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B30 new question

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Old Aug 6th, 2021, 21:22   #1
vykkagur
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Default B30 new question

Thought I should start a new thread for this one. Weighing the options for my engine swap, and considering the parts available to me, I wondered: Can an M47 be bolted to a B30 without resorting to extreme measures, or would it be an insurmountable headache? Has anyone here ever had any experience with such a project?
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 13:49   #2
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Just to clarify, yes, I know the obvious solution would be the manual gearbox that was originally fitted to the 164, but those are virtually unobtainable on this side of the Atlantic. North American drivers overwhelmingly chose auto boxes back then (not much better today), especially in luxury models, so that was almost all that Volvo sent over. I drove the only 4sp+OD I've ever seen. Wish I still had the drivetrain right now! The whole car, for that matter....
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 21:33   #3
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How much hassle do you want to go through? Remember that everything after the M40 / 41 / 401 was designed for use on the later OHC engines which were tipped over as opposed to being straight up and down so you do have a match up problem. That could be fixed with the very rare B20-M45 bellhousing. There was discussion on this topic previously:

https://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=285670

If you check around, the M47 does not get much love. 'Internet' opinions suggest that it is less durable than the M46. If you want a true 5 speed, you might want to consider using one of the T5 variants. You would have to search for one with desirable ratios (they are not all the same). T5s are much more common in North America. If you search you will find that T5 installations behind a B20 are not completely rare. It does require an adapter and a different clutch. I expect that the B20 bell housing will fit the B30 so there is probably already a completed path of discovery for the conversion. Better to let somebody else discover all the problems first.

On a B20, the T9 is probably an even better option than the T5 (better ratios). However, the T9 is very rare in North America (when was the last time you so a Ford Merkur?). The XR4ti was rated at 170 hp so the T9 should be suitable for a B30.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 00:31   #4
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.... the T9 is very rare in North America (when was the last time you so a Ford Merkur?). The XR4ti was rated at 170 hp so the T9 should be suitable for a B30.

1986. I remember when and where. It was driven by a salesman (it figures).

I missed that thread completely. I should have been more clever when I ran my search. I specified B30 and M47, forgetting that the B20 would use the same bellhousing (I think?) and that there had been a lot more of them on the road. However, like that poster I can't use the Laycock overdrive, and the M40 doesn't have much of a ratio spread, only going down to 3.13:1. The M47 goes from 4.03:1 up to 0.82:1 in 5th. The T5 isn't much better either, starting at 2.93:1, although it does have overdrive 5th. The biggest problem with the T5 is that it's almost obscenely long, nearly 32". I can't accommodate that length (an NP435 out of a 3-ton truck is only half as long!) Plus a 240 donor car would offer me numerous other spares I could use on my Volvo; a T5 donor car will leave me an ugly pile of Ford junk that I'd probably have to send to the scrapyard.

More of life's lemons. Sigh.

Appreciate your help 142Guy, thanks.

Last edited by vykkagur; Aug 8th, 2021 at 02:35.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 16:32   #5
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Maybe an option here

http://www.hukebasart.nl/huke/en/?Clutchhouses
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 17:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vykkagur View Post
1986. I remember when and where. It was driven by a salesman (it figures).

I missed that thread completely. I should have been more clever when I ran my search. I specified B30 and M47, forgetting that the B20 would use the same bellhousing (I think?) and that there had been a lot more of them on the road. However, like that poster I can't use the Laycock overdrive, and the M40 doesn't have much of a ratio spread, only going down to 3.13:1. The M47 goes from 4.03:1 up to 0.82:1 in 5th. The T5 isn't much better either, starting at 2.93:1, although it does have overdrive 5th. The biggest problem with the T5 is that it's almost obscenely long, nearly 32". I can't accommodate that length (an NP435 out of a 3-ton truck is only half as long!) Plus a 240 donor car would offer me numerous other spares I could use on my Volvo; a T5 donor car will leave me an ugly pile of Ford junk that I'd probably have to send to the scrapyard.

More of life's lemons. Sigh.

Appreciate your help 142Guy, thanks.
The B20 / M45 bellhousing as used in the 240 would actually be fairly rare. The B20 was only used in the very first 240s before Volvo built the B21 engine. In North America I think that was only the 1975 model year; but, some early 1976 models might have a B20. A lot of those cars were probably equipped with automatic transmissions making the B20 / M45 bellhousing uncommon.

The T5 is available with a whole bunch of different ratios. There are also different versions of the box depending on the applications. There were versions of the T5 that were 4 cylinder specific with higher ratios. The ratio mix you describe I think is the common ratio for the Ford spec T5 for V8 Mustangs. I think Ford used a T5 version behind the 2.3 l Lima engine Mustangs which had a 3.9ish first gear and I think first gear ratios up to around 4.10 were available.

The T5s ended up in lots of applications and it is moderately easy to find bare ones for sale because they are often the only useable thing left from the vehicle that they were originally in. Aftermarket parts support for most of the T5 variants is strong.

That said, if the T5 or an M410 / M46 won't fit because of length, then the discussion is academic. If there is a length constraint, I assume that this is not going into a 164? If you want to chase the M47 you had better start your search for the illusive B20 /M45 bell housing.

Last edited by 142 Guy; Aug 8th, 2021 at 17:58.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 20:26   #7
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Thanks for that, c1800. Very interesting website. You're right, that's the easiest option, although, for $300 plus shipping, I would like to see a neater job than that! They don't even look properly degreased. The parts should have been media-blasted to clean metal beforehand, and the welds properly blended-in afterwards. All that aside, it makes me uneasy to see relatively rare parts being chopped up when a CNC adapter plate would have done the job more easily. Perhaps 164 bellhousings are common there; over here, the prices (if you can find any!) suggest they're cast from powdered rhino horn.

Still, it is the only off-the-shelf option.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 20:57   #8
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Originally Posted by 142 Guy View Post
The B20 / M45 bellhousing as used in the 240 would actually be fairly rare. The B20 was only used in the very first 240s before Volvo built the B21 engine. In North America I think that was only the 1975 model year; but, some early 1976 models might have a B20. A lot of those cars were probably equipped with automatic transmissions making the B20 / M45 bellhousing uncommon.

The T5 is available with a whole bunch of different ratios. There are also different versions of the box depending on the applications. There were versions of the T5 that were 4 cylinder specific with higher ratios. The ratio mix you describe I think is the common ratio for the Ford spec T5 for V8 Mustangs. I think Ford used a T5 version behind the 2.3 l Lima engine Mustangs which had a 3.9ish first gear and I think first gear ratios up to around 4.10 were available.

The T5s ended up in lots of applications and it is moderately easy to find bare ones for sale because they are often the only useable thing left from the vehicle that they were originally in. Aftermarket parts support for most of the T5 variants is strong.

That said, if the T5 or an M410 / M46 won't fit because of length, then the discussion is academic. If there is a length constraint, I assume that this is not going into a 164? If you want to chase the M47 you had better start your search for the illusive B20 /M45 bell housing.

And the search endeth! The bolt patterns on the B20 and B30 are very much NOT the same, it seems. I wouldn't just take the word of the internet as gospel, but I've googled under new parameters and come up with comparison photos that show them quite different. Unfortunately, this seems to be one area where Detroit clearly has the edge. Where companies like GM use the same bolt pattern for a huge list of 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines, Volvo does not seem to have standardized, even amongst just the 140/160 series. The only bolt-on option is the Dutch company that c1800 mentioned above, and you already know my reservations there. If I decide to persevere, I'll have to make my own adapters.

That's a very iffy if at this point. The M47 in my 240 wagon is giving excellent service (after only 32 years, though!), but I keep turning up constant criticisms online about it in comparison to the earlier boxes. The very poor reviews of the relative strength of the M47 are giving me doubts about this as an option. The same search turned up a dimensions chart on the much-touted T-5. The only model that is short enough for my use was used on a Jeep CJ (that's a good recommendation), but only from 82-86. With such a short service history by Detroit standards, I don't imagine those are too plentiful either.

Last edited by vykkagur; Aug 8th, 2021 at 21:15.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 12:29   #9
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I wouldn't worry about Huke's welding. Cleaning up the bead when it adds strength not the best option. Yes 164 bell housings not vey common but he should be able to find one hopefully. If you want gearbox strength look at the M90. M90 + CNC adaptor plate ?
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 13:26   #10
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I wouldn't worry about Huke's welding. Cleaning up the bead when it adds strength not the best option. Yes 164 bell housings not vey common but he should be able to find one hopefully. If you want gearbox strength look at the M90. M90 + CNC adaptor plate ?

I checked the M90 after I read your post, and it certainly looks like it would do the job. I'm not sure that they might not be hard to find (and pricey!) over here, according to the forums I scanned. There's a lot of talk online about importing them. Nice looking package, though.

I think I may have to go back a step. The easiest and by far cheapest solution is to stick with one of the truck gearboxes. They're more than strong enough (overkill really), short and heavy, but plentiful and priced accordingly. I was hoping to lose some of the gear noise that they can generate, but I'll just have to spend some of the savings on soundproofing!
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