Alfa Romeo 33 Tuning

"Italian passion personified."

The Alfa Romeo 33's were popular cars and really good all rounders produced between 1983 and 1995. They had the performance, looks although some argue it has dated now and the handling was superb. The flat 4 engines have a distinctive burble that rivals the modern Impreza rumble.

The twin carb 1.5's are still powerful even by todays standards and the post 89 1.7 Flat four engine is the engine of choice.

Turning our attention to the 33s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

Following our tips for tuning your 33 you can improve on what starts out as a pretty creditable base to work from.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes as with all projects but even with the more modestly powered 33's you can do much to improve them. 

The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars. Turbo conversions on these are quite prohibitively expensive and purists would not like the turbo characteristics on Alfa Romeo's NASP based reputation.

The 1.3 and 1.4s best tuning prospects start with an engine swap, it saves a lot of time and expense. 

Tuning tips and articles

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

Tuning modifications.

These mods are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get started.

Getting the best mods for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motorsport mods just don't work well on the road and will make the car undriveable.

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Sports exhaust,Panel air filter,Lighter flywheel,Remap,Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),Alloy wheels.

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

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Engine balancing,Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger),Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves),Competition cam,Sports gearbox.

Peak power is all well and good but for a daily driven car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The whole aim of this article is to give a limited introduction of car tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.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 durations and increases 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 upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Most power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after modifications are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 33s uprated injectors.


Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Induction kits will only help to boost power if your air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Alfa Romeo 33 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 33 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 16/17 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

Alfa Romeo 33 Tuning modifications.

Doing this will help to keep the cars economy at lower speeds. One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling.

A fuel pressure boost valve will make the car more responsive and respond better. 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 33.

Alfa Romeo 33 Intake and Exhaust.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. For small 33 engine sizes go with a washable panel air filter. On larger engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help increase power. Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but do not go too large. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

When you start tuning your 33 you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch.

On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful, but will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. 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.


Please join us in our forum to discuss the 33 options in more detail with our 33 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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