ILX Tuning

"Thanks for reading this Acura ILX tuning guide."

The ILX was a luxury compact car released in 2012, and proving to be very popular. It had a wide choice of great engines:-

  • 1.5 L LDA/LEA15 I4
  • 2.0 L R20A I4
  • 2.4 L K24Z7 I4
  • 2.4 L K24V7 I4 (2016-)

The ILX was facelifted in 2016 with the 2.4 litre earth dreams engine, and in 2019 got a makeover with the new Acura grill design and you can choose red leather!

The ILX is a good project car to do. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome ILX but don't be fooled there are lots of modified parts out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

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

Turning our attention to the engine we need to get a bit more torque out of the top end.

Spending justa little bit of money on the top engine and handling parts should transform your car into a very credible performer.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine Tuning.

The following sports modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you start.

Getting the right performance mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Stage 1 mods: Remap, Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust.

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

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

You really need to keep as much low end power as possible and aim for a long power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best modifications for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.A fast road camshaft is widely accepted as one of the best NASP power mods you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

The intake and exhaust flow play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to ramp up the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, flat spots and erratic idling after kits are done can usually be traced to fuelling or timing issues.Bigger injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

If you've uprated your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little power gain to be had by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Derestricting the airflow into the engine is the primary part of 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 sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not really increase power and usually rob you of power.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of gases through the engine. But if your exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Head work including a gas flow and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. In nearly all cases of ILX tuning your clutch will start to fail and this should be improved - read our article on clutches for more information. The best mods we recommend for your ILX are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be flashed. You will see impressive power gains on most modern turbocharged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and impressive modifications for your money.Adding forced induction will see impressive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is generally cheaper to add a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

Superchargers however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is simpler. Adding forced induction will nearly always require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the ILX.

We found that most ILX factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out -1 to 2, and a little negative camber will often benefit your cornering and handling.

We would go to a maximum drop of 26mm - 36 mm on most models. You risk compromising your handling if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are generally less heavy than steel ones. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tyres - ideally with a track legal slick tyre. Large ILX alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have with bigger wheels without issues we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this Acura ILX Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

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

We need your help improving this article, so please send us your feedback in the comments box below and pass on any tips, points or facts we have wrong or have not covered.

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Remapping guideTop 10 performance modsGuide to induction kitsCleaning alloy wheels

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