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Old 12-20-2014, 01:36 AM   #1
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LloydDobler's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: PDX
Default 122 T5 motor swap. Its name is Bluey.

Hi Turbobricks. I'm not really a regular here but I hope to change that. I've been active on Swedespeed due to my FWD cars but my first love was and always will be Amazons. I got one as my first car at age 16 (back in 1987, ugh) but it died a painful death and was junked in 1994. I went 122-less for 15 years, but found the perfect candidate in 2009. I have a build thread for this car over on Swedespeed but with this new transition I think it'll be more appreciated over here. If you want to read up on the last 5 years of this car, here's a link:


For those not interested in browsing a 5 year long thread, a quick history:

July 2009: Purchased. Over the next 3 years I rebuilt the carburetors, stopped a whole bunch of surface rust under the front end, did a rear disc brake swap, and fully rebuilt the front and rear suspension. I got the whole front suspension powdercoated as well. At that point I had done pretty much stage 0, and this is how the car looked, and still looks. I have no further plans to modify the cosmetics, except I might go a tiny bit lower.

In 2012 and 2013 I barely did anything with this car because my C70 got totalled, so I spent those years replacing and rebuilding that car. Here's that thread:


In early 2014 I installed an overdrive tranny in this car just to test it for sale. Other than that, I've only put 3500 miles on it in the 5 years I've owned it, for a variety of reasons. First, I work slow. It was actually torn apart for most of the first two years. Second, it has no stereo so I prefer my other cars for routine trips. Third, it has a massive oil leak due to its age. And 4th, it's gutless as all hell, with 213k miles on it, weak compression, and Colorado altitude, I doubt it was making even 60HP at the wheels. It's slow. Here's a 23.74 second quarter mile time (in a car that weighs only 2400 lb). Forgive the fact that it's shaky and silly, my daughter was 10 when she recorded this.


In January 2012, right before I crashed my C70, I found the perfect parts car. A 1998 S70 T5 manual with only 109k miles on it. It was run down and it needed a truckload of repair work so the owners sold it off to me for $500. It had great compression and even more important, the right ecu with no bus network or immobilizer. Perfect for someone who doesn't want the learning curve of standalone engine management (me). So I parted it out and made about $1500 doing that, and the motor with wiring and ECU has been sitting in my garage for almost 3 years now. Since I just finished dialing in the C70, that's where this thread starts. Oh, and the last piece of the puzzle was that a guy on Volvospeed who is local to me and I happen to know in real life was able to figure out coil on plug for ME4.4, which was the last piece of this puzzle. I wanted COP from the beginning of this project because even though I'll have to cut up the tranny tunnel, I wanted the firewall to stay original on this car.

In September I got motivated and harassed my friend who knows how to TIG weld into welding my oil pans. I have two, in case I jack one up.

We preheated it a little hotter than this:

Then he laid a couple beads:

We tested with water and had a few leaks so he had to go over it a couple more times, but in the end I got a shortened oil pan that is only warped .040" total. I plan to fly cut it flat, but before I do that I have to check the fit in the 122. I'm presuming that I'll have to notch the pan to clear the control arms.

So a few weeks ago I started tearing down my engine:

Mmmm the coolant even after 5 years is still nice and clear. Volvo motors are so bulletproof.

The 5 cylinder engine is almost exactly the same length as the B18. I laid the bearing girdle in to start checking the fitment:

I can line it up with the bellhousing at the rear:

And it lines up perfectly at the front:

So with that inspiring confidence, it leads us to today. I had a half day of work (holiday party) and was able to get into it at around 2:30 and yank the exhaust and drive shaft:

And before I can get the motor out I run into my first problem, the engine hoist won't fit under my control arms.

Small problem. Jacked it up enough, engine is over and out.


A closer shot of where this lump has been for the last 3 years. Colorado is extremely dry, I'm sure there's no rust in the bores but I'll check it with a borescope before I fire it up.

With the motor out I can start test fitting the oil pan. This is with it about an inch and a half off the firewall. My only concern with this is being able to get to the crank position sensor without pulling the motor.

I'm planning to mount it at the 960 motor angle that the pan comes from, so the pan has to sit way off to the driver's side. That sharpie mark on the back of the pan needs to line up with the hole in the center of the firewall.

I need to notch the pan to clear the control arm. Good thing I didn't machine it for flatness yet.

The passenger side isn't so bad, just a little off the point.

I still have another inch or more I can move it forward, until the pan hits the crossmember. I think I'll need the room, so I'll notch it with this in mind.

Here you can see how much room I have in the front still, the center grommet is where the radiator mounts.

Here it is with the bearing girdle laid down on the pan, showing the crank journals on center. Just saying, I'm not crazy and it really does need to be this far to the driver's side.

Good news here, the steering won't interfere with the oil filter. It might if I put a 960 oil cooler on though, I'll have to do more test fitting when that time comes.

And this is the cramped space where I do all this work. It doesn't look terrible in this picture but trust me, it is.

A friend got me this for christmas, and upon completing this post I'm going to have a sip. Anyone know if it's any good?

Next step is to notch the pan and then onward to building motor mounts. Now, I tend to move slow on projects, so I figure it'll be at least a year before this is running. Probably spring 2016 realistically. I usually update about once a month, maybe once every two months, depending on progress.

As for the tranny, I'd really love to just get an M90 and be done, the car's light enough that I don't need radical power. But I'll probably go with a T5 for the ease and availability. I already have a Getrag 265, but everyone's put me off of the gear ratios on that so I'll probably just resell it.

Anyway, hello and looking forward to your comments and feedback.
'66 122 - Collectible project
'06 V70 2.5T - Mostly Stock Daily Driver
'03 C70 T5M - Modded summer fun car
'05 V50 T5 AWD - Daughter's first car

Last edited by LloydDobler; 04-22-2015 at 11:12 PM..
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