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New member: swapping a 2.3 into a Volvo 122
#1

Hey - new member here.  My name is Bob Spooner and my teenage boys and I keep ourselves busy with various car projects.  Our latest project is a preservation-mod of a 1967 Volvo 122.  A friend of ours rescued it from the barn where it sat for 40 years.  as these things happen, he went from this one to having 4 of them and this one needed to go to a good home - us.  We were headed down the path of rebuilding the original B18 engine, but research showed us that we could get more reliable HP cheaper from a 2.3 turbo.  So, were directed our search that way.  We picked up 2 in a two-for-one + a bellhousing deal we couldn't pass up.  We have both of them torn down now and were very pleasantly surprised by the condition of one, and happy we didn't buy the other one singly.  We certainly have all of the pieces we need to make one very good engine, and a bunch of good spares.

We are new to the 2.3, but have done a bunch of e-research.  We do have experience with engine rebuilding - but it's been jeep 4.0 and ford 302s and VW air cooled engines to this point. A buddy pointed us here, and I'm happy there is a community to support this engine - we have joined other forums as we have worked our way through our projects and these communities have to be the best part of the internet.

A couple of questions right off the bat here:
  • Where is the best place to get an exhaust flange - we will have to make our own exhaust collector as the Volvo engine bay is a little narrow.
  • Same with an alternator relocation bracket: would like to move it to the lower passenger side
  • Cam and Crank position sensors: we will megasquirt this engine.  I see a unit over on the Stinger website that mounts to the distributor and the way I understand it they say it provides crank and cam positions - or perhaps they say it provides enough position info to work.  Anyone have any experience with that?
  • This will be our first turbo engine megasquirt project - and we only have 2 prior MS projects so it's not like we are MS experts over here.  Does anyone have a decent basemap they'd be willing to share?
  • What is the best option for turning the intake 90 degrees?  Does anyone make just the intake flange, so that we could fab our own?
  • Throttle bodies - any recommendations for aftermarket TBs?
  • Oil pan: again, what's the best (and by best I mean most bang for buck, we are not building a show car here) replacement oil pan.  Both of these engines have banged up pans.
  • Any cool alternative valve covers out there?  The two we have are the stock versions with the recess in the center - there OK, but perhaps there is something cooler.
  • I always like the little guys: any forum members fabbing cool stuff we could use in this build?
    I think that it is for now - thanks in advance for any info.  Here's a couple of snaps of the 122:
[Image: 172074444_2402423696568904_5039452499455...e=62FF95DE]

[Image: 172815335_2402423686568905_5287807290011...e=62FFD1E3]
Paul LeDuc likes this post
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#2

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WELCOME to TurboFord, Bob & sons!!  WOW ~ That Volvo looks almost as good as it must've looked rolling off the assembly line in Sweden 55 years ago!! I'm not sure whether or not they're collectible ~ BUT if so, are you sure you wanna do an engine swap and ruin whatever resale value it might have??

I'll ASSume that you DO! What year 2.3T engines did you get and how complete are they? ALL 74-97 2.3 Limas have forged rods and nodular-iron cranks, plus ALL turbo versions (79 carbed - 89 EFI Merkur) had forged pistons, with the 79-82 having flat tops. Soooo.......If at all possible, I suggest installing whichever one you choose AS-IS, so you can fab the mounts and figure out all the logistics......then, get it running and do any desired modifications or custom add-ons later.

What are your power goals? The stock 87 & 88 stick-shift T-Birds (Turbocoupes) were rated at I THINK 215 hp, which would propel that little Volvo pretty well. Sooo.......unless you're intent on building a tubular header, the stock or mildly-ported cast-steel exh manifolds do pretty well. You can also get "flip adapters" (Big R Motorsports) that allow turning the manifold upside down, which moves the turbo to the front of the engine, (if that would help with fitment). The only lwr/rt alt bracket that I'm familiar with was made for I THINK the late Rangers. It mounts the alt stationary and incorporates a spring-loaded serp-belt tensioner.

The "PiMP" series of ECUs that Stinger sells are Microsquirt-based and will plug-n-play with the stock TFI distributors, meaning that you don't need to install separate crank & cam-pos sensors if you don't want to. As for rotating the upper, you can get nice welded & ported versions from Steve Schlodes, or infinite-position (rotating) versions from Big R. OTOH, if you wanna save a bunch of money, you can get a 1/2 or 5/8x6x6 chunk of aluminum and make a dual-pattern "90° adapter" as pictured below (BTW ~ the shortest upper is an 87/88 TC).

The stock (50mm?) Ford throttle body has shown to be capable of supporting over 500hp (Matt Svenson), soooo........unless you have other reasons for using an aftermarket version, I recommend keeping it stock. Oil pans......front or rear sump? Valve covers......there are a variety of different styles available (stock stamped steel, several Ford cast-aluminum versions, Esslinger cast aluminum, and some fabbed sheet-metal versions. HAVE FUN!   Smile

[Image: CWS8xzg.jpg?1]
Placerville, California
(former)  '78 2.3T Courier w/blow-thru Autolite 2bbl carb ~ (current)  '87 2.3T Ranger w/PiMP’d EFI
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#3

Bob, I sent you an email with my contact info.
(2) 84.5 TurboGT 'verts/84.5 TurboGT hatch/(3) 86 SVOs
86 LX 2.3 (project Ratstang)/04 SVT Focus #1276
77 F-350/40 Ford Sedan/67 Fairlane GT 'vert
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#4

I have a couple of suggestions.  As far as the relocated alternator bracket......I used this on my Mustang and roadster.  Just a couple of pieces of bar stock cut/bent and welded.  It uses existing bolt holes in the block and puts the alt down low on the pass side.

[Image: vR2Uj77l.jpg]

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For a valve cover, I used the early Ford 2.3 F.I. valve cover that came on most every 2.3T except for '87-'88 Turbo Coupes.  Had it powdercoated in gloss black w/blue inset and covered with clearcoat.  It's lasted for literally years and looks as good as it did in the beginning!

[Image: bUgZEAtl.jpg]

[Image: IRZJ1iOl.jpg]
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Thunderstang (DECEASED)
'27 Model 'T' w/2.3T
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#5

(07-23-2022, 02:42 PM)Paul LeDuc Wrote:  Bob, I sent you an email with my contact info.

I saw that Paul - and thank you very much. I will certainly give you a call to pick your brain. My buddy Todd Simonds posted me in this direction. Glad he did. Good day - Bob

If you are interested and do the instagram thing we have been documenting our projects at “finnwerks”. Started mostly as a way to show the colleges what the boy was doing with his time - I think it helped he did get into UConn engineering this fall.
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#6

(07-24-2022, 12:23 PM)belltownbikes Wrote:  
(07-23-2022, 02:42 PM)Paul LeDuc Wrote:  Bob, I sent you an email with my contact info.

I saw that Paul - and thank you very much. I will certainly give you a call to pick your brain. My buddy Todd Simonds posted me in this direction. Glad he did. Good day - Bob

If you are interested and do the instagram thing we have been documenting our projects at “finnwerks”. Started mostly as a way to show the colleges what the boy was doing with his time - I think it helped he did get into UConn engineering this fall.

How is Todd doing? I haven't talked to him in ages.
I don't do Instagram, too old...lol
All I have is my desktop, no 'smart-a$$' phone, no tablet or other toys.
(2) 84.5 TurboGT 'verts/84.5 TurboGT hatch/(3) 86 SVOs
86 LX 2.3 (project Ratstang)/04 SVT Focus #1276
77 F-350/40 Ford Sedan/67 Fairlane GT 'vert
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#7

I think this would be interesting to do...But, I am curious on why you decide to go with the 2.3T from the mid 70's to 80's? Since you are starting from scratch, and have minimal knowledge on the engine, maybe consider the 2.0/2.3 from the 2014+ Ford Ecoboost family?
Just curious, that is all...
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#8

(07-25-2022, 04:23 PM)my8950 Wrote:  I think this would be interesting to do...But, I am curious on why you decide to go with the 2.3T from the mid 70's to 80's? Since you are starting from scratch, and have minimal knowledge on the engine, maybe consider the 2.0/2.3 from the 2014+ Ford Ecoboost family?
Just curious, that is all...

$$$!
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#9

Is it really that much? I have been pricing out a 2.0 swap, overall I don't think the cost is much different. Seems that the newer stuff has more availability compared to the older stuff. If you want performance parts for the Lima, you're going to pay because it's an old platform that many have moved away from. Just thinking out loud, I have a lot of time and money invested in Lima parts, but if I was just starting out, I would most likely go with the new generation.
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