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Old 09-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
scoobysmak
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Default SR20DET questions

To keep the information thread clear of basic talk, I figured it would be better for people to ask here. Have a problem or even an off the wall question ask it here.

Mine would be who and how many have a running SR20DET in a truck. You might be specific if you answer which SR20 you have. This might help narrow who to PM if you have a problem, they might not have the answer either but its a good start.

I will start, SR20DET S13 redtop, 1991 Hardbody ExtCab-does run
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:40 AM   #2
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There has not been that much activity here but figure I would post my personal thoughts on swapping the SR20DET into a truck. Some of my information is from memory so if I get a term wrong (such as VVE) feel free to correct me. The other thing to think about while reading this is to find a reputable importer, these motors were never sold in US cars so they must be imported. I have heard horror stories about people getting junk mailed to them. The importer I got my motor from is now out of business so I am no help here but others who have recently gotten a motor might post if the importer is good or bad, you might also check out other fourms such as 240sx forums to get a "feel" for the market.


First option, what motor do you want to swap to:
From my other thread in here on SR20 information, there are 3 different types of SR20DET's, the S13, S14, and S15. The S13 is the oldest and the S15 is the newest of the bunch. The S13 does not have VVE (think that is the term used for Varible Valve Timming on this motor), the S14 and S15 do have VVE. When I last checked years ago, the S13 head flowed better due to a high port design, the S14/15 use a low port design (I have stood corrected by someone on the forum). The S14/15 have VVE so they got better power in the lower RPM range but maybe a few less HP in the high RPM range. When I did my swap people were eliminating the VVE because they couldn't control it with aftermaket or ECU reflashes. I think today thats not a problem but it might cost you a few extra $$$ if you run a standalone ECU and have to get it tunned, it will take more time and time cost money. The S13-S15 can all make about the same power so I choose the S13 version because it was cheaper and I would have eliminated the VVE feature anyway, today I would research this again to see what has changed in ten years.


What transmission do you want to swap to:
Well I am a manual transmission type guy so if your looking for an automatic, my recommendation is to look at forums and find out how much abuse they can take. I don't know if the S13-S15 automatic transmissions are the same or even offered with the SR20DET. Now to the manual debate, most people including myself use the SR20DET transmission that came with the motor, be aware that the shifter sits further back and you might have to cut more of the hole in the floor for the shifter. This transmission is pretty much the same as the 240SX transmission, swap bellhousings and they even bolt up the same. Depending on usage though you might run into a problem. Especially for the drag strip with hard launches the input shaft can snap, I hear a safe HP to run is 350 rear wheel HP but after that mark your putting the transmission to the test (this is not personal information). The S15 transmission I believe is a 6 speed manual, sounds great but they used the same case and made the gears smaller so most swap to the 5 speed because they really suck on life expectancy.

The next step if your going all out is to put a Z32 manual transmission behind it, this takes a special adaptor kit. I believe the mounting plate is like $400 bucks plus you need to find out what starter, flywheel and a few other parts that might have to be sourced to create a working frankenstin setup (it has been done so it will work, but pick your parts carefully). They make a kit that sells for $1000 that has everything but I don't think it works in a truck, it was for 240SX guys and some of the parts won't fit (think the starter would be mounted in the firewall for example). If you switch to the Z32 manual transmission, be aware that the shifter sits further back than even the 240sx transmission, they do make a kit to move it forward I believe to be in the same location as the 240 but its something else to buy. I hear the Z32 transmission is rather large and not sure if the stock truck transmission tunnel would need a little "massage" for it to fit

The other option I will probably use is taking the manual transmission from my truck and using the adaptor kit for the Z32. I had the VG30 in my truck and from my understanding this transmission is pretty strong, if you have the KA motor I wouldn't use your stock truck transmission. I will probalby find out the hard way what it takes and how bad it will be. Here is a link to the Nissan transmissions if your wondering about it (link from another site:http://club-s12.org/retro4/index.php?topic=12333.0).
(putting this here because I have old timers and needed a reference point where to find a few threads about transmissions:
http://www.infamousnissan.com/forum/...ission&page=14
http://zilvia.net/f/tech-talk/356443...-location.html
http://www.az-zbum.com/information.transmission.shtml)

What type "kit" do you want when you purchase the motor:
The most expensive option is probably to buy what people call a front clip, this is usually the car cut in half and you get the front half of the car. This insures you have everything you need to swap. You will also get some bonus parts such as some RHD parts some 240 guys might want and be able to sell the extras. The next option (also the second most expensive) I normally see is the motor/transmission/ECU/wiring harness sold as a kit. This is what I did but not what I would do in the future, I will explain this later. Then I have seen "kits" such as the motor/transmission/wiring harness then the motor/transmission and also just the motor.


If I had to do it all over again what would I do????

I would still probalby pick the S13 only because I am familar with it. I would look at todays options for standalone ECU's and see if the VVE can be controlled effectively and if any intake manifolds/heads flow better than the stock S14/15 did ten years ago. I would probalby change my mind after I researched it but honestly I don't want to get dissapointed by looking at it now, I am married to the S13 version.

I would just find a good importer and import the motor only, in this case you need to make sure you get all the sensors that the motor needs to run, like cam angle sensor. These little things can add up fast and you might have gotten a better deal if you got a complete kit if you had to purchase all these seperately.

I would then get the adaptor kit for a Z32 transmission (or in my case I will find out the hard way if my stock truck transmission can work). I plan to run my truck at the drag strip once or twice and I am not trying to find out the hard way my input shaft can't take the abuse.

Then I would get a wiring harness from wiring specialties like this one:
http://www.wiringspecialties.com/s13srtoanyda1.html
This harness will seperate your truck from the motor, the exceptions are anything that the dash needs, like oil pressure or something of that nature. This harness is not cheap but if saves a hell of a lot of time and can be customized to your needs.

Then I would get a standalone ECU (hang on to your seat belts for this topic). There are several reasons for this. One usually even a good importer will not say the ECU is good, might get a deal to purchase another one but still money out of your pocket if it is bad. When I got my ECU it was an extra $350 to the bill and I didn't even know if it worked. Mine did work but later I removed it anyway for the following reasons.

These ECU's have to be reprogrammed, now you have to find a company you trust. Most quality ECU "reflashes" will cost around $450-600. You have to reflash your ECU if you do any of the following: change injectors, change fuel pressure, change the turbo, swap the MAF, and probably a few more I can't think of at the moment. Needless to say, any "hardware" modification will cost you a software modification. I will say if you pay to reflash your ECU once some companies will reflash your ECU for free or next to nothing if you change anything else. I will say to reflash the ECU it requires you pulling it out of your vehicle and mailing it off and hope to see it back within the week, not something I would want to do very often. You could run what they call a piggy back ECU controller (think thats it) but all this does is try and trick your stock ECU, this works but I personnally think its just a bandaid and not a solution, seen these devices cost around $500-800 when I looked.

The standalone ECU will cost you roughly $1500-1900 (my personal opinion is the AEM series 2 EMS or the Haltech unit specifically for the SR20DET but there are probably other good options besides these, maybe megasquirt more on this at the very bottom of this post), if you subtract the $350 for the ECU and say $550 for a reflash or a piggy back your at $600-1000 extra. With the standalone system I can have several "maps" or some might say "tunes" saved, so I might have one that I run on the street and one for just the track or a valet setting saved up. This doesn't come without a cost though unless you can personally tune a vehicle and know the software. It is roughly $600-900 for a complete tune, this includes starting, idiling, normal driving, and full throttle runs. Each one of these extra "maps" or tunes might cost me but once one map/tune is setup the others probably are pennies compaired to the first tune (when I say extra tunes I am talking the street/valet/drag strip tunes where I will still be using the same hardware). Just like before every hardware modification will cost you a software modification, in this case a new tune. Say I swap injectors I need a retune, after the retune I didn't like them so I swapped back, if I didn't delete the first tune I wouldn't have to get another tune done. I just reload my old map and its like I didn't touch it (this also elminates the finger crossing weeks of mailing my ECU out twice).

I have a pretty good relation with my tuner, he is familar with the software and most of the equipment I will be using, this makes for a pretty good experince overall. For instance if all I do is swap injectors and he is familar with them, it won't cost me that much for a complete tune because it saved him a bunch of time plus he is familar with my truck. If I paid all this money for a new turbo injectors and other various parts with the standalone ECU I can get the most out of my equipment Vs. a generic reflash that some company has on the bench. My intercooler is bigger than most SR20 swaps (based on the 240 guys). Its small things that like this that can effect the overall outcome of a bench tune Vs. a hands on tune, plus if I ever felt the need my stand alone unit can control NOS or water meth injections.

As a last thought, if you can not find a reputable tunner in your area I might look at the ECU reflash option though.

Edit...as the stock ECU's get older with time the more I would lean towards the aftermarket ECU, some of the computers now are 20 years or older. I would have to ask myself how much longer will it last before it needs to be replaced.

Now to the megasquirt option, when I was looking at megasquirt it was a kit you put all the components on your self. In other words you needed to know how to read a diagram and solder to a mother board at the very least. Most of the kits cost around $300-$400 when I looked of course with assembly required. I didn't have a problem with putting it together but it did not work with the Nissan cam angle sensor for timing the coil packs to fire. I would have to run some sort of optical sensor on the crank for the unit to work correctly. I am going for a clean show look, no extra wires or things mounted off the block that didn't look factory. I chose not to run a megasquirt for these reasons and because of that not many SR20's had been done on the megasquirt forums. Now you can buy unit ready to plug into your wiring harness, probably would not have to use an extra sensor either but since I already have my computer I have not looked at megasquirt in years, I am pretty sure before 2007. They have a pretty good forum resource if it has been kept up since I looked. I have not priced any units lately and not sure what they cost but could be more than $400 now even putting one together yourself if that's still an option.

I hope this might help some to look at all the options before just jumping in the fire for an SR20DET, but once you made the jump post here and let us know how it went.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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Nice read!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #4
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Im swapping a S13 black top within the next month. Im doing the harness using the hardbody harness and sr20 and splicing the together. So if I can have my fiance help me ill make a write up for everyone =]
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
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I built a 96 HB extra cab with a stock s13 sr. I then spun a rod bearing and now it is getting completly built and should be together within the next six weeks. I opted to run a 300zx trans and 18x10's. I cant wait to have my boosted HB back on the road and the drift track!
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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i have a 87 king cab with a vg30 and 5speed 2wd and want a sr20det
whats the best bang for the buck when doin the swap?

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Old 11-08-2013, 02:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking87 View Post
i have a 87 king cab with a vg30 and 5speed 2wd and want a sr20det
whats the best bang for the buck when doin the swap?
That is a loaded question. I first would ask your budget, how much fabrication skills do you have, what are you building your truck for, and what part of TN your in (I only ask this because my tuner is in TN).

I think the S13 version is still the cheapest to buy, but do your research before you just take my word for it (things might have changed in the past 10 years). I don't think the S15 had anything really spectacular over the S14 besides the updated turbo to get more power. Depending on price I would probably be looking at the S13 or S14 engine.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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Default 96HB sr20 swap in prog

Hey thanks for all the info you seem to know what you're talking about. I'm thinking the S13 is the way to go but since the transmission is a bit longer than then stock ka trans, how do I go about making it fit?
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:24 PM   #9
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I think the trans are the same length?? When swapping a sr into a 240sx, the manual driveshaft is able to be used in the swap, no new one required unless you are going from automatic to standard, in which case you would need a manual ds. I would only assume the same would be for our trucks as long as you have a ka engine.

The vg, i have no idea.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowjob View Post
Hey thanks for all the info you seem to know what you're talking about. I'm thinking the S13 is the way to go but since the transmission is a bit longer than then stock ka trans, how do I go about making it fit?
Since I am blind and didn't see this, sorry for the delayed response.

The SR transmission is the same length as the 240SX KA transmission but the 240 transmission is not the same as the hardbody KA transmission. The truck transmission is shorter I believe. There is a thread I might find later this week but its installing a 240 KA transmission in a truck, think it has picture comparing the two. I had to take my drive shaft to a drive line shop and let them shorten the drive shaft and I believe the input to the transmission had to be swapped out as well. If this is the case you might be able to grab a 240 drive shaft to get the input.

Since this is a custom application I would either take them the truck once the engine and transmission have been mounted in the truck so they can measure, if not your going to have to let them know the length you need from the transmission to the carrier bearing. If your wrong on the measurement it will require another trip to the drive line shop.

Not the thread I was looking for with pics but does have some info on the hardbody Vs 240 KA transmission swap:
http://www.infamousnissan.com/forum/...ad.php?t=18112
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