240 B230FT Swap into 240

DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD
edited March 10 in General

Hi all,

I have just picked up a B230FT out of an 87 740 to swap into my 90 240 wagon running a B230F. I know the swap is well documented and I hate to sound like a broken record but I just wanted to double check some things.

My current NA setup runs LH2.4, however the FT is running LH2.2.

Am I correct in thinking I am able to swap my F harness over to the FT, having to cut one of the TPS plug wires, and relocate the MAF wiring? Also swapping to newer 850 style injectors or install ballast resistor?

I will also have to source a LH2.4 Turbo ECU, and it should just be a matter of plugging everything in and sending it, yes?

Also, I currently only have the AW70, I know it won't last but has anyone had any experience in how long it may hold on before I look at other options?

Any clarification is much appreciated. :)

Thanks! 😊



  • Intake manifold is different, 2.4 has a cold start injector.

    The distributor is different, you will need an EZK (ignition computer mounted in inside of firewall behind glovebox) from a turbo LH2.4 740/940 and swap over the distributor from the NA to the turbo (and remove the rear of head distributor on the turbo engine). I believe some EZKs can be chipped to make them compatible with the turbo.

    From memory, the LH2.4 system does not need the 850 T5 injectors and can handle a broader range of injector without the ballast resistor. The LH2.2 does not have the range to accommodate anything more than a few percent different to standard, and the 850 injector is in that range. They should work fine though if you have them.

    The crank angle sensor on the back of the block will need to be swapped over, or get a new one for $30 and remove the risk of failure in the future.

    Exhaust is different. I have used an IPD 240 turbo exhaust kit that is an aftermarket replica of the 240 turbo exhaust all the way to the cat converter. I had a joiner pipe made up to mate the modified 740 turbo down pipe to the factory looking exhaust. I have since been told a genuine set can be ordered from GCP for about the same money, about $400 delivered. I am part way through another turbo into a 200 and have used the Classic Swede stainless downpipe, not impressed so far as it did not really fit and it looks like it will not seal (engien not yet running). And it took 4 months and negative feedback to arrive... (yes, still a little bitter)

    Do not cut the TPS wire, remove it from the back of the harness going into the ECU. Better to leave it as usable in the future than cutting.

    Use the 740 bottom radiator hose, 240 top one. Using the 740 coolant reservoir mounted on the strut tower works well. A radiator shroud can be found on USA ebay for about $400 that is the genuine 240 turbo shroud. I just hit mine with a die grinder and cut 60 or so mm from the bottom and then a groove for the top hose. Does not look brilliant though much better than no shroud.

    The intercooler/radiator mounting feet can be modified a little to work in the 240 frame. If the lower tabs are ground off the black plastic inserts they sit in the 240 frame and support radiator and intercooler fine. This will make sense when the turbo radiator is out. For the top mounts, sticking a small offcut of metal under the front of the 740 turbo mounts (the metal clamps that hold the radiator in place) will get the angle right to hold everything in place. Be careful with the lower hose, it needs to be right at the end of the water pump so the fan does not hit it.

    Regarding the steering shaft hitting the downpipe, several options. Some swear that turning the steering shaft upside down works fine, which it probably does on many. Mine did not, so a steering shaft from a Queensland speedway shop was used. Ian Bottcher or something. 5/8 inch (or 9/16?) 48 spline and 300mm long just fits. It is a solid shaft from an '80s speedway car, works just fine with the Volvo knuckles/uni joints.

    Probably more, others will join if any big items missing.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    Heaps of good help in there DMC, thanks so much for getting back to me mate.

    I started stripping down the FT last night to bare long motor and going to give her a freshen up before reassembling and going back in.

    But that leads me to another question.

    Where can I get a full gasket set from? I've read all over that the elring stuff is not the most reliable.

    I'll do water pump and timing kit while I'm in here obviously, but how do the oil pumps hold up? I don't want to swap it if I don't have to.

    Also, while I'm not planning on a full rebuild is it worth throwing in some thicker rods while I've already got it on the stand? I plan on turning the boost up as much as i can get away with.

    Thanks all!

  • If you do go with H-beam rods, I'm interested in the turbo rods for a N/A build.

  • Elring make the gaskets for Volvo. Buy a German hepu water pump and genuine cam belt & tensioner and all seals (cam crank and aux shaft)

    the oil pump can be checked for wear

    how much are you planning on spending on increasing the power? Depending on how big you plan to go, you might find the standard thin rods will be enough for your intended horsepower outcome

  • Ok then, so 9mm rods were used on Jurbos. I learnt something.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    Cool Elring it is then. That's good to know.

    I have already picked up a waterpump off eBay, think it may have been true flow?, and a dayco timing kit. Okay to use if I've already got them or seek the others? While in the topic too where is a good place to be sourcing parts outside of eBay? IPD seem to be alright with pricing, but the shipping is just stupid.

    I'd be happy to see 200kw at the wheels all said and done as it's only a daily, not a race car. But initially I just want to get it in and running.

  • edited March 8

    Sure use the parts you have already.

    with these cars half of the fun is doing all the preventative medicine (PM) and diving them and fixing them up as you go.

    i say get it running, drive it, learn more about it, you won’t get bored of it quickly, then once you have done all ( and there is plenty to do) of the PM, then worry about modifying things

    there are dozens of rubber parts on that car (bushings, suspension, brakes, cooling system) that are begging to be replaced, so it wouldn’t be fair to increase the power of the engine until the chassis is at 100%

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    Yeah there's plenty of chassis work to keep me busy while this is on the stand, will be getting in touch with Ash to discuss bushings (a mix of rubber and poly is best?) and suspensions options, rotors and pads are on the way.

    Whats the upper limit of the 9mm rods? More than happy to be leaving power gains until down the road but if I'm gonna end up doing rods at any point I mayaswell just do them now I reckon. Haha.

  • Trust me, you won’t need rods. If your tune is safe, oil is in the sump, detonation is non existent, and you don’t rev beyond 7000, they will live

  • Ah here we go again with the rods. Look, the short story is simply this.

    9mm rods: They are weaker than the later 13mm rods. Way back in the late 80s Volvo tried the 9mm rods to reduce the rotating mass of the B230F to further increase the gains of the low friction design. Needless to say it didnt work out and many cars vented their blocks under warranty and Volvo went back to the larger rod design. If you dont have to build a 9mm rod motor then dont. Thats the short story.

    This is the long story: Yes with "good" tuning and yes with good fuel you can make them live but why build something with a compromise that you dont have to? Further to the point, I cant see anyone spending 2.5k in ECU to keep an inferior hardware set alive. Doesnt make sense. No one will applaud you for building a 9mm rod motor. You are using LH2.4 which is well known to have the tendency to detonate on boost onset. You cant tune it easily and most people dont understand how to tune using chips or an ostrich. This means you are trusting an ECU with the same computing power as a Casio calculator to keep your engine alive.

    Your rods wont leave the block when youre screaming along at 7k, they will leave when you are accelerating from a slow speed to overtake, make a set of lights etc and you mash the pedal, build 15psi of boost at 2.5k with your ported 16t on a 3 inch exhaust and LH cant keep up with the boost onset so it detonates for a second and bye bye engine.

    I will be flamed because I'm not supporting the underdog but if you want to turn up the wick then just start with something proven to be stronger. By all means build a 9mm motor if you have it and are ok with the idea of being conservative with the boost or are ok with the idea that one day it could go bang.

    Or we can keep going down the road of "yeah but just tune it right" and "yeah well HEAAAAAAAAPS of 9mm rod motors are around". There is a reason why Volvo started with thick rods, tried skinny rods and went back to thick rods for the rest of the redblock production.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    That's the answer I have seen almost everywhere else and if I'm being honest the answer I wanted here too.

    I was all but decided but wanted to check just in case I didn't have to, but yes I will be leaning on it and no I don't want to rebuild more times than I have to. So rods it is!

    Which leads me to my next question, maxpeedingrods do a cheap set... obviously that has it's own risks but has anyone here used them in the past with success?

  • I've never used those rods and both redblock turbos ive had have had stock large rods. My first motor was a B230FX with 13mm rods and it lived for 5 years controlled by LH2.2 and 14psi everyday. The motor I have now is a B23ET with the "big" M rods and its controlled by LH2.4 at 15psi and I drive it everyday. Stock rods are good stuff if you get the right ones.

    Another thing about the 85-88 motors is the location of the thrust bearing. Those motors have a 180' centre thrust which has been said to attribute to vibration in the crank at high boost causing the number one rod to break. This is lore and I cannot confirm or deny it but ive heard talk of it being the reason why Volvo reverted to the rear 360' thrust.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    Cool, thanks for all that mate. Appreciate the information. :)

  • All that aside your B230FT swap will be easy as you already have LH2.4. The wiring harness between the turbo and non turbo cars are the same bar the resistor pack. You just take your NA computers, throw them in the bin and plug in your turbo computers. Both the ECU and ICU are plug and play. Then you extend your MAF wiring to the drivers side of the car.

    Use good crimp butt terminals. Dont solder, it will crack and your car will run mondo weird and you wont know why. Remove the dizzy from the back of the head and install the blanking plate. Install a CPS in the bellhousing. There should already be threads on the block, if there arent then it isnt much to add them. From memory they are about M6 x 30mm.

    Take the dizzy and intermediate shaft from you non turbo motor and install into your new one. The turbo motor wont have the drive gear on the intermediate shaft for the dizzy which is why you need to swap it over. Take this time to replace the CPS while youre here.

    Fuel rails might be the same, your 240 one might have an output for the cold start injector. Use the one without this output to keep it simple. Turbo car with LH2.2 wont have cold start injector so use its manifold to keep it simple. Find some 850 orange injectors as these are high impedence and mean you dont need the added complexity of the resistor pack. If you run the turbo greens without the pack then your ecu injector drivers will be damaged.

    Plumb in all your oil and turbo water lines and go go go. It will all make sense when you start plumbing it in.

  • Oh, blance shaft swap, forgot that one. The old (240) engine is a perfect donor for that, and new seals all around when you do it.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD

    You're an absolute legend mate, thanks. I'm pretty confident it'll be nice and straight forward. Is there anywhere to buy injectors at a reasonable price or is the wanted section here probably my best bet for some seconds?

  • In Melbourne Berry Motor Group is your best bet, or your local Volvo specialist. You may find some here too.

    Best to research what injector will work too, the 850 T5/T5R will absolutely work, many others will too. A list of injectors I found years ago while researching my swap is ideally on the way. Just be careful that the injector you choose is the correct length, has the correct electrical fitting and has the correct seal diameters. I believe you want about 300mL/minute though the LH2.4 is rather forgiving and can go 10 or so percent either side of that. LH2.2, not so much.

    Volvo will take a couple of weeks to get in a lower radiator hose too, so order before you need it. There are the usual international options, though I found Melbourne City Volvo was the same price so looked after the local guy.

  • DJ240DJ240 (@DJ240) Brisbane, QLD
    edited March 9

    GLT Capalaba is just down the road from me so I'll hit them up this week if I don't have any luck on here.

    That list would be handy too if you do happen to find it, otherwise I'll just go with the 850's. I know both engines run a 3 bar FPR, do I need to swap either the in tank or main fuel pump though?

    Also CPS bracket just swaps over to the FT block right? And I'm guessing I'll have to notch the AW71 bellhousing to suit?

  • Your standard fuel pumps will be sufficient. If they're working and not making any unusual noises

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