Hey guys, new to these forums and still new to Volvo. In terms or Swedish engineering, I have owned 3 SAABs over the years (2 prior to GM "influence") and have loved them, and have also had a 2012 S60 T6 which had a great motor but I disliked the auto trans and the chassis was sloppy (was stock and had 100k on it so not necessarily the fault of the car). I have since sold that, still have a SAAB 9-5 wagon but am looking to do a Volvo build. SAAB has frustrated me and the Volvo 5 cylinder turbos are unique and very cool in my book, so on to Volvo perhaps. I have drooled over the boxy Swedish style for a long time and it's time to do something - I am really into the 700/900 series look but like the 200 series, 850, and later stuff like the S90 as well, all in sedan and wagon versions but may prefer sedan for this. I'm lurking around reading as much as I can but there's a lot of info here and I am a bit overwhelmed. That said, here's what I'd like to do:
I'd like to build a turbo straight 5 to somewhere in the neighborhood of 350-400 whp with a manual 5 speed using Volvo parts (for the most part). Would it make the most sense to start with one of the 2.3 straight 5's like the B5234T? My neighbor has a non running '95 850 turbo I can swoop up for a few hundred bucks as a starting point if this is the right path. I've read from you guys the pistons are alright up to around 400 hp but you need rods? Can anyone point the way to some rod kits for these/similar motors so I can get an idea on investment? It's said that Volvo parts are very expensive (I assume these points are mostly regarding OEM), is this true for the older mid-90s models OEM and how about aftermarket? I needed an alternator for the S60 and OEM was around $1200 which I thought was completely insane. May be similar to Audi and Mercedes I don't know.
My intention is to swap a built motor into a RWD 700/900 or possibly 200 series, but if it's hard to find a nice donor car or options are limited, I'll get by with a FWD (ie. keep the 850 is that's the route I go). AWD is enticing but those systems are mostly safety oriented vs performance, right? Mainly FWD anyway? Not sure if AWD would make much difference with that much power, plus the rear end mods that would be necessary? Could someone expand on the models that one of the better suited turbo motors would fit in without major fabrication? I'm worried about engine/trans mount compatibility, I could weld mounting points but would like to avoid major fab if possible - are there kits for fitment like this? My main interest is doing the engine build itself - one of the major reasons for pursuing all this is to expand my engine building capabilities, I have done a lot of work in the past but never done anything bottom end. For the 700/900 and maybe 200 series is it easy to fit manual transmissions from other Volvo models? What manual transmissions works best for higher power output and what mods are needed other than clutch? What are the best handling (or easiest to get handling good) out of the 200, 700, 850, 900 series? I assume not the 200 but there seem to be a lot of good available parts.
So in a long winded way, my question for this crowd is really if you could do a 350 to 400 hp (maybe higher) build with a straight 5, manual trans, going into any of the available chassis, what would you do if budget and spare time is a definite consideration? What motor and manual trans, what mods, and what chassis would you choose?