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Thread: 1st month of S13 and big end bearings have gone boom, rebuild or swap (maybe sr20det)

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    1st month of S13 and big end bearings have gone boom, rebuild or swap (maybe sr20det)

    So i thought id see how fast my car could go the other day (In terms of top speed), then the next time i got in the car there was a knocking noise coming from engine bay when i had slight pressure on the accelerator pedal. After doing some research and listening closely to some YouTube clips Ive came to the conclusion that my big end bearings are away, though i have posted a thread up in technical to see if it could be anything else.

    I have 1600 (maybe stretch that a bit) and was wondering what my best would be, to either rebuild the engine but putting in some forged pistons/conrods while im at it or dropping a sr20det in or any other engine recommendations?

    I have experience working on bikes and cars (exhausts, radiators, brakes, servicing, carburetor's), and have also completed a course where we rebuilt a 4 cylinder engine so i think im competent enough to do the rebuild myself. My ca18det has done 80,000 miles and has a stage 2 chip and t28 turbo (though it is over fueling like mad!), stage 2 clutch etc.. Looking to use the car for daily use and some drift days.

    Is it quite straight forward to just drop in a sr20? How long would a rebuild roughly take?

    Any suggestions advice would be gratefully received, cheers.

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    Ex Mod & Crabbit C**t Rubix_Cube's Avatar
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    Rebuild the CA, it'll then be a known quantity unlike a 2nd hand SR.

    Plus SR's are not the bee all and end all either. They have their faults.



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    Or..... you could drop and RB or JZ engine in depends how much power you want and how much time/skills you have at fitting them

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    i wouldnt bother with another ca, you'll have to spend a lot of money to get one built up to a good reliable standard. I don't care what anyone says on here, the sr is a far more robust engine when in a sensible state of tune. I've had both, tuned both, and I know what id go for.

    IMO, your best value and most sensible route would be to stick a sr unit in there, it will open up a whole new market of buyers if/when you come to sell it also

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikh88 View Post
    Or..... you could drop and RB or JZ engine in depends how much power you want and how much time/skills you have at fitting them
    He said he's got 1,600 not 16,000

    Rebuild the CA. They are good engines. Next time you decide to push it to the limit, clear out the breathers (including crankcase and cam cover assemblies), change the oil for the correct amount of good quality oil, replace the fuel pump, gap the plugs, check the timing and AFRs....then see how fast it will go.

    While the engine is being rebuilt, get the injectors cleaned and flow tested, change the cambelt and replace the water pump and the oil pump internals too.

    Use genuine Nissan gaskets and water pump. Fit a Walbro fuel pump, NGK BCPR7ES plugs and Fuchs Titan 10W50 (or 5W40 if you do lots of short runs) oil.

    The most complicated part of an engine rebuild remembering where all the wires and pipes go when you drop the engine back in the bay.

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    SR20's are like butter as soon as you start messing with them. I'd drop an RB in. If money is low you can pick up RB20 DET quite cheep

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    mines going to have an RB25 transplant when the CA is dead and gone... looking forward to it

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    Ex Mod & Crabbit C**t Rubix_Cube's Avatar
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    For 16 quid your options are:

    1. A well build, fresh, sturdy CA which slots back in with zero ****ing about

    2. A SR20 with unknown mileage and service history which needs a loom, box, clutch all to be ****ed about with to make it work.

    3. A JZ engine and box with unknown mileage and history, leaving you to find more cash for an appropriate loom which needs ****ed about with and someone to fabricate a whole new exhaust system.

    4. An RB20/25 and box of unknown mileage and service history with loom which needs to be ****ed about with and also get some exhaust mods done.

    Each option gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

    A well build CA will take Stage 2 all day long with zero issues... hence why I say CA FTW. Christ I've seen Kev's Forged CA take 350+hp over the past 6 years of 100% drift abuse and keep going and going and going



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    Tis very true another CA will be sooooo much less ballache..

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    Quote Originally Posted by the kouki monster View Post
    SR20's are like butter as soon as you start messing with them. I'd drop an RB in. If money is low you can pick up RB20 DET quite cheep
    ... based on what experience?

    I've had a CA and it soon blew the big ends after a mild tune, i've had sr's running 300bhp all day long, used daily and bounced off limiter endlessly.

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    Ex Mod & Crabbit C**t Rubix_Cube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrodave View Post
    ... based on what experience?

    I've had a CA and it soon blew the big ends after a mild tune, i've had sr's running 300bhp all day long, used daily and bounced off limiter endlessly.
    I've seen at least 4 that have cracked their heads, I've seen 2 which have shat their rocker arms, I've seen 1 do its big ends and thats just in Scotland...

    SR's are not the be all and end all their piss poor head design is a massive negative on them.

    People have bad experiences with both...



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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrodave View Post
    ... based on what experience?

    I've had a CA and it soon blew the big ends after a mild tune, i've had sr's running 300bhp all day long, used daily and bounced off limiter endlessly.
    CAs break if you try to push more than 500 bhp through them OR if you don't look after them.

    I've got a 120K+ CA that's only had basic maintenance and is still running sweet as and another with 55K on it that has only had inlet valves due to a manufacturing fault and is otherwise barely run in.

    If you (or Nissan) build it right and look after it, they'll run 300 bhp and 300 lb/ft all day long.

    Wullie says you can do options 1-4 for 16 . I'd say, assuming you are doing the work yourself, its more like

    Option 1 - 1,000 and small effort
    Option 2 - 1,200 and a bit more effort than a CA
    Option 3 - 3,000 and a whole lot more effort than a CA
    Option 4 - 2,500-4,000 and quite a bit more effort than a CA

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    no doubt there's pros and cons to both. but for 1600 id much rather source a known good sr with box, loom and ecu, take it to 280bhp and enjoy that than rebuilding a ca to get to a similar state of tune.

    just sharingmy thoughts having owned both in the last 7 odd years. Everyone has different experinces though

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    S13 'Vert yo Mitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubix_Cube View Post
    Rebuild the CA, it'll then be a known quantity unlike a 2nd hand SR.

    Plus SR's are not the bee all and end all either. They have their faults.
    Yarp. This happened to mine this morning...



    First broken chain I've seen on an SR. Kind of wish it wasn't on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrodave View Post
    rather source a known good sr
    Sort of depends on what you class as 'known'. You can 'know' an engine is ok by listening to it in the bay and checking the service history, quality of oil used, deposits in engine etc before you buy it, but that doesn't make it 'known' in my book - it's still a risk as you've no idea whether it's about to lunch its big ends.

    With that said, rebuilding an engine is a risk, too. Not many people - even specialist shops - check clearances down to the accuracy they'd have been controlled at in factory.

    Anybody that thinks an RB swap is straight forward home mechanic material on a teeney weeney budget is in dreamland IMO. I know there are examples of people doing RB swaps on the cheap, but hardly reliably from what I've seen, and certainly not at big power. It can be bundled into the bay or built into the bay the right way - if you want to do the latter, it's more than a packet of fags worth of fab work.
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    Cheers for all the reply's, I'm still quite confused but at least a more informed confused. I am planning on keeping this car for a good while and doing lots of on track fun and drifting, i guess i want something that's going to last and going to be upgradable in the future. That's why i am very tempted to ploy some more money into the project and go all out for an RB25DET conversion (iv just sold my mx5 so got a bit more funds), probably gone be around the 3k mark for a decent one though. Does the RB25DET not put the handling off any due to extra front end weight? Are there any good conversion threads on here? Or anybody out there done it themselves, has it been reliable? How complex?

    Though just rebuilding the ca18 is so much more tempting and i could make it quite sweet with 1600-2000, and for me it would be alot easier. Would the CA18DET be alot more reliable after adding new crank, forged internals, racing bearings? The sr20det seems like an ok choice but still might need a rebuild at the end of the day and the power wont be vastly more or vastly more reliable. Would an sr20det engine and box just slip right in?

    Will be doing some serious thinking and decide soon as i want to get this project started ASAP

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    From my experience the CA's and SR's are both very capable and strong engines if treated with car and have good history. The RB is aswell to add.

    For an easy answer rebuild the CA for the cheaper easier option, as long as it's done well it will last ages I'm not a fan of oversized bearings so if the crank doesn't need grinding then I'd rebuild with new bearings, new rings, new oil pump, lap in the valve, new valve stem seals and new gaskets

    Job done and she'll be sweet

    Dan

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    you need to figure out what you want from the car before you even think about engines.

    if you want it to be a fun road car with some track and drift on the side, with power up to 350bhp, I'd use the CA.

    if you want over 400bhp, consider an RB.

    If you want over 400bhp and don't mind spending extra on gearbox fiddling to put a Z32 or Z33 box in it along with thinking that the RB is too heavy for your car, consider an SR.

    if you want over 400bhp in the CA, you have to start thinking about gearboxes - the OSG or PPG kits do exist but are expensive.

    the RB25 is pretty easy to physically put in but they're not that fast as standard and nowhere near as much support for the standard ECU as the CA/SR. so your budget has to expand rather quickly.

    after that, you're into serious motorsport considerations and then fabrication work won't be as much of an impediment and you can put any engine you want in.

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    Ive seen many a ca die after a rebuild. But its down to pikey back yard owners that rebuild it themselves on a shoe string budget. Hell i saw one guy slap some big ends in without even polishing the crank or checking clearances, he wonders why it died soon after then proclaims its a shit engine.


    If anythin a ca is a stronger block than sr, proper head design and a proper cast iron block. Mines going for 450-500bhp infact its cost a friend a few grand more than that to build an sr to take similar power due to needing liners etc

    Rebuild your engine mate, get it done properly by a reputable engine builder and it will last forever, their bombproof engines when done right

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    Have decided to go down the rebuild side and stick with the ca18det, putting money into decent machine work and forged pistons, metal head gasket..etc
    Will probably tidy up the engine bay at the same time and have her looking sweet. Will probably be on here a lot for info and will try and start a thread to detail my progress.
    Cheers for the info and help.

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