Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan CR14DE engine!

Car tuning tips:CR14DE Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan CR14DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan CR14DE engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting emails about how to improve the CR14DE from people inquiring about getting more power from the CR14DE and wanting to know what are the best CR14DE modifications. So let us look into Nissan CR14DE parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan CR14DE make a good tuning project and with carefully chosen tuning parts like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will really improve your driving enjoyment.

Here we provide a guide to CR14DE tuning and report on the best upgrades.

When talking about the greatest parts for your CR14DE engine, we are going to focus on the ones that give the best value for money.

CR14DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the CR14DE

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is little supply of fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich losing power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the aim to any performance tuning task to pull air and fuel into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the CR14DE when loads more air is being sucked into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Intake carry the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a substantial difference to to fuel atomisation on the CR14DE.

Commonly we find the plenum chambers are crying out for a performance upgrade, although a few OEM provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

Big valve conversions on the CR14DE, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also boost power, and more importantly will allow you to get raising the power increase on other modifications.

CR14DE performance cam tips.

Different CR14DE engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll achieve.

A longer valve duration can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

Altering your CR14DE cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams commonly bump the performance throughout the rev band, you could sacrifice a little low end bhp but your top end will improve.

Race cams, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a car driven daily you need to match your power band to your driving style.

I'd be shocked if you find a CR14DE Race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the CR14DE

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 CR14DE parts:

Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Sports exhaust manifold, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake headers, Drilled & smoothed airbox.

Stage 2 CR14DE parts:

induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injectors.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 3 CR14DE parts:

Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam.

Carefully think through your options and then source your upgrades and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

Remaps will help unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your CR14DE.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your results often rely on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the CR14DE

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the CR14DE.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

When an engine is turbocharged, mods are giving better power gains and you will discover turbo charged engines are made using strengthened components.

However most engines will have power limits

We recommend you find these limitations and upgrade to higher quality components to survive the power.

We see many tuners spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the CR14DE only to suffer the indignity of watching the engine block explode when it's used in anger.

Big turbochargers commonly suffer low end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up more quickly but don't have the high rpm engines power gains.

We are pleased that the market of turbochargers is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and flow these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large torque gains, although more complex to configure. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the CR14DE

Don't miss you'll need to raise the fuelling when you are increasing the torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Experienced tuners recommend to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides some spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended CR14DE performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can get this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate can be traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a better flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decatting (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the CR14DE

Like most engines an CR14DE, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the CR14DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned CR14DE this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your CR14DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about CR14DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their CR14DE.

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