Volvo 240 Tuning

"A naughty 240"

The 240 is rear wheel drive which makes for some interesting track day fun.

There are plenty of cheap 240's around, the bullet proof engines and solid bodies mean that you have plenty of scope for tuning them and getting  cheap fun track day car. The 240 is a good tuning project to carry out. With the right mods your 240 can be transformed into a fun car. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid disappointment.

They also make stunning sleepers, as people do not expect a 240 to be sporty!

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 240 with a nice fat peak torque band.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the 240. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

240 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful Volvo engine you can find!

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

We have heard of T5 conversions in the 240 but an easier route is to get a 2.2 Turbo engine and mate this to the rear axle of a larger volvo. The turbo engines are pretty easy to mod and give fairly substantial power gains.

Volvo 240 Tuning modifications.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

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Best mods for your 240

  1. 240 Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit radically improves your 240 handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  2. Lighter flywheels - a lighter flywheel will improve the engines free revving nature. In some cases flywheel lightening is not not a great upgrade for all 240 engines.
  3. Air Induction kits and Exhaust - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD HP on most cars, but they permit you to lift power after other upgrades by minimizing the restriction.
  4. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  5. Braking Mods - Enhancing your stopping power ought to be near the top of your Mods list.
  6. Forced induction upgrades - forced induction is the most dramatic method to improve intake air supply, which permits you to use more fuel and make higher power. Although one of the most technically difficult modifications it offers big gains.
  7. Fast road cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but should always be fitted by someone qualified to set them up properly and tracking one down can be a challenge but you'll probably find a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.

240 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,

Typical stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.A fast road camshaft is generally one of the best NASP power mods you can do with a single part fitted to your engine.

The exhaust & intake valve durations play a huge role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Volvo project after fitting other motorsport modifications. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Volvo 240 Intake and Exhaust.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Often people fit induction kits to their 240 but we suggest sticking with a panel air filter as this gives a decent amount of mid to high range flexibility.

On small engines you will actually lose low down power with an induction kit which adds to the argument of using a panel air filter instead. A good sports exhaust is essential to balance your freer flowing air intake, just adding a sports air filter on it's own will do little to increase your power.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some porting and polishing. Your clutch can seriously let you down if it starts to slip and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 50%.

Fit an uprated clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful, but will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective.

Turbos are harder to add than supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed.

The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

240 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are the thing most do first for the 240. We would go to a maximum drop of 26 - 40 on most models. You risk compromising your handling if you go lower than this.

Adjusting the handling is often the first step in using the 240.Adjusting the 240's handling is often the first step in modifying it.

Handling upgrades are often the initial step for the 240.

We would choose a set of Coilovers that provide an opportunity for you to set a ride hight to set the cars handling to your preference

One of the most popular reasons for modifying your 240 suspension is to improve its roadholding. However, we see the same mistakes repeated repeated again and over.

Upgrading your Bushes

What factors should you consider when setting up and selecting your bushes if your 240 is also used as a daily driver?

It is possible to connect the 240's suspension components to the chassis of the 240 using poly bushes, which are direct replacements for the original rubber mounts. The rubber ones typically start to fail with time and need replacing anyway so why not upgrade.

By replacing new OEM rubber bushings, you may greatly improve your vehicle's performance.

It's probable that the ride may be a touch rougher because of the stronger polyurethane bushings but they'll last longer and maintain tighter handling.

Volvo 240 Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Large 240 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 16 inches unless you are prepared to do some serious suspension setting alterations.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 240 options in more detail with our 240 owners. It would also be worth reading our Volvo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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