Modding upgrading and tuning the Ford Duratec 30 engine!

Tuners tips on "Duratec 30 Modifications"

Duratec 30 Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Ford Duratec 30

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Ford Duratec 30 engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are always getting emails asking about how to improve the Duratec 30 from people wanting to know what are the best Duratec 30 upgrades. So let us look into Ford Duratec 30 upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some common pitfalls along the way.

Car Tuning Tips will consider Duratec 30 tuning and summarise the greatest modifications. Ford Duratec 30 are awesome to work on and with a few sensible modifications like ECU maps, turbo kits and camshafts you will maximize your driving experience.

Just because particular upgrades are are common on Duratec 30 it doesn't mean its worth having, instead we'll concentrate on the greatest upgrades that will give your Duratec 30 the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the popular 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'.

Duratec 30  induction kits

Improving air intake on the Duratec 30

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is too little fuel then it will run lean, if there is too little air it runs rich losing power which risks damage to the Duratec 30 . We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So Shoving more air and fuel into the Duratec 30 engine is vital to any engine tuning task.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the Duratec 30 when loads 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 sapped performance at a much lower level.

Air Intake manifolds carry the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Design and flow rate of the Plenum can make a large change to fuel engine efficiency on the Duratec 30 .

Many mass produced engine headers are in dire need of aftermarket parts, although some makers provide reasonably well designed headers.

Fitting big valve kits, doing some port work and head flowing will also lift power, and significantly will make space for a better power increase on other parts.

Duratec 30 performance cam tips.

Each engine responds better to less aggressive cam durations than others.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the power gains you'll make.

A longer valve duration 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 Duratec 30 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the engines power accordingly.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly boost the torque across the rpm band, you may lose a little bottom end bhp but high end rpm power will be better.

Motorsport and 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.

In a typical daily driver you must carefully try to optimize your engines power to your preferences.

I'd never have found a Duratec 30 Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Duratec 30

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 Duratec 30 parts:

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

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

Stage 2 Duratec 30 parts:

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

Stage 3 Duratec 30 parts:

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

The Duratec 30 engine blocks are fantastic to work on and we're finding that there are quite a few choices of modifications and performance parts around.

ECU mapping helps to establish the full potential of all the tuning mods you've done to your Duratec 30 .

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 may differs on the tuning mods you've done and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Duratec 30

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 Duratec 30 .

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 a car is fitted with a turbocharger parts are more reliable and you will discover turbocharged engines will have better components.

However engines will have power limits

It is important to find these limits and install higher quality crank and pistons to utilize the power.

We see many drivers spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the Duratec 30 only to suffer the indignity of watching the car throw a rod on it's first outing after it's completed.

Big capacity turbo chargers will usually suffer low end lag, and small turbo chargers spool up quickly but do not have the peak rpm engines power gains.

Thanks to new tech the choice of turbos is always evolving and we now see variable vane turbos, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbos divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and feed these at differently angled 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 torque gains, although more complex to setup. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Duratec 30

Don't omit to improve the fuel delivery when you are increasing the performance - it makes the car more thirsty. Experienced mechanics will tell you to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives you 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 Duratec 30 performance exhaust upgrades

Only look to improve your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if your exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is 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 generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too large or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to one and a half to two and half inches for best results.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst installed, so adding a faster flowing high performance 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 Duratec 30

Like most engines an Duratec 30 , 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 Duratec 30 , failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned Duratec 30 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 Duratec 30 why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about Duratec 30 tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their Duratec 30 .

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Your Constructive comments on this article

2 Responses to “Duratec 30 Modifications”

  1. Gary says:

    Hey there, I love your site, thank you however I’m looking for packages to upgrade a 3.0 Duratek in a 2001 Taurus with 65k miles. Is 250+ hp that hard to achieve without opening the bottom end? Disappointed!

  2. Gary says:

    Hi again. I have a 2001 Taurus with the 3.0 24 valve and was wondering if anyone knows can parts from a Jaguar with the same year be compatible and increase hp? Thanks