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corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/7/15 11:29 a.m.

Hi all, First of all, my name is Corey and I've never really built a car for a specific purpose like this. I'm not fresh to racing, as I grew up racing motocross and was a salesman and project manager for a company that sold and built specific-use Arctic Cat side by sides for a while. I understand how stuff works, but rallycross is new to me. I've owned about a dozen e30s in the past and ran exactly one autocross and 2 drift events at Summit Point. I've been planning on doing this build thread for a while, so the first few posts are going to be catching up. I found myself in a situation where I had $1000 burning a hole in my pocket for a RWD car when I found out the WDCR SCCA Rallycross program was running in a lot 15 minutes from my house. First stop was craigslist. I knew e30s well, which is what I first looked for. Nothing worthwhile. Next best thing, e36. Couldn't find any. Patience isn't my strong suit (I'm sure the following build thread will reinforce that), so my search was relegated to anything RWD and 5 speed. An hour into searching I found the car I've been racing the past few months - 1986 Volvo 240 DL, 4 speed + overdrive, 14X,XXX miles, some rust, $700, hour from my house. I drove down, beat the guy down another $100, and drove it back home with no heat in the mid February, 30° weather. On the drive home, I noticed: -it was freezing freaking cold -fuel gauge didn't work -everything was loose in the front -clutch slipped in 4th -rear shocks were blown -it had some annoying clunk in the rear -open diff -cold Got it home and cleaned, checked out the situation, and christened my new racing car #uglyvolvo because: -rust -steelies -worst color ever -general overall condition -4 door -Volvo    

 

 Actual build stuff to come! Any negative comments about the appearance and potential lack of performance as a rallycross car are welcome. UPDATE: Volvo 240s work well as rallycross cars.

chiodos
chiodos HalfDork
10/7/15 11:36 a.m.

Cool stuff, there's a few volvo fans here. I've got two 240s now so if you can any questions or issues I may can help. I do suggest a spare transmission as they are made of glass and crackerjacks with 3rd gear being its biggest weak point

Dave
Dave New Reader
10/7/15 12:22 p.m.

Hopefully the heater fault isn't the heater fan - not particularly fun to replace.

moxnix
moxnix HalfDork
10/7/15 12:31 p.m.

Glad to see the build thread.

You will find a few of the WDCR rallyx regulars who post on here.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
10/7/15 8:38 p.m.

Corey also likes to bust up other people's rallycross cars when his isn't working ;)

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/8/15 7:32 a.m.

I fixed it with a self tapper though! Jeremy was awesome for letting Nick and I run his car.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/8/15 7:55 a.m.
Dave wrote: Hopefully the heater fault isn't the heater fan - not particularly fun to replace.

Oh it was. That was the first order of business. I fixed the blower motor and resistor (incredibly time consuming) , fuel sender, and gave it new ball joints, tie rods, steering rack boots, and a master cylinder. I also sourced some brand new, 10 year old snow tires from a place in Meyersdale, PA for $30/ tire, mounted and balanced.

Fuel sender fix. I wasn't spending $130 to replace a sender on a $600 car. The tape came off... I used it to give the fiberglass resin something to form up against.

The blower motor job was pretty much as awful as everyone said.

That was pretty much it for the first event. I figured I wouldn't get out of second gear, so I let the clutch go. The car wasn't quick feeling at all, but it was predictable and consistent. I did notice I had to set up way ahead of time to get the car pointed. I entered SR class and won against one other car with dual drivers, an e39 wagon. POV from first event: First WDCR Rallycross

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
10/8/15 7:15 p.m.

For the rear KYB Gas-A-Just shocks. They work well and are cheap.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/8/15 8:23 p.m.
NGTD wrote: For the rear KYB Gas-A-Just shocks. They work well and are cheap.

How do they compare to Bilstein HDs? I had ran Bilsteins on an E30 I had and drove a 318i on them at the RX last month and loved it.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/8/15 10:30 p.m.

Okay, so let's catch up on the car. First thing I did after the first event was a skid plate. The subframe and steering rack was a huge drag in the deep, rutted turns in Frostburg.

1/8" piece of aluminum I mocked up with cardboard and bent with the blade of a Ditch Witch and some bricks. Redneck, I know. I wanted to lose whatever weight I could while still keeping it civil (just in case someone wanted to trade me for a BMW), so got rid of all the AC components, some big triangle shaped support things that are supposed to transfer force to the axle if you're rear ended, and hacked the rear muffler off since it began to fall off during a run. <img src=" photo 20150508_194359_HDR1_zps4zyxrmkt.jpg

I also got the cheapest shocks Autozone had (Gabriel Ultras) since I wasn't sure what I was going to do with suspension yet, but the car desperately needed shocks. At this point I decided I actually sort of like the car, body roll, 90 hp and all. I ran across an 89' 760 turbo on craigslist an hour from me for $400, so I went and got it. I know everyone is going to wonder why I thought the best upgrade path for my 240 was to turbo it. I don't really have a good answer, but if anyone else got a turbo car for $400 and was able to sell the bare chassis for $200, I hate to think you wouldn't do the same.

 photo 20150620_095754_HDR_zpsiemhshau.jpg

 photo 20150619_200751_HDR_zpsktp7uyws.jpg

I decided to do this the way most people wouldn't. Instead of pulling the B230FT from the 760, I decided to turbo the B230F that was in the 240. There were a few reasons I went this route, the two most important of which were: -higher compression would feel a little better when I was out of boost -I can set the B230FT back for a winter build I got lucky with model years of these cars. My 86 240 used LH2.2 for fuel injection and a Chrysler computer to control timing. The 89 760 still used LH2.2 for injection. If it would have been any newer, it would have been LH2.4, and the wiring required would have been a little more involved and I would need to modify the flywheel or source one. Anyway, that wasn't the case. The ECU from the 760 to the 240 was a direct swap. I did have to update to the Bosch EZK timing computer (yes, these cars use a separate computer for fuel and timing) and get rid of the Chrysler unit. There was some wiring involved, but it wasn't a bad job at all. I used this thread to guide me through the swap: LH2.2 Chrysler to EXK thread

EZK ignition computer and harness cut from the 760 and ready to patch into the 240's fuel harness. The plan was to get oil from an super handy, threaded oil gallery in the front of the block and return it to the drain pan. I got a 90 degree fitting for the feed and a 45 degree fitting for the pan.

Blue 90 fitting below the water pump. I'm not sure why Volvo put this there, but I'm glad they did.

See that motor mount on the radiator support? It was pretty beat, so I got a new one. More on that later.

I figured it was a good time to fix some wiring that was falling apart.

Might as well do an intake gasket while it's apart. The whole turbo swap took me a few weeks, but I screwed around ordering parts (gaskets, oil lines, fittings) and went on vacation.

I still needed a fan and exhaust, but at least it was a running turbo car with no leaks or problems other than a clutch that wanted nothing to do with the additional 60hp.

I put a Luk clutch for a turbo car in with the help of a friend who never works on cars. Now I doubt he ever will again.

Race cars have side pipes, right?

I made an electric fan work from a V70XC by hacking up the V70 shroud and fitting it on the 760 shroud. It was free, so that's nice. It also moves a ton of air. It's wired straight to the battery (fused in line) and switched through a relay to the factory fog light switch on the dash.

I did install a boost gauge also. Volvo guys may notice that my DL has a tach. I didn't mention that I bought a 244 GL parts car at some point during this. I'm sure there will be a post about it at some point. Anyway, I took the tach from that car. I wanted some type of shield for the cone filter intake, so I built one. I may do it in aluminum when I get around to it. It does a good job of protecting it from being directly splashed with mud, and I'm sure helps with heat some.

I also welded the diff. I was back and forth on this, and I really would have liked a proper limited slip. Again, that's a possibility for this winter.

I also did trailing arm bushings (that was the annoying clunk the car always had). Internet says all kinds of stuff about that job. I went into it thinking it was going to take me a Saturday. It really took about 20 minutes per side. I burned out the old bushing, used my reciprocating saw to cut a slit in the outer metal, and slid it out by hand. Then I used MAPP gas to heat up the holes and slid the new bushings (which had been in the freezer for 4 hours) into place. They slid right in. I was able to line them up and orient them with my fingers. So... don't go borrowing a press to do those. So that gets us current up to tonight!

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/8/15 11:10 p.m.

Onto tonight's adventure... The last rallycross in September was my first race with the car back together. I went from an open diff, 90hp Volvo to a welded diff with 150hp on the same suspension and tires. It honestly felt awful. All the handling problems were exaggerated. Then that new motor mount I mentioned earlier broke, which tore a heater hose and screwed with my throttle cable. That ended the day for the Volvo, but another guy let me drive his E36 318i (which felt like a go kart in comparison). My plan of attack was: 1)Actual rally tires. The ancient snows were getting beat. I also couldn't believe the grip difference between my car and the 318i with rally tires. I bought 9 Lassa Rally 3 tires and got 4 of them mounted up for this weekend. 2)Do something about suspension. I don't want to throw money at it when I'm not sure what I want. For this weekend, I'm just running a 23mm sway bar from the 760. It took a lot of cussing and convincing to get on, as it's about an inch shorter in the part that goes back to the links. The link bushings are flexed out, but if I like it I'll get a 23mm bar that fits properly OR move the mounts on the arms to fit. I also grabbed a 19mm sway for the rear. 3)Motor mounts. No one makes decent ones. I did hockey pucks tonight:

7/16" grade 8 bolts, 3.5 hockey pucks and 2 different size washers later and my car vibrates like a real life race car. Anyone have any wisdom for what to do with my suspension though? Springs rates, lower it slightly, shock suggestions?

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
10/8/15 11:50 p.m.
corey_mck wrote:
NGTD wrote: For the rear KYB Gas-A-Just shocks. They work well and are cheap.
How do they compare to Bilstein HDs? I had ran Bilsteins on an E30 I had and drove a 318i on them at the RX last month and loved it.

KYB Gas-A-Just - Rock Auto - $29.79
Bilstein HD's - IPD - $104.95

The Bilstein is likely a better shock, but 4 times the price - your car and your wallet.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/9/15 8:45 a.m.

I can tell you I'm way more attached to my wallet than the idea of Bilsteins.

I still need to find something out about springs and sways. I'll see how this weekend goes.

ssswitch
ssswitch HalfDork
10/9/15 12:09 p.m.

Cool motor mounts! I wonder if using street hockey pucks would have made it a little more posh.

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
10/9/15 12:36 p.m.
corey_mck wrote: I can tell you I'm way more attached to my wallet than the idea of Bilsteins. I still need to find something out about springs and sways. I'll see how this weekend goes.

The easy button out back for stiffer springs are Volvo wagon overload springs, but I don't know of any thing for the front.

What are your courses like? Where we run, it ruts up so you want to keep as much travel and ride height as possible, so no lowering springs. Most guys run stock or stiffer than stock set-ups.

For rally-X many people disconnect the front sway and keep the rear. I have never tried it myself. What is irish44 and that crew doing with the beemers?

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
10/9/15 1:08 p.m.

Our venue doesn't rut up too bad (the only people who really do any scraping are stock-height Miatas) so it's not really an issue. I wouldn't lower the car any, personally.

My suspension has been all kinds of things, but after much thought and whatnot, I'm on ground controls now (with Bilstein HDs that have held up fine to four years of rallycross). I'll have to go back and look at my rates, though due to motion ratios they would be different for the Volvo than for the e30, but long story short I at about stock height with rates substantially higher than stock or any of the aftermarket springs I had been using (which were all lower, so i lived on my bumpstops).

As for sways, my 318 has its stock front swaybar, and has a 325i stock rear (which is about as thick as a pencil), which I've had disconnected all season but just reconnected for this weekend.

Corey, we can switch cars for a run or something if you want this weekend to see how it feels. i think Jim Golden is co-driving with me and we've both locked up our classes for the season so next 2 events are just for fun.

moxnix
moxnix HalfDork
10/9/15 1:23 p.m.
irish44j wrote: Our venue doesn't rut up too bad (the only people who really do any scraping are stock-height Miatas)

Not true my stock height RX-7 scraped also......

<- may be doing it wrong (or right I get the two confused sometimes)

Of course the R-Package springs on the miata may not be helping with the scraping.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/9/15 1:30 p.m.
NGTD wrote: The easy button out back for stiffer springs are Volvo wagon overload springs, but I don't know of any thing for the front. What are your courses like? Where we run, it ruts up so you want to keep as much travel and ride height as possible, so no lowering springs. Most guys run stock or stiffer than stock set-ups. For rally-X many people disconnect the front sway and keep the rear. I have never tried it myself. What is irish44 and that crew doing with the beemers?

I thought about leaving the front sway and doubling up in the rear. If I have time tonight I will double up the rear. The only reason I didn't want to ditch the front sway yet is because the body roll on this thing makes it so you have to set up waaaay ahead of time and the car is all over the place at the end of our courses, which is typically tight chicanes into the finish.

I know the remedy is spring rate, but I need a baseline to go from. I wonder if factory turbo cars were stiffer?

Overload springs are probably a good, cheap starting point.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/9/15 1:35 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

I feel like an e30 is a firmer riding vehicle from the factory than the Volvo, so maybe I should be looking at a substantial bump in spring rates.

Yeah, let's switch cars! As long as mine holds up better than last time :/

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/9/15 1:42 p.m.
ssswitch wrote: Cool motor mounts! I wonder if using street hockey pucks would have made it a little more posh.

Thanks! I thought about that, but the only pucks my local Dunham's had were like dog squishy toy material. They are really stiff. I wouldn't want them on a daily.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
10/9/15 3:00 p.m.
moxnix wrote:
irish44j wrote: Our venue doesn't rut up too bad (the only people who really do any scraping are stock-height Miatas)
Not true my stock height RX-7 scraped also...... <- may be doing it wrong (or right I get the two confused sometimes) Of course the R-Package springs on the miata may not be helping with the scraping.

Ok, Miatas and cars with blown suspension :)

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
10/9/15 3:10 p.m.

FYI - checked my thread and my springs are 250lb up front (MacStrut, so it's pretty close to the wheel rate) and 350lb rear (which on the e30 rear suspension with a motion ratio of about 0.6 equates to somewhere around 210-225lbs actual wheel rate). This on a car where I am about 52-48 weight balance front to rear in racing trim at about 2200lbs curb.

So take those numbers as you will. I've been very happy with them.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/9/15 3:34 p.m.

Sick! Thank you. I'll try to figure out my stock rates tonight and see where I'm at. My car is way heavier.

Note to self: Do something about weight.

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
10/9/15 3:38 p.m.

You might want to grab an online shock absorber catalogue.

I think a 244 maybe able to use the Bilstein shocks that came on certain years of Chevrolet pickups. So a junkyard solution maybe possible.

corey_mck
corey_mck New Reader
10/10/15 9:30 a.m.
NGTD wrote: ... junkyard solution maybe possible.

I like the way you think. I got under the car this morning to start building a plate for dual sways and realized the bushings are beat on the Gabriel shocks I got :/ Sadly I don't have time to run to figure out what works and run to the junkyard this morning before they close.

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