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Alfa Romeo 156 Tuning

"Italian Flair at its best."

Probably one of the most distinctive cars to come out of the Alfa Romeo stable. 

The 156 is a superb Alfa with a loyal dedicated fan base. There are plenty of performance tuners out there (if you know where to look).

With the right mods you can turn the 156 is a real stormer of a car. Power levels are limited only by your imagination and your budget.

To improve handling on older models, we suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm and fitting sporty bushings will tighten up the cornering and handling. Larger drops than 35mm will usually require arch work or the fitting of much stiffer shocks- especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Turning our attention to the 156s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end. A fast road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine but there are plenty of internal mods that can be done and supercharger kits really hike up the power. (You'll need pretty deep pockets to convert the engine to forced induction though.)

Don't forget to uprate the fueling when you are increasing the power above 40%. Tuning  makes the car more thirsty as more power requires more fuel (and air of course). Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this.

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With just a few mods you can transform your fantastic 156 into a fun car, beating larger cars on the track.

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 following modifications are usually performed by our members on the 156, but we suggest you decide how far you want to go and what your budget is before you begin.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

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.

Alfa Romeo 156 Induction kits and sports Exhausts.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Induction kits work well on turbo engines and larger engines, for the smaller 156 engines you should go with a sports panel air filter. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

When you start tuning your 156 you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. The larger v6 engines respond quite well to tighter timing and are certainly under stretched in standard form.

The largest power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine.

Alfa Romeo 156 Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Large 156 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 18 inches.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 156 options in more detail with our 156 owners. It would also be worth reading our Alfa Romeo tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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