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Vauxhall Nova Tuning

"Nova actually means "Doesn't go" in Spanish"

Nova tuning

With the rise of the Corsa the Nova is actually becomming a rare site and used as projects.

We have seen a few Novas with GTE and Cavalier SRi engines in them.

With conversions like this you will embarras modern hot hatches.

TorqueCars would say that Nova owners should uprate the handling of their cars as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Drop the car by as much as 40mm or 35mm if you have the SR or GTE models and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the Nova with a nice fat peak torque band.

Enjoy your Nova to the full with our tuning tips. We have seen Nova's with 150bhp engines from Cavaliers and Vectras so the sky is literally the limit.

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. The SR gearbox is low ratio and will enhance the gearing on most of the other models. 

Vauxhall Nova Tuning modifications.

One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling. Improve your cars response to the throttle with a Fuel pressure boost valve.

Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned Nova.

Stripping out the car will mean you get a greater return in your performance investment.

Vauxhall Nova Intake and Exhaust.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. For small Nova engine sizes go with a washable panel air filter. On larger engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help increase power.

Sports exhausts balance the flow of air throught the engine. But if your exhaust is too big say over 1.5 to 2 inches bore you will lose back pressure on most engines.

When you start tuning your Nova you will find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. The Turbo engines are just begging to have a boost controller fitted and will give massive power gains.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Turbos are harder to add than supercharger. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. Superchargers however will give a boost which is proporttional to engine speed so is easier to map. Adding forced induction will usually require a lower compression ratio or water injection. (An engine swap therefore is the best option!)

Vauxhall Nova Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Nova is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 16 inches.

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

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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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