Modding uprating the Nissan RD28 engine!

Discover "RD28 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan RD28

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Nissan RD28 engine!"

Greetings, fans of robust reliability and enthusiasts of diesel power! Have you ever pondered the untapped potential of your trusty Nissan RD28 engine? If you're yearning for more torque, durability, and perhaps a touch of adventure, you're in for an exciting journey. Welcome to the realm of modifications, upgrades, and unlocking the full potential of the venerable RD28.

Ever wondered how to make your Nissan RD28 engine more robust? If thoughts of extracting additional power and enhancing your diesel driving experience have crossed your mind, you're in the right place. This article is your gateway to elevating the capabilities of your RD28, the diesel powerhouse that has powered various Nissan models.

Now, let's delve into the specifics because, let's face it, that's where the magic happens. The Nissan RD28, born for reliability and endurance, is not just an engine; it's a testament to the era of diesel dominance. With its reputation for sturdiness and simplicity, the RD28 isn't just about commuting; it's about a steadfast and dependable driving experience.

But why stop there? If you're eager to make your RD28-powered ride even more capable, stay tuned. In the paragraphs to come, we'll be your guide through the landscape of modifications and upgrades, aiming to make your Nissan not just a reliable daily workhorse but a robust performer without emptying your wallet.

This isn't a solo adventure – I want to hear about your RD28 project! Use the comments below to share your experiences, ask questions, and let's build a vibrant community of enthusiasts sharing insights and assisting each other.

Get ready because the next part of our journey is about detailing the best mods and upgrades for your Nissan RD28, ensuring you not only save time but also experience the joy of driving a finely-tuned diesel workhorse.

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are frequently seeing threads about how to improve the RD28 from people wanting to know what are the best RD28 power upgrades. So let us look into Nissan RD28 modifications and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Here we detail the best approach to RD28 tuning and point out the ultimate modifications for your car. Nissan RD28 provide a fun base for your project and with carefully picked parts like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving fun.

When talking about the best parts for your RD28 engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the biggest return for your cash.

RD28 induction kits

Improving air intake on the RD28

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 insufficient air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the RD28. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the fundamental goal to any performance tuning job to shove more fuel and air into your RD28 but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the RD28 when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

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

Shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a substantial effect on to fuel atomisation on the RD28.

I usually find headers are crying out for motorsport parts, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing headers.

Increasing the RD28 valve size, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also improve bhp and torque, and significantly will afford you raising the bhp and torque increase on other tuning parts.

RD28 performance cam tips.

Some RD28 engines respond better to extreme cam durations than others.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will make differences on the torque gains you'll get.

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 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 increase the performance throughout the rev range, you could sacrifice a little low end torque but higher rpm power will improve.

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

A Motorsport and race camshaft makes it harder when driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally match your power band to your typical driving style so for a typical daily driver stick with a fast road RD28 camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the RD28

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

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 RD28 parts:

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

Stage 2 RD28 parts:

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

Stage 3 RD28 parts:

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

The RD28 engines are great to work on and we're pleased to see that there are plenty of modifications and performance parts out there.

ECU flashing should help to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your RD28.

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 usually rely on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the RD28

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 RD28.

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 your car is fitted with a turbocharger modifications are more reliable and you'll see that turbo engines are built with harder and stronger components.

However you'll find engines have weakspots

We recommend you find these restrictions and fit better quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the RD28 only to have the whole thing literally blow up when it's completed.

Big upgraded turbochargers often experience no power at low rpm, and little turbochargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the top end torque gains.

Thanks to progress the range of turbo units is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo units, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into two channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. 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 torque gains, although more challenging to get working. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the RD28

Don't forget to improve the fuelling when you are increasing the torque - it makes the car more thirsty. It makes sense to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

As a rule of thumb add 15% when buying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows a bit of 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 RD28 performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the 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.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow through the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches as a rule of thumb.

Usual exhaust restrictions are in the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing race 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 RD28

Like most engines an RD28, 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 RD28, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned RD28 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 RD28 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about RD28 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their RD28.

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