Modding upgrading and tuning the Mazda MZR L5-VE engine!

Tuners tips on "MZR L5-VE Modifications"

MZR L5-VE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Mazda MZR L5-VE

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Mazda MZR L5-VE engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are regularly getting posts requesting info on how to improve the MZR L5-VE from people wanting to know what are the premier MZR L5-VE mods that work. So let us look into Mazda MZR L5-VE parts and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Therefore we review MZR L5-VE tuning and summarise the best mods that work. Mazda MZR L5-VE are awesome to work on and with a few sensible tuning enhancements like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively maximize your driving fun.

The best MZR L5-VE upgrades on an engine are usually the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular MZR L5-VE upgrades, they need to be cost effective.

MZR L5-VE induction kits

Improving air intake on the MZR L5-VE

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of 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 fundamental goal to any performance tuning task to get fuel and air into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the MZR L5-VE when loads 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 sapped bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Engines intake headers transmit the during the engines suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial difference to to fuel delivery on the MZR L5-VE.

It's not uncommon that plenum chambers are needing performance upgrades, although some OEM provide reasonably well designed plenum chambers.

Increasing the MZR L5-VE valve size, getting MZR L5-VE port enlargement and head flowing will also raise bhp, the fantastic side effect is it will permit an improved bhp increase on other parts.

MZR L5-VE performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences on the torque gains you'll hit.

Longer valve durations 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.

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 engines power gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams usually bump the bhp and torque through the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little low down bhp but your top end will improve.

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

A Motorsport camshaft is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your usage of the car so for a car driven daily stick with a mild fast road MZR L5-VE camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the MZR L5-VE

Stage 1 MZR L5-VE parts:

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

Stage 2 MZR L5-VE parts:

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

Stage 3 MZR L5-VE parts:

Twin charging conversions, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Competition cam, 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 mods and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

Remaps should help to to establish the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your MZR L5-VE.

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

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 the end result usually vary depending on the upgrades you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the MZR L5-VE

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 MZR L5-VE.

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 has a turbo already fitted modifications are relatively easy and you'll see that turbocharged engines use better components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

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

We've seen mechanics spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the MZR L5-VE only to see the motor throw a rod soon after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Larger turbo chargers commonly experience low end lag, and little turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak end bhp gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbochargers is always increasing 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 gases into two channels and feed these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. 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 torque gains, although harder to configure. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the MZR L5-VE

When you raise the performance you will need to ramp up to the fuel delivery.

More performance needs more fuel. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a little 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 MZR L5-VE performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the flow rate is good 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 help balance the flow of gases through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too big, ie: it's over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose a great deal of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the MZR L5-VE

Like most engines an MZR L5-VE, 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 MZR L5-VE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned MZR L5-VE 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 MZR L5-VE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about MZR L5-VE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their MZR L5-VE.

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