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Poik 01-11-2014 04:34 PM

Eric Olsson's 242
If you want an uninterrupted way to read through my build, you can check out my journal of the car at www.eric-o.com

Poik 01-11-2014 04:51 PM

The Beginning
In this post I will try as best as I can to summarize how this project started, what has (and has not) been done over the last 8 years, show some pictures and embarrassing videos, and give a general layout of where the project is heading.
I have always liked Volvos for their quirkiness and underdog status. When I was born I was driven home from the hospital in a 745 GLE, which in time became the first car I learned to drive on. By that time it was pretty beat up, but I liked the car regardless. After I turned 18 I bought myself a 1997 Camaro Z28 with the money I had earned from my jobs, and took that car with me to college. I didn’t like putting so many miles on the Camaro, so I started looking into getting a beater Volvo just to drive around. I ended up buying a 1988 Volvo 740 Turbo on craigslist for $300, and that’s when I got my first taste of forced induction. It was all downhill from there.
The Boat Engine
In March of 2006 I came across a used Volvo Penta AQ171C engine for sale on craigslist. This engine came out of a Bayliner because the exhaust manifold had developed a leak, and it was cheaper for the owner to replace the engine with a SBC than to buy a new manifold. The engine is based on the Volvo B230 block, but the stroke is increased to 86mm to give a displacement of 2490cc. The engine also has a DOHC 16v head, and dual Solex carburetors. The compression ratio is 9.7:1, and peak power is 167hp @ 5700rpm.
After a few emails and phone calls back and forth with the seller, I purchased the engine and brought it home.


I was pretty excited at this point, and immediately got the engine running with the stock ignition setup:
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One great thing about this engine is that people are always looking for spare parts for it. I was able to sell off most of the marine specific parts to people from around the world and actually sold parts for more money than I paid for the engine to begin with.
Since buying this engine, I was pretty good at stumbling upon used boat stuff on Seattle craigslist. Ended up purchasing another AQ171C, a disassembled AQ171A, a disassembled AQ151C (2.5L 8v marine motor), and a few rare camshafts and a 531 8v head! I somehow always found sweet deals on these things.
The Car
At this point I was faced with a problem. I had the fairly stock 740 Turbo, but even then I knew that car wasn’t worthy of this engine. So I started looking for a 242. I posted a wanted ad on Turbobricks.com and luckily found the perfect car for the project, and it was even fairly close to me. The car was a 1984 Volvo 242 Turbo, but it did not have an engine or transmission installed, and needed a lot of work done to it. The suspension was frozen solid in the front, the paint was sun faded on top, and basically just everything needed to be replaced. But it was a solid chassis! It had been an eastern Washington car most of it’s life, so there was almost zero rust except for slight surface rust under a couple parts of the floor. We agreed on $150 and I towed it home to my garage in Bellingham. By mid-April I had completely gutted and cleaned the car so I could begin the project. I also painted the floor with Eastwood Rust Inhibitor, just in case.




First order of business was to get the engine mounted in the car and running. At this time basically nobody on Turbobricks was running a 16v in a 240 because of the lack of clearance for a distributor on the head as comes stock. I did a bit of research and bought some coil packs from an LS1 truck to use with a MegaSquirt v2.2 box I had. To do this I wired up the necessary components to use the stock VR sensor to read the holes on the 60-2 flywheel.







Now comes a rookie mistake. After trying for weeks to get the car running, I was still unable to get it working. This was my first ever MegaSquirt (or aftermarket EMS for that matter) install, so I figured I just had something wrong in the settings or wiring. After checking things over so many times, I was still stumped. Finally I decided to count the sensor holes on the flywheel that I assumed used the standard 60-2 pattern. I was wrong. For the marine engines (and the Regina cars) a 44-2-2 pattern is used instead! Well that explained why the car would try to start, but then shoot fire out through the carbs.
I found a used 60-2 flywheel from a Volvo dealership somewhere for a good price, and a week later I had the engine running fine. Lesson learned about assuming things. Anyways, here is a short video of the car running with the carbs:
<iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='625' height='382' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/36EI5Z-aXsU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1& iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' frameborder='0'></iframe>
Parts Amassment
At this time I was attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington for my bachelor’s degree. I had a part time job, so I was able to buy some stuff for the car. I did not have a real timeline for the project, so I was really good at waiting and getting good deals on parts. A good deal came up on a Garrett GT35R turbo, so I bought it. Bought some forged H-beam rods from John Vanlandingham in Seattle as well. Eventually I sold those and bought the rods that R-Sport International offers, based on concerns with John’s piston design (or lack of design) for the 86mm stroke engines. Bought Wiseco pistons to go with the rods too. Eventually I changed my mind about which turbo to run, so I sold the GT35R and bought a Holset HX50. Got some double adjustable Koni race inserts, coilover parts, and a fiberglass replica Group-A wing. Slowly but surely I was gathering up the parts I would need.





At this point I had a Crescent socket wrench kit, a floor jack, a cordless drill, and some basic hand tools. Not nearly enough to fabricate a car. One of the most useful tools I own was then purchased. Enter the angle grinder. With this I was able to modify my strut tubes to fit adjustable coil-over sleeves. I ended up selling these because I wasn’t making use of them at the time, and now I have something else in mind for the front strut tubes.




Then I started taking parts of the car off the car to clean and paint them before they went back on. I cleaned up the k-member and painted it satin black and installed some RSI Stage III engine mounts.



I also undertook the laborious task of removing all the tar paper from the floor and firewall of the car. Please no more.




One of my other most useful tool purchases, possibly even more so than the angle grinder, was my first welder. I saved up and bought myself a Lincoln Electric Power MIG 140C and a welding bottle to go with it. Having never welded anything in my life before, I started by seam welding the chassis of the 242. I’ll just say that at this point I have used multiple MIG welders, both low end and very high end ones, and I wouldn’t trade mine for any of the others I have used. It’s 120v so you don’t need to plan your welding around if you have access to a 240v outlet, and if I need to weld something thicker than this welder can handle, it really shouldn’t be going on the car!




The Plan
The goal for my 242 has always been to have a trackable street car, but as of lately it has changed more to a streetable track car. In 2006 I had pretty good general knowledge about cars, but really did not have the experience, knowledge, or tools to design and fabricate my own car from the ground up. I knew what end result I wanted, but not exactly how to get there. Obviously over the course of the last 8 years, my goals have changed a bit. Back then I thought it would just be insane to have 500hp from the engine in turbocharged form. Right now I have set a target to achieve 600whp from this engine using a series turbocharger/supercharger configuration. This car is not being built to comply to any particular racing class, it is just being built exactly the way I want it. I am an engineer and take pride in finding my own solutions to problems. Sure, there are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions that work for most people out there, but if I can make something that is better, I will. This project should be looked at more as an engineering project rather than just another modified car build-up. Besides my power target, I have focused on reducing the weight of the vehicle as much as is practical. My weight target is 1200kg (2650lbs), and I have tried to decrease the center of gravity height and the inertia of the vehicle with smart packaging of components. The car will also feature aerodynamic modifications to increase downforce and stability of the vehicle. In 2008 I tried to put the concept look of the car in my head into an image, and this is what I got:


I decided that I wanted to get rid of the live axle in the rear, and opted for a BMW E30 semi-trailing arm rear suspension to take its place. Found one of these on craigslist and picked it up. A few months after that I came to the conclusion that if I was going to be retrofitting the rear suspension anyways, it would not be a whole lot more work to install a real independent rear suspension instead of what the E30 uses. I started looking around at different options, between the 2003-04 Mustang Cobra, C4 Corvette, E38 BMW, and E39 BMW. I ended up choosing to go with the E39 BMW rear suspension for several reasons. It is a true double wishbone suspension, and it is relatively lightweight with its all aluminum construction. Besides this, it is easy to adapt the large BMW 210mm ring gear differential since the E39 M5 comes with one stock. Strong axles are also available for this same reason. It has a 5x120mm PCD and comes with decent brakes, even though those are long gone. I was able to get a complete subframe/differential/suspension setup from an E39 528i from a wrecker on Bimmerforums.



After removing the stock 1031 live axle and suspension from the car I weighed it at 200lbs dead even. There was probably a pound or two of dirt on there included in that. I then weighed the E39 rear suspension at 201lbs. So I gain a pound there, but the decrease in unsprung weight is one of the main advantages of this modification. The springs and dampers in the rear will be connected to rockers actuated by pushrods.
In order to make fitting the E39 subframe easier and to allow packaging of the fuel cell behind the driver seat, I removed the rear section of the floor. I also added rectangular steel reinforcements on top of the subframe rails since I would need to notch the lower side of the subframe rails in order to mount the E39 subframe at the correct height. At the same time I also removed the inner wheel wells so that I could fabricate new ones with more tire clearance.


In order to match the bolt pattern of the rear, I bought some E36 M3 front spindles to use on the car. These spindles bolt to the strut housing instead of being an integrated part, which is a bonus. The steering arm lever is almost exactly the same length as the stock 240 spindles, and the taper is the same as well. I cleaned them up, installed new hubs and pressed in ARP wheel studs.



A little bit after this I bought some replica BMW CSL wheels in 18×9.5 and 18×8.5. I thought they were pretty sweet looking, but I have since sold them because I felt they didn’t match the car as well as I had originally thought.



A couple years ago I stumbled across a deal on a pair of CCW Classic wheels in very nice condition, for a steal of a price. The rears are 18×12 and the fronts are 18×11. This is the race version with swiss-cheesed centers to reduce weight, anodized black finish, and steel lug hole inserts. These wheels are perfect for the car in my eyes!



At the time I wasn’t satisfied with the cost and functionality of the adjustable camber plates available for the 240, so I designed and manufactured my own. The plates consist of a mild steel ring with 16 holes around the perimeter that gets welded to the stock strut tower. The other parts of the camber plate are made of stainless steel and bolt to this ring from underneath. Together, this allows the strut to be positioned anywhere within the ring, allowing any camber/castor settings in this range to be used.







For the front suspension I am sticking with MacPherson struts, but as mentioned earlier using E36 M3 spindles. The hardpoints will be modified to match the characteristics of the rear suspension in order to have a predictable handling car. I have Koni 8611 double adjustable race strut inserts that I will use inside custom machined strut tubes. The lower control arms will be custom made as well from 4130 tubing. For the outer ball joints I have Meyle full-metal units that will be used, while the inner connections will use steel rod ends.
Anti-roll bars will be installed at both the front and rear of the car. In the front I will use a knife-style ARB and in the rear I have not determined what will work best for my packaging requirements. The E39 rear suspension comes with an ARB, but if I can do a lighter and adjustable solution I will.

Poik 01-11-2014 04:52 PM

The Beginning (continued...)
The engine block I will be using is a B230 that has been modified and fitted with BMW piston oil squirters. The crankshaft is from the Volvo Penta AQ171C, with 86mm stroke. The forged H-beam rods are 158mm c-c length from RSI. The pistons are Wiseco, also purchased through RSI. ARP rod bolts, head studs, and main studs were sourced from RSI as well. I am mounting the engine vertically instead of at a slant, so an oil pump was modified to allow this. I have gone back and forth on whether to go dry sump or not, but right now I will stick with a wet sump with trap doors in the B20 pan.




I also made some engine mounts out of some old 240 torque rods. The engine mounts turned out pretty good, but I will be redoing the body mounts that accept them because I am not satisfied with how they turned out. By mounting the engine upright instead of at a slant, and using the B20 oil pan, I was able to lower the centerline of the engine quite a bit, giving more room for the turbo and intake plenum.










The head is a DOHC 16v head from a Volvo B234F engine (casting 262, compared to AQ171C head casting 532). The head is getting stainless steel 37mm intake and inconel 33.5mm exhaust valves. Along with this, the head is getting a “Stage III” port job done at RSI. The “Stage III” porting means that material is added on top of the intake ports and in the chambers before porting so that maximum flow can be realized. The camshafts I have chosen right now are regrinds of my Folkrace FS324 8v cam that I had in my 740 Turbo. Dyno testing will determine if those are the cams I stick with or not.
The exhaust manifold will be pulse-paired and divided to help spool up. It will be constructed from SCH40 mild steel weld-els and ceramic coated to prevent excessive heat in the engine bay. The wastegate that was purchased for the project is a TiAL MVR 44mm unit. After the exhaust does its magic in the turbocharger, it will head out through a stainless 4″ downpipe and dump to the side just rearward of the passenger door. This exhaust configuration has several advantages compared to routing the exhaust all the way out to the rear of the car. It’s less weight, decreases the inertia, is easier to package, and is less restrictive. It makes it a lot easier to make a good rear diffuser as well, since exhaust piping and hot air will no longer be an issue back there.


The intake manifold will be fabricated from aluminum and have velocity stacks about 150mm in length and a large tapered plenum. The throttle body I have chosen to use is a stock LS1 75mm throttle body. I chose this one because there are plenty of upgrades using the same footprint if I decide I need a bigger one later. Also, this throttle body has a built in idle air controller, strong return spring, and TPS. Since at the time I did not have the resources to shape my own plenum, Nathan Kahler helped me out and made me a plenum according to my design. Now it all just needs to get welded together.



The turbocharger I have for the car is a Holset HX50. My version of this turbo has a 19cm² non-wastegated turbine housing, as well as a billet aluminum compressor wheel. The compressor wheel has an inducer of 66mm and an exducer of 99mm. This turbo is rated to flow 0.75kg/s, so it has potential for more power than I need. Oh, and I’m mounting it backwards.



In my series compound charged setup I will initially use a 3rd generation Eaton M90 roots-style supercharger. This will be mounted on the intake side of the engine below the manifold. By using both the turbocharger and supercharger to compound charge the engine, the difference between exhaust backpressure and boost pressure will be huge, and huge power across the rpm band will come with it. Depending on the success of the M90, my ideal supercharger to upgrade to would be the new Eaton TVS series. If I start generating a lot of disposable income, I see a Harrop HTV1320 in my future.
I do not have all the details worked out for the charge air coolers yet, but will most likely run a water-to-air cooler between the stages, and an air-to-air cooler after the supercharger. For the air-to-air cooler I have a CVPT core from Treadstone Performance. Air flows from bottom to top through this core, which allows me to make custom end tanks that will work well for my packaging needs.
All that heat will be taken care of with a BeCool BCI-35005 radiator tilted towards the front of the car, with a vent in the hood for heat extraction. Initially I will modify the stock steel hood in order to validate the design of the scoop, but when I have time and space I will use that as a plug to make a carbon fiber version.



The fuel system will consist of either one 16 gallon fuel cell mounted under the floor behind the driver, or two 12 gallon fuel cells mounted behind the driver and passenger. I will be running E85 in this car, and would like to participate in the Silver State Classic or Pony Express 130 open road races, so I will need to have a decent fuel capacity. By moving the fuel cell forward in the car the inertia is decreased, but also the fuel cell will then be inside the safety cage structure. Dual Bosch 044 pumps will supply fuel via a stainless steel 1/2″ hardline. Fuel injectors have been chosen but not purchased, and will be Injector Dynamics 2000 injectors. Fuel pressure regulator will be an Aeromotive 13114.
The engine management system for this car will be VEMS v3. I wanted to move away from the crappy connectors of MegaSquirt, and this was a great way to do that. MS3-Pro looks pretty good now too, but it’s pretty expensive.
One of my first decisions regarding the drivetrain was to use a Tremec T56 transmission. Having owned a Camaro with one, I knew that the transmission was extremely durable and had a large aftermarket available for gear ratios, upgraded shift forks, etc. The 6th gear wasn’t as big of a selling point to me as the strength of the transmission and the great gear ratios. The f-body T56 is rated to hold 450lb-ft of torque from the factory, but is known to be reliable with much more than that. The other common options for transmissions to retrofit into 240s just did not appeal to me. The Getrag 265 has pretty bad gear ratios even though it is fairly strong, and the T5 would cost just as much if not more than the T56 to upgrade in order to hold the same amount of torque. I was able to find a low mile T56 from a 2002 Pontiac Trans Am which I added to my pile of parts ready to go on the car. Years later, I had an opportunity to buy a T56 from a Pontiac GTO from another Volvo enthusiast Nathan Kahler. The GTO uses the same updated version of the T56 as the Corvette Z06. This includes triple cone carbon fiber synchronizers and excellent gear ratios of 2.97, 2.07, 1.43, 1.00, 0.84, 0.57. Even better for my application is that the shifter position is further back on the GTO T56, which means it will work better for my rearward seating position.


To adapt the T56 to the B230 engine I measured both bellhousings and input shaft lengths. It was not possible to use an adapter plate with the M46 bellhousing from the Volvo because the total height of the new bellhousing needed to be shorter than the Volvo bellhousing. So the next step was to mill away a bit of the Volvo bellhousing so that an aluminum plate could be welded to it. Care was taken to preserve the centering hole of the bellhousing so that the plate could be properly aligned with a centering jig. A 5.000″ hole was milled in the plate that would be welded to the bellhousing to provide clearance for the slave cylinder, but also to act as a centering hole.





A centering jig was then turned on the lathe. The jig serves two purposes: to align the adapter plate to the bellhousing before welding, and to align the adapter plate to the transmission in order to center punch the bolt hole pattern. The jig uses the factory M46 steel sleeve that is pressed into the bellhousing in order to center the plate to the bellhousing. When centering the plate to the transmission, the jig has a stepped inner diameter in order to center the plate to the machined ring on the transmission for the slave cylinder.




Knowing that I needed a strong clutch to hold the torque I was planning to put through the drivetrain, I investigated several options for clutches. I have previously run 4 and 6 puck clutches in different cars of mine, both with stock and upgraded pressure plates. These hold power fairly well, but driveability suffers. A multi-plate clutch seemed like the way to go for me, as I had very good experience with the one I installed in my Evo. I started scouring ebay for used Nascar Tilton/Quartermaster/Sonic clutch covers and discs. I ended up winning the auction of a brand new Tilton OT-II 7.25″ 3-disc clutch cover including pressure plate and floater plates for $200. This also included the “Gray” diaphragm spring in the clutch cover, which is the second stiffest available. Quite a steal considering retail is almost $600! This was the 3-disc sintered metallic clutch though, which is what Nascar uses, and basically acts as an on-off switch for power delivery. By slipping this clutch, the discs would not be able to take the heat, and the clutch would soon be ruined. Tilton also sells twin-disc cerametallic clutches for rally and club racing use. These use the same clutch cover, just a different pressure plate and discs. I bought new discs to fit the T56 transmission and an Ultra High Ratio pressure plate for the rally clutch. The Ultra High Ratio pressure plate holds a little bit more power than the standard High Ratio, but also allows for better slippage and modulation of the clutch, resulting in better driveability.


In order to use this clutch on the B230, I either needed to redrill a stock flywheel for the new bolt pattern, or have a custom flywheel made. I went with the latter, as the stock flywheel is cast iron and known to fly apart in certain high rpm situations. At the same time, Alex Buchka was making a similar flywheel to use on his Volvo B8444S in his 242, so I made my own design for the B230 and we made them in the workshop at Chalmers together. This flywheel will be used together with the flexplate from an automatic B230 car in order to keep the ring gear and crank sensor holes.








The Tilton clutch needs a 44mm diameter radiused contact surface on the throwout bearing. The stock LS1 T56 slave cylinder has a much larger diameter than this, so I have not yet decided if I will make a spacer with the correct diameter, or fit one of the off the shelf units available from Tilton or Quartermaster.
The rear suspension that I purchased came from an E39 528i, so it came with the weak BMW 188mm ring gear open differential. I knew that this would not do, so I searched out replacement differentials that I could put in its place. I found that the E39 M5 has a strong 210mm limited slip differential, but the going rate for one of these used differentials was about $1000. On top of that, the gear ratio the M5 comes with is 3.15, which would not work very well at all with my T56 gear ratios. I looked into the cost of changing the gear ratio on these differentials, and it is insane. I need to go into the BMW modification business. For just a gear ratio change the cost is close to $2000. This differential was not an option for me. I kept searching, looked into fitting a Ford 8.8 from the 2003-04 Mustang Cobras since upgrades for them are much cheaper, but these differentials have their problems as well.
I found the best solution to be an E46 M3 differential. This is a nice limited slip differential that comes in a 3.62 gear ratio which will be great with my transmission. However this differential does not simply bolt in to the E39 subframe because the bolt holes through the ears of the differential cover are offset about 15mm compared to the E39. This is an easly problem to fix by making some solid aluminum bushings with an offset hole to replace the stock rubber bushings. The forward mount of the E46 differential is also different than the E39, but is easily solved with a custom bolt-on bracket. Another cool added benefit of the E46 M3 differential is that it has a nice heatsink built into the differential cover to help cool the differential oil.


But there was one thing left to figure out: axles. The axles that came on the 528i did not bolt up to the larger differential, so I needed to find if there was an OE option I could use or if I needed to go custom. By searching through RealOEM, I was able to find out that even though the differential size is the same between the E46 M3 and the E39 M5, they do not use the same flanges. I thought I would have to get custom axles made, or make flange adapters, but then I found that the E39 540i uses the same inner flanges as the E46 M3. A little searching on Bimmerforums and a few weeks later and I had a pair of nice used E39 540i axles for $95 shipped to my door.
At first when I was benchmarking choices for brake calipers I was trying to decide between OE Brembo or Wilwood. I briefly looked at aftermarket Brembo, StopTech, and MOV’IT brake systems, but felt that for the price I could piece together a kit that would be cheaper and perform better for my application. I looked at Volvo S60R calipers, but soon learned that they consistently sold for more money on ebay than Mitsubishi Evo 8/9 and Subaru STI calipers (which are of the same design). Cadillac CTS-V calipers were also an option for me. After some research I found that the S60R has 42/38mm pistons in the front calipers, the CTS-V has 44/40, and the Evo and STI both use 46/40. I ended up winning an auction on ebay for a complete set of Evo 8/9 calipers that turned out to be about 5 minutes from my house, so I even saved on shipping.


For awhile I thought I would stick with the 2-piston rear Brembo calipers from the Evo, but eventually decided to go for a 4-piston caliper. More research ensued, and I settled on the rear calipers from the Dodge/Chrysler SRT-8 vehicles. This is a Brembo F40 caliper and has 32/28mm pistons. After watching a few sets of these go on ebay for more than I was willing to pay, I checked on car-part.com if anything was available. I ended up buying a pair of rear calipers for $150 shipped from a wrecking yard on there.


The red paint of the SRT8 calipers is different than the deeper red on the Evo calipers, but they will all get painted anyways.
For rotors I am still undecided, but am leaning towards StopTech AeroRotor 355x32mm front rotors (6.92kg/15.25lbs each), and StopTech AeroRotor 345x28mm rear rotors (5.5kg/12.12lbs each). My other option is the Euro E39 M5 rotors, which are two-piece floating rotors with aluminum hats, 345x32mm (8.7kg/19.2lbs each) front and 328x20mm rear. The Euro M5 rotors would require me to run a spacer between the hub and rotor on the E36 spindles, whereas with the StopTech rotors I would be making my own custom rotor hats so that would not be an issue. Availability of the Euro M5 rotors has really gone down in the last few years (especially in the US) so I am pretty sure I will end up going with StopTech rotors (which are much lighter as well).
Driver Safety and Controls
In order to shift weight rearward, provide better driver feeling, and reduce the inertia of the car, the driver seating position has been moved rearward quite a bit. The new seating position is also lower to decrease the center of gravity height. The seat is a carbon fiber Sparco Pro2000, which I was able to get for an excellent deal from a Porsche guy who didn’t need it anymore. A Sparco 6-point competition harness is what I have for the restraints. The steering wheel I have chosen to use is a Sparco 325, which is a 350mm diameter wheel with 95mm dish. The steering column I have is from a Vauxhall Corsa C, and has electric power assist built in. This will eliminate the need for a power steering pump in the engine bay, which frees up space for other goodies. I have not decided what I will do for the shifter yet. I have a Pro5.0 shifter for the T56, but I may end up making my own and selling that one to provide a better solution. I did however get a sweet custom shift knob made by Roger at DeeWorks with the T56 shift pattern engraved on the top.






Originally I had purchased a Tilton hanging pedal set from ebay, but later decided that floor mount would be the way to go for ease of adjustment, packaging, and weight distribution. So I sold that one to a friend and bought a new Tilton 72-603 aluminum floor mount 3 pedal set for the car.


I have a very nice black dashboard from a 1993 240 that will be flocked before being installed in the car. For gauges I initially thought I would use Autometer Cobalt gauges in a custom gauge panel I made, but have since decided to go with a more integrated gauge cluster. I will most likely go with the Race Technology DASH2 Pro, as it provides a datalink to VEMS, has inputs for the sensors I would like to monitor, and I have experience with the datalogging software. The DASH2 Pro is a full featured data acquisition system, with high bandwidth GPS, accelerometers, and plenty of inputs for optional sensors like a gyro, wheel speed sensors, and damper potentiometers.



Originally I planned to use a Painless 18-circuit wiring harness, but have now changed my mind and will make my own harness using Bussmann RTMR fuse blocks for a weather sealed solution.


The roll cage has been designed but not yet fabricated. It conforms to FIA Article 253 specifications for Group N touring car roll cages. The design has been made with a balance between stiffness, safety, and weight in mind. Finite element analysis has not been completed on the frame yet due to the difficulties of modeling the stock sheetmetal chassis. Eventually I’ll get there.




Poik 01-11-2014 04:52 PM

The Beginning (continued even more...)
Body and Aerodynamics
The general shape of the car will stay the same, but in order to fit the 18×12 wheels with the wider track width in the rear, I will extend the quarter panels out to make a widebody. Similar modifications will be done to the front fenders to fit the 18×10 wheels, but not as extreme as in the rear. The front of the car will have a sheetmetal air dam and splitter to create a high pressure zone for the intercooler, oil cooler, and radiator, as well as to speed up the air flowing underneath the car. The car will have a flat bottom by using aluminum sheetmetal panels, as well as an aluminum rear diffuser. In 2009 I made a 1/10th scale model Volvo 240 as one of my final projects for my bachelor’s degree, and conducted wind tunnel testing on the model.




From the wind tunnel testing I learned that the body creates lift, and lots of it. To counteract this, a large rear wing will be mounted high up on the trunk lid, but I have not purchased this part yet. I am planning to use a Nascar Car of Tomorrow wing if I can find one available somewhere. Check out the video below for awesome wind tunnel spool-up noises and brick-like aerodynamics:
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Lots of other work has been done to the car over the years that I am either forgetting about or leaving out of this post. I’ve covered the big parts of the project, and future posts from here on out will be more detailed and technical.
Finally, though not complete, here is a concept of what the car should look like. The color I have chosen to finish the car in is Toyota 1A1 “Anthracite Metallic”.



The Delay
I graduated from WWU in 2009 with a degree in Industrial Technology with a specialization in Vehicle Design. From then until the end of 2012 I worked full time as an IT consultant and really not much got done on the car. I was making decent money, so I bought some more parts here and there, but really not a whole lot got done. I also had other projects to distract me, like my 740 Turbo I already mentioned, my 1983 Volvo 245 DL, and my newly acquired 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
In September of 2012 I moved from Seattle all the way over to Göteborg, Sweden to continue my education at Chalmers University of Technology by getting my master’s degree in Automotive Engineering. I was only able to visit the US and work on the car for one month in 2013, as I was part of the Chalmers Formula Student team (on which I designed vehicle dynamics and suspension components) competing in the UK and Germany.


Right now since I cannot work on the car directly, I am working towards having a fully developed CAD model of the project. Many of the parts for the car have already been modeled, but the major task is getting everything into the whole car assembly.
I am currently conducting my master’s thesis research at Volvo Cars Corporation on vehicle dynamics and simulations. After I finish in June of 2014 I will get some real work done on the 242!

DNAsEqUeNcE 01-11-2014 05:35 PM

PHP syntax errors on the site!

Poik 01-11-2014 08:57 PM

I’ve been updating the website today. Had some problems with special characters. Should be good to go now!

volvobrage 01-12-2014 09:23 AM

This Project looks awesome!!!Keep the updates coming!:D

Dammit 01-12-2014 12:43 PM

Strong work here

Mueller 01-12-2014 03:32 PM

Nice...and the bar keeps getting raised !

pwschuh 01-12-2014 08:02 PM

I like the hood design. Will extractor configuration require the engine to be set back or lowered to clear hood vent? I can't tell exactly how your custom mounts position the engine compared to stock.

Tuff240 01-12-2014 10:20 PM

Valencia used a similar hood exit for the radiator. They said above 15mph they didn't need a fan at all for their 275hp n/a evo motor.

Old Iron 01-12-2014 11:36 PM

Freaking love this build! Love all the details going into it, car-part.com really came through for you on the Brembo calipers! Thats sites pretty great, especially when you don't have to deal with the monopoly controlled LKQ owned yards!

Silver 01-13-2014 02:12 AM

Looks good! I can't wait to see some of this build in person later this year.

Poik 01-13-2014 05:27 AM


Originally Posted by pwschuh (Post 4797572)
I like the hood design. Will extractor configuration require the engine to be set back or lowered to clear hood vent? I can't tell exactly how your custom mounts position the engine compared to stock.

The engine has been set back as close to the firewall as it will go, which is only like 1/2" further back than stock. In the picture of the turbo hanging out in the engine bay you can see how the engine is mounted with the mounts I made. Since it is upright, the highest point of the head is a lot lower than stock, by 2-3" or so. I need to measure a head so that I can get it into CAD to see how close things will come, but I don't think it will be an issue.

Originally Posted by Tuff240 (Post 4797676)
Valencia used a similar hood Exit for the radiator. They said above 15mph they didn't need a fan at all for their 275hp n/a evo motor.

Sweet. I hope I can get away with a pusher fan for idling and putting around.

gdogg16 01-13-2014 04:44 PM

That looks pretty fantastic. Hopefully this gets finished and not sold off half way through.

Trevor+ 01-13-2014 07:05 PM

If Eric doesn't come back and finish this thing I'll go to Sweden and drag him back here myself...

And his little dog too!

Sir Psycho 01-14-2014 03:28 AM

So is the turbocharger reverse spool?

Poik 01-14-2014 07:30 AM


Originally Posted by gdogg16 (Post 4798284)
That looks pretty fantastic. Hopefully this gets finished and not sold off half way through.

Approaching the 9th year, I can only hope that I'm more than half way..

Originally Posted by Sir Psycho (Post 4798907)
So is the turbocharger reverse spool?

Nope, it's regular rotation.

Originally Posted by Trevor+ (Post 4798416)
If Eric doesn't come back and finish this thing I'll go to Sweden and drag him back here myself...

And his little dog too!

Keep your filthy hands off my dog!

Homer 01-14-2014 10:58 AM

Less than half way.

sim 01-15-2014 10:55 PM

The approach to perfection is an asymptote, so you won't even make it to half way.

Very nice work though! I myself am perfecting the art of the kludge, especially compared to this.

Old Iron 01-17-2014 12:24 AM

So, when are you going to sell the adjustable camber plates!

Poik 01-17-2014 02:56 PM

Corsa C EPAS column
Today I got my electric power-assisted steering column in the mail. It came out of a 2006 Vauxhall Corsa C, and I got it on ebay.co.uk for 58GBP shipped. These columns are commonly adapted for use in rally cars and custom cars, and provide a great way to have power steering without the requirement of a hydraulic pump and lines cluttering up the engine compartment. The column has a build in controller to adjust the amount of power assist based on vehicle speed and steering wheel torque input. There is a great write-up of what is required in order to retrofit one of these in a car over at Seventh Heaven.

After checking it out, I made a part model of it in CAD that contains the important geometry I will need in order to design the mounting points for it.




Sir Psycho 01-17-2014 03:07 PM

That's an awesome piece.

Trevor+ 01-17-2014 04:42 PM

The Frs/Brz has that same kind of setup that might be more easy to source stateside eventually. I'm interested in how you like it, I've got a friend with a thunderbird that has an electric pump and it's rubbish.

Poik 01-17-2014 05:14 PM

I think a lot of cars are moving in that direction. Chevrolet Cobalt also has one that is very similar to this, but I decided to go the Vauxhall route because it has been proven. The Cobalt one has a recall on the motor, so I'm not sure if the ones on ebay are just the ones that have been swapped out due to the recall or not, etc. The motor and electronics on this one have GM stickers on them, so I am sure they are very similar.

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