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Thread: Volvo 1800 ES Hybrid Swap

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    Volvo 1800 ES Hybrid Swap

    OK guys... I just joined this site after getting the idea that an Ecotec might be a good swap candidate for my ancient Volvo (See my introductory post in the Newbie Forum).

    The car is a 1973 Volvo 1800 ES, a bit of a "rare" car (8,077 produced) because it was a "sport wagon" variant of the popular P1800 Volvo sports car from the '60s and '70s. Here's a link to some pics of the car when I got it a few years ago http://volvo1800pictures.com/a_ES_73...113_id_872.htm

    ORIGINAL SPEC SUMMARY:
    Engine: Volvo B20F, an inline 4 cyl, 1988 cc, 112 hp @ 6k rpm, 115 torque @ 3500 rpm. It's a low compression version of the B20 sold in the US during the '70's gas crisis... deja vu? It's a solid old cast iron pushrod swedish tractor engine, but was detuned for fuel and emissions purposes of the day.

    Fuel Injection: Unlike prior 1800's which had carbs, '72 and '73 used the Bosch D-Jet, which I believe is the first FI system widely used in euro cars in the early 70's era, like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, etc. The D-Jet FI system has some critical parts that are quirky and very expensive to replace, which is a drawback IMHO.

    Driveline: M41 4 speed manual, with electrically operated overdrive unit bolted on the back. The M41 is a decent transmission, but the overdrive unit is a weak point IMHO. The rear axle is a Dana 30.

    SITUATION: Engine is old and tired and needs a rebuild, FI system has developed problems with key components that are expensive to repair. Transmission is good, but OD unit is not functioning. So... the question is... rebuild as original, or swap with a more modern (reliable?) powertrain?

    DESIGN GOAL(S): Engine that has a little more HP than stock, and that has lots of good aftermarket HP tweeks and support. Transmission that is a "real" 5 speed OD. Adding A/C would be a plus here in Florida! Result: Good daily driver with slightly better performance, comfort and reliabilty.

    QUESTIONS:

    1) Is the basic 2.2 L61 the best option for a plentiful and inexpensive swap motor from a donor car, or should I be looking at other alternatives or variants?

    2) What are my options for a RWD 5 speed transmission, that will bolt right on the L61? From reading this site it seems that there are a some choices. Are they all hydraulically actuated clutch mechanisms, or are there cable operated ones?

    3) I think I need to go "standalone" with the ECU, like a Mega Squirt or something, right? Are there MS wiring harnesses for the Ecotec, or what should I be researching in this area? Is throttle control via cable or electric?

    I think I understand SOME of challenges in accomplishing a swap like this... engine/transmission mounting, drive shaft mods, exhaust fab, etc. But this is just the beginning...

    RANDOM THOUGHTS: Steering is manual gearbox style, I'd like to see if I can fit a PS R&P unit from a more modern Volvo, since an Ecotec will come with a PS pump, or can that be deleted with a different belt/pulley system?

    Sorry for the long post, but I have a lot of questions. Looking forward to your input and ideas about the feasibilty of this swap. Thanks guys!

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    1) Is the basic 2.2 L61 the best option for a plentiful and inexpensive swap motor from a donor car, or should I be looking at other alternatives or variants?

    2) What are my options for a RWD 5 speed transmission, that will bolt right on the L61? From reading this site it seems that there are a some choices. Are they all hydraulically actuated clutch mechanisms, or are there cable operated ones?

    3) I think I need to go "standalone" with the ECU, like a Mega Squirt or something, right? Are there MS wiring harnesses for the Ecotec, or what should I be researching in this area? Is throttle control via cable or electric?

    I think I understand SOME of challenges in accomplishing a swap like this... engine/transmission mounting, drive shaft mods, exhaust fab, etc. But this is just the beginning...

    RANDOM THOUGHTS: Steering is manual gearbox style, I'd like to see if I can fit a PS R&P unit from a more modern Volvo, since an Ecotec will come with a PS pump, or can that be deleted with a different belt/pulley system?

    Sorry for the long post, but I have a lot of questions. Looking forward to your input and ideas about the feasibilty of this swap. Thanks guys!

    1)Yes the L61 is the most abundant and readily available variant, and it will meet your goals.

    2)There is only one ready to use transmission option as far as RWD 5spd manual goes, and that is the OEM Aisin AR5 as used in the Solstice/Sky/G2X/GT. With custom bellhousing or adapters numerous other transmissions (including the ubiquitous BW T5) become options.

    3)If using an L61 there is no need to go with MS, youll be able to run an OEM J-body ECM/wiring with some minor mods, this would entail significantly less work and investment(time, potentially money) than standalone.

    A first generation L61 is most likely going to come with an intake cam mounted PS pump, if youve got room you could likely make this work, or simple block off plate from an electric power steering vehicle can be found or you could easly fab your own plate, no belt rerouting is needed. a Solstice PS setup uses a traditional front mounted belt driven pump and could also likely be fashioned to work relatively easily
    I know stuff about ECOTECS

    Featured Member #002


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    Thanks for the reply Maven! I am continuing my research and beginning a search for a donor car to provide the swap parts. More later...

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    A note on the transmission .... from what I've heard the same trans is used the the 3gen supras, you just need to swap bellhousings. Don't take this as fact though, it was something a friend that is into supras told me.

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    A note on the transmission .... from what I've heard the same trans is used the the 3gen supras, you just need to swap bellhousings. Don't take this as fact though, it was something a friend that is into supras told me.
    levelzero Quoted Post
    MKIII Supras dont use the AR5, however the Toyota AW-R154 that they do use is very closely related ancestor of the AR5 which allows those Supra guys to switch over to the GM spec AR5. What this means is that if you can find a good Supra trans cheap you can bolt on an ECO clutch housing and use the Toyo trans, I dont think thats the way to go though as the R154(iirc) is notoriously expensive to overhaul(hence why the MKIII guys swap to the GM trans) You also should be on the lookout for Colorado/Canyon and CTS transmissions, as these will also accept the ECO housing, the truck trans has the shifter mounted sever inches in front of the output shaft and the CTS unit has a unique rear mounted system that hangs out the back.(so does the Solsice)
    I know stuff about ECOTECS

    Featured Member #002


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    This sounds like a very exciting swap! I have two 1960's Volvo 122s Amazon's. I have also thinking about some type of engine swap. Matching a RWD trans is something I never looked into but this seems like a good fit. Do you think the stock 1800 rear end can handle the Ecotec?

    I did put a L61 into my sandrail adapted to the VW transaxle. As far as the ECU is concerned I used www.enginewiring.com for remapping. It was pretty much plug and play.

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