4WD Turbo B12 Sentra - Nissan Forum
Forced Induction & Nitrous Oxide Turbocharger, supercharger, and nitrous oxide information

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#1 Old Feb 9th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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4WD Turbo B12 Sentra

Is this the first one? I don't know, but 4WD turbo B12's don't grow on trees that's for sure.

Back in 2002 I swapped a GA16DE into my '89 4WD B12 wagon. That thread is HERE. I became interested in turboing it several years ago when the Hotshot GA16DE turbo kit came out, but deemed it too expensive. Then the realistically priced TSi kits became available and I stood up and took notice. They were generally bashed here by most, but I considered my modest goals and kept them in mind. Over the course of the last six months, I have been reading everything I could regarding turbocharging the GA16DE. I would like to thank people like Wes, Mike Young, James, Andreas Miko, and many others here and on SR20forums, who shared their knowledge and experience on the subject. Their feedback allowed me to make some intelligent decisions on my own project. I set some simple goals for my standard 110 h.p. GA16DE going in. I wanted a modest increase in power and torque, not 250 h.p. like some are after. For me, 150 h.p. would be fine. I simply wanted the power characteristics of my stock '93 SE-R, but with 4WD.

Simple Goals

1. Spend less than $2,000

2. Increase horsepower by about 40%

3. Do it reliably without any expensive engine management electronics.

4. Not have to "custom make" and source every single part.

5. Not need an upgraded clutch or fuel pump. [In fact, I am still using the original 90 h.p. GA16i pump].

So I opted for the basic TSi Superior kit for the GA16DE for $1399 shipped. They've gone up recently but are still only $1,469.99 HERE.

Here are a few pics of the pre-assembled unit with the cast manifold.






The basic Superior kit does not use an intercooler, but I have a very unique set of operating conditions that I drive my car in. This is my winter car and I drive it here in upstate New York during the frigid winter months only. My car rarely ever sees temps above freezing. I use it for ice racing and winter TSD rallying. Couple the freezing temps with only 6 lbs. of boost and as you can see, I don't really need an intercooler. I wouldn't recommend this route if you live in AZ though!

Engine Management

I read about how the GA16DE's original 185cc stock injectors were too small for even 2 psi of boost. The usual route is to go to 370's and an ecu reprogram. Everything involved in going that route would put me over the 2-k limit. I devised a plan to use standard SR20DE injectors, maf, and ecu in post #10 of THIS thread. I had a good running but rusty SE-R parts car donated to me so all of those components were free. I installed the SR's fuel system and drove the car normally aspirated to see how it worked. It worked out perfectly as described in post #24 of that same thread. To my delight, the A/F ratios were identicle to the standard GA's. I bought an Innovate LM1 wide band for all before and after testing. Even with this $300 purchase, I am still under the 2-k limit.

So I went ahead and installed the turbo system. The Superior system is designed for a '95 to '99 B14 GA, so I had to modify some of the piping for my '93 B12 combination.





It is connected to my mandrel bent 2" exhaust system [that I built 6 years ago when the car was n/a]. I refilled the oil pan with full synthetic oil, filled the fuel tank with 93 Ultra, added four BKR7E-11 plugs, and backed the timing down from 15 deg btdc to 8 deg. Before the first road test, I temporarily removed the hood and duct taped a fuel pressure and a boost gauge to the windshield to monitor things. To say I was really pleased would be an understatement. Boost was at 6 psi exactly as claimed and the A/F was 11.6 to 11.8 at WOT. Fuel pressure is raised to about 66 psi under boost, via the supplied rising rate fuel pressure regulator supplied with the basic kit. The car runs perfectly with no idling issues or flat spots. I shift it at 6-k. The once underpowered wagon now accelerates just like my '93 SE-R. Mission accomplished.



Next weekend is the annual winter rally in VT. I've got my set of studded Hakkapelliitta 2's ready to go on SE-R wheels. Let the snow fly!

Mike

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
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#2 Old Feb 9th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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I was in no hurry and took my time while installing the kit. Here are a few pics with some of the prep I did during installation. Although the manifold and turbo units come pre-assembled, I took it apart to check everything.


This shows the plenum roof of the cast turbo manifold. A small flow directing wedge helps guide exhaust gases to the turbine.


I opted to port match the exhaust elbow to the turbo's chamber for best flow characteristcs. In this picture you can faintly see the areas where I used a black marker to show where I had to remove material to match the turbo outlet [below].




This is how it looked afterwards.


Oil pan fitting installed and turbo unit mounted to the engine [below].




Oil pressure and coolant lines connected. At Wes' suggestion, I teed the turbo cooling lines into the factory GA throttle valve cooling hoses. It was simple and it worked out very nicely. I had to flip the lower radiator upside down to clear the flexible turbo intake pipe.


I modified the supplied 2" downpipe to mate to my existing 2" mandrel bent system.


I sourced the 3" MAF adapter and cone filter on ebay. Cost: $18.95 shipped.

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#3 Old Feb 9th, 2008, 09:03 PM
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I must say i am impressed at how the parts fit without much modding. I've always wanted to boost any one of my sentra's. Maybe some day i can afford a nice turbo kit. I've looked around for the diesel wagon but all i can find is the e16i FWD. Have you put the wagon on the Dyno?

'08 Sentra 2.0 S--chrome billet grille
'92 xe---HS CAI, ES Motor Mounts, SE-R swaybars w/poly bushings
'92 240sx- RB25DET swap with Silvia Front Conversion
'94 HardBody- stock for now....

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#4 Old Feb 9th, 2008, 09:15 PM
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Have you put the wagon on the Dyno?
No, I haven't and I really don't plan to. Without having first dynoed the car before the turbo, it would be pretty meaningless to me anyway. Besides, there aren't any AWD dynos in my area.

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#5 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Very cool Mike. Glad to see you got it together and running.

My own Sentra is dying a slow death. I need to find another body shell that's rust free, preferably a '91-'92. Let me know if you stumble across something.

That said, I ordered my JWT turbo cams last week finally. So even if the car is falling apart, the last components for my own GA16DE turbo-build should be here next week.

Bob
#6 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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That wagon looks amazing! Never thought in a day there would be a B12 4WD GA16DET running around, but I think we have a first!

I have a quick question about your fuel system. You said you tested your GA16DE using a complete SR20DE fuel system. Do you mean installing SR20DE injectors and plugging them into the stock harness and an SR20DE fuel pressure regulator without a different fuel pump, ECU, or MAF? I am really curious about this because I want to run SR20DE injectors on my GA16DE(T) since I am still using the stock ones at 4lbs.

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#7 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BeyondBiscuits2 View Post
That wagon looks amazing! Never thought in a day there would be a B12 4WD GA16DET running around, but I think we have a first!

I have a quick question about your fuel system. You said you tested your GA16DE using a complete SR20DE fuel system. Do you mean installing SR20DE injectors and plugging them into the stock harness and an SR20DE fuel pressure regulator without a different fuel pump, ECU, or MAF? I am really curious about this because I want to run SR20DE injectors on my GA16DE(T) since I am still using the stock ones at 4lbs.
If you re-read Mike's first post, he mentions:

Quote:
I devised a plan to use standard SR20DE injectors, maf, and ecu in post #10 of THIS thread. I had a good running but rusty SE-R parts car donated to me so all of those components were free. I installed the SR's fuel system and drove the car normally aspirated to see how it worked. It worked out perfectly as described in post #24 of that same thread.
So apparently he use all the SR20DE components, not just the injectors. Since they are calibrated for a 140 hp engine, it's not too far of a stretch to fit them onto a mildy boosted GA16DE making 150-170 hp.

HTH,
Bob
#8 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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I see that now, I read through it rather hastily in all honesty. Would the same be possible in an OBII GA16DE? Will an OBII SR20 ECU match up accordingly?

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#9 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondBiscuits2 View Post
I have a quick question about your fuel system. You said you tested your GA16DE using a complete SR20DE fuel system. Do you mean installing SR20DE injectors and plugging them into the stock harness and an SR20DE fuel pressure regulator without a different fuel pump, ECU, or MAF?
Bob is correct, and no one knows more about these GA's than he does. In fact Bob was one of the very first cutting edge guys hot rodding GA16DE's back in the mid to late 90's. I learned from him [via Tim Mather's rally Sentra] that using the SR's injectors without the matching SR air mass meter and ecu simply will not work correctly. It will be too rich. If you read some of Calum's threads on SR20forrums, you will see that although the SR and GA ecu's accomplish similar things, the electronics inside are very different regarding how they go about it. So you must keep the ecu/injector/air mass meter combos in the same family if not having the ecu reprogrammed.

Regarding the stock fuel regulator, I'm using the original GA piece. Same with the fuel pump. It's just the maf, ecu, and injectors from the SR that I am using.

There is one detail that I haven't finished with yet. The VTC system. Throughout all of these years I thought I knew how it worked, but I never really did until now. I always assumed that the intake cam was normally advanced for good off idle and low rpm power, and then retarded for more top end power after a certain rpm. After reading the factory manual, that's not how it works at all. To my surprise the intake cam's normal position is in the top end phase most all of the time. But under certain conditions: [engine coolant more than 158 deg. F, engine load high, and between 1,500 and 4,300 rpm's - and then again after 6,600 rpm's to keep you from blowing it up and warranty claims down] the ecu will turn the VTC solenoid on which advances the intake cam, which in turn shifts the torque curve to a lower rpm in the band. This was quite a surprise to me. I have purchased an adjustable rpm "window" switch and will connect it shortly to turn on the VTC briefly between 1,500 and 4,000 or so like the factory did. Who knows, maybe it will spool the turbo quicker. I'll let you all know how it works out, but frankly I'm not expecting much from it.

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#10 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BeyondBiscuits2 View Post
I see that now, I read through it rather hastily in all honesty. Would the same be possible in an OBII GA16DE? Will an OBII SR20 ECU match up accordingly?
I have no idea if this will work on an OBD-II car.

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#11 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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I guess I will try and see if the same "trick" will work on the OBII GA16DE. I have several friends with SR20DEs, and I already have a set of SR20DE injectors in a stock fuel rail. I guess I will simply "borrow" their ECU and MAF for the day, and try it out (with their permission of course). So, basically, you just have plugged in an SR20DE ECU, used the SR20DE injectors, and used an SR20 MAF? No other sensors? Looks like I'll be hitting up my friend with a 200SX SE-R, and see what he thinks.

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#12 Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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So, basically, you just have plugged in an SR20DE ECU, used the SR20DE injectors, and used an SR20 MAF? No other sensors?
That's correct. Just those three items, and no other sensors at all. OBD-II could be another matter altogether. I dread ever having to own a '96 and up car, with all of that check engine light crap. It will be interesting to see how you make out.

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#13 Old Feb 11th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Awesome setup! All of the people trying to do things on a budget take note! This is the research and dedication it takes! Nice work man!

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#14 Old Feb 13th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Awesome setup! All of the people trying to do things on a budget take note! This is the research and dedication it takes! Nice work man!
Thanks very much Wes. Your help is always much appreciated.


Mike

'93 SE-R
'91 SE-R [rallycross]
'89 B12 4WD [GA16DET]
'81 Datsun 210
#15 Old Feb 25th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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very cool build and a good informative thread. Thanks.

I like my tin can car
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