156 2.4 JTD 20v Power Increase - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 21-09-18 Thread Starter
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156 2.4 JTD 20v Power Increase

Hello all,

Just wanted some input on what I might need to be able to hit 300hp from a 156 20v engine.

I know i'm going to need bigger injectors and a bigger intercooler, map sensor, and will need to something about the exhaust system.

But will I need to change the turbo? if so what would be a good fit without too much hassle?

will the standard gearbox take the power? will the driveshafts hold up with that power?

All Input appreciated

Thanks
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Originally Posted by SketchYDG View Post
Hello all,

Just wanted some input on what I might need to be able to hit 300hp from a 156 20v engine.

I know i'm going to need bigger injectors and a bigger intercooler, map sensor, and will need to something about the exhaust system.

But will I need to change the turbo? if so what would be a good fit without too much hassle?

will the standard gearbox take the power? will the driveshafts hold up with that power?

All Input appreciated

Thanks
In short, no, the gearbox, diff, dmf and driveshafts on a 156 aren't designed or over engineered enough to take that kind of torque increase to match the BHP. The inner tripod cups can twist out even at 210bhp, been there tried it with 200 and lasted 3 month!

Don't know if it's ever been done but the only way I could efficiently see a 156 getting 300bhp without imminent failure of the drivetrain would be:
Transplanting a 159 2.4 210 Garrett turbo'd engine with a bespoke ecu remap, good for 270bhp even with standard injectors. Along with shortened, sleeved and balanced driveshafts from the same donor. A front mounted intercooler conversion. Then and only then would you get near 300bhp. 159 2.4's are rapid enough even with a modest tuning box giving 250bhp so a lighter 156 with 300 would be dramatic! At least with a transplant donor vehicle you could keep the costs considerably less, leaving the bulk of the expense for the experts to get it communicating with the 156 loom initially. Obviously a de-swirled manifold from your 156 cleaned, decarboned and egr deleted would possibly get even more than 300.
I may be wrong but that's the cheapest way I can see it being achieved.
Plenty of 159 2.4 JTDm with accident damage if you look hard enough.
Fuel economy would work out better too.

Last edited by Grahameo; 21-09-18 at 17:02.
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Originally Posted by Grahameo View Post

In short, no, the gearbox, diff, dmf and driveshafts on a 156 aren't designed or over engineered enough to take that kind of torque increase to match the BHP. The inner tripod cups can twist out even at 210bhp, been there tried it with 200 and lasted 3 month!

Don't know if it's ever been done but the only way I could efficiently see a 156 getting 300bhp without imminent failure of the drivetrain would be:
Transplanting a 159 2.4 210 Garrett turbo'd engine with a bespoke ecu remap, good for 270bhp even with standard injectors. Along with shortened, sleeved and balanced driveshafts from the same donor. A front mounted intercooler conversion. Then and only then would you get near 300bhp. 159 2.4's are rapid enough even with a modest tuning box giving 250bhp so a lighter 156 with 300 would be dramatic! At least with a transplant donor vehicle you could keep the costs considerably less, leaving the bulk of the expense for the experts to get it communicating with the 156 loom initially. Obviously a de-swirled manifold from your 156 cleaned, decarboned and egr deleted would possibly get even more than 300.
I may be wrong but that's the cheapest way I can see it being achieved.
Plenty of 159 2.4 JTDm with accident damage if you look hard enough.
Fuel economy would work out better too.
So would the 159 gearbox not bolt up to the 156 engine? Aren’t the 2.4 engines from both based on the same basic block? Which would the eliminate the need for an engine swap.

So would the standard injectors from a 159 engine be capable of reaching 300hp? If so shouldn’t they just bolt up to the a 156 engine?

I get that a transplant is the cheapest way, but I don’t have the space for a donor car so would want to see if I could do it with the stock engine by just upgrading around it.

If it Ain't broke, fiddle with it, break it, fix it, upgrade it.
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The gearbox on the 156 isn't the weakest part in the loop. Its the items fitted afterwards that fail. Being the clutch, dmf, diff, cups and driveshafts.
So trying to fit these 159 items to a 156 is going to be an issue. Drive shafts are thicker and longer for a start due to the difference in track of the two cars. Thus the cut and shut on them described. Due to natural transmission loss of torque the outer CV joints tend to survive though so it's not difficult to keep the 156 joint complete.

Yes injectors would probably fit but the engine loom that power them and the cycle on the 156 ECU won't match without major
surgery and remapping on a 156. However... Its more to do with 159 pressure increase in the hp pump, fuel rail and not how big in cc the injector's are.
A complete 159 engine and gearbox on the subframe is approx 1.8m w by 1.5m d by 1.2m h so can fit easily inside a shed or garage. Then it's cherry picking the items you need and sell the rest making up the money you spent on the conversion. This is all symentics as it don't know if it's actually been done before. There are many subtle differences between the 159 to the 156 2.4 jtdm lumps that I've even noticed having owned both! Its the ancillaries that the lumps use that are different and these are the items that make the difference in a serious upgrade. The more you get complete as one unit, the cheaper the build and less issues you'll have.

The best person to ask would be Clogz, on this forum. He has a 400bhp+ beast of a 2.4 JTDm Brera!
No doubt he would have been asked by now if a 156 jtdm conversion is possible mate. He is a well informed, helpful member. If he doesn't know then no one will.
JTDm tuning can also help with upgrade items too. Do a Google search for them.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by Grahameo; 24-09-18 at 08:29.
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My whole aim with this build is to keep the car as original as possible but still hit 300hp, I've come across JTD performance before so I know I can get parts from them to upgrade what's already there.

I know a place that I can get driveshafts from so I'm to worries about having custom shafts made to keep to original gearbox, as for diff, theory would suggest that a q2 would hold up to the power increase.

So if injectors aren't the limiting factor and it's just the high pressure pump, then could I not just swap a 159 210bhp pump onto the current engine?

I'll see if I can track down clogz on here and send a message to see if he can guide me in this en devour
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Its not possible too swap a 210hp pump CP1H3 R80 into an 156 with CP1S3 R65 pump. CP1H3 is with MPROP and CP1S3 with DRV.

But you can use use with little modifications pumps from 6 cylinder BMWs.
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Last edited by crossshot; 25-09-18 at 11:11.
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Originally Posted by Grahameo View Post
In short, no, the gearbox, diff, dmf and driveshafts on a 156 aren't designed or over engineered enough to take that kind of torque increase to match the BHP. The inner tripod cups can twist out even at 210bhp, been there tried it with 200 and lasted 3 month!

Don't know if it's ever been done but the only way I could efficiently see a 156 getting 300bhp without imminent failure of the drivetrain would be:
Transplanting a 159 2.4 210 Garrett turbo'd engine with a bespoke ecu remap, good for 270bhp even with standard injectors. Along with shortened, sleeved and balanced driveshafts from the same donor. A front mounted intercooler conversion. Then and only then would you get near 300bhp. 159 2.4's are rapid enough even with a modest tuning box giving 250bhp so a lighter 156 with 300 would be dramatic! At least with a transplant donor vehicle you could keep the costs considerably less, leaving the bulk of the expense for the experts to get it communicating with the 156 loom initially. Obviously a de-swirled manifold from your 156 cleaned, decarboned and egr deleted would possibly get even more than 300.
I may be wrong but that's the cheapest way I can see it being achieved.
Plenty of 159 2.4 JTDm with accident damage if you look hard enough.
Fuel economy would work out better too.
Sorry but I think youre wrong on several counts - using the 159/Brera 2.4 would be madness - it would mean that the engine bay will have to be modified - the 159/Brera 2.4 has a different block and different engine mounts - a 159 2.4 to 147 conversion has been done to a 147 but its a lot of unnecessary work. Much better to spend the money on fitting a GTB2056 or 2060 turbo, a bigger intercooler, uprated injectors/pump, a remap and water/meth injection, with that lot 300bhp is achievable and rather than waste time with the cr*ppy GM F40 box, it would be best to bin it and fit the Fiat 6 speed unit from the 1.9, the driveshafts and DMF can handle the power and torque and are much more readily available. And the gear change from the Fiat box is much nicer than the GM unit's.

The OEM intercooler is already front mounted (in fact ALL intercoolers on ALL cars are frount mounted), a larger one is what is needed. An EGR delete and de-swirled manifold will make very little difference to the power, although a de-swirl will stop any failures.

Last edited by typos1; 22-10-18 at 19:44.
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Sorry but I think youre wrong on several counts - using the 159/Brera 2.4 would be madness - it would mean that the engine bay will have to be modified - the 159/Brera 2.4 has a different block and different engine mounts - a 159 2.4 to 147 conversion has been done to a 147 but its a lot of unnecessary work. Much better to spend the money on fitting a GTB2056 or 2060 turbo, a bigger intercooler, uprated injectors/pump, a remap and water/meth injection, with that lot 300bhp is achievable and rather than waste time with the cr*ppy GM F40 box, it would be best to bin it and fit the Fiat 6 speed unit from the 1.9, the driveshafts and DMF can handle the power and torque and are much more readily available. And the gear change from the Fiat box is much nicer than the GM unit's.

The OEM intercooler is already front mounted (in fact ALL intercoolers on ALL cars are frount mounted), a larger one is what is needed. An EGR delete and de-swirled manifold will make very little difference to the power, although a de-swirl will stop any failures.
Agree with most of what you say there, using 159 engine would be madness. 156 20v engine is stronger than a 159 20v engine anyway - they don't crack heads for starters.

I'd stick with the F40 though, as nasty as the gearchange is, the 159 clutch & flywheel will fit, which has been proven by others on here (JBSmith being one) to handle silly numbers reasonably well. The 6-speed box as fitted to the 156/147/GT 1.9 diesel could fit the 20v (I've got one in my 10v) but the clutch situation is always going to be an issue, and it does poke out into the NSF wheel area by quite a bit when fitted on a 5 cylinder.

2.4 20v driveshafts are known for being a weakspot but I'd rather have weak inner CV joints than a weak clutch, and getting something better made up shouldn't be too difficult given that loads of cars use the F40 box. Wonder what Saab used? Perhaps using their inners and the Alfa outers could work, there is nothing wrong with the shaft itself.

240hp was as far as I got with my 20v (hybrid turbo, remap, pre-cat delete, few other bits) and I still didn't enjoy it, after getting there I realised no amount of power would have made me enjoy the car more so I went back to a 10v, which even at 207hp I prefer.

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Agree with most of what you say there, using 159 engine would be madness. 156 20v engine is stronger than a 159 20v engine anyway - they don't crack heads for starters.

I'd stick with the F40 though, as nasty as the gearchange is, the 159 clutch & flywheel will fit, which has been proven by others on here (JBSmith being one) to handle silly numbers reasonably well. The 6-speed box as fitted to the 156/147/GT 1.9 diesel could fit the 20v (I've got one in my 10v) but the clutch situation is always going to be an issue, and it does poke out into the NSF wheel area by quite a bit when fitted on a 5 cylinder.

2.4 20v driveshafts are known for being a weakspot but I'd rather have weak inner CV joints than a weak clutch, and getting something better made up shouldn't be too difficult given that loads of cars use the F40 box. Wonder what Saab used? Perhaps using their inners and the Alfa outers could work, there is nothing wrong with the shaft itself.

240hp was as far as I got with my 20v (hybrid turbo, remap, pre-cat delete, few other bits) and I still didn't enjoy it, after getting there I realised no amount of power would have made me enjoy the car more so I went back to a 10v, which even at 207hp I prefer.
Pretty sure JS JTD and others with GTB2056/2060 turbos have sorted the clutch issue, cant remember what clutches theyve used.

Saab also used the F40, sadly.

Indecently the non 147/156/GT 1.9 (159/Brera/GM, saab etc) could I think, be made to fit 147s/156s/GTs - the single engine mount near the cam belt could be modified to take a bracket that links the upper and lower engine mounts (dont think theres enough room to do this with the 5 cyl). Why would you want to ? Well, then you could fit the twin turbo 1.9.
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So from what I’m gathering I’ll need a modified fuel pump from a bmw 6 cylinder Diesel engine, decent sized front mount and a gtb2060 turbo, also no need to mention a good custom engine map.

Is there anything I’m missing? Unless I’ve got this wrong I can get away with the gearbox and drive shafts but the shafts are liable to fail at some point, would a q2 diff help save the drive shafts?
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Q2 diff doesn't fit the F40 gearbox. Without a doubt you're going to struggle to put the power down without a Quaife diff, so I'd add one of those to your list to. They make one specifically for the F40. Its a tricky job to install though, you have to remove the box from the car and fully disassemble it to swap the diff.
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I’ve just had a thought on the turbo for this project. Would I be able to run a compound setup using a second gt2256v? I have a spare one I took off my last 156 before it got scrapped after an accident.
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Iíve just had a thought on the turbo for this project. Would I be able to run a compound setup using a second gt2256v? I have a spare one I took off my last 156 before it got scrapped after an accident.
That won't work. For starters , it is very difficult to control such a setup without making excessive backpressure. Second, you need two different sizes, a smaller sized high pressure turbo and larger low pressure unit.
To me the best way to 300 hp from a Alfa 156 2.4 20v is the route Allerd took. Which is: big turbo (GTB2060/ 2260), big intercooler, freeflow exhaust line 2.5", 308 injectors and lots of water/methanol for additional fuel and cooling effect. I think Allerd also changed the HP pump, but I'm not 100% sure.
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