Toyota Supra Tuning guide.

"A Supra Power"

The Toyota Supra must be classed among one of the most reliable sports cars released by a modern car manufacturer. Let's look at the Mk4 Supra with a tuners eye and look at the best mods and upgrades for this awesome car.

It was produced in the 1993 and the last of the models rolled off the production line in 1996. A modified Supra Mk4 is  a beautiful thing, in terms of raw power and performance and there are many upgrades paths to take.

That said the stock twin turbo engine produces 327 BHP and pushes the car to 60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds which makes the Mk4 Supra one of the fastest production cars around.

Can you tune a Mk4 Supra and how easy is it? The Supra is very easy to modify and upgrade with plenty of parts around. But when tuning your Supra we want to avoid those mods that cause problems, so in this tuning guide we'll focus on the best upgrades and mods for your car.

Originally the Toyota engineers designed the engine to produce a massive 600 brake horsepower (un-officially of course but the aim was to make super reliable engine block) by the time the car reached production power had been reduced to the "accepted" power levels (Executives however bowed to market forces and cut the power back to almost half its potential).

But this leaves much potential for the performance tuner to play with.  This approach to engine design also ensured reliability and better fuel economy.

It also means that the engine is over machined effectively making it bulletproof. TorqueCars expect to see power gains up to 700bhp before having to get the engine machined and toughened up.

e were asked questions for more information on tuning and building a modified Supra and particularly which turbo upgrades work best, so we've created an article which covers our go to modifications for this car and what we feel are the greatest value modifications you can do.The Supra is a awesome car modification project to fill your spare time. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome Supra but don't be fooled there are lots of mods out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Designed for 600bhp Toyota reduced the power due to market forces leaving a tuners dream.

Fuel economy is not the major concern of a Toyota Supra over as the car will typically return around 20 miles to the gallon and use a set of rear tires every few months!

Supra Power mods.

The beauty of the Toyota Supra is the simplicity required to exact high power gains.  The combination of a boost controller and remap will raise the power to 400 to 500 BHP.  At these power levels you will benefit from the cold air induction kit and full sports exhaust.

These mods mods are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get started.

Getting the correct grade of motorsport parts for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Supra engine specs varied according to year and region...

April 1993 – August 2002

2,997 cc (3.0 L; 182.9 cu in) Toyota 2JZ-GE I6

  • 165 kW (225 PS; 222 hp)284 Nm (209 lbft)
  • 164 kW (223 PS; 220 hp) 284 Nm (209 lbft)

2,997 cc (3.0 L; 182.9 cu in) Toyota 2JZ-GTE twin-turbocharged I6

  • 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) 431 Nm (318 lbft)

2,997 cc (3.0 L; 182.9 cu in) Toyota 2JZ-GTE twin-turbocharged I6

  • 239 kW (324 PS; 320 hp) 427 Nm (315 lbft)

April 1993 – 1998

2,997 cc (3.0 L; 182.9 cu in) Toyota 2JZ-GTE twin-turbocharged I6

  • 243 kW (330 PS; 325 hp) 441 Nm (325 lbft)

September 1997 – August 2002

2,997 cc (3.0 L; 182.9 cu in) Toyota 2JZ-GTE VVT-i twin-turbocharged I6

  • 206 kW (280 PS; 276 hp) 451 Nm (333 lbft)

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

Best Tuning Mods for your Supra

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives this is best carried out after your other mods to fully release the power from your Supra.
  2. 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.
  3. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes after turbo upgrades, 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.
  4. 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.
  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.
  6. Suspension Mods - improving the handling of the Supra is a priority, it can be quite tail happy when you're pulling high power figures.
  7. Brake upgrades - making sure you have the braking power to match your engines output is often overlooked but very important in any Supra Tuning project

Supra Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 30mm - 42 mm.), Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust.

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

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

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a daily driven 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 upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance upgrade. A fast road camshaft is widely accepted as one of the best NASP power modifications you can do mechanically to your engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust durations and increases 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 sport 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.

Using high octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Toyota project after fitting other uprated parts. Improving the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

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.

Supra Turbo Upgrades

NASP 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 Supra but most will be starting out with a turbo engine.

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

When a car is turbocharged, upgrades are going to make more power and you will discover turbo engines will have stronger components and the MK4 Supra is a legend when it comes to having strong internals.

The Twin turbos can be upgrades with a larger turbo for high power figures, there is a big debate on where a twin or single is better but it comes down to what you want from the car.

A clever sequential turbo system is used here with the first turbo delivering power at 1650rpm and the second turbo comes on stream by 4000rpm giving a wide power range and great response.

The newer twin scroll turbo units will retain much of the bottom end of the twin turbo setup and spool up faster and give a better top end.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and push these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

Pushing power to 700bhp will need a bigger turbo, the twin setup is best replaced with a modern high flow large turbo, you'll be surprised how much low end torque they give and there is little lag to speak of if they are setup correctly.

Turbos for 1000bhp and more

Large turbos around 83mm inlets are what you need, the whole fuel system, 1300cc injectors pump and pressure regulator will need uprating to race spec and forged engine parts and balancing are essential for these power gains.

The turbo inlet size now will need to be around 65-80mm and the waste gate and intercooler will need to flow more air. Thankfully there are many suitable race spec parts around.

There are many tuners spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the Supra only to have the motor explode on it's first outing after it's completed.

Larger upgraded turbo chargers will usually suffer a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up really quickly but do not have the peak end engines power gains.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Supra when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although more difficult to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Supra performance cams

Cams with a 263-267 duration work well in this power band and give plenty of top end torque without sacrificing the bottom end of the rev range.

Supra Intercooler Upgrades

An intercooler does not increase power; rather, it is one of those upgrades that frees up power, removing a limitation.
It will address the engine's capacity to draw air in as effectively as possible and deliver as much cooling as feasible for as long as possible.

Don't forget that a large portion of the heat increase in the air intake comes from the compression of the air, thus even supercharged engines will benefit from an intercooler.

Please watch our video which covers the benefits of adding an intercooler to your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

An effective intercooler design may provide 5 to 10% more power and withstand heat soak for a longer period of time! Weight is always a problem in high-performance vehicles, and many aftermarket intercoolers are both lighter and give far more performance benefits than their original counterparts.

The real power boost from an effective intercooler design over OEM is normally between 5% and 10% with a temperature drop of 35C-40C, and this will obviously rely on the ambient temperature - the greater the difference between intake temp and ambient temp, the better the cooling impact.

Even huge efficient intercoolers will eventually succumb to heat soak. This is the point at which the intercooler begins to warm up, usually after extended durations of high-boost operation.

As a general rule, a slightly larger intercooler will have greater cooling qualities, albeit it will typically cause more drag.

This added drag must be carefully evaluated against the cooling provided. The longer the air stays within the intercooler, the greater the cooling effect.

Supra Fuelling Upgrades

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque increase.It is important to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

Get a hybrid turbo and aim for 450hp plus, and you'll need around 560cc injectors to cope with the next power hike to 450bhp and an uprated fuel pump.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides a bit of spare capacity should the engine require 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.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

There is much debate as to whether a large turbo conversion or work on the existing twin turbo set up will produce the best power gains.

Certainly for drag racing where sheer peak power is important a large turbo seems to be the way to go. The lag of a large turbo can actually help to reign in power for the launch and let the car come on boost as it starts moving.

You also have the option of a large twin turbo set up and boost controller to smooth the power delivery and help compensate for lag. Or why not mix and match have a preliminary small turbo then feed in a larger turbo for the best of both worlds.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.  Contrary to popular belief there is generally a small power gain reached 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 Supra engines you should just fit a sports panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Getting a professionally ported and polished head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains. In nearly all cases of Supra tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs to be uprated - read our overview on clutches for more information. The best mods that we recommend for your Supra are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Supra Remapping

Remaps offer massive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

The MK4 Supra engine is certainly a challenge to map, so the piggyback or aftermarket ECU route is the way to go.

PFC AEM and Apexi are used by many tuning their Supras and these can generally handle quite high power figures.

We've also seen some tuners experimenting with twin charging conversions and making some seriously high power figures.

Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is usually easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to fit a working turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with revs.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could perhaps fit water injection to cut down knock.

Supra Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for many tuners first priority in your Supra tuning project.

If you set the toe out to degrees on the front, and add a small amount of negative camber then cornering will usually be enhanced.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 25mm - 41 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

Supra Brake Upgrades

Adding bigger discs and better quality pads should make for greatly improved braking.

Please note that some performance brake pads will be noisy and will need to be really hot before they bite.

On a road car the brakes are only used rarely, therefore will not stop you as well so choose friction pads which have a low working temperature.

Traction is probably the biggest problem affecting the Toyota Supra.  A softer compound tire will certainly help.  And many owners fit wider rims so there is a greater contact area with the ground. See our wheels and tire articles for more information on this.

Supra Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloys are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. We can't go into too much detail here about tires but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. directional tread pattern tires work well on Supra, and make a big difference over budget tires. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Supra is that you're altering your final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration and performance.

Due to this try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases we do not recommend going above 18 inches. The 17's Toyota opted to fit to the Supra work really well, and unless you need a larger rim size, such as to fit bigger brakes we feel in wet climates you'll lose much of the cars handling characteristics on larger rims.

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 Supra options in more detail with our Supra owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Toyota tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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3 Responses to “Tuning the Toyota Supra”

  1. TorqueCars says:

    What mods have you done to your Supra? What mods work best, which were the most disappointing and what mods have you got planned for the future? Please share your tips.

  2. Liam Little says:

    Can u remap the factory ecu on a 95 toyota supra twin turbo

  3. Mutaz says:

    Is the JZA80 SUPRA TUNABLE LIKE THE 2JZ

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