Volvo D24 Tuning

"All you need to know about performance tuning the Volvo D24 engine!"

Let us examine the options for your D24 tuning and point out the premier mods that work.

This engine was designed by Volkswagen and used by Volvo in quite a few models where it was badged the D24.

One of the first turbo diesel engines to use direct injection which allows a much cleaner burn and higher compression ratios and marked a significant step forward in diesel engine design.

Volvo D24 are good project engines and with carefully picked uprated modifications like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will noticeably maximize your driving enjoyment.

History, Power & Specs of the D24 Engine

Used by Volvo but developed by the Volkswagen group this engine had a long production run.

2.4 L (2,383 cc) inline six-cylinder SOHC,

60 kW (82 PS; 80 bhp) at 4,800 140 Nm (103 lbft) at 2,800

58 kW (79 PS; 78 bhp) at 4,700 140 Nm (103 lbft) at 2,400

Tuning the Volvo D24 and best D24 performance parts.

Best D24 parts

The optimum D24 tuning mods on an engine are as we have found the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular D24 tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains on the D24 can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the torque and power output.

Fast road cams tend to bump the bhp through the rpm band, you could sacrifice a little low end torque but your high end rpm power will be higher. Cams are hard to find for the D24 but some companies can offer custom grinds on your factory cam to change the profile.

Competition cams, bump the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition cam is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your power band to your usage of the car so for a car used daily stick with a shorter duration D24 cam

Different D24 engines respond better to extreme cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuelling also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:
    Panel air filters, Intake manifolds, Sports exhaust header/manifold, drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

    Typical stage 2 mods often include:
    induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

    Typical stage 3 mods often include:
    Twin charging conversions, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Engine balancing & blueprinting.

    Plan your options and then acquire your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

    Mapping should help to unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your D24.

    (In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

    It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your mileage usually differs on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

    Feeding more air into your D24 is the whole point to any performance tuning project.

    The intake manifolds take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

    The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Intake can make a noticeable change to fuel engine efficiency on the D24.

    We often see plenum chambers are crying out for aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

    Big valve conversions on the D24, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, the fantastic side effect is it will raise potential for an improved bhp and torque increase on other parts.

    D24 Turbo upgrades

    NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your D24

    The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

    When your car is turbocharged, tuning parts are simpler to install and we find turbo engines are built using strengthened components.

    However you will find engines will have power limits.Research these limitations and install stronger pistons, crank and engine components to utilize the power.

    We've seen people spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the D24 only to suffer the indignity of watching the whole thing throw a rod soon after it's been enthusiastically driven.

    Large turbo chargers tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and smaller turbo chargers spool up more quickly but do not have the high rpm bhp gains.

    Thankfully the world of turbo chargers is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

    Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

    It is not unusual that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the D24 when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

    You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large power gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.


    When you raise the bhp and torque you will need to look at to the fuel delivery.

    More bhp and torque needs more fuel. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

    The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

    We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

    D24 Performance Exhausts

    You only need to increase your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

    On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

    Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but do not go too big or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

    Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a higher flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the D24

    The D24 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

    Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

    Regular oil changes are vital on the D24, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

    If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your D24 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss D24 tuning options in more detail with our D24 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Volvo tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be for your car.

    Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

    We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which modifications work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these D24 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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