Technical Engine upgrade

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Technical Engine upgrade


New member
Jan 21, 2022
County Durham
Hi all, I've been reading this forum for years but this is my first post as I'm after some info/guidance. My question is regarding a 2014 Panda but as it's a bit on the technical side I thought I'd post it here. I've a 1.2 8v Euro 6 Panda and although being a lovely little car it's a bit lacking in torque etc and is sometimes borderline dangerous due to its general lethargy at junctions/roundabouts etc. I've removed the clutch sensor which has improved throttle response slightly but the poor car still struggles to get out of its own way at times. Having recently aquired a low mile 1.4 8v engine am wanting to know if it's possible to replace the 1.2 to a) gain a small increase in torque, and b) make the little car a bit livelier in general. I'm not really interested in high revs/speed etc, just wanting a bit more low down power which is something this model Panda sadly lacks it seems. The obvious solution would be to simply buy another car with a bigger engine but I like this one and want to improve things if I can. The engine looks like it would fit on a nut and bolt basis, both have the solenoid for the camshaft variator and other sensors etc appear to be in the same position on both engines. Problems (if any) I expect will be in the ecu and its programming, will the fuelling 'window' be wide enough to compensate for the small increase in cc or will it require a re-map? I've read online that changing engines from 1108 to 1242 the ecu can adjust accordingly for the increase in capacity but will a 1242 ecu work with 1368? In my opinion Fiat have ruined this engine with Euro 6 emissions and my previous car a 2003 Punto felt a lot better to drive which is something I would like to replicate with my current vehicle. Any advice and info would be most welcome. Thanks, Ian.
Be interested to hear how you got on re larger capacity on same ECU. Many years ago I had a Nissan Almera with immobilser intermittant fault, as the Micra used a similar ECU I jury rigged a new ecu socket (yes 100s of wires!) to the same pin outs so I could swap the two ECUs at will, inspite of the large capacity difference (1000cc to 1600cc) it did run OK. It didn't fix the immobilser issue which I eventually traced to a radio fitted by a previous owner. Obviously todays car ECUs are expected to do a lot more so may not be relevant.
The other thing is in those days you could trust the pin out data supplied from manufacturers to be accurate! Tracing a fault on Skoda Scout ABS module wiring to wheel Sensors is proving to be a challenge, at least for me!
Interested to hear about the clutch sensor (pedal ?) Some years ago I was checking some codes for the engine on a Citroen C8 and deleted them, the owner told me it went much better afterwards, it turned out clutch replaced by the Citroen dealers previously and they had left the clutch pedal position code unchanged resulting in detuneing engine for clutch to last longer!
Thanks for replying, the Nissan story gives me hope, if it can cope with an extra 600cc then I might be in with a chance. I'm tempted just to do it and see what happens, worst case is I put the old engine back in if all else fails. I also read that modifying the air temperature sensor output can change the fuelling but I need to be careful here as it may upset other parameters (timing etc?). On my Panda the clutch sensor lifts the tickover rpm slightly on setting off, I called it a party trick as it was possible to do hill starts without touching the accelerator but the reality is it seemed to result in a huge flat spot when the accelerator was finally pressed. Not good on a busy roundabout! If I can just get a little bit more bottom end power then I will be happy, my max rpm for gearchanges are around 3 - 3.5k rpm so it doesn't get much of a revving. Again, maybe I should of bought a bigger engined car or even a diesel.
I think the air temp bit is to trick it into thinking it is cold so it chucks more fuel in, OK as long as the rest of the system compensates accordingly.
Re the party trick, my youngest daughter hated stalling when learning to drive and prefers diesels to this day, after I showed her it was all down to clutch control and not needing to touch the accelerator as the engine would compensate for the load, as you say even pulling away up a hill with the foot off the pedal.
I much prefer diesels as modern ones have performance and economy, unfortunately modern emission equipment means driving on short journeys around town is bad for them, which was a main advantage in the past for delivery drivers.