Poll: In this situation as posted, which would you choose, original engine or SR20DET?

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Thread: Poll: keep engine original or SR on 1970 Laurel?

  1. #1
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    Poll: keep engine original or SR on 1970 Laurel?

    Hey everyone! Well, for those who have seen it, I have recently purchased a 1970 Nissan Laurel coupe (KC30):
    viewtopic.php?t=10077
    I now have the vehicle, which runs on the original G18. However, I can already tell the engine is overdue a rebuild. The vehicle originally had A/C, but the compressor is shot and would either require a rebuild (at who knows what cost due to it's age) or a modern replacement. As I've been finding out, getting suspension parts and engine parts are going to be difficult, the engine being the worst. And taking to the US, makes it even harder.
    So, I'm facing a tough decision, because I really want and SR20DET drivetrain. But I would also like to keep the vehicle original, I can't have both. What makes the decision harder, is that today I found a 180sx that I can get the entire S13 SR20DET black top drivetrain (engine, trans, ECU, front suspension, crossmember, driveshaft, rear subframe, diff, halfshafts, brakes... all of it) for $700.
    I think I've decided that I can't pass this up. Though original would be great, I would enjoy what I could make it much more. It would also be much easier and affordable for me to maintain it in the long run with the new engine and suspension.

    So if you had this decision facing you, what would you choose?

    Edited to mention that the posted HP was wrong, it's actually ~99hp.

  2. #2
    Administrator JNC's Avatar
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    get a 510 if you wanna sr :P
    -Matt

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    I'd keep the original engine and make it bad a$$! :twisted: Yeah, it only had 105 hp, however bore the bottom end out, have someone build a bitchin head for it, and you will likely have 120 at the wheels if not more. A modern engine is a cut corner, an easy way out. I'm not sure if anyone makes a Mikuni intake for the engine, but a set of those with a built head, nice cam, and even a basic bottom end will be a big boost over what you have, plus it will be a semi-sleeper. On top of that, there will be no cutting on the body, no welding this or that to make the modern engine fit, it will look all stock and correct aside from the set of big carbs and a header (assuming you can find one or get one made) I bet if you went this route, you would end up with the same hp (ok, within 10 hp of a stock N/A SR) and it would cost about the same if not less.

    An SR20DET will do a nice job of smoking one tire. That much hp and you end up with a lot of other broken parts or issues.
    Will

  4. #4
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    i think better stay with original because this car is getting very rare now imo...

    but choice is yours..

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    I wont do the sr20det swap if i were you. i had the choice between sr20det or sr20de and chose de non turbo version because i wanted a more modern engine, with a few extra horsepowers offcourse but didnt want to build intercooler stuff etc. this sort of modifications cannot be done without modifying the body of the car, i dont think the diff and/or rest of the rear suspensio will take the much more extra power too.
    offcourse you can modify all of that too but that will be a waiste of such a car.

    i have my sr20de completely setup in the C30 now, with s13/s14 front suspension in front an i only had to drill 4 holes to fit the front stabilisor bar.
    no other body modifications anywere.

    if the hood is closed no one will ever know the original engine is no longer in the car.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the interest in the poll. It's been a tough decision, and I'm still agonizing back and forth over it. But I've decided to do the SR swap. The day I put up the poll, I went to visit the donor car, and the SR was in great shape. But when he started it, I knew I had to have it! I just love the sound of an SR or RB (I really miss my RB20!)
    It's not a decision I've taken lightly or without considering the classic body. I DO NOT want to destroy that body, so I fully intend to follow Eric's footsteps in minimal body modification. I intend to find any way I can to route the intercooler without cutting holes. If I can't figure out a way right of the bat, it'll be without intercooler until I have. The same goes for the rear suspension, if I can't find a way in the short time I have to attach the rear subframe without major body mod, it'll go without it until I can find a way.
    I still have to do some shipping research, but it's likely that I will be container shipping the vehicle, if so I will be able to have the original engine stay with it. At least that's my intentions.

  7. #7
    Administrator JNC's Avatar
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    i can understand about the sr20det's appeal, but the trend lately has been a return to oem or even modifying the oem motor, even turbo

    when i first got my car i was all hot for a 4g63 swap, but now that i've had time to think about it, i've decided i'd be just as happy swapping the 2.0 for a 2.6
    -Matt

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    the sr20's appeal is the fact that it can be easy tuned to lots of hp, there are loads of them so oarts are available, even aftermarket.

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    I bet with a well done head, hot cam and a set of Mikuni 44s, you could get close to 150hp at the wheels. You would also need a good set of headers and exhaust, but I bet it could be close.

    A stock Sr20 puts about 125hp to the wheels. Will your stock 1.8L ultimately make as much hp as the SR (a fully tuned SR), no but you could get a reliable 130-140 at the wheels and more with some more work on the bottom end.

    Just a thought.

    Will

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad2Ltr
    I bet with a well done head, hot cam and a set of Mikuni 44s, you could get close to 150hp at the wheels.
    And still have 60 less HP than the SR while spending more money?

    A stock Sr20 puts about 125hp to the wheels.
    Not quite. A blacktop SR20DET is rated at 205-215hp stock. Crank up the boost to 10psi, build a good exhaust for it, and run an efficient intercooler and you're looking at roughly 250hp at the crank.

    And if you can do the fab work yourself (or get a buddy deal), you're still finishing up cheaper than what hot-rodding the stock engine might cost.




    If these are my only two options, I'd vote SR20DET, IF you can finish it. Lots of people don't... :wink:

    If given no options and just asked "what would you do", I'd probably say built L18 or L20b. Looks stock, easy to fit (relative to the SR) and lots of aftermarket support in the US (unlike the stock engine). :tu:

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