Modding upgrading and tuning the Vauxhall F18D3 engine!

Everything You Need To Know About "F18D3 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Vauxhall F18D3

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Vauxhall F18D3 engine!"

Sites like TorqueCars often are getting messages about how to improve the F18D3 from people inquiring about getting more power from the F18D3 and wanting to know what are the ultimate F18D3 power upgrades. So let us look into Vauxhall F18D3 upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Vauxhall F18D3 provide a fun base for your project and with the right modified mods like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will certainly improve your driving pleasure.

We shall examine the options for your F18D3 tuning and summarise the best modifications for your car.

The best F18D3 parts on an engine are usually the ones that give the biggest return for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular F18D3 parts, they need to be cost effective.

F18D3 induction kits

Improving air intake on the F18D3

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 insufficient air it runs rich resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pulling more air into each cylinder is the aim to any tuning job.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the F18D3 when considerably 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 sapped performance at a much lower level.

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

Shape and flow rate of the Intake headers can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the F18D3.

Commonly we find the intake headers are needing aftermarket parts, although some car makers provide fairly well optimized intake headers.

Increasing the F18D3 valve size, getting 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, this will give you a greater bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

F18D3 performance cam tips.

Some F18D3 engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuelling also have an effect on the power gains you'll make.

Longer 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 F18D3 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the power band accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams normally increase the bhp through the rev band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end power but the higher rpm power will be higher.

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

A Race camshaft makes it harder when on the daily commute.

You should ideally match your power band to your preferences so for a car used daily stick with a fast road F18D3 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the F18D3

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 F18D3 parts:

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

Stage 2 F18D3 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 F18D3 parts:

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

The F18D3 engines respond well to upgrades and thankfully there are increasing numbers of modifications and tuning parts about.

A remap allows a tuner to release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your F18D3.

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 usually differs on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the F18D3

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 F18D3.

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

When the engine has a turbo already fitted modifications are more reliable and we find turbo charged engines are made using better components.

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

See where you'll find these limitations and upgrade to better quality components to survive the power.

We've seen guys spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the F18D3 only to experience the motor explode on it's first outing after it's finished.

Bigger turbo units often experience low end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up really quickly but won't have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the market of turbo chargers is always developing and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also improve 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 challenging to get working. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the F18D3

When you improve the power you will need to uprate to the fuelling.

More power needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and affords a bit of 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 F18D3 performance exhaust upgrades

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

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust 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.

Please dont run with the widest exhaust you can source 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 in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the F18D3

Like most engines an F18D3, 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 F18D3, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned F18D3 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 F18D3 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about F18D3 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their F18D3.

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