Nissan Sentra Tuning

"Cheers for reading this Nissan Sentra tuning guide."

The Sentra is a awesome car tuning project to play with. We see people often wasting money on their Sentra doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our pointers to avoid making the common mistakes.

Our aim here is to look at Sentra tuning and point out the premier mods that work. Nissan Sentra make a good tuning project and with the optimum motorsport upgrades like remaps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will really increase your driving fun.

Tuning the Nissan Sentra and best Sentra performance parts.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for lots of DIY modders first priority in your Sentra tuning project.

If you set the toe out to 0.9 to 1.5 degrees on the front, and add some negative camber then cornering will often improve.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 25mm - 41 mm. and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

Turning our attention to the engine we need to get a bit more torque out of the top end.

Spending just a little money on the top engine and handling mods could transform your car into a credible track car.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you getting yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Sentra Power mods.

Typically these modified kits are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

B12 (1985)

  • 1.4 L  GA14DE I4
  • 1.6 L E16S I4
  • 1.6 L  E16i I4
  • 1.6 L  E16ST turbo i4 (Mexico)
  • 1.6 L GA16i 12V I4
  • 1.7 L CD17 diesel I4

B13 (1990)

B14 (1995)

B15 (2000)

  • 1.8 L QG18DE I4 (2000-2006)
  • 2.0 L SR20DE i4 (2000–2001)
  • 2.5 L QR25DE i4 (2002-2006)

B16 (2007)

B17 (2013)

B18 (2020)

Getting the best uprated upgrade kits for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

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 Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 25mm - 41 mm.), Engine Tunes/Remapping, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

Peak power is all well and good but for a daily driven car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The point of our guides is to give a brief overview of tuning modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best motorsport modifications and all aspects of modding cars. A fast road cam will be one of the best NASP power mods you can do from a single upgrade to your engine.

The intake and exhaust flow play a huge role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car awkward to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and surges after your uprated mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Upgrading the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up.  Contrary to popular belief there is usually very little power gain got by fitting an induction kit, they only help and are recommended after you increase the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

For most Sentra engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of air through the engine. But if your exhaust is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a great deal of your flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Head work including a gas flow and 3 or 5 angle valve job will really help to release the potential of the engine. A good triple plate fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never make false economies or assume a standard clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your Sentra are a tune/remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

(In some cases, as this one, the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is the route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

Some of our members have used the following aftermarket ECU's to good effect in their projects. You'll generally find harnesses available now for most of the aftermarket ECU options for these engines.

  • LINK G4X
  • Megasquirt
  • Apexi
  • Syvecs
  • Haltech Elite 1000/1500
  • IMPUL Hi Power

An aftermarket ECU is harder to setup and requires some specialist knowledge of your engine and parts you've fitted, but gives better performance and helps you optimize the timing and fuelling to a fine degree of accuracy - we suggest you go for the Link G4+ (or a G4 with an external knock control unit) or the better but more expensive Syvecs ECU (the upgraded data logging feature is extremely useful)

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you tune/remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A tuned/remapped turbo will give big power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than turbos. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could perhaps fit water injection to control knock.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than steel ones.

We can't go into too much detail here about tires but they are how the car puts the power down on the road so are a critical choice.

Soft compound tires work well on Sentra, and make a big difference over budget tires. We'd like to point out although they can look cool on the Sentra large alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

For this reason try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases without going bigger than 16 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Sentra options in more detail with our Sentra owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Nissan tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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One Response to “Sentra Tuning”

  1. Elfredo says:

    Upgrade sr20de 2.0l sti for power

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