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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
... is it still considered the same car? I always judged cars by their engines rather than their chassis. Like a Chrysler PT Cruiser is a Dodge Neon (2.0L DOHC I-4) and an Infinity J30 is a Nissan 300ZX N/A (VG30DE) and a Mercury Villager is a Nissan Quest (VG30E), and the 240SX is an Altima (KA24DE), and the Honda CRV is an Acura Integra (1.8L DOHC I-4). You know, that sort of thing...

So if I swapped a CA18 into my B14 Sentra, is it considered a Sentra anymore? Or a Pulsar? If I stuck a 2JZGTE in there, is it considered a TT Supra? :p

I'm very proud of my B14 heritage, and I don't want to swap out my GA16DE for something else (like a CA18) and people not consider it a Sentra anymore. People would think I was cheating. That's the only thing keeping me from swapping out my GA16, as I'm about to prep my GA16 for turbo as of now. I want people to know my Sentra GA16 can hold its own at the track and strip just like everyone else, and for people not to think I copped out and swapped it for a Pulsar engine.

And the reason I ask this in the B12 forum is because I'm considering the CA18DET swap into my B14. I like being innovative, and I know this has never been done before. I'm about to get a huge settlement from a lawsuit (140 grand including interest and punitive damages) so money won't be much of an issue when I get around to doing the swap. I just don't want to lose my identity over the swap, if you know what I mean.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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In the game of performance and having the edge, who cares what someone think. The CA18DET is still a rather small engine compared to most engines nowaday 2.0-2.5ltr. VS the CA's 1.8, but remember this engine has been in existence for 16 years and is still putting the smack down. Yes, your set up will possibly be a first (especially in my book) and I'm 110% sure you will not regret your decision. To those who never experienced the engine first hand may still have doubts about this engine. Those who have seen one in person may see it as another complex motor, but it really is not. Your car will still be a sentra econo-box, but with a blast from the past. So I say go for it man and if you want technical advice, I got your back and so do some of the nissan veterans here. For the price of GTI-r SR20det, you could build a monster CA18 using parts from the big boys (JUN, HKS, TOMEI).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll probably do this piece by piece and when I get everything I need, I'll swap it out all at the same time to minimize my down time.

I understand the DET version was not sold in the states and would have to be imported. Can I upgrade a DE version off an 88-90 Pulsar to a DET since the DE is available here? I also understand you can beat the hell out of these things and they seem to like it, particularly the transmission. Are you running the stock clutch at high boost? Because when I get the tranny I also want to upgrade the clutch disk and flywheel at the same time if I need to. If I don't, then that's money saved. And why would I need a stand alone fuel system for it? I probably know why but it's just not computing... Can't I just run a DET Pulsar ECU and use the fuel system already programmed on it? I like the flat curve the GA16 and SR20s have, so about the low-end torque, I hear it lacks on the CA18. Has that been addressed already? Do they make other various upgrades like forged low-compression pistons and stronger internals, and things on the outside like pulleys, for instance. I heard you say the big companies make stuff for it, and HKS is the only one I recognize. I don't know websites or phone numbers for any of them so I can get information on it, let alone more information on the engine itself. I'd like to see power curves from people who have actually dynoed the thing.

I don't want to do this if I drop in the engine and hit a plateau where I can't upgrade a damn thing on it. This sounds like a really interesting project and I'd like to get started. It will be awhile before I have the money to do it, but preparation is everything.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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Contrary to popular beliefs or myths, there is an aftermarket support for this engine, just kinda unknown here locally in the U.S. Remember, this engine powered the Sylvia and the 180sx as well as the nissan bluebird which is equivalent to our 1990-92 nissan stanza. As far as power is concerned I'll admit that the SR20 has proven to me to be a bit more aggressive to 3000rpm than the CA18 and that's mainly because of it's cam design. But if you 're gonna make some real power, you won't be doing with no T25 or T28 and that's for sure. These engines get wicked after 2800rpm and is even more wicked all the way to 8200rpm. As for dyno #'s, since tomorrow is my B-day and I am on vacation I owe to myself and to anyone interested to put up some figures on this vehicle I boast so much about. My B12 that's under construction will be sporting wiseco pistons and re-shot-peened rods which are good for about 400hp in stock form, but we'll find the truth out when I put my girl's B12 on the rollers. You can use the stock DET computer, but for your car it's gonna be an interesting wiring job because of the difference in models. Upgrades are very possible and you have a few different gearboxes you can resort to; all maximas from 1985 to 1994, the 1988 nissan pulsar SE and if you want an all out, nasty, lightning quick street car, then I recommend using the gearbox out of the 1987 nissan pulsar. I had this tranny and the CA16de in my 1987 sentra in 1997 and the SE-R guys were having a hard time trying to figure out why this old school sentra was jumping all over them. Then I put the CA18DE in the same car with the same tranny and the results were the same, but now with the addition of the 2000 civic si (multiple) and (back then) the volkswagen GTI VR6 all got taxed. The tranny can take massive abuse as I have yet to mess up one. The only downfall is that they don't have a limited slip differential which can easily be rectified by sending the differential to Phantom Grip and problem will be solved. The door is open so any questions, fire away.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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You can use the CA18DE and put a manifold and turbo on it, but why do that and a complete engine is only a couple of dollars more. And besides, this engine's ready to go less the hassle.........
 

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Discussion Starter #6
About availability. Where'd you get a CA18DET and how much did it cost? And about aftermarket support, you say it's substantial with big-boy companies and I can get a lot for it, yet it's blantantly underadvertised as I can't find out a damn thing about this engine except the couple of websites I found with guys modding their CA18s in old Datsun 1200 road race cars, and of course directly from you.

Say by some miracle I break a rod, or I want a different manifold if I upgrade the turbo, or I want a underdrive pulley, or a cam set with different profiles, is stuff like that hard to get? Can I call up my dealer and ask for a copper head gasket for an '87 Pulsar CA18? Will they look at me like I had three heads? That wouldn't suprise me, since I went to my local Nissan dealer around here a couple of weeks ago and talked to a salesman about the new '03 SE-R Spec Vs and he made a reference to the front strut tower bar, and kept calling it "that.. bar, thing, in the front, you know? Under the hood." Sometimes I question the intellegence of the very people I have to rely on. Texas has its downsides after all.

And the standalone fuel system, is that a hassle because I'm going to have one hell of a time trying to get a 15 year old Pulsar ECU to communicate with all the newfangled gadgets on my car, via both the fact that my existing wiring for all my in-dash stuff is different and most of that stuff works totally different now anyway? I think I understand why I need that now. I'm still foggy on why it's a necessity and I have to have it instead of it just being a fancy upgrade and I don't need it. With my experience watching people upgrade their stock engines and swapping engines like SR20s, they just drop the ECU in there right along with it or just reprogram it and go, with no need for a seperate system. I'm used to that kind of stuff. I just don't quite get it I guess.

If there's any question I should've asked but I missed, by all means go ahead and answer it anyway. Swapping an engine is like getting married, man. I want to know everything before I take the plunge.
 

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CA18DET Wizard
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Can I call up my dealer and ask for a copper head gasket for an '87 Pulsar CA18?
The answer is "Yes".
Where'd you get a CA18DET and how much did it cost?
betweeen $800-$1500... some of the guys on this list know of some engine importers, so ask around and if the prices are too wicked, let me know. Rods can be custom made by any U.S. company, but I seriously doubt you'll be breaking a rod on this motor. The wiring still has the same format, just some of the color codes have changed. I say if you have the extra bread, this would be a most wise choice as you will be a bit more flexible with programming and spend less money on having someone wire this thing up, although it's not an impossible feat. And besides, you won't have to play games with an air flow meter. The best bang for the buck is the system I've recommended to you as I have tested it under extreme conditions and I have yet to pop a motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fabulous.

Being as rare as these engines are these days I figured it would be like trying to run to some local import shop and ask for parts for an RB26DETT Skyline motor and they would look at me and say, "RB26? What's a Skyline? But if you'll look over here, I got a great deal on this 2" fart-can-muffler cat-back exhaust. It fits most Civics. That's what you said you had right, a Civic? Oh, a Skyline? My bad. Is that a GM product?"

I'd punch him in the face.

In the meantime, I'll keep asking specific questions (read: complicated and inane questions that make no sense) about this motor, because I really wanna know more about it. And when the time comes, I'll actually start asking important questions like, "Where do I order this, that and these? I got the phone and credit card in my hand. I'm ready to dial. Show me the money."
 
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