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The Boost Goose (T6 swapped 760)


Well-known member
Sep 3, 2004
Hello all,

This will be place to document my Volvo 760 T6 build. I'm a diehard Volvo guy, own a Volvo repair shop in my town, have had about 45 Volvos. Have built a few cool cars for customers of mine, but never really done a nice build on a Volvo for myself. Fell into an Audi URS4 for a few years, got it to go real fast, and blew it up.

The car; 1989 Volvo 760 Turbo that spent most of its life in the Okanagan valley BC, so incredibly clean. Not a single speck of rust that I can find. It's been repainted for rock chips and paint fade, so it's cosmetically pristine. I picked it up last August (2021) and originally was going to leave it stock and drive it as is. That idea didn't last long. I put some e-codes on it, rear sway bar from a '92 960, and a home made front chassis brace.

Lower chassis brace (hastily made, would probably do it different in future):

I've always wanted to do a RWD whiteblock build, and I've already done the whole 5 cyl thing with my old Audi.

The plan is a T6, single turbo (GTX3076R Gen2) sized for good response, was going to use an AR5 and had gathered all the parts, but will be going with the welded bellhousing BMW 6 speed from MKM Motorsports in Sweden. I've ordered an ECUMaster Classic to run the engine. I've used it before and there isn't anything else I've found in that price range that has both onboard wideband and dual knock sensor channels.

So I had to find a T6.

Went to the wrecker and found a fairly low KM 1999 S80 T6 that had been rear ended.

Got the engine in about an hour, got it back to my shop and promptly broke a head bolt in the block.

Made some drill guides on my lathe that perfectly fit the hole in the block so I could drill it out on center. Block is currently on the waiting list at the machine shop for a cleanup, hone and decking. It's getting rods, re-using the stock pistons (will be anti-friction and thermal ceramic coated), and I'm getting the deck milled to bring the pistons up for better quench.

While I'm waiting on the block, I decided to get going on the turbo kit. After looking at buying a header, or building one, toying with the idea of welding 2 "R" (really any 2.5t) manifolds together into a log, I settled on just using the stock twin manifolds and building an up pipe. I'm mocking it all up on a 960 engine from one of my parts cars.

V-band flanges welded to OE manifolds. From what I've seen, any of the RN whiteblock turbo manifolds are cast stainless, and these are no exception. Blasted them, preheated them, welded, let them cool in the oven over a few hours.

Pictures don't show it really, but I picked where I wanted the turbo to go, made a little bracket to hold the turbo flange where I wanted it, and then just eyeballed the tubes. Made a merge collector for the two header pipes into the flange.

Here it is in mockup

And welded up. Still waiting on a Vibrant flex bellows to go between the rear header pipe and the collector.

That's where I'm at as of today. Waiting on the wastegate and some pieces to finish up the turbo stuff, waiting on an intercooler from KL Racing, waiting on ECU and wiring parts.
Selling my AR5 stuff this Tuesday and ordering the BMW ZF with the bellhousing.
My plan for suspension is to do BC Racing coilovers, modify the rear shocks from them for the IRS and use 5x10.5" stock car springs, maybe 275lb or 300lb.

Just for the heck of it, and to give an idea of the type of build I'm going for, here's a picture of the engine in a 245 I'm doing for a customer of mine right now.

And one of my old Audi engine. I do all the ceramic coatings and powder in-house.

Interesting take on the manifolds, and very good display on those and the drill jig.
Looking forward to more updates.
Still waiting on stuff to finish the turbo manifold, started getting pistons ready for coatings. Going to do cerakote thermal coating on crowns, microslick friction coating on skirts.

Pistons, pins and circlips bathing in the 15L Amazon special ultrasonic. If you clean pistons any other way, you're a fool. I haven't physically removed carbon or oil from a piston in years. Just put them in for a few hours, move them around once in a while, they come out ready to blast and coat.

Looks like it was machined yesterday.
Haven't gotten a huge amount done, but I'll give an update on where the car is at. Been busy at the shop, hard to work on my Volvo when I'm fixing and modding everyone else's Volvos.

Got the pistons clean and coated, using Maxpeedingrods (I've used them before, happy with the quality)
All clean, this is literally just ultrasonic cleaning with Simple green, dirty pistons shown in last post. If you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner for car parts, get one. Best money you'll ever spend on a tool. I'll never shut up about this.

CeraKote Piston Coat (crown) and Micro Slick (skirt). I do cerakote in house, do lots of pistons for Subaru EJ guys for some reason. I guess because they always have to build new engines.

My front seats were all ripped up, so I grabbed some 960 seats and some fresh leather from L Seat, recovered the 960 seats in burgundy and put them on the 760 bases with the 760 switches and motors. Fairly straightforward but also a huge pain in the ass to get the leather to stretch on properly. Result is good, but in the future I would pay an upholstery shop to do the install on the new leather. The fit of the covers could be better, but for $350 I can't imagine a better option.

I got the wastegate positioning figured out and everything tacked up, then I ran out of argon and it's just been sitting for like 2 months. Measured and test fit in the engine bay of a 960 we have (that's also getting a T6 swap...) and everything has lots of clearance. Will likely get finished in the winter. Didn't grab great photos, will have more when everything is finish welded and ceramic coated. My brother owns a laser etching company, so I got him to blast my shop logo onto my China wastegate.

Did a front "R" brake conversion using Andersson Steel and Speed brackets from KL Racing, I neglected to get photos. Just a couple here. I used the Pro-Parts calipers from IPD, they are fine OTHER THAN the mounting holes were tapped M11x1.75 instead of M12x1.75. Ran the M12 tap through the holes and opened them up and they worked fine. The brackets and steering knuckles both required a bit of clearancing and fiddling around to get them to sit nicely, they mount the caliper about 2mm too far outboard radially (the pad hangs off the OD of the rotor). I will revisit this before tracking the car but it works for now.

Now the following I didn't get any pictures of the process, but I lowered the car about 2" in the front and 3" in the back. Sits level. For the rear multilink I used QA1 DS502 coilover shocks with no coilovers (got them used, did a DIY rebuild on them), just as shocks. Made the nivomat T-bar mount fit the bottom, made some other bushing for the top. For the springs I used 1993 Toyota Previa rear springs with 1 coil cut. Fronts I just cut 2 coils for now with whatever strut inserts are in it, I'll be upgrading the fronts to BC Racing coilovers soon-ish. Here are pics of the new ride height.

Here are some gratuitous oil pump cleaning pictures. Again, get yourself an ultrasonic cleaner, they're less than $200. Scrubbing things is for jerks, using brake clean or solvents is for dorks. Plop the parts in, push the button, come back after doing something else productive and rinse with water.

Here's a nice clean block ready to assemble whenever I have time.

So while I'm not really closer than I was before to having a T6 in the car, I've got it stopping and turning better, expect another update in like October or something.

Thanks for having a look!
Nice work! Looking forward to updates. Love all the fabrication, and the clear photography documenting it :D

Thanks! I've been following your pickup build, it's awesome. Also your XC-R build was pretty gnarly.
Honestly I've felt like I'm not documenting it well enough. I have ADHD so sometimes I get like 10 steps into something (hyper focus) and forget to take pictures or write anything down. I do want to actually keep this thread maintained as a contribution to T-bricks, I've been lurking here in one form or another since probably the late 90s and have gotten much inspiration and information from the forum. I've had dozens of cars, most of them Volvos and have never really done much for keeping records or posting photos and info.
My hope is that there's some nugget of info in my build that helps someone with their own project.
There's also other things I've missed here. Like I forgot to photograph my electric fan conversion, but largely because it's only temporary until I fit my wide 940 style rad and KL Racing 940 style intercooler. Also did nothing to document the stereo install which uses a 960 amp with an aftermarket Android headunit driving Pioneer speakers in the doors, with 2x12" Pioneer subs in the trunk.. I converted to the late 760 wide tail lamps at some point, but I figure that kind of stuff is stuff anyone can figure out once they get into it.
Great work on your project. Very well thought out clean build. For coil overs check out the DIY kits from BNE dynamics. Thanks for sharing such a nice project and am looking forward to also hearing how that 245 16v works out. :cool:
Time for my annual update I suppose.

Short block assembly, I didn't touch the bores because they measured within spec every which way. They're nice, I'm re-using the rings, opened the top ring gap a bit because I want to cram like 25psi through this thing.

Had to modify the 960 oil filter spigot to work with the T6 block which isn't threaded for it. Welded a bead around it which I machined into a flange which fits the o-ring spot and can't pull through the 960 pan.

Old engine prior to removal

Used T6 accessories, had to trim out all the webbing behind the steering pump/lift eye on the accessory bracket to clear the thermostat. Built a little brace to help support this area. Stock 960 power steering line fits the P2 pump with minor bending. Will re-use original redblock steering reservoir and add a cooler.

Forgot to take pictures of building the wiring harness, but here it is on the engine. Under the hood I thinned out the LH2.2 wiring and kept all the vehicle side stuff (starter, alternator, temp sensor, oil idiot light, AC compressor clutch) as original, just re-loomed in the braided stuff.

I'll be finishing up double checking everything today and will hopefully drop the engine in the car this weekend.