Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Nissan VQ30DE engine!

All you need to know about "VQ30DE Modifications"

VQ30DE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan VQ30DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan VQ30DE engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are regularly getting emails asking how to improve the VQ30DE from people wanting to know what are the things tuners are recommending when it comes to VQ30DE upgrades. So let us look into Nissan VQ30DE tuning mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

The Nissan VQ30DE have loads of potential and with carefully picked tuning tuning mods like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will definitely enhance your driving fun.

In this article we outline options for your VQ30DE tuning and report on the best modifications.

When talking about the best parts for your VQ30DE engine, we are going to focus on the upgrades that give the biggest return for your cash.

VQ30DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the VQ30DE

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is insufficient air it runs rich sapping 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 performance tuning task to push air and fuel into your VQ30DE but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the VQ30DE when loads more air is being fed into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped performance at a much lower level.

Headers carry the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and rate of flow of the Headers can make a noticeable change to fuel engine efficiency on the VQ30DE.

Many mass produced engine headers are needing aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide reasonably well designed headers.

Adding a VQ30DE larger valve kit, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also improve bhp, and more importantly will afford you a better bhp increase on other upgrades.

VQ30DE performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to different camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration 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 VQ30DE cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road cams commonly boost the performance throughout the rev range, you may sacrifice a little bottom end bhp but high end rpm power will be better.

Motorsport and race cams, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition cam will just annoy you whilst on the daily commute.

You should ideally optimize your engines power to your usage of the car so for a daily driver stick with a fast road VQ30DE cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the VQ30DE

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 VQ30DE parts:

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

Stage 2 VQ30DE parts:

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

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

Stage 3 VQ30DE parts:

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

The VQ30DE power plant respond well to mods and we're pleased to see that there is a growing number of modifications and tuning parts about.

A remap helps fully realize the full potential of all the mods you've done to your VQ30DE.

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 your mileage usually vary depending on the mods you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the VQ30DE

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.

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

When an engine is fitted with a turbocharger tuning mods are going to make more power and you will discover turbo engines are made with stronger components.

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

See where you'll find these limitations and install more solid crank and pistons to utilize the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the VQ30DE only to see the engine block throw a rod on it's first outing after it's completed.

Big upgraded turbos commonly experience a bottom end lag, and smaller turbos spool up really quickly but do not have the peak end engines power gains.

Over the last 20 years the world of turbo chargers is always improving and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and flow these at differently designed 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 power gains, although more complex to configure. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the VQ30DE

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so need to uprate the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a bhp and torque hike. Don't forget to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

As a rule of thumb add 15% capacity when buying an injector, which takes into account 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 VQ30DE performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the exhaust 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 balance the flow of air through the engine.

But if your 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 lacking power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be located the filters installed, so adding a freer flowing performance 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

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

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