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-   -   DET17's "Project cheap thrills" - '92 944T (https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=257991)

DET17 05-04-2012 01:02 PM

DET17's "Project cheap thrills" - '92 944T
Well it's about time to document the long strange trip I've been on. My Volvo story begins with myself as the "care giver" for my Daughters 91 244, that she tried every way possible to kill. Being a SAAB guy at that time, I was taken with how well the Volvo was built, how rugged, definitely better executed than the SAAB's that I was nursing along. Late in 2009 I found a clean 89 245 and began the transformation from SAABs to the Volvo RWD's. Getting up to speed on Bricks, I began surfing TB and the BB to learn what I could about these tractor like vehicles. As I was planning the basis of a +T conversion for the 245, I stumbled upon this forlorn 940Turbo for sale on the local CL. The seller knew it had issues, didn't know the specifics...his daughter overheated it, and it was now rendered gutless only able to run 40 MPH max. He was asking $1000, as the paint was good and the body still decent for an 18 year old car. This is how I found it:


complete with a healthy dose of pine needles from it's nearly yearlong slumber:


Well based on my auto experience, I was pretty sure it had a blown HG. Car was showing around 190K on the clock, was a lifetime southern car (no rust). Heck, it probably just needed a freshened up head, a new head gasket, ;-) and hence "Project Cheap Thrills" was born. I was able to beat the seller down to $600, but no lower. The engine was so anemic we couldn't even DRIVE it up onto the U-haul dolly, had to get his sons to help push it on.

Once I got it home, I had to clean off the grime and see exactly what I had beneath the pine needles and pine sap.....it cleaned up pretty good for it's years I thought:



Interior was decent, with the driver seat leather of course shot:


This purchase was made in March 2010. Based on what I had gleaned off the Brick forums, I felt that for a reasonably "cheap investment" I could restore this turbo to operation, then sprinkle some gently used suspension parts, performance parts, and then badda-bing, badda-boom, have a comfortable DD with a 200+ HP drivetrain. Sounds simple enough, right? I love this plan!

Early in my engineering career, I learned this wisdom; the 5 steps or "phases" of every project that anyone, anywhere on Earth, will ever do:

1. Enthusiasm :-D
2. Disillusionment :wtf:
3. Search for the guilty :grrr:
4. Persecution of the innocent
5. Praise and promotion of the non-participants

Step 1 now complete, we enter directly into Step 2....the drivetrain.

DET17 05-04-2012 05:12 PM

Now then begins the disillusionment, or as the legal folks call it, "the discovery phase". How bad is it? What lurks within this disfunctional beast? So I begin to peel this onion, to find out if my suspicion is correct....and hope that's ALL that is wrong.

So around May of 2010, we begin like this:


and after what felt like one VERY long weekend, we have revealed the short (red) block:


I was correct! What is undoubtedly the worst failed HG that I've ever seen (probably the original Elring with 190K on it:


Well as you can see by looking in the coolant passages, the head/block look to have been pretty neglected (see crud, caked in the passages). The gasket surface of the head was actually pitted really bad, and I guessed it was junk anyway from the overheating. Fortunately, local TBer MikeSr. hooked me up with a clean 530 head which had been hot tanked and checked for cracks, a clean core. I hooked up FCP Groton with some $ and purchased new springs, retainers, seals, had the head cleanup cut .010" and all valves lapped with a 3 angle valve job. That totaled out around $300 for the head, parts, and machine shop costs. The finished rebuild 530 head looks pretty nice:


I learned years ago in the SAAB wars, fix everything, renew all seals, whilst you are in there....otherwise you will surely develop a serious leak several months downstream of the head rebuild. Buy the seal kit for camshaft, intermediate shaft, and crank snout. Here's a trick I picked up from the SAAB boys on seal pulling with drywall screws:


After some careful measures, I find a 50mm x 3/4" drive socket is the perfect tool (when you don't own the Volvo tool) to install crank seals. Everybody has that socket in their set, don't they? The crank center bolt pulls it into position:


Been reading about these COMETIC MLS head gaskets, tight squish for power and economy, sounds too good to be true? Well the block deck has got to be clean and a good quality finish, so I've wet sanded the deck top using a machined steel plate (flat) and some 400 Grit, then 800 grit wet paper:


Get a COMETIC on order from RSI, and while I'm waiting, I go back and check something odd....when I installed the front crank seal, the crank moved....a lot....more than I was expecting. I check my old Bentley, and I should have axial crank play of .004"-.008" or so....instead I measure .084". WHATTTTTTT?


Holy crap. We are completely now into Project Step #2, disillusionment.

slow240 05-04-2012 08:22 PM

with the engine out....

edit, you might be able to get away with some fresh thrust bearings and be good to go.

keep it cheap, check your main bearings, replace the thrust bearings and throw it back it :cool:

DNAsEqUeNcE 05-04-2012 09:39 PM


what part of GA are you in? i moved to middle georgia..

DET17 05-07-2012 04:57 PM

I'm located at the approx. dead center between Atlanta & Chattanooga....NW Georgia! :-P

The previous pic of the dial indicator (flash washed out the gauge reading) showed the .084" of axial slop. I'd been in discussions with Mr. Stealth himself about this rebuild...and it was agreed that the redblock had to come out for an inspection and root cause. This was the ugly truth:


On the way to removing the engine and trans, I discovered that all the bolts on the AW71 were rounded off.....someone had definitely been in there which fueled my suspicions of the cause (while the engine had never been out, all original). Once all was removed and the engine was on the stand, it was clear to see that the #5 bearing thrust surface had eaten a good bit of the thrust surface of the crankshaft up! My suspicions are that whomever "hacked" the repair job on the AW71, either reassembled the stack of parts in the wrong order, or else possibly didn't have the converter/pump drive dogs engaged properly, and just GORILLA assembled until they pulled it all together. Their mistake resulted in a huge axial load on the end of the crank, and the resulting crank wear took place. It's just amazing to me that the blasted thing still ran! Additional discussions with Mr. Stealth illuminated me to the fact that the NON-squirter block B230FT (which this 92 was) were very prone to "belling the block" in the piston bores. Therefore my less than desirable B230FT, with trashed crank and likely in need or an overbore (the pistons did exhibit a lot of "rock" in the bores when I was cleaning the block deck) was not looking good. What to do?

Then, as if on cue, something appeared on the local CL...............


A 1994 945 Turbo, rearended and totalled, with only 126K miles on the clock! The drivetrain seemed strong, the car and it's squirter B230FT were unmolested, and the AW71 shifted crisp. All I needed was another $600 for this "donor car" and we were on the way to healing "Project cheap thrills". Under the hood the wagon was a bone stocker. As it would turn out, this 945 would donate the entire drivetrain....from radiator to rear axle, to my 92 940T. However, the "cheap" part of the inital concept was quickly fading into the rear view mirror. Underhood, pretty clean I thought; car originated in NYC and had some rust in the seams here and there, but the "organs" were what I wanted:


Seller was a high school kid, who had just bought a large pile of IPD suspension parts, and then he was rear ended by a PT Cruiser no less, resulting in the car being totalled. His buddy customized the valve cover and the airbox cover, with what looked like a bottle of white out....how cool is that? Well another $600 into this low budget build, another U-haul dolly run, and now I've got 2 dead Volvos.

DET17 05-09-2012 01:14 PM

Into the valley of death, rode the six hundred.....
Deeper into the project we go. Without all of the gory pics, the 945T wagon is filleted out down to the basic rolling shell. To those who are contemplating such work, be advised that this task is not for the faint of heart. I probably had 4 weeks total in the complete disassy, and that was every weekend and a good 3 of 5 weeknights per week. Power tools help the effort.....I already had a 400 lb.ft. impact wrench, and bought an air ratchet (3/8" drive) to help with all the small stuff to save the many, many things which need unscrewed and disassembled. I pulled the saleable interior, doors, trim, dash, electronics, of course the complete drivetrain (front wheel bearings, all the way to the rear axle). Someday I will sell off the wagon doors/hatch & interior parts, and hopefully I recover most of my donor vehicle costs.....we shall see.

When the dust settled, and old '94 wagon carcass had been hauled off, I had the heart of the beast on the workshop floor, ready for upgrades & "freshening up" before going back into the 92 940T:



Well all of the grime as well as the ridiculous valve cover had to go, but first I separated the elements, cleaned everything up with Kerosene and that nasty "orange citrus" crap (I prefer the smell of Kero anyday, but that's me). The squirter block went onto the stand and the AW71 went onto my dryer workbench (a dead dryer makes a nice tranny rebuild stand, height is good, and the tops of most even have a lip to catch the inevitable oil slick). With all the organs staged for the transplant into Project Cheap Thrills, I decided to tackle the suspension.

It struck me that the perfect time to upgrade the '92 suspension was with a vehicle purged of the drivetrain. You can stand in the engine bay, straddle the crossmember, and upgrade the struts, springs, adjust the upper strut mounts without an engine in your way.

With a lot of scrounging and TB sales (check my buyer feedback), I scored the IPD sport springs, IPD 25mm sways, and adjustable IPD rear panhard with new poly bushings. In a separate purchase, I bought some low miles Zimmerman vented rotors, and then added a new stainless brake line kit from FCP Groton. I wanted upgraded suspension and new binders all around, as well as upgrading to stainless lines and retiring the almost 20 year old rubber. The completed back setup looks like so:


I've got no pics for proof, but the rear axle needed re-centered after lowering with the IPD sport springs. I set the car down on ramps so the weight was fully on the springs, gave it a couple good "bounces", then used the adjustment to center it as close as possible so the same measured gap exists between the Hydra rim lip, and the steel inner fender lips. As I recall,you can only make adjustments of a half turn increment with the adjustable threaded Panhard, but you can get it pretty damned close (within a couple mm side to side). After the brakes were all power flushed, the rear axle was done and the 16" Hydras & rubber were reinstalled. Next, the front suspension.

DET17 05-11-2012 01:33 PM

More suspension upgrades & history. Found one more pic. of the rear setup, more of a top down angle. The IPD Panhard came from Nova Scotia, and the rear IPD springs from Vancouver..."Oh Canada" from coast to coast. You can just see the adjustable thread of the IPD Panhard just visible in the back of this picture:


Alright then, proceeding directly into the front suspension. I didn't see the need for coilovers/adjustables up front, considering this vehicle will be my DD, I felt that the "conventional upgrades" for the front would be enough at this stage. Everybody has to have IPD 25mm sways, right? These came from the desert of AZ :


Some more Kerosene, and they cleaned up just fine. The poly was still supple and fresh feeling, even with desert heat....good stuff. I'll run the 25mm rear bar for a while, but likely will test switching back to the factory rear bar (maybe a 21/22?) as I know some have complained the rear will misbehave and not articulate like it should with that big rear bar.

Well out with the dead factory struts, and in with some FCP Groton Bilstein HD's. It's hard to beat their prices when they have those 15% off sales. Here is a pic of the installation using the Bilstein factory spanner which is stamped for torque of 140 Nm :


You can see the strut tube will fit nicely inside the "pipe jaws" within your basic old school Craftsman vice, and the 1/2 drive torque wrench has no problem applying the required torque. I also put some blue Loctite on the nut, as I've read about some guys here having the nut unscrew after driving awhile on these. A picture showing the specific spanner tool you can buy from Bilstein; I found an office on the west coast that had this in their stock, shipped to my door for right around $10. Nothing puts a smile on my face like a special tool, for a tricky task. Here's the tool (part# MS 08/6, so it says) from Bilstein:


Once assembled, here is what the 9 series strut tube looks like. I seem to recall a bump stop which was used on the factory struts, is no longer needed with the Bils HD units :


Well you gotta have springs....I bought these new from IPD to match the used rears that came from BC. Cameron hooked me up with the TB discount....don't be afraid to ask ;-)
You can see there is quite a bit of difference between the stock Gpa height factory front springs and the IPD sport springs:


While removing the stock fronts requires a pair of spring compressors (you can "rent" for nothing from the Advance Auto & similar stores), one on each side of the front spring. I had to insert some 1" long pipe couplings to install between the washers and their hex drive point in order to get enough compression AND to keep those long compression studs from driving into the strut tower sheet metal. Those with a death wish I suppose could just cut the springs in half :wtf:....but I'm too old for that. I do recall that the reinstall with the short & stiff IPD springs requires nothing more than a floor jack to raise them into position.

Edit: found a couple pics of the front suspension installed, so here we go, the overall front shot:


Another close up of the front work, showing the FCP SS braided brake hoses, new sway end links with blue poly, and the IPD "stay bushing" (the cone bushings) installed, torqued to the 70 lb.ft. as recommended by IPD. This is supposedly the only real wear bushing in the front system; the others wear like iron and rarely need replacement, according to the BrickBoard 7/9 Maint. pages.


slow240 05-11-2012 05:35 PM

another old trick is to leave the car on the ground, zip off the strut nuts with a pneumatic impact gun, then slowly jack the car up, the springs will decompress and you should be able to remove them by hand.

a lot easier than trying to work with those spring compressors, btdt.

looks good so far! keep up the good work, i cant wait to see the finished product

DET17 05-11-2012 09:59 PM


Originally Posted by slow240 (Post 4170028)
looks good so far! keep up the good work, i cant wait to see the finished product

Well, Lord willing and if the creek don't rise, I should have it running by the SE Meet! I'll have to do the G80 "poor mans posi" modification and see what the 92 will do in the 1/4. Should be fun, and I hope to be surprised (going in with low expectations :lol:).

propav8r 05-13-2012 01:03 AM

Cool project! Looks mighty clean.

If you make it to SE, I'll look forward to meeting you there. If not, I'll swing down that way from WCU sometime next year to see some family in Atlanta. Keep up the good work!

Did you ever put that crank to good use?

DET17 05-13-2012 07:26 AM


Originally Posted by propav8r (Post 4171514)
Cool project! Looks mighty clean.

If you make it to SE, I'll look forward to meeting you there. If not, I'll swing down that way from WCU sometime next year to see some family in Atlanta. Keep up the good work!

Did you ever put that crank to good use?

Thanks....I suffer from OCD, and while I don't get it done fast, I try and do the best work I can. My 84 242 is currently in slumber mode, waiting for a realistic project start in 2013. The 84 has a B23 NA, and I'm told by reliable sources that those last B23's have cast cranks. Your old forged crank will likely get turned .010" under and go into that block......for a "future" project.

propav8r 05-13-2012 10:49 AM

Awesome. Glad to see it living on. My girlfriend wants to make an herb garden out of the old B21 block :lol: It's so tired and worn out it'll never be good for anything again. I sure hope that crank checks out okay.

Edit// I dunno who rated this one star, but they're an ass. I rated it 5 and brought it up a little.

DET17 05-13-2012 09:34 PM

Continuing onward with the front suspension upgrades. These cars are notorious for eating front outside shoulder rubber, so Volvo (along with performance enthusiasts....i.e. TB folks), created the CAMBER modification. This pic shows the finished upper strut supports, i.e. the "top hats" as some call them:


The writeup I put together along with a detailed pictorial is here:


Once I get the car running, I will put my FASTRAX alignment jig on the car, full loaded at ride height, and confirm what actual camber was achieved. The target was -1.0 degree.....again, we shall see what is achieved, and I can make a final adjustment to try and equalize the camber.

Another 7/9 improvement (if you believe IPD) is the lower chassis brace. Found this one on the west coast, NorCal, and relocated it to Georgia:



This lower brace from IPD is a straight bolt on. You will need to run a tap thru the welded nuts provided by Volvo at the rear stay attachment points (they will be full of rustproofing, or worse), and you also need longer bolts to attach the front two connection points up to the front crossmember. You might notice you don't even see the bolt heads in the picture, as this was a fit check and just located overtop the stock bolts. I used the nickel plated "hardened washers" that you can buy at Lowes...trying to avoid the soft washers which bend under load. The hardened ones just crack into 2 halves and fall out :-P particularly if you OVER tighten them. YMMV. The holes provided by IPD are seriously oversized, and some I believe have made spacers to install (or welded them shut) to get rid of the slop. I'm leaving that task for the future when my Miller welder is up & running :).

Last for this round of front suspension. My thanks to Magnum TE for directing me to the 960 front crossmember braces. Toby claims these made more improvement than the IPD lower chassis brace; I won't have any incremental testing to verify that, but the price is right and they are available from your friendly Volvo parts dealer (P/N 9178665 & 9178666, priced at $18.41 each + shipping). Now a couple pics to show these braces installed....the pass. side is a straight bolt on, but on my 92 the drivers side required some grinding to clear the power steering metal lines as they slightly interfered with this brace. They are factory galvanized steel, so should last the life of CheapThrills for sure. Here are the pics:



I've got another rear suspension goodie which I bought from Nathan, but I won't install that guy until after the beast is running and perhaps until my future G80 "poor man's LSD" modification.

DET17 05-25-2012 02:29 PM

Well with the suspension pretty well sorted out to match my goals for the car, it was time to refresh the redblock from the 94 Wagon that I had filleted out. This of course a squirter block, with only 128K miles on it and an AW71 behind it, I was hopeful that it had minimal wear and would withstand some power upgrades according to the redblock legend. We begin, as always, with cleaning the grime off of the shortblock. I decided to simply put seals in both ends of the crank, replace the crankcase breather assembly, and basically keep the shortblock a stocker for my mid 200's power goals.

Cleaning up the old 94 block:




I had decided previously to run a COMETIC MLS gasket on this engine, for the benefits of "tight squish" as TF calls it, or tight quench as it is known elsewhere. Potential knock resistance, power benefits, possibly enabling lower octane to run in the turbo engine, all too tempting to leave on the table. After more discussions with Mr. Stealth, I had to get my block deck nice and clean, so out comes wet sanding paper (400 & 800 I believe) along with my flat steel plate, and a block deck clean up is completed:


Then bring out my Starrett dial indicator & magnetic base to find out how much piston we have above the deck surfaces. First we zero the indicator, then slide over onto the piston #2:



As you can see, the #2 piston is .010" above the deck. The rest were all similar, .009"~.011"; here is #4 and #3:


and here #2 and #1:


Based upon these readings, I could not get comfortable with the normally spec'd MLS of .036", so I decided to purchase the .040" so my pistons would have a little breathing room at 6K RPM. Well I got RSI back on the phone and ordered the desired gasket. Here it hangs after application of the secret spray; lightly coated, not a complete "full color" coating of spray (which is too much, ask me how I know):


Here is the gasket prep. spray which is recommended by Mr. Stealth when using the COMETIC gaskets. While COMETIC won't put it in writing, during his conversations with them, they have approved the usage. Again, a "light coating" is what you want, or the excess with extrude off the gasket into every port it can reach during head torquing. Here is enough for 2+ MLS gaskets:


While the block requires a good cleanup, I'm told it is more important to get the aluminum head surfaces as smooth as reasonably possible (due to the amount of movement of the aluminum head on the iron block). I used the same ground steel plate (it's flat; thick piece of glass works as well) with a series of wet sand paper; seems it was 800, then 1200 grit wet paper. My head was resurfaced for flatness previously, cut down .010". Here are some close-up pics showing my finished product, prior to assembly and torquing the MLS Cometic gasket:




Now place that COMETIC upon the redblock, carefully then place your prepped head, and follow the standard Volvo procedure for torquing the head. I took TF's advice, made the last pull of torque readings (prior to the angle torque), then left my head & engine to sit overnight, and checked it again the next day to ensure nothing was creeping. All were AOK, clicking off my wrench without any further bolt stretch.


Now with my head torqued, I wanted to fitcheck my 90+ exhaust manifold and Garrett T3. My 94 (and also the 92) came factory with the Mitsu's, but I had picked up a low hours T3 from a local TB'er, who had previously just had it overhauled by Tryingbe in AZ. This unit has the .48 A/R Turbine, water cooled CHRA, and had been upsized with the .52 A/R compressor. Loosely bolted up, it fits just fine. I planned to buy a new oil feed line kit, since nothing from the Mitsu's would fit my Garrett. A couple pics of the fit check of the Garrett:




I was concerned since the Garretts were not used on the later 9 series cars, that there might be an interference with the oil filter/cooler assembly; I THINK the T3's were last used on 7 series cars, and all of those still had air cooled remote oil coolers. Measure twice, cut once....the fit check showed no issues or interferences. Next step.....port the 90+ exhaust manifold to maximize the flow into my T3.

Roy 940 05-25-2012 06:47 PM

Nice engine and turbo...!

DET17 05-28-2012 06:51 PM

With the (red)shortblock on the engine stand, freshly sealed & cleaned up, it was time to port out my 90+ exhaust manifold, non-EGR version. There was only a tiny crack in the bottom of the collector area, nothing worth grinding & welding. How far to port? I was advised to make sure there was about a 1mm "step out" into the inlet of the T3, always slightly larger in the flow direction. I measured my turbine inlet:


The 56mm x 44mm opening would be reduced a bit as the target for the 90+ exhaust manifold. Here is my layout of the virgin cast iron prior to porting:


As you can see, I reduced approx. 1mm off the width and height of the inlet to retain a small step out; this is believed to prevent reversion between exhaust pulses. The inlets to each runner were scribed with a factory gasket; if you look closely at #1 and #4, you can see the faint scribe lines if you look closely:



I was warned by those who have ported these iron manifolds, that it makes a helluva mess. I took mine outside on the back deck, and drove the neighborhood dogs nuts with the high RPM die grinder. Wear a long sleeved shirt you can either trash, or don't care if it rusts in the washer; I used a face shield to make sure the flying iron (30K RPM die grinder) did not get me. Here you can see a progression of pics of the porting work:




Now that I've ported out all the inlets to the 90+, it is time to port the collector. I don't have in-process shots, but these finished pics show the results:




With the 90+ exhaust manifold ported out, I wrapped both of the long runners with header tape to keep as much of the heat in the flow, and to hopefully reduce boiling my suction line returning to the waterpump, as well as my oil feed line for the T3. Speaking of oil feed, let's get that line figured out and installed. None of the MITSU lines would work, supply nor return. I found this KINUGAWA Turbo teflon line kit for the Garrett T3 on fleaBay. The company reps. told me they could customize a supply kit for very littlecoin....banjo fitting all the way to the T3 supply line. Actually it seems like good quality for fit & finish of the supply line kit. This is a -4 size line kit:



I fit checked the turbo oil supply line, trying to go low and get as far away from the turbo exhaust heat to protect the oil & the teflon hose. I didn't like this low route as it put too much kink in my line right at the banjo fitting:


So I rerouted upward, trying to hide the oil feed behind the water suction pipe going to the water pump; less KINK in the teflon -4 line and hopefully protection from the turbo heat:



This done, I installed the exhaust manifold with new factory gaskets, new locknuts, and torqued it all to specs. As you will see later, I used the sheet metal guards to protect plug wires 1 thru 3 from the manifold heat.

DET17 06-12-2012 05:18 PM

Continuing with the Garrett T3 Turbo; like every wastegate port area of the T3 turbine, my port had the small crack in it. I used a fine tip drill point to drill an "ending point" of the crack, hopefully stopping the crack from migrating out to the edge. You can see the drill point location here:


My 5 bolt wastegate housing (Ford/Volvo style) just needed some new studs for the 9 series 2 5/8" downpipe, which I decided to run for starters (future plans to convert to the ATP Ultimate Wastegate and a true 3" downpipe, but for now we stay with the stocker).
The new head pipe studs, installed with red Loctite (which won't hold at Turbo temps, but the strongest I've got):


With the WG crack and housing taken care of, it is time to pipe the T3 oil return line. I purchased a -10 hose oil drain kit (rated for 450F), generic T3 mounting flange for the drain hose to attach at the T3. The connection to my turbo block was the problem.....the factory Mitsu steel tubing drain won't work, and I don't want to chop the end of it off and bolt a hose onto the tube (no proper support for the drain tube & seal sleeve in the block), so I went another route. This is when it pays to have a buddy who is a machinist :cool: I tossed a few ideas at him, and the dims. of the drain hole machined into the B230FT block....and he came up with this:



and here is his custom machined masterpiece....-10AN hose barb to M26x1.5 thread male:


Finally installed with some Permatex to ensure the threaded joint won't weep oil:


I had some nice pics of the assembled drain hose from T3 to block drain connector, but somehow deleted them....:oops: If I find them, I'll add to this build thread.

Found 'em! Damn temporary pic directory.....here is the completed oil drain line:


My T3 WG rod was super close to the drain, so I had to buy this 45* steel NPT fitting; close nipple installed with Permatex into the aluminum T3 drain flange, and the drain hose kit came with the 1/2 NPT x -10 hose barb. I only have 1mm of clearance on the WG rod, with my T3 at the proper angle according to the Garrett tech. recommendations:


One more drain hose detail; per Garrett, you must have "continuous fall" on your line, so that the oil won't accumulate/coke in the lines. I'm going to run 2K miles with Delo 15W40 Diesel oil, then convert to Mobil 1....but I still followed their recs. Take care when you cut your drain hose! You can see the spiral of the drain best here:


Chris_R 06-12-2012 05:41 PM

That drain is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of, minus the "friend who's a machinist" bit.
Not really required for my setup, but that hard pipe is a bitch to fit.

doucheNozzle 06-12-2012 06:13 PM

This is how every TBer should be basing their project. Do it right the first time!

amerbritcan 06-12-2012 06:19 PM


Originally Posted by scottyd (Post 4207772)
This is how every TBer should be basing their project. Do it right the first time!

pretty much exactly what I was thinking.

doucheNozzle 06-12-2012 06:22 PM

I'm very impressed. It'll be a fantastic DD for you. But yes, you'll want to drop that rear bar.

YellowT5-r 06-12-2012 08:26 PM

Outstanding attention to detail improving little things like cheesy factory oil drain, etc. Also, very well executed preemptive strikes like crack drilling and Hylomar. I still remember how many studs and nuts my poor old 13c shed after I thought I was being Mr Clever Maintainer and replaced them all with "premium" aftermarket. Word to the wise....it's the OEM ones, or they're a PITA no matter what you slather em in.

DET17 06-13-2012 06:55 AM

Thanks all for the kind words. I'm an OCD Engineer, so I can only do it this way! My wife just shakes her head....and I tell her to take pity on me, I can't help it! I read builds on TB for a good year before I decided what to I wanted to do with this DD, so a good bit of "due diligence" prior to the execution. Actually this thread is behind the actual status....just need to install bumpers and a taillight, and the beast goes into service next week. It will be nice to park & sell my last SAAB DD and officially start the brick ride. ;-)

Roy 940 06-13-2012 07:03 AM

Very nice job! I like a lot this kind of job quality...!

DET17 06-15-2012 01:40 PM

Onward with engine assembly. My 90+ was wrapped on the long runners with header tape, to keep the heat inside for the T3 to benefit from. This pic shows the final installation of the 90+, once the turbo feed and drains were finished, I went ahead and installed the metal locknuts (don't even think about using plastic locknuts here!), both on the exhaust mani and the T3 downpipe flange as well. Here also, the Bosch distributor cap & rotor is installed, along with new O-rings, to keep the oil in the head where it belongs:


I purchased & installed the IPD Turbo cam for this engine; used Dale's gear with an advance setting of 6*, but with my .010" head clean-up machining, I realistically ended up with 4* of advance. I've not run one of these before, but IPD feedback says the advancing of the cam will recover some of the lost bottom end, and won't hurt the 3K plus performance. While I did not detail the installation of the cam (plenty of coverage on TB), here is a "must have" as far as I am concerned:


Everyone who is hot rodding one of these redblocks, and shimming an aftermarket/stock cam, can benefit greatly from this shim kit from IPD. For the fee of the shipping both directions, and pay for "what you use" shims, this is a deal that can't be beat! I tried to shim my IPD cam with a compilation of 3 old engines worth of shims....found that at most I had about 3 different thicknesses, not nearly the right size for what my IPD cam/head needed (the head had the valves lapped and new springs/retainers as well...YMMV). I won't do another SOHC head & cam job without renting the kit. I bought the angle feeler gauges from IPD, and they work like a charm.

Up front, a new HEPU water pump is installed:


and if you look REALLY close, right below the camshaft seal location in the top of the 530 head, you will see the cam oil galley plug is MISSING! :grrr: I unfortunately did not notice...bought this head from another guy who had it cleaned and crack checked, and they apparently removed the 1/8 NPT plugs. Of course, I found this out after the complete engine is installed and after pouring in the oil :lol:

Here you see the stamped metal heat shields, installed about #1 thru #3 plug wires; I decided to give up fashion and retain the factory parts to protect my Aurora wire set:


Drivers side (LH side) I plan to install with the intake removed for access & fitment of the wiring and plumbing on that side. The new breather box from FCP Groton is visible, installed. No, I didn't buy a VOLVO breather, I can't really see any defects in this replacement part. I know TB legend warns against these, but I'm doing my own reliability testing with this one. Here she is, torqued in with new O-ring seals on bottom side (at block):


Well, since I'll be putting down better than stock power, and starting with an AW71 (only 128K miles, she shifted "tight"), I decided to go forward with the much ballyhooed "Accumulator Modification". Many, many a good writeup on this, so I won't bore you with the details, well documented on TB. Here is the cleaned up AW71 right after the valve body assembly is reinstalled. As I have said, a dead dryer makes a perfect automatic tranny work bench. Height is just right, most have a lip around the top to keep detergent spills in check....and it was FREE, left in my house by the sellers :-P


Two more important details to get right when you do this upgrade to the AW71. Make damn sure you note the correct position of this ratchet pawl, which I believe connects the shifter link/rod to the valve body. You get this wrong, and you get to drain all the oil and do over! The other pic shows the kick-down cable routing.....another "must get right" when you are reassembling, or you won't get autotragic kick down function:



This just about wraps up the engine/trans work. Next we assemble them, and get ready to install into the beast.

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