Tuning the Volkswagen D24T

"Comprehensive guide to tuning and performance parts on the Volkswagen D24T engine!"

We are regularly getting messages requesting info on the greatest D24T mods that work. So let us look into Volkswagen D24T upgrades and outline the best upgrades on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

TorqueCars will review D24T tuning and show the ultimate upgrades. Volkswagen D24T make awesome project engines and with the right performance modifications like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will maximize your driving pleasure.

The ultimate D24T upgrades on an engine are typically the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular D24T upgrades, they need to be cost effective.

Significant gains on the D24T can be made from cam upgrades. Altering the cam profile alters the intake and exhaust durations on the engine and can dramatically change the engines power and power output.

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly push up the power across the rpm band, you may lose a little low down power but top end will be better.

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

For a road car should ideally to match your engines power to your preferences.

I'd never have found a D24T Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas.

Some D24T engines respond better to less aggressive cam durations check your engine on a rolling road.

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

Extending exhaust or intake 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.

D24T Tuning Stages

Stage 1 D24T modifications: Fast road camshaft, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Panel air filters, Intake headers, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust manifold.

Stage 2 D24T modifications: high flow fuel injectors, fuel pump upgrades, induction kit, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head.

Stage 3 D24T modifications: Twin charging conversions, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

Review your options and then buy your parts and set yourself a power target to void expensive mistakes.

A remap will help release the full potential of all the parts you've done to your D24T.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the outcome usually vary depending on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Forcing air into your D24T is the aim to any engine modification task.

Air Intake manifolds flow the air during the suck phase from the air cleaner and allow it to be pulled into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a noticeable improvement to fuel delivery on the D24T.

We often see plenum chambers are in desperate need of performance upgrades, although a few OEM provide reasonably good plenum chambers.

Adding a D24T larger valve kit, getting port work and head flowing will also lift torque, & importantly will raise potential for raising the torque increase on other upgrades.

Turbo upgrades for the D24T

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 D24T

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

When your motor is turbocharged, tuning parts are more reliable and you will discover turbo engines use stronger components.

There are practical limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

Discover these limitations and fit better quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

There are many people spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the D24T only to watch the engine literally blow up on it's first outing after it's been finished.

Large turbo units tend to experience low end lag, and small turbo units spool up quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thanks to new tech the selection of turbo units is always increasing and we are seeing variable vane turbo units, allowing 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 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 not unusual that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor (AFM/MAF/MAP) on the D24T when considerably more air is being drawn into the engine.

You'll see that 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more challenging to install. We have this article on twincharging if you want to read more.

Uprating D24T fuel injectors

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so should uprate the fuelling when you start extending past 20% of a bhp and torque increase.We would recommend you to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

As a rule of thumb add another 20% when buying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and gives 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 D24T performance exhausts

You should look to uprate your exhaust if the current exhaust is actually causing a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your 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 source this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts 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 are traced to the filters installed, so adding a better flowing performance alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Problems and issues to look out for on the D24T

The D24T engines, if regularly serviced and maintained, are generally very reliable and have few issues.

Regular oil changes are vital on the D24T, particularly when the engine has been modified and is putting down more power than the manufacturer intended.

For more information on Tuning your D24T engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our D24T 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 upgrades were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our D24T guides and tips are kept up to date.

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