Eric Samuelson - 1991 Volvo 240 (Named: Ernie)
My first car was a 1987 760 Turbo that I got from a family friend that passed away and it made me fall in love with Volvos.
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My name is Eric Samuelson,
I live in Steamboat Springs, CO USA. I'm 26 years old and work as a Landscaper in the summer months and on the local ski resort in the winter months as well as a Freelance Designer in between. Busy life I know!
I drive 2 Volvos currently: a lifted 2005 XC70 and 1991 240 named Ernie that I'm writing about here! With the current Quarantine and lockdown situation that has been affecting the world, I have had the time to accomplish my first ever engine swap into the 240 with a Chevy V8. Cool ey!? I have always owned Volvo's since the first car that I got at the age of 16.
My first car was a 1987 760 Turbo that I got from a family friend that passed away and it made me fall in love with Volvos. When I was growing up I had always been into Hot wheels and building models and stuff like that but when I first got a car I didn't even think about modifying it at first. It wasn't until my first year in college that I had met some friends that grew up in Denver that were way more into modifying cars than I was and they sparked (or re-sparked maybe) my interest in cars and a desire to get into the car scene even more. I modified my first car slightly before I ended up selling it and then every car after that even more so.
Since my first 760 I have had a 2000 V70 that I attempted to make fast and didn't succeed, and then the XC70 and now the 240. I bought the 240 last summers as a town car because it got great gas mileage with the straight 4 cylinders B230 engine and was actually also my first manual car. It was pretty beaten up from a previous owner that tried to make it into a drift car and smashed the rear quarter panel, welded the diff and took apart some other interior bits. Exactly one week after I bought it the welded diff blew up on me so I replaced it with an Eaton G80 LSD from a Volvo 940. It still runs pretty rough from chipping and denting the ring and pinion gears back there. I took on the task to replace the rear quarter panel as well just to see if I could do so and it went smoother than I could have imagined. From there I thought why not try to LS swap it? It was always something I had wanted to do since I learned about the process in high school but had never had a backup vehicle or the resources to do so.
In the fall I bought a Chevy LR4 4.8 litre LS engine and 4L80e transmission with 147k miles on it from an Express van of eBay. It was a hunk of rust and corrosion when I got it so I spent the winter rebuilding the engine and getting to know it inside and out. I also began researching as much as I could about what I needed to do to get it into the car since it was something I had never done before. Since the COVID pandemic outbreak began worldwide in the spring, the ski resort I was working at shut down giving me an ample opportunity to begin the work on the car. I just finished the install about 2 weeks ago and have been working out the kinks since then!
I don't have a dyno nearby me at all so I don't know actual power numbers yet, and it also does not run 100% as I'm writing this. I'm still working out a Lean fuel issue however, this engine stock is supposed to be about 285hp, so I'm hoping to have close to 300hp when all is said and done and it runs well!
- A Chevy 4.8 Litre V8 LS engine backed by a 4L80e 4-speed automatic transmission;
- ARP head bolts;
- TSP oil pan;
- GM rockers with hardened trunnions;
- Single piece 3" driveshaft;
- Stock rear end with Eaton LSD (for now);
- Giffin Performance Engine mounts and Transmission cross member (highly recommended for Volvo LS swap supplies);
- Professional Products Typhoon LS3 Aluminium intake manifold;
- 102mm throttle body;
- 4" silicone intake;
- Holley sniper 340lph in-tank fuel pump;
- Corvette fuel filter/regulator;
- Camaro Accessory drive layout with truck spacing;
- Truck AC compressor;
- Volvo 940 NA radiator;
- 16" Electric Rad fan;
- Remote transmission cooler;
- Stock Volvo AC condenser;
- STS machining steel steering shaft;
- Stock truck wiring harness cut down to standalone system;
- Stock truck PCM reflashed;
- eBay version of Holley Cast headers with dual 2.5" to Single 3" exhaust;
- electronic dump valve;
- vibrant 1794 resonator; and
- IPD Muffler (from the exhaust on my XC70).
- B&M magnum grip ratchet shifter;
- OEM large tach swap;
- API dash cover (to hide the cracked one);
- eBay wood steering wheel with custom made horn button
- Kenwood head unit.
- 1970's grill and headlight buckets;
- 1970's Flat hood painted black;
- LED 7" round headlights;
- 1974 S.E.V. Marchal 8" fog lights;
- 1993 Volvo 850 lower valance;
- Custom plastic splitter;
- OEM Chevy LS side badges;
- IPD single piece waste trim;
- eBay fender mirrors
- 1974-81 Transom trunk wing (ducktail) with custom end caps to fit body lines; and
- Watanabe Type R wheels 16x8.5 front with 225/55 Achilles ATR sport tyres and 16x9 rear with 245/50 Federal SS 595 tyres.
- Custom-built coil-overs with parts from Kaphlenke;
- Qa1 375# 10" front springs;
- Tru coil 300# 10" rear springs;
- IPD adjustable pan hard bar;
- Poly rear trailing arm bushings; and
- IPD strut tower brace.
It is not finished yet, since it doesn't run perfectly still and I also have plenty of plans for the coming summer which I hope to accomplish, such as the following:
- Fix the lean fuel issue;
- A new rear end/ either an OEM one with an upgraded diff or a ford 8.8 swap (I have tabs from Giffin's performance already);
- Get the AC working, it needs new lines and wiring and it should work;
- Re-tint the windows;
- I have Saturn side skirts sitting around to put on;
- Re-route the heater lines out the firewall for more space behind the intake manifold; and
- A small turbo maybe in the future for low-end power since I want to be able to daily it.
And maybe a handful of more things that I am not thinking of or haven't thought of yet! I plan to daily drive the car as much as possible when it's running well as opposed to building a race car or drag car. I wanted to build it to enjoy driving anywhere I wanted instead of building something track specific. I don't plan to paint the car because I like the patina of the old paint and mildly dented body. I'm going for the rough look on the outside, a clean interior and an engine bay that looks like it came out of a whole other car.
I currently "belong" or work for a couple of crews/brands. The biggest of them are the Volvo Instagram page and brand Swedishmetal (@swedishmetal on Instagram).
I am the main designer as well as the producer of die-cut stickers and livery and help run the page occasionally. Affiliated with this page by the owner is the brand 5x108 Heavyweight (@5x08.heavyweight on Instagram) that I also do design work for. He is also the one who supplied my wheels from Japan and the Marchal fog lights. If you need any 5x108 wheels or rare Volvo parts he's your guy!
I also design for and am part of the Eccentric crew (@eccentric.tm on Instagram). They are a crew of guys based in the Eastern US with members all over the globe. They're a super cool crew committed to showing awesome cars and creating clothing and accessories that anyone even not in the car culture would be interested in.
I have entered my XC70 in a couple of car shows, but haven't had a chance yet with the 240! I have attended the IPD garage sale in Portland, Oregon as well as Davis in Davis, California. I plan to attend at least one if not both with one car or another (depending on how well the 240 runs for a cross-county trip) I mostly attend shows for fun because, I always meet awesome people and get new inspiration for projects, but I have won one Davis show with the XC70 last spring! The only other events I have attended regularly are my local Cars and coffee events to see what other guys are doing in my small mountain town.
What is my dream car? Honestly, I think this 240 build is my dream car. I have dreamt of doing an LS swap for so long and now that has happened I can't think of what else I would want now! The only other car I have been drooling over for the last year or so is the new Volvo V90 wagon (of course another Volvo). I love the body lines and how to mean the front end looks on them.
I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about me and my recent build. I could not be more stoked to have been offered this opportunity to share what I love doing!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
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