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Old 10-08-2020, 02:17 PM   #1
Smorgesborg
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Default Stock B230F Performance and Dyno Numbers

So, I'm the owner of a 1986 Volvol 244 DL. It's in very good condition (the engine and body are, at least), to the point where it can get to the factory top speed of 108mph. It's a manual car, started with an M46 and currently has a 5.0L WC T5, so that should be taken into account.

I have looked literally everywhere in the forums and am unable to find dyno numbers for a completely stock B230F engine (in near new condition) with a manual transmission, and I decided that my engine is in good enough condition to set the baseline for the TB community.

Future plans are to install a built 531 head with a V cam, so these will also be useful to figure out power gains when that happens.

Anyway, here we go. In order, the pictures are the first dyno pull, the second dyno pull, the third dyno pull, the average, and the first dyno pull converted to dynojet from the original Mustang dyno graph. Final one is my car on the dyno.













Also, the whole album just in case: https://imgur.com/a/MhPIwNN

Not seen is my estimated crank horsepower. The dyno estimated the crank power at 115.6HP.

Gotta say, the dyno guy was tripped up by not having a tach. Only way we were able to calibrate the dyno was to take it all the way to redline, since we knew the engine would cut out at 6200.

Edit: The pictures aren't loading in, I think I broke TB.
EDIT EDIT: FIXED PICTURES

Last edited by Smorgesborg; 10-08-2020 at 03:32 PM.. Reason: Fixed pics, made them small
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:07 PM   #2
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Can you make the images even larger?
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:11 PM   #3
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Can you make the images even larger?
On it.

Edit: Sorry, can't do anything about it. Enjoy the high resolution. Zoom out?

Edit edit: big thank to esmth

Last edited by Smorgesborg; 10-08-2020 at 03:32 PM..
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Old 10-08-2020, 04:35 PM   #4
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That's HEALTHY for a completely stock B230F. The manual transmission and LH2.2 helps, for sure, but I also wonder if it still has an M camshaft in it. If it does, I wonder if the valve clearances are on the tight side. Also, I wonder what the ignition timing is.

By the way, you don't really want a V cam and a 531 head. The 530 head with port work and a V cam will be faster. The 531 is better for more aggressive engine builds that use a much more aggressive camshaft(12+mm of lift) than a mild V cam.

See my sticky'd thread in Performance for more references.

One more thing, what is the 5th gear ratio in the T5 you have? Do you have the 3.73 rear end(automatic car originally), or a 3.31 rear end? How's cruising in 5th gear for you?
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Old 10-08-2020, 04:44 PM   #5
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That's HEALTHY for a completely stock B230F. The manual transmission and LH2.2 helps, for sure, but I also wonder if it still has an M camshaft in it. If it does, I wonder if the valve clearances are on the tight side. Also, I wonder what the ignition timing is.

By the way, you don't really want a V cam and a 531 head. The 530 head with port work and a V cam will be faster. The 531 is better for more aggressive engine builds that use a much more aggressive camshaft(12+mm of lift) than a mild V cam.

See my sticky'd thread in Performance for more references.

One more thing, what is the 5th gear ratio in the T5 you have? Do you have the 3.73 rear end(automatic car originally), or a 3.31 rear end? How's cruising in 5th gear for you?
Definitely M cam. I have the full service record, and an engine rebuild is nowhere in there, just 5000 mile oil change intervals, up until I got it 4 years ago. The previous owner didn't mod it, other than the tech in the back to improve user experience. Tappet clearance looks stock, the peaks are right where Volvo said they'd be. (2750 RPM and 5400 RPM) Ignition is stock, chrysler.

3.31 rear end, 0.68 5th gear. V cam and 531 is to improve significantly top end power while still letting me pull almost like a diesel. Valve work's been done, as is shaving. Cruising and 5th is easy with cruise control. Staying above 75 on an uphill stretch, however, is not happening.

Last edited by Smorgesborg; 10-08-2020 at 05:18 PM.. Reason: Cruise experience added
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. Off topic from the thread, but I'm also curious what you think about in car vibrations and noise with that transmission... I'm hesitant to put one in my street car for those reasons. Our race car has one and it's fine for that use, though! Do you have a two piece driveshaft?

I have a good number of dyno pulls from stock to more wild, but haven't seen one that so clearly matches the advertised numbers and makes peak HP that high with an M cam. That's pretty cool.

You can't tell what the valve clearances are until you pull the valve cover and measure, though. You can use a timing light to verify what the timing is adjusted to in degrees, as well.

The 531 will hurt your low end power and reduce your "pull almost like a diesel" feeling you desire. The V cam will also move your powerband up, but it's a very mild cam that should create a decently wide powerband. Not as good as an ENEM V15 NA cam for a wide powerband, but still much better than the M cam that's in there now. You have hugely spaced gearing though, so you need a wide powerband. I would not put a 531 on in your setup if you're hoping for the best possible result. How much is shaved off the head? You'll also want a thinner headgasket while you're at it.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:30 PM   #7
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The Volvo Service Manual I have lists a B230F USA/Canada at 114hp/5400 RPM and 135 ft lb/2500 RPM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:40 PM   #8
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Vibration isn't really a problem, there's a bit of a rattle noise in first through third due to straight cut gears. Used a foxbody driveshaft and a yoshifab adapter, but those are very overpriced for what they are (100 bucks for suck a small chunk of aluminum), and make your own adapter if you can. ALSO: I used a mustang crossmember after I ruined/bent up the original one, as well as the factory foxbody transmission mount. The resulting install made the T5 be significantly lower than it was supposed to be, about 2-3 inches too low, definitely effecting the output shaft angle. I had to make my own long-throw shifter to get it high enough to be usable.

The noise in first through third was a real problem, but then again so was road noise in general. The solution was to put in a giant sponge.

I'll say this much about the timing: I'm running the cheapest gas I can get. If it was advanced, I'd be getting knock (or so I'd imagine).

The 531's got 1.5mm shaved off, will be using 0.036" head gasket. Shaved to increase compression and add squish, so I can maintain low end (10.4 CR, 8.9 DCR). V is to create a wide power band, 531 to add top end power. Overall aiming for a very broad and well balanced power curve.

V15 looks like it's got a bit too much overlap to make it viable for my use.

Last edited by Smorgesborg; 10-08-2020 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: Giving full answer to previous post
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:25 PM   #9
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Well done! Thanks for documenting how quickly the M cam loses torque and lets you down. Especially with a manual trans.
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Old 10-08-2020, 07:44 PM   #10
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Well done! Thanks for documenting how quickly the M cam loses torque and lets you down. Especially with a manual trans.
20ftlb lost from peak to peak isn't all that bad, imo, especially considering how low it reaches peak torque and how far it goes. Personally, I'm surprised about the lack of the "power dropoff" I've heard so much about, that once the M cam reaches peak it just flattens out.

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The Volvo Service Manual I have lists a B230F USA/Canada at 114hp/5400 RPM and 135 ft lb/2500 RPM.
https://www.volvoclub.org.uk/history..._engines.shtml According to this, peak torque is 136 at 2750, and peak power is 114 at 5400. The peak is right where it's meant to be.
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:01 AM   #11
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Vibration isn't really a problem, there's a bit of a rattle noise in first through third due to straight cut gears. Used a foxbody driveshaft and a yoshifab adapter, but those are very overpriced for what they are (100 bucks for suck a small chunk of aluminum), and make your own adapter if you can. ALSO: I used a mustang crossmember after I ruined/bent up the original one, as well as the factory foxbody transmission mount. The resulting install made the T5 be significantly lower than it was supposed to be, about 2-3 inches too low, definitely effecting the output shaft angle. I had to make my own long-throw shifter to get it high enough to be usable.

The noise in first through third was a real problem, but then again so was road noise in general. The solution was to put in a giant sponge.

I'll say this much about the timing: I'm running the cheapest gas I can get. If it was advanced, I'd be getting knock (or so I'd imagine).

The 531's got 1.5mm shaved off, will be using 0.036" head gasket. Shaved to increase compression and add squish, so I can maintain low end (10.4 CR, 8.9 DCR). V is to create a wide power band, 531 to add top end power. Overall aiming for a very broad and well balanced power curve.

V15 looks like it's got a bit too much overlap to make it viable for my use.
Thanks for the info on the T5. Maybe I'll do it one day, but my car has been on the backburner for years as I focus my Volvo tuning on the General Leif race car.

You don't know your ignition timing until you check it.

1.5mm off the 531 and a .036" is a good start for the performance upgrade. You don't really want a V cam, but even with it, the combo will be a slight upgrade on what the factory had for 136hp in Europe with the B230FX engines.

You REALLY want a larger cam than the V cam for the powerband and peak power you seek, though(or an A cam with its tighter lobe separation angle that will improve low end acceleration more than the V, even though it has less lift, but a 530 is a better match for that these low lift camshafts, too). The V15NA cam has less overlap at lift amounts that matter than the B, D, K and H camshafts that are all factory equipped and basically matches the V for duration numbers at low lift. It has more lift so it has much larger lobe area compared to the V, which means more power without drawbacks considering the similarities in low lift duration and overlap! It will make more power than the V cam everywhere, I will put money on it. You would not be dissatisfied. I personally wouldn't go less than the V16 NA cam in that setup, but I have closer gearing than you so the small reduction in torque below 2500rpm or so with the V16 may not be worth it for you.

Last edited by klr142; 10-09-2020 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:56 AM   #12
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I personally wouldn't go less than the V16 NA cam in that setup, but I have closer gearing than you so the small reduction in torque below 2500rpm or so with the V16 may not be worth it for you.
Considering I struggle on uphill, the V16 would definitely be worse, methinks.

The think I'd like most is a dyno graph of the stock B230 engine with the different cams, would really help put things into perspective. The camshaft timing spreadsheet makes the V15 out to have waaaay too much overlap for my tastes.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:11 AM   #13
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Considering I struggle on uphill, the V16 would definitely be worse, methinks.

The think I'd like most is a dyno graph of the stock B230 engine with the different cams, would really help put things into perspective. The camshaft timing spreadsheet makes the V15 out to have waaaay too much overlap for my tastes.
The V16 will make plenty of torque; it will just be at higher rpm. If you want torque at low rpm, you want an A, V15 or IPD Turbo camshaft and a 530 head with the smaller intake ports to keep the velocity up for better cylinder filling at low rpm. The 531 is not for low rpm torque.

You can swap in any of those cams and it will help so with going up hills in every situation except 5th gear. That’s ok for me! Shaving the head with a fresh valve job, or better yet, some port work, and a thin head gasket will give you even more torque to get up those hills. Your current gearing is horrible for naturally aspirated performance, though.

What are you looking at for overlap of the V15? It has less than other factory cams at reasonable lifts as mentioned above... Look at the cam spreadsheet that Shoestring has compiled(or see below).

Last edited by klr142; 10-09-2020 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: Adding more specifics. And I added more info below.
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:05 PM   #14
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What are you looking at for overlap of the V15? I just told you it has less than other factory cams above... Look at the cam spreadsheet that Shoestring has compiled.
I'm looking at Shoestring's camspec for the overlap. It's got twice as much overlap as the V cam.

Right now, I can produce 30hp or so at 60mph (1800 RPM), and about 50 when I get to 90 (2400 RPM) in fifth (derived from the dyno). Using online calculators, I apparently need 17hp in 60, and 50hp at 90 (which makes sense, since that's where I max out fifth gear). I don't need to make any more extra power in that region, and I'm pretty sure I can do that no problem with the shaved head and planned cam.

If the V15 can produce that power at the low end, I'll get one next year once I've saved up and am done with the interior.
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:29 PM   #15
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At first contact, the V15 definitely has more duration and overlap, but at 1mm and .050" of lift, the V camshafts has 12° and 7° of overlap. The V15 at those same lifts has 16° and 10°. Compare those numbers to the lowly B cam with 18° and 10° at the same lifts. Or the K cam with 22° and 16°.

Here's some more dynamic compression comparison info. I don't know which lift numbers this person is using for his duration and overlap measurements though, they're not listed. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=935234908

The V15 is a small, but more modern, camshaft that idles like stock and makes more average torque(and thus power) over the factory rpm range than likely every other factory equipped camshaft. You will make more torque from idle and above with the V15 NA cam, a shaved 530 head(probably not more than .030" considering your use and cam choice) and thin headgasket than your current setup, I guarantee it. The 530 doesn't need as much shaving for the same static compression as the 531 because it has a smaller combustion chamber. Or, you could unshroud the valves a little and shave more to get the same compression and have better flow in general.

Definition of an ENEM V15 N/A camshaft: A sport cam, stage 1 for stock lifters. A popular replacement cam for original, high torque. Cam is ground from a new blank and requires no valve adjustment if the lash was correct with the standard cam.

Definition of a cheaper ENEM V15 N/A camshaft: An A, B or K(loose valve clearances and advanced timing) camshaft.

Last edited by klr142; 10-09-2020 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:56 PM   #16
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I would add this to the list of links in the NA performance thread. Before now I haven't been able to find dyno numbers for a stock B230F. Data from multiple trials is also nice.
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Old 10-09-2020, 01:05 PM   #17
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At first contact, the V15 definitely has more duration and overlap, but at 1mm and .050" of lift, the V camshafts has 12° and 7° of overlap. The V15 at those same lifts has 16° and 10°. Compare those numbers to the lowly B cam with 18° and 10° at the same lifts. Or the K cam with 22° and 16°.

Here's some more dynamic compression comparison info. I don't know which lift numbers this person is using for his duration and overlap measurements though, they're not listed. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=935234908
....That's bizarre. Having more power and duration, but a higher DCR. Will probably have to adjust the timing or step up my gas.

Well, I'm definitely going for the V15 now, or at least I will be next year. Right now it's a bit too late and I'm tapped out for funds. Got any used V15's?
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Old 10-09-2020, 01:24 PM   #18
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I would add this to the list of links in the NA performance thread. Before now I haven't been able to find dyno numbers for a stock B230F. Data from multiple trials is also nice.
I will. I need to take time to put together a lot of dyno graphs that I already have and plug them into that thread as well.

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Got any used V15's?
Sadly, I sold my original one long ago. The one I have now, which may or may not be my original, is broken at the back bearing where the distributor drive would go on a 700/900 series car. I've heard of people having the rest of that machined off, tapping the back of the cam for a bolt, then bolting something on to mimic the end with success... If you want it, I'll sell it for $50.
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Old 10-09-2020, 01:42 PM   #19
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Been using a v15 n/a in my 93 wagon for about ten years now. The engine is basically stock otherwise. Makes power and torque all the way to redline. It's so nice having torque at 3500 rpm and above. Enem rates the lobe angle at 109 degrees for the V15 n/a. The lobe angle is 112 for the V15 turbo version. I have one of each in my cars. One of the best bangs for the buck I have installed in my Volvos.
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Old 10-09-2020, 02:03 PM   #20
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I would add this to the list of links in the NA performance thread. Before now I haven't been able to find dyno numbers for a stock B230F. Data from multiple trials is also nice.
Yep, that's the main reason why I did it. I've got the perfect engine to set the benchmark for stock power, so why not?

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Sadly, I sold my original one long ago. The one I have now, which may or may not be my original, is broken at the back bearing where the distributor drive would go on a 700/900 series car. I've heard of people having the rest of that machined off, tapping the back of the cam for a bolt, then bolting something on to mimic the end with success... If you want it, I'll sell it for $50.
If it's like that, I think I'll go to the WTB section once I'm ready.
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Old 10-09-2020, 02:39 PM   #21
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If it's like that, I think I'll go to the WTB section once I'm ready.
Robert(culberro) messaged me that he can fix it, so maybe it'll get fixed up and listed for sale in the future. You can also sell your V cam in the meantime, if you want. Or, slap it in your car NOW so you can enjoy more performance while you wait to do a larger upgrade next year.
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:11 PM   #22
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Robert(culberro) messaged me that he can fix it, so maybe it'll get fixed up and listed for sale in the future. You can also sell your V cam in the meantime, if you want. Or, slap it in your car NOW so you can enjoy more performance while you wait to do a larger upgrade next year.
Know how long he'll take to fix it/charge to sell it? Might definitely be interested.
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:19 PM   #23
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Know how long he'll take to fix it/charge to sell it? Might definitely be interested.
At my current work load probably 2 years
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:28 PM   #24
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530 head shaved 1mm, stock head gasket, V cam, Shell 87 octane. Balance of parts stock for application '91 245/M47. It does what you're looking to do, slightly better than the A cam did. That said, I'd bet the V15 does it better.

All these combinations could use more compression.
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:29 PM   #25
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530 head shaved 1mm, stock head gasket, V cam, Shell 87 octane. Balance of parts stock for application '91 245/M47. It does what you're looking to do, slightly better than the A cam did.
But your opinion is different than another person's!!!!! http://forums.turbobricks.com/showth...=344148&page=2

The A has a tighter lobe separation angle which makes for better torque coming out of corners. The V has more lift and more duration at .050" though, so it should have more peak power.
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