Guide to Mazda 626 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my 626 tuning tips"

The 626 is a lovely car and has an impressive range of engines, even the 1.6 is a lively unit and responds well to a few tuning mods.

The 2.0 is a better proposition and rewards your expense with larger power gains.

I learnt to drive in a 626, and I was always wondering how to make it more powerful, thankfully the world of tuning has moved on and there are now plenty of parts and options around for tuning the 626.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many 626 owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension mods as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Setting a small amount of negative camber on the wheels and a degree or two of toe in to improve stability or toe out for better cornering, will often improve your 626 in handling and cornering.

Drop the car by as much as 29mm - 41 mm. and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Top end power should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

626 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine mods and handling upgrades you can source!

Sadly with smaller 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.

Our aim in 626 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

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.

Mazda 626 Tuning modifications.

Tuning tips and articles
 

The following tuning mods are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of sports mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 29mm - 41 mm.), Remap, Lighter flywheel.

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

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.

You should keep as much low end power as possible and aim for a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade.

One of the biggest mechanical mods you can do on your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam .

It maximises the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip.

We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Keep the car looking standard and remove the badges for the ultimate sleeper!

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling.

Most power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after sports parts are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. Increasing the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 626's uprated injectors.

Mazda 626 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Contrary to popular belief there is often very little power gain reached by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

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.

Sports exhausts balance the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional polishing and ported.

These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. In nearly all cases of 626 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs an upgrade - read our tips on clutches for more information.

The best mods in our experience for your 626 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications.

With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give large power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains.

Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos increase power in increasing proportion to th engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is simpler. Alternatively you could add water injection to control knock.

Mazda 626 Wheel modifications.

Alloy wheels can help the brake cooling and are generally less heavy than steel ones.

We can't go into too much detail here about tires but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. soft compound tires work well on 626, and make a big difference over budget tires.

We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the 626 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.

For this reason endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the OEM setup. In all cases we do not recommend going above 16 inches.

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 626 options in more detail with our 626 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mazda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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