Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan KR20DDET engine!

Car tuning tips:KR20DDET Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan KR20DDET

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Nissan KR20DDET engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always seeing threads asking about how to improve the KR20DDET from people inquiring about getting more power from the KR20DDET and wanting to know what are the greatest KR20DDET mods that work. So let us look into Nissan KR20DDET tuning mods and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Let us look into KR20DDET tuning and report on the best modifications for your car. Nissan KR20DDET make awesome project engines and with the right modified parts like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will greatly maximise your driving enjoyment.

The best KR20DDET modifications on an engine are typically the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular KR20DDET modifications, they need to be cost effective.

KR20DDET induction kits

Improving air intake on the KR20DDET

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of 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 Feeding more air and fuel into your KR20DDET is the primary aim to any engine upgrade task.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the KR20DDET when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited bhp at a much lower level.

Air Intake manifolds take the during the engines suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial change to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the KR20DDET.

Most plenum chambers are in dire need of aftermarket tuning parts, although a few OEM provide decently flowing plenum chambers.

Larger KR20DDET valves, getting port matching and head flowing will also raise bhp, & importantly will permit an improved bhp increase on other tuning parts.

KR20DDET performance cam tips.

Some KR20DDET engines respond better to mild cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The map and fuelling also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll make.

Longer valve 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.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams normally boost the torque through the rev band, you may sacrifice a little low end torque but the higher rpm power will be better.

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

On a road car you must carefully try to match your engines power to your driving style.

I'd be surprised if you have ever thought a KR20DDET Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the KR20DDET

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 KR20DDET parts:

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

Stage 2 KR20DDET parts:

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

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

Stage 3 KR20DDET parts:

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

The KR20DDET engine blocks respond well to mods and thanks to their popularity there are quite a few choices of modifications and tuning parts about.

ECU flashing allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your KR20DDET.

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 the outcome may depend much on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the KR20DDET

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 KR20DDET.

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.

When a car is fitted with a turbocharger tuning parts are more reliable and turbocharged engines are built using stronger components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being very over engineered and some only just able to handle stock power

It is important to find these restrictions and upgrade to higher quality crank and pistons to cope with the power.

It's not unheard of people spending a lots of money on turbo charger upgrades on the KR20DDET only to watch the car explode just after it's completed.

Large turbo units will usually experience a bottom end lag, and small turbo units spool up really quickly but won't have the peak end power band gains.

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

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 bhp and torque gains, although more challenging to configure. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the KR20DDET

Don't overlook the need to raise the fuelling when you are increasing the torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Experienced tuners recommend to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 15% when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and affords some 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 KR20DDET performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is ok 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.

Note that with the largest exhaust you can source this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts 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 catalysts installed, so adding a better flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the KR20DDET

Like most engines an KR20DDET, 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 KR20DDET, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned KR20DDET 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 KR20DDET why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about KR20DDET tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their KR20DDET.

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