The Alfa Romeo 159 is a pretty impressive car in standard form.
Alfa certainly know how to set a car up for good handling and the range of engines on offer give decent levels of performance.
Ideally you should start with the 2.2 or the lovely 3.2 engine as these give the most gains for your money.
It is also possible to do engine swaps on smaller engined 159's and this can be a cost effective way of gaining a pretty big power hike.
So onto the 159 tuning tips:- As the 159 engines are NASP (naturally aspirated) there are not massive gains on offer in reality you should only expect a modest power gain of 10-20%, without resorting to adding forced induction.
This is enough for most drivers but we will fully explore the potential of these engines and see what mods should be on your shortlist. First up we look at the head of the engines, these are not bad as standard OEM engines but they can certainly be improved.
The aim is to get a better air flow through them and to do this you will need to fit larger valves, get the head ported and polished and get a 3 angle valve job done. Increasing the compression of this engine will further maximise the power gains.
We should note that many Alfa blocks are aluminium with steel liners and this rules out reboring the engine but careful piston selection can increase the capacity of the engine.
Blueprinting and balancing the engine will allow you to fully exploit the top end power of this engine and this will help to raise the rev limit making the car a bit more lively.
Fitting a lighter flywheel will help the car to accelerate more freely and give a bit more top end power but the car will be more prone to bog down on hills and less friendly to drive in stop start traffic.
Other modifications you should consider for your Alfa 159 engine. Fast road cams which allow more air into the engine through a longer duration, air intake mods and a stainless steel sports exhaust. Inside the head, port matching will further improve the airflow raising the power a little more.
We have also seen some great Rotrex supercharger kits which make pretty good power gains if the car is remapped. Another option is to go the whole hog and get a turbo conversion kit but adding a turbo can be problematic.
Another option you may consider is adding nitrous injection kits, this alone can add 50bhp more power to your engine. What other modifications? Brake upgrades are pretty important, when you make a car go faster you really need some good anchors to stip it.
Get a big brake conversion kit with at least vented disks and some fast road pads. In a perfect world you will increase the calipers to a 6 pot unit for greater clamping force and this allows the use of larger pads.
Handling mods are also worth considering for your 159, we would recommend that you get fully adjustable suspension so you this can be fine tuned to match your requirements. If you are lowering the car then stick with a drop of 20-35mm as the 159's are already lower than similar cars from other manufacturers.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on 159 Tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive 159 tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Alfa Romeo forum. If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.
Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.
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