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Old 03-24-2021, 10:25 AM   #1
lookforjoe
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Default 745 into Pickup

For my next project I want to get back into a RWD Volvo, and I need a pickup for occasional use. So, I'm looking at 90's 745s - plan will be chop the roof off & go from there.

I found a few reference threads,

Here and Here

but only one that had any pics/details, and that's a 240 conversion - still has some decent ideas though..

"My 1986 245 truck"

Does anyone know of a detailed 700 series conversion? Just looking for pointers when it comes to best place to section, cab space, reinforcement ideas, tailgate hinge/latch ideas. I mean, I can figure it out, just helps to have references.
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Old 03-24-2021, 10:43 AM   #2
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My thread covers it in pretty good detail, it’s also the best one ever done in my unbiased opinion. My tailgate is a jaw dropper at the dump!
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:13 AM   #3
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My thread covers it in pretty good detail, itís also the best one ever done in my unbiased opinion. My tailgate is a jaw dropper at the dump!
Its definitely the best US based one that I have seen on the internet. Im sure somewhere in Sweden there's some crazy ones but I definitely second this.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:30 PM   #4
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I thought people used the sedan because you get the window etc
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Old 03-24-2021, 01:58 PM   #5
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I saw Stiggy Pop's car at Lime Rock years ago, nice job.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:20 PM   #6
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Thatís where I saw it, itís very cool
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by blkaplan View Post
Its definitely the best US based one that I have seen on the internet. Im sure somewhere in Sweden there's some crazy ones but I definitely second this.
I'll have to actually finish mine to qualify it

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Originally Posted by h20ham View Post
I thought people used the sedan because you get the window etc
IMO the sedan window makes for a really ugly cab shape, too much slope and it ends up looking like you can't tell if it's coming or going

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I saw Stiggy Pop's car at Lime Rock years ago, nice job.
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Thatís where I saw it, itís very cool
Thanks guys! The car turns more heads/gets more attention or questions than anything I've ever driven. I've just been driving it around, trying to clear time in the schedule this year for the final body work and interior. I also have that darn 2jz for it just sittin around doing nothing...
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Old 03-24-2021, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Stiggy Pop View Post
My thread covers it in pretty good detail, itís also the best one ever done in my unbiased opinion. My tailgate is a jaw dropper at the dump!
Many, many thanks! I'll be reading that at length.

Went & evaluated the 1991 745 I found - it had been picked at - fortunately not too much missing under the hood - brake booster hose & valve, alternator mounts, injection relays....

Regina-Rex NA



little extra something over here



interior is good enough - manual seats, manual mirrors, manual sunroof, no cruise







Exterior is pretty decent - in terms of lack of damage - will need paint or course when it's all done. Roof is really the only place where the paint is actually gone, and that will be cut off anyway. Not too much rust underneath, a few spots but nothing I can't deal with fairly easily.







nice patina over much of the car...



I needed to hear it run before I said yes, even for a $500 buy - especially since it's Regina-Rex.

Hooked up a booster, checked the fluids & cranked. Nada - that's when I found the missing injection relays - still no start - couldn't hear the pump(s) - so I checked the CEU - someone swiped the system relay...



After I located a used relay, it cranked a little & fired right up - idle stuck around 1500 - that's when I found the brake booster hose missing. Checked the trans goes into each gear. Power steering pressure line has rotted at the rack fitting - I added a quart or fluid & it pumped right out.

Car will need all the suspension refresh & brakes eventually - rotors & calipers are rotted away. It's been sitting on this lot for a couple years.

Quick check of electrical systems - power locks work, antenna works (lol), flashers & lights all work. So, I feel OK about using this as the starting point.
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Old 03-24-2021, 07:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stiggy Pop View Post
My thread covers it in pretty good detail, itís also the best one ever done in my unbiased opinion. My tailgate is a jaw dropper at the dump!
So, couple immediate questions:

Can you share the specific dimensions for the bed top side sections? I definitely want to follow your lead on the flow from the front fender caps



Do you have the specific info on the tracks/sliders/pivots used for the t/gate?

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Old 03-24-2021, 07:46 PM   #10
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DO NOT BUY A CAR WITH ANY RUST IN THE UNIBODY.
Believe me, start with a good car.
FWIW, I'm Stiggy's dad, and was there for all of his conversion.

If you're really going to start this project you should spend a day and come see his truck, that will get your questions answered.

I think you may do better by finding a better car to start with, but that car is worth $400 for the wheels, and, we used two wagons to make his truck, so it's a ton of extra parts.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lookforjoe View Post
So, couple immediate questions:

Can you share the specific dimensions for the bed top side sections? I definitely want to follow your lead on the flow from the front fender caps



Do you have the specific info on the tracks/sliders/pivots used for the t/gate?

I think I may have put the drawing for the bed rails in the thread? I definitely have the drawings somewhere filed I can find them, they were professionally bent from 14ga steel - wicked over kill but I think I could park the dirt bike on top of them if I wanted too.. One of the tricks was bending a return where the bed rail met the body.

I think it was one of the engineers at work who thought of the drawer slides? Thank amazon for tracking my spending so closely:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Quote:
Originally Posted by mikezohsix View Post
DO NOT BUY A CAR WITH ANY RUST IN THE UNIBODY.
Believe me, start with a good car.
FWIW, I'm Stiggy's dad, and was there for all of his conversion.

If you're really going to start this project you should spend a day and come see his truck, that will get your questions answered.

I think you may do better by finding a better car to start with, but that car is worth $400 for the wheels, and, we used two wagons to make his truck, so it's a ton of extra parts.
All I've done in 2021 so far is fix rust on SAABs, let's throw a volvo truck in the mix. Good point on the second wagon, without that we would not have had the material for the tailgate and having the second set of d-pillars to stretch out to meet the side of the body was key.
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Old 03-24-2021, 08:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiggy Pop View Post
I think I may have put the drawing for the bed rails in the thread? I definitely have the drawings somewhere filed I can find them, they were professionally bent from 14ga steel - wicked over kill but I think I could park the dirt bike on top of them if I wanted too.. One of the tricks was bending a return where the bed rail met the body.

I think it was one of the engineers at work who thought of the drawer slides? Thank amazon for tracking my spending so closely:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All I've done in 2021 so far is fix rust on SAABs, let's throw a volvo truck in the mix. Good point on the second wagon, without that we would not have had the material for the tailgate and having the second set of d-pillars to stretch out to meet the side of the body was key.
There is a drawing in the thread - but no dimensions on the cross-section, unless I looked at it wrong. I think I would leave it closer to 16-18ga, I don't think I need that extra meat.



On the "D" pillars - I thought you were stretching the original skin to meet the side - so I am confused on the need for an additional skin - was the angle just not right?

Thanks for the link! Just to confirm 12" was the length? That's what it links to, but there are many to chose from.

Last edited by lookforjoe; 03-24-2021 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mikezohsix View Post
DO NOT BUY A CAR WITH ANY RUST IN THE UNIBODY.
Believe me, start with a good car.
FWIW, I'm Stiggy's dad, and was there for all of his conversion.

If you're really going to start this project you should spend a day and come see his truck, that will get your questions answered.

I think you may do better by finding a better car to start with, but that car is worth $400 for the wheels, and, we used two wagons to make his truck, so it's a ton of extra parts.
There is some rust, but nothing serious. Finding a no-ruast 30 year old Volvo on the East Coast sounds like an impossible task. I'm happy the panels are straight, undercarriage work is all hidden repair so doesn't need to be pretty.

Thanks for the offer - I might have to do that at some point, see it in the flesh. I'm probably not going to start cutting until late fall or next year, have to work on my house this summer, and need to finish my X1/9 build this Spring
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Old 03-24-2021, 10:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lookforjoe View Post
There is a drawing in the thread - but no dimensions on the cross-section, unless I looked at it wrong. I think I would leave it closer to 16-18ga, I don't think I need that extra meat.



On the "D" pillars - I thought you were stretching the original skin to meet the side - so I am confused on the need for an additional skin - was the angle just not right?

Thanks for the link! Just to confirm 12" was the length? That's what it links to, but there are many to chose from.
I have the real CAD somewhere that went to the shop, I'll see if it has the cross section. If not I literally touched a scrap piece of it yesterday when I was making pieces to fix my rusty SAAB. I still have bent pieces out back to finish boxing out the inside of the bed... it will happen!

Yeah so we cut the d-pillar on the green car and stretched it over ~.5" to weld it into the door/old c-pillar area. Then we sectioned the d-pillars from the silver car and skinned them over the whole thing to blend into the actual body line of the new quarter panel. Kinda confusing to type out..





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Old 03-25-2021, 12:34 AM   #15
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Does the sedan transition more smooth like, you can angle it however you want I believe.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:23 AM   #16
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Does the sedan transition more smooth like, you can angle it however you want I believe.
"more smooth" is just more rake, it's ugly imo.

Also, then you don't have a giant door in the back of the cab to swing open to a) show off and b) carry longer stuff.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:49 AM   #17
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"more smooth" is just more rake, it's ugly imo.

Also, then you don't have a giant door in the back of the cab to swing open to a) show off and b) carry longer stuff.
I'm with you on this - the sedan rear glass looks like ass on the online pics I found of 700/900 series chops I found. Your solution is vastly more elegant. I want to be able to carry sheets of plywood, etc.

I may still make mine a slightly shorter cab, and put in a pop-up glass sunroof. I did one of those in my wife's Fiat 500 last year - I'll have to check dimensions to see if there is one that is close to the factory opening. On the other hand, at your length, there could be a toolbox / storage built in behind the front seats in the rear footwell...

I'm going to have to find another tailgate, it seems..
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:18 AM   #18
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I have the real CAD somewhere that went to the shop, I'll see if it has the cross section. If not I literally touched a scrap piece of it yesterday when I was making pieces to fix my rusty SAAB. I still have bent pieces out back to finish boxing out the inside of the bed... it will happen!

Yeah so we cut the d-pillar on the green car and stretched it over ~.5" to weld it into the door/old c-pillar area. Then we sectioned the d-pillars from the silver car and skinned them over the whole thing to blend into the actual body line of the new quarter panel. Kinda confusing to type out..





The issue with the "D" pillar was getting the window channel all in alignment. We sectioned and stretched the green pillar to do that, then put the silver channel on to make the line to the bed extension. Details are on pg 2 of the build thread.

Don't go too light on the steel you're adding to the top of the bed as this becomes structural, otherwise you'll only be relying on the welds in the door to keep it from bending like an old ford truck. 14 ga. was what the shop used, so it's what we got, 16 may be ok.
Note that the huge box we created where the back seat was, not only created the bed floor, it became the torsion rigidity member. You're taking a ton of stiffness out of the car when you cut the roof off.

Last edited by mikezohsix; 03-26-2021 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mikezohsix View Post
The issue with the "D" pillar was getting the window channel all in alignment. We sectioned and stretched the green pillar to do that, then put the silver channel on to make the line to the bed extension. Details are on pg 2 of the build thread.

Don't go too light on the steel you're adding to the top of the bed as this becomes structural, otherwise you'll only be relying on the welds in the door to keep it from bending like an old ford truck. 14 ga. was what the shop used, so it's what we got, 16 may be ok.
Note that the huge box we created where the back seat was, not only created the bed floor, it became the torsion rigidity member. You're taking a ton of stiffness out of the car when you cut the roof off.
Thanks for the feedback. I have been looking more closely at the details of the D pillar fitment. I may not be able to get another parts wagon, so I'm considering ways to modify/pull that outer skin outward without resorting to an additional panel on top.

I'll stick with 16ga for the bed cap structure. All the floor metal was 14ga also? For the back seat area, I may not go full door opening - in which case I would look at making a new crossmember in the lower half - I had to do something similar with my X1/9 when I did the Drivetrain conversion

cardboard mockups





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Old 03-27-2021, 09:37 PM   #20
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Spent some time just cleaning up the mildew off the wagon, cleaning the motor, and decontaminating the interior. 216612K miles

Pickup conversion won't start until after I finish the siding work on the house - so prolly next year. Just taking care of all the mechanical repairs & +T until then.



want to use my old 964 leather wheel (EDIT - wrong shaft spline OD)



and the depot lights I had on my old 965 - I'll need to source the grille brackets and air guides tho....



bay is substantially cleaner - need to do some maintenance on the motor & leaking power steering, reattach the missing alt brackets, etc. - I hate working on grease covered motors. I just want to make sure it runs & can be moved/used as needed until then





Driver's door handle lever was snapped - I had a spare PS lever, so I stripped them both & transferred the base bracket & pivot



wagon still looks like ass, but at least it's not covered in mildew any more




Last edited by lookforjoe; 04-26-2021 at 10:00 PM..
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:50 PM   #21
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located another tailgate. Had to remove glass & chop it up ahead of time - won't fit in my C30 otherwise. I left enough meat to work the cap as per StiggyPop



After washing the bay, the engine wouldn't start. Turned out, washing it killed the coil. On the backside, the epoxy is all cracked, so obviously water got it. The used one I got has minor cracking, so I'll cut it back & re-epoxy the backside before moisture gets in.



Since I had the parts, I added cruise whilst I was under the dash adding vacuum line for the turbo gauge that will be going along with the +T in eventually. Had to dig around for the harnesses - it's been at least 15 years since I worked on a 700 series.

brain & pedal switch.



pump



stalk



vacuum



got a late wider rad & IC - not sure if this one fits.



turbo/manifold



some of the hoses



Used IPD bars set & crossmember brace


Last edited by lookforjoe; 03-31-2021 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:11 PM   #22
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Ordered a pair of Beige S2000 seats -



I have them in my X1/9, so I know the form factor worked for me, and they are leather, which is the only covering I am willing to live with.

Test fitting one from the X in the wagon. Just have to make some simple rails as the Honda seat sits inboard of the stock mount points. I'll probably adapt the Volvo rails, as otherwise it's a touch on the low side





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Old 04-04-2021, 09:31 PM   #23
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Going to cut the Honda rails & morph the seat frame with the Volvo setup. Will make my life much easier, this way I can set the seat height appropriately.



Honda rail centers in Volvo frame



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Old 04-10-2021, 09:04 AM   #24
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Seats arrived yesterday afternoon - have to give them a good saddle-soap cleanup & start on the seat rail mod



Color is not as warm as the Volvo seats, but closer to that of the bleaching that happens with the carpet, door panels & dash



I can't stand touching vinyl - so since I can't fit the 960 leather wheel I ordered a Momo wheel & hub same as the one I had in my V70 XC
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Old 04-11-2021, 08:26 PM   #25
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Worked on the seats today -pouring rain & cold, so couldn't work outside

chopped off a section of the stock seat frame



cut the rails off the Honda seat frames



Volvo seat frame is approx 6 inches to base of cushion, so I'm shooting for similar height



checking alignment of Volvo/Honda sections, this way I retain the Volvo side-impact protection





tacked the two together to check fit in the car



fits OK, no binding or uneven seating





Couldn't have set the upper seat frame any lower on the Volvo base - the seat belt wouldn't clear the back adjuster (all the nasties will be cleaned thoroughly before final assembly )



Seat pocket will fit to cover up the seat frame



Volvo frame has a double wall - so the inner skin will be welded to the Honda rail also



Driver's seat has the manual height adjuster, will need some work to modify the operating lever, set it underneath





DS frame tacked & test fit





Pocket will cover base



I'll modify the Honda cover to fit the seat back adjuster


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