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Need accurate info on redblock and rwd whiteblock power limit for daily driver

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on all Volvo's "mid era" rear wheel drive Volvos.

1975 - 1993 240
1983 - 1992 740
1982 - 1991 760
1986 - 1991 780
1990 - 1998 940
1990 - 1998 960
1997 - 1998 V90/S90

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CIK7
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Need accurate info on redblock and rwd whiteblock power limit for daily driver

Post by CIK7 »

I am finally saving money for a new Volvo. I can't confirm it'll be a redblock, but I strongly desire a rwd. I have a hitch for a 240 but it doesn't fit a 740. I want a minimum of a 740 for better driving. Im hesitant about getting another 960 because the heater core is a pain to replace. Maybe get a 7/9 and fabricate to drop in an i6 (400hp?)? I have thought a lot about and have wanted to rebuild a redblock for ~300-350hp. I decided to find shops that did such things.

Issue: iPD said they no longer did that and advised I call another shop. I called that shop who told me they no longer do that but did answer my question about a 6 speed manual. I talked to another shop that answered all my questions. This one advised me an NA (my original desire) would likely be unable to reach that. He said that even in a turbo configuration, it would still be a challenge. He advised I go with the whiteblock in the 960 to get better results.

I know some guy on YT rebuilt and put in his 240 a 2.9L @320hp (320lb ft tq?). Thoughts on redblock power capability?

Edit: I did a bit of searching. Heater core replacement on 740 is the same as 960. If the 240 is different from 7,9 series, how much easier is it for 2 series? So many threads on here and a wild goose chase on the right post.
1998 V GLE/SE red, 354k (252k), 5sp (origin auto), sold, bought back, totaled, bought back, current
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1998 S GT white, 175K, 5sp, The Cloud, sold
1996 964 silver, 145807, The Cloud, diff&trans toast, crushed
1998 XC black, 151183, The Storm, flooded&bent rod, crushed
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Post by foggydogg »

Don't know about the heater core, but I put two blower motors in 240s, first one took ten hours, the second - and the last I'll ever do - took just under eight, which is about factory book time. Unless the core goes through the firewall the other way, I'm guessing you have to get the blower out first before you can touch the core.
If you're going to build a hot rod, my suggestion would be to get the body style that fits your performance vision, find the nicest one in your budget, and take whatever the car gives you for maintenance issues.
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Post by abscate »

And remember that money spent on performance is at best recoverable at 20 cents on the dollar. It’s fine to spend money on your passion but realise it goes up in smoke on install.
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Post by BlackBart »

My thought is that 200-250 is max for a ‘daily driver’ NA. You’re up to the bleeding edge of reliability past that. It won’t be reliable, it won’t last long, it won’t be tractable and calm in traffic, and it might just blow up.

The collector guys all get hot for the early Porsche 911S, rather than a base ‘T’ or an ‘E’ model. But from what I know the S is a pain in the ass to drive every day - it needs to be wound way up in the rev range to make enough torque to slip the clutch. That’s the way all the high performance NA engines act - the horsepower is way up past 4000, 6000 rpm. It’s only fun on a race track or an empty mountain road.

I think the twin cam, 16 valve, Volvo 4 cylinder can make quite a bit of NA power, but I don’t know how high or how reliable.

My Audi 1.8 turbo makes 180 hp. The hot rodder tuner guys build them up to outrageous 400, 500 hp. But they are a massive expense of custom forged rods and pistons, BIG turbos, a ton of handmade exhaust and intake plumbing, electronics, and giant intercoolers hanging off the front. And they’re no fun to drive except for that brief Saturn V launch in the power band.
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Post by BlackBart »

ex-1984 245T wagon
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Post by volvolugnut »

The old saw always applies: "Horsepower costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

I would add: The cheapest horsepower seems to be made by NA with big displacement. The huge V8's of the 1960's were relatively cheap to buy. But they also burned lots of gas even loafing along.

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Post by matthew1 »

I'd build a nice 5-cyl whiteblock turbo on a stand and put it in a 700- or 900-series, if I was going to go fast in a RWD Volvo.
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Post by CIK7 »

matthew1 wrote: 03 Dec 2022, 18:35 I'd build a nice 5-cyl whiteblock turbo on a stand and put it in a 700- or 900-series, if I was going to go fast in a RWD Volvo.
A 5cyl in a rwd? Has anyone done that? I'm kinda bummed out after I was told that even the turbo 4 can't go too high. I really kinda want another wb 6cyl. I just hate the heater core replacement. It was really easy on the p80 cars but they've got crowded engine bays. I will admit I miss my red v70 5sp. This car shopping is stressful.
1998 V GLE/SE red, 354k (252k), 5sp (origin auto), sold, bought back, totaled, bought back, current
2003 Accord 2dr V6 silver, 214K, 6sp, current
1998 S GT white, 175K, 5sp, The Cloud, sold
1996 964 silver, 145807, The Cloud, diff&trans toast, crushed
1998 XC black, 151183, The Storm, flooded&bent rod, crushed
1998 XC white, parts car, crushed
2001 V70 Ba white, 168k, trans slip, traded for Storm
09 Chev Imp grey, 196K, sold for first Volvo

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Post by abscate »

Have you considered an LPT white block?

I love the way Kat comes off the line, amd she gets me high 20s gas mileage , almost 30 highway

Kat 99 S70 AWD with LPT

It’s real cheap to pry off the AWD label and put an R on it and tell everyone you can beat them if needed
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Post by BlackBart »

Why not a VHPT and blow the head off?
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