Volvo B63 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Volvo B63 engine!"

The Volvo B63 really good project engines and with the right sports mods like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will enhance your driving pleasure.

Let us review B63 tuning and point out the optimum upgrades.

History, Power & Specs of the Engine

  • 1991–2001 B63 — 2.9 L (2,922 cc) DOHC 24v
  • 1999 B6304F — 2.9 L (2,922 cc) DOHC 24v — Volvo 960Volvo S80Volvo S90Volvo V90
  • 1995-1998 B6254, B6304, B6304S, B6244FS
  • 2000–2001 B6304 — 2.9 L (2,922 cc) DOHC 24v — Volvo S80

Tuning the Volvo B63 and best B63 performance parts.

Best B63 parts

When talking about the top modifications for your B63 engine, we are going to concentrate on the mods that give the biggest return for your cash.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large power band gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

Fast road cams commonly push up the bhp over the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little low end power but your higher rpm power will be higher.

Motorsport and race cams, push up the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car driven daily must carefully try to optimize your bhp range to your driving style.

You'll never find a B63 Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic because low end power will be very lumpy. Competition cams are designed for maximum power at the top end of the RPM range, a place that most daily commutes will not permit!

Some B63 engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations than others.

The engine timing and fuelling also will make differences on the torque gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque 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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters, drilled & smoothed airbox.

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

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

The B63 power plant respond well to mods and thankfully there is a lot of parts and tuning parts around.

remap should help to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your B63.

(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 NASP engines, but the outcome often depend much on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Shoving more air into your B63 is the whole point to any performance tuning task.

Intake flow the air during the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

Design and rate of flow of the Headers can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation on the B63.

I usually find air intake manifolds are needing a performance upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Adding a B63 larger valve kit, carrying out port work and head flowing will also boost torque, and more importantly will make space for a greater torque increase on other upgrades.

Turbo upgrades

NASP 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 B63

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 an engine has a turbocharger parts are more reliable and you will discover turbo engines are made using uprated components.

However you will find an engines have weakspots

See where you'll find these limits and install better quality crank and pistons to handle the power.

There are many people spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the B63 only to have the B63 go up in smoke when it's used on the roads.

Big upgraded turbochargers will usually experience a bottom end lag, and small turbochargers spool up quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thankfully the choice of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, allowing 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 gases into a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B63 when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although more difficult to get working. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling

When you raise the bhp you will need to ramp up to the fuel system.

More bhp needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and gives you 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.

Exhaust

You only need to to improve your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Please dont run with the biggest exhaust you can find this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative such as a sports catalyst pretty much removes this restriction, thanks to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the B63

The B63 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oilthey 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 B63, 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 B63 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our B63 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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 upgrades work best for them on each model of car. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these B63 articles which are continually updated.

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