Volvo 850 Tuning

"850 shows aerodynamics are not needed with lots of power!"

Following success in the Touring car championships, Volvo carved out a name for themselves.

Today there are lots of tuning options and upgrades for the 850 and if you choose them wisely you can have an awesome supercar chaser.

Volvo 850 Tuning

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the 850. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care

Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Our aim in 850 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Spending a little money on the engine and handling will transform your car into a very credible performer.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power, so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

850 Engine Tuning Mods.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades, 

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.

By raising peak power you maintain economy and reliability. A fast road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine. Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. You can get more snappy acceleration by fitting a fuel pressure boost valve. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. When increasing your fuelling you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Volvo 850 Intake and Exhaust.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit. On small engines you will actually lose low down power so we suggest you use a panel air filter instead. Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but do not go too large. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Gas flowing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. When you start tuning your 850 you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. Turbo engines are just begging to be custom remapped.You will see big power gains on most turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective modifications.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are harder to add than superchargers. Turbos give boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Volvo 850 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 850, big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your top speed will be due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. Although some people have gone larger, we would stick to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 850 options in more detail with our 850 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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