Modding uprating the Nissan RB30ET engine!

Tuning guide "RB30ET Modifications"

RB30ET Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan RB30ET

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan RB30ET engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars often are getting posts asking about how to improve the RB30ET from people inquiring about getting more power from the RB30ET and wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to RB30ET upgrades. So let us look into Nissan RB30ET parts and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

In this article we look at RB30ET tuning and highlight the premier modifications for your car. Nissan RB30ET provide a fun base for your project and with the ultimate performance modifications like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will noticeably increase your driving experience.

The best RB30ET mods on an engine are obviously the ones that give the biggest return for your money.

We won't be swayed by popular RB30ET mods, they need to be cost effective.

RB30ET induction kits

Improving air intake on the RB30ET

You need fuel and air 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 which risks damage to the RB30ET. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pulling more fuel and air into the RB30ET engine is the aim to any tuning task.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the RB30ET when considerably more air is being fed 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 bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Engine intake manifolds take the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a big difference to to fuel atomisation on the RB30ET.

Commonly we find the intake headers are begging for aftermarket parts, although a few makers provide reasonably well designed intake headers.

Increasing the RB30ET valve size, doing some port matching and head flowing will also raise bhp, this will raise potential for a greater bhp increase on other modifications.

RB30ET performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll hit.

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.

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

NB: Fast road cams normally boost the performance over the rev band, you could sacrifice a little low end bhp but the high end rpm power will be better.

Motorsport and race 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 should ideally to optimize your power band to your driving style.

You will never have found a RB30ET Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the RB30ET

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 RB30ET parts:

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

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

Stage 2 RB30ET parts:

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

Stage 3 RB30ET parts:

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

The RB30ET units are great to work on and thanks to their popularity there is a growing number of modifications and performance parts out there.

A remap should help to release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your RB30ET.

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 power output often vary depending on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the RB30ET

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 RB30ET.

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

If your motor has a turbo already fitted mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbo engines already contain harder and stronger components.

However every engines have limits

Research these limits and upgrade to higher quality components to handle the power.

We've seen people spending a a stack of money on turbo charger upgrades on the RB30ET only to suffer the indignity of watching the motor catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Big capacity turbos tend to experience low end lag, and smaller turbos spool up quickly but do not have the peak end bhp gains.

Over the last 20 years the selection of turbo units is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into two channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbo charger. 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 performance gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the RB30ET

Don't overlook the need to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 15% when buying an injector, this allows for 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 RB30ET performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the exhaust 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.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate come around the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher 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 RB30ET

Like most engines an RB30ET, 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 RB30ET, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned RB30ET 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 RB30ET why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about RB30ET tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their RB30ET.

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