Mazda MX3 Tuning

"Thank you for reading this Mazda MX3 tuning tips."

Produced in 1991 with an 8 year production run, the MX3 has many fans out there, and rightly so as it was a great car.

The V6 engine was one of the smallest and highest revving units around, and pulled really well.

It's worth noting that the JDM versions made more power than the US import versions.

The MX3 is a good tuning project to execute. We see loads of people wasting money on their MX3 doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our articles to avoid making the common mistakes

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your MX3 tuning project.

Putting a tiny bit of negative camber to the front and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe in to improve stability or toe out for better cornering, will dramatically enhance your MX3 in handling and cornering.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 23mm - 37 mm and fit uprated stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you MX3.

MX3 make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine mods and handling upgrades you can find!

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Power mods.

  • 1.5 L B5-ZE i4 (Autozam AZ-3) DOHC (JDM only) 81kw @6500rpm  127nm @5500rpm
  • 1.6 L B6-ME i4 SOHC 88 hp (66 kW) @ 5,000 rpm 98 lbft (133 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm
  • 1.6 L B6D i4 DOHC 109 hp (79 kW) 137 Nm 101 lb-ft
  • 1.8 L K8 V6 DOHC 130-135 hp (97 kW) at 6,500 rpm  115 lbft (156 Nm) at 4,500 rpm

There was 2.5 V6 the KL-DE which makes a good candidate for an engine swap if you wanted a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

Typically these motorsport kits are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the best tuning parts for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

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: Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Remap.

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

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

Your aim when modding your car should be a nice flat torque output. You don't want all the power to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The aim of our hints is to give a starting base of modding performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best modified modifications and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road camshaft is widely accepted as one of the best NASP power mods you can do from a single upgrade to your 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 remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets 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.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and surges after your uprated mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Increasing the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

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

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 often very little power gain reached by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Derestricting the air feed into the engine is a primary goal of tuning so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not really increase power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but do not go too wide or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of MX3 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this should be improved - read our tips on clutches for more information. The best mods we recommend for your MX3 are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake

Remaps offer massive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a remap on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. The most phenomenal power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

The nice proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engine compression ratio .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloy wheels include lowering your unsprung weight and better brake cooling. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tire. Please note that although they can look cool on the MX3 large alloys 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 we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 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 MX3 options in more detail with our MX3 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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