Lancia Montecarlo More Power

I am often asked questions on how you can get more power in either your Montecarlo or Scorpion. The preferred route is to make modifications to the existing setup to squeeze more power out of it before you look to changing the engine.

There are two basic problems. Firstly the engine cannot breathe properly as the air intake is restricted and the exhaust is poor. Secondly the engine is only slightly different from the standard Beta 2 Litre unit, with little attention made to getting the most from it.

There are a number of areas where improvements can be made:

Air intake

Air intakeThe standard air filter on the Montecarlo S1 is quite large but still restricts the airflow into the carburettor. On the second series Montecarlo the air filter was moved, and gives slightly better flow. However for serious power most people remove this air filter and replace it with something akin to K&Ns. The K&N filter gives much better airflow but does not filter as well as the original filter. This may cause you problems if you do a lot of city driving. The filter replacement option is normally performed in conjunction with replacing the carburettor. The Monte Hospital has a nice kit that contains all the filters and carburettors you need.


Air intakeThe standard exhaust restricts the engine considerably and most people replace it with one of the sport varieties on the market. These usually work by replacing the front pipe with a 4-2-1 branched manifold that allows the gases to flow more freely. The exhaust construction affects the engine differently for varying engine speeds. I have used exhausts by Ansa and CSC with different results. The only real measure is to fit your chosen exhaust and put the car on a dynamometer to measure the power at different engine speeds.

Engine compression ratio

The Montecarlo engine can be modified to increase the compression ratio to about 10:1 without too many problems. This can be achieved by swapping the pistons to those from another Fiat or Lancia engine. The choice of piston is complex and advice should be sought from an expert.

Engine camshaft profile

The camshafts can be replaced with units with a more sporty profile. There are a number of companies selling such products for Lancia engines, but I cannot endorse any.

Carburettor changes

The standard modification to the Montecarlo engine is to replace the DATR 34 carburettor with a pair of Weber DNCFs. The DNCFs take a variety of choke sizes with 34mm giving roughly the best results.

Results achieved

Peter Smith has tried all the various modifications possible to his engine. He has mapped out the power achieved from a number of combinations which can be found here.