Modding and performance tuning parts for the Fiat Firefly N3 engine!

Tuners tips on "Firefly N3 Modifications"

Firefly N3 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Fiat Firefly N3

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Fiat Firefly N3 engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are regularly seeing threads asking how to improve the Firefly N3 from people wanting to know what are the ultimate Firefly N3 power upgrades. So let us look into Fiat Firefly N3 mods and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

In this article we examine Firefly N3 tuning and show the greatest modifications. Fiat Firefly N3 are fantastic to work on and with the ultimate tuning mods like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will dramatically improve your driving opportunities.

The ultimate Firefly N3 mods on an engine are typically the ones that give the best gains for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular Firefly N3 mods, they need to be cost effective.

Firefly N3 induction kits

Improving air intake on the Firefly N3

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is little supply of fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little 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 Pushing air into your Firefly N3 is the aim to any performance tuning job.

It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Firefly N3 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 limited bhp at a much lower level.

The intake plenum carry the on the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

Shape and flow characteristics of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial difference to to fuel delivery on the Firefly N3.

On popular production engines headers are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although a few OEM provide reasonably good headers.

Big valve conversions on the Firefly N3, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also increase bhp and torque, the fantastic side effect is it will allow you to get an improved bhp and torque increase on other parts.

Firefly N3 performance cam tips.

Some Firefly N3 engines respond better to different camshaft durations than others.

The engine timing and fuelling also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll make.

Longer valve durations can alter the power 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 & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams usually bump the bhp and torque throughout the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little low end power but your higher rpm power will be higher.

Motorsport and race cams, bump the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a typical daily driver you need to match your engines power to your usage of the car.

I would be surprised if you have found a Firefly N3 Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Firefly N3

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 N3 parts:

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

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

Stage 2 Firefly N3 parts:

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

Stage 3 Firefly N3 parts:

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

Plan your options and then find your mods and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

Remapping should help to to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your Firefly N3.

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 will rely on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Firefly N3

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 N3.

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.

When an engine has a turbo already fitted mods are going to make more power and turbocharged engines are built with strengthened components.

However you'll find engines have limits

It is important to find these limitations and upgrade to more solid crank and pistons to survive the power.

There are many people spending a lot of money on turbo upgrades on the Firefly N3 only to watch the car literally blow up soon after it's been finished.

Bigger turbo chargers often suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo chargers spool up really quickly but won't have the peak rpm torque gains.

In the last 10 years the range of turbochargers is always developing and we now see variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

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

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

Tips about fuel supply on the Firefly N3

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to increase the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a power hike. Experienced tuners recommend to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a bit of 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 N3 performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to upgrade your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually 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 big 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 traced to the emissions 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 N3

Like most engines an Firefly N3, 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 N3, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned Firefly N3 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 N3 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about Firefly N3 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their Firefly N3.

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