So you’re trying to chase more power out of your ZD30 and are wondering what course of action to follow. Lets begin!

This guide will mention injectors, turbos, exhausts, intercoolers to get your Patrol to what our ideal ZD30 looks likes

At the end of this guide there will be a plan of action for following through with these modifications and the thought process behind them to make modifying your ZD30 as easy as possible


Precursor: While this guide will cover both Direct injection and Common Rail ZD30s. It’s important to note that the fuelling system on a Direct Injected ZD30 cannot cope with larger turbos. We will cover more of this in our Injector section


What we will be covering is from experience in our workshop and from our ZD30DI project build

ZD30DI Cylinder head
ZD30 PDI front mount intercooler fit

Exhausts and intercoolers

These two parts are pretty simple.

Exhausts: Any quality 3″ Turbo back system will do the trick and set you up well for the future. The factory downpipe can be quite restrictive. Popular exhausts you can buy in Victoria give you options for adding in mufflers/resonators or simply having a straight pipe. This is purely subjective and in the grand scheme of things will not affect your end power. Have a look at some sound clips online or sus out Patrols in person and make your own mind up. At the end of the day, you will be driving your Patrol. If you prefer a louder option we recommend no cat & one resonator all in 3″

Intercoolers: The factory intercooler has plastic end tanks that are known for cracking and leaking over time. There are two ways you can go about replacing your intercooler.

If you are planning on more power, an upgraded Top mount intercooler such as HPD’s Series 2 Intercooler or Cross Countries Ultimate intercooler are both good choices.

If you have room up front, a Front mount intercooler is an ideal choice with better airflow (less resistance behind the cooler) in theory you achieve a more efficient working intercooler. For these we recommend, PDI and Fabwitz. In our workshop we have fitted plenty of PDI front mount kits, with good instructions and two intercooler core sizes to choice from to accommodate winches etc you can’t go wrong

Boost control

If you haven’t already, get rid of your factory boost control and install an aftermarket Dawes valve


Consistent and accurate boost

We’ve found the factory boost control to produce inconsistent boost curves between dyno runs. Take a look at the photo to the left for example.

We have our own Dawes valves that we fit. A common alternative is a Tillix kit. While they work great for standard turbo setups, we’ve found them to struggle holding more than 26psi accurately

Dyno graph of ZD30 factory boost control vs aftermarket boost control
Stage 2 highflow turbo on ZD30 Common Rail Patrol

Turbo choices

If you’re chasing more power than what your stock turbo will allow you to achieve it’s time to upgrade!

Don’t waste your money on Stage 1 turbochargers, buy a stage 2 to start with. We’ve found a quality Stage 2 turbocharger such as a: Procharge stage 2, ZL30 or recently Spartan turbo do the job quite well. As for Procharge and ZL30 we have seen them prove themselves to be reliable. Due to Spartan being a recent turbo we have not had the opportunity just yet to see how long they last

More on the stage 2 turbos: They combine a great balance of power and response, this is our ideal turbo for setting up for ZD30

Stage 3 Turbos: If you’re really chasing power, a good stage 3 is the way to go, we had fitted one on our workshop ZD30DI and made over 200kW at the hubs. Not too shabby for a ZD. The reason why we don’t recommend these turbos for customers is due to them taking a lot longer to spool. you will lose down low torque and response. For everyday driving this is not recommended. It’s a diesel at the end of the day, down low response is what you should want!

Poor quality turbos: We’ve seen a lot of cheaper highflow turbos perform the same as an OEM turbo. They either take ages to spool up or they just don’t flow as much as a better quality counterpart. Cry once and buy once. A quality turbo will not only spool faster and provide more flow but will also last longer

Before you change your turbo

If you’re planning on changing your turbo, i strongly recommend taking off your exhaust manifold and checking the flanges with a straight edge for any warping. If you haven’t done this before, place something long with a flat end against the manifold flange, flash a light behind where you’re trying to look and see if you can see anything coming through

Exhaust manifolds warping are very common on Patrols and often sound like a screech when under load/boost. Get your manifold machined to save time and money going to and from a dyno. You do not need to use RTV to seal up the manifold. A new MLS gasket will work just fine!


If you have a ZD30DI your injectors can be maxed out with the factory turbo, you’ve got 2 ways to move forwards. If your plan is a Stage 2 turbo. Get a set of DC3Di injectors/+30 injectors and they will do the job!

If you’re planning on shooting for the moon, a set of DC4Di injectors or asking out to DI injector sellers for a custom set will be needed


Common rail ZD30 owners, leave your injectors! You will not need a set of injectors for a stage 2 turbo. Your engine has plenty of fuel on tap, ready to use. We have found that when shooting for richer mixtures or if you have a stage 3 turbo, it’s a good idea to weld closed the pressure relief valve as that will pop open but for a stage 2 turbo setup with a safe tune you will be fine. Leave your injectors if they are in good condition and get it tuned!


Anything else?

Only one last thing. Is you are going towards an upgraded turbo, it’s a good idea to Blank off your EGR if you haven’t already done so. We have seen a number of EGR valves blow open resulting in a turbo surging noise, loss of boost, loss of power etc

ZD30CRD Patrol with rocker cover off to change injectors
Zd30DI remap dyno graph. Procharge stage 2 turbo, Dieselcentral DC4di injectors, PDI front mount intercooler

Order of modifications

Dawes valve

  • Getting rid of your factory boost control and installing a dawes valve for consistent boost is a must
  • A spool valve will be needed if your vehicle hasn’t been tuned. The spool valve is there to avoid boost related limp modes


  • Changing your exhaust first will change how your Patrol feels to drive, with a better flowing exhaust to help out and no warning lights etc after this change, it’s a no brainer


  • This is next on my list, again, another mod with no downsides & something that won’t trigger any sort of check engine lights or cause poor/dangerous performance

Injectors (If you have a DI)

  • If you have a DI Patrol, a set of injectors is a must if your chasing more power than a standard tune. After larger injectors are fitted, get to a dyno asap and preferably tow it as they tend to run pretty rich


  • The last big ticket item before a tune, everything above this list (apart for injectors for DI Patrols) will not have any sort of negative driving effects on your vehicle


  • The last logical step, make use of what you have done to your Patrol
  • Boost to be set to an ideal target
  • Fuelling targets modified
  • This should go without saying but find a tuner with a dyno, how are you going to reliably tune a vehicle without being able to accurately monitor anything that’s going on


Other mods such as snorkels, intake piping etc:

  • We have found mods such as these do not effect a tune or power by any great deal and so have not put them on this list


We get a fair few customers coming to us with large turbos on their DI ZD30s with factory injectors. I hope this blog has helped out clear the air on what to do and what not to do and in what order and why

If you still have any questions or need a further explanation on a specific topic. Feel free to reach out to us either via phone 0439 668 863 or on instagram or facebook!

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