Modding uprating the Volvo VED5 engine!

Tuning guide "VED5 Modifications"

VED5 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Volvo VED5

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Volvo VED5 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly seeing threads about how to improve the VED5 from people wanting to know what are the premier VED5 power upgrades. So let us look into Volvo VED5 modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Volvo VED5 are fantastic to work on and with the ultimate tuning parts like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will noticeably increase your driving experience.

In this article we detail the best approach to VED5 tuning and show the optimum upgrades.

Just because particular parts are appear in lots of VED5 projects it doesn't mean its worth having, instead we will concentrate on the top parts that will give your VED5 the best power gain for you spend.

Without us subscribing to the misaprehension of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

VED5 induction kits

Improving air intake on the VED5

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is insufficient air it runs rich resulting in lost power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Forcing more fuel and air into your VED5 is the primary aim to any engine modification project.

It is common that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the VED5 when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped torque at a much lower level.

Intake manifolds flow the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the VED5.

It's not uncommon that air intake manifolds are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although a few makers provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Adding a VED5 larger valve kit, doing some VED5 port enlargement and head flowing will also increase power, and importantly will permit a greater power increase on other parts.

VED5 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations than others.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll achieve.

Altering valve durations can alter the power 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.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts normally boost the bhp and torque across the rev range, you could drop a little bottom end torque but your top end will be lifted.

Competition camshafts, boost the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a car driven daily you should ideally to match your power band to your typical driving style.

I'd be gobsmaked if you have found a VED5 Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VED5

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 VED5 parts:

Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake headers.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 2 VED5 parts:

Fast road cam, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, induction kit.

Stage 3 VED5 parts:

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

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

Remaps will help unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your VED5.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but figures achieved often rely on the upgrades you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VED5

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the VED5.

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 your car has a turbo already fitted upgrades are relatively easy and we find turbo engines are made using better components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

Discover these restrictions and upgrade to higher quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

There are many car owners spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the VED5 only to watch the VED5 go up in smoke on it's first outing after it's been finished.

Big capacity turbo units will usually suffer low end lag, and small turbo units spool up quickly but don't have the high rpm bhp gains.

Thanks to new tech the range of turbochargers is always moving on and we now see variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large bhp gains, although more difficult to install. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VED5

Don't forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. It is important to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended VED5 performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Please dont run with the biggest exhaust you can get you'll slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the VED5

Like most engines an VED5, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the VED5, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VED5 this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your VED5 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VED5 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VED5.

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