Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan VQ30DE-K engine!

All you need to know about "VQ30DE-K Modifications"

VQ30DE-K Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VQ30DE-K

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Nissan VQ30DE-K engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are frequently getting messages asking about how to improve the VQ30DE-K from people wanting to know what are the best VQ30DE-K modifications. So let us look into Nissan VQ30DE-K parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

The Nissan VQ30DE-K are fantastic to work on and with the best uprated parts like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively maximize your driving pleasure.

In this article we outline options for your VQ30DE-K tuning and provide tips on the optimum upgrades.

The ultimate VQ30DE-K parts on an engine are sensibly the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular VQ30DE-K parts, they need to be cost effective.

VQ30DE-K induction kits

Improving air intake on the VQ30DE-K

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich resulting in lost power which risks damage to the VQ30DE-K. 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 engine upgrade job to feed air into your VQ30DE-K 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 AFM/MAP on the VQ30DE-K when a lot 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 power at a much lower level.

Engines intake headers take the air from the filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and rate of flow of the Intake headers can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation on the VQ30DE-K.

We often see intake headers are in dire need of performance upgrades, although a few OEM provide fairly well optimized intake headers.

Larger VQ30DE-K valves, doing a bit of VQ30DE-K port enlargement and head flowing will also raise torque, & more importantly will make space for a greater torque increase on other tuning mods.

VQ30DE-K performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the bhp gains you'll get.

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 power band gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly boost the torque across the rev band, you could drop a little low down power but higher rpm power will improve.

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

A Motorsport camshaft is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your engines power to your usage of the car so for a road car stick with a shorter duration VQ30DE-K camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VQ30DE-K

Stage 1 VQ30DE-K parts:

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

Stage 2 VQ30DE-K parts:

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

Stage 3 VQ30DE-K parts:

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

Plan your options and then buy your mods and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

ECU flashing allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning parts you've done to your VQ30DE-K.

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 will differs on the tuning parts you've carried out 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 VQ30DE-K

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 VQ30DE-K.

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.

If the engine has forced induction parts are simpler to install and most turbo charged engines are made with harder and stronger components.

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

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

We've seen drivers spending a lots of money on turbocharger upgrades on the VQ30DE-K only to see the engine go up in smoke when it's finished.

Big capacity turbo units commonly experience low end lag, and little turbo units spool up more quickly but won't have the high rpm bhp gains.

In the last 10 years the world of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, permitting 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 2 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 bhp and torque gains, although more complex to configure. We have this in depth look at twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VQ30DE-K

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a performance hike. Care modifiers usually say to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and affords 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 VQ30DE-K performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

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

But if the exhaust 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 losing power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions are in the catalyst installed, so adding a faster 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 VQ30DE-K

Like most engines an VQ30DE-K, 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 VQ30DE-K, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VQ30DE-K 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 VQ30DE-K why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VQ30DE-K tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VQ30DE-K.

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