Renault D4Ft Tuning

"All you need to know about performance parts and tuning the Renault D4Ft engine!"

We shall review and look at D4Ft tuning and point out the greatest mods that work. Renault D4Ft great bases for a tuning project and with the optimum modified parts like a remap, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will definitely maximise your driving fun.

History, Power & Specs of the D4Ft Engine

A small turbo on a small 1.2 engine works really well, it is one of the most efficient engines around, and thanks to it's light weight it feels a lot quicker than a similarly powered 1.6 lump.

  • 100 bhp (75 kW; 101 PS) 145 Nm (107 lbft) at 3000 rpm (with overpower boost which adds 5hp 4kw and 6nm 4 lbft)

2007–2014 Renault Twingo
2007–present Renault Clio
2007–2012 Renault Modus
2010–2013 Renault Wind

Tuning the Renault D4Ft and best D4Ft performance parts.

Best D4Ft tuning mods

When talking about the best modifications for your D4Ft engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the best power gain for you spend.

This engine is setup to deliver power in the low to mid rpm range, which works well on the roads but for performance we would prefer a mid to high rpm bias.

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 torque gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

Fast road cams tend to push up the power through the rpm band, you could drop a little low down power but the top end will be higher.

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

A Competition cam is not great on the daily commute, because the lumpy idle will make the car prone to stall and smooth driving at low rpm becomes impossible. If you are developing a track car this doesn't matter as you are in the high end of your RPM range anyway and that is where you want the power to be.

You should ideally optimize your torque band to your typical driving style so for a typical daily driver stick with a mild fast road D4Ft cam

Different D4Ft engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations than others.

The ecu map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the power gains you'll hit.

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.

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Best mods for your D4Ft

  1. ECU Tunes - A Remapped D4Ft ECU provides the most advantage for the money, aftermarket ECUs, and inline Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  2. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  3. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be fitted by someone who knows what they are doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  4. Intake Upgrades and Performance Exhausts - Please 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.
  5. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - A New Turbo is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. Typically one of the most costly upgrades you'll see massive gains.

D4Ft Tuning Stages

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

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

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

The D4Ft engines respond well to mods and thankfully there are increasing numbers of parts and tuning parts out there.

ECU mapping will help release the full potential of all the upgrades you've done to your D4Ft.

(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 often vary depending on the upgrades you've done and the condition of your engine.

It is vital to any car tuning job to push air into each cylinder

Intake manifold take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders.

The shape and flow characteristics of the Intake can make a big improvement to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the D4Ft.

Many mass produced engine air intake manifolds are needing an upgrade, although a few car makers provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Increasing the D4Ft valve size, doing a bit of port work and head flowing will also improve bhp and torque, and significantly will make space for increasing the bhp and torque increase on other parts.

D4Ft 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 D4Ft

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

When the engine is turbocharged, tuning parts are relatively easy and turbo charged engines are made with uprated components.

However every engine has limitations on how much power it can handle..It is important to find these limitations and upgrade to better pistons and crank to utilize the power.

We see many tuners spending a lot of money on turbo charger upgrades on the D4Ft only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the engine block throw a rod just after it's been enthusiastically driven.

Bigger capacity turbo units tend to suffer low end lag, and small turbo units spool up really quickly but do not have the top end power band gains.

In recent times the market of turbochargers is always improving and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and flow these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo charger. They also boost the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the D4Ft when considerably more air is being fed into the engine.

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

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


Don't omit to raise the fuelling when you are increasing the torque - it makes the car more thirsty. Most tuners we speak with say to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and provides 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.

D4Ft Performance Exhausts

Only look to boost your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you should find that your flow rate is fine 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 balance the flow of air through the engine.

But if your exhaust is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be located the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a better flowing performance catalyst removes the restriction. We note that performance cats perform similarly to decats and have the added benefit of keeping your car street legal, as decats or catalyst removal is illegal in most territories for road going cars.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the D4Ft

The D4Ft 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 D4Ft, 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 D4Ft engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss D4Ft tuning options in more detail with our D4Ft owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Renault tuning articles to get insights into each modification and how effective they will be for your car.

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