Tuning the Vauxhall Adam

"Would you Adam and Eve it?"

We look at Adam tuning and report on the best modifications. Vauxhall Adams are popular cars and with a few sensible performance tuning mods you can greatly maximize your driving pleasure.

The obvious performance engine choices are the 150PS Turbo petrol units, and the 115PS units. On a light car like this you'll notice a difference even with modest power gains.

Our members have some interesting projects on the go. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome Adam but don't be fooled there are lots of performance parts 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


Improving the handling should be your first priority in your Adam tuning project. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Adam with a nice fat peak torque band.

With our tuning tips your Adam can become an awesome performer and yet still be a reliable daily run around.

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.

Engine tuning mods.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get started.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motorsport parts just won'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 Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/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.
  6. Typical stage 1 mods often include:
    Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm),Panel air filter,Sports exhaust,Remap,Lighter flywheel,Alloy wheels.

    Typical stage 2 mods often include:
    Ported and polished head,Fast road cam,Power clutch,Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,.

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

    You really need to keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to achieve a long power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike.

    On the turbo engines tunes or remaps are the way to go, expect to see a 20bhp gain on the 86bhp 1.4 engine, you'll get a larger gain on the 150. NA (naturally aspirated) engines will only gain a few more bhp but a tune/remap will make them more driveable and flexible.

    The point of this article is to give a brief overview of car tuning modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your project and all aspects of modding cars.

    A fast road camshaft usually works out as one of the best NASP power modifications you can do from a single upgrade to your engine. It improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects 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. Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after modifications are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues.

    Uprating 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. Air induction kits only help to boost performance if your air intake is struggling! All Adam intakes cope quite well with gains of up to 30%.

    Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction. For most Adam engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

    Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but do not go too wide or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.0 inches for best results. A sports cat will really aid the free flowing of exhaust gases.

    Getting the head gas flowed will help get more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a pro with a flow bench. Your clutch can seriously let you down as you increase the power if it starts to slip and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 50%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. Turbo engines are just pleading to be Upgraded. You will see large power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.

    We've also come across some owners playing with twin charging applications and making some impressively high power gains.

    Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with rpm. Superchargers, however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. Alternatively you could perhaps install water injection to reduce the risk of knock.

    Alloy wheel upgrades.

    Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are generally lighter than the steel ones. Large Adam alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio. With this in mind endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the OEM setup. In all cases without going bigger than 17 inches.

    If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on tuning your Adam please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Adam options in more detail with our Adam owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Vauxhall 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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