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Old 10-28-2017, 11:46 AM   #1
Board Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Oregon
Default Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags in Tucson 2018

I'm planning on making the trip again. My 5.0 swapped V90 has been drivable ever since the thrash to finish it and drive it to LA/Tucson for the inaugural Zip-Tie Drags last year - almost completely untested. So I have a head start this year.

My Explorer EEC-V tune is still holding my performance back. I was hoping to do a Megasquirt conversion for engine and trans control, but the car still runs acceptably so I'm pushing that to the back burner for now. I'm going to work on all the "Stage Zero" that I skipped on what was originally a $350 V90 with a blown head gasket. It was apparently not well maintained.

My heater core took a dump last year, making the drive across Nevada alone in single digit temps quite perilous. I had heat, but my windows were all fogged with coolant film and I pretty much only had the bottom 1/3rd of the windshield to use for most of the long drive home. The heater core has been bypassed ever since. Thought about trying to run some stop leak through the system, but since it's a plastic tanked core, it's probably cracked and I should just replace it properly. Parts ordered. I don't look forward to removing the dash...

The struts were completely shot, my front sway bar didn't clear the 5.0 oil pan, and my Ford Explorer power steering pump pressure is too high for the Volvo rack so steering assist is too strong and twitchy. Also, my power steering line had an improper coupling which leaked and blew apart once. Driving the car was very interesting with that combo of very twitchy steering on very worn out suspension.

Turns out struts for V90s are almost impossible to get. I was able to get one Pro Parts Sweden from FCP and one Monroe OESpectrum from Advance Auto. Still trying to get another of one or the other so I have a matched set, but for now at least they are both new. Handling is improved, but it still really needs a sway bar.

For the sway bar, I am having a guy that used to design bars for IPD in the 70s and 80s make me a custom one. He still runs a custom sway bar shop out of his home in the Portland area. I dropped off my V90 bar with him and he is going to make one with a deeper drop in the middle to clear the oil pan. Price was fair for custom work. He should be calling me any day with the first iteration, hopefully it on the first try. He is having to simplify the OEM design because of the limitations of his bender, but I didn't see a clearance problem with the design he proposed.

I did have a custom hybrid power steering line built between the Ford pump and Volvo rack, so the explosion hazard is gone, but the steering feel is unchanged. I think my two options are either to install an adjustable pressure regulator (basically a bleed valve) which will involve more custom lines, or converting the PS pump to a Saginaw pump which have a variety of relief valves that can be exchanged to set the desired pressure. There is a bracket for that swap available, but for a Mustang accessory drive. I am running an Explorer setup, but I do have most of a Mustang set in the shop.

Lesser items: It would be nice if I could get the Volvo cruise control actuator hooked up to the V8 somehow. And my aftermarket throttle body has a very stiff spring, it would be nice to get that swapped out for a stock spring so that my throttle pedal isn't so stiff.
2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7
1998 Volvo V90, Ford 5.0/4R70W/EEC-V Swap
1998 Volvo V70XC, stock - daily driver
1971 Opel Kadett Caravan with Megasquirt EFI Conversion, for 24 Hours of LeMons Rally
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