Volvo 260 Tuning

"The 260 could be a real surprise."

The Volvo 260 had a long production run in Europe from 1974 right up to 1993 so there are plenty of useful project shells around. With the top of the range T5 engines there are also plenty of tuning options around, with engine swaps being quite popular on the smaller engined models. Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the 260. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 260 with a nice fat peak torque band.

Enjoy your 260 to the full with our tuning tips and turn it into a fun car.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you (1784cc, 1986cc or the older SOHC engines) get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Volvo 260 Tuning modifications.

This will help to ensure you retain some economy low down. One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. When pushing up the power you will need to pay attention to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel. An aftermarket fuel pressure regulator will almost certainly give a snappier throttle response than the standard Volvo one. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this.

Volvo 260 Intake and Exhaust.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. For small 260 engine sizes go with a washable panel air filter. On larger engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help increase power. A good sports exhaust is essential to balance an induction kit, just adding an induction kit on it's own will do little to increase your power.

When you start tuning your 260 you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain especially if it is getting on a bit, so get yourself an uprated clutch. Turbo engines are just begging to be custom remapped but remaps make little difference on NASP engines.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is a good proposition though to drop in a T5 engine from a newer model along with the gearbox and drivetrain. Superchargers are generally easier to add than turbos. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could add water injection to control knock.

Volvo 260 Wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the 260, big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the higher the top speed will be due to the change in your effective final drive ratio the downside is the slower acceleration. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 17 inches.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 260 options in more detail with our 260 owners. It would also be worth reading our Volvo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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