Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Nissan VG33E engine!

Car tuning tips:VG33E Modifications"

VG33E Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VG33E

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan VG33E engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting emails requesting info on how to improve the VG33E from people inquiring about getting more power from the VG33E and wanting to know what are the greatest VG33E mods that work. So let us look into Nissan VG33E mods and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Nissan VG33E provide a fun base for your project and with carefully chosen performance modifications like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will substantially improve your driving experience.

Let us review and look at VG33E tuning and highlight the best modifications.

The optimum VG33E tuning parts on an engine are obviously the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular VG33E tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

VG33E induction kits

Improving air intake on the VG33E

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of air it runs rich resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So it's important to any car tuning project to feed air into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the VG33E 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 limited power at a much lower level.

Headers take the during the engines suck phase from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake headers can make a big effect on to fuel engine efficiency on the VG33E.

We often see air intake manifolds are needing motorsport parts, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing air intake manifolds.

Adding a VG33E larger valve kit, getting port matching and head flowing will also increase torque, the fantastic side effect is it will give you a greater torque increase on other modifications.

VG33E performance cam tips.

Different VG33E engines respond better to different cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

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.

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 bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to push up the performance through the rpm band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end power but higher rpm power will be better.

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

On a road car you need to optimize your engines power to your driving style.

I would be surprised if you have found a VG33E Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VG33E

Stage 1 VG33E parts:

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

Stage 2 VG33E parts:

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

Stage 3 VG33E parts:

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

The VG33E power plant are fantastic to work on and we're finding that there are quite a few choices of upgrades and tuning parts around.

ECU flashing allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your VG33E.

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

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

Turbo modifications on the VG33E

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 VG33E.

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 an engine is fitted with a turbocharger upgrades are going to net you a larger power gain and we find turbocharged engines already contain uprated components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these limitations and fit better pistons and crank to survive the power.

We see many car owners spending a lot of money on turbocharger upgrades on the VG33E only to watch the whole thing go up in smoke when it's been enthusiastically driven.

Larger capacity turbochargers commonly experience low end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up more quickly but don't have the top end engines power gains.

Thanks to progress the choice of turbo units is always developing and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and flow 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 bhp and torque gains, although more difficult to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VG33E

When you lift the performance you will need to increase to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. It makes sense to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add another 15% when fitting an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives a bit of 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 VG33E performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to uprate 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.

Don't go with the biggest exhaust you can source you'll slow the exhaust rate - the best for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

Usual exhaust restrictions are in the catalysts installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

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

Faults issues and things to look out for on the VG33E

Like most engines an VG33E, 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 VG33E, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VG33E 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 VG33E why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VG33E tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VG33E.

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 upgrades on your VG33E, 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.


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

You must be logged in to post a comment.