The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Ken VS Lucky - The non turbo build off

2009-02-18 - Robert Lucky Arnold

Since the release of our short ram intake kit for 850 & 70 series turbo models I have received a number of inquiries and requests for me to design and build the same product for the non turbo versions of these same cars. Ken Pruett and I talked at length as to whether a short ram intake, exhaust, and the Ipd MSD coil would add any appreciable power to a non turbo car and while we both expected to see some results from those types of upgrades, we weren't sure what the final numbers might be. Better yet, how could we add some reasonable power to a non turbo car without breaking the bank? From this, the battle begins. So Ken and I have a friendly bet as to who can make the most horsepower per dollar spent.

Ken began by purchasing a 1998 S70 5speed manual sedan. With 209,000 miles on the odometer I was a bit concerned about the condition of the engine but it appeared to run well and evidence of good maintenance abounded. We started with a baseline test at the Dyno shop of 149hp at the wheels, which isn't bad at all considering the car came stock with 168hp at the crank. Ken then went to work, he started by installing our Ipd MSD coil kit, then he had Elliot from our Ipd/RalliTEK service shop graft on a TME cat back exhaust, and finally Ken and I spent some time to heavily modify one of our short ram intakes to fit with the non turbo engine and intake system. We honestly didn't know what to expect as we headed back to the Dyno shop for our Stage 1 testing, I figured the stock coil was probably pretty weak after 200K miles of driving and this could be a real source for some mid range inceases. After strapping the car down and making a couple good runs we ended up with 159hp at the wheels, a solid 10hp gain. The torque looked great too with a gain of 12 ft/lbs at peak and some really nice area under the curve from 2500rpm to 3500rpm. Ken's car is now much more driveable and picks up much quicker and more smoothly. In a word, it's peppier.

Next month, we'll get started with my recently acquired 1994 850 non turbo automatic. My goal is a bit more complicated as I plan to convert the 850 to utilize a TD04-15G turbo and add at least 30hp at the wheels. In the mean time Ken plans on fine tuning the cam timing to gain the most he can while he searches far and wide for camshafts and a high flow mid cat and mid pipe. Stay tuned!