The Stages of Tuning : 1 – 2 – 3 Tunes

The Stages of Tuning : 1 – 2 – 3 Tunes. Anyone trying to tune and modify their car will most certainly come across the term “tuning stages.” The stages are as follows: stage 1, stage 2, stage 2+, and so on. What are all of these tuning stages for? What is the distinction between a stage 1 and a stage 2 tune? What exactly does stage 1+ or 2+ mean? All of these are valid questions. The meaning of phases varies from vehicle to vehicle and engine to engine. It makes understanding the true meaning of various song phases difficult. This page goes through engine tuning stages, differences, power improvements, supporting mods, and other topics.

The Stages of Tuning : 1 - 2 - 3 Tunes

Background Information about Tuning Stages

We already despise ourselves for even considering writing an article, let alone writing one. However, tweaking and altering engines is in our blood. Stages are simply something we have to deal with. We don’t like referring to tunes in stages, but we don’t have any better ideas.

Why do we reject the terminology of stages? There are a few causes for this. The main issue is that they vary greatly from engine to engine. Stage 1 tune on one engine may differ greatly from stage 1 tuning on another. Furthermore, one stage 1 car may be faster than another stage 3 car.

The main disadvantage of tuning phases is that the exact specifics may vary. However, there are some general rules that apply to the vast majority of automobiles and engines. The purpose of this section is to emphasize that this is not a flawless science. There isn’t always a right or incorrect answer when it comes to classifying a song as stage 1 vs stage 2. However, knowing the broad information might help you grasp the distinctions.

Company Music

Not every business employs consistent staging. These are crude samples, but they provide a general picture. Some businesses divide their stages into 1, 1+, and 2. Others may employ stages one, two, and three. Meanwhile, the following tuning firm offers tuning levels 1-5.

It’s one of the main reasons tuning stages may be so perplexing. You simply want to understand the distinction between stage 1 and stage 2 tuning. When organizations use contrasting staging, it’s difficult to notice the difference. Fortunately, practically all tuning businesses adhere to some general rules.

General Tune Stages Rules

Specific stages from various companies are frequently thrown out the window. Fortunately, most tuning businesses adhere to the same general guidelines. The least aggressive option is their lowest stage tune. Higher stage tunes are more forceful. They provide additional power and torque gains, as well as improved overall performance. Higher stage tunes may also increase the likelihood of things going wrong depending on the engine.

When you get down to the basics, it’s quite easy. More power should be available with a higher stage tune. additional power, in turn, can put additional strain on the motor. But how much more power? Is there a considerable rise in danger as you progress through the stages? What are some of the recommended supporting mods for each stage? These are the issues we go over in depth in the rest of the post, along with other useful information.

Final Thoughts

Let’s start with some disclaimers. This article provides rough horsepower improvements for each tuning stage. These are only estimations, and not every car or engine will see these power increases. Certain upgrades and tuning may increase the power of some engines while having no effect on others.

Modifications are required depending on standard, average data. Always heed the advice and suggestions of specific tuners. Most stage 1 tunes, for example, do not require any extra modifications. Some engines and tuning firms may require further modifications to execute stage 1 tune safely and effectively.

Finally, all engine modifications and tuning are done at your own risk. In general, the more power you put into an engine, the more danger you assume. Increasing power, torque, and performance places more strain on the engine, which it may or may not bear.

Stage 1 Tuning and Modifications

HP Increases: 5-50+ horsepower

*No modifications are required.

It’s safe to say that stage 1 tuning is the most popular. These songs and mods are often self-contained. Simply add a stage 1 modification and you’re ready to go. Even though the majority of stage 1 songs do not require mods, there are some decent mods to pair with a stage 1 tune. A frequent stage 1 alteration to include with the tune is an intake and exhaust.

With these basic upgrades and tweaking, naturally aspirated engines may only gain 5-20 horsepower. However, turbo engines frequently see improvements of 20-50+ horsepower with just a tune. With stage 1 tuning and the basic bolt-on upgrades, some turbo engines can get up to 100 horsepower.

Stage 1 engine modifications often include intakes, cat-back exhaust, blow-off valves, and other basic bolt-on engine modifications. Once again, none of this is an exact science. However, the overall concept is that stage 1 tuning and alterations are fundamental and rarely require further adjustment.

Stages of Tuning: Stage 1+

Tuning stages 1+ are used by some as a somewhat more aggressive modification of the foundation stage 1. These may include increasing boost pressure, increasing ignition timing, or a mixture of other tuning elements to extract a little more power. A stage 1+ tune from one firm may be quite similar to a stage 2 tune from another. However, this is not always the case.

You may also notice that stage 1+ is intended for superior fueling, such as E85 blends or race fuels. These tuning possibilities, like basic stage 1 tunes, may not always necessitate extra changes. A few simple bolt-ons and improved fueling can help extract a little more power. A stage 1+ tune is a good compromise between actual stage 1 and 2 tunes.

Summary of Stage 1 Modifications

The following are the main highlights of stage 1 mods:

  • Tuning with the least amount of aggression
  • Basic bolt-on upgrades (generally optional)
  • Intake/Filter
  • Exhaust
  • The blow-off valve
  • Other minor changes

A tune, intake, and exhaust are three critical components in laying the groundwork for increased power and performance. They’re usually relatively basic and cheap mods. As a result, they are referred to as stage 1 tuning and mods. Stage 1+ includes the same core components as Stage 1 but with slightly more aggressive tweaking.

Stage 2 Tuning and Modifications

HP Increases: 25-200+ horsepower

Tuning, intake, and exhaust are all required modifications.

Stage 2 is when things can get complicated depending on the car in issue, the tuning firm, and other factors. Stage 2 tuning and mods are unquestionably more aggressive. Stage 2 tracks are typically intended to be used in conjunction with additional modifications. It’s a good idea to have the fundamental stage 1 mods like an intake and exhaust already installed.

Then you add extra modifications, such as heads for NA engines or downpipes for turbo engines. Cooling system modifications, such as an FMIC, are also typical stage 2 mods. The list is endless, and we’ll include it in the stage 2 summary, like we did above.

These are still quite simple bolt-on mods that advance things beyond stage 1. We aren’t nearly ready to install forced induction or upgrade stock turbos or superchargers. Before moving on to more significant, pricey changes, stage 2 is often where you want to enhance power and performance.

It’s a little perplexing because stage 2 tuning and mods can vary greatly. With a tune, intake, and headers, certain engines may be termed stage 2. Another may be stage 2 but have further modifications such as cams, intake manifold, fuel pump and injector upgrades, and so on.

Stage 2+ Tunes

Stage 2+ tuning frequently necessitates extremely specialized modifications such as camshaft or pulley changes. This is to maximize power output on the current configuration. A proper stage 2+ tune will frequently necessitate at least 93 octane and, in some cases, E85 or race gas blends.

We regard level 2+ to be FBO (full bolt-on). That is, the engine has all of the fundamental bolt-on modifications, as well as superb fueling and an aggressive tune. The precise alterations that define FBO might be hazy and vary depending on the automobile in question. Using a turbo car as an example, we consider FBO to be a tune, intake, downpipes, FMIC, BOV, turbo inlets and outlets, and any necessary feeding or other supporting upgrades.

Stage 2 Tuning Summary

The following are examples of typical stage 2 or stage 2+ mods:

  • Tuning that is more aggressive
  • Stage 1 basic modifications
  • Modifications to increase power
  • Cams
  • Pulley for the supercharger
  • The throttle body
  • Headers/downpipes
  • Manifold for the intake of air
  • FMIC
  • Inlets and exits for charge pipes
  • Mods who help others
  • Upgrades to the fuel system
  • Modifications for cooling
  • Any further changes necessary to accommodate the power boost

It’s a lengthy list, and there may be some additional items to consider. Stage 2 is difficult to fully explain because it varies so much. However, it has more mods and higher power mods than stage 1. The tuning has been made more harsh. It’s not nearly ready to tackle the big alterations that will be discussed next in stage 3.

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Stage 3 and Advanced Tuning

HP Increases: 100-500+ horsepower

Mods Required: Stage 2 mods with dozens of different choices

Few companies go beyond stage 3 modifications or tuning. As a result, stage 3 is frequently the most aggressive, no-holds-barred configuration for enormous power. This is the point at which NA engines begin to include forced induction and/or bored and stroking the engine. Turbocharged and supercharged engines seek larger turbos and superchargers.

At this stage, almost all engines will require major fueling modifications. Many current cars use direct injection, which can be highly powerful. However, these systems rely on extremely high pressure and are more difficult to change. Many people consider adding more fuel pumps and port injection. It may also be time to replace engine internals such as the block, rods, bearings, pistons, head studs, and so on. This type of thing is usual when going to a stage 3 or 3+ configuration.

When it comes to stage 3 tuning and mods, power improvements are virtually endless. You can keep things simple or go all out with a 1,000+whp engine. Many actual tunes do not go through phases at this time. Rather, it is primarily bespoke tailoring to match your specific objectives.

3+ and higher tuning stages

As with the other stages, you may occasionally see stage 3+ or even stage 4 and 5 tuning and alterations. In many circumstances, stage 3 tunes may be a good compromise, while higher stages imply more aggressive tuning and alterations. Following the trend, higher stages should simply denote a more aggressive mod and tune.

Summary of Stage 3 Tuning and Modifications

We won’t bother going over the entire list of stage 2 mods above. Remember that many of those mods may also be found on stage 3 or 3+ automobiles. Here are a few examples of common extra mods:

  • Upgrades such as superchargers or turbochargers
  • Forced induction has been added.
  • Upgrades to the fuel system are extensive.
  • Engine construction (rods, pistons, bearings, and so on)
  • Upgrades to the head/valvetrain (valves, lifters, springs, etc.)
  • Other helpful mods
  • Suspension, braking, and differential
  • Tires and wheels
  • Upgrades to the cooling system

This list could go on and on. Stage 3 builds can range from a simple 400whp build with turbo modifications to full-blown 1,000+whp builds.

The Stages of Tuning : 1 - 2 - 3 Tunes

Key Takeaways from the Tuning Stages

As we discussed in this essay, the specific definition of phases varies greatly from car to automobile and tuner to tuner. Stage 1 mods on two distinct engines can seem very different. That same applies to the other steps. Despite this, there are certain common guidelines to follow:

  • Higher stages suggest more severe tuning and modifications.
  • Moving up stages usually necessitates the installation of more adjustments.
  • Higher level modifications get more pricey.

When stating tuning stages, many tuners and firms adhere to these rules. Specific specifics, on the other hand, can differ greatly. For example, one company’s stage 1 component may be equivalent to another’s stage 2. This essay should have been a solid beginning point for grasping the fundamentals. When you focus on a certain engine rather of looking at it as a whole, it becomes much more simplified.