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Carina Tuning

"Carina Tuning"

The Toyota Carina never really made the same impression on the world as the Corolla. It had a production run from the 1970's to 2000 and underwent a number of model makeovers. It is sadly overlooked by many looking for a car.

This is a shame because it is a nice package and good base for a tuning project. You will find that the modifications are quite extensive as the car was certainly not designed with track days in mind. It was aimed squarely at the family and suffers from soft wallowing suspension.

The 130bhp 2.0 engines are the best to base your tuning project on, so if you have the 1.8 your best bet is actually to do an engine swap.

The Carina is sadly overlooked by many, despite its appearance it is actually a nice car to drive and with a few choice modifications you will end up with something quite special.

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the Carina. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Carina with a nice fat peak torque band. The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars. Paragraph 4

Toyota Carina Tuning modifications.

By raising peak power you maintain economy and reliability. A fast road cam will be one of the best power mod you can do mechanically to your engine. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. You can get a more snappy acceleration by fitting a fuel pressure boost valve. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this.

Toyota Carina Intake and Exhaust.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Induction kits work well on turbo engines and larger engines, for the smaller Carina engines you should go with a sports panel air filter. Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow through the engine but do not go too large. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

When you start tuning your Carina you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful, but will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

Despite the large cost involved, adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it hard to map. Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine.

Toyota Carina Wheel modifications.

The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Carina is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. Although some people have gone larger we would stick to a 17 inch rim size as the maximum.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the Carina options in more detail with our Carina owners. It would also be worth reading our Carina tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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Please use the 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.

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