Lotus 3-Eleven Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Lotus 3-Eleven tuning tips."

We review 3-Eleven tuning and summarise the best modifications. Lotus 3-Elevens make a good tuning project and with carefully chosen performance parts you can maximise your driving pleasure.

The 3-Eleven is a awesome tuning project to carry out. We see car owners wasting money on their 3-Eleven doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our pointers to avoid wasting your money

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for most drivers, is rated as a top priority mod in your 3-Eleven tuning project.

If you set the toe out to 1-1.7 degrees on the front, and add some negative camber then cornering will dramatically benefit.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 25mm - 36 mm. and fit motorsport grade stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

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

Following our guidance for modding your 3-Eleven you will create a practical scorching car that will show up bigger cars.

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.

Engine tuning mods.

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

Getting the right sports parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Suspension upgrade (drop 25mm - 36 mm.), Panel air filter, Sports exhaust.

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

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

Your goal when tuning should be a nice flat torque band. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a motor sport car.

In this article we shall give a brief overview to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance mod.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a single sports mods goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) 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 remap. We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this affects 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.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after uprated modifications are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine.

If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Air induction kits will only help to boost power if your cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most small engines will see NO LOW END 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.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can find 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.

Head work including a gas flow (ported and polished) and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. When you tune up your 3-Eleven you will see that the standard clutch starts to suffer so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we recommend for your 3-Eleven are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be flashed. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbocharged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and phenomenal modifications for your money.Adding forced induction will see significant power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is generally simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos provide boost in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are generally lighter than the steel ones. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of track legal slick tire. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the 3-Eleven big 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.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this 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 3-Eleven options in more detail with our 3-Eleven owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Lotus 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.

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