Ford AJD V6 Lion Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Ford AJD V6 engine!"

We were contacted and asked questions about tuning and constructing a customized AJD V6, specifically which turbo improvements work best, so we put together this page that includes our go-to modifications for this engine as well as what we believe are the greatest value upgrades you can perform.

The 3.6-litre V8 twin-turbo diesel engine commenced manufacturing in April 2006 at Ford's Dagenham engine facility in Essex. The 4.4l TD version is manufactured in Mexico at Ford's Chihuahua engine factory.

The new F150 engine was supposed to be based on this engine and increased to 4.4L, however that program was eventually canceled.

Ford chose the 3.0 Lion V6 adapted for US truck application and equipped with a single turbocharger. The 3.0-liter design, known as the Gen III, replaced the 2.7-liter model. It has turbochargers on a series-sequential system and an upgraded common rail injection system with piezo crystals near the tips of the injectors to reduce engine noise and a metering mode to cut down on over-fueling. When the engine is operating at low revolutions, the smaller of the two turbos is used to pressurize the intake; after the engine has reached 2,800 rpm, the bigger turbocharger is also utilized to pressurize the intake.

There was also a V8 engine configuration and displacement for the 3.6 TDV8 V8 engine with a 90-degree rake, twin-turbo diesel, rather than the 60 degrees of the V6.

The PSA DT or specifically the Ford AJD V6 is a fantastic tuning project, and with well-chosen sports modifications like as ECU maps, turbo improvements, and camshafts, you will greatly improve your driving experience.

Our objective here is to look at your AJD V6 tuning options (also known as the DT17/DT20) and show you the greatest improvements.

See our video which provides a complete introduction to Ford Tuning, it contains some tips on performance and handling modifications.

Engine History, Power, and Specifications

The Lion engine V6 diesel was developed in collaboration with Ford, Jaguar, and LandRover. (Other brands referred to this as the AJD V6)

This is a 60-degree V6 engine, twin-turbo diesel, 2,993 cc (3.0 L; 182.6 cu in), with a graphite iron cross bolted block that has been crushed.

The DT's valvetrain and cylinder heads are DOHC, high-strength aluminum, with four valves per cylinder.

The dual turbochargers, electronically controlled variable geometry, transient over-boost capabilities, and a port deactivation mechanism all contribute to greater power.

2.7 L (2,720 cc) DT17
3.0 L (2,993 cc) DT20

The most effective DT17/DT20 upgrades

The ford AJD V6 great basis for a tuning project and with carefully picked uprated upgrades like remaps, turbo upgrades and intercoolers you will dramatically increase your driving enjoyment.

Best AJD V6 parts

When talking about the optimum modifications for your AJD V6 engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the best power gain for your spending.

AJD V6 Tuning Upgrades

Fast road cams raise the higher RPM power and we generally recommend this as a primary mod on petrol engines and secondary on Diesels to a remap but alas a fast road cam is not a great upgrade on this engine, primarily due to the lack of support, and to be honest there are better ways to raise the engine's power through mapping and turbo upgrades

You should ideally match your power band to your driving style so plan your build before you start and source quality parts from reputable suppliers.

Some AJD V6 engines respond differently due to the head and flow characteristics when camshafts are fitted depending on the camshaft being more or less aggressive camshaft durations and cam profile as unique due to manufacturing tolerances and quality variations so check your engine on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuelling and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the torque gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can adjust the torque curve, and on most engines, there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations and valve lift.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your AJD V6

  1. Flywheel lightening - a lower mass flywheel will significantly improve the engines ability to rev freely. In some cases flywheel lightening is not beneficial for all AJD V6 engines.
  2. Fast road Camshafts are significant power adders, but ideally be installed by someone qualified to set them up and tracking one down may be hard but there is usually a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft .
  3. Air Induction and Exhaust Upgrades - Note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER on most cars, but they enable you to enhance power after other upgrades by freeing up a restriction.
  4. Remaps - AJD V6 remapping gives the biggest gains for your outlay, aftermarket ECUs, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  5. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - A New Turbo is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, ensuring you are able to burn more fuel and make power gains. It is one of the most technically difficult modifications it does provide the largest gains.
  6. Flowing and porting the Head - Head work will get air flowing into the engine while removing turbulence or restrictions.

AJD V6 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:  Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Sports exhaust header/manifold.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, induction kit, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions.

Plan your options and then find your tuning mods and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

ECU Mapping (Remapping & Tuning)

Mapping helps to establish the full potential of all the upgrades you've fitted to your AJD V6.

(Sometimes flashing the ECU is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but ensure it has knock protection and that you get it installed right.)

What is it about OEM maps that makes them so bad?

In most cases, a single configuration for everyone involves some parameter tuning with local fuel emission regulations and temperatures in mind when the ECU map is setup.

Timing maps take into account temperature variations, minor imperfections, and inclement weather. It is not unusual for each area's CO2, HC, and NOx emission targets to differ.

Manufacturers do not want customers to be inconvenienced by mechanical or fuel-efficiency concerns, and since various nations use different gasoline grades and have varying degrees of inclement weather, a fudged configuration of the ECU is essential to keep everything running smoothly.

The output of each engine might vary by up to 20bhp depending on component quality and installation. They use a one-size-fits-all technique instead of tailoring timing maps for each automobile.

Manufacturers employ remaps to enhance engine power and fulfill their specifications in order to lower insurance costs and improve fuel economy. This includes the need for a system that can handle late or missing routine service, clogged air filters, and partially blocked injectors.

So, given that the average TorqueCars reader will be upgrading components, a remap seems reasonable.

TorqueCars recommends remapping turbocharged vehicles on a rolling road Dyno to completely extract the power from your changes.

AJD V6 Intake Modifications

It is the whole point of any engine performance tuning task to feed air into each cylinder

The intake plenum carries the air from the filter and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow rate of the Intake manifold can make a big improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the AJD V6.

Most intake manifolds are needing performance upgrades, although a few manufacturers provide reasonably well designed intake manifolds.

Increasing valve sizes on AJD V6, doing some port work and head flowing will also improve torque, & importantly will allow you to get a better torque increase on other parts.

Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your AJD V6

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

When your motor has a turbocharger upgrades are relatively easy and you will discover turbo charged engines are built with stronger components.

However most engines have weakspots. Research these limits and upgrade to better pistons and crank to handle the power.

It's not unheard of car owners spending lots of money on turbo upgrades on the AJD V6 only to watch the engine block literally blow up on its first outing after it's completed.

Big turbochargers often experience low end lag, and small turbochargers spool up more quickly but do not have the peak end power band gains.

In recent times the selection of turbo units is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, where the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into two channels and push these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the AJD V6 when considerably 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 limited bhp at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more challenging to configure. We have this article covering twinchargers if you want to read more.

Intercooler upgrades

We know from chemistry and physics that the colder the air, the more oxygen it carries.

Why is this significant? To burn diesel, you need oxygen, and the more oxygen you have, the more fuel you can burn, which raises the power output of the automobile. More information may be found on the page on air intakes.

What exactly is an intercooler and what does it do?

An intercooler is essentially a radiator that enables the intake air charge to be cooled before entering the engine.

Install an intercooler in front of the radiator to take advantage of all that cold air.

It would be installed after the air intake filter and before the turbocharger or supercharger, which is where the majority of the heat is added.

Most automobiles have front-mounted intercoolers that sit in front of the radiator, and as a consequence, they provide better air conditioning than top-mounted intercoolers.

You must consider that the amount of air reaching the radiator is decreased, thus you may need to upgrade your car's radiator in severe circumstances to maintain low on-track temperatures.

An effective intercooler design may provide 5 to 10% more power and withstand heat soak for a longer period of time!

Fuelling Upgrades

Don't miss you'll need to pay attention to the fuel delivery when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. Performance fuel pressure regulators can offer improved throttle response.

We would recommend you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when fitting an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration, and provides you some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.

Performance Exhausts

You only need to upgrade your exhaust if the present exhaust is causing a flow limitation.

The flow rate on most factory exhausts is still enough even with minor power improvements, but once you start pushing up the power levels, you'll need to upgrade to a stronger flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts may assist in increasing the flow of gases through the engine.

However, if the exhaust pipe is too large, i.e. it has a bore of more than 2.5 inches, you will lose a significant amount of flow rate and wind up sapping power and torque.

For road-going vehicles, upgrades such as a sports catalyst essentially eliminate this constraint, owing to its increased size and surface area, and will effectively improve performance to levels expected without a catalyst fitted.

This keeps the automobile on the road and removes the constraint caused by its larger interior surface area and design.

Because removing a catalyst is unlawful in most areas and locations for road-registered automobiles (and in others, you can't even replace a functional catalyst), the alternative decat or cat removal should be regarded an off-road only alteration.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the AJD V6

The AJD V6 engines are not bad as far as reliability goes as long as they are regularly serviced.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will cause flat spots and loss of power, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on carbon removal guide By avoiding short journeys where the engine doesn't warm up and using good quality fuel you can reduce this risk.

Service time oil changes are essential on the AJD V6, and more so when the car is modified and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you want to know more, or just get tips on Tuning your AJD V6 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss AJD V6 tuning options in more detail with our AJD V6 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased ford tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We appreciate people taking the time to tell us what our readers have got up to and which modifications work best for them on each model of car. We use your comments and feedback to improve the accuracy of these AJD V6 tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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