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EFI Upgrade to Bosch LH 2.2 (From Volvo)


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I am finally getting some traction with this project so I decided to start a post to track the progress.

Background: I have a 76 with a Weber 32/36. I have a hot motor waiting to go in with dreams of a turbo. I decided to start off getting it Fuel Injected. I specifically did not go megasquirt mainly because of the learning curve. Due to previous Volvo experience, I'm very familiar with the Bosch system and didn't have the desire to re-learn (even if it is more flexible). Also important is that this is an easily available junkyard upgrade. All in I'm at around $100...much cheaper than just about any other FI option.

So why not just use the one that comes with the 318i manifiold? The version that comes on the early E30 318i is L-Jetronic. The main difference between it and the LH 2.2 from the Volvo is that the newer version utilizes a Mass Air sensor vs an Air Flow Meter. Not only does this reduce a significant restriction in the intake, but it is a lot more accurate. Also, the Volvo versions came in both Turbo and Naturally Aspirated, meaning all you *should* need to go turbo is a computer swap (and possibly injectors). The Volvo system runs independently of any ignition control, making it a very simple install. Finally, the E30 system can be pretty temperamental. In my experience, the Volvo system has been rock solid reliable.

I don't want to re-hash all the other good info out there about going EFI. I followed the FAQ post and a few others to get the car ready for the swap, including a in-tank pump and throttle body from a 325is.

Today, I'm going to try and focus here on what is different about the swap: the wiring. First, you need to pull an engine harness and computer from a mid 80's Volvo (Mainly 1984-1986 240's & 740's, though there are a few outliers). I pulled mine from a 1986 740 non-turbo.

When you pull the harness, it will look like this:

LHHarness1.jpg

From all the diagrams I've seen, the harnesses don't change dramatically between the few years or platform. However, your mileage may vary!

First, some gutting is necessary. There are a few aux systems intertwined with the harness run, though almost all aren't actually interconnected. Remove the connectors/wires as indicated. Once I cut off one connectors, I was able to just pull the wires straight out without cutting the harness cover:

LHHarness3.jpg

The ECU connects to the ignition computer at this plug. You only need to keep the grey (maybe originally white?) wire to connect to the coil negative. Remove the orange wire:

LHHarness5.jpg

LHHarness6-1.jpg

Now on to the ECU end of the harness, make sure you grab the main power relay and all the the connectors (cut enough of a pigtail to allow you to make connections)

LHHarness2.jpg

There is a grey connector with three wires out of it. One is for your fuel pump, one for 12V switched, and the other is for the A/C switch (elevates the idle) Obviously most of us will only use the first two:

LHHarness8.jpg

Here is the main body of the harness. The nice thing about Bosch is that the connectors and most sensor values are similar during the period. So, you can use the 325i Throttle/Position Sensor and E30 Coolant Sensor. You will have to use the Volvo Air Valve (same hose size, just slightly different layout). I did not highlight the MAF or Air Valve connectors as they're both pretty obvious.

LHHarness4.jpg

Finally the only other connection you'll need to make. The diagnostic connector is just loose as pictured. You can use it to fine tune the mixture once everything is up and running:

LHHarness7.jpg

That's all for tonight. I hope to have it up and running within the week!

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nice begining! love the blue painters tape to mark wires...LOL..i used the same stuff..

curious, since the m10 engine has different characteristics than the volvo, how do you adjust mixture/timing with that setup? custom chip in the ECU?

There are a few folks in the E21 community that have done it. The general consensus is that 2.3L programming should be pretty solid for a mild 2.0L build on its own. The Volvo motors are quite torquey even if they lack the top end, so the latter may require some WOT fuel correction options. The MAF also has a mixture adjustment screw that anecdotally has around a 30% correction range. Between the slightly higher rail pressure (3 bar vs 2.5) and slightly higher flow (19lbs/hr vs stock volvo 17lbs/hr), I hope to be right in range with my cam/headers/mild compression motor.

Having said that, the other option is to run a SAAB 900 LH 2.2 ecu, which is plug and play as well. The benefit to these is the chips are socketed (only a few of the volvos are). There is a robust tuning program, which combined with an EPROM reader ($50) gives you Megasquirt-level control over the fuel curves (16x16 as I recall). While I won't get into the MS vs Factory discussion, there is something to be said for a factory designed system. Of course, I think the Euro-Gods might take offense at my BMW-Volvo-Saab bastardization =o)

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Front for anyone who decides to do or look into this, because I think this is awesome and I don't know why I hadn't considered it before. It's easier to find 2.2 in junk yards since it covered 84-88 240's and 740's. 89 was kind of a mystery year where some were 2.2 and some 2.4, 90+ were 2.4 on all 740s and most 240's except for M47 5spd 240's which either 2.4 or 3.1.

LH2.4 maf's ended in 016 and 2.2 ended in 007 iirc. 240 harnesses are engine only while 740's have the engine/engine bay harness integrated so they're messier with a lot more connections to remove.

LH2.0, 2.2, and 2.4 were on turbo cars at various years. 2.2 and 2.4 are chipable if you go turbo, it's about $100 for a chip from member "The lost art of" on turbobricks. He's putting down 305whp/324wtq on e85 with a holset, lh2.4, 1000cc injectors, and his chip.

Back on topic. Why'd you choose 2.2 over 2.4? 2.4 would be able to do all the compensation for you since it's a self learning system. I can't think of the different sensors it requires off the top of my head besides a 60-2 ring. I know some volvo guys prefer 2.2 since it doesn't learn so they can enrich the mixture with out the computer reverting to what it was previously.

Now you got me thinking, I wonder what the weight difference between the motors is? 90+ B230s with the 13mm rods are stout and dirt cheap motors, the transmissions(m46 and m47) suck, but adapters for T5s or Getrag 265s are available. $500 could get you a whole LH2.4 B230FT with turbo/wiring/everything....hmmm, maybe a future lemons project.

Edit: +1 on the factory system. Most people underestimate how powerful the stock systems are. Everyone wants to believe in the easy power and all those fake claims like larger exhaust always = more power or K&N filters always add hp, etc... I'm doing MS myself, but had I thought of it earlier I probably would have used my 240 lh 2.4 harness/computer to save money/time.

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Back on topic. Why'd you choose 2.2 over 2.4? 2.4 would be able to do all the compensation for you since it's a self learning system. I can't think of the different sensors it requires off the top of my head besides a 60-2 ring. I know some volvo guys prefer 2.2 since it doesn't learn so they can enrich the mixture with out the computer reverting to what it was previously.

Now you got me thinking, I wonder what the weight difference between the motors is? 90+ B230s with the 13mm rods are stout and dirt cheap motors, the transmissions(m46 and m47) suck, but adapters for T5s or Getrag 265s are available. $500 could get you a whole LH2.4 B230FT with turbo/wiring/everything....hmmm, maybe a future lemons project.

Edit: +1 on the factory system. Most people underestimate how powerful the stock systems are. Everyone wants to believe in the easy power and all those fake claims like larger exhaust always = more power or K&N filters always add hp, etc... I'm doing MS myself, but had I thought of it earlier I probably would have used my 240 lh 2.4 harness/computer to save money/time.

Thanks for the props!

Short answer to your question: 2.4 requires A)Crank sensor (flywheel on redblocks). B) Distirbutor/Ignition interface. 2.2 allows you to keep your stock distro with out monkeying with the volvo unit. If I knew how many holes the volvo flywheel had, it'd be pretty easy to overcome the flywheel issue with a toothed wheel ala EDIS. I don't know about the distributor part.

I too believe in the 2.4. I had a black 745T that I absolutely adored (Riseosiris on TB). It had a 15G, NPR, Getrag 265 and early Juha chip...went like stink. I loved the look people would give me when they'd hear the straight pipe. I put a baby on board sticker just to mess with them. I still kick myself for selling it (Boxdriver2 bought it, then sold it to JayF. It's now making 300+ on a Holset with factory 2.4).

Having said all that, for the purpose of a "I'm going to go to the pick and pull and walk out with a complete plug n play injection set up for under $100...this can't be beat. We'll see how it handles higher tuning!

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I specifically did not go megasquirt mainly because of the learning curve.

I can't believe you would go through all the trouble of hacking up that wiring harness and trying to make Volvo stuff fit when you could have done MS and had the ability to adjust everything to your hearts content. If you had the ability to do all this, you definitely had it within your grasp for probably close to the same money you spent for this to do a fully tunable system. I didn't know a thing about MS until I started reading about it a couple of months ago. Now I can't see why anyone wouldn't use an MS3 instead of a locked up factory ECU that's severely limited in its range of adjustment for both fuel delivery and timing. If you ever want to boost your car it will be much easier with the MS system. With the autotune features in the TunerStudio software and some ignition and fuel maps others have posted here its not that hard to get running and fine tuned.

If you bought the DIY Autotune 12' wiring bundle you would have had labeled wires in your harness with different colors for sensor with the name of the sensor on the wire. Thats what I bought along with their relay box and it was nowhere near as complex as the hacking up existing wiring harness and all the modifications you are doing to make it work. Step into the future of tuning. Your almost there already.

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I specifically did not go megasquirt mainly because of the learning curve.

I can't believe you would go through all the trouble of hacking up that wiring harness and trying to make Volvo stuff fit when you could have done MS and had the ability to adjust everything to your hearts content. If you had the ability to do all this, you definitely had it within your grasp for probably close to the same money you spent for this to do a fully tunable system. I didn't know a thing about MS until I started reading about it a couple of months ago. Now I can't see why anyone wouldn't use an MS3 instead of a locked up factory ECU that's severely limited in its range of adjustment for both fuel delivery and timing. If you ever want to boost your car it will be much easier with the MS system. With the autotune features in the TunerStudio software and some ignition and fuel maps others have posted here its not that hard to get running and fine tuned.

If you bought the DIY Autotune 12' wiring bundle you would have had labeled wires in your harness with different colors for sensor with the name of the sensor on the wire. Thats what I bought along with their relay box and it was nowhere near as complex as the hacking up existing wiring harness and all the modifications you are doing to make it work. Step into the future of tuning. Your almost there already.

+100

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I specifically did not go megasquirt mainly because of the learning curve.

I can't believe you would go through all the trouble of hacking up that wiring harness and trying to make Volvo stuff fit when you could have done MS and had the ability to adjust everything to your hearts content.

Because $100 < $625.

As I mentioned, I don't expect this to give me everything the MS crowd has...but it's a cheap and easy solution that is A)More common than E30 318i's in the Junkyards. B)A heck of a lot more tunable than the E30 system, regardless of its comparison to MS3 (which there is none).

Who knows, I may some day swap over to MS3 if I decide I need it. We'll see how it goes!

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Aside from your dream of going Turbo it should create a better running car then what you had. If you go Turbo later you can always do the MS then. Didn't mean to push you into anything. Budgets are budgets and if thats your budget, by all means stick to it.

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Short answer to your question: 2.4 requires A)Crank sensor (flywheel on redblocks). B) Distirbutor/Ignition interface. 2.2 allows you to keep your stock distro with out monkeying with the volvo unit.

Having said all that, for the purpose of a "I'm going to go to the pick and pull and walk out with a complete plug n play injection set up for under $100...this can't be beat. We'll see how it handles higher tuning!

Yeah, the crank sensor is 60-2 although I've read of people converting to 2.4 and using a 36-1 with out any problems. I think the system is smart enough, it just needs the missing area to know TDC and the number of teeth doesn't really matter.

I'll have to look into the ignition stuff. I know 2.4 distributors are empty, just a rotor to throw spark.

With 2.4 you can get plug and play tuning setups off TB and other places. I think it's around $100-150 for everything to interface with a laptop. The nice thing about this over MS is with everything hooked up, the car will run and then you can go about changing stuff little by little. In theory you won't suffer the problems like FTD did with his turbo '02, you could get all the turbo volvo stuff and have a running turbo car very easily.

As for chopping up the harness. There isn't that much to remove and it's quite simple to label stuff as you pull it.

I love my 245. 91 sil on blk, lh3.1, m47, hydras, and trailer hitch. I just installed the ipd lowering springs, bilsteins, 22/25 sways, made a super stiff strut/firewall brace and a boxed lower chassis brace. I've got a 16v head and other associated parts, hoping to do that coversion this year. Nothing crazy, just have a NA 16v 245, which brings me to another question. How hard was the G265 swap? I have a bellhousing-less 265, extra m46 bellhousing, and a few other parts including a billet steel 240mm saab clutch pattern flywheel from JohnVan-yell-at-everyone-landingham. The M47 is starting to faintly whine and it's not a very playful trans to start with due to the hydraulic gate which prevents fast shifting.

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what trip i work at shop that just does Volvo and SAAB and on thursday we had completely totalled 89 740 turbo towed in witch we had sent to the bone yard had i known that an efi swap was an option i would have removed the engine management system. that blue connector you call the diagnostic connector i thought was for setting the minimum idle rate.

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It LIVES! I finished it up late last night and she started right up!! Unfortunately I had a number of small tasks to complete before I could put her on the road today (Oil Catch Can, Misc wire ties etc). The install itself was very straightforward. The only parts that made me cringe was the drilling of a 2 1/8" hole in the firewall to pass through the connector. Luckily the volvo harness has a really nice grommet that seals it up nicely.

On the road: All I can say is WOW. It is a significant improvement over the 32/36 that was on there (jetted per CD). There is a mid-range punch that is just unbelievable. From 2500-4500 it just zooms. Afterwards it starts to fall flat pretty quickly, but I haven't monkeyed with the timing at all (running the stock vac advance unit timed per factory). Freeway cruising is a dream with steady acceleration available in 5th gear. 4th is a blast now =o) I guess this is what Tii folks rave about!

AFR's are solid mid 14's through cruise and light throttle per my wideband. When I get it on it, it will start dropping to mid 13's or so. It still may be a tad lean at the top end as I think 12's would be a bit better given our motors. I have 19lb injectors right now on the BMW rail (EV6 4 pintle design out of a 16V Neon). I have a set of 24lbers that I may try later. For now I'm just looking forward to enjoying it.

I'll have some pictures up today or tomorrow.

That blue connector you call the diagnostic connector i thought was for setting the minimum idle rate.

Exactly...it shuts off the IAC so you cans set the bleed air. The other side (if I remember correctly) is a direct feed off the O2 sensor.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did you install the knock sensor? If so, where? and did you adjust the knock sensitivity in the dme?

I'm planning an lh2.4 swap into my e30 318i. I just picked up the harness dme, ezk, and a bunch of other crap from a guy parting out a 90' 740. The hard part, like you said is the flywheel sensor. I plan on running a 60-2 wheel in front, but haven't figured out exactly how I'll set it up. I'll probably end up going with one from VAC to Top End Performance. I've also thought about having an m20 or m30 wheel cut up and put on the 318i's pulley.

I'm looking forward to seeing more info. Maybe people will start to come around and realize MS isn't the only option.

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Did you install the knock sensor? If so, where? and did you adjust the knock sensitivity in the dme?

I'm planning an lh2.4 swap into my e30 318i. I just picked up the harness dme, ezk, and a bunch of other crap from a guy parting out a 90' 740. The hard part, like you said is the flywheel sensor. I plan on running a 60-2 wheel in front, but haven't figured out exactly how I'll set it up. I'll probably end up going with one from VAC to Top End Performance. I've also thought about having an m20 or m30 wheel cut up and put on the 318i's pulley.

I'm looking forward to seeing more info. Maybe people will start to come around and realize MS isn't the only option.

Check around turbobricks, I've heard of people using a 36-1 off the crank pulley when converting older cars to 2.4. They do that over using the lh2.4 flywheel which is uber heavy, supposedly it works with out issue. Alternatively, there are plenty of 60-2 wheels you can buy and weld onto the crank pulley, no need to try and modify something from an M20 or M30.

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  • 11 months later...

hello, i just came across your site, i have all the parts for the same thing, but i will be replaceing L jet to LH jet.. on the idle stablizer.. you do not use it?i am doing this on a alfa romeo spider, and i belive you do not need a ref. sensor for the lh jet? yes? the l jet on my spider has 2 ref. sensors..1 for the fi and 1 for the ign. from what i saw on the doner car i took the parts off of, no sensors..

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