Vauxhall Vivaro Life Tuning

"Thank you for reading our Vauxhall Vivaro Life tuning guide."

The Vivaro is a awesome van tuning project to carry out. The key to Vivaro tuning is balancing power and reliability - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

The Vauxhall Vivaro and Vivaro Life are popular tuning projects and with a few sensible tuning upgrades like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving opportunities.

We shall review Vivaro tuning and point out the best mods that work.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Our aim in Vivaro engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

Vivaro make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling mods you can !

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Power mods.

The following tuning mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

Getting the right performance parts for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - 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.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Remap, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade, Lighter flywheel.

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

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

Your aims when tuning should be a wide torque band. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a motor sport car.

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best modifications for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a bolt on modifications goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up 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.

Most power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after kits are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues. Uprated 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.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust.  Please note that WE DO NOT FIND IMPROVEMENTS WITH INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become limited.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow from the engine but do not go too big 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.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. When you start tuning your Vivaro you will reach a point that the standard clutch starts to fail so get an uprated clutch. The best mods in our opinion for your Vivaro are a remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

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

We've also seen some tuners toying with twincharging conversions and making some seriously high power gains.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP 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 increases exponentially with revs.

Superchargers will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is simpler. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. 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 Vivaro alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

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 Vivaro options in more detail with our Vivaro 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.

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