b12 sr20 motor swap? - Nissan Forum
B11/B12/KN13 82-90 chassis B11 (1982-1985 Sentra), B12 (1986-1990 Sentra), and Pulsar

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#1 Old Nov 17th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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b12 sr20 motor swap?

Okay, I have an 87 sentra as a project car. I am interested in dropping in the sr20de for now. I plan on using the b13 crossmember along with the 91-94 5 speed transmission. I read that I can extend the b12 linkage by two inches I have now and call it a day. Is that true? Since I am using the b13 crossmember, what motor mounts am will I have to fabricate? Is there anyway to mix and match mounts to get things to work? What wiring harness would be the easiest to work with? I am tempted to use megasquirt so I can start with a clean, guaranteed harness and have more options down the road. Yes I know that these questions have been answered, but sentra.net and npm seems to be down. What other suggestions can you guys give besides using the search engine? lol... Chris
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#2 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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you will need to shorten the linkage and you will need the whole harrness to the ser and the mounts all need to be fabed. to top it off you will also need a good brake up grade because the car will not want to stop. im in the process of doing the swap because its hard to find a ga manual trans that doent have a 5th gear pop out. the car is not going to ride comfortable and is going to vibrate a whole lot so get a good sterio system and prepare for the hard pulls unless you go with a stock clutch and regular tires. my car is almost done and it will hit the streets once more before dec 30
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#3 Old Nov 19th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cj011 View Post
Okay, I have an 87 sentra as a project car. I am interested in dropping in the sr20de for now. I plan on using the b13 crossmember along with the 91-94 5 speed transmission. I read that I can extend the b12 linkage by two inches I have now and call it a day. Is that true? Since I am using the b13 crossmember, what motor mounts am will I have to fabricate? Is there anyway to mix and match mounts to get things to work? What wiring harness would be the easiest to work with? I am tempted to use megasquirt so I can start with a clean, guaranteed harness and have more options down the road. Yes I know that these questions have been answered, but sentra.net and npm seems to be down. What other suggestions can you guys give besides using the search engine? lol... Chris

Why not go with a Ca18det? You can use the gearbox and motor mounts from a 89 Pulsar Ca18de. You can also snag a factory Nissan Sunny wiring harness from a Nissan Sunny ca18de/ca16de and it'll all plug right up to that engine as well as to your dash etc. You can even use a Nistune daughterboard and download the correct fuel maps to run it on the factory Ca18de ECU. You'll avoid all that fabrication and vibration etc.

There is a FWD ca18det for sale right now on ebay for like 900 bucks...
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#4 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 01:24 AM
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I am playing devils advocate here and looking ignorant. Why would I go with the ca when it has 50 or so hp less? Also I plan on down the road going with a VE head, is there any variable timing available for the CA. I also don't mind solid mounts or fabrication the mounts.
#5 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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The only reason the GTIR SR20DET is 230 horses is because of the better intercooler compared with the non GTIR SR20DET which is only 205 hp. Basically 30 of that horsepower is based on the fact that the CA18DET had a crappy factory intercooler.

Since you will have to replace the intercooler anyhow, what your looking at is going through the trouble of all the fabrication/wiring for 20-25 horsepower.

Not only this but you can turn that factory ca18det up to 10 psi and you should put out around 250+ crank horsepower with a new intercooler.

I'd suggest checking out n-i-c-o-club(dot)com (remove the dashes) and their section on ca18det's. There is even a guy on here that has a 377 whp 90 model sentra.

I mean it's your choice of course, but you can buy 500-700 more bucks for a GTIR SR20DET to get that extra 25 horses plus all the fabrication problems. Or you could take that 500-700 bucks and build 25 more horses without the fab problems...

In short for the money you'll spend to get the SR20DET you can have a CA18DET with the same or better output minus the fabrication time and costs.
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#6 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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great reply. thanks for the info. Why is it that the 1.8 is able to get so close to the 2.0 in hp? Is it due to the superior head? Also, is there any variable timing for the CA like the VE? Thanks, I definately appreciate it.
#7 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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.2 of a liter isn't a ton of difference in size. What do you expect a 50% power difference? I don't believe the CA has variable timing like the VE.

I really think for the money it'll take to build a sr20det as well as add the VE head you could far surpass the power with the ca18det. Also, keep in mind the ca18det is a steel block and is superior in strength and can be more reliable with more power.

Do a few searches on it, there is something about the valves and other components that make it a stronger engine for big power. It'll also rev past 8000 rpm.
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#8 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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The CA18DET has the same 370cc injectors as the SR20DET, and also has a cast iron block that is basically indestructable. Also, originally the CA18DET came with a lower A/R rated T25, not the 80 A/R rated T25 on the SR20DET. So, they are pretty much almost equals. And as CampgroundMan pointed out, the CA18DET has a higher rev limit than the SR20DET. I don't think the CA18DET has any form of variable timing, but aftermarket cams and cam gears are readily available, including some from HKS and other major manufacturers.

However, in regards the GTi-R SR20DET, it has more horsepower because of several factors: 1. T28 turbo over T25 turbo, 2. independent throttle bodies per cylinder, 3. 444cc injectors. These three things equal that nice horsepower increase.

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#9 Old Nov 20th, 2008, 11:07 PM
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Guys thats for the info. I think you have convinced me in the 1.8CADE. I did stumble upon some info about using the 2.0 CADE block with the 1.8 head.

Are there any other 18CADE cars that I could use the 1.8 and gear box out of besides the 89 Pulsar? Im here in Hawaii and I'm afraid it maybe a pain to come by. Didn't some of the 90+ sentra's use a 1.8? Can I only use the 89 cylinder head on the 2.0CADE block?
#10 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cj011 View Post
great reply. thanks for the info. Why is it that the 1.8 is able to get so close to the 2.0 in hp? Is it due to the superior head? Also, is there any variable timing for the CA like the VE? Thanks, I definately appreciate it.
let me also add that with regards to a VVT system on a forced induction vehicle, you are asking to blow it up, unless it was designed for boost. yes being able to breath better longer is good, BUT, may i add that most advanced VVT engines were designed to be high performance, high compression N/A engines, not boosted engines. this is why so many honda fanatics boost their b16a's and b18c's with just bolt on turbo's and no other work, then crank the boost and blow it up.

basically the battle of the late 80's early 90's in the 4cyl performance engine was low compression turbo engines, like our lovely nissan engines, or high compression VVT engines, like the honda vtech engines. toyota was kinda split down the middle and did both, with several turbo and s/c engines, and then the monster race developed 20 valve silvertop.

in the end, VVT won, because it was cheaper to produce once it hit the production floor as it was simply computer programming more than anything, and was easier to maintain and drive daily. however, Neo VVL kicks the shit outta Vtech.

that's why it's not favourable to boost a VE engine, unless you've done internal work. namely, putting in lower compression con-rods, most favourably from the VET. i can just imagine what a SR16VET N1 would be like...

Last edited by sonicgundam; Nov 21st, 2008 at 01:03 AM.
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#11 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cj011 View Post
Guys thats for the info. I think you have convinced me in the 1.8CADE. I did stumble upon some info about using the 2.0 CADE block with the 1.8 head.

Are there any other 18CADE cars that I could use the 1.8 and gear box out of besides the 89 Pulsar? Im here in Hawaii and I'm afraid it maybe a pain to come by. Didn't some of the 90+ sentra's use a 1.8? Can I only use the 89 cylinder head on the 2.0CADE block?
The Nissan Stanza that came with the Ca20 FWD will have the tranny that you can also use. You'll have to use Pulsar motor mounts and CV axles, but any parts store can help you with that.

Here's a ca18det fwd (the one you'd want from a bluebird) for $900. eBay Motors: JDM Nissan CA18det Bluebird 1.8L Turbo Motor Engine Set (item 370111914519 end time Nov-21-08 19:16:25 PST)

Here the Gtir Sr20det for $2149.00 eBay Motors: jdm nissan sr20det pulsar GTIR 5speed awd engine kit (item 260316944389 end time Nov-23-08 09:49:49 PST)

You could take your extra $1300 and get a lot more out of your ca18det.

Last edited by Campground Man; Nov 21st, 2008 at 05:57 AM.
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#12 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 12:11 PM
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wow, thats alot of info. It makes sense about the n/a engines and boost. Yup, im definately going with the CA. Last few questions, promise. Can I use any 1.8CADE motors/cyinder heads found here in the us (sentras)? Also, can I use any of trasmissions that the sentras use for the 1.8CADE? I'm asking because out here, its pretty hard to come by a sentra, let alone a stanza. If I could just use the sentra 1.8CADE motor and trans along with the pulsar mounts and axles, that would make it easier...thanks guys..
#13 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 04:25 PM
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in north america, the sentra never had the CA18DE. only the pulsar. however, there were s12's with other CA-series engines, and there were other cars with CA-series. the pulsar also housed the CA16DE.

maybe someone has a more complete list of which CA-series vehicles housed a transaxle that's compatible with the FWD CA18DET?
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#14 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 06:49 PM
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The only cars that can use the transmission from is the stanza, pulsar, and nissan sunny (euro sentra with 1.8). Other than the ca16de all of the 1.6's will not bolt up to the CA motor. I did this swap over this past year and I can tell you for certain, the factory trans can neither bolt up. The silvias and other cars with CA's were RWD.

A list that the engine came in is available on wikipedia.

I'd check car-parts(dotcom) to look for a salvage yard with a trans.
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#15 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Also, if you are looking to be really bold, you can grab the transmission, transfer case, driveshaft, and rear end from a Nissan Stanza wagon. They are 4WD (button activated), but just leave the button pushed and you have real-time 4WD, though front-wheel biased. Have fun fitting that into a Sentra, though. I imagine it could be done, though.

List of CA-series fwd transmissions:
1987-1988 Nissan Pulsar NX SE (CA16DE) --US
1988-1989 Nissan Pulsar NX SE (CA18DE) --US
1984-1990 Nissan Stanza (CA20E) --US
1984-1986 Nissan Bluebird 1.8T (CA18ET) --EU
1983-1986 Nissan Bluebird GL (CA20E) --EU
1985-1990 Nissan Bluebird SLX (CA18NS) --EU
1985-1990 Nissan Bluebird LX-DX (CA20E) --EU
1985-1990 Nissan Bluebird 1.8i (CA18ET) --EU

Maybe someone else can do Japan, because I have no clue.

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