Modding upgrading and tuning the Nissan CA18DE DET engine!

Modifying and improving: "CA18DE DET Modifications"

CA18DE DET Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Nissan CA18DE DET

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Nissan CA18DE DET engine!"

Our friends at TorqueCars are frequently getting posts asking about how to improve the CA18DE DET from people wanting to know what are the best CA18DE DET upgrades. So let us look into Nissan CA18DE DET parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will review and look at CA18DE DET tuning and summarise the optimum mods that work. Nissan CA18DE DET have loads of potential and with the right motorsport parts like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will certainly maximise your driving opportunities.

Just because particular tuning parts are are common on CA18DE DET it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we will focus on the top tuning parts that will give your CA18DE DET the best value for money to power increase.

Without us subscribing to the mentality 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'.

CA18DE DET induction kits

Improving air intake on the CA18DE DET

You need air and 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 resulting in lost power . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Getting fuel and air into your CA18DE DET is vital to any tuning task.

It is not unusual that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the CA18DE DET when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp and torque at a much lower level.

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

The shape and flow characteristics of the Intake can make a substantial improvement to fuel delivery on the CA18DE DET.

Commonly we find the intake headers are in desperate need of aftermarket tuning parts, although a few OEM provide reasonably good intake headers.

Adding a CA18DE DET larger valve kit, doing a bit of CA18DE DET port enlargement and head flowing will also raise bhp and torque, and as an added benefit will raise potential for a better bhp and torque increase on other tuning parts.

CA18DE DET performance cam tips.

Some CA18DE DET engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ecu map and fuelling also will make differences on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake 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 cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large engines power gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually increase the performance over the rev band, you might lose a little low down bhp but your top end will be better.

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

A Competition camshaft makes it harder when in heavy traffic.

You should ideally match your power band to your preferences so for a daily driver stick with a fast road CA18DE DET camshaft

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the CA18DE 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 CA18DE DET parts:

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

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

Stage 2 CA18DE DET parts:

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

Stage 3 CA18DE DET parts:

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

The CA18DE DET power trains are great to work on and we note that there is a lot of parts and performance parts around.

A remap helps unlock the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your CA18DE 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 figures achieved usually rely on the upgrades you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the CA18DE 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 CA18DE 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 fitted with a turbo tuning parts are simpler to install and most turbo charged engines are built with stronger components.

However engines have weakspots

Discover these limits and install better pistons and crank to survive the power.

It's not unheard of tuners spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the CA18DE DET only to have the whole thing catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Bigger turbochargers commonly suffer low end lag, and smaller turbochargers spool up quickly but won't have the peak end bhp gains.

Over the last 20 years the market of turbo units is always increasing and we now see 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 flow into a couple of channels and direct these at differently profiled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 setup. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the CA18DE DET

When you lift the performance you will need to pay attention to to the fuelling.

More performance needs more fuel. Don't forget to be generous with your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and provides a little spare capacity should the engine require 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 CA18DE DET performance exhaust upgrades

You should look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your 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.

Sports exhausts increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if your exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose a great deal of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalysts 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 CA18DE DET

Like most engines an CA18DE 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 CA18DE DET, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned CA18DE 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 CA18DE DET why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about CA18DE DET tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their CA18DE DET.

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 tuning mods on your CA18DE DET, 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...

Feedback

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