Modding upgrading and tuning the Ford Duratorq engine!

Tuning guide "Duratorq Modifications"

Duratorq Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Ford Duratorq

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Ford Duratorq engine!"

Forums like the one at TorqueCars are frequently getting emails asking about how to improve the Duratorq from people inquiring about getting more power from the Duratorq and wanting to know what are the greatest Duratorq modifications. So let us look into Ford Duratorq modifications and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

Therefore we look at Duratorq tuning and outline the best mods that work. Ford Duratorq are awesome to work on and with carefully picked sports modifications like ECU maps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will improve your driving pleasure.

When talking about the ultimate parts for your Duratorq engine, we are going to concentrate on the mods that give the best value for money.

Duratorq induction kits

Improving air intake on the Duratorq

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

So it's important to any performance tuning job to pull fuel and air into the Duratorq engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the Duratorq when a lot 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 was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Intake transmit the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be pulled into the engine cylinders.

Shape and flow rate of the Intake headers can make a noticeable improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the Duratorq.

On popular production engines air intake manifolds are crying out for aftermarket tuning parts, although some makers provide decently flowing air intake manifolds.

Increasing the Duratorq valve size, doing some 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also improve power, & more importantly will give you an improved power increase on other parts.

Duratorq performance cam tips.

Some Duratorq engines respond better to more aggressive cam durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll hit.

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.

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

NB: Fast road cams normally increase the bhp and torque through the rev band, you may lose a little bottom end bhp but top end will be higher.

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

On a car used daily you should ideally to optimize your torque band to your driving style.

You will never have ever thought a Duratorq Race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Duratorq

Stage 1 Duratorq parts:

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

Stage 2 Duratorq parts:

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

Stage 3 Duratorq parts:

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

Carefully think through your options and then find your tuning parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

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

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

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 often rely on the mods you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Duratorq

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 Duratorq.

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

When an engine is turbo charged upgrades are giving better power gains and you'll see that turbo engines will have better components.

However most engines will have power limits

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

We see many car owners spending a fortune on turbocharger upgrades on the Duratorq only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the whole thing go up in smoke just after it's been finished.

Big capacity turbo chargers commonly experience no power at low rpm, and little turbo chargers spool up more quickly but do not have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thanks to progress the market of turbo units is always improving and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. 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 bhp and torque gains, although more challenging to setup. We have this guide to twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Duratorq

Don't dismiss the need increase the fuel delivery when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. We would recommend you to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 15% capacity when fitting an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives 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 Duratorq performance exhaust upgrades

You may need to boost your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll see your flow rate is still 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.

Note that with the largest exhaust you can buy you'll 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.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a higher flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Cat bypassing (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the Duratorq

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

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