Holden Astra Tuning

"Tuning guide to the greatest Holden Astra modifications."

The Astra is a good car tuning project to do. The key to Astra tuning is balancing power and reliability - a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

We look at Astra tuning and outline the premier upgrades. Holden Astras make a good tuning project and with the right performance modifications you can certainly maximise your driving pleasure.

Tuning tips and articles

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

 

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you Astra.

With the right choice of mods you can change your Astra into a hot hatch, beating more powerful 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 performance upgrades are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

Getting the best tuning modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

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

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

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

Your targets when modding your car should be a flat and wide torque output. You want to avoid sending all the power to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

The aim of our advice is to give a starting base of tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your customized car project, the best tuning modifications and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a solitary tuning parts goes on a NASP 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 difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

If you find you experience flat spots and surges after your performance upgrades you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate 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.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits are only beneficial to increase performance if the cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this 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 performance 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 generally help improve air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too big or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional gas flowing. These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. A good multi plate fast road uprated clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never cut corners or expect your standard OEM clutch to cope. The best mods in our experience for your Astra are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Remaps offer massive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed 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 experimenting with twincharged applications and making some seriously high power gains.

Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo. Turbos increase power in exponential proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

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

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many Astra owners uprate the handling of their cars with performance suspension kits as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Good suspension tweaks that substantially improve handling for the Astra include a couple of degrees negative camber and 1-1.5 degrees of toe out on the front wheels.

We would go to a maximum drop of 29mm - 38 mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Due to the fact that alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Get a good track legal slick tyre to improve your handling and help improve traction on your Astra. Large Astra alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

With this in mind endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases not going above 18 inches.

There is a more updated version of this Holden Astra Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

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

Please help us to improve this article, we need your feedback in the comments box below which is there for you to pass on any tips, pointers or facts we might not have covered..

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which upgrades were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our EZ engine guides and tips are kept up to date and we remind our visitors of our non profit non commercial approach to running this site.

All comments received are used to improve the accuracy of our site and these articles which are continually amended, tweaked and updated.

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

You must be logged in to post a comment.





Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).