Volvo V90 Tuning

"Thank you for reading our Volvo V90 tuning guide."

The mid sized executive V90 is a brilliant project car to do, it's sharp looks add impact to an impressive drivers package.

The V90 was released in 2015 and spawned an S90 sedan/saloon version.

Build for cruising, we are grateful the engines are over engineered and crying out for some mods and upgrades. But please think carefully and research V90 tuning to spare yourself making the usual costly errors we frequently see.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many V90 owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension parts as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We found that most V90 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, 1 to 2, and slight negative camber will substantially enhance your cornering and handling.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 24mm - 42 mm. and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Turning our attention to the V90's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

V90 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine mods and handling upgrades you can !

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Power mods.

  • Petrol:
    2.0L i4 (140kW–235kW) (T4 T5 T6)
  • Diesel:
    2.0L i4 (110kW–173kW) (D3 D4 D5)
  • Hybrid:
    2.0L i4 petrol (234kW–235kW + 64kW)

These are the performance parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get going.

Getting the best sports parts for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 24mm - 42 mm.), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam, Sports gearbox.

You need to keep as much low end power as you can and aim to get a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike.

In this article we shall give a brief overview to the best mods 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.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a solitary motorsport modifications goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The exhaust and intake valve timings play a big role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car awkward to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Using high octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Volvo project after fitting other performance upgrades. Upgrading the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits are only beneficial to increase power if your air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most stock engines will see ZERO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for V90 engines you should go with a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of the exhaust flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional gas flowing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. A good heavy duty fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or expect your standard clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your V90 are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

Remaps offer phenomenal power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a chipped ECU on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. The most impressive power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. It is more challenging to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with engine speed.

Superchargers, however will give a boost which is correlating to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of track legal slick tire. Large V90 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

With this in mind we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss V90 options in more detail with our V90 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Volvo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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