Tuning the Hyundai Mu

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Hyundai Mu engine!"

The Hyundai Mu are awesome to work on and with the ultimate uprated parts like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will substantially maximize your driving experience.

TorqueCars will examine the options for your Mu tuning and report on the premier mods that work.

Just because particular mods are popular with Mu owners it doesn't mean it is good, we will recommend only what we regard are the best mods that will give your Mu the best value for money to power increase.

Altering your Mu cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine bhp. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the bhp accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to bump the torque across the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end bhp but higher rpm power will be better.

Race camshafts, bump the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition camshaft is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your cars usage so for a car used daily stick with a mild fast road Mu camshaft

Each engine responds better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

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

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

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

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

The Mu engines respond well to mods and we note that there is a lot of mods and tuning parts around.

ECU flashing helps release the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your Mu.

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 will depend much on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

It is the main goal to any engine performance tuning job to pull more air into the Mu engine

Air Intake manifolds carry the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

The shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a large change to fuel atomisation on the Mu.

We often see intake are crying out for motorsport parts, although some manufacturers provide fairly well optimized intake.

Increasing the Mu valve size, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift performance, & importantly will afford you raising the performance increase on other upgrades.

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 Mu

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 an engine is fitted with a turbocharger upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and turbo engines will have many forged and stronger components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limits and install better pistons and crank to survive the power.

It's not unheard of guys spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the Mu only to have the motor explode just after it's been finished.

Big upgraded turbos often experience low end lag, and smaller turbos spool up more quickly but don't have the top end torque gains.

In the last 10 years the world of turbos is always improving and we are seeing variable vane turbos, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

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

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the Mu when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Fuelling upgrades and mods

Don't overlook the need to look at the fuel system when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and gives some spare capacity should the engine need 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 may need to boost your exhaust if your exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Note that with the largest exhaust you can buy you'll slow up 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.

Common exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & common problem areas on the Mu

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

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

History of the Engine

  • 2.7 L V6 162–200 hp 181–192 lbft

DOHC 24 valve, 6 cylinder with variable intake, and MPi, power was increased when the CVVT was added to the exhaust ports.

  • 2010-2013 Kia Cadenza
  • 2007-2010 Kia Optima
  • 2007-2010 Kia Rondo
  • 2006-2011 Hyundai Azera
  • 2007-2009 Hyundai Santa Fe

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.

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.

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