Alfa 147 Tuning
"Turning your 147 into a real track car."
The 147 is a great car and handles really well. Alfa Romeo certainly know a thing or two about producing a sporty car.
Despite the great ride and handling in the standard car, there are still plenty of things you can do to improve this further.
They key to modding a 147 is getting the right mods, some sadly compromise this excellent car.
We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.
Top end power should be your overall aim on the 147 with a nice fat peak torque band.
The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars. The base engine really does make a big difference to the effectiveness of your 147 tuning modifications.
The following mods are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.
Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel
Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,
Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.
A fast road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fueling.
An aftermarket fuel pressure regulator will almost certainly give a snappier throttle response than the standard Alfa Romeo one! Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel but is only required if you have done extensive engine mods.
Alfa Romeo 147 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.
The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Derestricting the airflow into the engine is the primary part of tuning so get a better flowing air filter. Induction kits sound great but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticable power and actually rob you of power. Sports exhausts balance the flow of air throught the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie it is over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and lose power on most engines.
Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the 147's engine. Your clutch can seriously let you down if it starts to slip and the standard Alfa clutches are only ever good for power gains of upto 50%. NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications.
Despite the large cost involved, adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working and we have seen a number of Rotrex based supercharger kits for the Alfas.
It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.
Alfa Romeo 147 Wheel modifications.
Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your 147 is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no pronblems.
For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 147 options in more detail with our 147 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Alfa Romeo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.
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