Mar 20

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Volvo 340dl F7p Renault Clio 1.8 16v Engine Swap/Replacement Part 1

Before you start to read this all, I  just want to state this isn’t an exact “how to” to do an engine swap for these cars, look at it more as a “project/build thread”. It’s more a loose guide and my experience, with a few tips and notes I didn’t find in other guides or build threads. I’ve provided a resources page with everything I used and all my research though so this might be a good help to.

I’ve also provided an extensive photo gallery of everything from start to finish. This helped me immensely when putting it all back together. All the links are at the bottom of the page.

I think quite a few people have heard of Clio Williams engines and 1.8 valver engines going in Volvo’s now, it’s become a incredibly common engine swap, especially among the drift scene. What your looking at here is one of those.

I was rather unfortunate with my one though, within a month of owning it, the bottom end failed on me. The car still ran pretty spot on, but sounded awful. As soon as you got to about 3K rpm it sounded like a bag of nails was flying around the cylinders. But I managed to drive it till it seized on me . The sound just got worse and worse, then as I was driving home from work I lost all power and the rear wheels locked up momentarily. A scary few moments for sure!

Super Clean Volvo 340 Retro Drift CarGangsta Slammed Volvo Drifter

Engine seizing is quite literally just that. The engine stopping,  If there’s drive to the wheels (i.e. its in gear when it happens) they will lock up as if you pulled the hand break on a rear wheel drive car, and on a front wheel  drive car, the front wheels will lock up, god knows what happens in a four wheel drive car! I bet its a very sudden stop!

You shouldn’t really be driving a car round when it’s that bad, but needs must for me unfortunately. The lesson here if someone is in a similar boat is don’t drive it. Unless you really, absolutely have too. If you are driving it, don’t go above 40 and be ready to throw it in to neutral at all times. This is how I managed it on my car. Putting it in neutral prevents the locking up.

Volvo 340 WilliamsEither way it’s not something you expect to do after just getting the car! The brief time I did have driving it, I was completely bowled over, that engine is perfect for this car and rwd. It sounded awesome aswell.  A proper  DOHC  throaty soundtrack, just like the old escort rally cars. I’m told that bottom end failures on F7 engines are rare… lets hope so, it hasn’t been terribly cheap or easy sourcing all the parts.

That said, heres a lesson or thought to take in to consideration right now. My Volvo Valver is fuel injection which requires a engine management system, engine management systems are tailored to the specific models of engines, in my case an f7p e722. This was the hard part for me, finding the exact engine so it would be plug and play. If I bike carbed or throttle bodied it though, I would of saved a lot of time sourcing the exact engine, and I could of gone for any. Simply because its management is tuning related. These f7p and f7r engines are readily available and pretty inexpensive as well if your not picky.

F7p Cylinder Head

The difference between the f7p and f7r is simple, the f7p is a 1.8 16v and the f7r is a 2.0l 16v. The 2.0l is the “Williams” engine, while they are more or less the same engines, be prepared to pay a premium for the latter of the two. The Cylinder head internal design is slightly different aswell. A common conversion for Williams engines is to drop a 1.8 f7p cylinder head on. This allows for higher revs aswell.

A F7r is limited at around 6500k, I don’t know if this is stock for mine but it goes well over 7K revs on the clock i think it stops about 7200-7500.

So what do you need to do this swap to your Volvo? Basically all Volvo 1.7 parts, but these cars have got very rare now, so it’s not as easy as it was even a year a go. On the flip side, This conversion is so common, it wouldn’t be hard for you to find one that’s already done if that’s what your after.

Heres a shortlist, I got from this page:  http://volvo340.wikispaces.com/home

  • 1.7 sump
  • 1.7 bellhousing
  • 1.7 clutch
  • 1.7 clutch cable (although a 1.4 can be used with a bit of inginuety)
  • 1.7 front engine mounts (Rhs 3 bolt bracket to block – Lhs 3 bolt bracket to sump)
  • 1.7 LHS rear bellhousing mount (1.4 can be used with a little trimming to clear clutch fork)( have had no clearance issues-kaos)
  • 1.7 alternator mounts
  • 1.7 “T” piece from behind waterpump (Not needed if you wont be running heaters – kaos)
  • 1.7 water pipes(kaos)
  • 1.7/1.4 water temp sender(kaos)

Something else I want to add to this list, and I’ll explain later

In my case, I have a bit of a head start since all these parts were put on the car by the previous owner for the conversion! Lucky me..the hard part now is dismantling everything. To make sure the process of putting it all back together is pretty straightforward, we’ve been labelling and photographing absolutely everything as a reference before disassembly starts.

When I say everything, I mean loose wires and spare sockets etc aswell. i.e. down by the alternator there appears to be a couple of cables not in use, same goes to the fuse box aswell. Theres a couple of cables round there that aren’t actually connected to anything.

Our first day was a bit slow, we were just thoroughly making sure everything was disconnected properly and studying how things came apart. Theres lots of sensors and bits and pieces like that all over the engine. But the good thing is, its all plugs. We also found out alot of the wires and connectors were a very specific length meaning they couldn’t go anywhere else if you tried.

This, accompanied by our labelling should make it a lot easier to put it back in, stay tuned for day two!


  1. Volvo 340dl F7p Renault Clio 1.8 16v Engine Swap/Replacement Part 1
  2. Volvo 340DL 1.8 16v Valver Engine Swap Part Two
  3. Volvo 340 1.8 16v F7p Engine Swap, Taking the Engine Out Part Three
  4. Volvo 340DL 1.8 16v F7p Part Four, Prepping the New F7p To Go In!
  5. Volvo 340 Valver F7p Part Five 1.7 Bellhousing and Clutch Assembly
  6. Volvo 340dl Engine Swap Part Six, Getting the Clio 1.8 16v F7p Engine Back In
  7. Volvo 340 Valver Clio 1.8 16v Engine Swap Final Part, Getting it Running
  8. Volvo 340dl 1.8 16v Engine Swap Resources


My Car

Volvo 340 1.8 16V f7P Valver First Drive Pictures and Wash

Volvo 340DL 1.8 16v Retro Drift Car Build Pictures

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2013/03/volvo-340dl-f7p-renault-clio-1-8-16v-engine-swapreplacement-part-1/

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