Tuning the Citroen DT

"Comprehensive guide to performance parts and tuning the Citroen DT engine!"

We often are getting messages requesting info on the things we recommend when it comes to DT upgrades. So let us look into Citroen DT mods and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some potential pitfalls along the way.

The Citroen DT are popular tuning projects and with the right modified parts like remaps, turbo kits and camshafts you will really maximise your driving opportunities.

We shall review DT tuning and report on the ultimate modifications for your car.

Just because particular modifications are appear in lots of DT projects it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we will concentrate) on the top modifications that will give your DT the biggest power gain return for your cash.

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

NB: Fast road camshafts commonly raise the performance throughout the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little low down bhp but the higher rpm power will be lifted.

Motorsport camshafts, raise the higher rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a road car must carefully try to optimize your engines power to your cars usage.

I'd be gobsmaked if you have ever thought a DT Motorsport and race cam is a pleasure to live with when in heavy traffic.

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

The ECU mapping and injectors and fuel pump also will say much on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

Longer valve 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.

DT Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

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

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

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

The DT engine blocks respond well to mods and we're finding that there are increasing numbers of upgrades and tuning parts about.

ECU flashing should help to fully realize the full potential of all the modifications you've done to your DT.

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

Shoving more air into your DT is vital to any tuning project.

The intake plenum take the air during the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

The bore size, shape and rate of flow of the Headers can make a noticeable improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the DT.

Most headers are crying out for an upgrade, although some manufacturers provide fairly well optimized headers.

Larger DT valves, getting DT port enlargement and head flowing will also lift torque, and as an added benefit will afford you increasing the torque increase on other parts.

Turbo upgrades for the DT

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 DT

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.

If an engine is turbocharged, mods are going to make more power and most turbocharged engines are made using harder and stronger components.

However you will find an engines will need better parts at higher power limits

Discover these limitations and fit more solid crank and pistons to survive the power.

It's not unheard of drivers spending a loads of money on turbo upgrades on the DT only to experience the car literally blow up soon after it's finished.

Larger turbochargers commonly suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbochargers spool up really quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thankfully the market of turbo units is always evolving and we commonly find variable vane turbo units, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end torque.

Twin scroll turbo units divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently angled vanes in the turbocharger. They also help 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 DT when loads 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 sapped power at a much lower level.

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

Uprating DT fuel injectors

Don't forget to look at the fuel delivery when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty. It is important to over specify your injector capacity.

As a rule of thumb add 20% when buying an injector, this allows for injector deterioration and allows you 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 DT performance exhausts

You may need to uprate your exhaust if your exhaust is actually causing a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is still good 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 can help equal out the flow of air through the engine.

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

Common exhaust restrictions come around the catalyst and filters installed, so adding a faster flowing race alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Problems and issues to look out for on the DT

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

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

For more information on Tuning your DT engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our DT 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 DT guides and tips are kept up to date.

Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...


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