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Old 11-29-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
Lunn
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Default Redblock Engine Builders/Tuners

Hello All,

I'm putting together a Volvo project. I have been around classics and racing for decades, but never have had a Volvo.

For the engine/drivetrain I would like to work with someone who will not just build an engine, but design the entire drivetrain. I'm not looking for huge power, but I am looking for a car that works well. Someone who builds and tunes would be great, but also someone who works with a tune would be cool. My ideas are anything from a 1990 and newer NA redblock with worked head to B234 headed redblock with a small turbo.

So, who are the Volvo redblock gurus that are also meticulous?

Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:32 PM   #2
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I would start reading the above post. Alot of good info; There is alot of people on here that know their stuff. Im sure some will tune in but its best if you learn and put together your package to fit you. Example, most will steer you to do a T5 swap but that doesnt work for me. My back is to bad of shape to push a clutch in all the time. So I went the auto route. Its also best you learn how to tune your engine cause your the one driving it and if something goes wrong and you cant get ahold of your tuner. What are you gonna do? Anyways some things to think about. Ive learned alot thur this forum. Went from being afraid to run my valve to building an engine. Thanks to all the info here.
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Old 11-29-2020, 07:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 90volvo View Post
I would start reading the above post. Alot of good info; There is alot of people on here that know their stuff. Im sure some will tune in but its best if you learn and put together your package to fit you. Example, most will steer you to do a T5 swap but that doesnt work for me. My back is to bad of shape to push a clutch in all the time. So I went the auto route. Its also best you learn how to tune your engine cause your the one driving it and if something goes wrong and you cant get ahold of your tuner. What are you gonna do? Anyways some things to think about. Ive learned alot thur this forum. Went from being afraid to run my valve to building an engine. Thanks to all the info here.
Thank you for responding,

I didn't see a link.

I've done a lot of reading, research and figuring out the purpose. I'm not looking to dump a project on someone. Have a good idea of what I'm looking for, but looking for someone to challenge my ideas and conclusions that has been around the block several times.

I want to learn tuning. The engine builders I'm familiar with from other areas of interest require their tuner to
do initial setup for the warranty to be valid.

As far as engine building I can't really afford a boring machine, mill and all the equipment. Again usually a reputable engine builder will stand behind the engine if they assemble it, and often times the assembly fee is the least expensive part.

I am comfortable rebuilding a T5 and maybe the rearend.

I will continue researching.
Thanks again
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:30 PM   #4
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Where do you live?
Do you have a car already, or have one in mind?
Most machinists here do not assemble engines at the machine shop, but some do engine builds at home. Many have preferred engines, some do anything. None know redblocks that well. My machinist knows what i have dragged through there, and can apply his knowledge to most of it.
Some engine builders can also do consulting, which is what you seem to be looking for.
Another approach you may want to try is to take your time, read (including the build threads), make lists with prices.
Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikep View Post
Where do you live?
Do you have a car already, or have one in mind?
Most machinists here do not assemble engines at the machine shop, but some do engine builds at home. Many have preferred engines, some do anything. None know redblocks that well. My machinist knows what i have dragged through there, and can apply his knowledge to most of it.
Some engine builders can also do consulting, which is what you seem to be looking for.
Another approach you may want to try is to take your time, read (including the build threads), make lists with prices.
Good luck.
I live in Saint Louis. It is common around here for folks to be engine builders meaning the design, machine, build and either tune or have a tuner they work with. The builder makes money on parts as well as.machining, but is also on the hook for the engine lasting long-ago least that is what I have been exposed to.

I have done a lot of reading and will continue to do more.

I have made parts lists including prices and what years those parts came in what cars.

I sold my LS swap chevelle and 79 VW rabbit diesel. Those types of engines can benefit from folks who specialize in them. For instance Frank06 is a guru on TDI head design and assembly. I've heard folks say they dont like him personally, but he has a rock solid reputation for quality and precision. I was thinking someone may know redblock stuff in a similar way.

I have my eye on a 78 242, and a 67 p1800. The 242 has better.parts availability and would more easily accept a 16v head I would assume, but the p1800 is classy. I may buy them both and set the.p1800 back.

There is a Machine shop near me that claims they have built a few redblocks, but I am hoping to find someone with a granular understanding of them.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:31 PM   #6
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Excited that you are taking in all the information you can ahead of time and planning the build, before jumping in. I can speak for myself and say that I, more or less, stumbled in and fumbled around.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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What's your budget? As I think it's going to be in the $10k-$15k range for what you want, if you want a turn-key 0-miles setup.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:24 PM   #8
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Excited that you are taking in all the information you can ahead of time and planning the build, before jumping in. I can speak for myself and say that I, more or less, stumbled in and fumbled around.
Thanks! I've built cars before and made a lot of mistakes
Usually those mistakes were based on too high of expectations because I failed to plan.

I appreciate the welcome.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:35 PM   #9
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What's your budget? As I think it's going to be in the $10k-$15k range for what you want, if you want a turn-key 0-miles setup.
Budget for my engine excluding exhaust, intake, megasquirt or tune is really however much I'm comfortable with. I'm comfortable with $5,000 so that probably means $6,000 or $6,500 once mission creep is figured in. I'm not rich or anything, but I have some cash from the cars I have sold.

For some time I was a welder/fabricator and have work building pro stock cars for Jerry Haas. I worked for a short period at an engine builder (disassembling engines for a few months). That was at Hood Performance in West Plains Missouri. I would love to have Alan Hood build the engine, but he sold his business and went to work for Rousch. The point being I'm comfortable doing things like tiging up exhaust and working with the car to reduce costs elsewhere and allow me to spent more on engine building.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:05 PM   #10
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Give Yoshifab a call. He'll get you setup for everything.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:41 AM   #11
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Realistically, there really isn't much to most of these motors. The short blocks (for even the center thrust 'skinny' rod engines) are very stout. With a decent head and turning up the boost a bit as well as an aftermarket EMS (or a modified LH2.4 system), 300hp is pretty easily achievable. A decently blueprinted short block, Cometic HG, head studs (I run them on even my stock cars) and a little port clean up with a modern turbo is a decent recipe for a 300HP car. Above about that level of power is where things start getting interesting. Lighter rods and pistons are a bonus (some would say required). Lightened flywheel will also help things rev. The stock intakes suck and are some of the biggest power killers for high hp applications. It seems like about 500 - 600 HP without filling the block is the limit on the later redblocks. The B23 engines seem like they can take a little more. The repeated failure at that power level is the cylinder wall thickness.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:38 AM   #12
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Realistically, there really isn't much to most of these motors. The short blocks (for even the center thrust 'skinny' rod engines) are very stout. With a decent head and turning up the boost a bit as well as an aftermarket EMS (or a modified LH2.4 system), 300hp is pretty easily achievable. A decently blueprinted short block, Cometic HG, head studs (I run them on even my stock cars) and a little port clean up with a modern turbo is a decent recipe for a 300HP car. Above about that level of power is where things start getting interesting. Lighter rods and pistons are a bonus (some would say required). Lightened flywheel will also help things rev. The stock intakes suck and are some of the biggest power killers for high hp applications. It seems like about 500 - 600 HP without filling the block is the limit on the later redblocks. The B23 engines seem like they can take a little more. The repeated failure at that power level is the cylinder wall thickness.
I would be tickled with 300 hp as long as it was reliable enough to go on long trips. I will sacrifice hp for drivability. Perhaps I should take the plunge and build the engine.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:18 PM   #13
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Doo-eht.

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Old 12-01-2020, 12:35 PM   #14
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I live in Saint Louis.



There is a Machine shop near me that claims they have built a few redblocks, but I am hoping to find someone with a granular understanding of them.
I am also in St. Louis. What machine shop are you talking about? Just curious. I've had good experiences with the guys at Phase II machine shop, but generally just have them doing some bits, and building the rest myself.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:13 PM   #15
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Give Yoshifab a call. He'll get you setup for everything.
I agree! Yoshifab has helped me several times, Josh is super knowledgeable guy and he can set you in the right direction, and for $25.00 you can make an appointment with him. Good luck.

Yam
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:59 PM   #16
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Give Yoshifab a call. He'll get you setup for everything.
This is probably the best option for a drop-in long block. Rest of the drivetrain is reasonably easy to figure out.

IMO getting any kinda 'built' engine for 300whp and a t5 swap done at shop rates for under $6,500 isn't going to happen. But you could easily shadetree it for a fraction.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:28 PM   #17
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After you get setup with Yoshifab, give me a ring to get your ECU and tuning stuff sorted.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:32 PM   #18
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I am also in St. Louis. What machine shop are you talking about? Just curious. I've had good experiences with the guys at Phase II machine shop, but generally just have them doing some bits, and building the rest myself.
Perfomance Automotive in Bethalto, Hood Performance in west plains and Morley Performance.

Who does your machine work?
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:35 PM   #19
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This is probably the best option for a drop-in long block. Rest of the drivetrain is reasonably easy to figure out.

IMO getting any kinda 'built' engine for 300whp and a t5 swap done at shop rates for under $6,500 isn't going to happen. But you could easily shadetree it for a fraction.
I am talking $5,000 to $6500 for a long block. I will do transmission and such
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I am also in St. Louis. What machine shop are you talking about? Just curious. I've had good experiences with the guys at Phase II machine shop, but generally just have them doing some bits, and building the rest myself.
Perfomance Automotive in Bethalto, Hood Performance in west plains and Morley Performance.

Who does your machine work?
Phase II, in Sunset Hills (Stl South County).

I've had them machine cranks, bore blocks, refinish heads, stuff like that. Never had them build the engine up though.
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:38 PM   #21
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Phase II, in Sunset Hills (Stl South County).

I've had them machine cranks, bore blocks, refinish heads, stuff like that. Never had them build the engine up though.
Hell, that's right by me. I'm in Sappington.

Are there any possible sources for a 16 valve head near us? I have been calling around salvage yards and checking out CL/FB with no luck.
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:00 PM   #22
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Hell, that's right by me. I'm in Sappington.

Are there any possible sources for a 16 valve head near us? I have been calling around salvage yards and checking out CL/FB with no luck.
Check out car-part.com
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:22 PM   #23
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I am talking $5,000 to $6500 for a long block. I will do transmission and such
I think you will clear that 300 mark by a good margin, then! Redblocks are a lot of fun with that kind of investment.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:13 PM   #24
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Hell, that's right by me. I'm in Sappington.

Are there any possible sources for a 16 valve head near us? I have been calling around salvage yards and checking out CL/FB with no luck.
It's just a matter of luck to find one in the junkyards. Redblock Volvo's usualy hit the PnP style junkyards these days, and of the 5 in the general area, only 2 have online inventory (Pick-n-Pull and LKQ). The other three (Taylor, Riverside, Speedway) don't really keep good inventory, you have to go there and look.

I just got lucky on mine. I blew up my 8V turbo motor, had gotten a late model 8V replacement, and needed to get a 240 intermediate shaft (for the block mounted distributor). Went over to Speedway, saw a 940 GLE. Opened the hood, 16V! Untouched timing belt cover, good sign. Pulled that off, intact timing belt. *SCORE* Got it for $80. And made my project a lot more complicated - 16V heads don't fit into 240's very easily.

I do have a complete 16V turbo motor sitting in my garage. Heh. I pulled it out of my 240 to put in the turbo LS/6 spd drivetrain. I was pondering sticking it in my PV, but common sense prevailed. I was making about 350 whp with it, but it kept having HG issues. Probably my inept tuning. It was working fine when I pulled it, fresh HG. With a somewhat noisy T5 trans stuck on it.

If you were interested, I could ponder a price. It's got some $$$$ parts on it. Obviously, no sort of warranty would go with it. But it wouldn't be anywhere near that sort of cost either.
Longblock:
- squirter 93+ FT block
- forged Wiseco pistons
- Chinesium H-beam rods
- Kenny-ported 16V head
- stock 16V cams w/VW lifters

Fun stuff:
- RSI divided scroll front-mount exhaust manifold
- BW EFR 7064 turbo
- Nathan intake manifold
- MS3X ECU (and a sorta-good wiring harness - stock connectors, spliced together)
- Toyota COP ignition
- Yoshifab DSM CAS
- Racetronix 1000cc injectors

Drivetrain bits:
- JVAB billet flywheel
- Spec Stage 2+ Saab 9000 240mm clutch
- 1994 Mustang V8 T5 transmission on adapter
- 1-pc driveshaft for 240

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Halfway in the car:
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:08 AM   #25
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The EGR temp sensor issue will not cause the fuel mileage issue you are noticing. The EZK will disable the EGR system when the components are not working correctly.

ZVOLV, a blocked tube does trigger a code. Code 241, EGR flow too low.
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