Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!
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Author:  Fred [ Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Yes... so... the other day I posted this photochopped image after having an idea:


And since then I've been thinking, and I've been measuring, so it's time for a thread of lists and plans and so forth. Ideas, you might say.

And on with the show:

Width wise, 1400mm is enough for a queen, however queens are short, nearly as short as me. In north America, Canada and USA, you have a Queen Extra Long size, which would be ideal. This would fit between the pillars/door trim sideways, and snugly fit between the firewall and start of rear wheel arches right down low once the trans tunnel has been flattened. Ideal sleeping quarters with plenty of headroom, unlike a mattress in the rear of this as is, where you can't even sit up.

Front wise, a saber saw through the inner guards will shorten it considerably in no time at all. With the engine and trans gone, and the front cut off, it'll be a lot lighter already.

Once the front is cleared, a couple of hinge points for my existing A-frame will get welded underneath to the floor, and a pickup point welded to the firewall and attached to the middle of the A-frame, ie, about half of it sticking out the front of the new caravan body.

Weight savings will come in many forms. Things to remove:

  • Both front seats
  • Steeling column and controls
  • Rear seat bottom and top halves
  • Fans and heater core etc out of dash
  • ECU out of kick panel
  • Pedal cluster and brake booster etc.
  • Fuel tank, pumps, filters, lines, etc.
  • Seat belt mechanisms (good spares for the 740)
  • Tow bar as towing in a chain of 3 is illegal here, lol
  • Spare wheel and tools, no need for these anymore :-D

Later, to help balance the excess front axle overhang, a kitchenette could be built in the rear area, with a nice fold-up roof consisting of the normal rear door. This could house a battery, LPG bottle, water tank, small stove, small sink, work bench for cutting/preparing food, etc. All of this aft of the rear axle.

The handbrake can be retained, but relocated to the rear above the axle somewhere.

Phase one will be a bare minimum approach of stripping out easy/big/obvious things, and attaching the A-frame to the front with a jockey wheel. A WOF and registration can then be obtained, and the fun will ensue.

Phase two will be to cut the floor down and replace with something a lot flatter and more suitable for putting a mattress on.

Phase three will be to gut the diff mechanism and/or redo the rear suspension to be simpler, lighter, and not need so much space.

Phase three will be to pretty up the front end of the thing with some sort of paneling, painted to match the rest.

Phase four will be to build in the kitchenette and facilities to support it.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm excited about seeing this taking shape, and attached to the back of the 740 under tow, Volvo towing Volvo :-D

Comments welcome! :-)


Author:  Fred [ Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Construction Plans

Phase one is coming "soon", to a driveway near me. My original plan was to take it to em_knaps place to dice up, however then I'd have to bring all of the pieces of it back again. What a pain. Better to do it here and stow them immediately. So I need to refine the plans above into something more concrete so as to do this operation quickly and effectively.

  • Remove oil from transmission, engine, power steering, remaining coolant from engine, blended fuel from tank.
  • Remove entire exhaust system and all mounts for it, prepare to install in the 740.
  • Remove grill, radiator support, air con condenser, headlights, bonnet, guards, the bulk of the cosmetic stuff gone.
  • Remove ancillary parts such as battery, air boxes, and water bottles, etc until the engine bay is pretty bare.
  • Remove driveshaft, transmission, and rear cross member
  • Remove torque converter and reinstall in transmission.
  • Remove engine and mounts and attach to a stand.
  • Remove steering wheel, steering column, steering driveshaft thingy.
  • Remove power steering lines and steering rack
  • Remove front seats and seat belts and pedal box and blower fan
  • Remove kick panel and ECUs
  • Remove rear seats
  • Remove fuel lines and pump and filter and carrier for the latter
  • Remove fuel tank
  • Remove any remaining items from around the firewall and guard area such as wiring and so forth.
  • Jack up and place front of body on blocks
  • Remove front suspension, brakes, and cross member
  • Attach front section to crane and cut off using demolition blade on saber saw
  • Weld hinge points to the car as far back as possible.
  • Weld or bolt jockey wheel to firewall as centrally as possible or on the A-frame, perhaps (to allow it to be driven in front of a car)
  • Weld central brace to firewall and bracket to centre of A-frame, bolt together.
  • Profit :-D

Man, that's a lot of work, and I must have missed some stuff off of there!

Before I can do this I need to:

  1. Clean up and organise garage to make room for engines on stands and other parts
  2. Get rid of Millenia axles from slacker's house into newly created space

Then this can go ahead, which will be right on time, as the 740 WOF expires xmas day, and I need the exhaust from this caravan to get the 740 legal again. And brakes. And who knows what else.


Author:  Fred [ Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Construction Plans

I was image searching tonight and managed to find a couple of photos of my predecessors work out there! A couple of 240 wagon trailers in the UK, a 240 sedan trailer in the USA, and a shortened 7/940 wagon trailer. Nice.

If anyone knows who owns this first one, I'd be very keen to have a chat! Happy to call long distance at a convenient time.

Source: ... -swap-meet

Crashed 240 trailer:


Replacement 240 trailer:






Tiny pic of a 740 trailer:


EDIT: Found a better picture of the shortened 740 wagon trailer:


EDIT 2: Found an 850 photochopped version:


EDIT 3: Found a V70 towing a V70 trailer:


Looking forward to this! :-)


Author:  Fred [ Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Construction Plans

It's begun! :-D ... 7171295233 ... 6848499713



Author:  Fred [ Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Construction Plans

More progress: ... 4664506368 ... 8240813056 ... 5632627712 ... 8666524672

Likely won't have time for any more today. If I have any time, it'll be completing the brake swap on the 740 with the above parts.





Author:  Fred [ Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Project - Underway!

Renamed the thread appropriately! :-)

Really need to...

  • Take the exhaust off for the 740
  • Empty the fuel tank and remove it
  • Remove the fuel pump and filter assembly
  • Remove suspension arms and tidy up for the 740
  • Remove the struts and store somewhere

Not yet decided whether to pull the engine first, then trans, or trans first, then engine. Probably engine first is easier given how open a Volvo engine bay gets when you remove everything. Actually, what might be easiest would be to pull both as an assembly and separate once out! Hadn't considered that until now.

Then the subframe can come off, which just leaves the brake hydraulics, ABS unit, steerng column, seatbelts and other tidbits.

The front seats are unbolted and ready to remove.

The right guard, right headlight, bumper, bonnet and right front wheel are being left in place as decoys for the time being. From the right side, the side the neighbour sees... it looks like a car still, steering wheel and seats etc appear normal too. From the left side it's looking very bare indeed :-)

The brake line(s) that run to the rear will need to be capped (using Subaru nipple covers) to prevent crap getting in in case I decide to give it a draw bar of its own in future and use a braked coupling, quite likely if I can't get the weight down enough.

Getting the diff out and into the 740 for skids can wait for another day post WOFs for both this and the 740.


Author:  Fred [ Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Fred wrote:
Renamed the thread appropriately! :-)

Lies, I had missed out one important keyword! Now fixed. Zero progress today, but I did clear up the bits I tore off of it yesterday. And put some of them on the 740.

Author:  Fred [ Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Tonight I got home from work kinda late, so I wanted something easy and outdoors to do on a pleasant summer evening before the light faded and the mozzies swept in in bulk.

So I removed the front cross brace, 3 bolts and one nut, in turn discovering that the 740 had not had its chassis butchered (thought the stud was a mod/hack).

Then I removed one "strut bar" and fasteners, and loosened nuts on both ball joints, and removed the inner lower arm bolt.

Didn't smack the ball joints with a hammer/puller, as it was late enough to piss off the whinging POHM next door.

The strut bar turned out to be pre-urethaned at the front end, so I might just chuck those into the 740 for now, and do the 740 arms properly at my own leisure.

Two ball joints and the strut and hub can come out, well, almost, need a torx 35, which I do not have. Another ball joint, and some other fasteners, and hoses, and the rack can come out and go on the shelf.

Marked out where I'm going to slice and dice, too. Became pretty obvious with the inner guard liner removed and the seams visible.

Tomorrow night will be a team effort to remove the exhaust with luck. Or I'll hack on the suspension more? Not sure.

Bed calls. I've spent an hour plus writing this while burning time watching skid vids, sipping bubbly and chatting with people in flat sub sea level places.


Author:  Fred [ Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

A couple of interesting trailer conversions that are not caravans:


Friday night we undid a couple of awkward air con fittings on the firewall in the twilight, and not much else.

Author:  Fred [ Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Volvo 940 GLE Caravan Project - Underway!

Rack is now free at both ends. Also freed from the steering input shaft. Cross member cover plate is removed, too. Just needs plumbing removed and mounting bolts undone and it will drop out.

Right strut bar is out and laying next to the 740 on the ground waiting to go in. The only thing holding the right front wheel in place is some friction, a pre-loosened inner bolt, and a couple of chocks :-D Just a decoy now but the body is sitting on two wooden blocks anyway, so when it's ready to come out, out it comes!

Undid 3 engine mount nuts prematurely.

What's next?

1) Exhaust system removed and positioned for installation onto the 740.
2) Power steering plumbing, fluid, rack out on the ground and into the back for safe keeping.
3) Trans fluid drained and cooling lines disconnected/freed/blocked/repositioned ready for trans removal.
4) Driveshaft removed and moved out of the way, likely into the back of the thing.
5) Fuel pump(s), filter, lines removed and ready for reuse elsewhere - tank can wait as it requires some height to do easily.
6) Engine mounts unbolted from the subframe and subframe unbolted from the chassis (once weight taken on crane and engine ready to pull)
7) Engine out and onto a stand and into the garage
8) Struts out and into the back of it for storage, wheel chocked into place as decoy.
9) Subframe out and into the back of the thing
10) Brake master cylinder, booster, and lines removed/blocked/repositioned for later use.
11) Decoy parts removed and front chopped off
12) Brackets welded or bolted on for A-frame and jockey wheel

Success! :-D

Posting, then reviewing and editing the earlier post with big list for progress, then maybe amending this if I forgot something.


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