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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!

Greener than grass with all this Volvo stuff... looking for help (yes, I know where the search function is). I just bought a B5254T3 as a project for my Mk 3 Focus SE. My goal is a good daily (I have a racecar already) that is, essentially, the Focus ST that SHOULD have come to the US. My plan is as follows:

Investigate and rectify "rod knock" as-purchased.
Increase compression (deck 0.020" or new pistons, as needed) to ~10:1
M66 conversion, FWD only
bigger cams (thing's gonna be apart, so why not?)
bigger turbo (motor didn't come with an exhaust manifold, so once again, why not?)
Volvo ECU with PATS and emissions deleted (hurrah for living in a no-emission state!), hopefully CANBUS communicates with my Focus
biggest FMIC, piping, etc that I can shove under the stock bodywork

So I'm asking the hive mind... what do I need to know? What kind of parts are out there for this motor? Anything I should do to it before trying to shoehorn this monstrosity into my poor, unsuspecting road warrior?
 

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Your gonna need a tuner for sure with cams and bigger turbo, you already know what kind your going with? Suspension wise there is plenty of parts you can pull from any P1 model volvo, mazda and ford focus cars.
 

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So supposedly, if you are going high enough power above 500hp - you want to get a brace that sits inside the top water jacket to hold the cylinders in place to prevent movement.

Stupidly priced though at like $800 for it.
other than that...you can read threads on here for days to get your info.
 

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Seems like quite an undertaking for a daily and I'd question the reliability of an engine swap on such a modern car. But I'm loving this idea!

I would suggest a street performance cam rather than a race cam. I had Newman street performance cams which allowed me to get better fuel economy on the highway and about +25whp and +10ftlb at the wheels. Though going with cams, I'd suggest reinforcing the block. Especially since you'll have everything apart already. I was running 19-20psi and at 194k miles, cracked 3 cylinders under full boost.

If you want a relatively simple bolt on turbo, the K16 is your best option. The same turbo from the MkII RS.

Tuning is definitely going to be a challenge with this. You have great aftermarket support with the Focus, and some of these tuners may be knowledgeable with tuning the MkII, but I have a feeling a standalone system may result in less headache. Volvo tuning, you want a stock Pierburg turbo control valve. Don't waste your money with any of the aftermarket options, as they are harder to tune for and usually result in boost spikes and drop offs. Most tuners will request that you have the stock Pierburg unit and it has already been proven reliable for high horsepower and big turbo builds. You just want to relocate it to the firewall or anywhere away from the heat of the turbo.

For the FMIC, I'd consider going with one of the pre-existing ST/RS options since those are already designed to bolt on with your chassis. The inlet and outlet will still require some custom pipe work to line up with the Volvo motor. You can buy the Elevate intercooler hardpipe kit, but since you're going custom, I wouldn't even worry about this.

The Anembo plenum is one of your better choices for a big turbo build. Though you may encounter some tighter fitment issues with the Focus. It does prevent you from using the stock intake box, which is what you'd want. Though the MkII RS has some better intake options to consider. Upgrading the upper intake pipe and a high flow filter is the main necessity.

You can get the 70mm Porsche throttle body, which mates up perfectly with the Anembo, Elevate, and PumaSpeed plenums. Plug and play on a Volvo, not sure what throttle body the MkIII uses. Though this won't get you any more horsepower at WOT due to other bottle necks, it'll just allow more air to pass through at every interval of throttle position leading up to WOT.

You'll want a polished/ported lower intake manifold to mate up with the plenum. You can buy this or modify your current one.

An upgraded compressor bypass valve is a must. Forge makes a good once, as does TurboSmart. The dual port is fun for a BOV noise, but has more parts to go wrong.

You'll probably have to get custom with a downpipe and then just go with a performance exhaust that fits your car. 3" would be ideal with a K16.

Also consider tossing the heat shields and going with the Elevate turbo blanket. Will make working on the car easier and provides better heat shielding.

As much as I love the idea of this project, technology is always advancing and the 4 cylinder ST stock performs just as well as a Stage 1 tuned Volvo engine. While the Volvo engine will do better with a high horsepower build, the fact that you're wanting this to be a daily makes me question if this will be worth it.

I'd also suggest joining C30Crew since that's where most of the bigger performance builds reside. SwedeSpeed had some awesome builds back in the day, but it has evolved into more of a maintenance forum as these cars have aged.

Pictures of the Focus and pictures of the racecar?
 

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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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There is about one cam available, one aftermarket turbo that kinda works (K16), one set of pistons (wiseco) and about $1000 to get it tuned. It would be much more cost effective to import a real ST from Europe. My two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lemme answer a couple things here:

First, I already have the MkIII Focus, and it's already paid off. Engine works fine for now, I just want to do something... different. The car will see mostly highway miles and the 10 minute drive to and from the airport. It'll still be my daily, so I'm not going completely nuts with it. I like the idea of the "hot street" cams, ST/RS FMIC, and if I need to girdle the cylinders at the top, so be it. I have access to the original ECU that goes with the donor, but no turbo parts whatsoever, so that's all going to be custom (I've had BAD luck buying used parts off eBay).

I don't need ULTIMATE POWER as Jezza would say, just enough to make the Golfs and ST/RS's think twice about screwing with my "little SE". My fiancée has a 2018 EcoBoost Mustang, I'd LIKE to be able to keep up with her (at least until we do the Borla turbo upgrade kit).


I'll post pics of both cars one of these days, swear.

Next round of questions: I know that there is a T7 version of this motor... do any of those parts interchange with the T3? Do I WANT to interchange any of those parts? When these motors fail (in mostly-stock form), how do they fail? How do I prevent them from failing? Knowing that this motor has a deep-engine noise, what should I be looking for (are the rods really that bad)?


Much thanks for all the answers!
 

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Even though the K16 is bolt on for our engines, that's an upgrade that most around her consider to be "going nuts" due to all of the tuning issues that Volvo ECUs face.
Still very excited to see this build happen! I love sleepers.

I'm not sure what all the differences are between engine code T7 and T3. The P1 2.5L engines are more or less the same through all years (2004-2013), they just might require slightly different sensors or tools when working on them.
That being said, these motors don't fail in mostly-stock form. The only issues I have ever seen, even on Stage 3 tuned cars with stock internals, is the risk of running out of coolant and warping the head (or cracking the cylinders, or a blown head gasket, or other damages from overheating). The main thing is just keeping up with routine maintenance to avoid valve tick.

The weakest items in the engine bay are the plastic coolant reservoir and the coolant line that has a plastic connection with a bunch of hoses coming from it. With no coolant level sensor, many people drive these cars to their death. Once the temp needle begins to climb, it's likely already warped the head. Otherwise, it is very rare for a well maintained engine in these cars to have any sort of failure, so there is nothing I would consider to be a common culprit. It's quite common for these cars to go well beyond 200k miles. Most junkyard P1s still have good engines.
 

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There's also the timing belt, I've seen one of those in the junkyard, and I've seen 'em on craigslist too.
True, though I'd also add that to part of routine maintenance.
The point being, well maintained Volvo engines don't have common points of failure. Unlike Subaru engines which reliably blow head gaskets in less than 100k miles, or old Porsche engines which frequently have IMS bearing failures regardless of maintenance.
 

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True, though I'd also add that to part of routine maintenance.
The point being, well maintained Volvo engines don't have common points of failure. Unlike Subaru engines which reliably blow head gaskets in less than 100k miles, or old Porsche engines which frequently have IMS bearing failures regardless of maintenance.
Hey! They fixed that Subaru HeadGasket issue sir! Jk....my wife's subaru eats a half cup or so of coolant a month.
 

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Hey! They fixed that Subaru HeadGasket issue sir! Jk....my wife's subaru eats a half cup or so of coolant a month.
Touche! But supposedly they did fix it with some changes in 2013. Seems like headgasket failure on our 4th gens is pretty rare compared to the old EJ motors.
 
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