Daihatsu Charade Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning and performance parts on the Daihatsu Charade engine!"

One engine that keeps cropping up in emails and questions we get sent, is the Charade, and what parts work best on it. So we've put together this feature which covers our go to modifications that you should tune and outline which modifications we feel are the best.

This pages aim is detail the best approach to Charade tuning and show the best mods that work. Daihatsu Charade are awesome to work on and with the best uprated modifications like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will certainly maximise your driving opportunities.

History of the Charade Engine

First generation (G10, G20; 1977–1983)

843 cc CD I3 (Chile)
993 cc CB10/11/20/31/32  I3

Second generation (G11/21/26/30; 1983–1988)

Petrol:
843 cc CD I3 (G21; South America)
926 cc CE SOHC 6-valve turbo I3 (G26 926 Turbo)
926 cc CE DOHC 12-valve turbo I3 (G26 926R De Tomaso)
993 cc CB12/20/22/33/34/35 I3 (G11)
993 cc CB50/60 turbo I3 (G11 Charade Turbo/De Tomaso)
Diesel:
993 cc CL10 diesel I3 (G30)

Third generation (G100; 1987–1993)

Petrol:
847 cc ED10 I3 (New Zealand)
993 cc CB23/36/37/90[nb 3] I3 (G100)
993 cc CB51/61 6-valve SOHC turbo I3 (G100)
993 cc CB70/80 12-valve DOHC turbo I3 (G100)
1295 cc HC-E/F I4 (G102/112)
Diesel:
993 cc CL11/30 I3 (G101, hatchback)
993 cc CL51/61/70 turbodiesel I3 (G101, hatchback)

Fourth generation (G200; 1993–2000)

993 cc CB24 I3 (G202: Australia, Brazil)
1.3 L HC I4 (G200)
1.5 L HE I4 (G203/213)
1.6 L HD I4 (G201)

Tuning the Daihatsu Charade and best Charade performance parts.

Best Charade tuning mods

When talking about the ultimate modifications for your Charade engine, we are going to focus on the upgrades that provide the biggest return for your cash.

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

Best mods for your Charade

  1. Remaps - remapping provides the most power for the money, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they are doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Sports Exhausts - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - A New Turbo is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. Although one of the most costly upgrades it offers big gains.
  5. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting

Charade Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Intake manifolds.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

Charade Camshaft Upgrades

Sporty camshaft profiles raise the higher RPM power and we generally recommend this as a primary mod on petrol engines, and secondary on Diesels to a remap. This will usually provide good peak power hikes through performance camshafts on most engines. So altering your Charade camshaft will make a difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the power band accordingly.

Fast road cams tend to push up the performance over the rev band, you may lose a little low down bhp but your high end rpm power will be lifted.

Competition cams, push up the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport and race cam makes it harder when driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your typical driving style so for a daily driver stick with a mild fast road Charade cam

Each engine responds differently depending on how well made they are, when camshafts are fitted depending on the camshaft being less aggressive camshaft durations and cam profile as unique due to manufacturing tolerances and quality variations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The engine timing and fuelling and fuel pump also have an effect on the torque gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can adjust the torque curve, and on most engines there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

Plan your options and then acquire your upgrades and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

ECU Mapping Improvements for the Charade

A remap helps release the full potential of all the mods you've fitted to your Charade.

(Sometimes flashing the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and most of these exceed the specs and performance of your factory ECU's but ensure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.) It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your results may rely on the mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Air Flow improvements on the Charade

Getting air into the Charade engine is vital to any engine performance tuning project.

Intake flow the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake manifolds can make a noticeable effect on to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Charade.

It's not uncommon that intake manifolds are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although some makers provide reasonably good intake manifolds.

Increasing valve sizes on Charade, doing some port matching and head flowing will also boost torque, the fantastic side effect is it will permit a greater torque increase on other tuning parts.

Charade Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your Charade

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

If a car is fitted with a turbo mods are simpler to install and you'll see that turbocharged engines already contain better components.

However you will find engines have limits.It is important to find these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Charade only to watch the engine catastrophically fail just after it's used on the roads.

Large turbochargers tend to experience low end lag, and small turbochargers spool up quickly but do not have the high rpm torque gains.

In recent times the range of turbochargers is always developing and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and direct these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Charade when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although more challenging to get working. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Charade Fuelling Upgrades

Don't overlook the need to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Fuel pressure boost valves raise the fuel pressure, providing a more snappy throttle response.We would recommend you to over specify your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Charade Performance Exhausts

You should look to increase your exhaust if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you will reduce your flow rate. Stay at around 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

For road going cars mods such as a sports catalyst pretty much remove this restriction,mainly to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal. And will allow the full exhaust flow due to it's higher internal surface area and design. The alternative test pipe mod or cat removal should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars (and in some you can't even replace a working catalyst).

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the Charade

The Charade engines are pretty solid and give little trouble as long as they are looked after and serviced.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will reduce power and smooth running, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on carbon removal guide Avoid short journeys and use a good quality fuel.

Service time oil changes are highly recommended on the Charade, and more so when the car is modified and will help ensure reliability of the engine.

If you want to learn more, or just get tips on Tuning your Charade engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Charade tuning options in more detail with our Charade owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Daihatsu tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which parts work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these Charade tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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

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