Mazda 626 Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective Mazda 626 modifications."

We love Mazdas and as I learn't to drive in a 626 they will always have a special place in my heart.

They felt so much better than European cars of the same era, a touch of luxury and quite a few innovative gadgets we now take for granted, but back in the day they were considered extras.

They were reliable cars, and had a good range of engines across the years, with each generation improving on the former one.

The 626 is a good tuning project to execute. With the right mods your 626 can be transformed into an awesome motor. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade so you don't waste your money.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

 

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you 626.

With our recommended mods you can change your 626 into a really fun car, potentially beating more powerful cars on the track.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Tuning modifications.

These are the sports upgrades are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of modified upgrades for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

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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: Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel.

Stage 2 mods: high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Competition cam.

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a daily driven car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The point of our guides is to give a little insight into the world of modifying upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best uprated parts and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a bolt on tuning modifications goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and power surges after your sports mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Improved injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 626s uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits are only beneficial to boost performance if your air intake is struggling!

Adding an induction kit to most small engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Derestricting the air flow into the engine is the primary part of performance tuning so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can get this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting a professionally ported and polished head with larger valves can fully release the engines power.

When you heavily modify your 626 you will often find that the standard clutch starts to fail so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we recommend for your 626 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful.

However a chipped ECU on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are generally harder to add than a supercharger.

It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with engine speed.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. Adding forced induction will often require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are high on most peoples lists for the 626.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you 626 dramatically improving your drive.

We would go to a maximum drop of 27mm - 35 mm on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks.

Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling.

It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy directional tread pattern performance tyres.We should point out that although they can look cool on the 626 big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance.

The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Although some people have fitted larger wheels without problems we would stick to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this Mazda 626 Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 626 options in more detail with our 626 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mazda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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