Tuning the Renault D4Ft

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Renault D4Ft engine!"

We often are getting posts inquiring about getting more power from the D4Ft and wanting to know what are the best D4Ft upgrades. So let us look into Renault D4Ft tuning mods and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

Let us provide a guide to D4Ft tuning and point out the best modifications. Renault D4Ft are popular tuning projects and with carefully chosen modifications like remaps, turbo upgrades and camshafts you will certainly enhance your driving experience.

Just because particular upgrades are are common on D4Ft it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll ultimate upgrades that will give your D4Ft the best value for money to power increase.

The camshaft profile plays a big part in the engines power output so camshaft upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake & exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen camshaft profile, so large engines power gains are on offer for camshaft upgrades.

NB: Fast road cams normally bump the bhp and torque across the rev range, you could drop a little bottom end power but the top end will improve.

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

In a typical daily driver you need to match your engines power to your cars usage.

I'd be shocked if you find a D4Ft Motorsport cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

Different D4Ft engines respond better to more or less aggressive camshaft durations so view each engine as unique.

The map and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the torque gains you'll get.

A longer valve duration can alter the torque 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.

D4Ft Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

Please watch TorqueCars Video tutorial on car tuning. And be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Guide to the best tuning mods & Upgrades

  1. ECU Map Tuning & Remaps

    Some cars may require a piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's to change the OEM map, but remapping is the most vital step of your tuning project to fully maximise your mods. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  2. Strengthen Your Engine

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  3. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    A restricted intake or exhaust will have an impact on your performance, so use a better flowing air filter/induction kit and better flowing exhaust (sports cats where legal are a good option) whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction. Turbo engines also benefit from intercooler upgrades as these resist heat soak for longer periods of time.

  4. Mods that Improve Fuelling

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise,  a fuel pump and injector upgrade are usual mods, but also in many cases the fuel regulator will need improvement.

  5. Mods to Provide better Airflow

    Increasing the air supply is just as essential as improving fuelling, we suggest you look at head mods (flowing and porting, 5 angle valve jobs), fit bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades (adding a better flowing turbo) to improve air intake.

Tuning Stages

Stage 1 D4Ft modifications: Fast road camshaft, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold, Intake headers.

Stage 2 D4Ft modifications: Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, Ported and polished head, induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust.

Stage 3 D4Ft modifications: Engine balancing & blueprinting, Twin charging conversions, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression.

Plan your options and then buy your upgrades and set yourself a power target to save yourself from expensive mistakes.

A remap should help to unlock the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your D4Ft.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but figures achieved usually rely on the modifications you've fitted and the condition of your engine.

It is the aim to any engine tuning job to push air into the D4Ft engine

Headers carry the air from the filter and allow it to be sucked into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and rate of flow of the Intake manifold can make a noticeable change to fuel atomisation and engine efficiency on the D4Ft.

Most intake manifold are needing a performance upgrade, although some makers provide reasonably well designed intake manifold.

Larger D4Ft valves, carrying out D4Ft port enlargement and head flowing will also increase performance, & importantly will make space for a better performance increase on other modifications.

Turbo upgrades for the D4Ft

NASP 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 your motor is turbocharged, upgrades are more reliable and you'll see that turbo engines will have uprated components.

However every engines will need better parts at higher power limits

We recommend you find these limitations and fit higher quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

There are many mechanics spending a a stack of money on turbo upgrades on the D4Ft only to see the engine block explode soon after it's finished.

Bigger upgraded turbo chargers tend to experience low end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up quickly but don't have the peak end bhp gains.

Thanks to new tech the world of turbo units is always evolving and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and feed these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor AFM/MAP on the D4Ft when a lot more air is being fed into the engine.

Going up you'll find 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 torque gains, although more challenging to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Uprating D4Ft fuel injectors

Don't omit to increase the fuel delivery when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. We strongly recommend you to be generous with your flow rate on the injectors.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% when buying an injector, this allows 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.

Best D4Ft performance exhausts

You only need to to boost your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is ok even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can source this will slow the exhaust 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.

Common exhaust restrictions are traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a higher flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Problems and issues to look out for on the D4Ft

The D4Ft engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the D4Ft, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your D4Ft engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our D4Ft owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

We need your help to complete and improve this page, so do give us your feedback in the comments box below.

We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which modifications were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our D4Ft guides and tips are kept up to date.

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback - What do You Think?

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article

Please watch this video on our new YouTube channel.

Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).