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The LOLvo ...... aka The little red wagon that could

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A few weeks ago I bolted the crusty old TH400 from the Statesman up to the LS1 for a trial fit. Unfortunately they wont go in together as the crossmember just wont allow it, so I split them and dropped the engine in and trans from underneath which is a bit if a drag. As expected the tunnel needed a bit of massaging to fit the TH400. The sump I was using was a Holley 302-1 which my nephew had bought but not used in his project but the front of the sump was too deep meaning the front of the engine was too high and was going to cause driveline alignment issues.


A bit of research said that the Holley 302-2 which has a very shallow front section should fit but they are over $800 so crossed fingers and ordered one of these from VPW for $299 https://www.rts.com.au/oil-pan-ls-en...tural-6-lt~126 which is just a China knock off of the 302-2. Sump arrived promtly, looks good and with pick up, gasket and bolts etc its bloody good value.

Swung the engine in again and it fits exactly where I wanted it to go after I had to notch the crossmember, the front section sits nice and low over the rack and the rear bowl is level with the bottom of the crossmember. Got the engine and trans aligned and sitting at 2.5 degrees nose up which is way better than with the 302-1.



Made a temporary rear crossmember


With the engine sitting safely on a piece of timber on the crossmember and with the rear of trans secured I could start making engine mounts. Got the top and bottom plates roughed out and called it quits for today.



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For all of those people wanting to make their own cotton reel/shackle bush engine mounts.........I looked everywhere on the interwebs for deatails on steel tube and appropriate bushes to fit but couldnt find anything and the generic "Tuff Mounts" werent of much use. So here's some info to help make youre own.

Steel tube is easy: I used 25NB Med Blk (33.7 OD x 3.2) Pipe othersizes are readily available from steel merchants.

Bushes: Best source is https://superpro.com.au/ and they have a great resource for finding the bushes you need https://superpro.com.au/bush-sizing. I ended up with these:


I plunged in and made brackets for the shackle monuts and tacked them up and tried them to only realise that they wouldnt work as they put the mounts too far outboard. Had to bin them and start again ):


V2.0 moved them down and further inboard so they would have the correct geometry to work with the original mount bolt holes on the Volvo crossmember. All good this time. Just need to make the stands connecting the mounts to the crossmember.





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A bit sweaty in the shed today but the block of wood on the crossmember is now redundant and the engine is now suppported by finished mounts.


Had to remove the rack to do the drivers side as I just couldnt get the Mig gun in to tack.


Passenger side was easy


Sump sits perfectly level with the crossmember


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Nice work, head of your cap screws might be in the way but I’d suggest welding right to the end on both sides and very end of your t plates, area of high stress concentration at the ends where you’ve left un-welded. 

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Trans mount completed.
The Volvo crossmember is a nice piece with dual exhaust provision (I think they came out with a V6 of some kind).


By pure coincidence the mount just needed a plate added to the original crossmember at exactly the same height so no cutting of the crossmember, just added a support off the back.


Used an Energy Suspension captive mount 3.1108G



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  • 1 month later...

Haven't been able to work on this since before Christmas so time to get stuck back in.

Priority was to make as few compromises as possible with engine placement so its as low and as far back as possible but this meant it was jammed up hard against the firewall and I had to beat the fuck out of the tunnel to get it there, this was only temporary and some more serious realestate management was going to be required to allow for ease of trans removal.




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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

It's not a show car and once the engine is in you wont be able to see the rattle can colour difference




Logic would say to full back half this car but its going to be a drag and drive car with the odd cruise thrown in so close to stock/sleeper look is important. Biggest tyre that can be fitted is 235/60/15 which is 26 inches tall and it only just fits in the standard guards, a taller tyre would need the guards lengthened and a mini tub isnt worth it as there isnt much to gain without doing a full rail reaplacement.
The lips on the guards are really susbstantial and just couldnt be rolled so resorted to slicing and hammering, came up really well with no external marks and with a clean up and seam seal and rattle can paint will be good.
Position of the rear axle will be critical as there is only 10-15mm clearance at front and rear of guard opening and likewise the same for inner and outer guard.









We are going to use the standard 4 link/panhard suspension but all of this is now junk.


9 inch has been sourced and will use cromo rod ended bars on the standard pickup points but will build some adjustatbility into it them and also the diff brackets to hopefully get sufficient separation so it 60's reasonably.


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