Modding upgrading and tuning the VAG 3.2 VR6 engine!

Discover "3.2 VR6 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the VAG 3.2 VR6

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the VAG 3.2 VR6 engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are regularly getting emails asking about how to improve the 3.2 VR6 from people wanting to know what are the ultimate 3.2 VR6 mods that work. So let us look into VAG 3.2 VR6 parts and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The VAG 3.2 VR6 are popular engines and with carefully picked uprated modifications like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will noticeably enhance your driving fun.

This pages aim is consider 3.2 VR6 tuning and outline the greatest upgrades.

The optimum 3.2 VR6 tuning mods on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best gains for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular 3.2 VR6 tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

3.2 VR6 induction kits

Improving air intake on the 3.2 VR6

You need air matched to 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 losing 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 car tuning project to get fuel and air into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the 3.2 VR6 when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

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

Intake transmit the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a large difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the 3.2 VR6.

Most intake headers are needing aftermarket tuning parts, although some manufacturers provide fairly well optimized intake headers.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some 3.2 VR6 port enlargement and head flowing will also lift bhp, and more importantly will allow you to get raising the bhp increase on other tuning parts.

3.2 VR6 performance cam tips.

Different 3.2 VR6 engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations than others.

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

Extending exhaust or intake 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 torque gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to increase the bhp and torque through the rev band, you could sacrifice a little low down power but your higher rpm power will be better.

Motorsport and race camshafts, increase the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a daily driver you should ideally to optimize your torque band to your typical driving style.

You'll never find a 3.2 VR6 Race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the 3.2 VR6

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 3.2 VR6 parts:

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

Stage 2 3.2 VR6 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 3.2 VR6 parts:

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

The 3.2 VR6 units are great to work on and we're happy to report there is a growing number of mods and performance parts out there.

ECU mapping should help to fully realize the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your 3.2 VR6.

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

Turbo modifications on the 3.2 VR6

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 3.2 VR6.

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.

If your car has forced induction modifications are simpler to install and most turbocharged engines are built with more solid components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only just able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limits and upgrade to better pistons and crank to survive the power.

We've seen people spending a loads of money on turbo charger upgrades on the 3.2 VR6 only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the 3.2 VR6 explode on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Large upgraded turbochargers will usually suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbochargers spool up more quickly but won't have the top end engines power gains.

In recent times the selection of turbo units is always evolving and we are seeing 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 2 channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost 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 harder to configure. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the 3.2 VR6

When you raise the performance you will need to look at to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. Don't forget to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% capacity when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and affords 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 3.2 VR6 performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is 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 equal out the flow of air through the engine.

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

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst installed, so adding a better flowing sports 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 3.2 VR6

Like most engines an 3.2 VR6, 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 3.2 VR6, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned 3.2 VR6 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 3.2 VR6 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about 3.2 VR6 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their 3.2 VR6.

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