by Julian Hancock
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Here's a few collected thoughts on a typical SR20DET engine install that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. If you plan on doing this cool project hopefully these tips will make your job a little easier.
The actual swap of the engines was pretty straightforward. Disconnect parts A, B, and C to pull old engine, reattach A, B, & C after installing new engine. The hardest part was just figuring out what components/sensors needed to be transfered over and troubleshooting. If you have an FSM and label what you disconnect that will help a whole lot...
This info was based on a Bluebird DET engine installed in my buddy Joe's '96 SE-R. The earlier models, as well as installing a Pulsar GTiR engine, can be a little different.
What to swap:
- DE distributor
- DE main wiring harness
- DE fuel injector wiring harness
- DE temperature sensor
- DE throttle position sensor
- DE air-idle control valve (extend wire)
- DE O2 sensor (you will need the O2 sensor adapter nut off the DE exhaust manifold as well)
- DE flywheel (if using a DET from an automatic)
- DET power steering 90° bend onto DE pump
- DE AC bracket
- Sentra DE throttle/cruise control cable bracket (for 95+ SE-Rs)
What to fabricate:
- Intake piping
- Downpipe (3" or 2.5" id)
What to buy:
- JWT ECU w/ turbo program (model year specific)
- A new clutch and stronger motor mounts will be needed, best to do it now while you have the engine out
What to modify:
- You will need to extend the wire for 02 sensor on manifold
- Upper flare nut on the master cylinder needs to be ground away a little to clear top mounted IC piping
- Crossmember will hit the tranny in one spot, it needs to be dented in a little
- Battery moved to trunk or reoriented in engine bay for extra clearance
- EGR is capped off (there is no provision for EGR on a DET)
- The solenoid for the charcoal canister has one wire and 3 vacuum inputs: 1st. is from intake after MAF, 2nd. is from the top of the canister, and 3rd is left open
- When attaching the DE tranny to the DET block, two of the mounting bolts will no longer be used
- Right side halfshaft support bearing will only line up w/ 2 bolts, that is okay
- For the 95+ it is possible to remove/install an engine while leaving the AC system still sealed up.
- The 95+ AC line will be a tight fit but can be pulled back out of the way of the IC piping
- The engine was pulled/installed from the top, we didn't even remove the hood. Others have had equal success removing the engine from below.
This should be most of what it takes to get you out the garage. There are things like guages, hood scoop (or MUCH better, a front mount intercooler), cleaned injectors, new EGR hookup, etc. that can be done to improve reliability, power, and emissions. These are important issues so intelligently determine what should be done now and what can be done later.