Modding uprating the Nissan CA16DE DET engine!

All you need to know about "CA16DE DET Modifications"

CA16DE DET Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan CA16DE DET

"Comprehensive guide to performance tuning the Nissan CA16DE DET engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are always getting emails requesting information on how to improve the CA16DE DET from people inquiring about getting more power from the CA16DE DET and wanting to know what are the best CA16DE DET mods that work. So let us look into Nissan CA16DE DET modifications and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Nissan CA16DE DET are awesome to work on and with the optimum enhancements like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will greatly maximize your driving experience.

Car Tuning Tips will review CA16DE DET tuning and report on the best modifications for your car.

The top CA16DE DET tuning parts on an engine are typically the ones that give the best power gain for your hard earned cash.

We won't be swayed by popular CA16DE DET tuning parts, they need to be cost effective.

CA16DE DET induction kits

Improving air intake on the CA16DE DET

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is not enough air it runs rich resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Pulling more fuel and air into the CA16DE DET engine is the aim to any engine upgrade job.

It is not unusual that there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the CA16DE DET when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

When tuning you may well find you need to get an air sensor or flow meter capable of upto 4 bars to cope with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

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

Structure and flow rate of the Air Intake manifolds can make a big difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the CA16DE DET.

Most intake headers are in desperate need of motorsport parts, although a few car makers provide reasonably well designed intake headers.

Fitting big valve kits, getting 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also lift bhp and torque, & importantly will permit raising the bhp and torque increase on other modifications.

CA16DE DET performance cam tips.

Different CA16DE DET engines respond better to more aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The map and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll hit.

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.

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 torque gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually bump the torque throughout the rev band, you may sacrifice a little bottom end torque but your higher rpm power will improve.

Motorsport and race camshafts, bump the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Motorsport and race cam won't do well if on the daily commute.

You should ideally optimize your bhp range to your preferences so for a car driven daily stick with a mild fast road CA16DE DET cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the CA16DE DET

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 CA16DE DET parts:

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

Stage 2 CA16DE DET parts:

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

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

Stage 3 CA16DE DET parts:

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

The CA16DE DET units make great tuning projects and we're happy to report there are quite a few choices of modifications and tuning parts out there.

A remap should help to fully realize the full potential of all the mods you've done to your CA16DE DET.

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 the end result usually vary depending on the mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the CA16DE DET

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 CA16DE DET.

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

When your motor is turbo charged modifications are giving better power gains and turbocharged engines will have harder and stronger components.

However you will find an engines have limits

See where you'll find these limits and install stronger pistons, crank and engine components to survive the power.

There are many guys spending a a stack of money on turbocharger upgrades on the CA16DE DET only to have the CA16DE DET explode soon after it's completed.

Big turbochargers will usually suffer low end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up more quickly but won't have the top end power band gains.

In the last 10 years the choice of turbo units is always moving on and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two 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 performance gains, although more difficult to get working. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the CA16DE DET

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling when you start exceeding 20% of a torque hike. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and affords 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 CA16DE DET performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

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

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the catalysts installed, so adding a better flowing high 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 CA16DE DET

Like most engines an CA16DE DET, 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 CA16DE DET, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned CA16DE DET 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 CA16DE DET why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about CA16DE DET tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their CA16DE DET.

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