Alfa Romeo 159 Tuning

"159 - a real drivers car."

The headlights and front design of this car make it look mean and moody.

It rates as one of my favourite Alfas in recent times and with the right mods you can have a stunning performance car on your hands.

The 3.2 JTS V6 engine lives up the menacing look and is the tuners choice of engine. Suspension gets worn out at higher mileages so if this applies to your 159 then handling modifications are usually your first port of call. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, lower drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in 159 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end - you need to carefully choose the right mods. Getting the mods fitted in the right order is also important if you are building your project car over time.

Use our articles to research and get the low down on each type of mod, you'll discover that many popular mods are not what they are made out to be.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


With our tuning guide your 159 can be a track day fun car and reliable daily family run around.

Alfa Romeo 159 Tuning modifications.

One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. A fuel pressure boost valve will make the car more responsive and respond better.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go 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. Most stage 1 mods can be carried out individually, whereas stage 2 mods generally require more work or the fitting of other parts.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,power clutch

Typical stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam, sports gearbox.

To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 159.

Alfa Romeo 159 Intake and Exhaust.

Let's now take a look at the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Maximum power gains come from a performance exhaust with a sports catalyst.

Don't waste time and money on fitting a full induction kit unless you have tuned the engine so much that the standard air box has become a restriction. On small engines you will actually lose low down power so we suggest you use a panel air filter instead. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 3 inches!

When you start tuning your 159 you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. NASP engines with the exception of the 3.2 v6 do not achieve big power gains if you remap them but with turbo engines this is another story. Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective.

We have seen some of our 159 owners sucessfully bolt on a supercharger (at low boost) and this would certainly be easier than adding a turbo.  We have seen some supercharger kits which have been well thought out and designed but these are quite expensive. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine.

Alfa Romeo 159 Wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. Large 159 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum. Remember to keep your unsprung weight as low as you can!

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 159 options in more detail with our 159 owners. It would also be worth reading our power tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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