I've been in the automotive business since I was a teenager. I started out as an apprentice Saab & Volvo technician out of high school. I really liked both brands because of their commitment to safety but still understanding performance.
Later I decided to follow my other passion and moved in to the computer industry. Since I had such a strong understanding of automotive business needs, I ended up doing a lot of computer related work for automotive businesses.
I am sort of a Man Of Many Hats at ipd. I started out as the Purchasing and Inventory manager but because of my computer skills I am now developing the websites and maintaining the computer network.
I've had many Volvos over the years, but I've always been a fan of the Volvo 140 series. I've owned about 6 of them over the years.
This Green 1972 142E was my favorite for many years.
- Limited production 1.25" front ipd swaybar
- Custom .75" rear swaybar
- Koni shocks
- Lowered several inches (stock 140's rode waaay too high)
- ipd front air dam
- 1975 242 doors (no wing windows) with inside adjustable mirrors
- 240 seats (see the headrests) later it had Recaro SE seats.
- 1975 B20F block w/ stock B21F (2130 cc) pistons, 10:1 compression ratio, double valve springs, HD oil pump, etc.
- Ported and polished head and port matched manifolds
- 4 speed w/ overdrive from a 1975 240 (nice shifter & OD switch)
- Bosch LH-Jetronic 2.2 fuel injection (see picture below)
- Electronic Ignition from a 1975 240. Later it had a Saab hall effect style ignition.
The other technicians at the shop where I worked thought I was a little nuts to install LH-Jetronic on a B20 engine. I was really tired of messing around with the stock D-Jetronic that came on it. D-Jetronic isn't very sophisticated and doesn't run consistently.
The only items I had to fabricate were the fuel rail and the wire harness. I made the fuel rail on a spare head. I gathered up all the pieces and installed it on a saturday (including making the wire harness.) I was done in about 3 hours. It started on the first try!
This 142 got fantastic gas mileage and I could start this car up on a really cold day (20°F) and just drive away. No messing with chokes, no popping when hitting the throttle, just start and go! It was a very good daily driver and a lot of fun to drive.
It wouldn't have won any horsepower contests, but it had lots of torque over 4,000 RPMs. The engine was balanced with the flywheel so it was real smooth at higher RPMs. It had double valve springs so it could have gone to 7,000 RPMs pretty easily but unfortuntately the LH-Jet ECM had a built-in rev-limit at 6,200.
This is still the best handling car I have ever owned. I rarely ever had to slow down. I'd just plant my foot on the gas pedal and it would just fly through corners. I always wanted to figure out how to stuff a B230FT (Turbo) in there but that was a little beyond my fabrication skills (and budget) at the time.
Since I posted this, I've received many questions regarding the details of the LH 2.2 installation...
It has been more than a few years since I did this installation but I will try and explain what I did.
The components I used were a mix of parts off of a 1985-1986 Saab 900 2.0L 16V Turbo and an 1983-1985 Volvo 240. It has been a while so I don't remember all the details, but most of the parts were from the Saab (MAF, ECM, injectors) while some of the less critical parts (Throttle switch, etc.) were off the Volvo. I used the Saab system because I had easy access to used parts and I believed the engine fuel demands were similar. There weren't many aftermarket piggy-back systems out there back then but something like a Perfect Power 6 would have been a nice addition for fine tuning. I believe the Idle Speed Motor was from a Saab but I ended up taking it off and putting on an old Auxilary Air Slide Valve from a K-jet Volvo 240 which actually worked better in the long run since this engine didn't have any additional load factors like power steering or air conditioning.
The only part that was difficult to create was the fuel injector rail/pipe. The pipe from the Saab 900 was actually brass and was relatively easy to solder. I didn't actually have anything holding it against the injectors, just the retaining clips that Saab used. I probably would have had some long term issues with this leaking at some point so I would have needed to design a way to brace the fuel rail. Then again, it may have been just fine.
I initially used the stock D-jet fuel pump but I kept having starvation problems around long right hand turns when I was really pushing it (there was one turn I took everyday and it was driving me nuts!) This wasn't an LH problem but a design problem with the fuel tank baffles. I ended up cutting a round hole in the top of the stock fuel tank and removing the existing baffles. I then welding in a piece of large diameter pipe to use as a circular flange that would accept a Saab 900 fuel pump assembly. The Saab assembly had a regular Bosch LH fuel pump inside of a housing that was sort of like a canister with a pre-pump filling the canister. It was kind of like a little fuel cell. No more starvation issues.
I had to create a wire harness because the configuration between the Saab LH and Volvo LH is very different than the 140 w/ B20 engine. Saab integrated their harness was all the other stuff in the engine compartment so it was out too. Ultimately, there are not that many wires in an LH 2.2 system so i just created a wire harness from scratch. I had all the connectors and connector housings already so it wasn't so bad. It took me 2-3 hours to install all the parts (after the injector rail was ready) and wire up the harness. The car started on the first try.
I also had to add a bung to the header pipe so i had a place to put the oxygen sensor.
The only other thing to note was that I needed to use electronic ignition. LH 2.2 just uses a tach signal (negative side of the coil) for ignition signal. I started out using the system found on 1975 US 240 models. It is a simple system with a pickup coil in the distributor. Later I actually mixed and matched various distributor parts to make a hall-effect ignition driven by a Saab ignition amplifier (very similar to later 240 models.)
This car had much better fuel mileage that a stock 140. On long trips, I typically went over 400 miles on a tank of gas.
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A guy ran a red light and wiped the front off of it.
Both front doors still opened and closed just fine.
I recently purchased a 2002 Volvo V70 2.4T. I love this car and am looking forward to customizing it.
I wanted to drive my V70 around for a while and get used to it in stock form so when I finally did upgrades to it, I would really know what changed.
I thought that it handled pretty well with stock suspension but adding a set of ipd swaybars made a huge difference to the stability and handling.
I also did an ipd ECU upgrade and added sport exhaust. This car is a heck of a lot more fun! I can't believe how much of a difference the ECU upgrade made. It is really a different car now. These light pressure turbos really have some low-end grunt!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - SPRTWGN (DAVE)
Wow! What you did with the LH 2.2 on B20 is exactly what I was hoping would be possible for me to accomplish. It seems a lot more straight forward than a MegaSquirt conversion. Any chance you could offer a little advice/guidance on the subject? I'm 'SprtWgn' on TurboBricks if you can help. Thanks!
Sunday, August 30, 2009 - MARK JOHNSON
How do you know if your V70 is a light pressure turbo or not?
Monday, August 31, 2009 - KEVIN RUTLEDGE
Volvo models badged 2.4T or 2.5T are light pressure turbo models. They have small turbos that spool up quickly but cannot generate much boost at higher engine loads. LPT models are great for city driving but do not have much pick up at freeway speeds. Models badged T5 are high-pressure turbos. The turbo is bigger and capable of generating more boost thoughout the engine rev range.