Many people assume that tuning diesel cars is just a waste of time. They think that only vehicles with gas engines are most likely to get huge power gains. If you’re one of those folks, it might shock you to learn that diesel motors are just as tunable as gas ones – if not more!
You only have to go on www.youtube.com and check out some diesel trucks with Cummins engines to see what I mean! Of course, you can tune a diesel engine in an ordinary car as well – not just as truck. So, what are your options if you’ve got a diesel vehicle? Check out these top five tuning ideas to help you get started!
- Engine ECU Remap
It doesn’t matter whether you do plenty of modifications to your diesel car or not. And it matters not whether you own a Mercedes or a Mazda. What does matter is you have the ECU – the car’s electronic brains – reprogrammed. All diesel vehicles built after 1995 have a reprogrammable ECU or Electronic Control Unit.
You might not know it, but car manufacturers often limit the performance of vehicles. They do so more for emissions reasons than anything else. An ECU remap is a cost-effective way to increase your horsepower.
- Large turbocharger
Another common feature of modern diesel engines is how they have a turbocharger. Car makers add them to increase both power and fuel economy. If your diesel has done more than 70,000 miles, chances are you’ll need to have your turbo rebuilt. That’s because age-related wear can damage the internal parts such as the turbines.
It’s the perfect opportunity to fit a larger turbo to the vehicle. Once you do so, be sure to have your ECU remapped. There’s more information on this upgrade over at http://www.torquecars.com/tuning/diesel-tuning.php.
- Get a top-end rebuild
As with all engines, diesels can suffer from performance problems. One cause is down to a common enemy among gas and diesel owners: carbon. It can build up in places such as the EGR valve and inside the intake manifold.
You should consider getting a top-end rebuild done of your diesel. Part of the process will involve blasting out any baked-in carbon deposits. To prevent that problem in the future, consider using a fuel additive such as Dee-Zol. Take a look at http://shop.bellperformance.com/products/dee-zol-diesel-additive for more details.
- Fit a nitrous kit
Nitrous oxide is a brilliant way of adding extra power to a diesel engine temporarily. Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous provides more air to the motor, allowing more fuel to get burnt. It’s not something you can use all the time given the finite amount available from the gas bottle.
But, if you want a temporary performance boost, N2O is the way to go!
- Fit a high-flow air filter
Last, but not least, consider installing a high-flow air filter to your motor. The standard paper ones are quite restrictive. But, foam ones allow more air to pass through the intake. Plus, it still does a good job of blocking out debris entering the engine.