Modding uprating the Nissan RB30S engine!

Find out about "RB30S Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan RB30S

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan RB30S engine!"

TorqueCars are always getting messages asking about how to improve the RB30S from people wanting to know what are the ultimate RB30S upgrades. So let us look into Nissan RB30S upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

We shall detail the best approach to RB30S tuning and provide tips on the greatest modifications. Nissan RB30S are popular engines and with the right motorsport enhancements like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly maximize your driving enjoyment.

The best RB30S parts on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular RB30S parts, they need to be cost effective.

RB30S induction kits

Improving air intake on the RB30S

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little 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 Forcing more air into the RB30S engine is the aim to any tuning project.

It is common that there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the RB30S when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

When tuning you may well find you need to get an air sensor or flow meter capable of upto 4 bars to cope with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Intake manifolds flow the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

The shape and rate of flow of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big change to fuel atomisation on the RB30S.

Most intake manifold are ripe for a performance upgrade, although some manufacturers provide decently flowing intake manifold.

Adding a RB30S larger valve kit, carrying out RB30S port enlargement and head flowing will also increase bhp and torque, and significantly will give you a better bhp and torque increase on other parts.

RB30S performance cam tips.

Different RB30S engines respond better to different cam durations so view each engine as unique.

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

Longer valve durations 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.

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

NB: Fast road cams tend to boost the performance throughout the rpm range, you could drop a little low end bhp but your high end rpm power will be lifted.

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

On a daily driver you need to optimize your bhp range to your preferences.

You will never have ever thought a RB30S Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the RB30S

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 RB30S parts:

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

Stage 2 RB30S parts:

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

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

Stage 3 RB30S parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then acquire your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

Remapping allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your RB30S.

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 end result will rely on the tuning parts you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the RB30S

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 RB30S.

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

If the engine is turbo charged upgrades are going to make more power and most turbo engines are made with more solid components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

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

We've seen mechanics spending a loads of money on turbocharger upgrades on the RB30S only to experience the RB30S explode on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Large capacity turbo chargers will usually suffer a bottom end lag, and small turbo chargers spool up more quickly but won't have the top end engines power gains.

Thanks to progress the market of turbos is always developing and we now see variable vane turbos, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and push these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also increase 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 install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the RB30S

Don't forget to boost the fuel delivery when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, helps cope with 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 RB30S performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is still good 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 buy this will slow the exhaust 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 located the catalysts installed, so adding a better flowing race 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 RB30S

Like most engines an RB30S, 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 RB30S, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned RB30S 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 RB30S why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about RB30S tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their RB30S.

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