NZ Performance Car - - Scrapyard Gains -

If you’ve ever driven a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated SR20 en­gine, you’ll know that for what they are, they are torquey lit­tle bug­gers. With an 86x86mm boreto-stroke, the SR20 en­gine is able to both rev fairly high, and pro­duce a de­cent amount of torque for their given ca­pac­ity and as­pi­ra­tion. Although not a world beater, the fac­tory mo­tor does have a de­cent amount of po­ten­tial; so if you do want to leave the orig­i­nal mo­tor in the hole, there are a few things you can do to get some bet­ter num­bers. First off, the fac­tory ex­haust sys­tem and in­take is fairly re­stric­tive; re­place the ex­haust with a man­drel-bent 2.25-inch to 2.5-inch sys­tem from the head­ers back, and the in­take with a 3-inch al­loy pipe, pod fil­ter and cold-air box. All are a given, as with most nat­u­rally as­pi­rated en­gines, but with the Primera, the real re­sults come from tun­ing the fac­tory ECU with an af­ter­mar­ket daugh­ter board, or EPROM. The EPROM acts as a fully tun­able ECU and it gets sock­eted into the fac­tory ECU, so you re­tain all the nice fac­tory fea­tures. Very good gains are to be had once a daugh­ter board has been in­stalled and the best part about it, is once you have up­graded the en­gine fur­ther, you can have it re­tuned to suit. If you’re af­ter a lit­tle more power, but still want to stay N/A, the SR20VE en­gine out of the Nis­san Primera P11 bolts straight in. The SR20VE en­gine fea­tures ‘Neo’, which is es­sen­tially Nis­san’s ver­sion of Honda’s Vtec hard­ware. We won’t get into im­mense de­tail as to how Neo works, but like Vtec, it op­er­ates us­ing hy­draulic pres­sure which op­er­ates a seper­ate lobe on the camshaft for a huge in­crease in valve lift and du­ra­tion. The camshafts have two dif­fer­ent lobes per valve, one best suited to low-rpm torque, and one with a much larger lift and du­ra­tion to suit high-rpm power out­put. With the same mod­i­fi­ca­tions listed for the SR20DE, you should net a solid 20-30kW more peak power with the VE. If you’re ad­dicted to turbo, and the SR20VE doesn’t give you as much power as you’d like, there is good news for you; the SR20DET en­gine in mul­ti­ple vari­a­tions drops straight in too. The Nis­san Avenir W10 SR20DET turbo en­gine fea­tures stronger in­ter­nals than the SR20DE and is fit­ted with a small Gar­rett T25 turbo; th­ese en­gines pro­duce 157kW (207hp) from the fac­tory and are your cheap­est turbo op­tion. The Avenir W11 SR20DET turbo en­gine is your next best bet — the en­gine it­self re­ceived min­i­mal changes — but the turbo was up­graded to a ball-bear­ing T25, and be­cause of this, power was raised to 169kW (227hp). The ball-bear­ing turbo on this en­gine is su­per re­spon­sive, and although it doesn’t make the most power, it sure makes for a fun car to drive. Last, but cer­tainly not least, is the N14 GTI-R SR20DET en­gine. Fea­tur­ing quad throt­tle bod­ies, a much larger Gar­rett T28 frame turbo and big­ger in­jec­tors than the other en­gines, this is the one to look out for if you’re chas­ing over 200kW with­out up­grad­ing to a larger turbo. If you still have the daugh­ter board in­stalled, se­ri­ous gains can be had with a Z32 afm, 550cc in­jec­tors, and a boost con­troller.

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