Tuning the Renault M9R

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Renault M9R engine!"

We are always getting posts asking how to improve the M9R from people wanting to know what are the things we are recommending when it comes to M9R modifications. So let us look into Renault M9R modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Now we shall look into M9R tuning and show the greatest modifications for your car. Renault M9R really good project engines and with the optimum uprated enhancements like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will noticeably maximise your driving pleasure.

The optimum M9R tuning mods on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best power gain for you spend.

We won't be swayed by popular M9R tuning mods, they need to be cost effective.

Altering your M9R camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams commonly boost the bhp and torque across the rpm band, you might lose a little low end torque but higher rpm power will be higher.

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

A Motorsport cam is not great driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your preferences so for a car driven daily stick with a shorter duration M9R cam

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

The engine timing and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp 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.

M9R Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

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Guide to the best tuning mods & Upgrades

  1. ECU Map Tuning & Remaps

    Some cars may require a piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's to change the OEM map, but remapping is the most vital step of your tuning project to fully maximise your mods. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  2. Strengthen Your Engine

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  3. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    A restricted intake or exhaust will have an impact on your performance, so use a better flowing air filter/induction kit and better flowing exhaust (sports cats where legal are a good option) whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction. Turbo engines also benefit from intercooler upgrades as these resist heat soak for longer periods of time.

  4. Mods that Improve Fuelling

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise,  a fuel pump and injector upgrade are usual mods, but also in many cases the fuel regulator will need improvement.

  5. Mods to Provide better Airflow

    Increasing the air supply is just as essential as improving fuelling, we suggest you look at head mods (flowing and porting, 5 angle valve jobs), fit bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades (adding a better flowing turbo) to improve air intake.

Tuning Stages

Stage 1 M9R modifications: Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake headers, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Sports exhaust manifold, Panel air filters.

Stage 2 M9R modifications: Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, induction kit.

Stage 3 M9R modifications: Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves).

The M9R power trains respond well to mods and we're finding that there is a growing number of modifications and tuning parts about.

A remap helps fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your M9R.

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 usually depend much on the tuning parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Shoving more air and fuel into your M9R is the aim to any tuning job.

Intake manifold transmit the air from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a substantial improvement to fuel delivery on the M9R.

On popular production engines plenum chambers are needing aftermarket parts, although some OEM provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

Larger M9R valves, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also improve torque, & importantly will allow you to get increasing the torque increase on other modifications.

Turbo upgrades for the M9R

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 M9R

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

When your car has a turbocharger modifications are giving better power gains and you will discover turbo charged engines are built using harder and stronger components.

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

Discover these restrictions and fit better quality crank and pistons to handle the power.

We've seen people spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the M9R only to have the whole thing throw a rod on it's first outing after it's finished.

Big turbo units often suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo units spool up much more quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbo units is always improving and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

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

You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the M9R when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large torque gains, although harder to get working. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Uprating M9R fuel injectors

When you improve the bhp and torque you will need to uprate to the fuel system.

More bhp and torque needs more fuel. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and allows a bit of 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.

Best M9R performance exhausts

You may need to boost your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your 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.

Please dont run with the largest exhaust you can buy you'll reduce the exhaust flow 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 are traced to the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a higher flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Renault M9R engine Specs and power

The M9R was born from a collaboration between Nissan, Renault & Opel/Vauxhall

  •  150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) of 340 Nm (251 lbft) at 2000 rpm.
  • 175 PS (129 kW; 173 hp) 3750 rpm  360nm 1750 rpm
  • 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) 3750 rpm 3750 rpm 1750 rpm

The M9R was installed in...

  • 2007–2011 Nissan Qashqai
  • 2007–2012 Nissan X-Trail
  • 2005–2015 Renault Laguna
  • 2006–2015 Renault Mégane
  • 2007–present Renault Koleos
  • 2006–2014 Renault Espace
  • 2007–2010 Renault Vel Satis
  • 2015 - Nissan Teana
  • 2006-2014 Vauxhall Vivaro
  • 2006-2014 Renault Trafic
  • 2006-2014 Nissan Primastar
  • 2010–present Renault Latitude
  • 2015–present Renault Espace V

Problems and issues to look out for on the M9R

The M9R engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the M9R, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your M9R engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our M9R 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 M9R guides and tips are kept up to date.

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