Tuners tips on "Alfa Boxer Modifications"

Alfa Boxer Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the AlfaRomeo Alfa Boxer

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the AlfaRomeo Alfa Boxer engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are frequently seeing threads about how to improve the Alfa Boxer from people wanting to know what are the best tips for Alfa Boxer mods that work. So let us look into AlfaRomeo Alfa Boxer upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

This pages aim is detail the best approach to Alfa Boxer tuning and summarise the best upgrades. AlfaRomeo Alfa Boxer are fantastic to work on and with a few sensible uprated modifications like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving enjoyment.

Just because particular upgrades are popular with Alfa Boxer owners it doesn't mean it is good, so we'll concentrate on the greatest upgrades that will give your Alfa Boxer the best power gain for you money.

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'.

Alfa Boxer induction kits

Improving air intake on the Alfa Boxer

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is little supply of fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich sapping 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 primary aim to any engine tuning task to pull more air and fuel into your Alfa Boxer but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Alfa Boxer when a lot more air is being fed 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 was restricting torque at a much lower level.

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

The shape and flow characteristics of the air Intake manifold can make a substantial improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the Alfa Boxer.

I usually find intake headers are begging for performance upgrades, although some manufacturers provide well optimised intake headers.

Adding a Alfa Boxer larger valve kit, getting port work and head flowing will also boost power, the fantastic side effect is it will make space for increasing the power increase on other tuning parts.

Alfa Boxer performance cam tips.

Some Alfa Boxer engines respond better to more aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuelling also will say much on the bhp gains you'll get.

Longer 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.

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

NB: Fast road cams usually push up the bhp across the rev range, you may lose a little low end bhp but top end will be better.

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

In a road car you should ideally to optimize your engines power to your usage of the car.

I'd never find a Alfa Boxer Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Alfa Boxer

Stage 1 Alfa Boxer parts:

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

Stage 2 Alfa Boxer parts:

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

Stage 3 Alfa Boxer parts:

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

Plan your options and then acquire your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.
Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Remapping allows a tuner to release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your Alfa Boxer.

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 rely on the parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Alfa Boxer

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 Alfa Boxer.

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 car is fitted with a turbo tuning parts are giving better power gains and most turbocharged engines are built using many forged and stronger components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only just able to handle stock power

Research these restrictions and install more solid crank and pistons to survive the power.

It's not unheard of tuners spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the Alfa Boxer only to watch the engine literally blow up soon after it's completed.

Bigger upgraded turbo chargers will usually suffer low end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up really quickly but do not have the high rpm bhp gains.

In recent times the selection of turbos is always evolving and we now see variable vane turbos, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently profiled 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 challenging to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Alfa Boxer

Don't omit to increase 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 over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows a bit of 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 Alfa Boxer performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your 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.

Sports exhausts increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be located the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing high performance 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 Alfa Boxer

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

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We want to know your experiences with mods on your Alfa Boxer, it helps us improve our tips and keeps us current so please use the comments box to drop a tip.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article