Modding and performance tuning parts for the Toyota 2ZR engine!

Car tuning tips:2ZR Modifications"

2ZR Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Toyota 2ZR

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Toyota 2ZR engine!"

TorqueCars often are getting messages about how to improve the 2ZR from people inquiring about getting more power from the 2ZR and wanting to know what are the optimum 2ZR power upgrades. So let us look into Toyota 2ZR upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Toyota 2ZR have loads of potential and with a few sensible modified upgrades like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will dramatically maximise your driving pleasure.

Car Tuning Tips will examine the options for your 2ZR tuning and show the best upgrades.

When talking about the best parts for your 2ZR engine, we are going to focus on the modifications that give the biggest return for your cash.

2ZR induction kits

Improving air intake on the 2ZR

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

So the aim to any car tuning job to pull more fuel and air into the 2ZR engine 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 2ZR when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

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

Engines intake headers flow the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake can make a substantial change to fuel engine efficiency on the 2ZR.

We often see headers are begging for a performance upgrade, although some car makers provide decently flowing headers.

Fitting big valve kits, carrying out port work and head flowing will also lift torque, this will give you an improved torque increase on other parts.

2ZR performance cam tips.

Some 2ZR engines respond better to more or less aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll make.

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 cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large power band gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to push up the performance over the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end bhp but top end will be higher.

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

A Race cam won't do well if on the daily commute.

You should ideally match your power band to your typical driving style so for a daily driver stick with a shorter duration 2ZR cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the 2ZR

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 2ZR parts:

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

Stage 2 2ZR parts:

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

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

Stage 3 2ZR parts:

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

Plan your options and then acquire your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

A remap will help release the full potential of all the mods you've done to your 2ZR.

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 may depend much on the mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the 2ZR

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 2ZR.

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.

If your motor is turbo charged upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and you'll see that turbocharged engines already contain strengthened components.

However you'll find engines have limits

Research these restrictions and fit forged components to handle the power.

There are many mechanics spending a fortune on turbo upgrades on the 2ZR only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the 2ZR catastrophically fail just after it's used in anger.

Bigger capacity turbochargers tend to experience a bottom end lag, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the world of turbochargers is always evolving and we now see variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and feed these at differently designed 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 bhp gains, although more challenging to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the 2ZR

When you improve the power you will need to pay attention to to the fuelling.

More power needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% capacity when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and provides 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 2ZR performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to upgrade 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.

Note that with the largest exhaust you can find 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are in the catalysts installed, so adding a higher 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 2ZR

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

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