Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Vauxhall C22NE engine!

Modifying and improving: "C22NE Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Vauxhall C22NE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Vauxhall C22NE engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting posts requesting information on how to improve the C22NE from people inquiring about getting more power from the C22NE and wanting to know what are the premier C22NE mods that work. So let us look into Vauxhall C22NE tuning mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

We shall review and look at C22NE tuning and outline the optimum modifications. Vauxhall C22NE really good project engines and with a few sensible modified tuning mods like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will dramatically increase your driving fun.

Just because particular upgrades are appear in lots of C22NE projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll focus on the ultimate upgrades that will give your C22NE the best power gain for you spend.

Without us subscribing to the common myth 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'.

C22NE induction kits

Improving air intake on the C22NE

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of air it runs rich sapping power which risks damage to the C22NE. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Feeding more air into each cylinder is vital to any engine modification task.

You'll commonly see there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the C22NE when considerably more air is being sucked 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 limited performance at a much lower level.

Intake headers transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

The bore size, shape and flow rate of the Plenum can make a noticeable improvement to fuel delivery on the C22NE.

Many mass produced engine air intake manifolds are crying out for motorsport parts, although a few manufacturers provide fairly well optimized air intake manifolds.

Increasing the C22NE valve size, doing a bit of C22NE port enlargement and head flowing will also raise performance, and importantly will give you raising the performance increase on other tuning parts.

C22NE performance cam tips.

Different C22NE engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the torque gains you'll achieve.

A longer valve duration 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.

Altering your C22NE camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually increase the torque through the rev band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but top end will be better.

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

In a typical daily driver you need to optimize your torque band to your typical driving style.

I would be surprised if you have ever thought a C22NE Competition camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the C22NE

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 C22NE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 C22NE parts:

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

Stage 3 C22NE parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then find your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

ECU flashing will help release the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your C22NE.

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 your results usually depend much on the tuning mods you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the C22NE

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 C22NE.

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

When an engine is turbo charged modifications are going to net you a larger power gain and turbo engines are built with better components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only just able to handle stock power

See where you'll find these limitations and fit more solid crank and pistons to survive the power.

We see many people spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the C22NE only to watch the motor catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's used on the roads.

Bigger capacity turbochargers commonly experience a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up really quickly but don't have the peak rpm engines power gains.

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

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and feed these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large power gains, although harder to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the C22NE

When you raise the power you will need to uprate to the fuel delivery.

More power needs more fuel. Don't forget to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate 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 C22NE performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the flow rate is 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 generally help improve air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing sports 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 C22NE

Like most engines an C22NE, 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 C22NE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned C22NE 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 C22NE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about C22NE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their C22NE.

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