i got a volant cold air intake (cai) and it cost me $241 you can put it on on your own provided that you are somewhat mechanically inclined. i got a noticable increase in power and torque. also the engine sounds great. now i just need an exhaust. be warned if this is your first mod dont do it unless you are prepared to spend some money because once you start you can stop
The CAI is a whole new intake with an open box setup. And the airbox mod was an easy and CHEAP mod that gave a somewhat noticeable increase in power and a little better sound. I just did the airbox mod today. Didn't take me longer than an hour and only cost me $8.
best bang for you buck is a hard one with these trucks because there isn't much aftermarket support
try reading up on what people are doing to the vg30e motors just google something like "vg30e build"
intake and exhaust will get you maybe 5-10 ponies if done right
cams are going to run you 300-600 depending if you buy new or have your current ones reground but they are good for 30-40 horsepower at peak output
your can have the heads ported and polished but expect to pay 5-600 at minimum at a decent shop that knows VG motors for a rather basic port and polish
the best way to make power with a nissan vg motor (you have a vg33e) is to go forced induction
the VG blocks are incredibly overbuilt and the weakest link is usually the cast crank or pistons and there are guys with turbo VG motors in 300z's, s12's, s13's, 240's ect knocking on the door of 500 horses with stock motor internals. and they are doing it reliably
not to mention after you make serious motor changes your dues for an ecu upgrade, either swapping to a standalone system or going to an easily reprogramed ecu a shop is familiar with such as a z31 or z32 ecu
but the engine control stuff is something i've only started to learn about. It is very possible that the frontier ecu prom is just as easy to reprogram as the z31 stuff. but like i said I'm just starting to really delve into the details of ecu prom and all that jazz
Cams are a huge disapointment especially for a 4x4, they make good power but its WAY up in the RPM range, and when it hits its like a power band on an old 2 stoke dirt bike, not really useful IMO. Cold air intake and exhust are really the only things Joe Blow can/should do unless your racing.