Modding and performance tuning parts for the Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine!

All you need to know about "2ZZ-GE Modifications"

2ZZ-GE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Toyota 2ZZ-GE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine!"

TorqueCars are regularly getting posts requesting info on how to improve the 2ZZ-GE from people wanting to know what are the best tips on 2ZZ-GE upgrades. So let us look into Toyota 2ZZ-GE upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Toyota 2ZZ-GE make a good tuning project and with the best motorsport upgrades like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will substantially maximize your driving enjoyment.

Our aim here is to detail the best approach to 2ZZ-GE tuning and highlight the best upgrades.

Just because particular parts are appear in lots of 2ZZ-GE projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, so we'll focus on the ultimate parts that will give your 2ZZ-GE the biggest power gain return for your cash.

Without us subscribing to the popular mentality 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'.

2ZZ-GE induction kits

Improving air intake on the 2ZZ-GE

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich sapping power which risks damage to the 2ZZ-GE. 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 force fuel and air into your 2ZZ-GE but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the 2ZZ-GE when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp and torque at a much lower level.

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

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Plenum can make a noticeable difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the 2ZZ-GE.

Many mass produced engine intake are in desperate need of an upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide reasonably well designed intake.

Larger 2ZZ-GE valves, getting 2ZZ-GE port enlargement and head flowing will also improve performance, and as an added benefit will allow you to get a greater performance increase on other upgrades.

2ZZ-GE performance cam tips.

Different 2ZZ-GE engines respond better to different camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

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 2ZZ-GE camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine torque. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the torque accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts normally increase the bhp and torque throughout the rev band, you might lose a little bottom end bhp but the higher rpm power will improve.

Competition camshafts, increase the higher 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 preferences so for a daily driver stick with a mild fast road 2ZZ-GE camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the 2ZZ-GE

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 2ZZ-GE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 2ZZ-GE parts:

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

Stage 3 2ZZ-GE parts:

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

Plan your options and then buy your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

Remaps helps fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your 2ZZ-GE.

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

Turbo modifications on the 2ZZ-GE

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 2ZZ-GE.

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.

When a car is fitted with a turbocharger mods are more reliable and most turbo charged engines are made using more solid components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

Research these restrictions and install higher quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

We've seen mechanics spending a lot of money on turbocharger upgrades on the 2ZZ-GE only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine go up in smoke soon after it's been completed.

Large turbo units often experience low end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up more quickly but do not have the top end bhp gains.

In recent times the world of turbos is always improving and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. 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 bhp and torque gains, although harder to install. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the 2ZZ-GE

Don't omit to ramp up the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 15% when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows 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 2ZZ-GE 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 flow problem.

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

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can buy you'll slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the 2ZZ-GE

Like most engines an 2ZZ-GE, 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 2ZZ-GE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned 2ZZ-GE 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 2ZZ-GE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about 2ZZ-GE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their 2ZZ-GE.

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