Modding uprating the Chevrolet F16D4 engine!

All you need to know about "F16D4 Modifications"

F16D4 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Chevrolet F16D4

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Chevrolet F16D4 engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are always getting messages requesting info on how to improve the F16D4 from people wanting to know what are the greatest F16D4 upgrades. So let us look into Chevrolet F16D4 modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Chevrolet F16D4 are awesome to work on and with the optimum uprated upgrades like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will greatly improve your driving experience.

In this article we outline options for your F16D4 tuning and provide tips on the optimum modifications for your car.

Just because particular upgrades are are common on F16D4 it doesn't mean it is good, so we'll focus on the best upgrades that will give your F16D4 the biggest power gain return for your cash.

Without us subscribing to the popular myth 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'.

F16D4 induction kits

Improving air intake on the F16D4

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich resulting in lost power which risks damage to the F16D4. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pulling air into your F16D4 is the whole point to any tuning task.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the F16D4 when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

The intake plenum carry the during the engines suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The bore size, shape and flow rate of the Plenum can make a big difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the F16D4.

On popular production engines headers are improved through aftermarket parts, although a few OEM provide reasonably good headers.

Adding a F16D4 larger valve kit, doing some port matching and head flowing will also lift power, & more importantly will afford you raising the power increase on other tuning parts.

F16D4 performance cam tips.

Some F16D4 engines respond better to more or less aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the bhp gains you'll hit.

Altering valve durations 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.

Altering your F16D4 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams commonly boost the performance through the rev band, you may sacrifice a little low down bhp but the high end rpm power will be higher.

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

A Motorsport camshaft will just annoy you whilst in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your driving style so for a car driven daily stick with a shorter duration F16D4 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the F16D4

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 F16D4 parts:

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

Stage 2 F16D4 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 F16D4 parts:

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

The F16D4 engine blocks respond well to mods and thankfully there is a growing number of upgrades and performance parts around.

ECU flashing should help to to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your F16D4.

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 usually vary depending on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the F16D4

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 F16D4.

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

If your motor is turbocharged, tuning parts are relatively easy and we find turbo engines are made with stronger components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power

Research these limitations and upgrade to higher quality components to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the F16D4 only to watch the car explode on it's first outing after it's finished.

Larger capacity turbo units will usually suffer low end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up more quickly but won't have the top end bhp gains.

In recent times the market of turbos is always improving and we are seeing variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. 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 torque gains, although harder to get working. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the F16D4

When you lift the performance you will need to pay attention to to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. It makes sense to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 15% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords a little 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 F16D4 performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to improve 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 still 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.

Please dont run with the widest exhaust you can source this will slow the exhaust 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.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate come around the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the F16D4

Like most engines an F16D4, 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 F16D4, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned F16D4 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 F16D4 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about F16D4 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their F16D4.

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