Volvo B5244 Tuning

"All you need to know about performance tuning the Volvo B5244 engine!"

Here we review and look at B5244 tuning and outline the best upgrades. Volvo B5244 offer good returns when tuned and with the right tuning upgrades like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving experience.

History, Power & Specs of the B5244 Engine

  • 2.4 L I5 (140 hp) B5244S5
  • 2.4 L I5 (168 hp) B5244S4

Tuning the Volvo B5244 and best B5244 performance parts.

Best B5244 modifications

Just because particular upgrades are are common on B5244 it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will concentrate on the top upgrades that will give your B5244 the best power gain for you spend.

Altering your B5244 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

Fast road camshafts tend to bump the torque through the rev band, you might lose a little low down bhp but the top end will be better.

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

On a daily driver must carefully try to optimize your engines power to your driving style.

I would be surprised if you find a B5244 Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute, because the lumpy idle will make the car prone to stall and smooth driving at low rpm becomes impossible. If you are developing a track car this doesn't matter as you are in the high end of your RPM range anyway and that is where you want the power to be.

Different B5244 engines respond better to more aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the power 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.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - 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:
    drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Fast road camshaft, Intake manifolds, Sports exhaust header/manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU.

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

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

    Plan your options and then source your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to void expensive mistakes.

    A remap allows a tuner to establish the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your B5244.

    (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 the end result usually differs on the tuning parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

    Forcing more fuel and air into the B5244 engine is the main goal to any engine tuning task.

    Intake manifold take the air from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

    Design and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a big change to fuel engine efficiency on the B5244.

    I usually find intake manifolds are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide well optimised intake manifolds.

    Big valve conversions on the B5244, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase bhp, and more importantly will make space for increasing the bhp increase on other mods.

    B5244 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 B5244

    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.

    If a car has a turbo already fitted upgrades are more reliable and we find turbo charged engines are made with better components.

    There are weak spots for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only able to handle stock powerDiscover these restrictions and fit better pistons and crank to handle the power.

    We see many mechanics spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the B5244 only to see the B5244 throw a rod on it's first outing after it's been completed.

    Large capacity turbochargers often suffer a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up really quickly but won't have the peak rpm torque gains.

    Thankfully the range of turbochargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

    Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

    It is not unusual that there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the B5244 when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

    We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited torque at a much lower level.

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

    Fuelling

    When you lift the bhp you will need to increase to the fuelling.

    More bhp needs more fuel. We would recommend you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

    The accepted safe increase is to add 20% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives some spare capacity should the engine require 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.

    All the following flywheel power targets will assume an injector duty cycle of 80% and a base of 58psi of fuel pressure at idle.

    4 Cylinder turbocharged engines

    • 58 PSI 340cc/min 200hp
    • 58 PSI 511cc/min 300hp
    • 58 PSI 682cc/min 400hp
    • 58 PSI 1022cc/min 600hp

    5 Cylinder turbocharged engines

    • 58 PSI 273cc/min 200hp
    • 58 PSI 409cc/min 300hp
    • 58 PSI 545cc/min 400hp
    • 58 PSI 818cc/min 600hp

    4 Cylinder NA (naturally aspirated) engines

    • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp
    • 58 PSI 426cc/min 300hp
    • 58 PSI 568cc/min 400hp
    • 58 PSI 853cc/min 600hp

    4 Cylinder supercharged engines

    • 58 PSI 312cc/min 200hp
    • 58 PSI 468cc/min 300hp
    • 58 PSI 625cc/min 400hp
    • 58 PSI 937cc/min 600hp

    B5244 Performance Exhausts

    Only look to improve your exhaust if your exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

    On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust 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 from the engine but do not go too wide or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to around 2.5 inches to maximise flow rates, and this should take into account the amount of air your engine is moving.

    Common exhaust restrictions can be located the filters installed, so adding a freer flowing performance catalyst removes the restriction. We note that performance cats perform similarly to decats and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decats or catalyst removal is illegal in most territories for road going cars.

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the B5244

    The B5244 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.

    Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

    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 B5244, 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 B5244 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss B5244 tuning options in more detail with our B5244 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.

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