How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

For those of you not faint of heart, who believe the Volvo 480 should have more torque and horsepower, find all you need to know in here.

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MisterH
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How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by MisterH » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:19 pm

Good Day
I am thinking about taking on that TwoTone on eBay at the moment as a project to see if more power could have been got out of the engine without adding a turbo and keeping the car as original as possible, call it a hypothetical 'what might have been' if you would.

The criteria I am setting myself is that the bhp of the car must be preferably around 130bhp, or at the minimum, 120, the same as a turbo, but N/A of course, and, as I am not really a fan of 'modded' cars, the car must be either modified with period correct parts, or kept as close to factory condition, or made to look official.

Is this possible? how easy is it to get a catalysed 480TT to turbo levels of power or above, but not to ludicrous, what would I need to do?
or am I delusional :crazy:

Many thanks
Ben H
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jamescarruthers
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by jamescarruthers » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:45 pm

First step would be to de-cat obviously. However, bear in mind that after a certain year the car MUST have the Cat installed. '92 must be close to the limit. I think Sylvia ("Dragonflyjewels") has mentioned this last limit so it might be worth giving her a PM.

Also, blank off the EGR system if it has it.‎

Don't fit a performance filter as the original setup is apparently a work of art (read on here years ago ) and a 'performance' filter will let too many fine particles through. 

I wonder if an earlier ECU ‎can be dropped in if necessary? I think the pins stayed the same after the small early change with a few pins from B18E to F. This might not be necessary and should be down to your judgement after removing the Cat.

But you will never get turbo levels of power unless the ECU is remapped, which noone has ever bothered to do for the N/A model and I'd think are unlikely to ever do.

What about dropping a 2.0 N/A engine in to it? There's not much between the two from what I hear, with day to day driving.‎

1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

100
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by 100 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:37 am

Interesting thread! I can't keep my '92 Two-tone in London from April next year due to the ULEZ so I was considering swapping the engine to the 1.7 turbo - to create 'my' ultimate 480.

That being said, I'm not really in a position to do this apart from sourcing an engine and loom, getting a couple of mates round and giving it a go. So if there was a way to extract more power without such drastic measures then it would be appealing.

As it happens, I am dropping my 480 with the guy that looks after my Clio V6, to hopefully solve the my gearbox/engine mount issue with a home-made solution. I plan on asking him how it might be possible increase the power by as much as 20 bhp as I think that's what it needs as a minimum. He specialises in Clio V6s but used to work on rally Metro 6R4s and Porsche refer to his expertise when rebuilding historic racing cars - so I'm hoping he has something to say! Although, I must admit I am expecting: 'not easily and it's not worth the cost'.

It would be interesting to learn more about this cat 'cut off date', and how much performance this will release (minimal I'm guessing!).
1992 Volvo 480 ES Limited Edition
2005 Renault Clio V6 255
1962 Land Rover Series II

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brinkie
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by brinkie » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:51 am

You can't do much more with a 1.7 n/a litre engine, except for removing the catalyst and putting a hotter camshaft in. The B18E without catalyst did 109 bhp which is quite nice for that engine size.

The two litre engine was advertised by Volvo delivering only 109 bhp (80 kW) but every rolling road test confirmed that the engine is delivering a bit more than that. I think Volvo has done that to justify the much more expensive 1.7 litre Turbo engine option. That one was only capable of delivering more low end torque; the stock power output was roughly the same! Granted, you can soup up the output power of a 1.7 Turbo engine to 160-170 bhp, but prospective buyers didn't look into engine tuning and tuning wasn't offered by Volvo anyway.

If you can get rid of the catalyst the 2.0 engine will happily deliver over 120 bhp. Leave the oxygen sensor, the ECU depends on it - or you have to get rid of the ECU as well, put a hotter camshaft in it (I heard one of a B18E engine will do better) and throw in a MegaJolt ECU, with bigger injectors and a larger fuel pressure regulator. However, the design of the Renault F3R engine is severely limited by its reverse-flow design; making it very easy to work on (replacing spark plugs is a breeze!), but it isn't very rev-happy; above 5000 rpm the life is pretty much gone.

If you REALLY want to upgrade the power and are willing to part with a lot of money, put a Renault Clio RS engine and Renault JC5 gearbox in. Until model year 2013 Renault was using the same engine and gearbox family, with a sixteen valve cross flow cilinder head of course. You need to modify the exhaust system, but the subframe will accept the engine. But then you will be greeted with the heritage of the Volvo 480 chassis, because it basically is a Renault 9 with modified rear suspension and a different body; this car was not designed with high performance in mind.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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MisterH
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by MisterH » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:47 am

Thanks all for replying, the General picture is that is is quite difficult for minimal gains, changing the engine is out of the question, I don't have a car lift, or engine lift, and any work carried out is on the drive, supposing I was to alter my criteria, and put in a turbo, what would be the best course of action?
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by brinkie » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:07 pm

Considering your possibilities and limitations, putting on a turbo isn't as easy as it sounds. The engine has a different cilinder head, different inlet manifold and exhaust system, different electronics, different wiring loom, different sensors, completely different engine management (only the B18F engine comes close, but that is a rare beast and was long gone in 1992) and also different front suspension and brakes. Oh yes, also the gearbox is different to be able to cope with the low end torque and 1st and 2nd gear are different than the normally aspirated cars.
It's easier and a lot cheaper to source a car with the engine that you want.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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MisterH
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by MisterH » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:14 pm

brinkie wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:07 pm
Considering your possibilities and limitations, putting on a turbo isn't as easy as it sounds. The engine has a different cilinder head, different inlet manifold and exhaust system, different electronics, different wiring loom, different sensors, completely different engine management (only the B18F engine comes close, but that is a rare beast and was long gone in 1992) and also different front suspension and brakes. Oh yes, also the gearbox is different to be able to cope with the low end torque and 1st and 2nd gear are different than the normally aspirated cars.
It's easier and a lot cheaper to source a car with the engine that you want.
Ok, it was just a thought, thanks for all the advice, I do quite fancy a 1.7 TT, but worried about the output (or lack of)
I have read things about "unacceptable levels of power" but don't know the truth behind those sayings
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by dekkb » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:05 pm

There's always a way if you really want to do something. plenty of place can manufacture or even print parts to sort any issue, it's just a matter of how much time, money, effort and most importantly skill you have available. of course there's always the argument that with enough money the other three become irrelevant :lol: but I've never met anyone with that much money that owns a modified 480 :lol:
Previous: 440 turbo ( broken with an impressive loud bang) 2008
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Re: How to increase power on a 1992 car but while keeping as close to original condition as possible

Post by Alan 480 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:24 pm

can't beat cubic inches,

generally from 'K' plate a CAT was a 'must have', some issues around 'registration date / 'build date' etc but appears that 1st January 1993 is cut off date.

but if an engine swap is out of question I'm not sure if any real gains can be had by porting inlet & exhaust, bigger exhaust bore etc a wee tweak on the engine mapping etc and wot everybody above has suggested .. . .


most of teh above only help at higher engine revs, the two litre (for me) is a fine 'lazy engine' loads of low down pull . ..

alternatively look to shed weight in the car, as it's power to weight ratio that gives acceleration, so ditch air-con, all the trim ,fit grp moulded seats etc. leave space saver wheel at home, do you need rear seats ? :-)

sadly binning the power steering is not allowed unless you find a NON power steering rack , removal of pipes is an MoT fail .. .
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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