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Old 05-27-2021, 01:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Portland Oregon
Default 1990 740 Tur(d)bo

I probably should have started this thread sooner but here we go. This is my 1990 Volvo 740 Tur(d)bo that I have owned since March of 2020.

I had been looking into getting a brick for a while and was forced to buy one after getting T boned in my daily driver. When I bought the car, it had just crossed over 200K miles and had terrible piston slap. It sounded more like a diesel than any gas engine ever should. The previous owner sold me a NA 93 squirter block with ~270k miles on it along with the car which I planned to rebuild. Over the course of the year I rebuilt that engine. The only modifications I bothered with prior to swapping the engine was swapping in some IPD sway bars and poly front strut rod bushings.

My initial plans were:
Reuse as many parts as possible (reuse the 13mm rods, oil pump etc)
OEM+ build
Keep AC
Keep daily driver
But I think we all know what happens to the initial plans...

First step was the tear down, which I was shocked at how nice everything looked for having over 270K on the motor.

Motor before/ after teardown

Here are way more pictures if interested: https://imgur.com/gallery/zS3etWG, https://imgur.com/gallery/GGiw3u7, https://imgur.com/gallery/ogYdBJ8.

Next was getting the block machined, which I had done at Portland Engine Rebuilders. While I was waiting for the block to be machined I ported the 530 head that came off the engine. For the intake, the focus was gasket matching as well as trying to mimic the flow diversion around the valve stem done in the 531 head. I did not get great pictures of this and it is very possible I did not improve flow since it’s impossible to know that without a flow bench. Based on my understanding of fluid dynamics, this should be an improvement over stock. For the exhaust I tried to “add” a short radius since the stock head is pretty much a sharp 90° turn coming out of the head which was somewhat successful but there really isn’t enough material there to make a smooth transition. I left the outlet of the exhaust roughly the same size to reduce flow reversal from the back pressure of the turbo and instead focused on polishing the port and smoothing out any rough spots.

Ported cylinder head

Since the valve springs and seats had over 270K on them I bought new OEM Volvo seats and springs (possibly the last set in the US according to the parts guy at the dealership) and lapped in the valves in before reassembling the head. I finally got the block crank and aux shaft back from the machine shop. It was no surprise that the cylinders had to be bored 0.12”/.3MM over. The block was also decked to clean up a rough spot near a coolant port. Both the aux shaft and crank were inspected and polished.

Motor after machining

At first I wanted to paint the block purple but thought that since I was going for an OEM+ I should have it look like a redblock.

Block painted red

Unfortunately I was not attentive to the engine enamel instructions and did not realize that all the enamel had to be applied in one hour so I applied the coats one day apart. Which caused the enamel to start to peel off after a couple weeks.

Peeling enamel

The red enamel peeling off was a sign that it should have been painted purple the whole time so I did it right the second time. This was in the middle of winter in Portland so it was not going to be warm enough to cure outside and since I did not have a garage I painted it outside and then brought it into my kitchen to cure.

Purple block

I gave up on reusing the 13mm rods when I realized that forged H beams were only ~$200 off ebay. All the rods weighed the same down to 0.1 grams. Since I did not want to deal with tons of piston slap and I don’t expect to exceed 400 hp, I decided to stick with the cast mahle pistons but needed a new set to fit the increased bore. The oil pump was just barely out of spec so I was also forced to buy a new pump. I chose to add a higher pressure spring to increase the oil pressure slightly as well as reinforce the connection between the oil pump shaft and the oil pump. The collar required some light grinding to the shaft to fit but nothing excessive.

Old oil pump (right) New pump (Left)

Oil pump and new collar

When assembling the engine, I made a HUGE mistake and over tightened one of the oil squirter bolts which are a very unique bolt that you cannot get anywhere. I tried to find some on here but did not have any success. Eventually I found a 93 940 in a pick n pull and went and stole the oil squirter bolts out of that motor but this one mistake held up the build for over a month while I was looking for a replacement.

Snapped oil squirter bolt

The stock oil drain return boss is not drilled from the factory on the NA blocks so it had to be drilled out and tapped for NPT threads.

Drilled oil return

For the oil feed, it is much easier to just use the plugged hole on the front of the block to feed the turbo rather than trying to match the B230FT feed location. Since that port feeds from the same oiling passage as the stock feed, no weird restrictors are required between the block and turbo. I decided to go with a stock head gasket and head bolts since I don’t have any crazy power goals. Once everything was assembled I pulled the IPD turbo cam out of the car and installed it on the head and after adjusting the valves installed the head on the short block.

Assembled engine.

After installation I had to weld up the downpipe to fit the TD04-15G and after that it started right up with no issues and has been running awesome since then. I kept the boost low during break in but after break in I added a wideband 02 sensor and cranked the boost up to 15 PSI which the LH2.4 adjusted to just fine. While the transmission was out, I did the accumulator on the AW71. After driving it for a little I realized how floppy the front end/ steering is so I made some plates to tie the front chassis to the front subframe as well as bought a strut tower brace from Ultra racing.

Next up will be some coilovers from Kahplenke with the quick center roll correction attachments.

Current specs
93 Squirter B230F+T bored 0.12 over
Forged H beam rods
Ported 530 head
TD04HL - 15G
IPD anti roll bars and front strut rod bushings
Front strut tower brace and DIY lower chassis brace

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Old 05-27-2021, 11:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Shoreline, WA

Making me want to do a full engine rebuild. Was this your first rebuild? Love the purple
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Old 05-27-2021, 08:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Portland Oregon

Thanks! I've rebuilt a few engines in the past. This was one of the easiest though. I really like the simplicity/durability of redblock's.
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:08 AM   #4
Wilford Brimley
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Marysville, wa

I painted a block that color years ago...its dead.
Deb the 940T Tina XC90 T5
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: happy valley

hey another portlander with a white 740t funny you bought yours with just over 200k mine when I bought it had just over 200k as well. Hows the paint on yours?
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:20 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Portland Oregon

Wilford Brimley, Thats ominous hopefully mine lasts.

sonofsoren The paints nothing to write home about. Nothing is too bad but I also definitely would not want to show it off.
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