Modding uprating the Suzuki M16A engine!

Tuning guide "M16A Modifications"

M16A Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Suzuki M16A

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Suzuki M16A engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are frequently seeing threads about how to improve the M16A from people wanting to know what are the ultimate M16A power upgrades. So let us look into Suzuki M16A tuning mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Suzuki M16A make awesome project engines and with a few sensible tuning mods like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving pleasure.

We shall outline options for your M16A tuning and report on the greatest modifications for your car.

The best M16A upgrades on an engine are as we have found the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular M16A upgrades, they need to be cost effective.

M16A induction kits

Improving air intake on the M16A

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich resulting in lost power which risks damage to the M16A. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the whole point to any engine performance tuning job to get air and fuel into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the M16A when considerably more air is being drawn 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.

Intake headers take the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

The shape and flow rate of the air Intake manifold can make a big change to fuel mixing and power on the M16A.

Many mass produced engine intake headers are improved through an upgrade, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good intake headers.

Big valve conversions on the M16A, carrying out M16A port enlargement and head flowing will also raise torque, and more importantly will give you increasing the torque increase on other modifications.

M16A performance cam tips.

Some M16A engines respond better to mild camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

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

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 & 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 normally bump the torque throughout the rev band, you might lose a little bottom end bhp but your top end will be lifted.

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

For a typical daily driver you need to optimize your bhp range to your driving style.

I'd be gobsmaked if you find a M16A Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the M16A

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 M16A parts:

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

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

Stage 2 M16A parts:

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

Stage 3 M16A parts:

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

Plan your options and then source your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.

Remapping helps release the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your M16A.

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 power output usually differs on the upgrades you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the M16A

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 M16A.

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 has a turbocharger tuning parts are relatively easy and you will discover turbo charged engines are made with harder and stronger components.

However you will find an engines will need better parts at higher power limits

Discover these restrictions and fit better quality components to cope with the power.

It's not unheard of people spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the M16A only to see the M16A explode soon after it's used in anger.

Larger upgraded turbochargers tend to suffer a bottom end lag, and small turbochargers spool up more quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thanks to progress the choice 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.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large power gains, although more complex to configure. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the M16A

Don't overlook the need to boost the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 15% when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and gives a bit of 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 M16A performance exhaust upgrades

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

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust 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 help equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

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

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate come around the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the M16A

Like most engines an M16A, 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 M16A, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned M16A 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 M16A why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about M16A tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their M16A.

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