Modding tuning and best performance upgrades on the Honda D17 engine!

Fully Explore "D17 Modifications"

How to modify and upgrade the Honda D17

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Honda D17 engine!"

TorqueCars are frequently getting emails requesting information on how to improve the D17 from people wanting to know what are the things tuners recommend when it comes to D17 upgrades. So let us look into Honda D17 mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

Our aim here is to review D17 tuning and show the premier modifications for your car. Honda D17 have loads of potential and with the best motorsport mods like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will noticeably increase your driving enjoyment.

Just because particular tuning mods are popular with D17 owners it doesn't mean it is good, instead we'll concentrate on the greatest tuning mods that will give your D17 the biggest power gain return for your cash.

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'.

D17 induction kits

Improving air intake on the D17

You need fuel and air for an engine to work. If there is insufficient fuel then it will run lean, if there is a lack 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 Pulling more air into each cylinder is the aim to any engine tuning job.

It is not unusual that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the D17 when loads more air is being drawn into the engine.

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

Intake transmit the air from the air cleaner and allow it to be sucked into the engine cylinders.

The bore size, shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a substantial improvement to fuel mixing and power on the D17.

Most intake are ripe for an upgrade, although some manufacturers provide well optimised intake.

Larger D17 valves, getting D17 port enlargement and head flowing will also improve torque, the fantastic side effect is it will afford you a greater torque increase on other tuning mods.

D17 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to more aggressive camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the power gains you'll get.

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.

Significant air intake, and exhaust improvements on the D17 can be made from camshaft upgrades. Changing the camshaft profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the engines power and power output.

NB: Fast road cams tend to boost the bhp over the rev range, you could sacrifice a little low end torque but the top end will be higher.

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

A Motorsport cam won't do well if driving around busy urban areas.

You should ideally optimize your power band to your preferences so for a daily driver stick with a fast road D17 cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the D17

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 D17 parts:

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

Stage 2 D17 parts:

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

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

Stage 3 D17 parts:

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

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

Mapping helps fully realize the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your D17.

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 outcome usually differs on the tuning mods you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the D17

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 D17.

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.

If your motor has forced induction mods are going to net you a larger power gain and turbo engines are made using harder and stronger components.

There are weak spots for every engine, with some being extremely strong and some only just able to handle stock power

We recommend you find these limits and fit more solid crank and pistons to utilize the power.

We've seen tuners spending a fortune on turbo charger upgrades on the D17 only to watch the engine throw a rod on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Big upgraded turbochargers tend to suffer a bottom end lag, and low capacity turbochargers spool up quickly but won't have the peak end torque gains.

We are pleased that the market of turbo chargers is always improving and we now see variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and feed these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo charger. 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 gains, although more challenging to install. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the D17

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

More performance needs more fuel. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your injector capacity.

The accepted safe increase is to add 15% when buying an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords 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 D17 performance exhaust upgrades

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

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is still good 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 air through the engine.

But if the exhaust is too big, ie: over two and a half inches diameter, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

The usual suspects causing problems in your exhaust flow rate are in the catalyst installed, so adding a higher flowing sports 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 D17

Like most engines an D17, 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 D17, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned D17 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 D17 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about D17 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their D17.

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