Tuning the Chevrolet Malibu.

"Putting some Malice into the Malibu"

We examine at Malibu tuning and report on the best modifications for Chevrolets flagship model the Malibu. Aimed at families it is practically sized, well equipped and has reasonable performance from the factory. We'll look at the best ways to tune it and squeeze out every last drop of fun it's possible to get from this chassis.

We have seen some awesome Malibu tuning projects and there seems to be quite a loyal fan base of Malibu owners with designs on reaching some pretty high power figures. With the right mods your Malibu can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid disappointment.

 

Tuning tips and articles

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

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the Malibu. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Our aim in Malibu engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Malibu make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handlign upgrades you can find!

Tuning modifications.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

This list of the stages and mods that are usually performed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get going.

Getting the best mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motorsport parts just don't work well on the road as it makes the car hard to control in slow traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:Panel air filter,alloy wheels,sports exhaust,suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),lighter flywheel,Remap.

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

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

    You need to keep as much low end power as possible and aim to achieve a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike. The whole point of this article is to give a limited introduction of car tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.

    It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motorsport 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.

    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. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your 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.

    Breathing mods are usually next up. Please note that WE DO NOT RECOMMEND INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air itnake has become a restriction. Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Malibu engines you should go with a performance panel air filter prefereble made from cotton.

    Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

    Head work including a head port and polished and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of Malibu tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs to be uprated - read our guide on clutches for more information. Turbo engines are just asking to be Upgraded. You will see big power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and big modifications for your money.Adding forced induction will see significant power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. 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. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

    Alloy wheel upgrades.

    Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Large Malibu 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.

    If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Malibu options in more detail with our Malibu owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Chevrolet 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 hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

    If you've enjoyed this page we would be very grateful if you could share a link to it on your favourite forums or on your social media profiles, it helps us keep going.

    Please Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...

    PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

    If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

    Feedback - What do You Think?

    Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

    Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

    Your Constructive comments on this article, I really want to improve this article with your help and suggestions.


    Please watch this video and subscribe to my YouTube channel.



Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).


BMW 335i - 2021 COTY

We gave the BMW 335i our coveted car of the year award, read more about this awesome car and see why 335i Tuning Guide

Tips for N54 Tuning

Tips for N55 Tuning

Popular articles

Diesel tuning
ECU remapping
double clutching
Induction Kits
Customize a car
Chipping cars
Modified car insurance
Insuring Track days
Diesel Remaps
MPG Calculator
Cleaning your DPF
Horizon 5 tuning


Induction Kit Intro

What is an induction kit and what does it do.
Read more...

Twin Scroll Turbos

Twin scroll turbos
Read more...

Wheel Painting

Painted alloy wheels – painting your wheels.
Read more...

Flip Paint

Getting a flip paint effect
Read more...

Tuning Mpg

Tuning for improved MPG
Read more...

2008 Car News

Review of the 2008 car related news stories
Read more...

MPG Calculator

MPG calculator UK miles per Gallon – calculate MPG
Read more...