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Old 11-19-2022, 03:18 PM   #1
soroushrajabnik
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Default B230ft swap in California - block mounted distributor

Hey guys, I have a 78 242 that I have had plans to eventually swap the b21f out for something more powerful and reliable. I would’ve liked to be going the junkyard LS route, but I live in California and there’s not really any way to make this happen unless you have deep pockets and buy a crate motor.

So my plan has been the path of least resistance, sticking to a redblock Volvo platform for the swap. This will at least allow me a car that can get through the ref etc. As I’ve been doing my research and reading other threads, it’s been brought to my attention that another user tried to ref a b230ft swap in an earlier 240 by swapping in a 940 turbo motor- fairly strait forward, BUT…. The ref didn’t pass him because the distributor wasn’t mounted on the head like the 940…

I seem to recall reading something about someone telling the ref their later model b230ft was actually an 87? Ish motor and passing…

My main question is, what if any Volvo redblock in the US was turbo charged with a block mounted distributor?? Not counting the Kjet b21ft… I’m talking EFI.
Did this exist?
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:26 PM   #2
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Only the 1983-84 760 Turbo with a B23FT/ET came with a block mounted distributor.
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:35 PM   #3
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What are the chances I could ref an early to mid 90s b230ft with the block mounted distributor swapped in by telling a white lie that it’s actually out of an 84 760 turbo? I know it’s a stretch and that if they know where to look to date the block it’ll be a red flag, but I’m just looking for solutions or if anyone has been able to accomplish this if they could point me in the right direction in terms of how they made it happen. I seem to recall the guy that fibbed about his 940 turbo motor being an earlier engine actually dummy wired in a few things he needed to pass that weren’t even actually hooked up to anything
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:45 PM   #4
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I’ll try to see if I can dig up the thread and quote the user, but I also recall that his car was running on megasquirt and they still passed it. Perhaps this was a myth
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:50 PM   #5
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What are the chances I could ref an early to mid 90s b230ft with the block mounted distributor swapped in by telling a white lie that it’s actually out of an 84 760 turbo? I know it’s a stretch and that if they know where to look to date the block it’ll be a red flag, but I’m just looking for solutions or if anyone has been able to accomplish this if they could point me in the right direction in terms of how they made it happen. I seem to recall the guy that fibbed about his 940 turbo motor being an earlier engine actually dummy wired in a few things he needed to pass that weren’t even actually hooked up to anything
You need a sight limited smog tech. I may know such a local fella if needed.
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:52 PM   #6
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You need a sight limited smog tech. I may know such a local fella if needed.
Compelling… this would obviously be just smogging the car without reffing it correct? My hope was to be able to legally obtain the sticker… but the more digging I do, the more this seems pretty difficult to actually accomplish
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:55 PM   #7
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From what I can tell it is the luck of the draw whether you get a ref that knows their stuff and goes through it with a fine toothed comb or not. I'd be worried about the outward differences between a B23 and a B230. Mostly the fact that a B230 has "B230" cast into the side of the block and the numbers won't be right.
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:56 PM   #8
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Compelling… this would obviously be just smogging the car without reffing it correct? My hope was to be able to legally obtain the sticker… but the more digging I do, the more this seems pretty difficult to actually accomplish
Getting a sticker will make the car legit enough that you could actually sell it easily. If the time ever came for such a thing. I have seen a few LS swapped cars that haven't gotten approved by the ref and their ability to get through smog by "knowing a guy" seems heavily dependent on word of mouth and a rotating cast of smog guys getting caught by CARB.

The whole thing had me sticking with my B230 in the '89 and now the B21 in the '80.
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:58 PM   #9
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Getting a sticker will make the car legit enough that you could actually sell it easily. If the time ever came for such a thing.
The goal would be to keep the car, but basically be able to smog it every two years being a block mounted distributor turbo motor
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Old 11-19-2022, 04:20 PM   #10
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You would have better luck getting an LS swap past a referee. There is no combination ever used by Volvo that will be a simple install into your 242. Everything for the swap related to the engine has to be installed. The B23FT is as close as you will get and then you are stuck with LH 2.0.
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Old 11-19-2022, 04:45 PM   #11
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The goal would be to keep the car, but basically be able to smog it every two years being a block mounted distributor turbo motor
If you are keeping the car. I can help you out. My guy isn’t going anywhere. He’s blind, where’s he gonna go? If anything it will give you 2 years to figure it out, even if you ls swap it at least you’ll know where to go. Long Beach isn’t too far from you no matter where in la you are. But detail wise. Pm me. As you never know who lurks these pages.
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Old 11-22-2022, 04:07 PM   #12
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Have you talked to your local BAR ref? From my Honda friends experience, it helps to talk to your ref 1st. He should be able to tell you what he would be looking for during the inspection and possibly offer advise .
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Old 11-23-2022, 05:10 PM   #13
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You can also convert any B230FT to a block mounted distributor by removing the existing oil pump shaft and swapping it out for one that has the gears for both the oil pump and the distributor.

Of course, you'd need to modify the ignition wiring harness and source / install a block-mounted distributor.


PS I sell these intermediate shafts for $60 + shipping
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:42 PM   #14
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Can you bash a 240 enough to fit a head mounted disturber?
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:58 PM   #15
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Can you bash a 240 enough to fit a head mounted disturber?
I mean sure you can
I've seen 240s with a hole cut for the dizzy, but that's a lemons car not someone's DD or project worth getting BARd
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
You would have better luck getting an LS swap past a referee. There is no combination ever used by Volvo that will be a simple install into your 242. Everything for the swap related to the engine has to be installed. The B23FT is as close as you will get and then you are stuck with LH 2.0.
An ls would be easier for bar ref deal. For engine swap you have to use one year newer than car its going in.
I have a b23ft auto set up but want 1k for it.
Just put in a b23 shave the head with a b cam and rock that with a 3.73 axle or 3.91.
Otherwise do a turbo add on but dont know what you have to do with ref for that. Or take it off every two years lol.

Or do a donor fox body 5.0l swap. Or a 2jz. Or a bmw s54. Etc etc. Better to buy a donor vehicle so you have everything on hand.

Or swap a diesel in and do whatever you after your paperwork clears.

Fyi cali goes by the body not the frame for classification. So you could take an amazon body and put on a toyota and its now exempt.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:22 PM   #17
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An ls would be easier for bar ref deal. For engine swap you have to use one year newer than car its going in.
I have a b23ft auto set up but want 1k for it.
Just put in a b23 shave the head with a b cam and rock that with a 3.73 axle or 3.91.
Otherwise do a turbo add on but dont know what you have to do with ref for that. Or take it off every two years lol.

Or do a donor fox body 5.0l swap. Or a 2jz. Or a bmw s54. Etc etc. Better to buy a donor vehicle so you have everything on hand.

Or swap a diesel in and do whatever you after your paperwork clears.

Fyi cali goes by the body not the frame for classification. So you could take an amazon body and put on a toyota and its now exempt.
I thought the motor had to be the same year or newer than the car it is going in?

I've read of some folks sneaking a +t through the ref. Although I wouldn't bet on it. A 5.0 seems like a pretty good swap for a '78 as most 5.0 cars are newer than it. One tricky thing with the LS is that most inexpensive swap candidate motors are out of trucks. You can't cross the truck/car streams in California.

They may also get particular about the transmission though. Some seem to have gotten burned by that when swapping a 940 motor into a 240 with a stick.

Legend says that there were some 940s with B230FTs and block mounted distributors, but even if that is true it seems to be a case of Volvo throwing whatever they had into a car and the official setup according to the smog refs is a head mounted distributor.

Could always just get really persuasive with a hammer on the firewall.
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