Hello, this is my first ever post. So allow me to introduce myself by first stating how much i appreciate literally every follower for Volvo's for this list would have never been created without it. This list has had the help from this site, google, YouTube, FCP Euro, IPD, and even SweedSpeed, and every person that added a post to aide in this post. So please allow me to thank everyone for this post. I would also like to note that I do not claim to be a Volvo specific mechanical engineer nor an author so not everything is perfect. I would also like to say that I only added comments where the provided links missed out on, because I would really like everyone to take the time to read the posts the have already been made and I would like to give credit to the people who made so please check them out.
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: http://benjaminhoffauthor.com/volvo.html. 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.
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.
For all american 850 High Pressure Turbo (HPT) cars came automatic which can only handle close to 300 hp which is probably the biggest limiting factor in this car. To my knowledge there are two things you can do to improve this. The first is adding an auxiliary transmission oil cooler and fresh oil change. Keep in mind if you you keep the automatic gearbox the fluid will have to be changed frequently. I have not modded my car yet but i would say you have to do a fluid flush every engine oil change or at the least every other engine oil change. The alternative is to do a complete manual swap. If you look into Erics link he will talk about possible manual swaps and what he did to his car. So go check it out if interested. And if your really interested in doing an actual manual swap check out these links:
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:
http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/topic/78 ... nual-swap/
This is dooby who posted with complete pictures and descriptions on how to do an actual manual swap from an automatic:
lastly this is the tricky part and that is converting the wiring harness from auto to manual because you have to change the cruise control wiring and something about the reverse light allows being on but thanks to Hank Scorpio on Turbobricks you can find pictures and descriptions and pretty much everything you need to know:
http://forums.turbobricks.com/showpost. ... tcount=237
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.
I have chosen to have a total of six gauges, which I have found to be a bit more than most, but it makes me feel like a NASCAR racer I suppose. To start I chose to go with IPD's pillar gauge and a single din gauge holder, my radio will be converted to a single gauge head unit. For a clean install and to avoid splicing radio wires I have looked into getting a CirKit Boss. It took me awhile to find these and boy was I excited. This hook up inside of your engine bay connect to your battery via circuit breaker, and plug into your fuse box ignition fuse. This is very nice because it allows for install for aftermarket circuits, in my case it will be for gauges, but plenty of people have set up fog lamps and heavy duty lights for jeeps and trucks with these. The price is expensive for these units but after installation you will have what look's like a complete factory installed unit. The Cirkit Boss I decided on was the bigger model for 3 constant 12 v wires and 4 ignition wires. I chose this one because of the constant 12 v wires all connections require a live wire so this will make for a better install because it will keep from having to splice any stock wires. Just as a note gauges require pretty much no current or really voltage for the matter so all of the gauges could be wired in series for the ignition wire (which will allow for the gauges to turn on when the car turns on) and in series for their respective live wires (the constant 12 v source). In this manner the gauges will take up one Ignition fuse leaving three left for some other circuit, and one constant 12 v fuse leaving 2 more for something. You can also note that since the gauges will barely go over 1 amp even with all of them in series there is still room to grow on that very circuit. There are some instructions in the spreadsheet and feel free to YouTube some installation videos. There is a guy who used it to install a air/fuel ratio gauge with a O2 pump that required an external circuit.
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: http://www.batinc.net/mocal.htm. 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 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.
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: http://www.volvo-forums.com/t21128-ster ... -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.
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 FCPeuro.com 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.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 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: http://www.___.com/forums ... hp?t=37869
Robert DIY's Head Replacement for Volvo 850: http://www.atthetipwebs.com/technologyi ... 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.
https://www.fcpeuro.com/blog/posts/volv ... 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.
Act fast - Must sell NOW! Must sell before June 14th!
Her name is "Ruby" and she's a very red 1988 Volvo 740 GLE Turbo Intercooler Wagon with 5-spd, PS, PB, AC. She has factory alloy rims and deluxe stereo with 4 speakers. Ruby has spent her life mostly in the dry northern Colorado climate. Decent paint, solid body, some dings and whacks common to mileage but my pics will show nothing serious. Ruby has deluxe black leather interior. Power windows, sun/vent roof and locks all work and all glass is good.
Have kept all repair notes and records of my ownership and many that came with Ruby. She runs but is in need of a good tune and some common maintenance. Excellent potential for a Volvo hand who knows how to do it. Has a good clutch and battery. Nothing missing if you want a great parts car.
Must sell, $500/offer. Payment by cash or direct transfer to my bank (sorry scammers). PM/Email or call 970-568-7816. Thanks!!
I now have got my boost leaks fixed, RMS replaced no more oil leaks and the car hits target boost every time. I'm feeling better about my 19T conversion as the car is pretty darn quick but I feel that it could be better. So I figure a Snabb drop in would help everything out, denser air, less lag, less timing pull?, less pressure drop, looks cool, better A/F ratios? I did look at the EBAY ones and for a few bucks more why not go with a guy in the Volvo community. I'll post some pics (like you've never seen one) when I have it in hand. I did take a few minutes and inspected the stock one in the car now and noticed that the passenger side of the top tank is all damp/oily so I'm figuring also that the tank seal is on it's way out pretty soon anyway as it's old. I may need to start looking into brake upgrades besides my cross drilled disks and upgraded brake lines.
EDIT: I've had few people already ask me if the ARD tune I was previously running bent my rod: I'd like to nip this in the bud RIGHT NOW and say that NO, the ARD tune was NOT present at the time of the rod bending incident. The ARD Green that I had in place before upgrading turbo, etc, etc was nothing but a grin inducing tune with zero issues for well over a year of running time. I don't know exactly what caused the rod bending incident, and I don't care to speculate at this time --- but I can accurately state that it had absolutely nothing to do with ARD. Some of you are aware I recently bent a rod. The following is a review of the do88 intercooler and rip kit (p80 drop in) I had written up beforehand, with the intention of posting here but I never got around to it. I planned to follow up with my impressions when running the 19t ... On that note, I went through tuning with it installed and in the end had a handful of pulls at about 21psi with it installed -- I can say that it certainly was a very FUN car to drive, and I believe the intercooler upgrade to definitely be a good part of that equation. Without any hard data to publish, you can see in the pics included here that the stock intercooler clearly pales in comparison. It's a very solidly crafted and well thought out kit that provides a very tidy install in the engine bay. Also, it has proven to be very service friendly, as I have had various pieces on and off multiple times for various reasons... anyways, here's what I never got around to posting: I recently upgraded to the do88.se intercooler and rip kit ("big kit" as they call it) for my '96 855R / auto trans. I'm running an ARD green tune on stock 15g and no other mods. I do have plans to upgrade my turbo/etc in the near future, so I got a head start with this drop in intercooler and plumbing. I normally would shy away from this type of mod with a configuration like mine that is so close to stock, but after completion I will say that I was quite impressed with the results of a few 2nd-3rd gear test runs. The car pulls noticeably better in the mid-high revs. Throttle response is perhaps slightly improved. I noticed no change in engine or intake noise levels (a bonus in my book). I can't wait for the summer, where the stock intercooler falls short in my climate (Louisville, KY) There is no doubt in my mind that this is a far superior intercooler and plumbing setup over stock, and I feel confident that it will be more than up to the task of my relatively simple 19t turbo upgrade. I, for one, am more than happy with this purchase -- it wasn't the cheapest date, but you get what you pay for. I really cannot find anything bad to say about it... The do88 people were EXCELLENT to deal with as well. The pipes are thick wall aluminum and really a work of perfect fitting art. I'm not kidding -- I generally consider myself quite critical of aftermarket parts, and this setup wins all around. The intercooler is a thick 2" core of bar and plate construction, with thick aluminum end tanks. All pipe unions are bead rolled. The hoses seem to be high quality, with 4 ply fabric of some sort in there. The clamps are your typical worm gear design, but they took quite well to torquing down with no signs of stripping (I use an 18v DeWalt impact. I'm careful with it, mind you, but the clamps really took more than I was expecting) I weighed the stock and do88 intercoolers (with me holding them on a digital bathroom scale, so keep that in mind): - stock: appx 7.0lbs / 3.2kgs - do88 : appx 19.8lbs / 9.0 kgs Below is writeup on the install process along with several comparison and install pics. I hope this proves helpful to some of you considering the upgrade. To install, I gave in and removed the radiator. I tried to do it without, but it just wasn't working out. I had visions of rows of bent fins on my radiator, intercooler, and condensor. Step 1: remove all stock intercooler plumbing and piping. Get it out of the way. Step 2: drain your coolant into a shallow bucket. Run through a strainer funnel into some spare coolant jugs. Cap off and set aside. Step 3: using snap ring pliers or similar, remove the oil cooler retainers. Move the lines so that they stay up high in a vertical position so that the system won't continue to drain down. Do the same for the trans cooler side. Step 4: remove the 4 bolts that secure the condensor to the radiator. Remove the fan and shroud by removing two upper torx head screws. Remove the two bolts that mount the radiator to the frame (accessed from below). Remove the radiator and intercooler assembly. Step 5: Seperate the stock intercooler, bolt on the replacement. Note that the intercooler end tanks may rest against the radiator and promote heat soak. You can shim with a washer to provide an air gap. It might be splitting hairs at that point, but for 60 seconds of effort it makes me feel better. NOTE that you will have to shim the condensor bolts in the same locations, or you can possibly crack the radiator mount points on condensor torque up.. self explanatory when it's in front of you. Step 6: reintsall and use new do88 supplied bolts to mount the condensor to the radiator ---- To save on weight and to make life easier, I loosely bolted my intercooler & radiator to the car first, but this made bringing the condensor back up into position difficult -- it wanted to wedge between the frame and the intercooler. Doable, but leave those radiator mount bolts loose. Hook up your oil and trans lines, make sure the retainers are properly seated / snapped in, and wrap each with a zip tie. Reinstall fan and shroud. Step 7: loose fit the lower hose and lower pipe. Don't forget to put your clamps on first... On mine, the lower hose needed to be bottomed out on the intercooler neck and it could basically only point one way, which followed the fan shroud IIRC. It's a little difficult to fit, but not too bad. Now fit the throttle body hose. Note that the IAC outlet is not very long, so the clamp needs to sit fairly high up --- in the pics you can see where my IAC clamp was installed and that was TOO LOW. That hose blew off after a couple of hard pulls. When I reinstalled I again managed to put the clamp on too low. It has to go up pretty high. No big deal, just be aware. Step 8: Upper intercooler coupler -- Install this hose so that there is enough material to get a good clamp around the upper intercooler inlet, but don't overdo it -- having the extra hose pointing out towards the motor is helpful when installing the upper pipe for optimal cam cover clearance. Install the turbo coupler, install and adjust the upper pipe. Step 9: refill with coolant, double check all hose clamps and unions, and go drive! side by side core width side by side comparison core internal comparisons: pipe comparison: d088 hoses: spacer washers: overhead install view: lower hose and pipe detail: throttle body hose: cam cover clearance detail: installed over engine plumbing: