Citroen ZX Tuning

"XYZ to the ZX"

The ZX is a good car tuning project to play with and was designed by Citroen to compete with the Astra, Golf and similar sized family cars.

The car is a good effort and certainly popular among tuners so let's take a look at the best modifications for the ZX.

Improving the handling should be your first priority in your ZX tuning project. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit stiffer dampers (remember that stiffer is not always better so compromise a little on stiffness and you will get a fantastic ride quality), bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances. ZX suspension is pretty soft and as it gets older the handling really starts to suffer.

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

With just a few mods you can transform your ZX into a fun car, beating larger cars on the track and being a fun car to drive on a daily basis.

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars. This means that although you can do modifications to engines lower than the 1.6 you will not really get much of a return from it.

Citroen ZX Tuning modifications.

One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. When pushing up the power you will need to pay attention to the fuelling. The standard ZX fuelling can cope with most mods but if you go with a supercharger kit you certainly need to look at fuelling. More power needs more fuel. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. When increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Engine work like a fast road cam, a 3 angle valve job and porting and polish the head are the top ZX tuning mods you can do. So lets look at the engine tuning options you have on the ZX. Many owners go with inductions kits and sports exhausts but the gains on these, especially the induction kits are questionable. A sports cat will free things up and make the top end of the engine seem much more responsive.

Citroen ZX Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are your first consideration. For small ZX engine sizes go with a washable panel air filter. On larger engines we would also recommend a sports panel air filter and you need to ensure that the intake gets plenty of cold air. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find this will actually slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

Gas flowing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools and you are guaranteed a power increase and will also notice that economy improves (providing you don't exploit the extra power).

When you start tuning your ZX beyond 30% of standard power you may well find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch.

Citroen ZX Wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the ZX Big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this is due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss ZX options in more detail with our ZX owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Citroen tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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