Ford C-Max Tuning

"Thank you for reading this Ford C-Max tuning guide."

If you do your planning then you can create an awesome C-Max but don't be fooled there are lots of modified modifications out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

The Ford C-Max make awesome project cars and with a few sensible sports enhancements like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will improve your driving opportunities.

Our aim here is to examine the options for your C-Max tuning and outline the greatest modifications for your car.

Tuning tips and articles
See our video which provides a complete introduction to Ford Tuning, it contains some tips on performance and handling modifications.

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

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

With our guides your C-Max can become an awesome performer and yet still reliable daily run around.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

C-Max Engine tuning mods.

This list of the stages and motorsport mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the best modified parts for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

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 mods for your C Max

  1. Fast road Camshafts are generally the biggest mechanical mod upgrade, but we recommend they be fitted by someone competent and you might struggle to find one but there is usually a local firm to regrind a stock cam .
  2. Forced induction upgrades - A New Turbo is the most efficient approach to improve intake air supply, which permits you to combust more fuel and make higher power. It is one of the most costly mods it offers big gains.
  3. Tunes - A tune/remap provides the biggest gains for your investment, replacement ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  4. Intake Mods and high flowing exhausts - Please be warned on their own these mods will NOT ADD TORQUE for most setups, but they permit you to enhance power after other upgrades by lessening the restriction.
  5. Internal engine mods - crank, pistons, conrods & compression ratio including balancing and blueprinting
  6. C Max Suspension - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit dramatically improves C Max handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  7. Braking Mods - Enhancing your stopping power ought to be near the top of your Mods list.
  8. Low mass flywheel - a lower mass flywheel will enhance the engines ability to rev freely. Not always a great mod for all C Max engines.

C Max Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 22mm - 43 mm.), Engine Tunes/Remapping, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head.

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

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

The whole aim of our pointers is to give a starting base of tuning performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your customized car project, the best motorsport mods 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 upgrades goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

The intake & exhaust flow play a major role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car hard to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a tune/remap to fully realise your gains.

Don't forget to look at the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after performance mods are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase 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.

C Max Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your C Max tuning project.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 29 - 35 Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Adjusting the handling is often the first step in using the C Max.Adjusting the C Max's handling is often the first step in tweaking it.

Handling upgrades are often the initial step for the C Max.

Good Quality coilovers permit you to adjust the suspension height and this allows you to setup your cornering performance.

What considerations must you make when setting up and selecting your suspension if your C Max serves as a daily car as well?

Improvements to the bushings

What factors should you consider when setting up and selecting your bushes if your C Max is also used as a daily driver?

The suspension components of the C Max may be mounted to the car's chassis through bushes, which are rotatable rubber mounts. These rubber ones will wear out as they wear out.

Replacement OEM rubber bushings may have a major impact on the performance of your vehicle.

Because the polyurethane bushes are firmer, the ride may be a bit bumpier, but they will last longer and maintain the handling.

Worn bushes may also quicken the degradation of other suspension components due to the increased vibration and play.

A new set of poly bushings should assist in mitigate the excessive play associated with rubber bushings.

You may struggle to find a full set of polyeyurothane bushings, but most areas have the primary mounts available. You may be able to have custom polyeyurothane bushings created to suit your needs.

A frequent misconception is that the best setup would be a non-adjustable suspension system that lowers the vehicle by 70mm purchased from a franchised component shop.

Claims are often made that all C Max models and years may be able to utilise the same suspension kits sold by vendors.

The 'compromized' approach is obviously a flawed assumption when it comes to adequately supporting a diverse variety of cars. Engine weights and trim levels, and even alloy rims will affect the handling and require different suspension setups.

How low should you go on the C Max?

TorqueCars research and testing indicate that the maximum suspension drop for most road vehicles is 29 - 35 millimetres, whereas the maximum suspension drop for hot hatchbacks with lower OEM suspension is 22 millimetres.

Tolerances may be greatly reduced by altering the diameter of the wheels. Lowering a vehicle, even with 17-inch wheels and stock suspension, will create several complications.

While the fact that the C Max being lower allows for less air to travel underneath it may aid in stability, the ultimate goal should always be to enhance handling. When lowering the springs, it is critical to use the proper shocks that match all round.

Putting slight negative camber on the fronts and a degree or two of toe (in for better stability or out to improve cornering), will usually improve your C Max in handling and cornering.

For dramatically enhanced stopping fit better brake pads and match this with better brake discs.

Please note that some performance brake pads can be noisier and will need to be hot before they are effective.

In every day driving the brakes are occasionally used so won't be as effective at slowing you up so choose friction pads which have a low working temperature.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.  Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little if any power gain obtained by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you boost the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

For most C-Max engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of needing cold air.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can get this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

flowed (porting and polishing) 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 When you tune up your C-Max you will reach a point that the standard clutch starts to fail so get an uprated clutch. The best mods that we recommend for your C-Max are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a tuned/remapped ECU on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. The most significant power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Superchargers are usually easier to add than turbos. Turbos give boost in increasing proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers, however will give a boost which is correlating to engine speed so is easier to map. Alternatively you could install water injection to cut down knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include lowering your unsprung weight and better brake cooling. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good track legal slick tire can really enhance your cars handling. Please note that although they can look cool on the C-Max large alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Due to this fact we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 17 inches, although we know some of our members have fitted larger wheels with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss C-Max options in more detail with our C-Max owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Ford tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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