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Old 11-30-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
naterhater
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Default '93 volvo 940 turboy

This is the first time I've actually taken enough pictures to post a build progress thread about any car I've owned. Also, the first time in a while that I have owned a car long enough to make a thread worth reading about it. So here goes...



After I decided that my 1986 Ford LTD hearse was not worth keeping anymore I went car shopping on Craigslist and found this 1993 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon for $900 in a town nearby. The car had been sitting for 2 years and was barely driven or maintained during that time which made the first 3 hours I owned it quite eventful. After I got it home and cut the stock exhaust off just after the downpipe I went to go for a drive. The thermostat was stuck shut, causing it to overheat, and after removing the thermostat and trying again, I later found myself bypassing the heater core to eliminate a hose that split. The third time was the charm, I finally successfully went for a good drive to see how fast it was, which was highlighted by a coupling in the intercooler piping blowing off and the engine completely shutting off. Other than the slight problems, the car was great!

Soon after, I had the old dry rotted tires replaced with some fresh Uniroyals. But I still had to take the overdrive fuse out to use the reverse lights without popping it.


Then the sweet mods started. First order of business was to make this awesome trunk carpet


Next came the exhaust, the stock system was badly rusted and needed new mufflers anyway. I fashioned a 3" downpipe back system with some mandrel bends, leftover pipe, a good eye, and a flux core welder.




This exhaust tip got a lot of heat away from the plastic bumper cover, and actually reduced the interior drone significantly.


The turbo cars run pretty hot, now boy I tell ya what.


After that, I had gathered a whole pile of maintenance parts as well as an IPD turbo cam to throw in when I did the timing belt.




I didnt have the plastic piece wit the stock timing mark for the cam, but I read on here that if you hold a piece of floss lined up with the center of the crankshaft and the bolt for the timing belt tensioner then it will line up perfectly with where the cam gear mark should be. This method worked great, I think this is the easiest engine I have ever timed. In addition to the T-belt and cam, I did a ton of additional overdue maintenance.

I drove it for a while after all this and it ran great, pretty reliable too. I love how good this car is for adventures




Yet this car's speed was not satisfying, and it leaked a ton of oil. Next came the 15g upgrade. I essentially removed everything that was in the way on the exhaust side of the engine and fixed the old/broken stuff. The turbo was leaking a ton of oil, as well as the oil cooler seals.


A few studs broke while I was removing the exhaust manifold. 1 caused me to almost ruin my head trying to drill it out. The second one I drilled and tapped flawlesly thanks to a cryo-treated cobalt steel bit, and this jig that I welded to help keep the drill bit straight and centered.


While I had the chance, I smoothed and mildly ported the inlet of the turbine housing. In order to minimize reversion you dont want to make the turbo into an expansion chamber since it necks down so quickly as the air travels to the turbine wheel.


I also did a more aggressive porting job on the outlet of my exhaust manifold. There was a lot of metal that didnt need to be there at the choke point, hopefully now it flows better and gets heat out of the already cracked manifold quicker.


While I was in there, I also installed the temperature and pressure sensors for the innovate motorsports oil gauge.

That T-fitting had to be machined slightly to accommodate the temperature sensor, unfortunately this made it too weak and it burst during a test drive, spraying oil onto the hot exhaust parts and fogging out entire neighborhoods on the careful limp home.

After all the drilling and tapping nonsense, reassembly began.




While I was at it, I completed my 3" system with the fabrication of this downpipe complete with bungs for the Innovate wideband sensor and LH2.4's oxygen sensor. It was a total pain in the ass.


Originally I was going to heat wrap the manifold to send more heat through the turbo, but since the manifold was cracked I decided it would be best to use the wrap on the downpipe.


It felt so good to finally get everything together and have my car back!


The turbo (flat housing 15g) is one that I had pulled from an early 90's 850 T5 at a junkyard and as i turns out the wastegate actuator is worn out. Therefore I have 2 boost settings, 7psi with the vac line attached, and 14-16psi with the vac line disconnected. Unfortunately LH can't handle about 13psi of boost so I am leaving the line hooked up until I can chip it.

The next order of business will be fixing everything that is wrong with it on the intake side, doing a valve adjustment, and generally getting the car ready for performance chips and more boost. I will definitely update this thread when more work gets done.


p.s. I put more effort into this post than any college essay I have ever written.
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'93 940 Turbo thread:
http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=288116

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:08 PM   #2
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That's a lot of job done! Congrats!
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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Nice car and good job on the exhaust side. Give that engine compartment a bath would ya?
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
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Nice exhaust job! and clean 945!
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8volvoman1 View Post
Nice car and good job on the exhaust side. Give that engine compartment a bath would ya?
Thanks! I worked really hard on the exhaust, the downpipe was especially challenging since the first angle is compound. One of these days the engine bay will be cleaned, I just want to make sure its not going to leak and make it dirty immediately.

I figured I would add some interior shots of installed things today

Here is the gauge pillar. I routed all the wires and stuff through a hole that was originally meant for a clutch master cylinder, likely a design carry-over from the 700 series, but volvo had just put a block off plate there since its an automatic. I can take a picture from both sides of the firewall if anyone is unsure about what I am talking about.


Alpine head unit, and center console back together now that I dont have to mess with fuses all the time


Also, here's a taste of what is to come, I think im gonna wrap these in PZ-900's and use them as summer wheels

What color should I paint the centers?
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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This weekend my buddy Andy came up to touch Volvos in our driveway. We put an A/F gauge in his 940, I changed my intercooler couplings and added a manual boost controller, and my roommate Sean installed huge driving lights on his new-to-him 240. After many lucky strikes and a ton of garage humor intertwined with some great automotive discussion we hit the car wash and took some pictures. By the time we got home my black paint which I had just washed was showing a ton of salt. I give up trying to keep my car clean in the winter....

Anyway, here's the photo evidence.
I worked on my A/C delete some as I took things apart enough to get to the intercooler hose clamps:

Manual Boost Controller:

Mayday Mayday!!! I'll have to make some patches.....

Off to the races!




Volvo's attract better girls than honda's do

Andy's 940 is very inspiring, he has the suspension setup I am striving for.
Cut springs, IPD sways, Bilstien HD's, chassis braces




Next will come the removal of the intake, cleaning of PCV, and generally cleaning up the engine bay. Just waiting for some warmer and drier weather since I'm doing all this outside.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #7
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Awesome progress is awesome. Keep it up, man!
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:29 PM   #8
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Default Cluster F***

Most recently I pulled my cluster out and fixed all the bad solder joints during a short break in the cold.

The vacuum hose for the boost gauge was so hard that I decided to cut and replace it rather than risk breaking the european-plastic fitting off the back of the cluster


Once I had it out and under a good light I found 2 cracked joints. This was difficult to get a good picture of but i tried


Once all the solder was repaired I fitted a new hose and put the cluster back in to check it before putting the bezel back on


and would ya look at that, the gas gauge works now! The lights still don't, I'm suspecting the alternator is to blame.


More work is to come now that I have been looking at everything more closely and finding more wrong with the car.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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nice work!
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naterhater View Post
p.s. I put more effort into this post than any college essay I have ever written.
Being a UCF grad I can totally relate to this! Haha definitely made me laugh.

Great looking wagon and awesome progress so far, keep it up!
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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fair warning, keep an eye on that brass standoff you used, those things have a bad habbit of cracking/breaking
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:42 PM   #12
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No good reason to use one. Get a remote mount kit for the sensor. $25ish or so and you won't have to blow all your oil out and get a tow.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #13
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I'm going to get a larger T-fitting and standoff and then use the reducing fittings to screw the sensors into the T instead of the current setup which has the reducer fitting screwed into the block, that should allow plenty of space for everything to fit nicely and get good readings from the sensors. just gotta go to fastenal this week.

I'll make a nice progress post sometime after i get my tax return. I'm also in contact with TLAO arranging for a set of chips to be written for my setup.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:15 AM   #14
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I finally got my act together and did the next phase of this project, a good stage zero'ing of the intake side of the engine. I pulled everything off of the intake side, cleaned it, and replaced all of the gaskets/seals/hoses as well as removing the A/C compressor and replacing the ECT sensor.
Here is a picture I took during disassembly:

Other than the PCV, the intake stuff was pretty clean, these valves look great!

With everything back together I am now noticing improved idle quality and off-idle performance.

Next up will be rebuilding the turbo as well as a few other maintenance items, followed by TLAO chips!
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:23 PM   #15
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You must be in state college I recognize the scenery from growing up.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You must be in state college I recognize the scenery from growing up.
Did you graduate from State High?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #17
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I was supposed to graduate in the class of 2002 but moved right before senior year.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masswrecker View Post
I was supposed to graduate in the class of 2002 but moved right before senior year.
That is such a bummer, I'm sorry to hear that. I graduated class of 2010.

Anyways, back to Volvo. My roommate and I pooled our capital resources in order to rent an ipd valve shim kit. We both needed it because I never adjusted mine after putting the ipd cam in, and he was putting a K cam in his '91 240. All of mine were tighter than spec and I ended up needing to change all 8 shims.

My car didn't come with most of the timing cover, so I made my own mark:

Since doing this I have noticed improved idle quality and throttle response.

Today I just picked up some AMSOIL European Car Formula and a filter. I now have a turbo rebuild kit, chips, synthetic oil, and at the end of this week I'll have a 2 week break during which I will install all of it. There is also a trip to the junkyard in the works in order to get some hard to find wiring connectors and a second set of sway bars.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:26 PM   #19
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It's been a while since I had time to update but I attacked the remaining oil leaks as best as I could.

Starting with some disassembly:


Followed by a $45 ebay rebuild kit:


A snapshot taken for instagram (@nates_phone)


TLAO fuel chip only for now since it turns out my ignition computer isn't chipable


During the 2 days this whole process lasted for, the tree I park under decided to take its late spring constitutional


So at the end of the week I took it to the car wash for a good spray down


Until next time, Guard the Gold!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:54 PM   #20
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Since my air compressor now has a new motor on it, I can finally do chassis work in my driveway without swearing constantly a family neighborhood. Today I took advantage of this and cut my springs. I figured this would also be a good opportunity to demonstrate the actual amount of lowering you get from removing coils. I documented the front pretty well but when it came time for the rears my friends had also come over and distracted me so I forgot to take measurement pics.

Before:

During:

I cut 2 coils out of each front spring by unloading the springs and cutting them on the car, then making a second cut in order to remove the unwanted piece:

Here is the fender gap after cutting 2 coils. Roughly a 5.5cm drop:

Which looks like this with the wheel on and the car sitting on the ground:


Next came the rears:

I removed 1 coil from the bottom of each. At first I was skeptical because the spring is flat at the bottom, but with the weight of the car sitting on the suspension the spring will indeed sit nicely in the lower seats:

This is how it sits now. I'm considering taking another half a coil out of the rear but we'll wait and see how low the rear sits with 5 people and gear in the car this weekend:


One more pic taken on a level driveway for reference, 2 coils removed from the front, 1 from the rear:

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Old 06-15-2014, 11:17 AM   #21
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So with two coils missing on the front springs, do they really have enough "spring" left?
I'm genuinely asking on behalf of my 1993 "sitting back" 940 : I'd like it flatter, just more level would be nice.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Rooster View Post
So with two coils missing on the front springs, do they really have enough "spring" left?
I'm genuinely asking on behalf of my 1993 "sitting back" 940 : I'd like it flatter, just more level would be nice.
Yes they do Cut the coils off of the bottom of the spring. That way it will sit nicely in the spring seat. With the car off the ground it may appear iffy, although you do have to compress the spring significantly to put the top nut back on the shock, when you set it down the spring compresses into the holder quite securely. Just don't hit jumps with your lowered car, its not the General Lee. I wouldn't remove any more than 2 coils from the front if you are planning on cutting.

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Old 06-16-2014, 02:16 PM   #23
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I'll brave the disdain of the gathered mechanics and lop off one coil ... thanks Nater.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:56 PM   #24
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You're welcome! I think all the stigma around cutting springs comes from VW and Honda people who try to lay frame by chopping springs when they probably don't have the right type of springs to cut in the first place. Its actually quite common in stock car racing to cut springs in order to fine tune handling.

P.S. I just went on a road trip this weekend and the car actually handles better with the springs cut. It isn't bouncy and I haven't lost control or died in a horrific tragedy yet. Don't sue me if your spring cutting goes wrong but I really don't see any problem with taking a few coils out of a 940

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Old 07-29-2014, 08:56 AM   #25
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Did you ever manage to get your gauges/dials to light up? I have the same problem.
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