Modding and performance tuning parts for the Renault F9Q engine!

Tuning guide "F9Q Modifications"

F9Q Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Renault F9Q

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Renault F9Q engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting messages requesting information on how to improve the F9Q from people inquiring about getting more power from the F9Q and wanting to know what are the best F9Q power upgrades. So let us look into Renault F9Q tuning mods and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Let us examine F9Q tuning and summarise the ultimate modifications for your car. Renault F9Q make awesome project engines and with the right performance mods like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will definitely maximize your driving pleasure.

Just because particular modifications are popular with F9Q owners it doesn't mean you should fit it, we shall concentrate on the best modifications that will give your F9Q the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the misaprehension of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

F9Q induction kits

Improving air intake on the F9Q

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of air it runs rich sapping power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the fundamental goal to any engine tuning task to feed more air and fuel into your F9Q but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the F9Q when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

Intake headers transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Intake can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation on the F9Q.

We often see intake headers are ripe for aftermarket parts, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing intake headers.

Adding a F9Q larger valve kit, getting F9Q port enlargement and head flowing will also improve performance, and importantly will afford you an improved performance increase on other mods.

F9Q performance cam tips.

Some F9Q engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the bhp gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually push up the bhp through the rev range, you could sacrifice a little low down torque but the higher rpm power will improve.

Competition camshafts, push up the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport and race camshaft is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your power band to your usage of the car so for a car driven daily stick with a fast road F9Q camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the F9Q

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 F9Q parts:

Sports exhaust manifold, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Panel air filters.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 2 F9Q parts:

Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injectors, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Stage 3 F9Q parts:

Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions, Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

Plan your options and then buy your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

Remapping will help unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your F9Q.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage may rely on the upgrades you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the F9Q

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the F9Q.

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.

If the engine is fitted with a turbocharger tuning parts are more reliable and you'll see that turbocharged engines use strengthened components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being over specified and some only just able to handle stock power

It is important to find these restrictions and fit more solid crank and pistons to cope with the power.

We see many guys spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the F9Q only to watch the car explode when it's been finished.

Big capacity turbochargers tend to suffer low end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up quickly but don't have the peak end torque gains.

We are pleased that the world of turbos is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into two channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large bhp gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the F9Q

Don't dismiss the need raise the fuel system when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. At this point we flag up the need to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% capacity when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended F9Q performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to upgrade your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is ok even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches as a rule of thumb.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be located the catalyst installed, so adding a higher flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the F9Q

Like most engines an F9Q, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the F9Q, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned F9Q this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your F9Q why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about F9Q tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their F9Q.

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