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Customer Spotlight - Chris Conger

Monday, January 20, 2014 - Chris Conger - ipd customer

The car started out as a 'back up' vehicle. After running it for a few years to 400k mile 4cyl started to lose compression very quickly.

I actually considered a turbo conversion and full rebuild. But with my wife's curiosity about drag racing. And the fact American metal from the 70's would cost more than i was able invest at the time. I decided to disassemble the volvo for a small block chevy conversion. From my first calculations, it would cost less than the turbo conversion, and give more torque for sport driving. With the car 90% complete, i can honestly say my calculations were completely wrong... ;) The car started out as the burnt sienna color. The clear coat was pretty much burnt anyway - so we opted for changing it to a flat dark nissan orange. We haven't decided if we're going to let the sienna show on the fender tops and roof front. But we may take a 'rat' approach to the color. The car was a rat when i bought it - might as well leave some in it... ;)

The interior has been changed to Gray using SEM paint products. So far it's done very well while i continue to work on the interior. Nothing has pealed as of yet.. All door panels were reinforced with wood hardener make them rigid again. There was moisture damage over the years that allowed the panels and package tray to become soft. Wood hardener and clamping between forms really made them stout again. They even mounted easier after this process.

I fiber glassed the dash and gauge pod together, and coated with bed liner spray. And then finished in SEM Gray. I still need purchase black carpet. The original carpets were just to old and worn to do a garbage can die job on... so i sprayed them with left over Gray SEM until i can replace them.. I'm surprised the stuff stuck to the carpet at all..

Optima battery has been relocated to the trunk for weight balance. Stereo amps located in trunk.

The suspension is all IPD. 25mm front and rear anti-sway bars. IPD springs, Kyb shocks/structs. IPD poly bushings. IPD adjustable panhard and torque rods. I5 Driveline installed - Eaton Posi unit with factory 3.91 in a completely rebuilt Dana 30 (Narrowed ford 9 in. planned). Punks automotive 3in ID single exhaust (no need to be noisy). Tabors Automotive Machine 350 SBC (360hp - 425trq). 700R GM 4sp a/t. Jegs Aluminum radiator with homemade mounts supplementing factory top mounts.

Vehicle has been lined with sound padding and heat-block. Trans-tunnel lined with reflective Mylar to limit heat transfer.

My last tasks are finishing trimming out interior with factory plastics - some still need to be replaced/painted. Paint exterior. Coat aluminum bumpers with black rubber coating. Mount above bumper 'big' driving lights. And then a tire and wheel choice. Right now looking for a good set of 15 steelies that i can put on caps and rings with a decent tire...

Now that my wife has finished school, and is actively seeking a full time position. I'm going to let her reward herself by purchasing the Ford 9in rearend. So she'll have to be a light foot for awhile..

Besides, i want to start saving for my PV rat rod with a turbo 4cyl ;) Attached is a group of build pics from the past, and present.




We love featuring some of the great Volvo stories that come across our desk. We plan on doing this on a regular basis so if you have a project car, helpful tech tip or other cool Volvo related story, share it with us and we’ll likely feature you in a future customer spotlight.

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Community Comments

Thursday, October 2, 2014 - CRAIG L HOLLIDAY

No need to be noisy??? What about that power amp in the trunk? Cool pics and thanks for sharing.

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