Ford Sierra Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Ford Sierra tuning guide."

The almighty Sierra RS Cosworth and RS 500 show the full potential of the Sierra Chassis.

It's worth noting that the 2.0 Cosworth engine is undertuned, and overengineered, ready for Ford to drop motorsport mods into it.

There are spare injector slots, and the standard block can handle  a lot more power, just drop on a modern twinscroll turbo and you'll have one of the finest road cars out there.

Avoid the 1.6 as this is seriously underpowered although you could always do an engine swap on these. The XR4 and XR4x4 models give a good amount of power and handling and make an excellent base to work on.

The Sierra is a good project car to execute. Sit down first and research Sierra tuning to avoid making the usual tuning slip ups we regularly hear people complain about.

The breakers yards provide a treasure trove of parts for the Sierra as the sporty models have the uprated brakes and sporty equipment and more powerful engines, providing  a ready base of performance parts to exploit.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Sierra with a nice fat peak torque band.

Following our guidance for tuning your Sierra you will attain a practical hot car that will potentially embarrass bigger cars.

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.

Tuning modifications.

These mods performance upgrades are usually installed by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

The Sierra Cosworth Box mated to an MTX80 gearbox provides the power for many kit cars.

Getting the correct grade of motorsport 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.

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

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

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

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

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

The intake and 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 difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap for the best performance gains.

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

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

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Please note that WE DO NOT FEEL YOU GET POWER GAINS FROM INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

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

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

Turbo engines are just begging to be flashed. You will see phenomenal power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and phenomenal modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos increase power in increasing proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating 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

Handling modifications are top of many to do lists for the Sierra.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you Sierra radically enhancing your drive.

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

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tyres - ideally with a directional tread pattern tyre. The downside to large alloys on your Sierra is that you're altering your final drive ratio so this will have a detrimental effect on acceleration.

For this reason try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases not going bigger than 16 inches.

There is a more updated version of this Ford Sierra Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

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

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