Tuning the Fiat Firefly N3

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Fiat Firefly N3 engine!"

We are always seeing threads requesting info on the best tips for Firefly N3 modifications. So let us look into Fiat Firefly N3 upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

The Fiat Firefly N3 are awesome to work on and with the optimum tuning tuning mods like remapping, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably enhance your driving experience.

Here we provide a guide to Firefly N3 tuning and provide tips on the optimum modifications for your car.

Just because particular tuning parts are popular with Firefly N3 owners it doesn't mean it is good, we shall optimum tuning parts that will give your Firefly N3 the best power gain for you spend.

Significant gains on the Firefly N3 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 commonly push up the performance through the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little low down torque but your higher rpm power will be higher.

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

On a car used daily one should, ideally, try to optimize your torque band to your typical driving style.

I would be surprised if you have ever thought a Firefly N3 Competition camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Some Firefly N3 engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

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

Altering valve durations 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.

Firefly N3 Tuning Stages

Stage 1 Firefly N3 modifications: Fast road camshaft, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Sports exhaust manifold.

Stage 2 Firefly N3 modifications: Fast road cam, high flow fuel injectors, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit.

Stage 3 Firefly N3 modifications: Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Competition cam, Twin charging conversions.

Carefully think through your options and then source your parts and set yourself a power target to void expensive mistakes.

A remap should help to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your Firefly N3.

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

It is the aim to any engine modification job to get air and fuel into each cylinder

Intake take the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial change to fuel delivery on the Firefly N3.

Many mass produced engine intake headers are in desperate need of aftermarket parts, although a few car makers provide decently flowing intake headers.

Increasing the Firefly N3 valve size, doing a bit of port matching and head flowing will also improve power, this will give you a greater power increase on other parts.

Turbo upgrades for the Firefly N3

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 Firefly N3

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 forced induction parts are giving better power gains and turbocharged engines will have stronger components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

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

It's not unheard of car owners spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the Firefly N3 only to experience the car go up in smoke when it's been finished.

Bigger upgraded turbochargers often suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the top end engines power gains.

In recent times the range of turbo chargers is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the Firefly N3 when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

Going up you'll find 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited bhp and torque at a much lower level.

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

Uprating Firefly N3 fuel injectors

When you lift the performance you will need to increase to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows a little 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.

Best Firefly N3 performance exhausts

Only look to increase your exhaust if the existing exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is still fine 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 usually air flow from the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions are in the catalysts installed, so adding a better flowing high performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Problems and issues to look out for on the Firefly N3

The Firefly N3 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the Firefly N3, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your Firefly N3 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our Firefly N3 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which modifications were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our Firefly N3 guides and tips are kept up to date.

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