Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan VQ35DE engine!

Explore VQ35DE Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VQ35DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan VQ35DE engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are always getting emails asking about how to improve the VQ35DE from people inquiring about getting more power from the VQ35DE and wanting to know what are the best tips on VQ35DE upgrades. So let us look into Nissan VQ35DE parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will detail the best approach to VQ35DE tuning and outline the optimum mods that work. Nissan VQ35DE are fantastic to work on and with the best tuning upgrades like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving fun.

Just because particular tuning parts are are common on VQ35DE it doesn't mean it is good, instead we'll focus on the optimum tuning parts that will give your VQ35DE the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the mentality 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'.

VQ35DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the VQ35DE

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack 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 it's important to any engine performance tuning task to feed air into each cylinder but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the VQ35DE when considerably 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 limited bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Air Intake manifolds carry the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the air Intake manifold can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the VQ35DE.

We often see intake manifold are in desperate need of aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide reasonably good intake manifold.

Big valve conversions on the VQ35DE, doing a bit of VQ35DE port enlargement and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, the fantastic side effect is it will raise potential for raising the bhp and torque increase on other parts.

VQ35DE performance cam tips.

Some VQ35DE engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuelling 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.

Altering your VQ35DE camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine torque. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the torque accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams commonly raise the bhp over the rev band, you could drop a little bottom end power but your top end will be lifted.

Competition cams, raise the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

For a car used daily you need to optimize your engines power to your cars usage.

You'll never have ever thought a VQ35DE Competition camshaft is a pleasure to live with when on the daily commute.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VQ35DE

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 VQ35DE parts:

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

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

Stage 2 VQ35DE parts:

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

Stage 3 VQ35DE parts:

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

Plan your options and then find your mods and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

Remaps allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your VQ35DE.

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 figures achieved often vary depending on the tuning mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VQ35DE

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 VQ35DE.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes superb power gains.

If an engine is fitted with a turbocharger mods are more reliable and you'll see that turbocharged engines are made with more solid components.

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

See where you'll find these limits and install better quality components to cope with the power.

We see many guys spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the VQ35DE only to experience the whole thing go up in smoke just after it's finished.

Large capacity turbochargers tend to experience no power at low rpm, and small turbochargers spool up really quickly but don't have the high rpm torque gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbo units is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and flow these at differently profiled 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 power gains, although more complex to install. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VQ35DE

When you raise the performance you will need to look at to the fuel system.

More performance needs more fuel. We would recommend you to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

As a rule of thumb add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows 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 VQ35DE performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

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.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches as a rule of thumb.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the filters installed, so adding a freer flowing sports 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 VQ35DE

Like most engines an VQ35DE, 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 VQ35DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VQ35DE 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 VQ35DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VQ35DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VQ35DE.

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