Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan VG30E engine!

Tuners tips on "VG30E Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VG30E

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Nissan VG30E engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are frequently getting posts requesting information on how to improve the VG30E from people wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to VG30E modifications. So let us look into Nissan VG30E parts and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan VG30E really good project engines and with carefully picked performance parts like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will certainly increase your driving pleasure.

Our aim here is to examine VG30E tuning and outline the best modifications for your car.

When talking about the best parts for your VG30E engine, we are going to focus on the tuning mods that give the best power gain for you money.

VG30E induction kits

Improving air intake on the VG30E

You need air matched to 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 VG30E. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Getting air into your VG30E is vital to any car tuning task.

It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the VG30E when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Intake manifolds carry the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

Design and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation on the VG30E.

Commonly we find the plenum chambers are improved through motorsport parts, although a few makers provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

Big valve conversions on the VG30E, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise bhp, the fantastic side effect is it will give you raising the bhp increase on other upgrades.

VG30E performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to extreme cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

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

Longer 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.

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 engines power gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams normally increase the torque across the rev band, you may lose a little low down power but your top end will be higher.

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

In a car driven daily you should ideally to match your bhp range to your preferences.

You will never have ever thought a VG30E Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VG30E

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 VG30E parts:

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

Stage 2 VG30E parts:

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

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

Stage 3 VG30E parts:

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

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

ECU mapping allows a tuner to unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your VG30E.

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 fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VG30E

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 VG30E.

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.

When the engine has forced induction upgrades are going to make more power and most turbo engines already contain harder and stronger components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limitations and install better quality components to survive the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the VG30E only to suffer the indignity of watching the car explode when it's first rolling road session.

Larger upgraded turbo chargers will usually suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo chargers spool up more quickly but do not have the top end bhp gains.

In the last 10 years the world of turbo units is always moving on and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 torque gains, although more difficult to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VG30E

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so must ramp up the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a bhp and torque hike. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% capacity when specifying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords 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 VG30E performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is 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 balance the flow of gases through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, 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.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be located the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing high performance 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 VG30E

Like most engines an VG30E, 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 VG30E, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VG30E 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 VG30E why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VG30E tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VG30E.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We want to know your experiences with tuning mods on your VG30E, it helps us improve our tips and keeps us current so please use the comments box to drop a tip.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Check out TorqueCars new YouTube channel, and see their awesome new content...


Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article