Modding uprating the Hyundai Nu engine!

Tuners tips on "Nu Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Hyundai Nu

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Hyundai Nu engine!"

TorqueCars are frequently seeing threads requesting info on how to improve the Nu from people inquiring about getting more power from the Nu and wanting to know what are the best Nu mods that work. So let us look into Hyundai Nu modifications and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some problems along the way.

The Hyundai Nu make awesome project engines and with carefully picked mods like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will certainly enhance your driving enjoyment.

In this article we review Nu tuning and highlight the ultimate modifications for your car.

Just because particular tuning mods are are common on Nu it doesn't mean you should fit it, we shall concentrate on the greatest tuning mods that will give your Nu the best value for money to power increase.

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'.

Nu induction kits

Improving air intake on the Nu

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is a lack of fuel then it will run lean, if there is insufficient air it runs rich sapping power . 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 tuning task to shove more air and fuel into the Nu engine but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

It is not unusual that there's a limit in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the Nu when loads more air is being sucked into the engine.

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

Intake headers take the air from the air filter and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Plenum can make a substantial difference to to fuel engine efficiency on the Nu.

I usually find headers are in dire need of performance upgrades, although some OEM provide fairly well optimized headers.

Increasing the Nu valve size, getting port matching and head flowing will also increase torque, the fantastic side effect is it will allow you to get an improved torque increase on other upgrades.

Nu performance cam tips.

Some Nu engines respond better to mild cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuelling also will say much on the power gains you'll make.

Altering 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.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts usually boost the power over the rev band, you might lose a little low down power but the high end rpm power will be lifted.

Race camshafts, boost the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition cam is not great in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your power band to your driving style so for a typical daily driver stick with a fast road Nu cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Nu

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 Nu parts:

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

Stage 2 Nu parts:

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

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

Stage 3 Nu parts:

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

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

ECU mapping helps unlock the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your Nu.

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 will depend much on the modifications you've applied and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Nu

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 Nu.

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 motor has a turbocharger mods are going to make more power and most turbo charged engines will have more solid components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limits and fit higher quality crank and pistons to handle the power.

We've seen tuners spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the Nu only to experience the Nu explode on it's first outing after it's first rolling road session.

Large turbo units tend to suffer no power at low rpm, and smaller turbo units spool up more quickly but won't have the peak end torque gains.

Thankfully the selection of turbochargers is always increasing and we commonly find variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. 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 bhp and torque gains, although more complex to install. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Nu

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to uprate the fuelling when you start going beyond 20% of a torque hike. Experienced mechanics will tell you to over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and provides 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 Nu performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your current exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

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 equal out the flow of gases through the engine.

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

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a better flowing race 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 Nu

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

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