How to modify a diesel car for more performance


Modern diesel engines compete very effectively with petrol engines. Common-rail and some direct-injection turbo diesels are lightning fast, phenomenally fuel efficient and offer phenomenal torque that improves drivability. But is BHP ever enough? If you think performance enhancements are only for petrol engines, think again.

Team-BHP examines how you can get more power from your diesel engine:

  • Power chips and boxes:
    As simple to install as plug-and-play; in as little as five minutes you can shave upto three seconds from your 0 – 100 acceleration time. Most diesel engines are electronically controlled and a power box will adjust certain control parameters to significantly improve performance. Adding a better intake filter and a free flow exhaust will further improve the performance of your chipped diesel.
  • Turbo-charging:
    The high compression ratios in diesel engines call for tougher components than those used in petrol engines. As a result, it is easier to install and upgrade turbos on a diesel. Keep in mind that turbo-charging a diesel engine requires an increase in fuel pressure on the fuel pump. Find out more about turbo-charging from this link.
  • Tweaking fuel pumps:
    Simple fuel pump tuning will provide more power, albeit at the expense of fuel efficiency. The most frequently modified fuel pumps are manufactured by Bosch. Contact a diesel fuel pump overhauling service to help you tune your pump.
  • Improved inhaling:
    More air means more oxygen which means more power. Since turbo-charged diesel engines need lots of cool air, RAM intakes offer noticeable performance improvements. The use of performance-grade filters also improves the intake characteristics of turbo-charged diesel engines.
  • Improved exhaling:
    A free-flowing exhaust leads to the smooth discharge of exhaust gases and results in improved performance. Also, turbo back-pressure is reduced by good exhaust flow.
  • LPG fumigation:
    Akin to NOS injection in petrol engines, LPG fumigation is the introduction of propane into the air intake of a diesel engine. The difference is that NOS can be used only for short bursts while LPG can be used for longer distances. LPG works like a fuel additive, providing a small amount of fast-burning fuel to aid combustion. It is relatively safe to use: diesel ignites at 350 degrees while LPG ignites at close to 500 degrees, so LPG combustion occurs only after the diesel has ignited. LPG kits for diesels are similar to the LPG kits used on normal petrol cars, except that they are boost-referenced as rather than vacuum-referenced. A properly installed LPG fumigation system will result in a better-running diesel engine. Recommended links for more information are mrsharkey and xtremediesel.

Thanks to Psycho for his extensive inputs on this article.

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