Nissan YD22DDT Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning and performance parts on the Nissan YD22DDT engine!"

In this article we review YD22DDT tuning and provide tips on the best modifications. Nissan YD22DDT make a good tuning project and with the best performance upgrades like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively maximise your driving pleasure.

History, Power & Specs of the YD22DDT Engine

  • YD22DDT
  • 110 PS (81 kW)@ 4000 rpm 24.2 kgm (237 Nm; 175 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2000–2002 Nissan Almera N16
  • YD22DTi
  • 114 PS (84 kW) @ 4000 rpm 25.2 kgm (247 Nm; 182 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2001–2003 Nissan X-Trail
  • YD22DDTi
  • 136 PS (100 kW) @ 4000 rpm 31 kgm (300 Nm; 220 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2003–2007 Nissan X-Trail
  • YD22DDTi
  • 112 PS (82 kW) @ 4000 rpm
    136 PS (100 kW) @ 4000 rpm 25.2 kgm (247 Nm; 182 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
    31 kgm (300 Nm; 220 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2003–2005 Nissan Almera N16
    Nissan V10 Almera Tino
  • YD22DDTi
  • 139 PS (102 kW) @ 4000 rpm 32 kgm (310 Nm; 230 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2003–2005 Nissan Primera P12
    Nissan Almera N16
  • YD25DDT
  • 109 PS (80 kW) @ 4000 rpm 26.5 kgm (260 Nm; 192 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2001–present Nissan D22 Frontier/Navara
  • YD25DDTi
  • 98 kW (133 PS; 131 hp) @ 4000 rpm 31 kgm (300 Nm; 220 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2001–present Nissan Navara/Frontier (D22)
  • YD25DDTi High Power
  • 126 kW (171 PS; 169 hp) @ 4000 rpm 41.1 kgm (403 Nm; 297 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2005–2009 Nissan Pathfinder (R51)
    Nissan Navara (D40)
  • YD25DDTi High Power
  • 140 kW (190 PS; 188 hp) @ 4000 rpm 45.9 kgm (450 Nm; 332 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2010–present Nissan Pathfinder (R51)
    Nissan Navara (D40)
    Nissan Terra
  • YD25DDTi Mid Power Commonrail
  • 106 kW (144 PS; 142 hp) @ 4000 rpm 36.3 kgm (356 Nm; 263 lbft) @ 2000 rpm
  • 2005–present Nissan Navara (D40)
  • YD25DDTi NEO Di
  • 150 PS (110 kW) @ 4000 rpm 28.5 kgm (279 Nm; 206 lbft) @ 1800 rpm
  • 1998–2001 Nissan U30 Presage/Bassara

Tuning the Nissan YD22DDT and best YD22DDT performance parts.

Best YD22DDT tuning mods

When talking about the optimum modifications for your YD22DDT engine, we are going to focus on the tuning mods that give the best power gain for you spend.

Performance camshafts work better at higher RPM, so are more suited to petrol engines, than diesel ones, but we've always seen top end power gains through performance camshafts on most engines.

Useful gains on the YD22DDT can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the power band and power output.

Fast road camshafts usually push up the performance throughout the rev range, you may sacrifice a little low end bhp but top end will improve.

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

On a car used daily you need to match your engines power to your typical driving style.

You'll never have found a YD22DDT Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas. This is because a competition cam causes a very lumpy idle, and makes the car more prone to stall or jerk along in stop start traffic, sadly though many ignore this and end up ruining a perfectly good car and having to revert back to a fast road, or OEM cam profile.

Some YD22DDT engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations than others.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll make.

Altering valve durations 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.

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 YD22DDT

    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.

YD22DDT Tuning Stages

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

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

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

Review your options and then find your parts and set yourself a power target to avoid costly mistakes.

Mapping allows a tuner to fully realize the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your YD22DDT.

(In some cases, as 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.)

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but your mileage will vary depending on the upgrades you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

It is the main goal to any car tuning task to pull more air and fuel into your YD22DDT

Intake take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a big effect on to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the YD22DDT.

We often see intake are ripe for a performance upgrade, although a few manufacturers provide well optimised intake.

Larger YD22DDT valves, doing a bit of 3 or 5 angle valve jobs and porting and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, the fantastic side effect is it will make space for a greater bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

YD22DDT 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 YD22DDT

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

If an engine is fitted with a turbo tuning mods are relatively easy and turbo engines use stronger components.

However you will find engines have limits.Research these limitations and fit better quality components to cope with the power.

It's not unheard of tuners spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the YD22DDT only to have the YD22DDT throw a rod soon after it's used in anger.

Large capacity turbochargers often experience a bottom end lag, and little turbochargers spool up quickly but don't have the top end power band gains.

In recent times the choice of turbo units is always improving and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end power.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and push these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a limitation in the air flow sensor AFM/MAF on the YD22DDT when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped performance at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp and torque gains, although harder to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.


When you lift the bhp and torque you will need to look at to the fuel delivery.

More bhp and torque needs more fuel. It makes sense to over specify your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords a bit of 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 turbocharged engines

      • 58 PSI 340cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 511cc/min 300hp
      • 58 PSI 682cc/min 400hp
      • 58 PSI 1022cc/min 600hp

5 Cylinder turbocharged engines

      • 58 PSI 273cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 409cc/min 300hp
      • 58 PSI 545cc/min 400hp
      • 58 PSI 818cc/min 600hp

4 Cylinder NA (naturally aspirated) engines

      • 58 PSI 285cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 426cc/min 300hp
      • 58 PSI 568cc/min 400hp
      • 58 PSI 853cc/min 600hp

4 Cylinder supercharged engines

      • 58 PSI 312cc/min 200hp
      • 58 PSI 468cc/min 300hp
      • 58 PSI 625cc/min 400hp
      • 58 PSI 937cc/min 600hp

YD22DDT Performance Exhausts

You only need to increase your exhaust if your exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

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

Please dont run with the largest exhaust you can get you'll slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a higher flowing high performance aftermarket one will improve air flow, and rather than doing an illegal decat, will keep the car road legal.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the YD22DDT

The YD22DDT engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the YD22DDT, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your YD22DDT engine please join us in our friendly
where you can discuss with our YD22DDT owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks
of each modification.

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