Modding uprating the PSA DT engine!

All you need to know about "DT Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the PSA DT

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the PSA DT engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are regularly getting messages about how to improve the DT from people wanting to know what are the best DT power upgrades. So let us look into PSA DT upgrades and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Now we will outline options for your DT tuning and highlight the best modifications. PSA DT are good project engines and with the best sports parts like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will dramatically maximize your driving experience.

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

Without us subscribing to the common 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'.

DT induction kits

Improving air intake on the DT

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 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 the aim to any engine performance tuning project to force more air and fuel into your DT but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is common that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the DT when considerably more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Engines intake headers transmit the air from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big effect on to fuel atomisation on the DT.

We often see intake headers are needing an upgrade, although some OEM provide well optimised intake headers.

Increasing the DT valve size, doing some port work and head flowing will also increase bhp, and as an added benefit will raise potential for a better bhp increase on other modifications.

DT performance cam tips.

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

The ecu map and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the torque gains you'll achieve.

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.

Altering your DT camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly increase the bhp through the rev range, you could drop a little low end bhp but the higher rpm power will be lifted.

Race camshafts, increase the higher 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 must carefully try to match your torque band to your driving style.

I'd be shocked if you have found a DT Race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the DT

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 DT parts:

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

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

Stage 2 DT parts:

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

Stage 3 DT parts:

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), Twin charging conversions.

Review your options and then find your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid disappointment.

A remap will help fully realize the full potential of all the parts you've done to your DT.

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 power output usually depend much on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the DT

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 DT.

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.

When your car is turbo charged parts are going to net you a larger power gain and you will discover turbo charged engines are built using stronger components.

However most engines have weakspots

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

There are many people spending a lot of money on turbo upgrades on the DT only to see the DT literally blow up soon after it's completed.

Large turbochargers will usually suffer no power at low rpm, and smaller turbochargers spool up quickly but do not have the high rpm bhp gains.

In the last 10 years the range of turbo chargers is always increasing and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, where 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 push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve 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 complex to configure. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the DT

Don't miss you'll need to look at the fuel delivery when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. Care modifiers usually say to be generous with your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% when fitting an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and gives a little 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 DT performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to replace your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is creating a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is still fine 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 largest exhaust you can get this will slow the exhaust rate - the best 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.

Typically exhaust restrictions are in the emissions filters installed, so adding a freer flowing performance 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 DT

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

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