Author Archives: Eric

BMW E39 Rear Suspension

Well it’s been way too long since I’ve posted an update, but I have actually done some work on the car.  I was able to spend some time working on it this summer, and my priority was to get the car rolling, which meant I needed to install the BMW E39 rear suspension in the vehicle.

Unfortunately I was working alone and in a bit of a time crunch, so I wasn’t able to get as many photos of the whole process as I would have liked, and the pictures I did take were just with my phone’s camera, so they aren’t that great.  However, I got everything installed and I am very satisfied with the accuracy I was able to locate the rear subframe and how everything went together! Continue reading

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 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 built 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.

17-Jan-2014 16:57

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.

12-Mar-2009 10:34

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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.

Modified oil pump pickup
Modified oil pump pickup04-Jun-2011 12:59
Modified oil pump pickup
Modified oil pump pickup04-Jun-2011 16:29
Modified oil pump pickup
Modified oil pump pickup04-Jun-2011 16:49

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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. Continue reading