Guide to tuning the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI (EA837) engine

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the VAG 3.0 V6 24v TFSI engine!"

Here we detail the best approach to 3.0 V6 24v TFSI tuning and report on the ultimate upgrades. VAG 3.0 V6 24v TFSI make a good tuning project and with a few sensible sports parts like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will substantially maximise your driving enjoyment.

The ultimate 3.0 V6 24v TFSI tuning parts on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular 3.0 V6 24v TFSI tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains on the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the torque and power output.

NB: Fast road cams tend to increase the power through the rev range, you could sacrifice a little low down bhp but your top end will be better.

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

On a typical daily driver must carefully try to optimize your power band to your driving style.

I'd be gobsmaked if you have found a 3.0 V6 24v TFSI Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Each engine responds better to mild camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the bhp gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration 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.

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Guide to the Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

  1. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    If the intake or exhaust are restricted in any way this will have an impact on your cars performance, so use an induction kit/filter upgrade and better flowing exhaust whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction.

  2. Mods that Improve Handling

    Braking, Suspension and general alignment of the suspension components is vital for any tuning project even before you start increasing power.

  3. Fit Stronger Parts

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  4. ECU Tunes & Remapping

    While some cars can be easily remapped, others may require piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's but this is the most vital step of your tuning project as it fully releases the power from all of your mods and upgrades. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  5. More Power Needs More Fuel & Air

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise. Fuel to Air ratio is vital so upgrade the fuel pump & injectors. Also you can look to perform head mods (flowing and porting), bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades to improve fuel.

Stages of Tune

Stage 1 mods: Intake headers, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft.

Stage 2 mods: Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, induction kit.

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam.

The 3.0 V6 24v TFSI units respond well to upgrades and thankfully there is a lot of parts and tuning parts out there.

ECU mapping allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your 3.0 V6 24v TFSI.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the end result will rely on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

It is the whole point to any tuning project to pull more air and fuel into your 3.0 V6 24v TFSI

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

Shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a large change to fuel atomisation on the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI.

It's not uncommon that plenum chambers are needing aftermarket parts, although some makers provide fairly well optimized plenum chambers.

Adding a 3.0 V6 24v TFSI larger valve kit, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift power, and more importantly will afford you an improved power increase on other upgrades.

Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your 3.0 V6 24v TFSI

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 the engine is turbocharged, tuning mods are more reliable and you will discover turbocharged engines are built with many forged and stronger components.

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

See where you'll find these restrictions and install higher quality crank and pistons to handle the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine block throw a rod on it's first outing after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Larger upgraded turbochargers tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

Over the last 20 years the selection of turbochargers is always moving on and we now see variable vane turbochargers, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI when loads more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more difficult to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling upgrades and mods

Don't miss you'll need to raise the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and gives some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Exhaust upgrades and mods

You only need to to uprate your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can help equal out the flow of air through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions come around the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI

The EA837 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the EA837, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

History of the 3.0 V6 24v TFSI EA837 Engine

  • 268 bhp at 4,780–6,500 rpm 295 lbft at 2,150–4,780 rpm
    Audi A4Audi A5, Audi Q5
  • 286 bhp at 4,850–6,500 rpm 310 lbft at 2,500–4,800 rpm
    Audi A6 (C6)
  • 329 bhp at 5,500–7,000 rpm 325 lbft at 2,500–5,000 rpm
    Audi S4 (B8), Audi S5
  • 349 bhp at 6,000–6,500 rpm 347 lbft at 4,000–4,500 rpm
    Audi SQ5 (8R) VW Touareg Hybrid

For more information on Tuning your VAG engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss EA837 tuning options in more detail with our EA837 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased VAG tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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