OrangeVirus Tuning VR30DDTT Reflash

OrangeVirus Tuning ECU Flash Infiniti Q50 Q60 3.0T VR30DDTT

Nissans new VR30DDTT is quite an amazing piece of automotive machinery. The engine is heavily detuned in stock form. The non RS400 version is quite simply, castrated. On the dyno we use for all of our development, a AWD Dyno dynamics we saw a wimpy 259 Horsepower to the wheels out of the non RedSport version.The Redsport version does a little better, quite closer to the claimed 400BHP number, with around 350 to the wheels.


But...it's a V6 with two turbos. We've seen higher horsepower out of the Naturally Aspirated Toyota 2GR-FSE 3.5L than the "silver sport" version puts out. Sad. So we decided to jump into this ECU and see what can be done, and we are happy with what we see. The VR30DDTT is an engine begging to be the VR38DETTs little brother.
Some worthy notes about the drivetrain and how it is tuned

Transmission and Transmission Tuning
The new platform seems to use the same 7AT from the older Q50 and 370z. One known to be made of glass. We are hoping that Nissan made internal changes to make this thing strong. What are we hoping for even more? That these changes are easily swapped into the older 7ATs, that are known to explode with boost.
Nissan seems to have re-used the same torque and transmission shift control as previous gens (nearly exact to the 370z, for example). This is a GOOD thing in our book, since the 7AT has had shift control calibration development done by several companies for a long time now. Here is one of the 3.0TTs transmission torque to shift control maps


Camshaft control and Tuning
The camshaft control is a bit different than other nissan engines, and much simpler than the VQs pandoras box for a cylinder head. The VR30DDTT utilizes dual intelligent VVT, or camshaft phasing. The ECU can, depending on load and RPM (and other factors) control the amount of advance on each camshaft, both intake and exhaust. The degree range is something we see quite often in higher compression, direct injection engines. Around 75* Intake camshaft advance, and around 50* Exhaust camshaft advance. There is a reason for the wide sweep ranges, and nissan uses the same strategy that has worked so well for other manufacturers.
The VR30DDTTs stock ECU tune uses nearly the same style camshaft advance targets as we have seen in Mazdas Skyactiv platform. What is the point of Mazdas Skyactiv platform? MPG. The ECU targets very high exhaust camshaft timing, and very low to no intake camshaft timing at low loads. By doing this, the ECU can actually modulate higher throttle opening, while reducing the amount of air going into the cylinder, thus making it easier for the cylinder to breathe, while maintaining very low amounts of gas (oxygen) entering the cylinder, which ultimately aids efficiency, or MPG. This isn't new technology, we have seen this used in engines from at least 2011, but this is something that seems relatively new to Nissan.
Fuel control and Tuning
Nissan catches up with technological demands again with this engine by utilizing a fully closed loop and on demand fuel control strategy, our personal favorite. This means that the ECU is ALWAYS sampling the exhaust gasses, and adjusting the fuel to the desired target ratio, regardless if you're at idle or at the rev limiter. No longer does the car switch to "open loop" mode where fueling is just "whatever," rather the ECU is always trimming and adjusting to maintain the specific lambda. Combine this with direct injection, and you have very powerful fuel control at your finger tips. One thing we know about direct injection is that it *usually* is capable of sustaining leaner mixtures and more ignition safely. That's exactly what this engine needs. Pair that with the fact it's turbo from factory, and simply adjusting a few target EQ maps can make nearly 25+ HP at the wheels difference. The ECU also has calculated fuel efficiency tables, that are used to modify the necessary target AFR for whichever base fueling calculation is used, or required.
The stock fuel targets really aren't "that bad" for a stock twin turbo v6, with the peak of enrichment being only 10.8 AFR. We have seen many times in the past stock port injection vehicles with fuel targets in the 9's. Thanks direct injection!


Ignition Timing and Tuning
The one thing the VR30DDTT desperately needs, is more ignition. The stock ignition strategy is useful, if you want a flat torque curve and that's it. Nissan designed the tune to keep stable torque for as much of the RPM range as possible, keeping the torque curve as flat as possible, mainly through modulation boost pressure and ignition. The stock ignition values well, suck. The engine desperately needs ignition, and only a touch of it makes the world of difference. When you see a direct injection engine running around 14psi and your peak ignition advance in boost is a whopping 5*, it needs work.
There is a catch though. As a tuner and calibrator that has worked with several engines running some of the latest engine technology, we know that the old idea of "just raise ignition until knock" is NOT the right choice here. Direct injection gives you a lot of room, but there is something more worrisome to watch out for, pre-ignition, and cylinder temperatures. We don't want to share all the secrets of what it takes to understand safe ignition control with direct injection, but we will say that continually raising advance until knock is a great way to possibly engine up with a damaged piston or worse, melted, without even knowing what happened. Pre-ignition is a growing concern on high compression direct injection engines, and the fact that the VR30DDTT has turbos that come alive barely off idle, it is a very real concern for this engine.

Direct Injection and Tuning
The VR30DDTT uses another standard D.I. Control, and that's very high fuel pressure. The full load target being about 20 megapascals, or roughly 2900 psi. This high pressure fuel, paired with very precisely timed injection events helps to balance the cylinder mixture and reduce cylinder temperatures. The ECU uses several targeted injection events, corresponding to the cams and crank degree location, common practice on direct injection engines.
Tuning fuel injection events is not always necessary, but when it is necessary it can make the world of difference, in quite a few ways. We will caution anyone reading this who is or wants to attempt their own engine in the future. DO NOT touch your injection timing unless you understand EXACTLY how it works and understand EXACTLY what to do. A few degrees off in either direction could be the difference between spraying fuel on the opposite side of the cylinder wall, or spraying fuel as the spark plug fires, an easy way to start saving for a new engine. Spray to early or too late has consequences, but spraying at just the right time can clear up that pesky detonation, and even lower EGTs, mind you pre-ignition is still always a concern.

Boost Control and Tuning
Boost control is pretty basic, nothing extreme, targets, corrections, compensations, and wastegate control. The non Redsport version targets around 10 psi and the Redsport version about 1 bar, or 14.7 psi. The stock turbochargers are very small, so do not expect to see "high" boost numbers like 25+ psi, we are confident in saying that these turbos cannot safely push pressures that high. The Redsport utilizes compressor wheel speed sensors so that the ECU can watch just how fast the turbocharger is spinning, to make sure it does not over-spin, in stock form. This alone tells us the turbochargers aren't exactly "detuned" like the rest of the engine. We expect with more tuning to see peak boost pressures around 18-19 psi, tapering to 15-16 by the rev limiter.

Expected Gains
While we have only scratched the surface with what this engine is capable of, we have seen a surprising gain of over 50HP at the wheels without even touching boost on the Redsport. While keeping the exact same boost curve, stock boost pressure targets, we were able to achieve 50+ HP / 50+ TQ, and this was with very mild changes. We expect to see much much more once we start playing with boost and fine tuning the cams and direct injection timing. We are expecting to double that number when all is said and done. We would not be surprised if we see over 500 ft lbs just by modifying the exhaust and tuning. That's where this engine is going to really shine, is how much torque it will make. Twin VVT, direct injection, and instant spooling turbos is the perfect recipe for a torque monster. We will be doing more development on the redsport very soon, hoping to hit our target goals of 450HP / 500 ft lbs. Stay tuned
A Few Q and A's
Should I modify my car before tuning?
Generally, this is OK for simple bolt ons. However we would strongly recommend you do NOT touch the intakes without tuning. The ECU relies on precise airflow measurements to calculate well..almost everything. We would advise against putting larger intakes on the vehicle or modifying the MAF housing without properly recalibrating the MAF sensors.  The stock MAF sensor curve maxes around 90 grams per second each, and when you modify the intake, say putting a larger one on, the MAF sensor MUST be recalibrated or the car will run lean among many other things.
Exhaust mods OK?
From what we have seen, exhaust mods should be okay, although full exhaust has shown to cause overboosting. However the stock tune is so badly gutted we do not think even overboosting would hurt it, thanks to the full time AFR correction. We have seen however when running exhaust mods, the ECU does struggle to maintain the exact fuel target that it desires, and as such, there is a fuel oscillation at full boost and higher RPM, bouncing from richer to leaner, as seen on this data log
How much boost can I run?
The redsport runs stock near 15psi all the way to the rev limiter, which we feel is quite satisfying, without over stressing the turbos. With the right breathing mods peakin 18-19psi should be possible. 
Is this tune safe?
One of our main concerns is safety when it comes to tuning. We treat your car like it is our car, and we never want our cars to get damaged. We take the slower, more scientific approach to tuning. Rather than "playing around with it" or "learning on the job" we spend countless amounts of hours doing back-end development work before we even touch a car, so that we are fully confident that we will be able to tune the vehicle safely. We took a copy of the stock calibration for the VR30DDTT and spent about 30 hours disassembling the code, parsing the calibration data and defining the map parameters before we even thought about creating a tune. Once we had what we needed, we did a comparison to Nissans older calibrations in other vehicles, to get the right grasp on how this ECU calculates everything, and how things work. We were happy to find out that a lot of things are shared between the calibration (tune) logic on this engine and others, for example the VQ37.

Want more power and can't wait? We have tuning kits available for this engine
https://www.ovtuned.com/collections/nissan-tunes/products/2016-infiniti-q50-q60-vr30ddtt-3-0-remote-tuning-package-ext






3 comments

  • Eric

    Any chance you could share your best numbers on a Red Sport and what the cars pushing psi wise. I’m interested in seeing what the cars ceiling is.

    Thanks

  • Joel garcia

    Where are you guys located? An how much do you guys charge ?

  • Adam

    I would like the RS reflash on my siliver sport but not pay $800 for it would definitely purchase the $359 and have it done over here in NYC

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