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Old 02-01-2019, 05:06 PM   #1
grinsngroans
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Default Is a 2.3 SVO engine swap possible?

Howdy, I recently came across a wrecked '86 mustang SVO that has a hot little motor in it. I am relatively new to the Volvo scene (and forums) and just acquired a 1980 245 project car (I'll post pictures soon). I can pick this SVO up for a screaming deal and I am curious if anyone around here has attempted anything like that.
Through some half-hearted googling, I can't seem to find much of anything other thank the ford guys swaping the 16v head onto their motors.

The basic logic is there: they are both rwd, Inline 4 cars that share some of the same dimensions but that's where it stops. I know there is a ton of other details that I am completely glossing over. I may have put this in the wrong thread too, I can correct if someone will point me in the right direction.

Thanks
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:08 PM   #2
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No easier than putting any other reasonably sized engine in a Volvo. Well, if it's a popular swap, someone probably makes the mounts and other little parts, so maybe harder if you're not doing all the fab work yourself.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:28 PM   #3
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You won't need a T5 adapter anyway.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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I know a guy that swapped a ford 2.3 into a late 70s 245. It was extremely simple.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by culberro View Post
I know a guy that swapped a ford 2.3 into a late 70s 245. It was extremely simple.
Does he happen to be on this forum or have pictures or insight on how he did it?

Thanks
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by grinsngroans View Post
Does he happen to be on this forum or have pictures or insight on how he did it?

Thanks
He is not. I’ll see if I can dig up some pictures. He hasn’t owned the car for probably 3-5 years.

How good are you with fabricating brackets? Can you read a wiring schematic and make reliable electrical connections? How well can you align a motor and trans to the rear diff?

Engine swaps are “easy” if you can do those things.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:46 PM   #7
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He is not. I’ll see if I can dig up some pictures. He hasn’t owned the car for probably 3-5 years.

How good are you with fabricating brackets? Can you read a wiring schematic and make reliable electrical connections? How well can you align a motor and trans to the rear diff?

Engine swaps are “easy” if you can do those things.

I know some guys down at a metal shop in town that can fab some stuff up for me. The wiring and electrical won't be a problem. My friends and I have dropped LS engines in RX7s for a few years now with out too many mishaps. Shouldn't be much of a problem.
Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:47 PM   #8
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Most ford racer guys put volvo 16v head on there ford. Problem with the ford is the stock ford 8v head flows worse then the stock volvo 8v head. More power can be had with just a stock redblock turbo motor that bolts right in compared to stock ford turbo motor..
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:20 PM   #9
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Most ford racer guys put volvo 16v head on there ford. Problem with the ford is the stock ford 8v head flows worse then the stock volvo 8v head. More power can be had with just a stock redblock turbo motor that bolts right in compared to stock ford turbo motor..
Not really. The stock Ford lower end is very strong. There are plenty of people making 400+ HP with the Ford 2.3 without changing any of the major components. IOW, stock crank, rods and pistons with ported heads and much bigger turbos and injectors. The Ford guys complain of blowing head gaskets. Not shattering pistons and folding rods. 300+ HP with the 2.3 Ford is a walk in the park. Also, there is huge aftermarket support for that engine. Most Ford racer guys put Eslinger heads on their Ford 2.3. The Volvo 16 valve head was a low budget solution to a better flowing head.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by culberro View Post
I know a guy that swapped a ford 2.3 into a late 70s 245. It was extremely simple.
I think I remember that build, but I don't remember what forum he was on with it. It was green (I think).

Seemed simple enough, really.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:50 AM   #11
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Not really. The stock Ford lower end is very strong. There are plenty of people making 400+ HP with the Ford 2.3 without changing any of the major components. IOW, stock crank, rods and pistons with ported heads and much bigger turbos and injectors. The Ford guys complain of blowing head gaskets. Not shattering pistons and folding rods. 300+ HP with the 2.3 Ford is a walk in the park. Also, there is huge aftermarket support for that engine. Most Ford racer guys put Eslinger heads on their Ford 2.3. The Volvo 16 valve head was a low budget solution to a better flowing head.
Nothing a 200 dollar set of connecting rods can fix. spend your time on the redblock, on no planet is a Ford 2.3 swap worth it imo.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:27 AM   #12
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Nothing a 200 dollar set of connecting rods can fix. spend your time on the redblock, on no planet is a Ford 2.3 swap worth it imo.
and its not like 300 to 400 hp redblock is THAT difficult on stock parts either
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:20 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I went and checked it out anyway because he wanted 600 for the motor but it was in worse shape than advertised so i passed. I am on the lookout for engines to stuff in this wagon, whether its volvo, ford or gm. As it sits right now (with a cracked flywheel), it doesn't move very far or very fast.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #14
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If you have to ask...
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by grinsngroans View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I went and checked it out anyway because he wanted 600 for the motor but it was in worse shape than advertised so i passed. I am on the lookout for engines to stuff in this wagon, whether its volvo, ford or gm. As it sits right now (with a cracked flywheel), it doesn't move very far or very fast.
Stick a new flywheel in it and drive
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:59 AM   #16
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400ish is kind of an upper limit for most of those things, and they go through headgaskets like water because they're pushing on them as hard as they can. local guy had one (well, he still does, he's just not local anymore unfortunately) that was decently fast at like 25 or 30psi on an hy35 (or 351 whatever), but in terms of actual power I don't think it ever made over 320whp on the dyno, nor did it ever really trap much over about 110. For the shenanigans that went in to that, I'd keep a stock 8v with a mild cam and make the same power.
Stock for stock the bottom end may be stronger (I can hear someone screaming about webbing and other bull**** that doesn't really matter that much at most people's power levels)-it wouldn't take much to have a better set of rods than volvo used-but that's about it. They do break pistons, they constantly have stupid ass issues with the lifters and rockers in the heads, a solid brick moves more air than the stock heads, there's really just nothing appealing about a lima that makes it a compelling thing to swap. For relatively the same effort you can swap in a ~300whp v8 that will fairly easily get you to 450 NA, and much further if you decide to go FI, with a better aftermarket.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:22 PM   #17
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I have a Volvo 16V head with all the welding done for sale if you want it... I never installed it, It's been sitting for over 18 years now.. LoL
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:20 PM   #18
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Not really a significant step forward in any measurable way other than stronger stock rods that are effectively stronger with a shorter deck block that you can now buy for dirt nothing for the Volvo redblock. Same bore & stroke unless you buy rods for the Volvo in any length you want and find a junkyard forged penta 2.5 Volvo that basically makes the Volvo have the same Rod-stroke ratio as the Ford with (only slightly) more displacement.

Somewhat ported head and 90+ exhaust manifold and the stock Volvo 2.3 is already basically as good/better with rods being the limiting factor thereafter.

Unless you spend silly dough on the esslinger head. Of course you could lose your mind and swap the 16-V Volvo head on...

Or just bolt it on the Volvo....

No adapter for a T5...so that saves you...a $250 adapter plate? And/or steel flywheel you can buy for the Volvo that’ll take a 240mm couch easy enough these days? or AOD that’s weaker than an AW7x?

60-trim turbo is (“was” might be more accurate anymore) about all that you grab off the non-intercooled ford 2.3 for a mild upgrade for the Volvo with either cosworth .63 or atp exhaust gate...worked effectively for a cheap upgrade in the day...

Leave the rest in the Ford.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:59 PM   #19
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Wait is there a way you can keep your original trans with a engine swap like this?
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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No ford to volvo trans adapter that I've ever heard of. If that is what you mean. You can fabricate something and lead the way? But really I'd get a good used Volvo engine and roll on. If you are going to go so far as a swap. More cylinders than that is what I'd want to do.
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