Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Nissan VG20P engine!

Tuners tips on "VG20P Modifications"

VG20P Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VG20P

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Nissan VG20P engine!"

Sites like TorqueCars are always getting posts requesting info on how to improve the VG20P from people wanting to know what are the best VG20P modifications. So let us look into Nissan VG20P parts and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan VG20P are popular engines and with the ultimate modified parts like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will noticeably maximise your driving opportunities.

Car Tuning Tips will consider VG20P tuning and point out the ultimate modifications.

Just because particular mods are popular with VG20P owners it doesn't mean it is good, instead we will concentrate on the best mods that will give your VG20P the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the popular myth 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'.

VG20P induction kits

Improving air intake on the VG20P

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is insufficient air it runs rich resulting in lost 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 the goal to any car tuning project to feed more air and fuel into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the VG20P when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

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

Design and flow characteristics of the Intake can make a noticeable change to fuel engine efficiency on the VG20P.

It's not uncommon that intake manifold are in dire need of a performance upgrade, although some OEM provide fairly well optimized intake manifold.

Big valve conversions on the VG20P, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise bhp, & importantly will afford you increasing the bhp increase on other parts.

VG20P performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to extreme camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ecu map and fuelling also will say much on the bhp gains you'll make.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp 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.

Altering your VG20P cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the power band accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually raise the performance across the rev band, you may lose a little low end bhp but your higher rpm power will improve.

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

A Race cam is not great driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your torque band to your preferences so for a typical daily driver stick with a shorter duration VG20P cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VG20P

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 VG20P parts:

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

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

Stage 2 VG20P parts:

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

Stage 3 VG20P parts:

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

Review your options and then buy your upgrades and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

ECU mapping should help to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your VG20P.

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 outcome usually depend much on the tuning parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VG20P

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 VG20P.

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.

When an engine is fitted with a turbo upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and you'll see that turbocharged engines are built using strengthened components.

However you will find an engines have limits

See where you'll find these restrictions and fit forged components to cope with the power.

There are many tuners spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the VG20P only to experience the whole thing go up in smoke on it's first outing after it's used on the roads.

Large turbo chargers often suffer no power at low rpm, and little turbo chargers spool up quickly but won't have the high rpm torque gains.

Thankfully the market of turbo chargers is always increasing and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also improve 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 complex to install. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VG20P

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp and torque hike. Care modifiers usually say to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and allows a little 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 VG20P performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is 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 increase the flow of air through the engine.

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

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Catalyst removal (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the VG20P

Like most engines an VG20P, 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 VG20P, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VG20P 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 VG20P why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VG20P tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VG20P.

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