Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan RB30DE engine!

All you need to know about "RB30DE Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan RB30DE

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Nissan RB30DE engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly seeing threads asking about how to improve the RB30DE from people wanting to know what are the premier RB30DE modifications. So let us look into Nissan RB30DE modifications and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan RB30DE make a good tuning project and with the ultimate performance tuning mods like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly maximize your driving experience.

This pages aim is examine the options for your RB30DE tuning and show the premier mods that work.

Just because particular upgrades are are common on RB30DE it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will focus on the best upgrades that will give your RB30DE the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the misaprehension 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'.

RB30DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the RB30DE

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich sapping power which risks damage to the RB30DE. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Shoving more air into each cylinder is the whole point to any engine upgrade job.

You'll commonly see there is a limitation in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the RB30DE when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

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

The size of bore and shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the RB30DE.

Commonly we find the intake are improved through aftermarket tuning parts, although some manufacturers provide reasonably good intake.

Adding a RB30DE larger valve kit, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift performance, this will afford you a greater performance increase on other mods.

RB30DE performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to extreme cam durations than others.

The ECU mapping and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll achieve.

A longer valve duration 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 usually raise the bhp across the rpm band, you may lose a little low down torque but your higher rpm power will be higher.

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

In a daily driver you must carefully try to optimize your engines power to your usage of the car.

I'd never find a RB30DE Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the RB30DE

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 RB30DE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 RB30DE parts:

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

Stage 3 RB30DE parts:

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

Plan your options and then find your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.

Mapping helps to establish the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your RB30DE.

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 usually vary depending on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the RB30DE

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 RB30DE.

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 an engine is turbocharged, tuning parts are going to make more power and we find turbo charged engines already contain strengthened components.

However every engines have limits

We recommend you find these limitations and upgrade to forged components to survive the power.

There are many tuners spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the RB30DE only to experience the car throw a rod soon after it's used on the roads.

Bigger turbo chargers commonly suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo chargers spool up really quickly but don't have the top end power band gains.

Thankfully the market of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and direct these at differently angled 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 power gains, although more challenging to install. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the RB30DE

Don't miss you'll need to look at the fuel delivery when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides a little 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 RB30DE performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is 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 increase the flow of air through the engine.

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

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a freer flowing high performance 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 RB30DE

Like most engines an RB30DE, 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 RB30DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned RB30DE 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 RB30DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about RB30DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their RB30DE.

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