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Old 07-12-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
Mysticle31
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Default Newbie Investigating Cars - Looking at Turbo Volvos, performance sedan?

Hey Guys. I'm Steve, and I'm been researching cars for a couple months now, and Volvo Turbos are higher up on my list. Obviously, I'm shopping my condition and not by model, however one has to know what models to look for. I wouldnít want a Pontiac Sunfire in excellent condition. Ideally in whatever I get, I would love to see low 14s to mid 13s, and a decent handler, with a stick, and good practicality. I'm short, so larger 2-doors suck.

Just a little history:

I'm interested in late 80s early 90s performance/sport cars. Nothing too old, as they usually require alot of work. Nothing too new because they are more expensive initially, and I do like to tinker with my when the car is worth it (IE no working on a LTD with 100hp and 12mpg, thatís a pain). Buying an older performance orientated vehicle, I would just have to spend some money catching up on any maintenance and getting them running the way they should. Then it's bolt on time for fun!

I've done many engine swaps in my history. A MK2 VW Jetta with a VR6, MX6 with KL-ZE, Festiva with a B6T (1.6L Turbo), Ranchero with a 460, and I've helped several people do Hondas (B16, B18). I'm sick and tired of doing swaps to get a quick fun car, and would like to try another route. First, swaps are alot of work. Second, they have the smog police in California to deal with. Third, of all I was unable to keep AC on any of them. Plus OEM has a certain quality, they spend alot of money to make everything fit right. That being said, I don't want to go hog wild with mods either. Iím limiting myself to bolt ons, chips, intake work, exhaust work, maybe cams if good for daily..etc.

Forced induction cars place high on my list due to the ease of gaining extra power. There are some quick N/A cars on my list too, like the Taurus SHO, and Nissan Maxima SE. These pretty much have a mid 14 second cap without really digging into the engine, but are perhaps more drivable in daily situations than a turbo.

Iím not really interested in Mustangs and Camaros as they usually command a higher initial price if in good shape, 2-door, and Iím partial to a sleeper/super-sleepers. Too bad V8 sedans exceed my 3500lb weight limit, and are all automatic.

To the point:

So, how tune friendly are Turbo Volvos? What kind of 1/4 mile times are possible with some bolt ons in good running condition? I've read the FAQs and learned that mid 200s HP is relatively achivable in the 700/900 (non first gen block) and the 240.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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Well, to be completely honest, no RWD Volvo from the mid 70's onwards fits into your performance/sports category. They're all large-sized family-cars, even the ones that got slightly different bodies on them (which are unfortunately the 2dr ones ... although there's SFA interior difference between the 2dr 780 & the 4dr 760, and there's also SFA interior difference between the 2dr 242 and the 4dr 244).

The thing that gets closest to the sports/performance description is probably the 780 Bertone, a fairly svelte looking 700-series coupe with all the same running gear as a 700 but in an Italian restyled body. I personally put them in much the same category as a BMW 635CSi in terms of prettiness; maybe I'm biased.

They can be made to do what you want it to do, and fairly reliably; although, IMHO, fiddling with the original turbo 4cyl engine is not as complete a performance solution as sticking in a near-new 6.0L V8 engine with it's factory 400hp. That's obviously a relatively expensive proposition though; and many of us would pulp you for doing that to a 780.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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Now Now, nothing to overkill. mid 13s is plenty for a daily driven street car! Even low 13s is fast. Some of they guys that drive 11 second cars all the time are nuts! You can't even open it up a little bit without zipping right up to 100 and going to jail! Plus, I don't want to die! :P
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Forg View Post
Well, to be completely honest, no RWD Volvo from the mid 70's onwards fits into your performance/sports category. They're all large-sized family-cars, even the ones that got slightly different bodies on them (which are unfortunately the 2dr ones ... although there's SFA interior difference between the 2dr 780 & the 4dr 760, and there's also SFA interior difference between the 2dr 242 and the 4dr 244).

The thing that gets closest to the sports/performance description is probably the 780 Bertone, a fairly svelte looking 700-series coupe with all the same running gear as a 700 but in an Italian restyled body. I personally put them in much the same category as a BMW 635CSi in terms of prettiness; maybe I'm biased.

They can be made to do what you want it to do, and fairly reliably; although, IMHO, fiddling with the original turbo 4cyl engine is not as complete a performance solution as sticking in a near-new 6.0L V8 engine with it's factory 400hp. That's obviously a relatively expensive proposition though; and many of us would pulp you for doing that to a 780.
Cleary, some of your chortling is simply 200 vs 700/900 racket.




For Mysticle31:

While the 780's are cool, 200's aren't that heavy (certainly lighter then most modern family sedans and coupes and 700's and 900's as well), came with 4 piston calipers in the front (as opposed to 2 piston floating calipers), and actually have a racing heritage and championship (Group A) to boast as well. They are good, simple, robust designs that make a great peformance platform.

And getting into the 13's with LH 2.4 is cake.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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I'm selling my 96 850T5 sedan for 1900 buckaroos. Send me paypal to get a turbo from Mike ($225) and I'll install it so it's ready to drive home! My dad is taking some pictures tomorrow morning, pm me if you're interested and I'll give you the low down.
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blah blah my name is ben and i know hot girls that i don't share. my 940 is retardly faster then my 850, but i won't dmit it. and oh yeah, when are wedoing my headgasket? buuuuuut, lemme get those brownies.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BDKR View Post
Cleary, some of your chortling is simply 200 vs 700/900 racket.




For Mysticle31:

While the 780's are cool, 200's aren't that heavy (certainly lighter then most modern family sedans and coupes and 700's and 900's as well), came with 4 piston calipers in the front (as opposed to 2 piston floating calipers), and actually have a racing heritage and championship (Group A) to boast as well. They are good, simple, robust designs that make a great peformance platform.

And getting into the 13's with LH 2.4 is cake.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by B Mac66 View Post
I'm selling my 96 850T5 sedan for 1900 buckaroos. Send me paypal to get a turbo from Mike ($225) and I'll install it so it's ready to drive home! My dad is taking some pictures tomorrow morning, pm me if you're interested and I'll give you the low down.

FWD sucks for performance or fun....well, except for a Honda CRX or something like that !!!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:05 AM   #9
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FWD sucks for performance or fun....well, except for a Honda CRX or something like that !!!!!
Quit being thick headed.
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:26 AM   #10
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See my sig. And mine is a full weight pig with power everything and ac. It's a fairly well hone road to 13s these days. Chips, turbo, injectors, intercooler and exhaust puts you squarely in the 13s with an auto and leaves you with a grenaded manual but 1 to 2k will get you a tranny swap that will survive in the near 300whp range. Have fun and show us what you end up with.

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Old 07-13-2007, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quit being thick headed.

I'm not....being that one of my daily drivers is a S70 T5 which has seen time @ Thunderhill Raceway and has seen some of the best curvy roads in Northern California I think I know how well a FWD performs as a "performance" vehicle....

besides, he is asking about the 200 and 700/900 series cars which I gather he knows is RWD....
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:53 AM   #12
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See my sig. And mine is a full weight pig with power everything and ac. It's a fairly well hone road to 13s these days. Chips, turbo, injectors, intercooler and exhaust puts you squarely in the 13s with an auto and leaves you with a grenaded manual but 1 to 2k will get you a tranny swap that will survive in the near 300whp range. Have fun and show us what you end up with.

Thanks
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+1 Renny!

Tho I never got to the strip with my car in it's last iteration, I'm positive it could go high 13's at the least. My trap speed would be slower then yours, but crap could that car get out of the hole!

Now I'm just waiting on the 372 to arrive and to build my 18g. Yeah boy, all hell is going break loose then.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:39 AM   #13
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FWD sucks for performance or fun....well, except for a Honda CRX or something like that !!!!!
I'm having a LOT of fun with my tuned V40 (323HP 325 lb-ft)

But,.. I didn't buy the 940 for no reason either.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mysticle31 View Post
To the point:

So, how tune friendly are Turbo Volvos? What kind of 1/4 mile times are possible with some bolt ons in good running condition? I've read the FAQs and learned that mid 200s HP is relatively achivable in the 700/900 (non first gen block) and the 240.
Why limit yourself to bolt ons?
You will barely scrape the surface of what a Volvo, even a good ol' 240 can do if you insist on bolt ons only.

There's a lot of good natured joshin and jabbing round here regarding which is better, the simple, stury, honest 240 family or the later, ugllier, stranger 740 POS junk family. It's all in good nature as we can't be tooooo mean to 700 series guys, or they'll hold their breath and turn blue.

Let's be straightforward.
Get a 240.

But plan on some substitution of parts if you want to have w really REALLY fun car, and high on that list is getting a gearbox in the car that is reliable AND has ratios which don't have m,assive holes biog enough to drive a tru.. er, a 740 thru.

But why not build a motor, to have any real fun you need to turn up ze BOOOOST, and to safely turn up the boost into the FUN range, you really need to know the bottom end is not about to spit the rods out the side of the block.

Build a bottom end you can trust, THEN THE REST can be BOLT ON.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:03 PM   #15
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LH2.4 equiped 240(think 90 up) with
custom coilover-(http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=85793),
dual sways out back-(http://forums.turbobricks.com/showth...dual+sway+bars)
a mitsubishi turbo from an 850(aka 15g or pick another from the following thread)(http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=83929)
cam and gear from dale-(www.avalancheperformance.com)
bushings from dale-(www.avalancheperformance.com)
Go out and buy all that and have a ball...as a noob searching is not needed here. Now go and buy a car..post hundreds of threads of the same things that are on here in mass. j/p man welcome to what should be a drug
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:55 PM   #16
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Why limit yourself to bolt ons?
Because with all the work in building an engine from the ground up I might as well consider swaps too. I'm going to have problems with smog, lots of downtime, and might as well consider other cars I can build up and get similar results. I don't want to overwhelm any bottem end I buy (that comes with the car) with boost.

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Chips, turbo, injectors, intercooler and exhaust puts you squarely in the 13s with an auto and leaves you with a grenaded manual but 1 to 2k will get you a tranny swap
That's interesting, I've usually found in other makes that the auto is weaker than the manual. What manuals are being swapped in there?I havn't driven an automatic in at least 5 years, I don't know how well I'd like an automatic. If I considered the autos I'd have to consider and drive the GM superchargeds, Northstar caddys, and a couple others.


Lots of good times and info posted. All the cars I'm interested in are family sedans or wagons or hatchbacks. I'm partial to a sleeper. I realize they aren't race cars and I'm not a racer. I do like to have some fun sometimes both in the canyon and on the track.

I like the fact that these are RWD, although there are alot of FWD cars on the list (Taurus SHO, Maxima, and Saab). Both FWD and RWD cars can be competitive with work (not my objective really). A poorly set up RWD from the factory or from the owner will suck too.

There is alot of animosity between the 200 and the 700/900 guys isn't there?

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Old 07-13-2007, 05:52 PM   #17
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Because with all the work in building an engine from the ground up I might as well consider swaps too. I'm going to have problems with smog, lots of downtime, and might as well consider other cars I can build up and get similar results. I don't want to overwhelm any bottem end I buy (that comes with the car) with boost.
You will look hard to find a block/crank combo as strong as the B21/B23, all I'm suggesting is that with NEW, FRESH, known good components (Pistons and rods) added to a known stout block and crank, you needn't do much more except ADD 20-30 PSI to have some SAFE fun.
Smog check in Calfornia won't be checking crank, rods or pistons.

Set the car up right and it would be virtually indistinguishable from the outside.

Remember back in the early 80s when these cars were run in European Touring Car Championship in Group A, the 2,1 liter B21 made an easy, torquey, DOCILE to DRIVE 330bhp.
And GpA rules mandated stock port sizes, stock intake and exhaust manifolds, stock valve sizes, and no more lift than stock (until 1 Jan 1986).

There was no limit on fuel and no limit on boost.

And they went like stonk till a certain 2,0 16 v turbo Ford arrived and kicked and stomped Volvo into a lifeless quivering, soggy mass of barely alive protoplasm.

Do you think Volvo just did bolt ons?

Make an unburstable bopttom end, then boost the hell out of it.





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There is a lot of animosity between the 200 and the 700/900 guys isn't there?
No, not at all. How do you mean?
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:59 PM   #18
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There is alot of animosity between the 200 and the 700/900 guys isn't there?
200 guys are grumpy because their cars are loud, unreliable, and uncomfortable, and 7/900 guys are grumpy because they're mistaken for their mother.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #19
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200 guys are grumpy because their cars are loud, unreliable, and uncomfortable, and 7/900 guys are grumpy because they're mistaken for their mother.
....u couldnt be more wrong...
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:37 PM   #20
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....u couldnt be more wrong...
Did I hit a nerve, mom?
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:51 PM   #21
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200 guys are grumpy because their cars are loud, unreliable, and uncomfortable, and 7/900 guys are grumpy because they're mistaken for their mother.
My 242 is quiet, reliable and EXTREMELY comfortable. I would take my seats and driving position over any 700/900. As my buddy Zac, I swear he is about to fall asleep in the passenger seat everytime I drive him to and from work.

Some would say there is minimal difference in opinion between 200 guys and 700/900 guys. Nothing like the RWD vs FWD. It's all what you like. Go look at a nice 200 and drive it. Then look at a nice 7/900 and drive it. I LOVE my 242 and also like my buddies 940.

Just check some stuff out, shop around.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:55 PM   #22
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Did I hit a nerve, mom?
mom? the hell?
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:01 AM   #23
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pick up a cheap 240 and see how you like it!(under $500 allday on ebay and elsewhere) they move right along with few mods.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:23 AM   #24
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Damn, the 240 is still pretty big, I saw one at a stoplight. I thought that it was a 7/9 series until I saw the 240 number.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:46 AM   #25
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They're very long, but quite narrow.
My 242 just about takes up the same length of a garage as the old man's current-model Nissan Maxima; which is a cavernous car by comparison. The Maxima is probably a foot wider though, and it doesn't have all that extra space, particulary up front but at the rear too, for crumple-zone. Car manufacturers were still learning about that stuff in the 70's, these days crumple-zones crumple in odd directions or into vehicle components, whereas in 240's the crumple zones are kinda open air.
If you look under the bonnet ('hood') of a 240, the engine-bay is really long; and there's a fair bit if dead-air in front of that bay too. It's the reason you can fit a big-block in there without needing any cutting (although due to the fact that they're not wide cars, I imagine you'd have to use quite tight headers).

I doubt a 700 or 900 is appreciably longer than a 200; just wider. They also lowered the seating position a bit; you sit more "in" and less "on" a 700/900 than a 200.
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