Renault F4Rt Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Renault F4Rt engine!"

We get emailed and see posted questions for some recommendations on improving the F4Rt and which tuning modifications we rate as the greatest, so we've created an article to cover the primary areas and methods of modifying and tuning on the F4Rt engine.

Our aim here is to outline options for your F4Rt tuning and provide tips on the premier modifications. Renault F4Rt really good project engines and with the optimum motorsport enhancements like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely maximize your driving opportunities.

History of the F4Rt Engine

F4Rt 2.0 L

  • 2002–2003 Renault Avantime
  • 2002–2009 Renault Vel Satis
  • 2002–2014 Renault Espace

Twin-scroll turbo by Mitsubishi with 165-180 hp (with overboost 190 hp on TCe 180) 

  • 2002– Renault Laguna II
  • 2003– Renault Scenic II

225 bhp (168 kW; 228 PS)/230 bhp (172 kW; 233 PS)

  • 2003– Renault Megane II Sport
  • 2005– Renault Laguna II GT 205 bhp (153 kW; 208 PS)
  • 2007– Renault Laguna III 170 bhp
  • 2008– Renault Laguna III GT 205 bhp
  • 2009– Renault Megane III Sport 250 bhp (186 kW; 253 PS)/265 bhp (198 kW; 269 PS)/275 bhp (205 kW; 279 PS)
  • 2010– Renault Megane III TCe 180,

Tuning the Renault F4Rt and best F4Rt performance parts.

Best F4Rt upgrades

The best F4Rt parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular F4Rt parts, they need to be cost effective.

Getting a fast road cam will raise the upper RPM range power and we generally recommend this as a primary mod on petrol engines, and secondary on Diesels to a remap. This will usually provide good peak power gains through performance camshafts on most engines

So altering your F4Rt cam will make a difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the power band accordingly.

Fast road camshafts commonly bump the bhp throughout the rpm band, you could sacrifice a little low down torque but your top end will be higher.

Motorsport and race camshafts, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a road car you need to match your engines power to your typical driving style.

I would be surprised to hear from any driver that a F4Rt Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.This is because a competition cam causes a very lumpy idle, and makes the car more prone to stall or jerk along in stop start traffic, sadly though many ignore this and end up ruining a perfectly good car and having to revert back to a fast road, or OEM cam profile.

Different F4Rt engines respond better to different cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your F4Rt. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your F4Rt

  1. ECU Tunes - A remap provides the biggest gains for the money, aftermarket ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes 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 are doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Performance Exhausts - NB: 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. F4Rt Suspension Upgrades - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit dramatically improves F4Rt handling Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  5. Brake Upgrades - Improve your ability to stop needs to be near the top of your Mods list.
  6. 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 it does provide the largest gains.
  7. Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.

F4Rt Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, drilled & smoothed airbox, Fast road camshaft, Sports exhaust header/manifold.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting.

Carefully think through your options and then find your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

A remap helps to establish the full potential of all the mods you've done to your F4Rt.

(Sometimes flashing the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.) It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but figures achieved usually vary depending on the mods you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

It is the main goal to any engine upgrade job to feed more fuel and air into each cylinder

Air Intake manifolds flow the air from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a substantial improvement to fuel delivery on the F4Rt.

We often see manifolds are ripe for a performance upgrade, although a few OEM provide decently flowing headers.

Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase performance, and significantly will make space for raising the performance increase on other upgrades.

F4Rt Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your F4Rt

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

When the engine has a turbo already fitted mods are going to net you a larger power gain and you'll see that turbo charged engines already contain many forged and stronger components.

However you will find engines have limits.Research these limitations and upgrade to forged components to survive the power.

We see many people spending a lot of money on turbo upgrades on the F4Rt only to have the whole thing explode just after it's finished.

Larger capacity turbos tend to experience low end lag, and low capacity turbos spool up quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

We are pleased that the range of turbo chargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and push these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the F4Rt when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large power gains, although harder to setup. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling

When you boost the torque you will need to increase to the fuel system.

More torque needs more fuel. We strongly recommend you to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

All the following flywheel power targets will assume an injector duty cycle of 80% and a base of 58psi of fuel pressure at idle.

4 Cylinder turbocharged engines

      • 58 PSI 340cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 511cc/min 300hp

4 Cylinder NA (naturally aspirated) engines

      • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp

4 Cylinder supercharged engines

      • 58 PSI 312cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 468cc/min 300hp

F4Rt Performance Exhausts

Only look to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Don't go with the widest exhaust you can find this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be located in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing race aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the F4Rt

The F4Rt engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Regular oil changes are vital on the F4Rt, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you want to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your F4Rt engine please join us in our car forums where you can discussF4Rt tuning options in more detail with our F4Rt owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Renault tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

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