Volvo B18 engine

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B18, B20
Overhauled Volvo B 20 Engine Front.jpg
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Production 1961–1981
Combustion chamber
Configuration I4
Displacement 1778cc - 1986cc
Cylinder block alloy Cast iron
Cylinder head alloy Cast iron
Valvetrain OHV
Fuel system Carburetor or Fuel Injection
Fuel type Gasoline
Oil system Wet sump
Cooling system Water cooling
Predecessor Volvo B4B engine
Successor Volvo Redblock Engine

This B18 was a straight-four automobile engine produced by Volvo Cars from 1961 through 1968. The five-bearing, cam-in-block engine, had overhead valves operated by pushrods (OHV). The B18 is quite different in design from its predecessor, the three-bearing B16. A larger 2-litre version called the B20 appeared in 1969.

These engines are reputed to be very durable. The world's highest mileage car,[1] a 1966 Volvo P1800, has run all its more than 4,000,000 km (2,500,000 mi) on its original B18 engine.[2][3]

Despite their OHV pushrod design, the engines can rev to 6,500 rpm.


Volvo B18 engine

The B18 displaced 1.8 L (1778 cc/108 in³) OHV engine and was used in the Volvo PV544, P210 Duett, 120 (Amazon), P1800 and 140 series. The B18 could also be found in the L-3314 and the Bandvagn 202 military vehicles. It was fitted to many Volvo Penta sterndrive marine propulsion systems. It was alto fitted in the FACEL-VEGA Facel III and the Marcos 1800 GT.

There are four variations of this engine:


Volvo B20 engine, rear

The B20 displaced 2.0 L (1986 cc/121 in³) and was produced from 1969 to 1981. All B20 engines displace 1986 cc via an 88.9 mm bore X 80 mm stroke on 105/108mm split bore centers (2&3 are wider apart than 1&2 and 3&4). The b20 engine was used from 1969 to 1981 in the Volvo 120, 1800, 140, C202 and 240 series, and also in the Haubits 77 Bofors howitzer. The design is virtually identical to the predecessor B18, simply with an enlarged 88.9mm (3.5") bore, thus most parts are functionally interchangeable, albeit with running changes to the manufacture & design of components.

There are four variations of this engine:

  • B20A: 8.7:1 Compression. Single carburetor version - 82 HP. First produced 1969
  • B20B: 9.5:1 Compression. Dual carburetor version - 118 HP with a higher compression ratio, fitted variously with dual SU or Zenith/Stromberg sidedraft carburetors. First produced 1969
  • B20D: 8.7:1 Compression. Dual carburetor version - 105 HP up to 1971 then 110HP from 1972 with a lower compression ratio, fitted variously with dual SU or Zenith/Stromberg sidedraft carburetors. First produced 1969
  • B20E: 10.5:1 Compression. Electronic D-Jetronic Fuel Injection - 135 HP. First produced 1971
  • B20F: 8.7:1 Compression. Electronic D-Jetronic Fuel Injection - 118 HP. First produced 1972 for lower emissions.

The B20E and B20F versions featured larger valves, and intake/exhaust ports and for 1974-1975 switched from electronic D-Jetronic to mechanical K-Jetronic

In 1974 the number of bolts holding the flywheel increased from 6 to 8 and the size of the connecting was increased. From 1975 the thread standard changed from SAE to Metric as Volvo switched over with the new 200 series.

The B20A was revived for 4 years for use in the C202 from 1977 to 1981

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guinness world records online, retrieved 7 September 2008
  2. ^, retrieved 7 September 2008
  3. ^, retrieved 7 September 2008