Nissan HR16DE Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the Nissan HR16DE engine!"

Let us provide a guide to HR16DE tuning and highlight the premier mods that work. Nissan HR16DE have loads of potential and with the optimum modified enhancements like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will greatly enhance your driving fun.

History of the Engine

The HR16DE was upgraded in 2006 with adjustments to the idle control, cam revisions, a lower idle speed and cam surface improvements aimed at improving economy and efficiency.

104 to 117 hp 117 lb⋅ft

  • Nissan Sentra (Egypt)
  • Nissan Micra/March K12 Sport SR & 160SR
  • Nissan Micra C+C
  • Nissan Micra/March K13 (South America)
  • Nissan Wingroad
  • Nissan Note
  • Nissan Cube (Europe)
  • Nissan Bluebird Sylphy (In China)
  • Nissan Tiida (In China, Thailand and Global Oversea Market)
  • Nissan Qashqai: 115 hp  118 lbft
  • Nissan Latio
  • Nissan Livina/Nissan Grand Livina
  • Nissan Versa
  • Nissan NV200
  • Nissan Juke
  • Nissan NV200 Vanette
  • Nissan Kicks

Tuning the Nissan HR16DE and best HR16DE performance parts.

Best HR16DE parts

Just because particular tuning parts are are common on HR16DE it doesn't mean it is good, instead we'll concentrate) on the top tuning parts that will give your HR16DE the best power gain for you money.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large bhp gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

Fast road camshafts normally increase the power across the rev range, you could drop a little bottom end bhp but the top end will improve.

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

A Competition cam will just annoy you whilst on the daily commute.

You should ideally match your torque band to your usage of the car so for a typical daily driver stick with a shorter duration HR16DE cam

Different HR16DE engines respond better to different camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also will make differences on the torque gains you'll hit.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque 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.

Stage 1 mods: Sports exhaust manifold, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Fast road camshaft, Panel air filters, Intake headers.

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

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

Review your options and then buy your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid wasting your time and money.

ECU flashing helps release the full potential of all the tuning parts you've fitted to your HR16DE.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the outcome usually depend much on the tuning parts you've done and the condition of your engine.

It is the whole point to any car tuning job to push air into each cylinder

Headers transmit the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Air Intake manifolds can make a substantial change to fuel delivery on the HR16DE.

It's not uncommon that intake headers are needing a performance upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide decently flowing intake headers.

Adding a HR16DE larger valve kit, carrying out HR16DE port enlargement and head flowing will also improve performance, and significantly will raise potential for raising the performance increase on other tuning parts.

Turbo upgrades

NASP 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 HR16DE

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 but probably not worth the effort involved on the HR16DE blocks.

It is not unusual that there's a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the HR16DE when loads more air is being sucked into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor limited bhp and torque at a much lower level.

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


Don't overlook the need to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. It makes sense to over specify your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows you some spare capacity should the engine need 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.

All the following flywheel power targets will assume an injector duty cycle of 80% and a base of 58psi of fuel pressure at idle.

4 Cylinder NASP engines

  • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp
  • 58 PSI 426cc/min 300hp


You may need to increase your exhaust if your current exhaust is actually creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is ok even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts increase the flow of gases through the engine.

But if your exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of the flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Usual exhaust restrictions can be traced to the filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the HR16DE

The HR16DE engines are generally reliable and solid as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Regular oil changes are vital on the HR16DE, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

For more information on Tuning your HR16DE engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our HR16DE owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which parts work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these HR16DE articles which are continually updated.

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