Laguna Tuning

"Laguna Tuning"

The Renault Laguna was a good attempt at creating an affordable and comfortable executive car.  site visitor asked for more information on the Laguna and how to tune it up and modify it, so this article has been assembled to cover the primary areas we find are the ultimate parts you can do to this engine.

It was clearly aimed at a wide audience with a massive array of engine options, even from its launch date so we'll cover the best mods and upgrades for the Laguna.

Now as models are appearing in the used car market there are many people looking to add some modifications to maximise their cars performance.

Renault Laguna Tuning modifications.

The best engines for a Laguna Tuning project range from the 2.0T 16valve engine to the super smooth 3.0V6  engines. The former is easier to tune up with a simple tune/remap and sports exhaust and induction kit offering a boost of around 40bhp. The 1.8 and 1.6 engines are fairly dull and do not make good candidates for tuning.

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Lagunas respond quite well for tuning having been set up as motorway cruisers, there is quite a bit of hidden power waiting to get out!
Many Laguna owners that TorqueCars have spoken do rate the 205bhp engine from 2005-2007 as the later 2.0 engines were only offered at 170 bhp, no doubt an economy compromise. This makes the MK2 the best model for the car tuner and it certainly has a fairly large range of extras on offer.

The Mk3 Turbo Diesel engines, the DCi have a lot to offer and are probably a little more tunable than the petrol engines from a cost per BHP point of view. A tune/remap on these is the way to go.

Bear in mind the mantra that you want to keep as much low end power as you can and aim for a wide power band rather than a narrow top end power spike. Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

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Best mods for your Laguna

  1. ECU Tunes - A Remapped Laguna ECU provides the most power for the money, aftermarket ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road Camshafts 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 Mods and Performance Exhausts - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Laguna Suspension Upgrades - Replacing worn bushings and shocks greatly enhances your Laguna road holding and cornering. Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  5. Braking Mods - Enhancing your stopping power ought to be listed in your priority list.
  6. Forced induction upgrades - Adding a turbocharger 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.
  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.

Laguna Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Engine Tunes/Remapping, lighter flywheel, alloy wheels

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,

Typical stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.

Fast road cams can really transform an engine and in most engines you make pretty good power gains but don't go too mad with the cam profile or it will be undrivable in heavy traffic.You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. For fuelling upgrades you will generally need a set of uprated injectors and a higher capacity fuel pump.

Performance air intake and exhaust modifications.

Let's move on to the engine intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. For smaller engined Laguna projects go with a high flow sports panel air filter. On larger engined models and turbo vehicles where power gains of 40% or more have been achieved an induction kit will help increase the peak power providing you address the problem of it sucking in warm engine bay air by using a cold air.

Laguna 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 increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

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 Laguna engines you should settle for a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too big or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools Your clutch can seriously let you down as the power goes up if it starts to fail and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 48%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. The best mods in our experience for your Laguna are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Do not be tempted to go with the biggest exhaust you can find (this will actually slow up the exhaust flow rate) - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. See our article on performance exhausts for details of the issue around large bore exhausts and how to choose the right size for your engine.

Getting the head ported and polished will further help more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. When you start tuning your Laguna you may well discover that your OEM clutch starts to complain so get a performance clutch.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars and with diesel models you can usually expect to get better fuel economy. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a tune/remap on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are harder to add than supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. You might be lucky and track down a supercharger kit which offers all the parts you'll need to pull off this upgrade. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection unelss you are prepared to run at low boost settings which should still give a decent power gain.

Renault Laguna wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the Laguna Big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this is due 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.

The ride is very soft and comfortable on all the Laguna's we have seen so one of your first modifications would be lower and stiffer suspension.

Join us in our forum and meet up with other Laguna owners where you can chat and swap tuning ideas for your car. Also have a read of our tuning articles to see what the pros and cons are of the many tuning options open to you.

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