Modding uprating the Nissan BR08DE engine!

Tuners tips on "BR08DE Modifications"

BR08DE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan BR08DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan BR08DE engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are always getting posts requesting information on how to improve the BR08DE from people wanting to know what are the best tips for BR08DE power upgrades. So let us look into Nissan BR08DE mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

In this article we review and look at BR08DE tuning and point out the best modifications for your car. Nissan BR08DE are awesome to work on and with a few sensible parts like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will definitely maximize your driving enjoyment.

Just because particular tuning mods are appear in lots of BR08DE projects it doesn't mean it is good, we shall concentrate on the best tuning mods that will give your BR08DE the best power gain for you spend.

Without us subscribing to the popular mentality 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'.

BR08DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the BR08DE

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 a lack of air it runs rich resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the primary aim to any performance tuning job to pull more air and fuel into your BR08DE but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the BR08DE when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

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

Intake manifolds carry the air flow during the suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Shape and flow rate of the Intake can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the BR08DE.

Most plenum chambers are in dire need of performance upgrades, although some OEM provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

Big valve conversions on the BR08DE, doing some port work and head flowing will also raise bhp and torque, and significantly will afford you a better bhp and torque increase on other parts.

BR08DE performance cam tips.

Different BR08DE engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the power gains you'll get.

Longer valve durations 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.

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 torque gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams tend to bump the bhp and torque through the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end bhp but high end rpm power will be higher.

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

For a typical daily driver you need to optimize your engines power to your typical driving style.

I'd be surprised if you have found a BR08DE Race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the BR08DE

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 BR08DE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 BR08DE parts:

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

Stage 3 BR08DE parts:

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

The BR08DE units respond well to mods and thankfully there is an increase of parts and performance parts around.

ECU mapping will help release the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your BR08DE.

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 will differs on the tuning mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the BR08DE

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 BR08DE.

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 turbo parts are going to make more power and you will discover turbo engines will have many forged and stronger components.

However every engines have weakspots

Discover these limits and install better quality components to survive the power.

There are many people spending a fortune on turbocharger upgrades on the BR08DE only to see the whole thing throw a rod soon after it's used on the roads.

Big capacity turbo units commonly suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbo units spool up more quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbochargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into two channels and push these at differently profiled 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 bhp and 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 BR08DE

Don't miss you'll need to pay attention to the fuel system when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a little 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 BR08DE performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually causing 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 largest exhaust you can get this will slow the exhaust 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.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate come around the filters installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance 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 BR08DE

Like most engines an BR08DE, 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 BR08DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned BR08DE 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 BR08DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about BR08DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their BR08DE.

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