Modding uprating the Nissan VG33ER engine!

Car tuning tips:VG33ER Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VG33ER

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Nissan VG33ER engine!"

Ever wondered how to add a touch of exhilaration to your Nissan driving experience with the VG33ER engine? Well, you're in the right place because we're about to embark on a journey into the world of modifications, where we'll make your Nissan roar with power and excitement without breaking the bank.

The VG33ER, a robust 3.3-liter V6 engine, is not just an engine; it's the heartbeat of vehicles like the Nissan Xterra and Frontier, ready to elevate your off-road escapades. Picture this: the VG33ER humming under the hood, geared up to unleash its power on the trails.

Now, let's dive into the specifics because, let's face it, that's where the magic happens. The VG33ER is no stranger to power, boasting figures that typically reach around 210 horsepower and a torque that'll tackle challenging terrains with ease. It's a formidable force with features like dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) ensuring optimal performance.

So, if you're ready to take your VG33ER to new heights, stay tuned. In the paragraphs to come, we'll be your guide through the realm of modifications and upgrades, aiming to make your Nissan not only roar but do so without causing financial turbulence.

But this isn't a solo journey – I want to hear about your VG33ER project! Use the comments below to share your experiences, ask questions, and let's create a vibrant community of enthusiasts helping each other out.

Get ready because the next part of our adventure is about detailing the best mods and upgrades for your VG33ER, ensuring you not only save time but also experience the thrill of driving a finely-tuned Nissan.

Sites like TorqueCars are regularly getting messages requesting info on how to improve the VG33ER from people wanting to know what are the best tips on VG33ER upgrades. So let us look into Nissan VG33ER upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan VG33ER are fantastic to work on and with carefully chosen performance upgrades like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will substantially maximize your driving fun.

In this article we look at VG33ER tuning and summarise the best mods that work.

When talking about the best parts for your VG33ER engine, we are going to concentrate on the tuning parts that give the best value for money.

VG33ER induction kits

Improving air intake on the VG33ER

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

So Pulling fuel and air into the VG33ER engine is the whole point to any engine tuning project.

It is common that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the VG33ER when loads more air is being pulled into the engine.

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

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

Shape and rate of flow of the Plenum can make a big effect on to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the VG33ER.

It's not uncommon that air intake manifolds are crying out for motorsport parts, although a few OEM provide fairly well optimized air intake manifolds.

Adding a VG33ER larger valve kit, carrying out VG33ER port enlargement and head flowing will also lift bhp, and significantly will make space for an improved bhp increase on other upgrades.

VG33ER performance cam tips.

Different VG33ER engines respond better to mild camshaft durations than others.

The map and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake durations 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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the VG33ER can be made from cam upgrades. Changing the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts tend to bump the power through the rev range, you could drop a little low down power but your top end will be lifted.

Race camshafts, bump the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

On a car used daily you should ideally to match your torque band to your cars usage.

I'd be amazed if you find a VG33ER Race cam is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VG33ER

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 VG33ER parts:

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

Stage 2 VG33ER parts:

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

Stage 3 VG33ER parts:

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

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

Remapping will help to establish the full potential of all the mods you've done to your VG33ER.

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 mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VG33ER

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 VG33ER.

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 turbocharged, parts are going to make more power and turbo engines already contain many forged and stronger components.

There are reliable limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power

See where you'll find these limitations and install higher quality components to handle the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the VG33ER only to experience the VG33ER explode on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Bigger capacity turbo chargers often suffer a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up quickly but don't have the top end engines power gains.

We are pleased that the world of turbochargers is always developing and we now see variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and direct these at differently profiled 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 bhp and torque gains, although harder to setup. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VG33ER

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should pay attention to the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a bhp hike. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% capacity when fitting 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 VG33ER performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust 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 usually air flow out of the engine but do not go too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a better flowing race 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 VG33ER

Like most engines an VG33ER, 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 VG33ER, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VG33ER 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 VG33ER why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VG33ER tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VG33ER.

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