Renault K9K DCi Mods & Upgrades

"All you need to know about performance parts and tuning the Renault K9K engine!"

We get asked for some tips on improving the K9K and which tuning modifications we rate as the best, so we've created this guide to cover the primary areas and methods of modifying and tuning on the K9K engines.

The Renault K9K offer good returns when tuned and with the best parts like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively increase your driving pleasure. This small diesel engine proves to be quite torquey came in 3 power versions,

Let us outline options for your K9K tuning and highlight the best modifications.

Please Watch my Video on "beginners' guide to TDi Tuning".

History, Power & Specs of the K9K Engine

Lower power versions used Delphi Fuel injection setup which was swapped out for Euro V engines and replaced with a Bosch system. The higher power engines used a Continental fuel injection setup and recent versions were equipped with an EGR and DPF.

K9K 700 / 704 / 706

65 hp (48 kW)

  • Dacia Logan
  • Renault Clio (II); Renault Kangoo; Renault Thalia; Renault Pulse (India)
  • Suzuki Jimny
  • Nissan Micra (III,IV)
  • Mahindra Verito

K9K 712 / 714

68 hp (50kW)

  • Renault Clio (II); Renault Thalia

K9K 792

68–75 hp (51–56 kW)

  • Dacia Logan Dacia Sandero
  • Renault Clio (II)

K9K 260 / 702 / 710 / 722

82 hp (61 kW)

  • Renault Mégane (II); Renault Clio (II); Renault Thalia; Renault Kangoo; Renault Scénic (II)
    Nissan Micra (III); Nissan Almera

K9K 266

86 hp (64 kW)

  • Suzuki Jimny

K9K 728 / 766 / 772 / 796 / 802 / 830

85–86 hp (63–64 kW)

  • Renault Mégane (II); Renault Modus; Renault Clio (III); Renault Scala (India); Renault Mégane (III)
  • Dacia Sandero
  • Nissan Micra (III); Nissan Sunny (India)

K9K 764 / 732(282)

106 hp (79 kW)

  • Renault Clio (III); Renault Modus; Renault Mégane (II); Renault Scénic (II); Renault Kangoo;
  • Nissan Tiida; Nissan Note (I); Nissan Qashqai; Renault Mégane (II)

K9K G8 / 832

106 hp (79 kW)

K9K 836/(837 automatic gearbox) / 636

110 hp (82 kW)

K9K 770 / 892

75–90 hp (56–67 kW)

  • Dacia Logan Dacia Sandero
  • Renault Clio (III), Renault Fluence
  • Nissan Note (I); Nissan NV200

K9K 896

110 hp (82 kW)

  • Dacia Duster; Renault Fluence (India)
  • Nissan Juke; Nissan NV200

K9K 846 / OM 607 DE 15 LA

110 hp (82 kW)

  • Dacia Lodgy
  • Renault Mégane (IV) Renault Kadjar Renault Scénic (IV)
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class; Mercedes-Benz B-Class; Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class (as A/B/CLA 180 CDI)
  • Infiniti Q30; Mercedes-Benz Citan

K9K 608 / 609 / OM 607 DE 15 LA

90 hp (67 kW)

  • Renault Clio; Renault Captur
  • Nissan Note (E12); Nissan Micra (V)
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class; Mercedes-Benz B-Class (as A/B 160 CDI )

K9K 628

90 hp (67 kW)

  • Renault Clio

Tuning the Renault K9K and best K9K performance parts.

Changes in Diesel Engine Tuning Technology

Direct injection allows the gasoline to be injected at a much later time, improving the engine's efficiency and output. As automakers strive to improve fuel efficiency and power, diesel innovations are being implemented in gasoline engines as well.

As a rule of thumb, the more recent the better; today's CR engines are more amenable to fine-tuning than their PD counterparts, although both types provide substantial improvements.

Best K9K upgrades

When talking about the ultimate modifications for your K9K engine, we are going to concentrate on the parts that give the best power gain for you spend.

You should ideally match your bhp range to your usage of the car so for a daily driver stick with a shorter duration K9K camshaft

The map and fuel pump and injectors also have an effect on the bhp gains you'll get.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the bhp 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 K9K Mods

  1. ECU Tunes - A Remapped K9K ECU provides the biggest gains in terms of cost, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and piggyback ECUs 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 are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be setup 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 Sports Exhausts - Please note that on their own these mods won't ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  5. 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. Typically one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.

K9K Tuning Stages

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

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

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

The K9K engines are fantastic to work on and we see that there is a growing number of modifications and tuning parts around.

What are the drawbacks of diesel engine tuning?

There is some more wear and tear on the turbo. Premature turbo wear is common after severe remaps, where the tuner is aiming for a larger peak power figure to tout in advertising.

In the same way that tuning a gasoline engine requires more frequent servicing, so does it increase the need of adhering to the recommended timetable.

Injectors, clutches, and head bolts are all possible weak points that might be improved with with an upgrade.

In terms of return on investment, remapping remains far and by the finest diesel engine change you can make. Under normal driving circumstances, a remap can improve your vehicle's performance by 20-30 percent and fuel economy by the same amount.

K9K Remapping

Changing the Maps on Diesel Vehicles

So, you may convert your diesel engine by just adjusting the computer settings for the engine's timing, fuel supply, and turbo.

In order to unlock the full potential of your diesel engine, a new map must be flashed into your car's computer through the OBD connection. This map replaces the manufacturer's generic safe for all countries/safe for badly maintained vehicles map.

Most tuning improvements may be made by adjusting the wastegate and boost on diesel engines with electronic control units.

Older diesel engines have a fuel rail pressure and timing control, which performs a decent job but doesn't give you the power improvements you'll receive with remapping the newer ECU's. Newer engines have fuel and timing adjustments per cylinder and more points of adjustment.

When those two obstacles are removed, then the action may begin.

When you consider how easily both of these vehicles launch forward at the touch of your right toe, you might wonder if it's really essential for these engines to be upgraded to provide greater torque.

Some claim that manufacturers are somewhat under-tuning today's performance diesels to make room in the market for their gasoline-powered counterparts.

According to our research, these people belong to an older demographic that is unwilling to even get behind the wheel of a diesel vehicle because "they're sluggish and noisy, aren't they?"

To illustrate, consider the dCi 82. This vehicle speeds well and handles like a go-kart. Your dad would look great in it.

Remaps will help unlock the full potential of all the parts you've done to your K9K.

(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.) For vehicles with locked ECUs or older engines that cannot be remapped and have no aftermarket ECU option then a high-quality tuning box that acts as like a piggyback ecu is a viable alternative - see our review of the TDI Tuning box.

It will usually give you around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can 0expect to see around 15% on NA (naturally aspirated) engines, but power output will vary depending on the parts you've applied and the condition of your engine.

It is the main goal to any tuning job to force more air into each cylinder

Air Intake manifolds take the air during the suck phase from the intake filter and allow it to be fed into the engine cylinders.

The size of bore and shape and flow rate of the Plenum can make a substantial improvement to fuel delivery on the K9K.

It's not uncommon that manifolds are in desperate need of an upgrade, although some makers provide well optimal exhaust headers.

Larger K9K valves, getting port matching and head flowing will also increase performance, and as an added benefit will permit raising the performance increase on other upgrades.

K9K Turbo Upgrades

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.

When an engine is fitted with a turbocharger mods are going to make more power and you will discover turbo engines are made with stronger components.

One can choose from a number of available alternatives. The simplest modification is to install upgraded turbo internals into an existing hybrid turbo's housing. It may be installed without any modifications, and after remapping, it will have increased output.

Moreover, you may purchase turbo kits, which include a bigger turbo mounted on an engine-specific manifold. Larger increases in efficiency and power are possible with them.

Hybrid turbos have the original equipment (OEM) housing but more powerful internals to deliver the spool and boost you need. Larger turbochargers are notoriously difficult to install due to their requirement for specialised piping and controls, but most aftermarket kits include with everything you'll need, including a wastegate controller and a manifold tailored to your vehicle.

The average stock turbo can provide an additional 30% power, but it will struggle at higher boost settings and may fail prematurely.

It's not unheard of car owners spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the K9K only to suffer the humiliation of seeing the car literally blow up when it's used in anger.

Bigger upgraded turbo chargers often suffer no power at low rpm, and smaller turbo chargers spool up more quickly but don't have the high rpm bhp gains.

Over the last 20 years the world of turbo units is always developing and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, allowing the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust flow into 2 channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo charger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.


Don't forget to boost the fuel system when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. We strongly recommend you to over specify your injectors flow rate.


Keep in mind that you'll also need more diesel fuel to accommodate the increased air pressure and burn efficiently. Your standard injectors and fuel pump will need to be upgraded at some time as well.

If you don't take care of this, you'll experience lulls in performance, get dashboard problems, and eventually have to resort to limp home mode.

Don't overtax the injectors or turbo at first, since their performance will decline with use and you'll run into problems if the system is set up expecting perfect conditions.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when fitting an injector, this accounts for injector deterioration and affords 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.

K9K Performance Exhausts

Increasing the exhaust or air filter capacity above what is recommended by the manufacturer is usually unnecessary and can lead to a variety of problems for the engine.

You should look to replace your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually creating a flow problem. On the K9k even with tuning you'll be unlikely to find any issues with the OEM exhaust setup.

The low reving K9K engines do not need an enhanced flow rate but DPF's can be replaced in some regions with a better flowing perfomance alternative, and this will make the throttle response feel a little more snappy.

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

Common exhaust restrictions are traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a freer flowing race alternative such as a sports catalyst pretty much removes this restriction, thanks to it's larger size and surface area, and will effectively raise the performance to levels you would expect without having a catalyst installed, but keeps the car road legal.

K9K Intake Mods

Many customers have questioned if their diesel will benefit from the installation of an induction kit or a sports exhaust.

Reduce the time between scheduled maintenance visits, as suggested by us. With increased power comes increased wear and tear on the engine, especially the oil, therefore it is prudent to take this into account.

A limitation in either the air intake or the exhaust would necessitate an improvement. This frequently occurs after rigorous remapping or the installation of bigger turbochargers.

Long-term maintenance costs can be reduced and more economy achieved by installing a washable air filter with increased airflow rather than using a filthy paper filter.

Flywheel Upgrades on the K9K

We also think you should go with the standard twin mass flywheel setup rather than a lighter single piece one.

The installation of a lighter, one-piece flywheel on diesel engines has proven challenging for many of our visitors and forum participants.

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the K9K

The K9K 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 K9K, 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 K9K engine please join us in our car forums where you can discuss K9K tuning options in more detail with our K9K owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Renault 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 hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these K9K tuning guides which get regular updates and revisions.

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2 Responses to “K9K Tuning”

  1. William Wendt says:

    What is the factory redline ?
    What is maximum rpm in race conditions ?

  2. TorqueCars says:

    I Believe it is 6500rpm – I wouldn’t go much higher than that, unless the engine was balanced and even then only to around 7000rpm. There is a rev limiter which will cut in before these levels in most applications. When tuning these I would aim to improve the mid range torque rather than extend the top end rpm. Hope that helps.

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