Mazda CX3 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my CX3 tuning guide."

The small fun packed compact SUV from Mazda is a great car, and very well equipped.

The NASP petrol engines lack torque and need a bit of extra power in our opinion, but we guess that's why you're here.

The turbo models sizzle with performance and really reward the tuner with lots more power from relatively simple mods.

We look at CX3 tuning and outline the greatest mods that work. Mazda CX3's provide a fun base for your project and with the best uprated parts you can assuredly maximize your driving experience.

The CX3 is a good car tuning project to carry out. With the right mods your CX3 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid disappointment.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are high on most peoples lists for the CX3.

We found that most CX3 factory suspension setups need tweaking, they are a little firm.

There are good aftermarket upgrade options around that soften the ride but sharpen the handling.

Adding a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -0.9 to 1.5, and slight negative camber will often improve your cornering and handling.

We would go to a maximum drop of 24mm - 40 mm on most models. You risk compromising your handling if you go lower than this.

Turning our attention to the CX3s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

Spending just a little money on the best engine and handling mods could transform your car into a credible track car.

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.

Power mods.

These are the sports modifications are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

Getting the best performance mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Petrol/Gasoline engines

  • 1.3 L SkyActiv-G P3-VPS turbocharged
  • 2.0 L SkyActiv-G PE-VPS

Diesel engines

  • 1.5 L SkyActiv-D S5-DPTS/S5-DPTR
  • 1.8 L SkyActiv-D S8-DPTS/S8-DPTR

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - 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, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap.

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a drivable and fun car you need a wide power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best performance parts 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 performance gains for your money as far as a stand alone modified modifications goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

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

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Mazda project after fitting other parts. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned CX3s uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits only help to boost power if your air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO 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.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for CX3 engines you should go with a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can get this will slow up the exhaust flow 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.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains.

A good triple plate fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should.

Never cut corners or think that your standard clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your CX3 are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaustNA (naturally aspirated) 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 phenomenal power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

The most impressive power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. It is often simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with rpm.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is simpler. Adding forced induction will often require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tire can really enhance your cars handling. Large CX3 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Because of this endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the recommended OEM sizes. In all cases avoid going above 16 inches - the 17 are ok but you'll prefer the response you get with the 16's if you are totally honest.

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 CX3 options in more detail with our CX3 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.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below. We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

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