Volvo B8444S Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning and performance parts on the Volvo B8444S engine!"

Our aim here is to look at B8444S tuning and point out the best modifications for your car.

This engine was chosen for the Noble M600 and shows how capable this engine block is when turbocharged and correctly setup.

So let's look at getting the most power from your B8444S.

Volvo B8444S make awesome project engines and with the right tuning parts like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will substantially enhance your driving fun.

History, Power & Specs of the B8444S Engine

The engine was the result of collaboration between Volvo Cars and Yamaha Motor of Japan.

  • 232–478 kW (315–650 PS; 311–641 hp) 440 Nm (325 lbft)

The engine was used in the following cars

  • XC90
  • S80
  • Noble M600 (478 kW; 641 hp Garrett Twin turbo)

Tuning the Volvo B8444S and best B8444S performance parts.

Best B8444S tuning mods

Just because particular tuning parts are appear in lots of B8444S projects it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will focus on the ultimate tuning parts that will give your B8444S the best value for money to power increase.

Altering your B8444S camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the power band accordingly.

We get a lot of feedback from certain regions that performance cams for this engine are hard to come by. If this applies to your area then a custom grind is probably your best bet, where your cam is reprofiled to give a longer duration.

Alternatively exporting the cams may be another option from  a region where they can be found. In the UK we have companies such as piper and Kent cams which can offer a custom profile service.

Judging by the number of people searching and enquiring I'm sure that availability of cams will improve.

Fast road camshafts commonly push up the bhp and torque across the rev band, you may sacrifice a little low down torque but high end rpm power will be higher.

Race camshafts, push up the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a typical daily driver should ideally to match your torque band to your preferences.

I'd be shocked if you'd find a B8444S Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas. This is because a competition cam causes a very lumpy idle, and makes the car more prone to stall or jerk along in stop start traffic, sadly though many ignore this and end up ruining a perfectly good car and having to revert back to a fast road, or OEM cam profile.

Some B8444S engines respond better to more or less aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and fuelling also will say much on the bhp gains you'll hit.

Altering valve 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.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

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

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

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

    Carefully think through your options and then buy your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

    ECU flashing should help to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your B8444S.

    (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 often rely on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

    It is the main goal to any tuning project to pull more air and fuel into the B8444S engine

    The intake manifolds take the air from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

    The bore size, shape and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a large change to fuel delivery on the B8444S.

    It's not uncommon that intake manifolds are needing performance upgrades, although some OEM provide well optimised intake manifolds.

    Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also improve performance, the fantastic side effect is it will permit increasing the performance increase on other parts.

    B8444S 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 B8444S

    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 motor is turbocharged, tuning mods are relatively easy and most turbocharged engines will have uprated components.

    There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power. We recommend you find these limits and fit stronger pistons, crank and engine components to handle the power.

    It's not unheard of people spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the B8444S only to experience the motor throw a rod just after it's used on the roads.

    Large turbo units commonly experience no power at low rpm, and little turbo units spool up much more quickly but won't have the top end torque gains.

    Thanks to progress the choice of turbo chargers is always improving and we commonly find 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 profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

    You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B8444S when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

    Going up you'll find 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 harder to install. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.


    When you increase the bhp and torque you will need to increase to the fuelling.

    More bhp and torque needs more fuel. It makes sense to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

    The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and provides a little 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

    B8444S Performance Exhausts

    You should look to improve your exhaust if the existing exhaust is creating a restriction.

    On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is fine 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 through 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 2.5 inches for best results.

    Common exhaust restrictions can be located the catalyst installed, so adding a higher 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 B8444S

    The B8444S 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 B8444S, 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 B8444S engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss D8444S tuning options in more detail with our B8444S 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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    We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which parts 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 B8444S tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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