Acura TLX Tuning

"Thank you for reading this Acura TLX tuning tip guide."

The TLX engines offered were, depending on the year, either a 2.4-litre K24W7 I4 or the 3.5-litre J35Y6 V6, with both having pros and cons but they suit the car really well and we'd plump for the more recent 2.4 litre.

The TLX received a facelift and upgrades in 2017, and a highly acclaimed entertainment system supporting Android auto and Apple Car play. This was when the 2.4 litre engine was introduced, cutting fuel consumption and beating the original 3.5 liter engine with 208ps engine.

In 2020 the car has a new V6 i-VTEC powerplan with a choice of P-AWS or SH-AWD.

The TLX is a good project car to execute. The key to TLX tuning is getting the right mods - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Our aim in TLX engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

TLX make good sleepers if you debadge them and fit the most powerful engine upgrades and handling upgrades you can source!

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.

These mods tuning parts are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the correct grade of motorsport mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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

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

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

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a drivable and fun car you need a wide torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give a little insight into the world to the best upgrades for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a bolt on modifications goes on a NASP engine.

The intake & exhaust durations 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 to fully realise your gains.

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

If you find you experience flat spots and surges after your motorsport kits you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Bigger injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the 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.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is generally very little 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!

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for TLX engines you should settle for a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will reduce 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.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional head porting and polishing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. A good heavy duty fast road sports clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or assume a standard clutch to cope. The best mods in our experience for your TLX are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Turbo engines are just pleading to be Remapped. You will see big power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and big modifications for your money.

We've also seen some tuners toying with twincharged conversions and making some impressively high power gains.

Adding forced induction will see significant power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. It is more challenging to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed.

Superchargers, however will give a boost which is directly proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engines compression ratio .

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many TLX owners uprate the handling of their cars with sports suspension modifications as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Putting a little negative camber on the wheels and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe out, will greatly benefit your TLX in handling and cornering.

Drop the car by as much as 25mm - 37 mm and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are generally lighter than steel ones. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tyre. Large TLX alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

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

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