Modding uprating the Nissan MR16DDT engine!

Car tuning tips:MR16DDT Modifications"

MR16DDT Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan MR16DDT

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Nissan MR16DDT engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are regularly getting posts asking about how to improve the MR16DDT from people inquiring about getting more power from the MR16DDT and wanting to know what are the best tips on MR16DDT modifications. So let us look into Nissan MR16DDT modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Now we will examine the options for your MR16DDT tuning and report on the optimum modifications for your car. Nissan MR16DDT are popular engines and with a few sensible motorsport enhancements like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly maximise your driving experience.

Just because particular tuning mods are are common on MR16DDT it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll concentrate on the best tuning mods that will give your MR16DDT the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the popular myth of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

MR16DDT induction kits

Improving air intake on the MR16DDT

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is little supply of fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of air it runs rich resulting in lost 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 fundamental goal to any engine tuning job to pull fuel and air into your MR16DDT but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the MR16DDT when considerably more air is being fed into the engine.

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

Intake headers transmit the during the engines suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a noticeable change to fuel mixing and power on the MR16DDT.

I usually find intake manifold are begging for aftermarket parts, although a few makers provide reasonably well designed intake manifold.

Larger MR16DDT valves, getting port matching and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, this will make space for a better bhp and torque increase on other parts.

MR16DDT performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

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

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the bhp 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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the MR16DDT can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the torque and power output.

NB: Fast road cams normally raise the performance over the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end torque but high end rpm power will be lifted.

Motorsport cams, raise the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car used daily you should ideally to optimize your torque band to your driving style.

I'd be shocked if you have found a MR16DDT Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the MR16DDT

Stage 1 MR16DDT parts:

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

Stage 2 MR16DDT parts:

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

Stage 3 MR16DDT parts:

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

Plan your options and then buy your mods and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

Remaps will help release the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your MR16DDT.

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 mileage often depend much on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

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

Turbo modifications on the MR16DDT

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 MR16DDT.

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

If the engine has a turbo already fitted mods are going to make more power and you will discover turbocharged engines will have harder and stronger components.

However every engines will need better parts at higher power limits

We recommend you find these limitations and install better quality components to survive the power.

There are many people spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the MR16DDT only to experience the motor catastrophically fail soon after it's used on the roads.

Large capacity turbo units will usually experience a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbo units spool up quickly but do not have the peak end power band gains.

In the last 10 years the choice of turbos is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbos, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large power gains, although more complex to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the MR16DDT

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to look at the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a power hike. Experienced tuners recommend to over specify your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a bit of spare capacity should the engine require 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 MR16DDT performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the exhaust 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.

Don't go with the widest exhaust you can buy 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the MR16DDT

Like most engines an MR16DDT, 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 MR16DDT, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned MR16DDT 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 MR16DDT why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about MR16DDT tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their MR16DDT.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We want to know your experiences with parts on your MR16DDT, it helps us improve our tips and keeps us current so please use the comments box to drop a tip.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

You must be logged in to post a comment.