Missed last week? Nooo! Anti-miss it now: Volvo Performance Suspension Upgrades. Take the Fast Friday Poll.
Tune a HPT or LPT. Wait, a LPT?
I received a request from a FF subscriber a week ago about suggested upgrade routes for different models. This subject could be lengthy enough to cover a few Fast Fridays so we’ll keep this focused on the main Volvo models and engine configurations that are most common and frequent in the US market. This week we’ll cover the differences between the LPT and HLP engine blocks.
Upgrading a LPT Low-Pressure Turbo
XC70, 1997+ GLT Models
- 13G turbocharger stock on all LPT
This isn’t to say the LPT engine isn’t a good platform to start from for performance. Upgrading the stock LPT turbo to a larger 16T or 18T isn’t as crazy as you might think. The added compression is a factor but doesn’t prevent these engines from generating some serious performance increases.
Case in Point: A 16 PSI GLT
I have a current customer with a 2000 S70 GLT FWD with a 19T installed, and while this car is ME7, which means there are more sensors to help the ECU manage this increase in flow, it’s been a real surprise to see how far we can push the engine without running into detonation as quickly as we expected. Running the 19T at 16psi for over 40K on the odometer since the upgrade and tune, we’ve been very excited to see how much sturdier these engines are than we initially thought. This particular setup isn’t something that I would advise most folks but since he’s local and a friend we’re working together to explore the limits of the LPT blocks. With some water injection and perhaps an intercooler we’re looking to run 18psi on this block later in the fall.
Upgrading a HPT High-Pressure Turbo
R, T5-R, Turbo, T-5 Models
- 15G turbocharger stock on 850, R, T5-R
- 16G turbocharger stock on Euro-spec 850 R and 70-series Volvos, except...
- 18G turbocharger stock on V70 R on model year 1998 and 1999
- 19G turbocharger stock on V70 R model year 2000
images courtesy iPD
At the end of the day each has its value and it’s place in the Volvo world. I for one would not trade my 99XC with 16T and Green tune for an HPT in the same car even if the peak power was higher. I need the additional off the line torque to keep the car feeling nimble and ready to ‘pounce’. At the same time I love going for a drive in the 18T 850 with M4.4 Blue tune I have as well... but for an entirely different reason. Get to know the folks in your local Volvo community so you can get to know the different engines, supporting mods, and driving characteristics that each configuration can provide. That will help you make the performance and upgrade choices that best suit you better than any article can!
Not sure what engine you have in your car? VIN will tell you all you need to know to look up the specs on your engine and vehicle model. Use the resources here at MVS to get the info you need about the upgrade path that might be right for you!
Robert Lucky Arnold
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