You may of noticed a strong Renault/Volvo Vibe going on, on my site recently! It’s mostly coincidental.. but lets be honest, the last two Renault things on my site have been pretty special, especially the little R5 GT Turbo! I miss seeing and hearing that thing already, Theres also been all the rebuild stuff surrounding my Volvo aswell..which is Renault powered! What I’m about to show you now is the ultimate expression of these F7 Renault Powered Volvo’s.
The one I’m about to show you is a F7r powered one. This is the proper Clio Williams powered 2.0l 16v version of the car. Mine is a F7p which is a 1.8 16v. Both Engines are fundamentally the same, they share alot of components with each other but the Williams one has the stronger, bored out bottom end and a longer piston stroke. So the most noticeable characteristic straightaway is extra torque. This comes at the price of a lower rev limit though.
From a bit of research and reading around, it is possible to raise the rev limit of the F7r lumps with an ECU remap, but personally I wouldn’t bother with that. It could mess up other characteristics of these engines. Both seem to have a very linear, stable torque curve which makes putting your foot down incredibly predictable which once again makes it perfect for a RWD setup.
One of the best parts about this particular car is it’s looks. I mean look at it! Who would think that there’s a Williams lump under the bonnet, The amount of people it surprises are endless. I’m a huge fan of the Rat/Drift/Abused/Original look and this Volvo 340 pulls it off perfectly. It’s not just that, look at how it’s sat on the road aswell. It has a very purposeful presence about it, but it’s also very original at the same time.
This Volvo 340 is actually a 1984 Mk2 version, so you get the little things like the chrome trim around the windows and all the original badging on it. The thing that always gets me and will shock people as it passes though is the cheeky “340GL Automatic” badge on the back..Yea right! The front and rear headlights are slightly different to mine as well. (mines a 1989 mk3) the front headlights, while the same, have a small metal piece running below them which mine don’t, same with the grill, also the rear brake and reverse lights are all arranged vertically, my reverse light is a random block in the middle. The most notable visual cue though is the doorstrip running along the side of the car. My one is actually removed, thats because on these later mk3 ones it’s a big horrible black strip. Have a look at the “My car” page and you will see what I mean. It’s a nice little chrome adorned thing on these mk2’s. The front bumper is also on a quick release making it very easy to get to and work on the front of the car or preserve it for road use.
All these little touches, are finished off with a neat little boot spoiler and a detachable louvre on the rear window. The Louvre on the back and the general shape of the car remind me of the DMC Delorean..or the Back To The Future Car! I love the original AA badge on the front grill aswell. Thats another motoring bit of nostalgia to times long gone and driving before I was born, maybe because I wasn’t around then, I find a charming curiosity attached to the early days of driving! It’s hard to imagine that cars you can buy today could generate that same nostalgia in someone else 20 years or more from now!
Another big part of this cars looks is related to what’s going on with the chassis, it’s been lowered by about 3 inches all round, Gaz Shocks and lowering blocks on back and coilovers on front. Yes I did just say coilovers on front! The weird thing is it’s surprisingly easy to convert the front to coilovers! This means some ridiculous levels of camber can be achieved on the front to add to its performance on track and presence in the street. The Coilovers were made using rebuilt by GAZ Volvo 340 struts, and Nissan 200sx S13 top mounts which are mounted in re-drilled 340 turrets.
The strut brace you can see is Also a S13 part, albeit slightly modified to fit the Volvo Turrets, It’s been shortened ever so slightly due to them being closer together than a S13. The eventual plan is to convert the rear to Coilovers aswell, but this is much more technical and requires some serious fabrication work to be done.
So we’ve established that the car looks great, not only that, it has a very capable chassis, and now to the centrepiece, the engine, and my god does it look good! This is the Renault Clio Williams 2.0l 16v F7r block chilling in the engine bay of a once humble Volvo 340GL Automatic.
The engine itself is more or less standard but it has had a lot done to it to make it much more efficient. This has proven to be very effective especially on visits to the old Drift What Ya Brung events. The owner was telling me how he’s spent all day sliding around, only to change the tyres, while everyone else has their cars up on axle stands fixing stuff!
The priority is to keep everything at sensible temperatures, especially when it comes to drifting since most of the time the car is sideways not getting good airflow through the radiator and it’s usually sat on the limiter aswell. So first things first, Theres some electronic cooling fans on switches in the car, so these can be on permanently.
The Next thing keeping things chilled is an oil cooler hidden just under the front bumper. Oil coolers work by keeping the oil at it’s optimum temperature. The hotter Oil gets the thinner it gets, it can also quite litteraly just burn away and vapourise, all of this is what causes engine wear and bottom end failure..( I’ve become a bit of an expert in this field since my bottom end failure!). It doesn’t help that these Clio F7 engines seem to have an oil burning reputation aswell! Little things like this prolong an engines life by quite a large margin!
A Similar approach has been adopted when it comes to the water cooling system aswell, this consists of silicone hoses and Aluminium tubing. This negates the concern of pipe corrosion or possible pressure leaks occurring, This all comes together in the cabin where theres digital oil pressure and temperature gauges along with your traditional temperature guage to keep an eye on things.
The final few pieces to compliment this efficiency is the engine breathing. It starts at the top with a ported and polished cylinder head with a tubular exhaust manifold thats heat wrapped. This then goes to a custom straight through system making a load of noise out the back! It’s a similar on the intake front aswell. The only thing between the throttle body and intake manifold is a honeycomb air filter. So you’re getting maximum airflow in and out of the engine at all times.
The end result is a stealthy fun unique and original drift weapon! As you can see a lot has been done indeed, theres still more to come aswell. The plan is to eventually convert the rear drums to break disc and put vented items on the front. This is something thats definitely essentially for a performance car of this nature.
There’s also plans to compliment that ported and polished head with a set of throttle bodies and vernier cams and pulleys. This will sound truly immense and be one hell of a lively car if this goes ahead..this will also return more power aswell, so the owner is currently working on fabricating a carbon fibre mazda rx-8 prop shaft for the job.
Another very effective part will be swapping out the wings and bonnet for fibreglass pieces. This will probably be one of the hardest parts, since theres never really been an aftermarket for these Volvo 340’s, and no “tuning” or “modification” scene for the car until recently.
This is shaping up then to be a truly unique one off that will stand out amongst a crowd of F7ed Volvo 340s …. see as theres barely any on the road. This has to be one of the best out there, so keep an eye out as it carries on evolving!
Be sure to check out all the shots from the day on the pages below, and don’t forget to look at mine for comparison
- Volvo 340 2.0l 16v F7r Williams Valver Feature
- Volvo 340 2.0l 16v F7r Williams Valver Spec
- Volvo 340 2.0l 16v F7r Williams Valver Page
- Volvo 340 2.0l 16v F7r Williams Valver Photoshoot, all the pics good and bad!