Motor Buildin' With Big Will & B Mac

Big Will

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I'm finally getting around to detailing the adventures and shenanigans that Ben and I had in November building the motor and replacing the gearbox in my '98 V70 AWD.

My goals for this build were modest in terms of power. I aimed to have a motor capable of handling significantly more power than the Kinugawa 20T we were installing would be able to make, but I also wanted to stick with using the car's original motor as a starting point rather than start with one of the newer RN blocks. This goes well with my decision years ago to use an original M58 rather than the more modern (and superior) M66 gearboxes.

New Performance Goodies to install:

-ASC 139.5mm Forged Rods
-Mahle OS2 Pistons
(OS2 not because the engine needed that but because it was all that was available)

-20T turbo w/ angled 7cm exhaust housing (billet compressor wheel, 11 blade turbine)

-440cc Bosch "green" injectors freshly cleaned by Cruzin Performance

-do88 Intercooler

-NA intake manifold and throttle body from an 850

-Tuning by Beüst

A little background:

The car has been in my family since it was new. My parents bought it in 1997. I took it to college in 2003 and have owned it since somewhere around then. Technically not a 1 owner car but pretty close. During college, I had some contacts in Sweden and imported a used M58 and some manual axles from Sweden in the hope of eventually swapping the auto gearbox out. In those days, everyone I talked to in the U.S. said it couldn't be done (the Swedes were of course more confident).

In 2008, just before leaving for grad school in Sweden, Hussein and Ben made a monumental effort to help me with what we believe was the first M58 swap in the U.S. (a handful of people had done the M66 swap around that time) and I am always grateful that we accomplished that project. We wrote an article for Rolling magazine detailing the manual swaps of our three cars shortly afterwards; an M66 swap, an M58 swap and an M56 swap.

Here are a few of pictures from 2008:







At that time, the car was on the stock B5254T motor with an M58, a fresh 15G, white injectors, TME catback exhaust, and stock T5-M tune. I dyno'd the car at something like 218 whp and 240 wtq on a Dynojet.

A few months later, we installed a 99+ style TME downpipe to get rid of the horrible bend the 98s have, an R exhaust manifold and a custom Wothrline tune which really woke the car up and gave a lot of confidence that it was well made and well thought out. I drove about 35K miles with the car with this setup this over the last 6 or 7 years, including X-country 3 times on some epic trips during vacations from school/work whenever I was back in the States.

The only problem was that the M58 had a really broken reverse gear and although the forward gears felt perfect, the gearbox was starting to get metal shavings in the oil...toward the end, I was changing the gear oil nearly every oil change to keep it alive.

So began the search for another M58. I also wanted to do a proper motor build and have collected the parts over the past 7 years to do things right and to be able to do some other convenient maintenance to the front end. This also helped tremendously to space out the cost.

Gearbox heaven in Sweden:


The (hopefully) properly functioning M58:


So this past November, the build began. B Mac flew out to my parents' place in Arizona where my car lives with a bag of tools and after a couple of trips to Harbor Freight and Home Depot to acquire things like an engine stand, an engine crane, and a 3/8 cordless Milwaukee Fuel impact wrench - which by the way is magic - we got to work. We did use the local Volvo dealership to get the motor and gearbox out as one unit and back in again upon completion, as we decided that we didn't want to risk running into unforeseen issues and getting stuck in my parents' garage with a limited amount of tools. Huge thanks goes out to Mike at Volvo of Tucson for his interest in the project and the care he took in getting the motor out and re-installed.

(All photography is credited to Ben)




While the car was at Volvo dropping the subframe, we had some time to make sure the new M58 was in good order internally and to have it jet-washed at the machine shop and then install all new seals.





Here is a picture of one of the forks with a part number in case that helps anyone in the future:


These gear-packs are sharp!


Once we had the motor back in the garage, we started taking it apart:




'VS Bitches'




The motor looked really good for nearly 190K miles!






Disassembled and ready for the machine shop:


At this stage, the timing was entirely up to the machine shop and I'll let Ben chime in on how that was. So Ben and I had about a week of downtime. What to do?

We took apart my old M58 that was puking metal. I had installed custom made Dimple magnetic drain plugs a few years ago in testing for ViVA Performance to start carrying them and had them as both the drain and fill plugs of the gearbox. These are super strong magnets and I can't recommend them enough. I also have them as the fill plugs on the angle gear and rear diff, and as the drain plug for the engine oil pan. Take a look at what they were holding on to in this M58:


Ben's expression says it all:


The stock, internal magnet:


We also did some work to the angle gear by adding the updated vent to help relieve excess pressure, drilling a drain as per the Volvo procedure, and installing new seals (except for the pinion seal and the big o-ring which requires removal of the crown nut as there's a lot of risk involved in replacing those so don't do it unless they're obviously leaking).




Painted a freshly milled and bead blasted R manifold and the new turbo exhaust housing and coolant pipe with some 1800 degree ceramic paint from Eastwood to try and keep the temps down in the engine bay and we did some polishing of the turbo lines:


A few other parts went out to the powder-coater including a nice NA intake manifold that we found at a JY, the thermostat housing, a couple of brackets and the cam cover:





I also painted some motor mount brackets and we literally cleaned up every rusty nut and bolt using some Evapo-Rust which works very well.


Some nice Snabb hoses for the idle air controller and the NA throttle body:


We also had a little fun around Tucson:





Our view most evenings:


Sadly I don't have a picture of the Prickly Pear Margaritas or Sonoran Dogs that are a specialty of Tucson but I'm hoping that Ben can add some.
EDIT* Prickly Pear Margaritas and some good Mexican food:



The machine shop cleaned everything, did the head and installed new valve stem seals, rebuilt the oil pump, re-surfaced and balanced the flywheel along with the new R clutch, polished and balanced the crank, polished the cams, and bored and honed the cylinders to accommodate the new Mahle OS2 pistons. We had supplied the machine shop with a deck plate from CJ Yother (big thanks CJ!) so that they could do this properly. We also supplied them with a new spare set of head bolts and a new spare headgasket to use with the deck plate.

Additionally, we asked the machine shop to shim the block in between each of the cylinders. This is something that a few people on here have done with success and indeed it was also a recommended step from an article series in Bilsport Magazine from Sweden written by one of the gurus on his formula for building bullet-proof whiteblock motors. Obviously we were starting with a less-than-ideal '98 B5254T rather than one of the more modern engines. The Swedish article recommends the motor from a mid 2000s S60 T5 as the ideal starting point.

Ben and I decided that we would assemble everything for the experience of doing it but we asked the shop to check the tolerances of the ASC rods and the main bearings to be on the safe side. It turned out that the main bearings supplied from Toga were undersized even though they were supposed to be the correct standard ones for my engine. I believe that Toga had recently changed suppliers because the bearings supplied turned out to be King bearings and are probably not the same ones that some others here have used with success. The rod bearings supplied from Toga were shipped all in the same bag and ended up damaging each other so we opted to use the Volvo rod bearings in the end which looked to be much higher quality and come properly boxed in pairs.

I was able to return all of the Toga bearings to Import Performance Parts to their credit.

The bearing fiasco made for a tense moment as we were on a tight schedule (Ben needing to get back to the East Coast and I needing to go back to Germany) and our fingers were crossed that we could source the main bearings for my motor from Volvo since so many of these parts are no longer available in the U.S. (most pistons for example). Thankfully, after much confusion interpreting Volvo's matrix, we managed to order the correct Volvo bearings and they arrived quickly. I learned my lesson. In the future I would just recommend using the Volvo bearings in the first place as the quality on them looks phenomenal.

Everything back from the machine shop and after some additional washing with some Dawn soap and a toilet brush, reassembly began:





The internals:




Painting with some ceramic engine paint from Eastwood (I sadly didn't mix it well enough while painting the oil pan so that turned poorly compared to the rest of the motor)




It was a long night of work for the two of us. We intended to have it back to Volvo by morning so we worked from Thursday morning through the night until Friday morning with only a stop for a very large pizza to keep us going before finishing re-assembly and bringing it all back to Volvo.





Sunrise on Friday:


Almost ready to be lifted into the U-Haul - just need to install the gearbox and angle gear:


I used the opportunity to install a few other things: The car got a rebuilt AWD steering rack from A1-Cardone, some new Moog tie rods, a set of Kahplenke Delrin subframe bushings which are a work of art, and a new Meyle hydraulic mount as mine was the original with 189K on it!

While they had the car on their lift for a couple of weeks, Mike at Volvo installed some new hardware and a set of TME lowering springs on the front Ohlins struts so that the stance would match the Ohlins lowering springs in the rear. For me, the stance is absolutely perfect now. He also put in the do88 intercooler which is an impressive piece of work.

Ben and I also installed all new silicone radiator and auxiliary coolant and vacuum hoses (already had silicone hoses for the intercooler), new heater hoses, and of course belts. For tuning purposes we also installed an AEM wideband.



Once the car was back together, we put in some Joe Gibbs 5w30 break-in oil, started it up on the lift and let it come to temperature, changed the oil filter and then began a break-in of the engine. There was a moment where everyone held their breath but it started smoothly. Everyone seems to have an opinion on breaking in an engine, from 'baby it for 1000 miles' to 'drive it like you stole it.' After discussing it with the machine shop, we settled on that the first 50 miles were especially important and so we drove around Tucson without letting the engine sit in one rpm band for very long, doing some smooth pulls up hills and then letting the car pull vacuum for stretches coming back downhill.

After the first 50 miles, I drove it another 400 or so trying to keep the engine speed varied and progressively ramping up the amount of boost and then changed the break-in oil and filter and re-filled with a name brand conventional oil. I plan to drive with this another 1000 miles and then probably will change to synthetic oil and follow more normal change intervals.

Aaron of Beüst Tuning provided an excellent base tune and I look forward to taking some more data-logs and working with him on dialing in the tuning the next time I am around in the Spring. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time in November.

A special thanks goes out to Nick with Re-Volv ( who was instrumental in getting us many of the Volvo parts we needed in an incredibly efficient way, especially with some of the last minute parts even though we were on the other side of the country. As far as I'm concerned, there's no one better to work with for any Volvo parts needs so definitely reach out to him if you're planning a project:

This project actually went incredibly smoothly given the scope of it and our limited timeframe. All the planning helped but there are always timing issues that are out of your control and always a few unforeseen challenges such as the bearings being the undersized or discovering a part here and there that needs to be replaced. One small frustration was a cracked thermostat housing (part number 1397909) which was leaking coolant through a hairline crack that we didn't notice until the car was back together and had been started on the lift. It was all hands on deck to figure out where the leak was coming from.

The only other issue is the car has a very high idle (~1900 rpm) upon a cold start and also sometimes just randomly when stopped at a light. I suspect that my IAC which is the original is in need of replacement since we cleaned the NA throttle body that we installed quite well before putting it all back together and all vacuum hoses and elbows are new.

These projects are always great learning experience and I certainly learned a ton working with Ben on this. It was the culmination of years of parts collecting and discussing and gathering information from those on here who have done similar and more extreme builds in the past. But most of all, it was a great way to spend a couple of weeks with a really good friend that I don't get to see very often given where I live.

As the wagon sits:




Here is a (hopefully) complete list of parts used for this build. I have struck out certain parts that either were not relevant for my car but would be relevant to others (as in the case of the suspension parts because I have the Ohlins suspension) or parts that we chose not to use.

Front Suspension Rebuild:

-1397492 x2 subframe bracket

-Kaplhenke Delrin Subframe Bushings

-6801722 Meyle Hydraulic Mount

-1387860 Meyle HD endlnks

-TME front lowering springs

-30683637 XC90 Spring Seat x2

-31200599 OE Strut Mounts x2
-9157705 x2 Spring Mounting Spacer
-30647969 x2 Strut Mount Cap

-31201386 x2 strut washer

-9140067 x2 bump stop


-A1 Cardone Rebuilt Rack 262506 w/ inner tie rods

-L/R outer tie rods: Moog

-969093 o ring steering pressure hose

-969092 x2 o rings steering pressure hose and reservoir

-1387453 x4 o-rings for hard lines


-do88 Aluminum Intercooler

Turbo Upgrade

-20T Kinugawa – billet wheel, 11 blade turbine, 7cm2 exhaust housing

-8642450 turbo to manifold gasket

-11994 x6 copper crush washers (get a few extras)

-31251439 oil return line sealing ring

-31251456 oil return line gasket

-18671 x2 turbo oil line gaskets block side
-6842190 turbo coolant line– do88 Silicone Kit

-30713305 turbo coolant return hose – do88 Silicone Kit

-30640776 x2 return hose clamps - do88 SS clamp kit

-30637921 spare R manifold, cleaned, milled

-30713254 unique heat shield for R manifold (not strictly needed)

-TCV Silicone Vacuum Hose Kit from IPD

-Some extra 4 or 5mm vacuum hose

-Some extra vacuum elbows in assorted sizes

Motor Overhaul

-Bosch “Green” Injectors – cleaned & re-sealed by Cruzin Performance

-30750783 Genuine Volvo oil pan gasket set

(includes: 1-8642559 oil pan seal, 1-8642560 Oil Pan Seal, 1-1397983 Oil Pan Seal, 1-30637867 Dipstick Tube O-Ring, 2-3514546 Dipstick Tube O-Rings and 4-30637866 Oil Line O-Ring)

-271815 Oil squirter gaskets

-274260 Oil Pump Gasket Set

-9146132 Valve spring for oil pump

-1271903 piston for above spring (discontinued)

-3531017 Victor Reinz Head Gasket

-6842347 x12 Cylinder Head Bolts – Victor Reinz (made by Mahle)

-31368044 x12 Main Bolts (Volvo)
-1161059 anaerobic sealant
-6842272 x2 front cam seal (Beck/Arnley)

-9443310 x2 rear cam seal (SKF 11809)
-1397525 x5 valve cover sealing rings (Victor Reinz)

-3517893 x20 valve stem seals (Victor Reinz 70-26058-00)

-9458178 rear main seal

-PCV System Kit Genuine Volvo
-NA intake manifold w/out EGR (part number unknown)
-9146266 Intake manifold gasket
-1271893 NA throttle body
-9135990 throttle body gasket
-Snabb NA throttle body silicone hose

-978111 Vacuum tree o-ring

-9146225 Upper idle air hose – Snabb Silicone

-1366791 rectangular sealing ring for oil pan thermostat

-968757 x2 o-rings oil pan thermostat housing

-9463274 Thermostat housing gasket on block

-9141095 Coolant expansion tank

-6842894 Expansion tank hose silicone (do88)
-9135267 Expansion tank hose silicone (do88)

-9186847 Heater hose outlet
-9186849 Heater hose inlet

-ASC 139,5mm Forged Rods

-30777466 x5 sets Genuine Volvo rod bearings

-9454743 x10 Flywheel to crankshaft bolts

-959219 x6 pressure plate to flywheel bolts

-272218 R Clutch Kit

-Mahle OS2 Pistons (includes wrist pins, snap rings, piston rings)

-Volvo Main Bearings (ordered by code)

-Genuine Volvo Spark Plug kit

-Distributor Rotor Bosch

-Distributor Cap Bosch

-TB252RB Gates Timing Belt

-6PK1743 Continental Serpentine Belt

-985375 x4 crankshaft pulley bolts

-30677767 water pump gasket (re-used bolts)

-11996 washer (buy a few of these for spares)
-1275379 oil cap gasket


-M58 Gearbox

-9143962 ball seat for shift fork

-9181780 Release Bearing

-914463 Snap Ring for Slave Cylinder

-6843481 L.S. (manual axle seal)
-9143911 R.S.


-1381798 41mm input shaft seal

-8675580 44.5mm input shaft seal

-9143885 Gearbox diff seal O.DIA 38 mm, 28x38x7

-976041 o-ring behind AWD collar

Angle Gear

-Installed vent 8689527 & 30681138
-Installed drain as per Volvo TNN

-9143885 x2 L.S. & R.S. Drive shaft seal O.DIA 38 mm, 28x38x7

-976041 o-ring inside collar

-30735126 (9143879) x2 L.S. & R.S. sealing ring 65mm outer diameter

-977023 o-ring under crown nut (garage)

-9183891 pinion seal (garage but never replace) 39,4x65x10 mm


-1161645 x3 gearbox oil

-1161648 x1 angle gear oil

*I hope that Ben will add some things that I've no doubt forgotten. He also has some more pictures of the finished car with the engine in it that maybe we can merge into this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 38
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Awesome post, thank you for sharing that. Glad to see Ben at it, he's making quite a name for himself! (**cough**cough**H2Oi**cough**cough**)

I'm moving to Tucson this summer Will, let me know next time you're there. I'd love to finally meet you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome post, thank you for sharing that. Glad to see Ben at it, he's making quite a name for himself! (**cough**cough**H2Oi**cough**cough**)

I'm moving to Tucson this summer Will, let me know next time you're there. I'd love to finally meet you.

That's awesome Matt. I'll be there in April and again briefly in September for a road trip to Texas where a buddy of mine is getting married so we should definitely have the chance to finally meet.

I should also have mentioned in the post that you were instrumental in trying to get that M58 Stateside while it was stuck in the limbo of Swedish customs paperwork :) That's one of the great things about these projects - it's always a great group of interested people helping out along the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will with a great writeup as usual. It was a ton of fun bud, can't wait for the next road trip. What's next...fwd conversion? ;)

I'll email you those pics as soon as I can so you can update the first post.

Mark, what's in store for me in Canada :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ben, you need to get out in the sun :lol:

Awesome write up Kids....

Will with a great writeup as usual. It was a ton of fun bud, can't wait for the next road trip. What's next...fwd conversion? ;)

I'll email you those pics as soon as I can so you can update the first post.

Mark, what's in store for me in Canada :D

Ben, come to my side of Canada, rains all the time at Mark's neck of woods. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.