with Anthony Hyde (Fellow Turbobricks member)
I decided to do something drastic.
My car is a 1979
242 GT. The Transmission & engine were transplanted by the
previous owner from a 1983 GLT turbo that was T-Boned. It started out (when I got it)
as an engine that did not start, & when it did, didn't idle without help. It was basically a
mechanics nightmare. CIS computer didn't exist, waste gate actuator was HANGING
off the waste gate, Bad alternator, going exhaust...
You get the picture.
Since it was FAR
from original, I decided to completely pillage it from stock even further.
After repairing the essentials, (breaks, alt etc.) I started studying Volvos intently. Volvo FAQs,
other areas, Glenn Thompson , Tim, Angel, Anthony where all big sources of hi-po information.
I bought an entire intercooler kit from a totaled '85 245. Installed everything that had to do
with the intercooler (Round radiator tank, intercooler, all plumbing. The car really started to scream.
Total cost, $250.00, time to install, one SHORT Saturday afternoon.
The next major upgrade
was the removal of the 1 7/8" (inside diameter) exhaust & replacing
with 2.5" tubing. With DynoMax 2.5" cat & DynoFlow muffler. (Don't bother replacing the stock
cat unless you want it totally stock, just have a pipe fabricated from the turbo to an after market
(performance) cat in the non-turbo location. I paid less than $60.00 for the cat & about $120 for
the muffler. I bought the cat & muffler separate. The larger exhaust really surprised me, the car would
literally LAUNCH as the low end breathing was improved. Had to keep a sharp eye on that tach.
Total cost, +/- $350.00
But I felt that there was more power there to be had.
I was looking at
the upgrade section of the Turbo Bricks web page, Turbobricks
& saw a picture of the
under hood happenings of Anthony Hydes car (I hope that is spelt right) Well he has a B23 block
with a B21 head & K-Jet injection (essentially a B21FT with a B23 block I guess) BUT the big
difference is the B23/B230 intake. If you look at the B21FT intake, it looks like a one barrel
carburetor would look more at home there, The runners are flat & very small. The area beneath
the throttle body is only about 1-1.5 inches deep (25-40mm) The B23/230 intake has LARGE
individual runners & a very large area under the throttle body, at least three times the size of the
B21ft intake. It also looks a lot cooler! :) So I made a deal with Lee Holman (again, I hope I'm
spelling ok tonight) to trade the entire intake system from a 1983 B23 with L-Jet for a complete set
of springs/Sway bars from my car (REMEMBER, it's a 1979 GT, I upgraded to a complete IPD setup)
Anyhoo, I got everything,
mounts, intake, cables everything. I then spent the next two weeks
planning my attack. Bought intake gaskets, Steel reinforced Hi Temp epoxy paste. Vacuum
line, plugs, EVERYTHING I MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT NEED. I sand blasted the 14 year
old grime off the manifold, cleaned all openings, did mild porting to the runner ends
(LOVE THAT DREMEL). Put a nice clear coat on it. Plugged the L-JET injector holes with
the epoxy. (NOTE: I could have probably used round head carriage bolts & nice Chrome nuts,
but I wasn't picky) I smoothed the epoxy inside & out. THIS IS IMPORTANT! My engine
is a B21FT with intercooler, a non-intercooled engine WILL NOT WORK WITH THIS
UPGRADE! I removed the old intake, throttle cable, mounts, made note of vacuum line info.
Removed the support rod that is supposed to hold up the intake. I started a component swap.
The old (B21FT) throttle body went right over, the throttle arm from the B23 throttle body
MUST BE USED. The Cold start injector was moved to the bottom of the new intake that
has a diamond shaped hole with a plug on it. The cold injector goes there but the fuel line to
the injector must be manipulated to reach the new location. BE CAREFUL! Use the diamond
shaped plug panel to block the opening from the stock location for the injector. (make a new
gasket) you will need two new studs for the intake because the B21FT intake uses 6 studs
& 2 bolts. Just buy two more studs & then use them in place of the bolts. Install the new
intake as you normally would. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO CLEAN OUT
THE OIL SEPARATOR BOX FOR THE PCV SYSTEM! Also check all those sensors
that you can never get to. Torque the intake down & install the new throttle cable &
mounting from the donor car. (SEE! IT FITS!) You'll notice why you need the throttle arm
from the old throttle body, the arm needs to be about half as long.
Starting to look
pretty cool, huh? Looks like a different engine, don't it? Now, here is
tricky part. Anthony Hyde told me that the best way to connect the intake runner to the throttle
body is to get the intake parts from a 740 turbo. THIS IS PROBABLY THE BEST CHOICE.
BUT if you want instant gratification with out spending even more money, READ ON. If you
take the aluminum elbow and rotate ONE BOLT HOLE TO THE RIGHT (when looking
down at it) & screwing it down, you will notice that that one bolt & the o-ring tension will hold
it nicely. Take the rubber flex hose & bend it to your will until it lines up with the new intake
location. IT DOES WORK, TRUST ME. You shouldn't need to cut anything. If you haven't,
replace all your hoses where they should go, you might notice that the b23 intake has more
nipples, (hey, no complaints here!) ;). You might need a plug or two. One large one at least.
Make sure that the distributor goes into the throttle body for it's PORTED vacuum, as well
as the charcoal canister. You'll see where the power break line goes as well as the line that feeds
the heater controls.
Did I miss anything?
Check your work,
PLEASE CHECK YOUR WORK!
DON'T FORGETTHAT SCREW DRIVER YOU LEFT ON THE COWL
Start the car. (mine
did it on the first shot, your mileage may vary) The first thing I noticed
was the sound. Much throatier. & the throttle response was a bit quicker. My Vacuum
was a full 4 INCHES higher at idle from the old intake (16 to 20). TEST DRIVE: The car
now has an entirely different power band. The increase in intake plenum (again, check my
spelling) gave it more hi end breathing, (& BOY did it!) & the overall increase in runner
size increased low end torque. (CAN YOU SAY CHIRP THE WHEELS IN SECOND
AND THIRD?) My mileage also increased by a couple of MPG. Over all, even if it didn't
improve the performance, I'd do it just for the looks. AND the better ACCESSIBILITY for
the components on that side of the block. CAN WE SAY BREATHER BOX ACCESS??
In my case, there is a VERY obvious increase in performance. It sounds different,
more aggressive & businesslike.
RECOMMENDATION: GO FOR IT!