Tuning the Mitsubishi 6A13

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Mitsubishi 6A13 engine!"

We are regularly getting posts requesting info on the things we are recommending when it comes to 6A13 mods that work. So let us look into Mitsubishi 6A13 modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

TorqueCars will review and look at 6A13 tuning and summarise the greatest upgrades. Mitsubishi 6A13 are popular engines and with the right modified enhancements like remapping, turbo improvements and camshafts you will positively increase your driving enjoyment.

The greatest 6A13 mods on an engine are usually the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular 6A13 mods, they need to be cost effective.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly bump the bhp and torque over the rpm band, you could sacrifice a little low end power but top end will be better.

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

A Competition camshaft won't do well if in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your driving style so for a car driven daily stick with a fast road 6A13 camshaft

Different 6A13 engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences on the power gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration 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.

6A13 Tuning Stages

Stage 1 6A13 modifications: Sports exhaust manifold, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Fast road camshaft.

Stage 2 6A13 modifications: Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Stage 3 6A13 modifications: Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression.

The 6A13 engine blocks respond well to upgrades and we're happy to report there is an increase of parts and performance parts about.

Remaps helps unlock the full potential of all the mods you've done to your 6A13.

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 may depend much on the mods you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Forcing more air and fuel into each cylinder is the whole point to any engine tuning job.

Headers transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation on the 6A13.

Many mass produced engine intake headers are begging for an upgrade, although some car makers provide reasonably good intake headers.

Big valve conversions on the 6A13, doing a bit of 6A13 port enlargement and head flowing will also boost performance, and more importantly will permit an improved performance increase on other tuning parts.

Turbo upgrades for the 6A13

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 6A13

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.

When the engine has a turbo already fitted tuning mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbo engines are built using many forged and stronger components.

However engines will need better parts at higher power limits

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

It's not unheard of people spending a lots of money on turbocharger upgrades on the 6A13 only to watch the motor literally blow up when it's been enthusiastically driven.

Larger capacity turbo chargers often experience no power at low rpm, and small turbo chargers spool up more quickly but don't have the high rpm torque gains.

In recent times the choice 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 performance.

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

You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the 6A13 when a lot more air is being drawn into the engine.

Going up you'll find 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 performance gains, although more complex to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Uprating 6A13 fuel injectors

When you lift the power you will need to pay attention to to the fuelling.

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

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows you 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.

Best 6A13 performance exhausts

You should look to increase your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is 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 biggest exhaust you can buy you'll slow the exhaust rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Usual exhaust restrictions come around the catalysts installed, so adding a faster flowing high performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Problems and issues to look out for on the 6A13

The 6A13 engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the 6A13, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your 6A13 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our 6A13 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 to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which parts were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our 6A13 guides and tips are kept up to date.

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