Modding upgrading and tuning the Toyota 1ZZ engine!

All you need to know about "1ZZ Modifications"

1ZZ Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Toyota 1ZZ

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Toyota 1ZZ engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly getting emails requesting info on how to improve the 1ZZ from people inquiring about getting more power from the 1ZZ and wanting to know what are the optimum 1ZZ modifications. So let us look into Toyota 1ZZ parts and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Let us provide a guide to 1ZZ tuning and point out the ultimate upgrades. Toyota 1ZZ offer good returns when tuned and with carefully picked uprated mods like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will definitely improve your driving experience.

The best 1ZZ modifications on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular 1ZZ modifications, they need to be cost effective.

1ZZ induction kits

Improving air intake on the 1ZZ

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the 1ZZ. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Forcing more air and fuel into each cylinder is the whole point to any performance tuning task.

It is not unusual that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the 1ZZ when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Engine intake manifolds take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake can make a large effect on to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the 1ZZ.

Commonly we find the intake manifold are crying out for aftermarket parts, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good intake manifold.

Increasing the 1ZZ valve size, carrying out port work and head flowing will also improve bhp and torque, and more importantly will allow you to get increasing the bhp and torque increase on other mods.

1ZZ performance cam tips.

Different 1ZZ engines respond better to more aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration 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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the 1ZZ can be made from camshaft upgrades. Changing the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the engines power and power output.

NB: Fast road cams tend to raise the power across the rev range, you could sacrifice a little low end power but your high end rpm power will be higher.

Motorsport and race cams, raise 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 won't do well if in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your driving style so for a daily driver stick with a fast road 1ZZ camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the 1ZZ

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 1ZZ parts:

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

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

Stage 2 1ZZ parts:

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

Stage 3 1ZZ parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then acquire your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.

Mapping helps unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your 1ZZ.

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 outcome usually depend much on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the 1ZZ

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 1ZZ.

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

When your car has a turbocharger upgrades are more reliable and most turbo engines are made using more solid components.

However most engines have weakspots

Research these limits and install better quality components to cope with the power.

There are many mechanics spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the 1ZZ only to experience the engine literally blow up when it's used on the roads.

Bigger turbo units will usually experience no power at low rpm, and smaller turbo units spool up more quickly but won't have the top end torque gains.

In the last 10 years the choice of turbo chargers is always moving on and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases 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 more difficult to get working. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the 1ZZ

When you boost the performance you will need to increase to the fuelling.

More performance needs more fuel. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides you some 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 1ZZ performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust 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 reduce the exhaust flow 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalysts installed, so adding a higher flowing performance 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 1ZZ

Like most engines an 1ZZ, 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 1ZZ, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned 1ZZ 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 1ZZ why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about 1ZZ tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their 1ZZ.

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