Modding uprating the Volvo B63 engine!

Car tuning tips:B63 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Volvo B63

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Volvo B63 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are always getting emails requesting information on how to improve the B63 from people inquiring about getting more power from the B63 and wanting to know what are the greatest B63 modifications. So let us look into Volvo B63 upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Let us review and look at B63 tuning and highlight the ultimate mods that work. Volvo B63 are good project engines and with the right tuning parts like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will really maximize your driving experience.

When talking about the top parts for your B63 engine, we are going to focus on the mods that give the biggest return for your cash.

B63 induction kits

Improving air intake on the B63

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

So the aim to any tuning project to shove more fuel and air into your B63 but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B63 when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

Engine intake manifolds take the on the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Design and flow rate of the Headers can make a substantial difference to to fuel delivery on the B63.

Many mass produced engine intake manifold are begging for performance upgrades, although some OEM provide decently flowing intake manifold.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase bhp and torque, and importantly will allow you to get an improved bhp and torque increase on other parts.

B63 performance cam tips.

Some B63 engines respond better to more aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and fuelling also will make differences on the bhp gains you'll hit.

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.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to raise the bhp and torque through the rev range, you could drop a little bottom end power but the higher rpm power will be better.

Motorsport camshafts, raise the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport cam is not great driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally match your power band to your typical driving style so for a car driven daily stick with a shorter duration B63 cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the B63

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 B63 parts:

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

Stage 2 B63 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 B63 parts:

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

The B63 power trains respond well to mods and thankfully there is an increase of parts and performance parts about.

A remap allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your B63.

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 power output often depend much on the upgrades you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the B63

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 B63.

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

If your car has a turbo already fitted upgrades are going to make more power and we find turbo charged engines are built with stronger components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some only just able to handle stock power

Discover these limits and fit better quality components to handle the power.

It's not unheard of guys spending a fortune on turbocharger upgrades on the B63 only to see the engine block literally blow up soon after it's first rolling road session.

Big turbochargers tend to experience no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbochargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the peak end torque gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbo chargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently profiled 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 and torque gains, although harder to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the B63

When you lift the bhp you will need to ramp up to the fuel system.

More bhp needs more fuel. It is important to over specify your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and gives a bit of spare capacity should the engine need 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 B63 performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still good 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.

Don't go with the biggest exhaust you can source you'll reduce 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a better flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the B63

Like most engines an B63, 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 B63, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned B63 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 B63 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about B63 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their B63.

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