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2011 Volvo C30r to build or not...


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Hey everyone, 

I've got a C30 that has been my commuter and now isn't needed and could be used as a donor project to build a TT/ST5 car. Ive raced Spec E30 and worked as a wrench for a couple race teams so I've got a bit of race car prep knowledge but not much on the build front. 

Looking for some "been there done that" kinda advice. Being this is a pretty rare car to race and not much knowledge floating around, would it be wise to sell this car and build something like a E36 or even Spec E46? I'm worried I may get in over my head since a lot of the engineering and development will be by me and my not so massive race budget:) I'll most likely do all of the build besides the cage. Thoughts, advice? 



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  • 1 year later...

Since nobody has posted yet - The Volvo C30 is a great street car. However, based on what I've seen with C30s that race in other organizations in SCCA STU or T3, the thin aftermarket support for track/race parts is a challenge. I priced together what stuff I could find and it’d cost MUCH more to build a C30 vs a typical E36 or S2000 build let alone have it be competitive.

IIRC, the K-Pax Volvo C30s that raced in Pirelli World Challenge back in the early-2010s had a LOT of custom stuff made to get them to perform the way they did. Huge build $$$ budgets for those cars.

Assuming an ST5-spec C30 would run a stock turbocharger, the turbo is not ideal for track conditions unless you plan on running an upgraded K16 turbo at very low boost with a lot of weight. Might be better for an ST3 or ST4 build if anything.

The stock K04 turbo is not great for such a large engine in performance terms because it simply can't supply the airflow above 5000rpm. It has massive torque from 1500-4500ish and then falls off a cliff. The K04 compressor map shows it running out of breath at 0.18 Kg/sec, or 24 pounds/min. You try to throw more boost at the stock turbo, it’s very unlikely much more power will be had, but more torque (and HEAT). At a slightly increased 10psi on a 2.5L engine pushing 5000 rpm, the airflow requirement is around 350-380 cfm or about 23 pounds/min, the max flow for the K04 turbo. This is why the K04 works better on 1.8-2.0 liter motors.

That’s just part of the engine performance spectrum (oil pan baffles probably a good idea too). Needs an LSD to help put the power down and getting it to handle is a whole different story. Unless you're one to fabricate a lot of parts yourself, I'd steer clear of a C30 for racing use.

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