Modding uprating the Volvo D4204 engine!

Car tuning tips:D4204 Modifications"

D4204 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Volvo D4204

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Volvo D4204 engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly getting emails requesting info on how to improve the D4204 from people wanting to know what are the greatest D4204 upgrades. So let us look into Volvo D4204 parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Volvo D4204 really good project engines and with the best modified mods like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving experience.

Here we look at D4204 tuning and highlight the optimum upgrades.

Just because particular tuning parts are are common on D4204 it doesn't mean it is good, instead we'll concentrate on the top tuning parts that will give your D4204 the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the common myth 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'.

D4204 induction kits

Improving air intake on the D4204

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough 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 Feeding air and fuel into your D4204 is the main goal to any engine modification project.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the D4204 when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

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

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Headers can make a noticeable change to fuel mixing and power on the D4204.

Many mass produced engine headers are in desperate need of aftermarket tuning parts, although a few OEM provide decently flowing headers.

Increasing the D4204 valve size, getting D4204 port enlargement and head flowing will also raise torque, the fantastic side effect is it will permit a better torque increase on other upgrades.

D4204 performance cam tips.

Different D4204 engines respond better to more aggressive cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

Altering valve 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.

Altering your D4204 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams tend to bump the performance across the rev range, you might lose a little low end torque but the top end will be better.

Motorsport and race cams, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a road car you should ideally to match your bhp range to your cars usage.

I would be surprised if you have ever thought a D4204 Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the D4204

Stage 1 D4204 parts:

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

Stage 2 D4204 parts:

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

Stage 3 D4204 parts:

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

The D4204 power trains make great tuning projects and thanks to their popularity there is a lot of parts and tuning parts about.

Remaps allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your D4204.

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

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 often rely on the modifications you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the D4204

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 D4204.

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 your motor is turbo charged parts are more reliable and you'll see that turbo charged engines already contain better components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only just able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limits and install more solid crank and pistons to handle the power.

There are many tuners spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the D4204 only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine block literally blow up just after it's finished.

Bigger turbo chargers commonly experience a bottom end lag, and small turbo chargers spool up quickly but do not have the top end power band gains.

Over the last 20 years the selection of turbo chargers is always improving and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and direct these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. 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 performance gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the D4204

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a performance hike. It is important to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and gives some 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 D4204 performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

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

Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches as a rule of thumb.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the D4204

Like most engines an D4204, 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 D4204, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned D4204 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 D4204 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about D4204 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their D4204.

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