Volvo B20 Engine Parts


The Volvo B20 engine is a 2.0L (1948cc) SOHC inline-four cylinder motor. It was used in the Volvo 245 from 1974 through 1983. The B20E and the B21E were introduced in 1981 with dual overhead camshafts, which raised power output by about 10% over their single cam predecessors.

The B20 is a cast iron engine block and was an evolution of the earlier B18 engine block.

  • The B20 is a cast iron engine block.
  • It was an evolution of the earlier B18 engine block.
  • Volvo used it in many cars, including the Volvo 240 series and 142 models.

2.0L (1948cc) displacement, 1,970 cc.

The B20 engine is a four-cylinder, in-line configuration that displaces 1,970 cc (121.7 cu in) and produces 84 kW (113 PS; 111 bhp). The compression ratio is 8:1. It has four valves per cylinder and features Bosch LH2.2 injection system with a distributorless ignition system (DIS).

The engine family includes:

  • B200 – 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 16v Inline 4-Cylinder 16 Valve Engine 220kw/300hp @ 5100rpm & 350 Nm @ 4000rpm
  • B230F – 2.3L SOHC 12 Valve Flat Four Cylinder Roadster Engine 130kw/173bhp @ 5400rpm & 215 Nm (159 lbft) @ 3200rpm

Maximum power at 5,000 rpm (97 kW).

The B20 engine produced 97 kW (132 hp) at 5,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) at 2,000 rpm. It was designed to produce it’s maximum power output at 5,000 rpm.

Dual SU carburetors.

The B20 engine block was a cast iron engine block. It was an evolution of the earlier B18 engine block, which itself was based on the B16A engine block. The B16A featured a single SU carburetor and produced as much power at 5,000 rpm as did the later B20 with dual SU carburetors. In other words, they had identical peak horsepower ratings because they were both rated at 140 hp (at 5,000 rpm).

Compression ratio of 8.8 to 1.

Compression ratio is the measure of the space between top and bottom of a piston. It’s also referred to as “crankcase compression.” Compression ratio is determined by dividing the volume under pressure in a cylinder by the volume of an uncompressed cylinder. The more air you can compress, the more power you can produce, and thus, more torque.

The camshaft works with your valves so that they open at just the right time for optimal performance. If a valve opens too early or too late during an engine cycle, it can cause major damage to your vehicle’s engine because it will not be able to run efficiently or perform well overall.

Single overhead camshaft driven by a cogged belt with a tensioner pulley.

  • The camshaft is driven by a cogged belt that is driven by the crankshaft.
  • The tensioner pulley is driven by a cogged belt, which in turn drives the timing belt.

This system ensures that there is always enough tension on the timing belt to keep it from slipping.

Cylinder bore was 3.25 inches by 3.54 inches stroke length; this engine had very oversquare dimensions. For example, the later B21A had an identical bore size but longer stroke length of 3.76 inches, thereby giving the B21A a greater displacement and power output while remaining in the same family of engine blocks as the smaller B20 engine block.

The B20 is a small engine, but it has a lot of torque. The B21A is bigger and has more power. The B20 and B21A are both part of the B family of engines.

The B20 was commonly found in early 70’s Volvos and produces great torque for its size.

The B20 was commonly found in early 70’s Volvos and produces great torque for its size. It was used in the Volvo 142, 144, 145, Amazon and P1800 models as well as the Volvo 1800ES series. The B20 is also found in 240s with an auto transmission.

The B20 engine came with a single barrel carburetor that was replaced by a twin barrel model when emission control laws were passed.


We hope you have enjoyed reading about the history of Volvo’s B20 engine. This is a great engine for anyone seeking the benefits of a small displacement engine that still produces good power and torque for its size. If you found this article interesting, please share with your friends on social media or leave us a comment below!

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