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Old 02-16-2021, 09:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Central, IL
Default Revived from the dead: '76 265

So a friend shows up to the shop with a '76 265 manual trans car a few yrs ago. The car hadn't run in over 23yrs. Initially he tried over a weekend to coax the PVR engine back to life. When that didn't work he thought he'd stuff a ford 302 in it. He bought an adjustable panhard rod and adjustable upper rear links knowing that he wanted to lower the car. When he realized the engine swap was was beyond his skill set the car sat in his shed. Then a year or so ago he got another itch to get the car back on the road. He bought a B230 (a '93 F model) and asked me to install it. After removing the PRV and realizing we needed a different bellhousing/flywheel/possibly a driveshaft and lord knows what else he cooled on the idea of resurrecting the car. For about the last year the car has sat at my shop. I couldn't bear to see the car crushed, but I also couldn't justify buying it from him.

Well the day finally came. He bought a family member's '86 244. With a running sedan his desire to spend money on the wagon cooled even further and he finallu handed me the title to the wagon and asked if I ever sold it I had to give him first chance to buy it back.

Sooooooo here's where my brickwall head pounding begins. Not being a Volvo guy I took him at his word that "it's literally all plug n play"... How hard can it be? I've done quite a few conversions before.
As I said, the car was a PRV car. It was spec'd with an M46/OD,A/C, 3.73 open diff, manual windows.

My wife hasn't driven a stick car since I taught her to drive my TDi powered '88 Jetta Coupe about 15yrs ago. Knowing that she wouldn't likely be interested in relearning how to drive a stick and also knowing that there were not any manual cars near me for parts I decided to repower the car with the '93 B230F and an auto.

The fun started with the suspension/brakes. He had previously located a replacement right side strut because the lower perch had rusted away and the spring was laying on top of the rotor. The replacement came from a 242 and he pitched the original housing so I now had mix matched front springs and struts. He had replaced the panard rod, and upper links with adjustable units from IPD.

Naturally the calipers were all seized, the rotors were beyond service, and the rubber lines were swollen shut tighter than a bulls ass in fly season. The master cylinder had a pit the size of a grain of rice in it.

I ordered a pair of reman'd rear calipers, new soft lines, a new master cylinder, and when I couldn't find front calipers reman'd I managed to luck out and source a pair from a local junkyard along with a pair of front strut assemblies from an '86 245, an AW70/driveshaft from the same 125k mi 245. I got the auto pedal assembly and eventually the 3.73 open rear axle from the same 245 (because of the speedo sensor-more on that later). Originally I went hunting for an AW71. The 3 in the local yard all had in excess of 250k mi and the fluid was brown. The cars were not wrecked so it could be possible that the transmissions were to blame.

While I was at the yard I chopped the wiring harnesses from a '91 740 turbo with 250k on the clock.

So I swapped in the front struts from the 245 knowing that they had matching springs and the upper mounts appeared to be good (boy was I wrong). As I started fitting up the new rotors/pads/calipers I realized that the 265 had some non-standard fittings on the brake system. I had at least 4 lines that I had to reconstruct using modern flare nuts. I swapped the manual pedal assembly for an automatic unit and eventually I a fully functional braking system... for a while.

Feeling good I decided to assemble the engine and trans. I had to modify the bellhousing to accommodate the flywheel sensor. Upon mounting the engine/trans in the car I found that two trans crossmember blind nuts were missing from the rails. Windowing the rails and welding the nuts in place resolved that issue.

Jesus the wiring was a friggin' hassle. Eventually I said to hell with color codes and connectors and just made my own harness. Soldering everything together and wrapping it all with testa fabric tape.

Having never driven a B230 powered car and reading that they are underwhelming I looked at some basic mods I could do to bump the output a bit. I settled on milling the head .040" an IPD VX cam, an adjustable cam gear, and I will mod the EZK for a chip and then chip the ICU and ECU.

The intank pump was seized, the tank generally clean so I rinsed out the tank and installed a new intank pump. I powered the pumps and monitored what came out of the line pre filter (this one is in the engine bay driver's side above the clutch master). Once it was clean and didn't smell sour I was content that the fuel system would survive.

I realized after a few visits to the JY that my 265 didn't have a rear swaybar. I also noticed that the front bar was thinner than that on the 245 I was pulling parts from. So off they came. I also realized that the reluctor ring I bought off of Ebay and the diff cover from teh 245 were not enough to get a speedo signal from my rear axle so out came the axle from the 245... sigh...

After setting the car down on 4 wheels I realized the once good appearing upper strut mounts were in fact complete crap. Naturally this was after I had bled the brake system... So off the front struts came to replace the mounts.

The boots on the steering rack had turned to dust. A pair from a new manual Mustang II rack I had laying around fit perfectly after the ones I ordered were incorrect (too small OD at the big end). New hoses rounded out the steering system using the '93 pump and the '76 rack.

I was running out of things to do so I connected the harnesses to power and grounds as required and hit the key...

Imagine my dismay when the engine pumps lit off/stopped, the engine cranked but did not fire. The tach was non-responsive so I knew I was lacking spark. To verify I gave the intake a wiff of ether... no luck.

I forgot to mention I installed turbo injectors and the resistor pack as the original (orange?) injectors were fire damaged...

There was plenty of fuel in the cylinders. Tests showed the cranks sensor was working, but perhasp subar at .25v AC while cranking. In retrospect it might be fine as the new replacement only shows .35v AC cranking. I went to the yard and bought both computers from a newly arrived 940 along with the coil and the Ignition power stage. Turns out it was a faulty power stage that kept the engine from starting.

I'll post pics/vids later.
1976 265 converted to B230/AW70/LH2.4
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