Vauxhall Zafira Tuning

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For the larger family you will often choose a Zafira the MPV from Vauxhall. Sadly having a family will usually restrict your choice of cars and leave you wanting for more performance.

The cars were built for comfort so we would advise uprating the suspension and making the family sit on cushions! We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 35-40mm. Larger drops require arch work.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Tuning modifications.

These mods performance mods are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

Getting the best modified mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start 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, Suspension upgrade (drop 21mm - 43 mm.), Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Remap, Panel air filter.

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

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

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

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 mod.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a stand alone sports upgrades goes on a NASP engine.

The exhaust & intake valve durations play a huge factor in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully release the power gain.

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 tuning modifications are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues. Higher capacity injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many Zafira owners uprate the handling of their cars with modified suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

If you set the toe out to 1-1.7 degrees on the front, and add slight negative camber then cornering will substantially be enhanced.

Drop the car by as much as 21mm - 43 mm. and fit motorsport grade stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Our aim in engine tuning should be to increase peak bhp at the top end.

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

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.

Vauxhall Zafira Intake and Exhaust.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits only help to increase performance if the cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO LOW END 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.

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 equal out the flow of gases through the engine. But if your exhaust is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. Your clutch can fail as the power goes up if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 48%. Fit a performance clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. The best mods we recommend for your Zafira are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be remapped. You will see massive power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and massive modifications for your money.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is often cheaper to add a supercharger than it is to fit a working turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

The nice proportional boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straightforward to map. Alternatively you could perhaps add water injection to minimise knock.

Thankfully you have some powerful engines from the Astra and the Calibra along with the Vectra that will open up a world of posibilities.

Some of the Diesel engines can be quite lively and will respond well to a remap.

Vauxhall Zafira Wheel modifications.

Due to the fact that alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tire. Please note although they can look cool on the Zafira big alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

For this reason endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel your OEM settings. In all cases without going over 17 inches.

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 Zafira options in more detail with our Zafira 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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One Response to “Tuning the Zafira for more bhp power and Zafira performance increase”

  1. romek sowinski says:

    `ZAPHIRA-A-1.8-To increase 5th gear ratio through final drive if possible can this be done.Thanks Rolie.

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