AutoTunes Roll Out - Engines


The mother load, the life of our cars how well it has served us through the years. Our engines are a vital part of our cars. Engine Tuning can describe a wide variety of adjustments and modifications, from the routine adjustment of the carburetor and ignition system to significant engine overhauls. At the other end of the scale, performance tuning of an engine can involve revisiting some of the design decisions taken at quite an early stage in the development of the engine.

“Before you even start tuning your car, ensure that it is correctly serviced and running efficiently”

1.4 Liter Engines

These are the smaller engines, they are relatively solid and can withstand a fairly good redline usually higher than some of the larger capacity engines. As these engines do not produce much power there is not much of a gain to be had from them. Adding an induction kit and exhaust will make the car harder to live with. Well one thing you can do for your engine is increase the fuel by getting larger injectors. Often models in the same range with larger engines have compatible injectors so see if the injectors from the 1600cc will fit your 1300cc engine.

1.4 - 1.8 Liter Engines

These are the mid sized engines, actually a very wide band of engine types and sizes. Out of these you would get a reward tuning them. I would recommend a sports exhaust particularly on the higher revving Japanese engines.An induction kit wouldn’t be a good idea at the moment but a panel filter which is a direct replacement for the standard paper air filter is a good compromise. as we move up the engine size, you will start to see gains from the addition of forced air induction either a turbo or supercharger. Because you are adding pressure with forced air induction you should seek to reduce the compression ratio of the engine and run at a relatively low boost level. Addition of Nitrous Oxide injection can also yield some silly power gains. Fast road cams will have a good effect too but not in isolation - to free up the power generated by the cam you will need the sports exhaust and a better flowing air filter.

2.0 Liters Going up to V6 V8 Engines

These are the big Macs. They tend to provide much more low down torque than the smaller engines and all have good tuning potential. Inductions kits generally work quite well as do sports exhausts of 2.5-3inches in bore diameter. The larger the engine the more you have to gain by adding a sport computer or reprogrammed ecu. I wouldn’t add turbo if i were you due to the internal modifications that would need to be applied, but mild supercharging is still beneficial. CAMS would also have a good impact on the performance of these engines, especially the silky smooth V blocks, but as the gains are much bigger than with the smaller engines fuel uprating becomes vital or you run the problems of running too lean. Temperature control is vital as the larger cylinders produce and hold a lot of heat. Ensure your cooling system is up to spec and use water wetter to raise the boiling point of the coolant. Overheating can be a major cause of engine failure.

Diesel Engines

Well we all know that they run differently to petrol engines in that the compression within the cylinder causes the fuel and air to burn as the pressure increases. The big problem with diesel engines is that they have very high compression ratio’s and the fuel does not burn as quickly as petrol engines so typically the engines have much lower redlines. his is why many performance diesels come with a 6 speed gearbox with low ratios to cope with the relatively short power band. Manufacturers have experimented with pre warming the diesel before it goes into the engine and various methods of direct injection so it is actually quite hard to give general tuning advice. With nearly all Turbo Diesel engines there are quite silly power gains to be had with a remapped ECU - or the addition of a piggy back ecu which takes over much of the timing calculations. ‘Chipped’ diesels are still very economical and users have reported that they are much more free revving and easier to live with. Servicing is vital though to keep the engine running at peak efficiency as a chipped engine is quite unforgiving.

Turbo Engines

You got everything you need in this engine if you ask me. A straight remap of the ECU yields a lot of extra power sometimes as much as another 25-30%. Turbo engines have to cope with a lot of stress so most leave the factory in a very strong state. You can upgrade to a twib turbo engine to help improve power even further but with this route all other aspects of tuning should be explored to release the full power available (Sports exhaust including flowed down pipe, induction kit with a cold air feed, larger valves and flowed head, bigger injectors and a larger more powerful fuel pump, strengthened bottom end of the engine if you are increasing the power by more than 50% of its standard spec). Always remember when you increasse the amount of fuel so should you increase the amount of air, mpst engines are self adjusting but the ratio must be fastidiously maintained.

With nothing much to say, enjoy your tuning. If you have any questions please ask.

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