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My Car

Being a car nut I bet you imagine I have a very nice set of wheels…well it’s certainly not the best in the world, but it’s still a charming little car nonetheless, Also insurance is a HUGE issue since I’m only 20 years old and i’ve only been driving for a year. Mostly due to insurance, I was limited to loads of boring front wheel drive stuff, which doesn’t interest me at all, or alternatively a Ford Capri 1.6 laser or a Volvo 340.

I opted for the latter since 1.6 Laser Capri’s are very hard to come across now, and it wasnt the most reliable car in the first place. But since I’ve got my 340, I’ve never looked back, I was a bit meh at first, I won’t lie, but a few days in the rain very quickly changed that! When I was looking round, I also saw what alot of people were doing to these cars and it completely opened my mind!

Volvo 340 dl front

I looked at a few running clio williams engines and renault 5 turbo engines and i was blown away! there was even someone running a rover 3.5 l V8 and a Corvette ZR-1 Transaxle in one. It really is a “Blank Canvas” this car. In that it’s looks and performance standard are very Humdrum, and not to interesting, but very cheaply and very quickly it can be turned around in to something else. For less than £1000 you can be driving round in a rwd Clio Williams or 1.8 16v, or aternatively a rwd Renault 5 turbo. It certainly helps that the volvo 340 1.4  shares alot of parts with the renault 5 (most notably the engine, but other misc things too).

Eventually though, I opted for a  1.4 hatchback, completely bog standard but it was owned by a couple from  new in 1989. The old boy loved and cherished it from brand new and there was loads of receipts, history and bills dating all the way back, there was also every MOT and it had just recently been undersealed again and it was looking immaculate, the paintwork just glows when you wash and wax it, he used to wash and wax it religously every week and believe me it showed!Volvo 340dl 1.4 rear

he also just paid out for a new radiator and hoses etc a year before i bought it (it cost him a pretty penny too!), so i was very happy and it still makes me smile today.

You do have to take a bit of a self-esteem bashing with one of these, but it’s so much fun, and when you’ve taken people round a few wet roundabouts..their opinion changes dramaticly, A few of my friends who originaly cracked jokes are now looking to get one themselves!1.4 340 side view

You also have an incredible unique factor, I live in Swindon and I’ve only seen one more of these cars, and mines in better condition. Everyone knows its me when they see me about which is quite nice! you also get people coming up to you saying I’ve seen you about, whats the deal with that car?… so it’s quite cool in that respect. All the sort of “indie” , “retro” “old Skool” kids love it too.

I plan to hang on to this car- probably to the point where it’s beyond repair, this means I’ve got at least 5 years of reliable motoring left to do or more, it’s such an easy and cheap car to repair so i suspect I could get more out of it still. I just recently bought fully adjustable dampers and springs, so I’m going to be fitting those ( you’ll see it all going down here) and a really decent, low mileage,  standard renault 5 turbo engine at my disposal if I choose to go that far. So Stay Tuned! let me know what you think

here’s a snap of one of the williams cars I looked at(one on the right):

340 williams driftSo it’s been a long time coming but for all intents and purposes, the car is pretty much finished now, I got the differential sorted, the worst areas of rust under control, I’ve finally got a perfesct medium on the adjustable shocks. they are not to hard, but not to soft either.The car is close to perfect for me now, finally got the wheels on it aswell. so its the complete package.

I’ve also had the carburettor rebuilt, got myself a little k and n filter aswell. This has made quite a difference to how the car itself sounds, it’s a lot throatier and louder now. I was also looking at getting a exhaust fabricated by Long Life, and then I will probabaly leave it at that.

The dilemma afterwards is…shall I do an engine swap??..Stay tuned to find out ;)

Volvo 340 minilites

volvo 340dl

So I realise I’ve not updated here in a while, but my poky little volvo has since transformed into something else, by something else, I mean a completely different car! The last of the modifications I did to this one was the Longlife Exhaust and the Welded diff. I thought I’d stop there and just enjoy it, because it was still cheap and easy to maintain. The ultimate plan of course was to do the engine swap but this would’ve cost to much.

Here’s some of the latest and last pictures of the old one before it went :(

Then out of the blue, a blue volvo 340 valver came up for sale near me, The car was exactly the same colour, exactly the same year and and trim model. The 340dl. The difference was this had already had the engine swap done along with everything else. Fully adjustable shocks all round, polybushed everything, in other words it was seriously sorted! so in some ways I shortcutted the whole engine swap process, which is good, but Im currently having to educate myself on all the details of the conversion as I have no idea how it all really goes together if it goes wrong

But I had to go and check it out, here’s some of the first shots of it..

volvo 340 valvervolvo 340 1.8 16v

Within about two minutes of being in the car, I had to have it! The sound it makes is just awesome, and it pulls pretty strongly aswell. With all the polybushed parts, it felt tight as a nut on the road aswell..this was the feedback I got as a passenger! What really got me about this one though was the quality of the work done. Many of these Ive seen seem botched, the interiors are usually completely stripped out aswell, cables all over the engine bay, and the cars are generally thrashed and not looked after. This one was built to a very high standard by a proper enthusiast, it shows throughout the whole car.

The first drive in it was magnificent, there’s some really nice roads round where I live, most notably going up to Avebury. This is where Stonehenge is to the rest of the world! All round that area is fantastic roads, so took it for a good run to get used to it. it’s completely different to the old machine, very tight and responsive, and its easy to forget how fast your going. this engine just loves to be revved! along with the sound, it’s very hard to resist!volvo 340 f7pvolvo 340 clio engine swapvolvo 1.8 16v f7p

It’s such a visceral, engaing driving expierience, I’d highly recommend the swap to anyone. It’s probably magnified for me by the fact I’ve been driving round in a 1.4 for just over 2 years, so this is quite a change, I just need to look after it now! stay here for updates ;)

  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


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