Tuning the Hyundai Lambda

"Comprehensive guide to modifying and tuning the tuning the Huyndai Lambda engine!"

The Huyndai Lambda great bases for a tuning project and with a few sensible modified parts like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will positively increase your driving pleasure.

Our aim here is to outline options for your Lambda tuning and show the best modifications for your car.

Just because particular modifications are popular with Lambda owners it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will highlight what we would class as the best modifications that will give your Lambda the best power gain for you money.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large torque gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams usually push up the bhp and torque across the rev band, you may lose a little low down power but your higher rpm power will be lifted.

Motorsport and race cams, push up the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a car driven daily you need to optimize your power band to your driving style.

I would be surprised if you have found a Lambda Competition camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Each engine responds better to mild camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll get.

Altering valve durations can alter the torque 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 mods: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake headers, Fast road camshaft, Sports exhaust manifold.

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

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

Carefully think through your options and then buy your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

ECU mapping will help to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your Lambda.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but power output usually rely on the modifications you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Forcing air into each cylinder is the aim to any tuning task.

The intake plenum take the air from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Headers can make a noticeable change to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the Lambda.

Many mass produced engine intake are in dire need of performance upgrades, although a few manufacturers provide well optimised intake.

Increasing the Lambda valve size, carrying out Lambda port enlargement and head flowing will also increase power, the fantastic side effect is it will raise potential for raising the power 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 Lambda

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 a car has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbocharged engines use strengthened components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only able to handle stock power

Research these restrictions and fit better quality components to cope with the power.

There are many people spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the Lambda only to see the Lambda throw a rod on it's first outing after it's been finished.

Big upgraded turbos often suffer low end lag, and smaller turbos spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

In recent times the range of turbos is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbos, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the Lambda when loads more air is being fed 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 bhp gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Fuelling upgrades and mods

When you improve the power you will need to uprate to the fuel delivery.

More power needs more fuel. We would recommend you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 20% when specifying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and affords a bit of 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

Only look to boost your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is 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 will certainly help air flow from the engine but do not go too wide or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Common exhaust restrictions typically happen through the catalyst and or DPF filters which manufacturers fit, especially as they start to get worn and carbon builds up, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the Lambda

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

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

History of the Engine

Lambda MPi

  •  3.3 Lambda MPi G6DB 238 PS (175 kW; 235 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 31.2 kg⋅m (306 Nm; 226 lbft) of torque at 3,500 rpm
  •  3.8 L (3,778 cc) G6DA  267 PS (196 kW; 263 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 35.5 kg⋅m (348 Nm; 257 lbft) of torque at 4,500 rpm

Lambda II MPi

  •  3.0 Lambda II MPi 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 28.8 kg⋅m (282 Nm; 208 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm
  • 3.3 Lambda II MPi  266–274 PS (196–202 kW; 262–270 hp) at 6,200-6,400 rpm and 32.2–32.5 kg⋅m (316–319 Nm; 233–235 lbft) of torque at 4,500-5,300 rpm
  • 3.5 L Lambda II MPi (3,470 cc) Lambda II MPi G6DC  280–290 PS (206–213 kW; 276–286 hp) at 6,300-6,600 rpm and 34.3 kg⋅m (336 Nm; 248 lbft) at 5,000 rpm
  • 3.8 L Lambda II MPi   283 hp (211 kW; 287 PS) at 6,200 rpm and 263 lbft (357 Nm) of torque at 4,500 rpm

Lambda II GDi

  • 3.0 Lambda II GDi G6DG  270 PS (199 kW; 266 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 32.3 kg⋅m (317 Nm; 234 lbft) of torque at 5,300 rpm
  • 3.3L Lambda II GDi G6DH  284–298 PS (209–219 kW; 280–294 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 34.3–35.3 kg⋅m (336–346 Nm; 248–255 lbft) of torque at 5,200 rpm
  • 3.8L Atkinson cycle  295 PS (217 kW; 291 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 36.2 kg⋅m (355 Nm; 262 lbft) of torque at 5,200 rpm

Lambda II RS MPi

  •  3.8L 303–310 PS (223–228 kW; 299–306 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 36.6 kg⋅m (359 Nm; 265 lbft) of torque at 4,600 rpm
  •  3.8L 290 PS (213 kW; 286 hp) at 6,200 rpm and 36.5 kg⋅m (358 Nm; 264 lbft) of torque at 4,500 rpm

Lambda II RS GDi

3.8 L

  • 338 PS (249 kW; 333 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 40.3 kg⋅m (395 Nm; 291 lbft) of torque at 5,100 rpm
  • 353 PS (260 kW; 348 hp) at 6,400 rpm and 40.8 kg⋅m (400 Nm; 295 lbft) of torque at 5,300 rpm
  • 315 PS (232 kW; 311 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 40.5 kg⋅m (397 Nm; 293 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm

Lambda II RS T-GDi

3.3 Twin Turbo 370 PS (272 kW; 365 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 52 kg⋅m (510 Nm; 376 lbft) of torque between 1,300 and 4,500 rpm.

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

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