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What engine is in the 1983 gle? And tuning question

Hi Fellas.

Could someone tell me what engine is in the 1983 GLE 244? 4 speed manual. Purchasing the car this week. Also advice for a basic power up, if I do a cam change and freeflow rear muffler. Is that a sensible cheap start? Then down the track, mild porting and bigger valves? What do you think? (No turbo on the cards). This will be a gradual project for myself and my son. Things we can do on a weekend. Thanks so much.



  • That's a B23E, in other words 2.3L engine with K-jet mechanical fuel injection.

    It will probably already have a k-cam, which is a reasonably aggressive cam. Not much to gain in changing it without also doing porting, bigger valves, etc.

    Free flowing rear muffler will definitely make it feel faster.

  • Thanks VolvoHordz.

    Volvos are new to me . I haven't even got the car yet and I've started nerding out already! It might seem strange that I'm asking about power upgrades when I have even driven a 240, but from what heard the sedans are slugish. Just planning ahead.😀 Thanks again.

  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    K-cam with a manual gearbox is a pretty good combination. I agree with @VolvoHordz the best thing you could do is a free flowing exhaust.

    You can also advance the ignition timing to 15 degrees or so (factory is 8-10 degrees) but you'll need to run 98 octane.

  • Just get it sorted to begin with, don’t mess with it until it’s running sweet and the KJet is all good. Once you have a good baseline, then start messing with it. The autos are the biggest thing that makes them sluggish, a manual car, regardless of which motor, is already way better in the “go” department.

  • Maintenance always comes before modifications

    This is a 40 year old classic car with unknown repair history

  • Thanks Fellas.

    Good advice. I'm seeing all these cool Volvos on Youtube and got a little excited.

    More questions..

    Is the mechanical injection tweekable in the future?

    Does any one have a 1983 aussie PDF brochure or manual or be able to direct me to a website?

    Thanks again for your help.

  • check out

    plethora of old information in there

  • The red '972' sticker on the timing belt cover is the last 3 digits of the engine's part number, which is 498972:

    B23E with Pulsair, K-Jetronic. 1336775 cam (i.e. K cam), and Bosch 0 237 002 017 dizzy. The parts book says it has a p/n 1317612 head, but I don't know what casting number that is. (The casting number for the head appears on the exhaust side of the head, and will be something like 1000161, 1000398, or 1000405 - known as the 161, 398, or 405 heads -ordered from least to most desirable. However, each casting has various different part numbers depending if the head's been drilled for Pulsair, etc, and the parts book doesn't link casting numbers to part numbers).

    Engines before #3650 are slightly different partswise to engine numbers 3651 on.

    Is the mechanical injection tweekable in the future?

    Who knows about the future? 😊 In the present, however, there's not really much that can be done with K-Jet to radically increase engine output. Fuel pressure checks, cleaning the injectors and fixing vacuum leaks helps it to deliver optimum performance for what it is. Ditching the Pulsair system and plugging the holes may be good for a couple BHP, but will then likely fail roadworthy.

    B23 engines with their M-rods, forged crank, and generous bearing sizes however do make for a very strong bottom end.

  • Thanks, Captain Ledfoot.

    I've just purchased the car and only have the rego papers, the car's being shipped.

    I only did a little research on 240's and watched a lot of YouTube before buying the car, so the info from OZ Volvo members is invaluable. Thanks guys!

    The engine number on the rego papers confirms it is a B23E. All the info is saying the B23E is a good motor. Higher compression and K cam (thanks Captain). I didn't know that when I bought the car, what a bonus! There I was just wanting a manual 240.... I thought they were all the same. Noice.

    Has anyone driven a NA B23E car and can compare it to another B23 equipped car?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on performance differences.

    Thanks again.


  • What are the intentions?

    You say you have not driven the car yet, so drive it then come back to ask something you're unsure of.

    Is this going to be a race, rally or just a road car? Whatever the case, I would like to make sure that some (if not all) of the 40 year old critical components are given some thought, nothing lasts forever after all

    Not a nice question, but what is the budget? You can spend a figure not too far from $10,000 restoring a car mechanically, specifically making the worn out engine parts, brakes, steering and suspension new again

    After all of this, you will still have a car that only has 140 horsepower, and in a vehicle that weights 1,300kg that will still feel slow. So if you're looking for a tyre smoking powerhouse, maybe the 244 isn't right for you. It will get you there in a reliable fashion, but not quickly

  • I do hillclimbs my 83 240 with its factory b23e. Has basic intake and exhaust mods. Runs great and pulls well but definitely isn't powerful. A decent set of sticky tyres will make you go much faster than any na engine mods you can do at a fraction of the price. Plenty of other things you can do to make the car quicker without touching the engine. Really depends on what you want to do with the car.

  • Thanks, Ramrod and Josh.

    I should be getting it tomorrow. I'll be going over it thoroughly. It'll be an ongoing project for myself and my son, so the budget is difficult to estimate, around $ 5000. Full service first, then suspension and brakes then onto powerups. I can do all the mechanicals myself no problem.

    List of things I'd like to upgrade:

    Tyres. Ive got the 14 by 6 meshies. Any recommendations on tyres?

    Lsd diff. (Hard to get? Not sure yet).

    Suspension and handling.

    Thanks fellas.

  • Congrats on the purchase and the learning potential for your son.

    Pay attention to the radiator flush and hoses,

    and check service records on cam belt and importantly the tensioner (bearing) and budget for new of both.

    Factor in Universal joints on front and rear tailshaft and the centre donut bearing on the rear shaft.

    Fuel pumps need to be quiet and replace fuel filter. For Intank pump undo the petrol cap and have a listen to pump.

    Engine and k-jet mechanical fuel injection wise, a lot depends on its current condition, and hopefully it all works and engine runs nice.

    Performance wise its pretty optimised as long as the engine has good life left and k/jet is running sweetly.

    Education wise its the suspension and spring updates with a few bushes that are more rewarding handling wise on the 240 and this carry over knowledge to the next vehicle.


  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    185/70R14 is the original tyre size. Personally I have found the best setup is a 195 tyre with sports tyre grip. It keeps the steering light and for a stock 240 it is plenty of grip. I use RE003s.

  • edited October 24

    Joshie asks specifically:

    <Has anyone driven a NA B23E car and can compare it to another B23 equipped car?.

    Sure, B23E is a smoother motor at idle with a bit more pull at lower rpm, due mostly to a slightly tamer camshaft, has crankshaft redesign with front harmonic balancer and more counterweights, a change to the flywheel (I think check check) if manual trans. Ign distributor advance curve likely to be different also.

    B23 is certainly the tougher engine as mentioned by others above. with more aggressive acceleration due to camshaft higher lift mainly. Designed for an era where higher octane fuel was the norm eg. called 'Super' back then = 98 now.

    Internally the bottom end parts can't be swapped between models as crank is fundamentally different in design (thrust bearing position, smaller bearing diameters, rods etc., plus front pulley offsets for ancillaries are quite different etc. K-Jet bits are swappable. B23E by 1985 had fuel filter at rear fuel pump (wise) rather than on engine firewall.

  • Thanks fellas.

    I picked the car up yesterday. It started easily and idles around 600 rpm. Driving it home was a blast, apart from the cabin fan and aircon not working 😪 it was awesome. It pulls like a train! I'm really impressed with the performance. Its got a sport exhuast and one muffler so is too loud. Spent 3 hours cleaning last night and tonight onto the maintenance.

  • Non-op blower fan will be caused by one or more of the following (from best to worst case scenarios):

    1. faulty fuse / high resistance in fuse holder lugs
    2. knackered fan switch
    3. dead speed resistor
    4. cactus blower fan motor

    Replacing the blower fan motor is one of the Volvo 240 Owners' Rites Of Passage.

    There's the proper way to do this job, or the butcher method. The proper way is to remove a lot of the lower portions of the dash and a lot of clips. tells the story - LHD and RHD methods are very similar for these cars.

    With yours being an '83, it's similar to everything else 240 partswise with the HVAC, until about YM 1990.

  • Thanks, Captain. Well lets hope it is one of those issues. I bought the car on gumtree from interstate. Had it shipped, i was told the air conditoner wasnt working, had a good look just now, and yes there is a compressor but no condenser! Bummer... But on a happier note the head is a 405, and the car goes like a rocket!

  • had a good look just now, and yes there is a compressor but no condenser!

    Is there an evaporator fitted inside the HAVC unit? What about the AC controls in the centre console, hoses, etc?

    My 1985 244 (Reddington, previously known as Big Red) has a York compressor fitted to the engine, but has no condenser, evaporator, or any other AC components. Looks like the compressor was installed in the factory, but the first owner didn't opt to have the dealer fit the AC.

    If you have the rest of the gear fitted, the condenser may have been removed due to a front ender by a previous owner and never replaced.

    Pic below shows the LH side view of an HVAC unit removed from a car and now sitting on a trolley at a 45 deg angle in my mainland shed. Note where the two rubber hoses spring forth from the box - they're the AC hoses; the TXV can be seen connected to one of them. The black butyl-covered rectangle to which they're connected is the evaporator.

    (hmmm, just realised that one's a 73 model HVAC, but they're very similar)

    Chances are that if you can't see the TXV on the LH side of the HVAC, you don't have an evaporator in there.

    If you're adding an evaporator to the car, there's a rectangular blanking plate on the LH side of the HVAC box which needs to be removed. Then for RHD vehicles, the evaporator slides into the cavity just underneath and below the air intake, from the left hand side of the HVAC. You don't need to pull the whole heater box out to fit an evaporator (dealers didn't) but there's 30+ years of dirt in there now, so I would these days, just to clean all the leaves and dust out of there.

  • Hi Fellas.

    I took it for rego today and got knocked back, 2 tyres needed, front parkers not working and cabin fan not working. The loud exhaust wasn't an issue! The tyres and parkers are no problem but the cabin fan is a PITA.

    I'm taking it to a sparkie on Wednesday to check it out, he said he would replace it if I could source a new blower motor. Any suggestions for a supplier? Also said he would put in the aircon if I can find the bits....

    Its really the cabin fan I concerned about atm, I just want to get it on the road. 😣

    Hope you can advise.

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