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Ard Tuning

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I have an ARD green tune in my car now and I'm happy with it. Ive reached out to lucky for various things over the years and he has got back to me quickly and been very helpful and professional. Not discrediting TMM9 in anyway as I'm sure his tunes are wonderful, just giving my opinion about ARD.

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I've has a green tune for year and never once hit my 17psi that ARD promises in the tune. According to lucky its something with my car. when running the green tune I kept throwing o2 sensor code, so I replaced it, then suddenly it started throwing TPS code. Removed Green tune, ran factory 072 ecu for a month with no codes. changed to an R ecu for another month... no codes. Put the green tune in... o2 sensor code again... on BRAND new O2 sensors....

Dropped ARD tune in a 5speed 850 with same mods as me... 17psi no problem but running super lean. dropped in 3 other auto 850 turbos... no more than 13.5 psi.

Lucky refuses to exchange the tune unless I agree to $75 per hour of testing for him to test it first... but will not tell me what test he plans on running that I havn't already done.

I will not do business with him ever again. Hell I won't even sell his tune to anyone else.

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why is this being brought up (again)??

all that's going to happen is the people that have been happy are going to still be happy with it (or when they had it)

the people with the problems aren't going to change and will just reiterate their past bad experience.

IMO, this is a loaded thread and it's not going to go any other way than the other thread about THE SAME THING.

people always complain about spark plug and "what turbo?" threads, due to their redundancy... but THIS is gonna fly?? lol

Lucky is off here, like many of you seemingly wanted, so leave the guy be.. it's over 'yay'

he's doing his thing and running a legit shop building engines and doing general repairs (more than i can say for many of us).

are we running out of things to talk about or something?? REALLY?

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once sorted out I has pretty happy with the tune..

had a couple issues with the business end.

Kind of expensive based on what is apparently available now.

I am neither happy nor sad about ARD.

I now need to find someone to do some custom OBD1 tuning for M3.3..(BMW).

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This thread should be merged with the existing ARD tune thread.

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I'm sorry people I did not mean to resurrect bad feeling from the past. I'll dip my cards for the reason of my original question. I had purchased an ARD tune for my car, then found the old threads and thought I'd ask to see if things had changed. In addition to the tune I bought all components needed to convert my angle flange 16T to a 19T with the spool control wheel. Sent him a 4.4 ecu so I also picked up his TCV. I received my package on Friday (8/8). After I get the parts installed I'll report back to let everyone know how my expectations are being met. I will say this though, it was my understanding that the 4.4ecu could command my BCS but that the BCS would be "slow" to react. I got anxious and thought I'll drop the ecu in for the drive home from the office. Car started right up, incredibly fast actually and I let it idle and feather footed it a while. Boost was coming on as normal car felt good under light to moderate acceleration, but the first time I asked for serious boost it pegged my boost gauge at almost full throttle I immediately let off. My first impression is I'm going to meet my boost expectations but time will tell. I have my good ol reliable IPD ecu back in now and it's just like before and won't run the ARD until I have my TCV installed at least.

The Mods should feel free to move this just as Joe has suggested I think that's a good idea too.

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This thread should be merged with the existing ARD tune thread.


People had the chance to ventilate their frustration about what happened in the past in the other thread.

The tittle of this thread is pretty clear I think.

Current Consensus Of Ard Ecu Tunes Of Late?

It's up to the mods to warn people to stay on topic instead of beating dead animals.

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Well that's cool. While I was merging it, Johann made that post. So uh... too late? I felt like lookforjoe read my mind. Bump the review thread to ask if people still feel the same way. Keep it consolidated. Review threads should not become historical artifacts frozen in time.

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2nd hand ARD experience.

This is on my now daily driver 01' S60 T5. Car was previously owned by my dad so i know it's history. Let's just say ARD is/was the last tune this car will ever have/need.

Started out with a 16T and full 3"exhaust on an Upsolute tune, never ran worth a flip and was honestly slower than a bone stock T5, just louder.

Then added greens and a BSR tune along with high flow filter element and some other go fast parts, tune gave it the boost but otherwise seemed very lean up top still, lackluster.

FMIC added, a few trips to Sweden and back with the ECU and the BSR tune was good, but not great.

In its current daily mode, the car runs an ARD blue tune, 18T, full 3" turbo back, greens, simota carbon intake, snabb intake, ARD TCV. Tune is set for 18psi, so for the last week I've been making wastegate adjustments because it was showing well over that on the prosport gauge, peaking at 24-26psi fun but scary.

Since tightening the wastegate, onset is much earlier and I am hitting full 18psi, but still seeing some spikes through the gear that exceed 20psi. Wondering if that's the CBV not holding the pressure well enough.

Either way, i'd say the ARD tune really woke the car up, runs like a raped ape, even on low boost.

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Had a orange tune on my 96 turbo when I bought it, got good fuel economy and held boost great. Boost came on abruptly but it was a "eco" tune so boost was pushed a little farther back to help with economy. Wanted a few steps more so I went with a tune from Mat (simply volvo) since he is local. Never had any issues (personally) with my car and I have met Lucky on several occasions. Nice guy.

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Love the work Lucky does. Went from IPD stage 1 tune to ARD M4.4C, 5 speed swap, catless, rear O2 delete, R-Manifold, 19T with stiffer CBV springs, 3" turbo back exhaust, blue injectors, bigger intercooler, RIP kit, stock internals. Since I did the 4.4 Conversion from the 4.3, I paid a 75 core, but I got a whole new ECU so I had no downtime. I was able to drive my R until the day I got the new one from Lucky. Ordered it and received the new one less than a week later, from AZ to CT. When I first put all my mods on and ECU, CEL came on first day for running rich. Looked over the engine and made sure nothing was wrong with base engine. Swapped over to the original ECU and fuel trims went back to normal, so I new it was an issue with the ECU. I swapped the ECU and put the stock injectors back in, fuel trims also stabilized. Contacted Lucky at ARD, sent back the ECU, he reworked the map and I had my ECU back within a week, free of charge. Now it's running like a champ. 200k and I'm pushing 22 psi, 25 on a cold day on stock internals!

The customer service that ARD provides is outstanding, I'm definitely going back when I finished up my forged engine build. Would definitely recommend to anyone!

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Anyone ever have ARD do an NA tune? I may need it down the road and was hoping for some experiences

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  • Similar Content

    • By ovlov780t
      Selling my ARD tune. Details below
      246 ARD ECU Software Upgrade S70/V70/C70 (1998)
      *Year: 1998
      *Trim: T5
      Stage 1 Modifications: High Flow Intake
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      Stage 2 Modifications: Downpipe $15.00
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      *Transmission: Manual
      Deletes: Rear 02 Delete
      250 OBO, just need to get rid of it. 
    • By hcaznacnud
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      I will not go into my passion for Volvo too much because this post just about covers that point, and quite honestly there are plenty of posts that will just about explain that. The first I would like to point out would be this guy Benjamin Hoff who is an author for relating Taoism and how it relates to current American culture. This is the link to what I found: What I liked about this post is how Benjamin talks about the history of Volvo and well the pure awesomeness of the Volvo 850 and how it was revolutionary from it's compact transmission, to it's performance, to the special "crumble" zones that help draw shock away from the driver and into the car in an accident. He also goes into his tune and made a list on all the things he changed on his Volvo 850. I would like to take the time now to give him a special thanks for his post definitely contributed to the most inspiration for my tune. So please take the time to look into his post it is a truly heartening read.

      For the rest of this read I will use different headings, and to start I will start with Engine Limits/ Modifications.

      The Weak Links

      These are the links I used for a majority of basing my engine mods:

      I would like to thank the user EricF for this one. I'm sure that any person who has looked into modding their P80 Volvo has at least looked into this post because it is so well written and very informative and if you have not read it yet I recommend reading it. This post talks about engine limits, transmission limits, and turbo limits plus a little extra. .

      Connecting Rods

      To start I have found from various sources that the weakest link in the engine is first the connecting rods in the Volvo 5 cylinder engine, which are rated to around 350 hp. Which does not seem that high but keep in mind the Volvo 850 was meant to be a sporty family car not a race car. With this in mind you have to ask yourself what you want to do with the car. I myself wanted a weekend warrior as it's called which is a daily driver with a little fun added in the middle. Therefore for me the rods are fine for me. The main reason these rods are a problem is because of the turbocharger. Looking into the link just posted Eric talks about the limits of the 15G turbo which comes stock on all 850's in the USA except for the R which received a 16T, which is at the max of 15 psi of boost, and with improper engine management (ECU Tune) you can easily bend a rod, which I have found to be caused by two things. The first is that at high boost pressures at low RPM's causes high torque which literally bends the rods and there goes the bottom end. The other thing cause is essential the same thing but is caused by a spike in boost pressure and causes a spike in fuel/air mixture and causes to much power and therefore blows a rod. With this in mind you can safely tune pretty much tune the 15G, 16T, 18T, 19T, or 22T, as long as you have supporting mods: a sports exhaust and reliable ECU Tune. The next link are the piston heads with can handle 400 hp when i uncovered this truth i did not look into upgrading them further for that is more than enough for this car but I did put into the spreadsheet H-Beam connecting rods and Weisco forged piston heads which both can handle at least 800 hp.

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      this is by Matt B on volvospeed he posted what he calls the parts bible for a manual swap and everything you will need for it: ... nual-swap/

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      As a note I have opted to keep my car as an automatic. I would love to to rebuild my car as a manual but it does not seem worth the approximate cost of $1500. To me there are three slight benefits to a manual. The first is it is a lot more engaging in driving and more of a feeling of being one with your car which is very compelling but due to the front reel drive of the car drifting is not very practical and to me is not justified. The second is possible shaving a couple of hundredths (.01-.10) to tenths off of your time on the track. The last thing would be to add a blow off valve which sounds awesome but serves no real performance bonus, it would be pointless to add a blow off valve to an automatic because all of the pressure would be dumped as soon as you let off the gas which would create very little pressure and thus no whoosh sound.

      The stock turbocharger on 850 T's or T5's is the 15G which has it limit at around 15 PSI with this setting you can hit around 300 hp with proper tuning but keep in mind the turbo will be pushing it's limits and will be worn very quickly. And the same can be said about the 16T but can handle the higher boost pressures, compared to the 15G, normally but that is it's limit. With this is mind I would recommend at the least a 16T with a good ECU tune or bigger turbo like a 18T or 19T but keep in mind the bigger the turbo the harder it will be for the ECU to determine firing and fuel mixture which goes back to bending rods. so in order to keep things safe you would have to keep boost pressures low on the bigger turbos. The 16T would be recommended for those who do not want to do heavy modding. The bigger turbos, 18T or 19T, are for those who want to have a heavily modified 850.

      Now on to the good stuff

      The hopefully most in depth tune for a Volvo 850

      The List and Stage Zero
      below, or wherever attachments show up on this forum, is an excel spreadsheet which I have spent about a year putting together finding all the different things that can be done to this car with part numbers, what site to buy them, brand names, part cost, and even the reason for doing it. Some links are also added for some installations purposes. A lot of time was put into this so please don't be too judgmental but I would not mind a comment or thought that would add to the build and truly contribute to the idea behind this Volvo that will become a beast. The file has a lot of details so take your time looking at it and feel free to google some of the stuff to get more answers. The most important thing when considering this tune is making sure you are at a true and honest stage zero because this will insure engine health and longevity. I mean why work on an engine that cannot pass a leak down test which would make this not worth doing. Now would also be a good time to mention that I am doing all work myself I have done all stage zero requirements myself and have even rebuilt the head of my car with no help other than the forums found on this very post. In my opinion if you truly want to build your car you NEED to know how it works and the only way to do that is to build your car yourself. I myself have literally no experience building a car and through many hours of research and taking my time working my car I have been able to do this. So to me a lot of things on the list are self explanatory and the basic reasoning behind them is stated within the spreadsheet but I will point out a few details to consider.


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      To start with this section of the list I will note that I am not rebuilding the the connecting rods or piston heads because I feel very comfortable to doing this tune without changing out these, there are plenty of people who daily this kind of build with no problems. The reason they are added is to account for the cost for people who want to add them. The real reason most 850's blow rod's or piston head's is due to an accurate ECU tune combined with improper tuning which leads to restrictive flow and thus things blow. The next couple of things would be the R exhaust manifold which will allow better air flow into the turbo as opposed to the manifold on stock 850 turbos. For the exhaust I have gone with the OBX 3" down-pipe and 2.5" cat-back full exhaust, it is stainless steel so it will resist rust and the overall quality is alright. This is exhaust is not the best on the market, especially when compared to Yother's exhaust, the company IPD uses to make their exhausts, or BSR's but for the price this exhaust is the way to go. The tune I decided to go with is the ARD tune it will save me me about $200 when compared to IPD's. I would also like to note that ARD is about just as reputable if not more than IPD when it comes to tuning, just check any forum. Also note that the Walbro is a fuel pump good for 400 hp this is needed because the Volvo fuel pump gives out quickly around 300 hp. The injectors I chose are green Volvo injectors which are good for up to 440 cc/min, blue injectors are also rated for about the same. If you are worried about possible hp loses due to fuel starve you can go with green injectors good for 440 cc/min. If bigger injectors are installed then a new upgraded Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) will need to be installed. The main component will be the MAF from a Volvo S60 or 960, along with an additional filter to fit the new 3" MAF. I would like to note that because the stock inlet hose is less than 3" you should also upgrade that hose. The turbo inlet hose is the best one to install because it is already 3" and is the same as viva-performances and way cheaper than them and IPD. The transmission cooler is made by Mocal a specialized performance oil cooler manufacturer's. Because the kit is made from me all the individual parts are listed to find online. The specific site I used to find all the parts was this: The install link is below in the additional information section.


      The strut kit is from FCP Euro, and is a KONI suspension kit. KONI is well known for it's performance so I thought it best to go with the sport style. FCP includes all new bolts and hardware for both front and rear installation, you can also find the installation video on the website where the kit is found. The springs are for lower ride height and better drive-ability. The mounts, transmission and engine, are also for drive-ability and handling. The engine mounts are OEM rated but not technically OE, they have good reviews so I decided on these. The Polyurethane Torque Kit from IPD gives a slightly bigger under Transmission mount which will create less shaking and smoother shifts. It also contains a firewall mount for shaking, and a upper engine stabilizer (NOTE: this is added stabilization you will still need the upper engine mount).


      The turbo I chose was the 19T because the 18T is a pain to find and ARD Tuning has the whole set up for the same price as a 16T so it will allow for future mods if need be. Specifically for me I will get the 19T. The set I'm getting will include an already set waste-gate actuator, and compressor bypass valve (CBV) with a 10 lb spring which will handle the rapid change in pressures. ARD sells these two components individual for those who already have a bigger turbo or do not want to upgrade. The stick turbo control valve (TCV) tends to fail quickly so I am getting the ARD TCV to handle a bigger load and it will last longer. I also opted for the angled flange which will promote the exiting of exhaust from the turbo and keep from spiking boost pressure. If bending a rod is a concern you can buy the 16T turbo housing and get the corresponding billet wheel. Remember all TDO4HL turbos are all compatible with each other, or at least the exhaust housings, all that needs changing is the turbo housing to fit the bigger billet. I would also like to say the 15G and 16T are very similar in flow characteristics so there is not a lot to gain in going from a 15G to a 16T, thou a good ECU tune will definitely give good results with a 15G or 16T. If you can try to buy the angled turbo exhaust because it allows for better air flow out of the turbo which will keep boost pressures from spiking and allow for more into the turbo. As a note my 19T will be tuned towards 18 PSI which is about the max for this turbo and may not be as fast as the 16T in getting up to speed but the 19T will start pulling like a train in 3rd gear and I will eventually zoom past an equivalent tune but with a 16T. Looking into the stock inter-cooler which I thought was good, actually turned out to be fine but only for stock builds. Because I will be drawing more air into my turbo, the stock inter-cooler will not be handle the pressure and the temperatures will rise leading to poor spooling and thus a new inter-cooler will be added courtesy of Snabb. Their inter-cooler is very similar to do88's but is 100 dollars so this is the best inter-cooler. For a little better throttle response I added reverse inter-cooler piping, but this can be neglected because it is not entirely justified by 250 dollars, especially when the inter-cooler is 380, the benefits are not entirely justified.

      Silicone Piping

      Silicone piping is technically part of the stage zero but due to the amount silicone piping I found I made it's own section. The reason for silicone piping is to handle high temperatures and high boost pressures. The piping includes radiator pipes, expansion tank pipes, turbo coolant pipes, and TCV lines. The Turbo inlet hose is an upgraded inlet air mass meter to turbo connection. This hose is a bit shorter and has less curves therefore creating a more free flowing system and will allow a little better fuel economy and possible a couple extra horse power.

      Sound System

      I would like to state that this mod list is catered to my needs and my cars needs. For example the sound system added and upholstery update is for personal use because my car is a little rough in the interior and I'm looking into changing it out. The sound system will be easy to change out please note that sedans have two sound decks on the back dash and wagons have pillar speakers in the back. I myself have a sedan and have the back deck speakers which are reported to be 6x9 but that requires special mods and a 5x7 fits better if interested check out this link by blackyrd on volvoforums: ... -wagon.htm . I have also changed the double din sound system to a single din touchscreen GPS navigation system. I did this to also fit a single din gauge cluster underneath the radio system. Some other things to keep in mind are ohm rating on speakers. The ohm affects power output which is directly related to frequency, what we hear, so if the frequency is messed up then the sound will be bad. So keep in mind the different kinds of speakers there are and how you would have to wire your speakers.


      the upholstery I couldn't find too much on other than on YouTube and that related to basic carpet installation on cars in general. I have also added into the upholstery cost sound dampening material because if you have noticed like me is that older cars tend to make a little more noise so to cut on that I added sound dampening. Because I may not even upholster my seats I included the about average cost of each set. The front seats are two individual and the back seat is a whole big seat.

      Right that just about sums it up I could ramble on for days about various other things to do and what not to do and other things that would be pointless but that would take a lot more time then I care to mention. I have looked into what I need and I just thought it would be cool to put all this information in one spot. I have looked through so many forums and countless comparisons to see what would be best and this is what I got. The main reason I wanted to post this was to put an end to the adventure that it was to come up with the best tune for the car that I love so much. Please feel free to comment or ask questions I have way more information then what I am posting. I cannot give all my secrets in one swoop, that would be no fun.

      Additional Information:

      If you cannot find a part number on the actual part or on any forum check out this website they offer full diagrams with labeled numbers, their description, part numbers, and the average price of the parts, on any Volvo ever made:

      This link is for YouTube DIY's on fixing Volvo P80 cars. This is through the courtesy of aka FCP Groton for all their hard work and excellent honest parts. I have personally rebuilt my entire front suspension, water pump, and shocks, through the use of their parts and videos. ... 983CE8F25F

      I also have to give a shout out to Robert DIY who is also on YouTube. This guy deserves true praise. He has devoted a lot of his life to helping Volvo owners so my thanks to you sir and I just noticed today that you are in the hospital so I hope you get better man. He has everything on his channel from simple things like tips to completely rebuilding your head which is what aided me in my rebuild.

      I also want to thank IPD they have a lot of quality information and this is their YouTube channel:

      I also recommend checking out ARD Tuning for Performance parts they offer a lot of quality performance parts for a decent price. For me they have the R exhaust manifold and 19T turbo which are both hard to come by for a good price.

      Transmission Oil Cooler install: ... hp?t=37869

      Robert DIY's Head Replacement for Volvo 850: ... gasket.htm
      -this is a step by step with all tools, parts, and chemicals/gasket maker needed.

      If you plan on going to a junkyard to find a used turbocharger and want to know what Volvo has what turbocharger check out this link from FCP Euro. It has all of that information plus some more about why they fail and what to avoid when switching to a bigger turbo. ... swap-guide

      If you can manage befriend the guy at your local Bap Geon Import Auto Parts. I have and it's not that it has saved me money, thou the parts after the discount I get is about the same for online parts, but that I get the parts the next day for free as opposed to ordering online and get them a week later.
      Stage Zero.xlsx
    • By Tommy.
      1997 850R running motronic 4.4, 2001 RN engine   I got a code that keeps coming up, not sure of the cause. I deleted the ptc element and put a pipe on with just a bung for the tcv line. My stft is great but code EFI - 242 (turbo control valve signal) pops up almost as quickly as I clear it with the car running, now I have not been able to drive it to see what symptoms it exhibits (overboost, underboost etc.) I will be able to do that tomorrow.   I checked resistance of the tcv and it comes to around 28 ohms which I have read online as a pretty normal value. Anyone have any ideas? The tcv has been on the last 2 weeks with not even the slightest hint that there was a code, I fixed my fuel trim issue today and it just popped up like it was waiting for me. All lines are silicone and have been checked many times, very stumped on this.   Thanks
    • By Big Will
      Hi all,
      Some parts for sale:

      Note: All parts will ship from the U.S.

      ARD Green Tune for 98 x70 manual. Tuned for SAS delete, 15G/16T, white (350cc) injectors and supporting exhaust upgrades. It was tuned for the B5254T engine and boosts 17 PSI. ECU has the boot switch installed.
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      White injectors (350cc). They have about 40K miles on them since they were serviced by Cruzin Performance and are in good working condition.
      $50 shipped

      *Will sell the ECU and injectors together for $250 shipped

      Brand NIB ATE Premium One EU618 front brake pads. I test fitted these on my car so the box was opened but they are unused. These are very similar to the original Volvo pads as ATE was one of the OE manufacturers.
      $30 shipped

      Brand New JERD delrin subframe bushings (purchased from LG Speed in Sweden).
      $120 shipped. SOLD

      You can read about them here:

      Pair of low mileage AWD rear stay brackets (pns: 9461598/9461597). These were from a Swedish wagon that had less than 10K kms on it. I am including a new set of Volvo bushings (pn: 1273778) to go with these.

      The brackets would be great as an extra set to paint to spiff up the undercarriage.
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      Used 850R Clutch. Volvo part number 272218. The clutch functioned well and appears to be in very good shape with plenty of life left.

      $100 (buyer pays shipping as this is a reasonably heavy item). SOLD

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      Payment via Paypal for protection of both parties.