Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Nissan HR16DE engine!

Tuning guide "HR16DE Modifications"

HR16DE Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan HR16DE

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan HR16DE engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting posts requesting information on how to improve the HR16DE from people wanting to know what are the greatest HR16DE power upgrades. So let us look into Nissan HR16DE parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will review and look at HR16DE tuning and highlight the greatest upgrades. Nissan HR16DE really good project engines and with carefully picked performance tuning mods like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will dramatically increase your driving enjoyment.

When talking about the optimum parts for your HR16DE engine, we are going to focus on the tuning parts that give the best power gain for you spend.

HR16DE induction kits

Improving air intake on the HR16DE

You need air matched to fuel 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 losing 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 Pushing air and fuel into each cylinder is the main goal to any engine tuning project.

It is common that there's a limit in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the HR16DE when loads 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 sapped torque at a much lower level.

The intake plenum take the air from the air filter and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The size of bore and shape and rate of flow of the Intake can make a substantial improvement to fuel atomisation on the HR16DE.

It's not uncommon that intake are begging for motorsport parts, although some makers provide fairly well optimized intake.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift torque, the fantastic side effect is it will make space for a greater torque increase on other modifications.

HR16DE performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuelling also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll hit.

Longer 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 and 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 normally boost the power across the rpm range, you could drop a little low end torque but high end rpm power will be higher.

Competition 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.

For a typical daily driver you need to optimize your engines power to your driving style.

I'd be amazed if you have ever thought a HR16DE Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the HR16DE

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 HR16DE parts:

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

Stage 2 HR16DE parts:

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

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

Stage 3 HR16DE parts:

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

The HR16DE engine blocks are fantastic to work on and we note that there is an increase of parts and performance parts around.

Mapping allows a tuner to release the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your HR16DE.

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 results often depend much on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the HR16DE

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 HR16DE.

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 your motor has a turbocharger tuning mods are going to net you a larger power gain and turbocharged engines are made using uprated components.

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

See where you'll find these limits and fit higher quality components to handle the power.

There are many mechanics spending a fortune on turbocharger upgrades on the HR16DE only to experience the car throw a rod soon after it's been finished.

Bigger upgraded turbo chargers tend to experience low end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up quickly but won't have the high rpm bhp gains.

In recent times the market of turbo chargers is always moving on and we commonly find variable vane turbo chargers, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and push these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. 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 performance gains, although harder to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the HR16DE

Don't forget to improve the fuel system when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. We would recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% when specifying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and provides 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 HR16DE performance exhaust upgrades

The only time you should look to uprate your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the 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 will certainly help air flow from 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 for best results.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be located the catalysts installed, so adding a faster flowing high 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 HR16DE

Like most engines an HR16DE, 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 HR16DE, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned HR16DE 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 HR16DE why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about HR16DE tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their HR16DE.

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