Tuning the BMW N14

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the BMW N14 engine!"

The BMW N14 have loads of potential and with a few sensible uprated modifications like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will really maximise your driving pleasure.

Here we look at N14 tuning and report on the optimum modifications.

The ultimate N14 tuning mods on an engine are in our opinion the ones that give the biggest return for your cash.

We won't be swayed by popular N14 tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

Altering your N14 camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the power band accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to push up the bhp through the rev range, you may sacrifice a little low down torque but the top end will improve.

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

For a car used daily must carefully try to match your power band to your usage of the car.

I'd be shocked if you have ever thought a N14 Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Some N14 engines respond better to different cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the power gains you'll achieve.

Longer valve durations can alter the power 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.

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

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

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

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

Remaps helps release the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your N14.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the outcome usually vary depending on the parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

It is the aim to any tuning project to feed more air and fuel into the N14 engine

The intake plenum take the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Design and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial improvement to fuel delivery on the N14.

We often see intake are in dire need of an upgrade, although some makers provide decently flowing intake.

Fitting big valve kits, getting port matching and head flowing will also boost performance, this will make space for increasing the performance increase on other parts.

Turbo upgrades

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 N14

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes impressive power gains.

If your car has a turbo already fitted parts are going to net you a larger power gain and you will discover turbocharged engines are built with many forged and stronger components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power

It is important to find these restrictions and upgrade to better quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of people spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the N14 only to have the engine explode when it's used on the roads.

Larger turbo units commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up quickly but do not have the peak rpm engines power gains.

We are pleased that the market of turbo chargers is always developing and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

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

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the N14 when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large performance gains, although more complex to setup. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Fuelling upgrades and mods

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to pay attention to the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque increase.Don't forget to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when fitting an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows some spare capacity should the engine require 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.

Exhaust upgrades and mods

You should look to upgrade your exhaust if your exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still ok 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 balance the flow of air through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a higher flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the N14

The N14 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the N14, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

Carbon build up has been noted, and we recommend a good regular thrash with some BG fuel cleaner to keep on top of things.

History of the N14 Engine

The engine was developed jointly with the PSA group and BMW, and the PSA group branded the engine "Prince".

See the PSA prince tuning article for more on this engine.

Prince won many awards in it's production a great reward for this collaboration.

The N14 was used in the Mini N14

Replaced the N13 and we see direct injection valvetronic and twin scroll turbo charger technology included in this engine.

For more information on Tuning your BMW engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss N14 tuning options in more detail with our N14 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW 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.

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

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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One Response to “N14 Tuning”

  1. G.T. says:

    The article are very interesting and easy to understand unlike my writing that does need an interpreter .
    Thank you for you help so far soon I ll be getting on with the forum .
    Your sincerely

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