Acura RDX Tuning

"Thanks for reading my Acura RDX tuning article."

Originally fitted with the awesome  2.3 L K23A1 Turbo engine and inline 4 putting down 240bhp the Acura RDX made a good performance car. Later models came with the 3.5 L J35Z2 V6 until 2019 when it was replaced with a more efficient 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine

As a turbocharged engine it marked an unusual choice of powertrain for Honda who tended to focus on high revving NASP engines, but they did it well and the engine responds well to tuning upgrades, retaining the reliability you've come to expect from Acura."Thanks for reading my Acura RDX tuning article."

The RDX is a good tuning project to play with. With the right mods your RDX can be transformed into a fun car. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

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 bhp out of the top end.

With our recommended mods you can convert your RDX into a hot hatch, potentially beating larger 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.

This list of the stages and sports parts are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the best sports upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

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

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

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

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

In this article we shall give a brief overview 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 upgrade.One of the most cost effective mechanical uprated parts you can do to your NASP engine is to fit a fast road cam .

It maximises the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. We'd also caution you not to go with a motor sport cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

When pushing up the power you will need to look at to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after modified mods are done can usually be traced to fuel delivery or timing issues.To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade the injectors on your engine.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Contrary to popular belief there is usually a small power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

For most RDX engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

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

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools Your clutch can slip as you increase the power if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power losses through the transmission. The best mods we would do for your RDX are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

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.

We've also come across some owners toying with twin charging applications and making some impressively high power hikes.

Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are generally easier to add than a turbo. It is more challenging to map a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with revs.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for people often first priority in your RDX tuning project.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you RDX radically improving your drive.

We suggest that you fit sports suspension and lower the car by 24mm - 38 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with performance suspension.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. We can't go into too much detail here about tyres but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice. track legal slick tyres work well on RDX, and make a big difference over budget tyres. We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the RDX large 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.

For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have fitted larger wheels with no problems.

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

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss RDX options in more detail with our RDX 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.

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