Modding uprating the Volvo VED4 engine!

Find out about "VED4 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Volvo VED4

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Volvo VED4 engine!"

TorqueCars are always seeing threads about how to improve the VED4 from people inquiring about getting more power from the VED4 and wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to VED4 power upgrades. So let us look into Volvo VED4 upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

Our aim here is to review VED4 tuning and provide tips on the ultimate upgrades. Volvo VED4 are awesome to work on and with carefully picked motorsport mods like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably maximise your driving opportunities.

When talking about the top parts for your VED4 engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the biggest return for your cash.

VED4 induction kits

Improving air intake on the VED4

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the VED4. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pushing air into the VED4 engine is the whole point to any engine upgrade project.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the VED4 when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

Engines intake headers take the during the engines suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and rate of flow of the Intake can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation on the VED4.

We often see plenum chambers are begging for aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide fairly well optimized plenum chambers.

Adding a VED4 larger valve kit, carrying out port matching and head flowing will also boost performance, this will afford you raising the performance increase on other upgrades.

VED4 performance cam tips.

Different VED4 engines respond better to different cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also will make differences on the power gains you'll hit.

Longer 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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the VED4 can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the engines power and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually push up the torque throughout the rpm range, you might lose a little low down torque but higher rpm power will be higher.

Motorsport and race camshafts, push up 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 in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your usage of the car so for a road car stick with a shorter duration VED4 cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VED4

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 VED4 parts:

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

Stage 2 VED4 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 VED4 parts:

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

The VED4 power plant respond well to upgrades and we're happy to report there are increasing numbers of parts and tuning parts around.

A remap allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your VED4.

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 the outcome may rely on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VED4

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 VED4.

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

When a car has a turbocharger mods are going to make more power and you will discover turbo charged engines are made with more solid components.

However most engines will need better parts at higher power limits

See where you'll find these limits and install more solid crank and pistons to utilize the power.

There are many people spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the VED4 only to watch the motor explode when it's finished.

Larger capacity turbochargers often experience no power at low rpm, and smaller turbochargers spool up more quickly but don't have the peak rpm power band gains.

In the last 10 years the world of turbo units is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large power gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VED4

When you raise the power you will need to uprate to the fuelling.

More power needs more fuel. Experienced tuners recommend to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords you 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 VED4 performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the 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.

Note that with the biggest exhaust you can get this will 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports 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 VED4

Like most engines an VED4, 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 VED4, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VED4 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 VED4 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VED4 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VED4.

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