Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Nissan VQ30DET engine!

All you need to know about "VQ30DET Modifications"

VQ30DET Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VQ30DET

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Nissan VQ30DET engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are regularly getting posts asking how to improve the VQ30DET from people wanting to know what are the optimum VQ30DET power upgrades. So let us look into Nissan VQ30DET upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will review and look at VQ30DET tuning and point out the optimum modifications for your car. Nissan VQ30DET make awesome project engines and with carefully chosen motorsport parts like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving enjoyment.

Just because particular modifications are are common on VQ30DET it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we will concentrate on the best modifications that will give your VQ30DET the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the popular myth of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

VQ30DET induction kits

Improving air intake on the VQ30DET

You need fuel and air 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 sapping power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Feeding more air and fuel into the VQ30DET engine is vital to any tuning job.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the VQ30DET when a lot more air is being sucked 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.

Intake manifolds carry the air flow from the intake filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Design and rate of flow of the Plenum can make a substantial change to fuel engine efficiency on the VQ30DET.

Many mass produced engine intake manifold are improved through motorsport parts, although a few makers provide well optimised intake manifold.

Fitting big valve kits, getting 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also raise bhp, and importantly will allow you to get a greater bhp increase on other modifications.

VQ30DET performance cam tips.

Different VQ30DET engines respond better to mild cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll hit.

Longer valve durations can alter the torque 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 cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large engines power gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams usually push up the performance over the rev band, you could sacrifice a little low down bhp but high end rpm power will be higher.

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

On a typical daily driver you should ideally to match your torque band to your cars usage.

You'll never find a VQ30DET Competition cam is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VQ30DET

Stage 1 VQ30DET parts:

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

Stage 2 VQ30DET parts:

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

Stage 3 VQ30DET parts:

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

The VQ30DET engine blocks are fantastic to work on and we're happy to report there are increasing numbers of mods and performance parts around.

ECU mapping allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your VQ30DET.

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 often vary depending on the parts you've applied 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 VQ30DET

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 VQ30DET.

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.

If the engine has forced induction tuning parts are relatively easy and we find turbocharged engines are made with more solid components.

However you'll find engines will need better parts at higher power limits

See where you'll find these restrictions and install better pistons and crank to handle the power.

We see many guys spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the VQ30DET only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine block literally blow up soon after it's used on the roads.

Big capacity turbo units commonly suffer low end lag, and small turbo units spool up much more quickly but do not have the high rpm power band gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle 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 direct 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 complex to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VQ30DET

When you lift the torque you will need to look at to the fuelling.

More torque needs more fuel. Experienced tuners recommend to over specify your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% to the flow rate when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and affords you some 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 VQ30DET performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to upgrade 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 your 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 air 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 your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are traced to the catalyst 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 VQ30DET

Like most engines an VQ30DET, 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 VQ30DET, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VQ30DET 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 VQ30DET why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VQ30DET tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VQ30DET.

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