Modding uprating the Vauxhall X22XE engine!

Fully Explore "X22XE Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Vauxhall X22XE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Vauxhall X22XE engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are frequently getting posts requesting info on how to improve the X22XE from people inquiring about getting more power from the X22XE and wanting to know what are the best X22XE power upgrades. So let us look into Vauxhall X22XE mods and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will look into X22XE tuning and highlight the greatest upgrades. Vauxhall X22XE are fantastic to work on and with the optimum modified modifications like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely improve your driving fun.

Just because particular tuning mods are are common on X22XE it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll concentrate on the best tuning mods that will give your X22XE the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the popular mentality 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'.

X22XE induction kits

Improving air intake on the X22XE

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 not enough air it runs rich sapping 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 feed more air into the X22XE engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the X22XE when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

When tuning you may well find you need to get an air sensor or flow meter capable of upto 4 bars to cope with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped power at a much lower level.

Intake headers take the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow rate of the Plenum can make a substantial difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the X22XE.

I usually find air intake manifolds are ripe for an upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing air intake manifolds.

Big valve conversions on the X22XE, carrying out port work and head flowing will also lift power, and significantly will afford you increasing the power increase on other upgrades.

X22XE performance cam tips.

Different X22XE engines respond better to mild cam durations than others.

The ecu map and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll make.

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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the X22XE can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

NB: Fast road cams usually raise the bhp over the rpm band, you might lose a little low down torque but high end rpm power will be lifted.

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

For a car driven daily you need to optimize your torque band to your typical driving style.

You'll never have found a X22XE Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the X22XE

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 X22XE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 X22XE parts:

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

Stage 3 X22XE parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then acquire your modifications and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.

Mapping should help to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your X22XE.

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 parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the X22XE

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 X22XE.

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

When your motor is fitted with a turbo mods are relatively easy and turbo engines use harder and stronger components.

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

Research these limits and install higher quality crank and pistons to cope with the power.

There are many tuners spending a loads of money on turbo charger upgrades on the X22XE only to experience the motor catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's first rolling road session.

Larger turbos will usually suffer a bottom end lag, and small turbos spool up much more quickly but don't have the top end bhp gains.

In recent times the world of turbochargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and direct these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. 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 and torque gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the X22XE

Don't overlook the need to uprate the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. Care modifiers usually say to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when specifying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords 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 X22XE performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see 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.

Don't go with the widest exhaust you can buy you'll reduce 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.

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a higher 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 X22XE

Like most engines an X22XE, 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 X22XE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned X22XE 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 X22XE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about X22XE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their X22XE.

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