Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Renault R9M engine!

Everything You Need To Know About "R9M Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Renault R9M

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Renault R9M engine!"

TorqueCars are regularly seeing threads requesting info on how to improve the R9M from people wanting to know what are the best tips for R9M modifications. So let us look into Renault R9M modifications and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

Now we will review R9M tuning and summarise the ultimate mods that work. Renault R9M have loads of potential and with a few sensible uprated mods like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely maximize your driving opportunities.

The best R9M parts on an engine are usually the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular R9M parts, they need to be cost effective.

R9M induction kits

Improving air intake on the R9M

You need air and fuel 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 sapping power which risks damage to the R9M. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the goal to any engine modification job to push fuel and air into your R9M but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the R9M when considerably 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 was restricting bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Headers transmit the air from the intake filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big difference to to fuel mixing and power on the R9M.

Commonly we find the intake are crying out for aftermarket tuning parts, although a few OEM provide fairly well optimized intake.

Increasing the R9M valve size, getting R9M port enlargement and head flowing will also improve bhp, this will afford you a better bhp increase on other modifications.

R9M performance cam tips.

Some R9M engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and fuelling also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll make.

Extending exhaust or intake 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.

Altering your R9M camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams normally increase the performance throughout the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little low down torque but the high end rpm power will be better.

Motorsport cams, increase 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 and race cam will just annoy you whilst in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your typical driving style so for a typical daily driver stick with a shorter duration R9M cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the R9M

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 R9M parts:

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

Stage 2 R9M parts:

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

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

Stage 3 R9M parts:

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

The R9M power trains make great tuning projects and we're finding that there is a lot of parts and performance parts around.

Remapping allows a tuner to release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your R9M.

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 may vary depending on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the R9M

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 R9M.

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.

When your car has a turbo already fitted upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and we find turbo engines are made with many forged and stronger components.

However you'll find engines will need better parts at higher power limits

We recommend you find these limitations and fit more solid crank and pistons to cope with the power.

There are many people spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the R9M only to see the R9M explode on it's first outing after it's first rolling road session.

Bigger capacity turbochargers often suffer a bottom end lag, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the high rpm engines power gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbochargers is always increasing and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. 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 bhp gains, although more complex to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the R9M

Don't dismiss the need uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows 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 R9M performance exhaust upgrades

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

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still 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 can help balance the flow of air through the engine.

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

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst installed, so adding a faster flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the R9M

Like most engines an R9M, 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 R9M, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned R9M 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 R9M why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about R9M tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their R9M.

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