Volvo XC90 Tuning

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We review and look at XC90 tuning and point out the best mods that work. Volvo XC90s are popular tuning projects and with carefully picked tuning upgrades you can really improve your driving pleasure of this great Volvo.

The XC90 is actually a very good car modification project to play with. The key to XC90 tuning is doing it right as you can waste loads of money if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many XC90 owners uprate the handling of their cars with uprated suspension mods as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Putting some negative camber on the wheels and a degree or two of toe out, will often improve your XC90 in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit sports suspension and lower the car by 29mm - 35 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Our aim in engine tuning should be to increase peak power and torque at the top end.

Keep your car looking standard and take off the badges for the ultimate sleeper!

Sadly with smaller 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.

Engine Tuning.

This list of the stages and modified kits are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get going.

Getting the right modified upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Stage 1 mods: Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Lighter flywheel, Remap.

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

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

Peak power is all well and good but for a daily driven car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world to the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest bhp gains for your money as far as a bolt on uprated modifications goes on a NASP engine.

The exhaust & intake flow play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to pay attention to the fuelling.

Most power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after tuning modifications are done can usually be traced to timing or fuelling issues.Bigger injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned XC90s uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is usually a small if any power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you boos the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

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 XC90 engines you should settle for a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can get this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. A good fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or think that the standard OEM clutch to cope. The best mods in our opinion for your XC90 are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intakeTurbo engines are just crying out to be remapped. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and phenomenal modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is often simpler to add a supercharger than it is to fit a working turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost increases exponentially with rpm.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. Alternatively you could perhaps install water injection to minimise knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than steel ones. Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy directional tread pattern performance tires.The drawback to large alloys on your XC90 is that you alter your final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance.

Although some people have with bigger wheels without issues we would stick to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss XC90 options in more detail with our XC90 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.

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 mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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