Modding and performance tuning parts for the Nissan VQ30DD engine!

Modifying and improving: "VQ30DD Modifications"

VQ30DD Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VQ30DD

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Nissan VQ30DD engine!"

Sites like TorqueCars often are getting messages asking how to improve the VQ30DD from people inquiring about getting more power from the VQ30DD and wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to VQ30DD modifications. So let us look into Nissan VQ30DD upgrades and outline the best mods that work on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will examine the options for your VQ30DD tuning and outline the best modifications for your car. Nissan VQ30DD are awesome to work on and with a few sensible modified upgrades like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively maximise your driving opportunities.

When talking about the greatest parts for your VQ30DD engine, we are going to focus on the tuning parts that give the best power gain for you money.

VQ30DD induction kits

Improving air intake on the VQ30DD

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 little flow of air it runs rich losing power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So the aim to any engine performance tuning job to shove more fuel and air into your VQ30DD but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the VQ30DD when loads more air is being drawn 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 was restricting bhp at a much lower level.

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

Design and flow rate of the Headers can make a noticeable difference to to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the VQ30DD.

It's not uncommon that plenum chambers are crying out for aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide reasonably well designed plenum chambers.

Larger VQ30DD valves, doing a bit of VQ30DD port enlargement and head flowing will also lift torque, and significantly will raise potential for raising the torque increase on other tuning mods.

VQ30DD performance cam tips.

Some VQ30DD engines respond better to mild cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and injectors and fuel pump 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 VQ30DD camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the power band accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts normally increase the torque across the rpm band, you could sacrifice a little low down torque but your top end will improve.

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

A Motorsport and race cam makes it harder when driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your typical driving style so for a car used daily stick with a fast road VQ30DD cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VQ30DD

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 VQ30DD parts:

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

Stage 2 VQ30DD parts:

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

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

Stage 3 VQ30DD parts:

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

The VQ30DD units are great to work on and we're pleased to see that there are quite a few choices of parts and performance parts around.

A remap helps release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your VQ30DD.

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

Turbo modifications on the VQ30DD

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 VQ30DD.

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 a car is fitted with a turbo mods are going to net you a larger power gain and turbo engines are made with many forged and stronger components.

However engines will need better parts at higher power limits

It is important to find these limits and upgrade to better pistons and crank to cope with the power.

There are many people spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the VQ30DD only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine catastrophically fail just after it's been completed.

Larger upgraded turbochargers tend to suffer low end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up much more quickly but don't have the top end bhp gains.

Thanks to progress the choice of turbo chargers is always improving and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and flow these at differently profiled 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 performance gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VQ30DD

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a power hike. We would recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides 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 VQ30DD performance exhaust upgrades

We'd only recommend you look to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust 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.

Note that with the widest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a higher flowing performance 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 VQ30DD

Like most engines an VQ30DD, 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 VQ30DD, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VQ30DD 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 VQ30DD why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VQ30DD tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VQ30DD.

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