Modding upgrading and tuning the AlfaRomeo Alfa Twin Spark engine!

Discover "Alfa Twin Spark Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the AlfaRomeo Alfa Twin Spark

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the AlfaRomeo Alfa Twin Spark engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting messages asking about how to improve the Alfa Twin Spark from people wanting to know what are the greatest Alfa Twin Spark mods that work. So let us look into AlfaRomeo Alfa Twin Spark upgrades and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Therefore we look into Alfa Twin Spark tuning and report on the best modifications for your car. AlfaRomeo Alfa Twin Spark are good project engines and with the right sports upgrades like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving experience.

When talking about the top parts for your Alfa Twin Spark engine, we are going to focus on the tuning parts that give the best power gain for you money.

Alfa Twin Spark induction kits

Improving air intake on the Alfa Twin Spark

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the Alfa Twin Spark. 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 upgrade project to pull air and fuel into the Alfa Twin Spark engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the Alfa Twin Spark when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped power at a much lower level.

The intake plenum flow the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and rate of flow of the air Intake manifold can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Alfa Twin Spark.

We often see headers are in desperate need of aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide reasonably well designed headers.

Big valve conversions on the Alfa Twin Spark, carrying out port matching and head flowing will also boost torque, and significantly will make space for increasing the torque increase on other tuning parts.

Alfa Twin Spark performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to mild camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll make.

Extending exhaust or intake durations 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.

Altering your Alfa Twin Spark cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly push up the bhp through the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end torque but the high end rpm power will be better.

Race camshafts, push up 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 is not great driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your typical driving style so for a road car stick with a mild fast road Alfa Twin Spark camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Alfa Twin Spark

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 Alfa Twin Spark parts:

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

Stage 2 Alfa Twin Spark parts:

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

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

Stage 3 Alfa Twin Spark parts:

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

Review your options and then acquire your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

ECU mapping will help release the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your Alfa Twin Spark.

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 vary depending on the tuning mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Alfa Twin Spark

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 Twin Spark.

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

When a car is fitted with a turbocharger mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbo charged engines are made with many forged and stronger components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these limitations and install better quality components to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of people spending a loads of money on turbo upgrades on the Alfa Twin Spark only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the whole thing go up in smoke when it's finished.

Larger turbochargers commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up quickly but don't have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thanks to progress the market of turbochargers is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. 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 torque gains, although more difficult to install. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Alfa Twin Spark

When you increase the performance you will need to ramp up to the fuelling.

More performance needs more fuel. It is important to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 15% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and gives you some 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 Twin Spark performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is fine 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 will certainly help air flow from the engine but do not go too big or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a freer 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 Alfa Twin Spark

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

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