The B234F Engine - 16 valve DOHC
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Volvo made the B234F - a 16 valve version of the B230F for 740GLE / 940GLE cars from 1989 to 1993. It is a sweet engine but it does have pros and cons, like any engineered device. See the B234F image library for some images of this engine. See also the Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars under 'Engine: Seals, Belts, Crankcase Ventilation' for some service info on this engine.

Discussion Board: Join in and let us know about your B234F

The Canadian Volvo Exchange - Nice forum for us Canadians. I have posted a thread in the topic area The Skid Pad Lounge & Gallery for the B234F 16 valve engine. Do join in.


  • It produces almost as much peak power (153 HP) as the turbo (161 HP) version of the B230F without the turbo lag, engine compartment heat, maintenance cost, replacement cost, etc. of the turbo.
  • The 4 valve / cylinder design tends to give an engine that likes to rev to develop its power. Low rev torque is moderate so 'off the line' performance is not as good as the turbo, which has a higher torque at low rpm. But keep the revs up a bit and this is a sweet engine. Midrange performance is nice, making for good passing and highway performance.
  • It is an interference engine, like most higher performance, modern 4 valve / cylinder engines. This means that should the timing belt let go, then the valves meet the pistons. This makes for a costly repair. If you are handy, you can service the timing belt and the belt for the balance shafts yourself with no special tools. Service should be done at 80,000 km (50,000 mile) intervals without fail. While you are at it, be sure to replace the bolt for the oil pump (it has been known to snap) and replace any suspect sprockets. The bottom sprocket was originally made of plastic on some early models. Be sure to replace it with a metal one because the plastic one has been known to fail in very cold weather. The parts are not exactly cheap but this is one place that you don't want to try to save pennies.
  • This engine has two balance shafts to smooth out the engine. These shafts are driven by a single belt which should be replaced at 80,000 km (50,000 mile) intervals without fail. If this belt breaks, it could take out the timing belt and destroy the head and pistons (see note above on the interference nature of this engine).

Owner Registry (people who have a car with this engine and who are willing to share tips, might have spare parts, etc):

    Contact me to add your name or modify the info provided
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