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Project: How to Improve Volvo 16v 740 with 171k miles

How to Improve Volvo 16v 740

Volvo 740 GL

Raleigh writes:

Hi, I recently owned a 1994 850 N/A and thank you all for the advice – however it’s been grounded and now gone. In it’s place I acquired a 1989 740 GLE 16V (171k) in great shape for $500 and am excited to start learning and working on it. I’ve done TONS of research and MVS seems to have little, nay ZILCH, on 740 16V cars (B234f engine).


The first thing that needed work was the muffler/piping/resonator – I replaced it all stock since no one else on the ‘net had any options, with a stock system from FCP Groten ($210 and great service). I’m about to replace some other odds and ends :

but I’m more interested in how to get more gut and speed out of my daily driver 740. I’ve researched modifying the air intake with a cone filter and heat shield for a couple-10 HP, but with the 16V engine everyone seems to discourage any other modifications. I understand the engine was an interference model with very touchy timing and pressure, but I’m looking for ANY advice or ideas on the matter. Even any reasons why I shouldn’t modify the airbox – it seems 16V was a rare contraption, but a solid one, so I want to work with it… but not damage it. I’ve gotta get to work and funds are not unlimited.

Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. If I get to the airbox mod and it works I will be sure to provide plans, pictures, and guide for anyone else who wants to try it!

FYI I’m an anxious and quick-learning novice with cars/Vovlos, be kind.

Tobugrynbak recommends:

“Job #1 Do the Timing belts! but you need to work out if you have a manual tensioner or an automatic tensioner. There are two different lengths of belts depending on which version B234F you have. The mention of manual or auto refers to which belt tensioner system you have not the transmission you have. With the manual tensioner system you have two rubber plugs on the timing belt cover, which gives access to the tensioner locking nut.
Irrespective of what you might have been told when you bought the car, give it a major service(plugs,filters,oils) and replace the timing belts.

Buy a workshop manual, I’ve only been able to find the Haynes ones available, there are manuals on CD but they’re not worth a squirt of bird poop IMHO.

Do a bit of lurking on the net, here is a place to go for information on the B234F motor timing belts.”

The only real difference between the “Cammer” B234F fitted 740 and one fitted with a B230 variant is just the motor.

I have a 740GL with a B230 motor as my daily hack, and I’ve rescued a 740GLE Wagon 8+8 B234F from the wreckers, soon to be my weekend warrior. I’m fortunate that I can do all the work myself but the Cammer motor is indeed unique and requires due respect with its maintenance.


Am I the only one with a 16 Valve 740? Questions…

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