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V40 D3 2013
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, new member here!
I drive a V40 MY13 with the older 5-pot D3 engine (D5204T6) and even though I was very happy with it around town, I found it lacked poke when accelerating to highways.
So I had it upgraded to D4 power with the Rica OEM upgrade (a copy of Volvo D4 tune?) to 177hp and 400Nm. The top-end poke is now sufficient for me but I find it suffered on low-end power. I have managed to stall it a few times (manual) and it has a very sluggish feel down near idle and especially when changing from 1st to 2nd gear.
Anyone here who drives both D3 and D4, sound familiar at all or...? Something wrong with my car or a feature on the D4 tune?
Engine air filter ok, intercooler cleaned, EGR and DPF in use. Full boost 1.6 bar, and as I said; top-end power seems just fine.
There is now a power surge at just under 2000 rpm that I do not remember being in the D3 tune. Read somewhere long time ago a comment on the D3 being more laid-back and the D4 more twitchy and I have to agree. Could upgrade to Rica Stage 1 with 201hp/451Nm if it would help but I don´t like to put that torque on my clutch and M66D gearbox with 450Nm max rating.
Thoughts?
 

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I have a D3 with the polestar tune, also with D4 power 177/400.

Compared to the standard D3 there seems to be less initial shove, but once the revs start to come up it moves fine.

I believe torque moves up the rev band by 250rpm, so you'll need a little more revs than a standard D3 when low down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good to hear similar experiences, my guess is engine is ok, it is just a feature of the D4 tune. Or perhaps an "illusion" of sorts on my part when comparing low and top-end power? The problem is that I don´t like it, I would like some more low-end grunt, especially when mine is manual, with automatic this is perhaps not so noticeable. I bought a diesel so that I would not need to rev it :D
 

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I think the issue with the 5 cylinder D3 is that it is single turbo, so limited in what they can do across the whole rev range.

The D4 tune gives you much more mid range, but there is a dead spot from idle until you hit 1750rpm.

In the standard D3 tune there is much more available from idle and peak torque starts at 1500rpm

Mine is an auto, I've learned to drive round it by giving it more gas initially and waiting for the power/torque to come in a bit later after a short delay but do miss the instant pull of a standard D3.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yes of course, a single turbo always limits what you can do, VGT sort of expands this a little bit. Driving my fathers S60 D4 VEA is so nice because of the smooth power delivery.
When the only difference in older D3 and D4 engines is the software, I really can not see why I can not have the low end grunt of D3 and top end power of D4?
My very uneducated guess is to make the D4 seem or "feel" so much more powerful with the power surge.
In fact I find the new VEA D4 a bit boring and somehow expected more...until you look at the speedo and first then realise how fast you have accelerated.
So in that respect my D4 actually feels more powerful. Custom maps perhaps but it is gonna cost, Rica was in fact not so expensive.
 

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I've also found that I'm actually better off running in Drive rather than Sport mode with the auto gearbox.

With the D4 tune, both power and torque drop off very quickly after 3250rpm, so much so that you are better in a higher gear rather than revving it out to the normal upshift point.

Although the Polestar map is supposed to change gear shifting, in sport mode it's wasting a lot of performance.

Curiously, sport mode feels faster but drive mode is actually faster as sport mode also wastes time down shifting several years when you don't need it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have similar experiences with the D4 VEA with automatic, rarely use Sport mode because I feel it revs unnecessarily high. Then again there it might actually help because of the second bigger turbo, max power comes at just over 4000 rpm.
In my own car I try to upshift at somewhere between 3500 and 3700 rpm, max power should be in the D4 Rica OEM tune at 3640 rpm. Mid-range pull is spot on.
Sadly the dyno charts from Rica do not explain what I am feeling near idle, low-end torque should be about the same, if not slightly better but no, not getting it?
 

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There's a great website I use for performance stats.

The power & torque curves for the D3 and D4 5 cylinder they have show the D4 tune being way down on torque initially at lower revs.

For example, at 1250rpm the D3 is putting out over 300Nm of torque whereas the D4 tune has only 200Nm.


 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the charts, they seem accurate in the way I feel the engine to behave. My main gripe in the D4 tune is that big dent in power and torque up to 1750 rpm as you said (that Rica charts do not show). I had the original D3 tune for a year so got used to it and never had it stall, now myself and others have had it stall several times. Quite a difference at low revs, any logical or technical reasons behind this kind of curve? Might have to upgrade to Stage 1 just to see if I can get a more sensible power delivery...
 

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From what I've been able to find online, it seems to be a limitation of the turbo and the higher power tune.

Reviews of the 5 cylinder D4 when new do mention the lack of torque below 1500rpm.

I think it's something that they fixed later with the twin turbos on the 4 cylinder models.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, now mine is remapped to 201/451 and my first impression is that the low-end-sag is gone, will have to drive more to get a feel for it.
I could do well without the extra last 50Nm if I could get a stable and usable 400Nm but it is what it is...
Driven both old D5 and new VEA D4 with twin turbos and can only agree they seem nicer to drive on lower revs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A quick update on my D3 with Stage 1 tune: the power delivery seems to be a bit similar to D4 tune, there is just more power "everywhere" so no danger of stalling it.
The power surge is now lower at about 1500 rpm but it is softer and much more pleasant. Also top end goes a bit further to around 4000 rpm. So very pleased so far.
Apparently not possible to get the instant torque of the D3 tune but this is the trade-off when getting more power, the car is more lively and fun to drive now.
 

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I had a D3, later modified by the Polestar upgrade and I cannot confirm that there is any lack of punch at low revs at all. I often read, that the D4 (= D3 Polestar) has it's peak torque at a higher rpm so the D3 must be punchier at low revs but that is not true according to the official torque curves and also my feeling. I read the figures different. For me this indicates that the D4 has the same Torque at 1500 rpm but then goes even higher until 1750 rpm, while the D3 is already chopped off at 1500. I could cleary feel this "limiter" and the Polestar upgrade made the engine much more "free" when revving it right from the start. Also, the Geartronic is noticeably improved in my view, it shifts faster without losing its smoothness that lets you drive the 2 litre diesel like a 4 litre V8 petrol.
So probably the Rica "OEM" tune is not quite the same as Polestar and I doubt it has the Geartronic software included, which helps to get the most out of the optimized engine software. So I don't felt a trade-off... for me the Polestar upgrade felt like it unleashed the potential of that engine perfectly.
 

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I've found quite a big change with the polestar upgrade is the gearbox downshifting.

In D it gently rev matches on downshifts under braking at low speeds causing pedestrians to look!

On faster roads in S mode it's quite aggressive under braking keeping the revs up and will have people in nearby cars looking around for a sports car.

In D at light throttle it will work its way up the gears quite quickly too, just like a modern sporty dsg car.

However on the automatic when pulling away from a stop it's noticeably different between D3 and D3 polestar/D4.

On a standard D3 automatic you can spin the front wheels quite quickly when pulling away.

On the D3 polestar/D4 there is no early wheelspin, just a delay of a car length or two then the wheelspin comes in as the bigger boost has built up.

It does reduce component wear though and once you know you can drive round it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting to hear differences in engine behaviour. When upgrading mine, I was was hoping for a "D3 with improved top-end performance" that @lemOnd seem to have got with Polestar?
Polestar was just sooo expensive I could not justify the price...
I can well imagine the Polestar upgrade enhances the Geartronic shifts, sadly mine is manual so in this case I will just have to improve my own shifting 😄
My experiences are more in line with @sportse in the way the D3 has an instant push that the D4 does not have.
My fathers previous S60 D3 A 2011 with 163hp/400Nm had also this delay in pulling away that took some time to get used to,
power came with a noticeable delay but then it came all at once.
Not very pleasing especially in wintertime, tricky to pull away without wheelspin.
 

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@Phosphated I did the update in sweden, as the cost was then around 40% less than in germany... I heard now that upgrade prices in germany have dropped significantly as the engine is end-of-life for years now.. I can only repeat, I did not feel a lack of instant power after the upgrade. But I can imagine it feels like that for some people because if the torque rises at higher rpms, the instant punch that they felt before does not feel so instant anymore. To me, the car felt perfectly refined after the upgrade and I thought it should have always been like now.. One thing to mention, the "old" D3 or D4 have a relatively large turbo which can cause some lag that the newer generation of VEA engines don't have, because here, the D3 has a single turbo, whereas the D4 has 2 turbochargers for less lag and a broader power band.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Soo... Now I have driven a bit more with the Stage 1 tune and some observations:
At motorway speeds the engine is VERY nice :D Not just the power but the engine character in general and noise and torque and...
Fuel consumption up by just a bit, not surprising.
So, all is sunshine and rainbows? Well, no.
The **** low-end-sag is still there in a way, not as bad as in the D4 tune but still noticeable.
My dad even stalled it one day when he borrowed it, stalling a 5-cylinder diesel when pulling away slowly...?
Thinking of getting the iSoftloader so I can get back the original D3 tune, at least for wintertime.
Even now I am having trouble finding grip on wet asphalt when the power surges, the original tune was way "kinder".
@lemOnd Yes, correct - a single VGT turbo will never be as good as two optimized turbos but I still can not
understand the way different behavior between the D3 and D4 tunes, when the only differences and in the software.
(the 5-cyl. D3 and 5-cyl. D4 are mechanically identical).
 

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I was reading an article recently about someone who had mapped their car (an old V70) and had similar issues.

Apparently it's due to limitations on the turbo - if you tune for more power they have to make the power higher up the range to avoid 'compressor surge' and protect the turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very much possible, now I am quite torn on what to do: the D3 was lovely around town (most of my driving) but the Stage 1 is so much more lively on higher speeds.
My car might have the wrong engine, the 2.4l D5 twin turbo is a nice engine, and so is the new D4 and D5 but the noise 😬 It just sounds so... crude.
At least this 5-pot sounds like and engine and I actually prefer the sound of the 2.0l 5-pot engines to the 2.4l ones,
no idea why but the 2.0l engines have a louder noise of sorts.
But in all seriousness, I might actually revert back to the original tune because of the more linear and softer behavior. It was easier to drive around town.
Will also have to look at an oil leak somewhere around the valve cover on the left side...
 
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