket and Mounts http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250273

7. Drive Shaft and Differential http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250316

8. Front Suspension Springs / Torsion Bar http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250526

9. Speedometer and Tachometer Connections http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=272683

10. Throttle Connection and Cruise Control http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250408

11. Power Steering http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4010100#post4010100

12. Electrical, Wiring Harness, Fuses and PCM http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250604

13. Battery Relocation http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4006928#post4006928

14. Fuel System http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4007159#post4007159

15. Air Filter MAFS and throttle body duct http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4010650#post4010650

16. Tuning the Power Train Control Module http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=276718

17. Interior Restoration http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=299459

18. Radiator, Hoses, Fan and Heater Hoses http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4014411#post4014411

19. Transmission ATF Coolant Lines http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=253112

20. Air Conditioning http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=255984

21. Financial http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=259819

Attachments http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=250746

Internet Links: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?p=4008762#post4008762
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Well, I guess that I have now got to figure out how to move this post over to a new thread.

Watching the Alabama vs. LSU game and am distracted.
That engine picture on post #2 looks like its ready to run. Nice!
I best play catch up!
PM the mods about making an article on the main page, that way it wont get cluttered with random posts

(like this one)
I tried to contact the mods and no one seemed to care. The objective of breaking up a 23 page thread is to attract post on each subject.

Let the world post away.
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Chapter 16 - PCM tuning

Lots of discussion, no resolution.

The use of a PATS era PCM has proved to be a real issue. The security system must be turned off in software and I cannot get the SCT 3015 device to upload the custom tune apparently because the security system is in place.

For those interested the discussion is going on in the ExplorerForum: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355465

The results will be summarized in Chapter 16, still in draft form.
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It's ALIVE ! ! !


After nearly 4 years of hobby work on this thing it started this afternoon, just like I had parked it only yesterday instead of 18 years ago. After a long string of issues to resolve, as always, it was the last thing I tried, the injectors.

Now all I have to do is the dozen of so things I have been putting off like ATF, coolant, PS fluid, putting the dash back together, permanently mounting the wiring harness and PCM and a few more.
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Cool beans. I have used SCT's pro racer software on a couple of 99 Cobra's and was able to turn off the PATS system and tune without issues, (other than rushed by the boss) and an intermittently failing MAF sensor on one , what resolved your issue?
The PATS turn-off issue was loss of connectivity at the DATA PORT. The SCT 3015 does not report such a problem, it just doesn't complete the upload. Since I had built the wiring harness and the PCM was out of a wreaking yard I had no idea what the problem was. After doing pin out tests over and over, expecting different results, trying to read DTCs with my code reader demonstrated the problem. Once PATS was disabled I saw ground pulses at the injectors but no operation. Professional, out of the car cleaning solved that.