Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the VAG EA111 engine!

Car tuning tips:EA111 Modifications"

EA111 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the VAG EA111

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the VAG EA111 engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are regularly seeing threads about how to improve the EA111 from people inquiring about getting more power from the EA111 and wanting to know what are the greatest EA111 mods that work. So let us look into VAG EA111 upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

In this article we review and look at EA111 tuning and show the greatest modifications. VAG EA111 great bases for a tuning project and with the right sports mods like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving experience.

Just because particular mods are appear in lots of EA111 projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, we shall concentrate on the ultimate mods that will give your EA111 the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the misaprehension 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'.

EA111 induction kits

Improving air intake on the EA111

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of air it runs rich resulting in lost power which risks damage to the EA111. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Forcing more fuel and air into your EA111 is the main goal to any performance tuning job.

It is common that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the EA111 when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

Headers flow the during the engines suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a substantial effect on to fuel delivery on the EA111.

Most air intake manifolds are improved through aftermarket tuning parts, although a few manufacturers provide well optimised air intake manifolds.

Adding a EA111 larger valve kit, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also improve power, and more importantly will give you increasing the power increase on other upgrades.

EA111 performance cam tips.

Some EA111 engines respond better to more aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will make differences on the power gains you'll get.

Altering valve 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 EA111 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine torque. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the torque accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams usually boost the bhp through the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little low end bhp but the top end will improve.

Competition cams, boost the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport and race cam is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your driving style so for a daily driver stick with a fast road EA111 cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the EA111

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 EA111 parts:

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

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

Stage 2 EA111 parts:

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

Stage 3 EA111 parts:

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

Plan your options and then source your upgrades and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

Remaps should help to release the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your EA111.

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 may vary depending on the modifications you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the EA111

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 EA111.

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

If the engine is fitted with a turbo mods are relatively easy and turbo charged engines are built with more solid components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only able to handle stock power

See where you'll find these limitations and install better pistons and crank to cope with the power.

We've seen mechanics spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the EA111 only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the car catastrophically fail soon after it's been completed.

Larger capacity turbos often experience a bottom end lag, and small turbos spool up quickly but won't have the peak end engines power gains.

Thanks to progress the choice of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and direct 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 more challenging to install. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the EA111

When you increase the bhp you will need to uprate to the fuelling.

More bhp needs more fuel. We would recommend you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% capacity when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows 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 EA111 performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find 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.

Don't go with the widest exhaust you can buy this will slow the exhaust 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 can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a better 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 EA111

Like most engines an EA111, 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 EA111, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned EA111 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 EA111 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about EA111 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their EA111.

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