Megane tuning guide

"Thanks for reading our Renault Megane tuning guide."

With every iteration of the Megane Renault builds on the driveability of the previous putting the Megane at the top of many drivers car buying lists. One car that keeps cropping up in emails and questions we get sent, is the Megane, and what upgrades work best on it. So we've put together this how to guide to cover the primary areas you should tune and outline which modifications we feel are the best.

We examine the options for your Megane tuning and summarise the ultimate modifications for your car. Renault Meganes are awesome to work on and with carefully picked performance parts you can definitely increase your driving enjoyment.

First let's look at the Meganes history.

It was first released in 1995 and this mk1 version was produced up to 2002. Unusually Renault provided a performance model from early on and the 2.0 Turbo was the tuners favourite back then.

This offers around 165 bhp in standard form. With the aid of some breathing mods, a progressive boost controller, a bit of modified timing you could make the car a very solid performer indeed.

There were a number of reliability issues on the early meganes but most enthusiastic owners will have uprated the weak spots and sorted these out.

In 2002 the Renault designer's had a field day and remodelled the entire layout of the Megane and even gave it a cute backside.

The styling was not to everyones taste but the overall package was good and there were certainly plenty of options and nice touches causing it to win a car of the year award.

It also got a NCAP rating of 5 stars making it one of the safest cars around in the 2002 model year.

More recent revisions have resolved the styling of the 2002 and a new Megane, looks quite modern and sporty compared to the Mk1.

Tuning tips and articles

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


Renault's RS Megane shows what is possible in this cute family car.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for DIY mechanics first priority in your Megane tuning project.Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you Megane substantially improving your drive.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 22mm - 40 mm and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Sourcing parts from the Megane Sport model can be a good shortcut to low cost performance mods.

Tuning modifications.

  • 1.4 L K4J I4
  • 1.6 L K4M I4
  • 2.0 L F4R I4
  • 2.0 L F4RT I4
  • 1.5 L K9K dCi I4
  • 1.9 L F9Q dCi I4
  • 2.0 L M9R dCi I4

Mk3 Megane engines

Mk4 Megane Engines

  • 1.6 L SCe115 (Petrol)
  • 1.2 L TCe130 (Turbo Petrol)
  • 1.5 L dCi90 / dCi110 (Turbo Diesel)
  • 1.6 L dCi130 (Turbo Diesel)
    GT Version:
  • 1.6 L TCe205 (turbo petrol)
    RS Version:
  • 1.8 L TCe280 (turbo petrol)
    RS Trophy Version:
  • 1.8 L TCe300 (turbo petrol)

These are the sports upgrades that are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get going.

Getting the correct grade of modified modifications for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your Megane

  1. ECU Tunes - A tune/remap provides the biggest gains for the money, replacement ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be setup 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 Exhaust Upgrades - NB: 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. Megane Handling Mods (suspension) - Fitting a more sporty Suspension kit radically improves your Megane handling Coilovers and Bushings are the usual go to mods
  5. Brake Mods - Enhancing your stopping power should be listed in your priority list.
  6. Turbo upgrades - Adding a turbocharger is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. Typically one of the most costly upgrades it offers big gains.
  7. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Megane Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 22mm - 44 mm.), Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Remap.

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

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

Your aim when tuning should be a wide torque band. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The whole point of our guides is to give a brief overview of modding mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best modified upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a bolt on performance upgrades goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow 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 competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don't forget to increase 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 motorsport mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Upgraded injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Megane Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are generally lighter than the steel ones. Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy track legal slick performance tires.Large Megane alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have installed larger rims without problems we would restrict ourselves to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum  - we would stick to 17inch rims on the early Meganes because you'll need to roll the arches and modify the suspension to cope with it.

Megane Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your Megane tuning project. So handling modifications are a good place to start for the Megane tuning projects.

Coilovers and lowering springs should be your next modification for the Megane include revised suspension bushings as well, particularly if they are worn.

Bear in mind the RS suspension is actually nicely fettled for road use.

On the larger engine sizes an induction kit, sports exhaust and sports car will lift power. Adding some fast road cams will also improve the mid and top end of the rev range.

Adding a tiny bit of negative camber on the fronts and a few degrees of toe (in for better stability or out to improve cornering), will often improve your Megane in handling and cornering. If you set the toe out to 0.9 to 1.5 degrees on the front, and add slight negative camber then cornering will usually improve.

We suggest that you fit motorsport suspension and lower the car by 28mm - 35 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

We would go to a maximum drop of 22mm - 44 mm. on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Megane Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up.

Contrary to popular belief there is usually a small if any power gain to be had by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you boost 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 Megane engines you should settle for a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can buy this will reduce 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.

On cars which have had a massive power hike, 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. The standard Megane airbox flows quite well so there is no practical reason to add an induction kit for most tuning projects.

A good high performance sports exhaust is an essential to balance your engines need for free flowing air, and while you are at it you should add a sports catalyst as well.

Please read our article on performance exhausts for details of the issues around large bore exhaust flow rates and how to choose the right size for your engine.

Head work including a polish and port and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine.

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

Being front wheel drive, the Megane benefits greatly from a torsion differential, especially during heavy cornering or in the wet. It really helps put the power down.

Never just hope that a standard worn clutch will cope if you have an ambitious tuning project. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. 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. Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working.

With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it hard to map. The nice steady boost to rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Please join us in our forum to chat with our Megane owners and see what their latest projects are. We are a friendly club and all types of car and owner are welcome. It would also be worthwhile browsing our tuning articles to get an overview on the best modifications and the implications of fitting them to your car.

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