Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan HR10DE engine!

Tuning guide "HR10DE Modifications"

HR10DE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan HR10DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Nissan HR10DE engine!"

TorqueCars often are getting messages asking about how to improve the HR10DE from people inquiring about getting more power from the HR10DE and wanting to know what are the ultimate HR10DE mods that work. So let us look into Nissan HR10DE upgrades and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan HR10DE are good project engines and with the ultimate performance mods like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will really maximise your driving pleasure.

Let us provide a guide to HR10DE tuning and show the best modifications.

The best HR10DE mods on an engine are usually the ones that give the best gains for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular HR10DE mods, they need to be cost effective.

HR10DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the HR10DE

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 sapping power which risks damage to the HR10DE. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So it's important to any engine tuning project to feed more air and fuel into your HR10DE but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the HR10DE 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 limited bhp at a much lower level.

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

The shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation on the HR10DE.

I usually find air intake manifolds are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although some manufacturers provide well optimised air intake manifolds.

Big valve conversions on the HR10DE, carrying out 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift power, the fantastic side effect is it will afford you a better power increase on other upgrades.

HR10DE performance cam tips.

Some HR10DE engines respond better to different cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the torque gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque 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 HR10DE can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the bhp and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts normally bump the performance through the rpm band, you may lose a little low end power but your higher rpm power will be lifted.

Competition camshafts, bump the higher 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 match your power band to your driving style.

I would be surprised if you have found a HR10DE Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the HR10DE

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 HR10DE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 HR10DE parts:

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

Stage 3 HR10DE parts:

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

The HR10DE power trains make great tuning projects and we're finding that there is a lot of upgrades and performance parts around.

ECU flashing will help unlock the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your HR10DE.

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 usually differs on the modifications you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the HR10DE

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 HR10DE.

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

When a car has forced induction mods are more reliable and we find turbo charged engines already contain more solid components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being incredibly solid and some only able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these limitations and fit stronger pistons, crank and engine components to handle the power.

We've seen tuners spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the HR10DE only to have the HR10DE explode when it's used in anger.

Large capacity turbochargers will usually experience no power at low rpm, and little turbochargers spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm bhp gains.

We are pleased that the selection of turbo units is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 gains, although more difficult to setup. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the HR10DE

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will have to ramp up the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque hike. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 15% when specifying an injector, which takes into account 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 HR10DE performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is creating a flow problem.

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

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of air through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too big, ie: over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose a lot of your flow rate and end up lacking power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate can be traced to the catalyst 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 HR10DE

Like most engines an HR10DE, 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 HR10DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned HR10DE 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 HR10DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about HR10DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their HR10DE.

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