Volvo D4164T Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Volvo D4164 engine!"

The Volvo D4164 great bases for a tuning project and with carefully picked performance tuning mods like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will increase your driving pleasure.

This pages aim is look into D4164 tuning and show the ultimate upgrades.

History, Power & Specs of the D4164 Engine

  • 1.6L I4 (109 hp) D4164T

Tuning the Volvo D4164 and best D4164 performance parts.

Best D4164T mods

When talking about the best modifications for your D4164 engine, we are going to focus on the upgrades that give the biggest return for your cash.

Altering your D4164 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

Fast road camshafts normally boost the bhp and torque through the rpm band, you could sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but your higher rpm power will improve.

Motorsport and race camshafts, boost 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 you need to optimize your engines power to your usage of the car.

I would be surprised if you find a D4164 Motorsport 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 D4164 engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

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

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

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

    Plan your options and then buy your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

    A remap should help to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your D4164.

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

    Feeding air and fuel into the D4164 engine is the main goal to any car tuning task.

    An intake manifold will channel the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

    The shape and flow characteristics of the Plenum can make a substantial difference to fuel mixing and power on the D4164.

    I usually find manifolds are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good headers.

    Larger D4164 valves, carrying out D4164 port enlargement and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, & more importantly will raise potential for increasing the bhp and torque increase on other modifications.

    D4164 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 D4164

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

    When the engine has a turbo already fitted mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbo charged engines are made using stronger components.

    However every engines will have power limits.See where you'll find these restrictions and fit higher quality components to cope with the power.

    We've seen tuners spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the D4164 only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine go up in smoke soon after it's been finished.

    Large capacity turbo units commonly suffer low end lag, and little turbo units spool up quickly but do not have the peak end bhp gains.

    In recent times the market of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

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

    It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the D4164 when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

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

    Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although more difficult to install. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

    Fuelling

    You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to ramp up the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a torque increase.It makes sense to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

    As a rule of thumb add 20% when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and provides a bit of 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

    4 Cylinder NA (naturally aspirated) engines

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

    4 Cylinder supercharged engines

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

    D4164 Performance Exhausts

    You may need to improve your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

    On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still 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 equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

    But if your exhaust pipe is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

    Common exhaust restrictions can be located the filters installed, so adding a better flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

    Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the D4164

    The D4164 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 D4164, 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 D4164 engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss D4164 tuning options in more detail with our D4164 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 tuning 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 D4164 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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