Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan VK56VD engine!

Fully Explore "VK56VD Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VK56VD

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan VK56VD engine!"

Hey gearheads and VK56VD enthusiasts, ever wondered how to inject some extra oomph into your powerhouse?

If you need to know more about the best upgrades for your VK56VD, this is the article for you. Picture this: a 5.6-liter V8 heart pumping power into your Nissan, and we're about to unleash its full potential.

The VK56VD, born in the early 2000s, is a force to be reckoned with, finding its home in the Nissan Patrol and the mighty Titan.

This V8 beast doesn't just growl; it roars with a staggering horsepower that can reach up to 400 and torque figures that'll push you back in your seat.

Now, why am I, your car club compadre, getting hyped about the VK56VD? Because we're not just here to talk numbers; we're here to make your Nissan experience unforgettable. In the next paragraphs, we'll be your guide through the realm of modifications and upgrades, aiming to supercharge your VK56VD without giving your wallet a heart attack.

So, tighten those lug nuts because the next part of our journey is about turning that V8 symphony into a performance masterpiece.

It's not just about saving time; it's about making every drive with your VK56VD a thrill. Stay tuned, and let's transform that Nissan into a roaring beast that commands the road!

TorqueCars often are getting emails requesting information on how to improve the VK56VD from people wanting to know what are the best tips for VK56VD upgrades. So let us look into Nissan VK56VD mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

The Nissan VK56VD have loads of potential and with carefully chosen tuning modifications like remapping, turbo kits and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving enjoyment.

Our aim here is to review and look at VK56VD tuning and point out the best upgrades.

When talking about the greatest parts for your VK56VD engine, we are going to concentrate on the tuning mods that give the best power gain for you spend.

VK56VD induction kits

Improving air intake on the VK56VD

You need air and fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack of air it runs rich sapping power which risks damage to the VK56VD. 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 each cylinder is vital to any performance tuning task.

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the VK56VD when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited performance at a much lower level.

The intake plenum flow the air during the suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and flow characteristics of the Intake headers can make a noticeable change to fuel delivery on the VK56VD.

Many mass produced engine air intake manifolds are needing motorsport parts, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing air intake manifolds.

Increasing the VK56VD valve size, getting 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also boost torque, and as an added benefit will raise potential for an improved torque increase on other modifications.

VK56VD performance cam tips.

Different VK56VD engines respond better to extreme cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences on the power gains you'll hit.

Altering valve 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.

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 engines power gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams tend to push up the power over the rev range, you may lose a little bottom end torque but the high end rpm power will improve.

Motorsport 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.

A Motorsport cam won't do well if driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your preferences so for a road car stick with a shorter duration VK56VD cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VK56VD

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 VK56VD parts:

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

Stage 2 VK56VD parts:

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

Stage 3 VK56VD parts:

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

Plan your options and then buy your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid expensive mistakes.

Mapping will help release the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your VK56VD.

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 may depend much on the modifications you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VK56VD

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 VK56VD.

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 your motor is fitted with a turbocharger tuning parts are going to net you a larger power gain and you will discover turbo engines will have more solid components.

However every engines have limits

We recommend you find these limitations and upgrade to better quality components to utilize the power.

We've seen mechanics spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the VK56VD only to see the VK56VD explode when it's used on the roads.

Larger turbos tend to experience low end lag, and low capacity turbos spool up more quickly but do not have the high rpm power band gains.

Over the last 20 years the range of turbochargers is always improving and we now see variable vane turbochargers, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large torque gains, although more difficult to install. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VK56VD

Don't forget to ramp up the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp - it makes the car more thirsty. Don't forget to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and gives 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 VK56VD performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is still 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.

Don't go with the widest exhaust you can buy this will slow up 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.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate can be traced to the catalyst installed, so adding a higher 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 VK56VD

Like most engines an VK56VD, 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 VK56VD, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned VK56VD 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 VK56VD why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about VK56VD tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their VK56VD.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We want to know your experiences with modifications on your VK56VD, it helps us improve our tips and keeps us current so please use the comments box to drop a tip.

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Check out TorqueCars new YouTube channel, and see their awesome new content...


Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article