Modding uprating the Hyundai Gamma engine!

Discover "Gamma Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Hyundai Gamma

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Hyundai Gamma engine!"

TorqueCars are always getting posts about how to improve the Gamma from people inquiring about getting more power from the Gamma and wanting to know what are the best Gamma upgrades. So let us look into Hyundai Gamma upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

This pages aim is look at Gamma tuning and show the best modifications. Hyundai Gamma make awesome project engines and with a few sensible performance upgrades like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will definitely improve your driving pleasure.

When talking about the ultimate parts for your Gamma engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the biggest return for your cash.

Gamma induction kits

Improving air intake on the Gamma

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 too little air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the Gamma. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the fundamental goal to any engine upgrade project to pull fuel and air into the Gamma engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there's a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Gamma when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

Engines intake headers transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

Structure and flow rate of the Plenum can make a big improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Gamma.

On popular production engines intake are in desperate need of aftermarket tuning parts, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good intake.

Larger Gamma valves, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also increase bhp, & importantly will make space for a better bhp increase on other upgrades.

Gamma performance cam tips.

Different Gamma engines respond better to more aggressive camshaft durations than others.

The engine timing and fuelling also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll get.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts usually boost the torque throughout the rpm range, you could drop a little low end power but your top end will be better.

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

A Race cam is not great driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your preferences so for a car driven daily stick with a mild fast road Gamma cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Gamma

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 Gamma parts:

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

Stage 2 Gamma parts:

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

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

Stage 3 Gamma parts:

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

The Gamma engines make great tuning projects and we note that there are plenty of parts and performance parts out there.

ECU mapping will help to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your Gamma.

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 power output will depend much on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Gamma

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 Gamma.

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

When your motor is fitted with a turbo tuning parts are simpler to install and turbo charged engines already contain better components.

However every engines have weakspots

Research these limitations and upgrade to stronger pistons, crank and engine components to survive the power.

We've seen guys spending a lots of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Gamma only to have the Gamma go up in smoke just after it's used in anger.

Bigger turbo chargers tend to suffer low end lag, and little turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the peak end power band gains.

In the last 10 years the selection of turbo units is always increasing and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and push 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 performance gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Gamma

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should increase the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a bhp hike. Experienced tuners recommend to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and gives 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 Gamma performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the 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.

Note that with the largest exhaust you can get you'll slow up 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 are traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports 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 Gamma

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

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