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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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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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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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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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