RAM-AIR FOR 740 TURBOS.
by Brooks Gillmore.
If you're interested in making your Volvo faster (and I think you ALL are)read
on, I have a story.
Last Saturday afternoon, I was sitting around at my friend's house bored stupid.
I had nothing to do. SO. Fire up the computer. Pointed the browser toward www.turbobricks.com
and stumbled upon the 740 airbox area of the MODS section. (You want to read
that, by the way, it's quite interesting)
Finally, something to do. Print that thing. Called up my grease-monkey friend
Clay with the 1800ES (wanted some help should I accidentally bust my precious
740TI) and told him I was going to rip out my airbox and play with it.
I pulled the car into the garage, opened up that wide-mouth hood and removed
the airbox. Took out all that stuff that Volvo put in there.. Warm air from
the engine compartment? Don't need that, I live in Texas my car is warm in an
instant, even in January. So we epoxyed it shut. I decided to go for the all-out
performance airbox, all restrictions were to be eliminated. Which meant that
the limited airflow allowed by the inside-the-fender tube would have to go.
Looking down below the headlight assembly, Clay spotted a punch-out hole, put
there for some option that I didn't have. It was about three inches in diameter,
perfect for the new intake I wanted. But how to get the cool outside air from
the hole to the airbox? Solution: Home Depot.
We hopped in the 1800 and went for a ride. I bought a few feet of their thickest
rubber hose (about 2" inside diameter) and a few 45 degree 2" PVC connectors
and went back to my friend's house where my Volvo sat in the garage and got
to work. I used an exacto knife to carve a rough circle in the front of my airbox
and punched it out. The next step was to route a tube from the new hole in the
box through the hole in the metal wall below the headlights with the PVC pipe
and hose. After that, I routed the hose from under the headlights inside the
bumper to the little air dam that has my fog lights in it. While I was occupying
myself with this, Clay had removed the little plastic sheath that directs air
from the three vents in the air dam to the radiator and stole the vent closest
to the airbox for a ram-air intake.
He used a little piece of ultra-thin plywood (from my friend's hovercraft project,
you don't want to know) to redirect the air from that one radiator intake vent
into the tube that leads to the airbox.
The net gain? A 740 turbo with dual cold air intakes (the fender intake and
the new ram-air) no hot air intake, more punch and a faster throttle response,
especially for high speed passing. My turbo now seems to spin up on a whim,
and the car just feels faster. The net cost? $23.17 and four hours of my time.
Not bad for a high school student on a budget. I'll be finalizing it soon. All
the duct tape used to seal the tubes will be replaced with epoxy and the plywood
with lexan or plexiglass. That should add about $10 to the cost, still well
worth it. I would suggest this to anyone who wants more air for his or her Volvo;
it's fairly easy, and very cheap.
You may want to find a junkyard airbox, so you can play with it at your leisure,
and be sure that you've got it right. If I could do it again, I would do this;
it would be worth it not to spread the project out over two weekends and to
eliminate the temporary parts. My last step is a trip to a junkyard to find
a ram-air logo to put on my car, because a ram-air Volvo just begs to be flaunted.