Suzuki Vitara Tuning
We take a peek at Vitara tuning and report on the best modifications for this popular SUV from Suzuki. These are quite light and small (for an SUV) so will make a good tuning project and with the right performance upgrades you can substantially increase your driving fun.
You can do much to improve the performance of your Vitara with our step by step tuning tips. The key to Vitara tuning is getting the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.
Improving the handling should be your first priority in your Vitara tuning project. Drop the car by as much as 45mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances. If you intend to use the car off road then you should just stiffen the suspension a little, perhaps raising the ride height and fitting larger chunky tyres.
Our aim in Vitara engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque through the entire rev range.
Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size. The turbo diesel engines can be readily chipped or remapped for quite a noticeable power hike.
Engine tuning mods.
These are the mods that are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.
Getting the correct grade of mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motorsport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.
Stage 1 mods: Alloy wheels,Lighter flywheel,Remap,Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),Panel air filter,Sports exhaust.
Stage 2 mods: Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,Fast road cam,Power clutch,Ported and polished head,.
Stage 3 mods: Competition cam,Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves),Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger),Sports gearbox,Engine balancing.
Your aims when tuning should be a flat and wide torque curve. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a motorsport car. In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.
Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a bolt on part goes on a NASP engine. It improves the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU.
TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. If you find you have flat spots and surges after your mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.
Intake and Exhaust Tuning.
The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Please note that WE DO NOT RECOMMEND INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.
Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.
Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.0 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.
Head work including a gas flow (ported and polished) and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. A good fast road upgraded clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or expect a standard OEM clutch to cope. Turbo engines are just crying out to be Upgraded. You will see significant power gains on most modern turbochaged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and significant modifications for your money.
We've also come across some owners playing with twincharged conversions and making some impressively high power hikes.
Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is usually simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos increase power in exponential proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult. Superchargers will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.
Alloy wheel upgrades.
Because alloys are lighter they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the Vitara big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17-18 inches, although we know some of our members have installed larger rims with no problems.
For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Vitara options in more detail with our Vitara owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Suzuki tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.
Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.
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