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Old 02-23-2019, 04:50 PM   #26
vintagewrench
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Cameron's right about the rods. A 4:56 is a good compromise depending on the track, I've found from experience and doing the calculations (don't trust the tach) that 7000 rpm will get you up to 115 mph.
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:21 PM   #27
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I am not 100% sure on what rods they are, but I learned more this weekend about the car.

Spent most of the day Saturday wrenching on it and cleaning things up. Got rid of the homebrew plenum box and parts store filter, running open trumpets now (I'll get some proper filters for them soon). Rebuilt the front hubs as the wheel bearings were not correctly installed. Fixed the fuel pump mounting so it doesn't rub on the trunk floor anymore. 'Fixed' the front suspension to where the shocks are actually attached, need to come up with a long term plan for getting that sorted out though.

After going through it more I decided it was solid enough and took it to an autocross Sunday instead of the other car. The site isn't the grippiest and the forecast was for cool and overcast so I figured I couldn't get enough heat into the R7s to matter, so I ran the 13 year old Proxes RA1s that came on the other set of wheels. Short story is the car is a blast to drive and way quicker than it has any right to be.

Long story, the car behaved well. The coolant issue is still present though but at least now it seems I have pinpointed it to the radiator cap (non-pressurizing one that then feeds to the pressurized reservoir) and I think I'm going to just get another radiator that fits right and forgo the pressurized reservoir setup soon. The car is quite balanced, easy to steer with your right foot and really likes to be driven with the ass hanging out a bit. I think it may be a tad dodgy for big track stuff, especially under braking but I'm also used to a much 'tighter' car so maybe I can just learn to love it. The car spent a little while on the limiter each lap, probably 2 seconds bouncing it in 2nd gear (not worth the up down shift required) and it didn't seem to care a bit. It would give a poof of smoke right as a lifted at the end of a big left hand sweeper but other than that it seems great.

Questions that I still have...

Does this thing really need race fuel? It has VP110 in it as it came to me that way, but it seems excessive. Anyone with anecdotal evidence for what is necessary in a B20? I'd be curious if there are some accepted timing limits, compression limits, or power limits that people have found on pump gas so I have something to base the decision off of once it sees some dyno time.

The brakes seem solid (no pun intended) but I may look into something a bit more robust in the future. Is there a straightforward swap or an easy way to add proportioning to these cars? It has the dual line front calipers with the single line with the accumulator thingies for the rears. Under braking it seemed to want to swap ends pretty easily, made for quick trail braking at autocross but not sure I want to feel that at 90mph on track.

What would the board say is good oil pressure on a race motor? It's seeing 35psi at idle, and 90-100psi at full chat. Judging from the oil bottles that came with it, they were putting 20w50 in it, which seems excessive...
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:32 PM   #28
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Any pics of the car in action? Great update!
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:15 PM   #29
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No photos from the event yet, but here’s the running clip I promised!

https://youtu.be/bRG-JMDT1J8
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by roflcopter View Post
Questions that I still have...

Does this thing really need race fuel? It has VP110 in it as it came to me that way, but it seems excessive. Anyone with anecdotal evidence for what is necessary in a B20? I'd be curious if there are some accepted timing limits, compression limits, or power limits that people have found on pump gas so I have something to base the decision off of once it sees some dyno time.

The brakes seem solid (no pun intended) but I may look into something a bit more robust in the future. Is there a straightforward swap or an easy way to add proportioning to these cars? It has the dual line front calipers with the single line with the accumulator thingies for the rears. Under braking it seemed to want to swap ends pretty easily, made for quick trail braking at autocross but not sure I want to feel that at 90mph on track.

What would the board say is good oil pressure on a race motor? It's seeing 35psi at idle, and 90-100psi at full chat. Judging from the oil bottles that came with it, they were putting 20w50 in it, which seems excessive...
Do you know what the compression ratio is? If it's under 10.5:1 you can probably get away with 93 octane. What's the total ignition timing set to?

164E front ventilated rotors and calipers are a direct swap for the 140 solid rotors.

The accumulator thingies you refer to are actually proportioning valves. You should be able to hear them make a thunk sound when you step on the brake pedal hard if they're working.

Brake hoses are a known issue on these cars. What does it have and what shape are they in?

The oil pressure is actually a little high. ~10psi/1000rpm is the norm. Is the gauge accurate?
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:16 AM   #31
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Do you know what the compression ratio is? If it's under 10.5:1 you can probably get away with 93 octane. What's the total ignition timing set to?

164E front ventilated rotors and calipers are a direct swap for the 140 solid rotors.

The accumulator thingies you refer to are actually proportioning valves. You should be able to hear them make a thunk sound when you step on the brake pedal hard if they're working.

Brake hoses are a known issue on these cars. What does it have and what shape are they in?

The oil pressure is actually a little high. ~10psi/1000rpm is the norm. Is the gauge accurate?
If the documentation I have for the motor is correct it is 11.0:1. These just have mechanical advance right? So the base timing at idle should indicate how much if any they have changed it for the whole rev range? I'm borrowing a timing light tonight, I seem to have misplaced mine.

Good to know about the brakes. I will check the prop valves and make sure they are functioning correctly, is there a way to adjust them if they are working?

The car has stainless brake lines for all the soft hose.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:23 PM   #32
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If the documentation I have for the motor is correct it is 11.0:1. These just have mechanical advance right? So the base timing at idle should indicate how much if any they have changed it for the whole rev range? I'm borrowing a timing light tonight, I seem to have misplaced mine.

Good to know about the brakes. I will check the prop valves and make sure they are functioning correctly, is there a way to adjust them if they are working?

The car has stainless brake lines for all the soft hose.
if its just mech advance distributor, engine off, measure the BTDC marks and add a few at the same intervals with a paint pen at like 20-25-30-35-40 different colors helps. start the engine and hold the revs at 3-3500 rpm and check. racers used to swap springs on the mech advance to move the point of total timing around to suit the cam used.

not sure on the brake valves... but I think so.

good.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:39 PM   #33
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Some distributors have just mechanical and some have both mechanical and vacuum. I don't see a hose connected to your distributor but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it. Use a "dial back to zero" timing light to find total advance.

There is an adjusting screw on the proportioning valves but I'd make sure the front brakes are working properly before trying to adjust them.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:26 AM   #34
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Looks fast.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:50 PM   #35
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Looks nice.
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Old 04-24-2019, 01:35 PM   #36
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I've been piddling around with the car a bit, taken it to a few autocrosses, but have yet to put it on the scales or dyno.

The good:
Found the guy who built it and got to ask some questions
Distributor has been worked over and is at ~36 degrees full advance, no vacuum on it anymore (so race fuel is probably actually needed)
Car is tuned for VP110, but he said we ran a mix in it often and never had problems other than "reduced power" (sounds to me like he was having some knock)

The bad:
GM 3 wire alternator that's wired to work as a single wire crapped out it seems
Shocks have no fluid in them and are a bit tweaked due to some offroading by the P.O.
Oil leaks are getting worse with use
Wiring is sketchy in a lot of places

The plan:
Pull driveline out and re-gasket things (I think it'll be fine with just that for the time being, maybe do valve seals...)
Source some Penske non-adjustables for cheap and valve them for the car
Find some more 'modern' front UCAs that fit and shorten the front suspension towers
Cut out current harness bar, add diagonal brace, cut harness bar into two pieces and reinstall at proper height
Paint the cage
Find some better seats
Address the paint issues and do a little fiberglass work

No clue how long all of that will take, but hopefully I'll start chipping away at it soon...
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Old 04-24-2019, 01:45 PM   #37
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:12 PM   #38
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Source some Penske non-adjustables for cheap and valve them for the car
Find some more 'modern' front UCAs that fit and shorten the front suspension towers
Not sure what your budget is but I can have JRZs custom built for basically any application. The RSone starts around 600 / corner.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:23 AM   #39
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Not sure what your budget is but I can have JRZs custom built for basically any application. The RSone starts around 600 / corner.
Budget is somewhat a moving target at this point... I'm actively campaigning a DSP autocross car this season so basically the Volvo is getting the 'scraps' for now. With that being said, I like Penske for a few reasons, one of them being I already have all the tooling for working on them, another being I have them on the DSP car and a motorcycle so I have spares/shims/pistons/etc all laying around. Since this car already has the QA1s in it in OTS short track spec I think finding some in the right length with interfaces I can work with should be easy, I'm open to other options but there would have to be a compelling reason to switch away from Penske.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:14 AM   #40
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Looks like the ball is going to start rolling on this thing. Plan is to have it ready to go for the GLTC at the Gridlife Road Atlanta event...

Questions for anyone in the know:

1) The car still has the Dana 30 in it, some clutch style LSD and supposedly 5.30:1 gears. This means it should be a standard high ratio Dana 30 housing right? What spline count for the pinion is needed? Standard 10 bolt ring gear probably? If anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated... I'm looking to run something in the 4.56:1 range I think, should put the geared top speed in the 120mph range instead of the current 100mph range.

2) As you can see in the photos from this thread, the radiator is dinky and the overflow setup is garbage. I'm probably going to switch to a better fitting radiator and all that stuff. Size-wise, do you think the current one is adequate for 20-30 minute sprint races? I have no clue how these older motors handle heat...

3) Anything else anyone sees as immediately needing addressing?

I'm trusting that the P.O.s track time means the brakes are adequate as they sit, it'll get on the dyno soon and I'll make sure everything is fairly happy on that front as well as figure out competition HP and weight. I think I'll be a few hundred lbs heavy, and may end up burning some correction factor on aero, at least a splitter and maybe make a duck-tail spoiler for it.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:46 AM   #41
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After getting further into this I have found that the wiring harness is pretty much trash, so I may be making another one sooner rather than later.

I decided to check for myself instead of trusting the emails I have about gearing, looks like the car has been swapped to 4.27s since the autocross on the west coast had it! Which also means it may be making more power than I originally thought. If everything goes to plan it will be on the dyno and scales in the morning, I will post results as soon as I have them!
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:07 PM   #42
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I've been seriously slacking on keeping up with this thread (also have one on a race forum I'm a member of that is much more travelled).

Basically 2 months later and the car is done!

List of improvements:
-Cage modified to meet modern standards
-New seat installed
-Window nets installed
-Drivetrain cleaned, regasketed, checked over
-New radiator installed
-Tow hooks added
-Fuel pump/regulator swapped to correct ones for these carbs
-Cage painted
-Fuel cell mounting painted
-Oil catch can installed
-Brakes gone through
-New exhaust built and installed

Fun facts:
-Car weighs 2037lbs with 2 gal of fuel in it.
-Makes roughly 120whp as it sits, but mad torque down low
-Fitting a halo seat in one of these is stupid easy

Photo as it sits:


I'm sure I'm missing a near infinite number of things in that list, but the gist of it is... the car is ready for W2W racing! It will be at Road Atlanta for Gridlife, competing in the Gridlife Touring Cup in two weeks. I am beyond stoked to give this car another lease on life. Lets go have some fun!

Last edited by roflcopter; 08-11-2019 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:02 AM   #43
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Videos when
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:50 AM   #44
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We may get some footage from our shakedown today at a local place, but there will definitely be plenty from Gridlife! They actually livestream the races on the website too!
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:59 PM   #45
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Looks great! Thanks for the update.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #46
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Looks great!

Wish I could get a 240 that light
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:44 PM   #47
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Looks great!

Wish I could get a 240 that light
Break out the Sawzall!
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