Modding and performance tuning parts for the Fiat Firefly T3 engine!

All you need to know about "Firefly T3 Modifications"

Firefly T3 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Fiat Firefly T3

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Fiat Firefly T3 engine!"

Sites like TorqueCars are regularly getting emails asking how to improve the Firefly T3 from people wanting to know what are the ultimate Firefly T3 upgrades. So let us look into Fiat Firefly T3 mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Fiat Firefly T3 provide a fun base for your project and with the ultimate motorsport modifications like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving enjoyment.

We shall review and look at Firefly T3 tuning and show the best modifications.

The top Firefly T3 modifications on an engine are typically the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular Firefly T3 modifications, they need to be cost effective.

Firefly T3 induction kits

Improving air intake on the Firefly T3

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich resulting in lost 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 goal to any engine performance tuning task to shove more air and fuel into your Firefly T3 but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the Firefly T3 when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

When tuning you may well find you need to get an air sensor or flow meter capable of upto 4 bars to cope with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting performance at a much lower level.

Engines intake headers flow the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Intake headers can make a large difference to to fuel mixing and power on the Firefly T3.

It's not uncommon that headers are in desperate need of motorsport parts, although a few makers provide well optimised headers.

Fitting big valve kits, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also improve torque, the fantastic side effect is it will raise potential for a better torque increase on other modifications.

Firefly T3 performance cam tips.

Different Firefly T3 engines respond better to extreme cam durations than others.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll achieve.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque 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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the Firefly T3 can be made from camshaft upgrades. Changing the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the torque and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly increase the power through the rev band, you might lose a little low down power but high end rpm power will improve.

Motorsport camshafts, increase the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition camshaft will just annoy you whilst driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your cars usage so for a car used daily stick with a shorter duration Firefly T3 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Firefly T3

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 Firefly T3 parts:

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

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

Stage 2 Firefly T3 parts:

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

Stage 3 Firefly T3 parts:

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

Review your options and then source your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

ECU flashing should help to unlock the full potential of all the mods you've done to your Firefly T3.

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 figures achieved usually depend much on the mods you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Firefly T3

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 Firefly T3.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes significant power gains.

If your motor is turbocharged, tuning parts are giving better power gains and turbo engines are made with stronger components.

However most engines will have power limits

Discover these limitations and fit forged components to survive the power.

There are many people spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Firefly T3 only to have the motor throw a rod on it's first outing after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Large capacity turbos commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and smaller turbos spool up really quickly but do not have the top end torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbos is always developing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve 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 in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Firefly T3

When you lift the torque you will need to pay attention to to the fuelling.

More torque needs more fuel. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when fitting an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and provides some spare capacity should the engine require 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 Firefly T3 performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is still fine 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.

Don't go with the biggest exhaust you can get you'll slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

Usual exhaust restrictions come around the filters installed, so adding a better 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 Firefly T3

Like most engines an Firefly T3, 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 Firefly T3, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned Firefly T3 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 Firefly T3 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about Firefly T3 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their Firefly T3.

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