Here’s something a little out of the norm – a 1981 Volvo 245 DL wagon swapped with a 5.3L LM7 engine. This swapped Volvo 245 DL is the epitome of a sleeper – a clean body with no aesthetic updates besides a small drop and a set of wheels, while a big Chevy V8 sits under the hood. Even the whole interior remains factory.
It all started two years ago when LS1Tech forum member, Rogue Status, bought a 1987 Mazda RX7, a 5.3L LM7 engine, and components to add a single turbo, planning to build a drift/track car. He went through some lifestyle changes and made the executive decision to sell the Rx7 and the turbo components and swap his daily driver, a 1981 Volvo 245 DL. The plan behind the build was to have it done in three days so he wouldn’t be without a car come time to go to work on Monday. That time frame is quite ambitious, but can be done, provided everything has been strategically mapped out and there is minimal fabrication to be done.
He and a friend had worked almost two days straight before they got some sleep, but the engine was in the car with little left to do. Unfortunately, the three-day build came to a halt after two little crush washers were needed for the slave cylinder.
The engine was then promptly pulled out so he could add the washers. After that, all that there was left to do was wiring for the fuel system, plumbing for the radiator, and clearance for the driveshaft. All said and done, Rogue Status pulled off this build in just over a week, which is awesome for the amount of work and troubleshooting put into it.
his build thread for updates. Maybe it will persuade you to take on a build like this – we sure wouldn’t mind a Swedish sleeper wagon at all!He plans to add a cam, switch up the gearing, and add power steering in the near future, so check out