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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Volvo Rear Axle

Somebody (Bill Guzman?) mentioned a few months ago the idea of using a late model Volvo 740(?) station wagon rear axle. Has disc brakes and 3.31 ratio. Any details on this? What year, is width correct or needs narrowing, wheel bolt pattern same as MG, etc.
Also, where's the best source for a panhard rod to fit otherwise stock MGB rear. TIA, AD
Art Dodge

The Volvo axle that looks best is the 1980's 240 unit from a manual trans, non-turbo car. Those had the 3.31 ratio. There should be a tag on the forward edge of the axle tube on the left side with the ratio. The axle will be about 3-inches wider than the MGB, but others have solved this with wheel offset adjustment (I'd talk to wheel/suspension experts before trying this). Bolt pattern is 5X 108mm and will have to be redrilled for the B wheels. (4X 4.5inch). I don't know anything about 740-series cars, except I'm pretty sure that 90% of them are automatics with 3.73 or 3.91 ratio, and they look wider than the 240. Panhard rods are available from Doug Jackson - go to
Bob Wilson

Art, Bob is correct. The 740 is wider 56/57 inches wide Vs the MG 52" for disc and 51" for wires. The 240 is 55" I prefer the 740 due to the gear ratio for a V6 and 5 speed 3:73 is just right with 23" dia. tires.

The 240 as Bob estated they come with 3:31 which is perfect for a V8 with 23/24" dia tires. some of this axles came with posi traction. Also the postal Jeep 2 wheel rear axle is 51" a perfect swap and they all came with posi traction, I personally have not use this unit.
For cost savings, the stock MG axle is plenty strong for a V6 with 5 speed and 23" tires the engine will rev 2700 rpm at 70 mph. with a 3:73 2450 rpm.
The cost to narrow a volvo rear end is about $80/100 for the housing, about the same for the axles plus $50 for drilling for the bolt pattern, and about 30 for the spring pads.
The savings with the 240 is that it comes with the axle ratio and possibly with a posi traction unit.
Also the brake bias need to be adjusted after the swap.
Don't overlook the GM or Ford axles if you can afford the gears etc..
Art why do you think you need a panhard rod?
If you really need one, they cost $250 for good quality rod.
r/ Bill

Bill Guzman

Bill, how could a Volvo rear come with a posi?!? I didn't think the typical Brie-eatin', sheepdog-pettin' Volvo driver would really covet this feature!!!

Also, I would have guessed that the Ford rears were dirt cheap, no? You imply they are costly ... any idea as to the basic price? I ask because I want one! You of course have to have 'em narrowed, but they're stronger and lighter than the B or C setup and I would guess posi setups for 'em are widely available.

BTW, speaking of rear ends, if anyone has any info on the Trevor Taylor setup (front or rear), could they post it? It looks _sweeeeeet_. I thought coil-overs had a limited life expectancy, though -- sort of a racing-specific item. And where do you get parts if Trevor goes out of business, etc.? Has anyone ever put this setup through its paces? Will it withstand the output of a honkin' V8 being blasted through it?

Why would you think that a Volvo driver doesn't need LSD or Posi traction. If you look at the European Road Race competition you will see that the Volvo is on the frontline with all the other good racing cars like Audi, BMW, Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall !
Personnally I drove a Volvo 122S with 2 double webers 40DCOE in the 60's and was very competitive.
I am working on a Volvo rear end with gear ratio 3.31/1 to fit under my "B" V8. It will have vented rear rotors from a Porsche and Wilwood calipers. I did this set up in the front and it drives very good. Even could fit Bridgestone 215/15 tires on 15x7 rims without having to modify the "B" fenders! I can e-mail you some pictures if you are interested.
Don't underestimate the Volvo technology. After all it's a Dana rear end !
Werner Van Clapdurp

Werner have not heard from you in while. Let me know about the spacer for the front brakes.

Harry, your question was answer by Wermer on the Volvo rear axle.
First need to be more specific about which Ford rear end you are refering to. The cheapest is the 8" cost is about $150 narrow housing $80/100 new axles $140 plus (Old axles are taper) Re-drill for bolt pattern $40 and another $40 for the drums Total $450 could be done cheaper about $375.00 plus brakes. Can find with 3:55 gears Posi traction unit $280/350 used about $150/175 Unless you find one with a posi unit.
8.8" about the same plus. Depends on initial purchase of axle.
9" Add another $100/200. Dirt cheap is relative on the size of your wallet.
GM. 10 Bolt about $100 cheaper GM 12 bolt about the same as the 8.8" Ford Cost depends on initial purchase, the avg. cost here in Ca. for a axle is about $75 to 200 it all depends who is selling and condition.

Don't forget the cost of the drive shaft $150.00 Balance with new "u" joints.
Trevor's IRS set up was tested against a RV8 and a stock V8GT Trevors car aoutperform them. an article was done in the UK and should be out soon. His set up is plenty strong and well design, I am going to use it in my GT Ford V8. coil over springs come in different flavors and $$$$ for the street I would recommned Carrera or Monroe's Adjustability of car high and spring rate is a piece of cake.

If you have any questions about the IRS e-mail Trevor.
And if anybody in Ca. are interested he will be visiting at the end of July.

r/Bill G.

Bill Guzman

Forgot to tell you Harry, Trevor's car is a well built Rover V8 with lots of torque. They went thru a set of tires when tested.
r/ Bill
Bill Guzman

Trevors IRS suspension test results wiil be feutured in MG World in the UK. This magazine is available at Borders and Barnes and Noblesbook stores here in the US. The suspension will also be on display at the MGOC show this weekend in the UK. For those in the UK Check it out.

r/ Bill
Bill Guzman

If you consider using a Ford rear end I purchased
most of my brackets, panhard bars and components from the following two sources. Once you start down the path these race parts will be of interest. I changed the entire front end to coil over shocks and Ford spindle components. The prices are very low.

Left Hander Chassis
phone: 815-389-9999
fax: 800-779-6461

Coleman Racing Products
phone: 906-863-7883
fax: 906-863-7027

R. Bardsley

Thanks, Rand,
Which ford rear axle are you using? What brackets, etc., did you need to install it? Is yours a street car? If so, are you using the e-brake and how did you adapt linkage. Did you have to change service brake bias due to the larger ford rear brakes? Change master cylinder in order to feed larger rear pistons (I don't know if this question is BS, but it occurred to me.) I know you're not obliged to waste your time answering all these questions about things that took your sweat to figure out but I do appreciate anything you feel like saying.
Generally, is the mid-eighties 5 liter Mustang GT rear the one to look for? Did all GT's have LSD?

Regards, AD
Art Dodge

Art, look at thread WTW ford axle advice.

If you need any help e- mail

Bill G.

This thread was discussed between 20/06/2000 and 23/06/2000

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