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Freebird: SR20VE+T 510 Wagon

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I have no idea how I could have missed this thread, just went through it and damn, what a transformation and inspiration.  Time to get the grey 1200 up and running so I can get working on the goon.


Damned fine goon you got there.

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The race was a lot of fun for the first half of the day. The LSD was certainly a bit tricky to get used to. However, I could really notice the stiffer coil overs that were reinstalled in the rear. Much too stiff, but the real problem is their lack of droop. As shown by the fun pic below which sums the problem up neatly.


And whose that weaving through the back mine field?




Now, I said it was a lot of fun for the first half of the day. The fun ended when i heard the unmistakable rod knock of my bottom end after coming down the finishing straight away.

I *may* have used that nifty ignition timer to advance my spark a tad much..

Engine rebuild time! again :blush:

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Are you sticking with an L or are you swapping in something a little more entertaining? 

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Are you sticking with an L or are you swapping in something a little more entertaining? 


Well, last I posted the SR20VE was torn down and being test fit onto the RWD block. 

Then as they tend to do, funds dried up and that is exactly how the project has sat for the last 6 months.

Now it seems the Goon is forcing my hand.


My first plan was to just swap the L block and keep driving until I built up the VE. 

After a couple months and no motivation to start the L rebuild, I finally realized, I just don't want to. I've done it enough times and it's just too unsatisfying.


So the decision was made, NA SR20VE is going in next, even if it means the wagons is off the road for awhile.


The irony is that I tore the FWD assembly apart to swap on to the RWD block. Which would be fine If I didn't come in possession of these just after that.


A KA tranny adapted to an L bell housing, and an adapter to fit a FWD SR20 to an L transmission.

This meaning that if I had these parts sooner I could have never tore it down in the first place. 


Oh well such is life. 

Now I have this pile of parts waiting for me to make some decisions and get started. RWD S14 DET block on the stand, VE FWD block in the bag under the bench, P11 head on the bench, cardboard box full of rebuild seal, rings, bearings, OEM HG, and 3 flip top bins and a milk crate full of VE and DET manifolds, accessories, engine internals, etc.



Really there are two routes RWD or FWD block. The RWD block requires a bit more modifications to build up and really doesn't give any benefits besides bolting up to a RWD tranny which I don't have. So since I am try to get this done as simply an cheaply as possible, here's the plan.

Stock FWD long block build up, I'll only get new bearings/seals for all my tear down build up efforts unfortunately.

Then chop the VE intake manifold flange and weld it to the DET manifold in order to get the throttle body oriented correctly.

DET exhasut manifold with down pipe run up the the turbo flange, not ideal but that can be on the short list for upgrading later.

Megasquirt to run the EFI. 

And then that leaves the components the will hit the firewall as the last big thing to sort out.

The CAS and the VVL solenoids.

I could cut pockets into the firewall but, that's obviously not my first choice.

Instead, I think I'll go with the solution TAARX offers for the CAS,  https://www.efisolutions.com.au/hall-sensor-kit-sr16ve-sr20ve

They have a relocation kit for the solenoids as well, but I'm not a fan of the oil lines running everywhere, I'm gonna take a stab at my own adapter block.


Motivation  :D 











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One of the oldest installed JBC kits and surely the dirtiest JBC crossmember in existence. Now on it's way out to make room for a Version 3 kit.

Don't worry though, the kit has plenty of life left and it's headed straight into Swamp Thing.



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Why use the KA transmission? Aren't the internals the same as a late 280ZX trans anyway? No driveshaft or crossmember mods that way

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Can't wait to go for a ride!!!!!  hurry up Sam!  


We gotta find my extra B&M shifter for that trans!  

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Sorry, a bit of false advertising.

I'm actually planning on just leaving the Stubby 5 speed out of the 720 in there. I love the ratios. Except 5th could be taller. 
FWD SR and 5 spd, All on a Stock wagon drive shaft  :thumbup:  

Also forgot to point out that leaving the RWD block out means that once the NA is in there, I have the option to build up a turbo shortblock with an SR trans to headswap and drop in later if I go that route. All without taking the wagon off the road for very long.

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Deshrouded and smoother out the bowls a bit.



Started reassembling, was lucky enough to have a helper put the VVL Crabs in.


VE rebuild, so easy a 4 year old can do it. Seriously though, the rocker mounting system is way better an these than the typical 
SR's. Impossible to fly off too!




It made me feel a bit better when I went to change the rings and found the oilers all clogged up like this, makes me feel like I'm not rebuilding for nothing. 
Leads to the question, why are these SO clogged with carbon since the rest of the engine was really clean? 
Could it have to do with it being an automatic car that boggs a lot?


But then I went to put the new ring in on the right. Way too thick! In fact the first and second ring were too thick as well?
Turns out Nissan switched all the SR's to a new thin ring version piston for 2000-2001. I bought my rings for a 1999... uhg. New rings on order.


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Handy having a helper, no matter the size. :)



Can you bring the alternator brackets on Tuesday? I'll have it back to you fairly quickly. 

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In they go, new rings worked out and crank/piston went in. All seemed good.




ARP studs that I got when I picked up the DET block.


Then I started back on the head... This wound up taking MUCH more time than anticipated. The problem, these heads have shimmed valve clearances, no adjusting screw. This means that in order to get the appropriate clearances, the shims would need to be ground to thickness. 
I was originally not going to grind the valves because of this exact reason. Then I measured my clearances as it was. Way out of tolerance, not even consistent. 
This made obvious that I WOULD be grinding shims either way. So might as well make the most of it and grind valve seats first.


Removed the valves and this is what it looks like, makes me glad I actually ended up doing this, the seats were so much worse than I thought.


New favorite way top grind, rubber bump stop chucked in the drill, worked very well.



Mucho Betteritto.


Already here, better take some data for the future.




45CC in the bowl, 5CC in the cylinder.

Calculates out to 10:1 compression as advertised. Nice to know how much of the compressed volume is in the head for future piston choices though. 



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Valves ground, now back to the shims, uhg.

Even getting the baseline measurements represented several installs and removal of the cams. The complication being that the valve pairs in each cylinder share a crab rocker arm. This means that measureing the clearance is affected by the neighboring valve. Had to install with half the shims installed, measure, uninstall, swap shims and repeat. 


The kid needed some practice writing numbers. He became my clearance recording technician for the evening,


Took the baseline measurements and calculated the needed material to be removed from the shim pads to gain desired clearances at each location.

Lucky that work has a surface grinder.


Reinstalled, measured again, found a few outliers, uninstalled and re ground the stragglers. 
Built up now with 0.014" exhaust clearances and 0.10" intake clearances +- 0.0005: or so. 
Phew, glad to be dine with that... Probably had the cams in and out 10 times total. 

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As always, its been a long time since my update. Unfortunately, not much done on the wagon in that time. 
A good portion of the last few months was spent working on Swamp Thing.  So much fun! but so much time, there was none left over for goon work during that build.


Then the next couple months after that was mostly spent building up my future pit crew. Again, none left oer for the goon.



Now, things are calming down and I'm trying to shift focus back to a running 510. 

Started by installing the TAARKS cam sensor setup. Those Aussies make some beautiful parts. no complaints at all on install but I haen't fired it up yet.
Had to cut off the cam washer and clearance the valve cover.






Distributor plug and all.


Then on to the block. Three new ports drilled. Nice of Nissan to leave the casting bosses in place even on the NA blocks.


Back to one piece using some ARP studs.




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Moving on to the bolt-ons. 
A side by side of the VE manifold vs an S14 manifold. Quite the volume difference! But confusingly the tiny VE log actually has larger runner cross sections and of course head ports. 
I had to make a manifold with the TB on the correct side. Notice the FWD VE TB is on the wrong side for RWD application.
I originally planned to cut the log offf the S14 and weld to the VE runners but that proved much harder than just modding the VE alone.


Chop, cut, swap, trim, curse, weld, grind, weld again, BAM.
Not my long term solution but this will do just fine for getting back on the road. I would like to do a full custom manifold eventually, when I have the time to invest in to doing it right and not just making it look blinging. 



A small detail hiding in the middle of the nest. You'll notice the injectors turned yellow. Bumped from 370cc up to 550cc. This should get me comfortably to my 250-300hp goal.



Test fitting a couple coils. The challenge here is the #1 cylinder which has no room in the valve cover for most coils. The correct solution, buy a P12 valve cover which is made for COP. I'll admit it, I'm too cheap. Black coil is a Denso coil from Toyotas 2UZ-FE (part no. 90919-02230.) lots of good reviews for these.  Once the bolt tab is shaved off. They reach and fit fine but they don't seat tightly for the seal and would likely need a hold down bracket. The red coil is Audi R8, which I believe is the sam as any VAG 2.0T coil. These fit PERFECT in #2-4. They are even made to not need a hold down bolt and have a great tight connection that holds the top seal tight in the perfect spot. These would absolutely be my choice if I had a VC with room in the #1 spot. 
Much better construction with a metal cup engaging he plug like traditional wires rather than just a weak spring making contact like the Toyotas have.





For the sake of moving forward, I've decided to wait on COP and just use some S13 coils I have as remote coils. (They don't fit in plug holes) They'll be sufficiet for my modest power goals. I wold like to revisit the VAG coils with an accommodating VC in the future.





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Ordered an OPL radiator. I compared it to a Champion and a Koyo. I would say it is on par with the Champion fit and form looks to be identical really. Although there are slight differences, their not just coming off the same assembly line. Koyo unsurprisingly looks better. at $100 less than a champion I am satisfied. This is only based on inspection not function as I havent pressurized it yet. 



RMD Intercooler showed up. This is a "universal" unit from motorsport-tools.com. They have a wide and narrow version This is the narrow, the wide version is 100mm wider. 
Again, satisfied with qaulity for the price point.



Some cutting trimming, fitting, trimming,  tab cutting, welding, and fitting. and this is where I ended up. 















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Next up the KA tranny with the L bell housing mod. Went to yank off the bell to machine off length for the SR adapter and found a not so good surprise. Oh well, stubby L 5 spd it is.




Dropped the bell off to get machined and shifted focus to the VVL solenoids. My plan was to moel and machine a single solid block to move the solenoids from the back of the block to over the starter. This is still looking possible but, is also looking very difficult. I think it may really only be feasible as a cast part rather than a cross drilled art that I was imagining. 
Here is a look at the block ports and the loactaion of the solenoids I want.




... I gave in and bought one of the stupid adapters with oil lines jumping between the ports.




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Sometimes it's just best to buy the solution :) 


Looking forward to pics of the SR-L adapter. 

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On 8/29/2018 at 10:56 AM, ]2eDeYe said:

Sometimes it's just best to buy the solution ?


Looking forward to pics of the SR-L adapter. 

It's one of the parts made by Guy Selle. I've only held it up to the tranny and block and it looks good.

Opinions on whether shaving the additional 3/8" thickness off the tranny bell is necessary or not? 

Edited by volkswagner

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I have gathered the majority of the parts to get this running at this point. 
Now I just have to find the time to get it all together and figure out the custom fitment bits.
Main goal currently is to get all the accessories bolted to the engine so it can finally be dropped in the bay.

After some research I picked up a clutch kit from Tennessee Clutch Supply. It's a small shop out there that has great reviews from the SR guys. Their customer service is awesome, prices are good, fast shipping and they do custom built kits too.



Spent some time adapting some S13 coil packs to use the stock plug wires. 
This actually ended up being as easy as yanking of the coil rubber, and trimming some of the metal flange out of the way.
The wires then pop on and are retained really well by a flange on the.
I even made a bracket to hold them all.... then


Somehow, after looking for coils to fit the VE valve cover for many hours, I never even heard of these CBR coils.
Once I stop looking and build up the S13 packs, I stumble upon these. 
Originally from a CBR 1000, made by Denso, drop right in. 
The only hitch is that they don't bolt down but are a push connect on to the threaded stud of the plug. This is great since I won't have to make a bracket but, the need for a threaded stud spark plug really limits the selection. 



Picked up a cheapo Tach.  Baller status tach isn't in the budget so this will do for now.



Lot of fiddling later and it's in the cluster.

I'm going to make a cover to fit that cluster side as well to protect the moving bits an harmonize the look a bit.



On to fuel delivery. Tank was removed to up-size the pickup lines. 
Tucked a Walboro inside the rear frame rail with 5/16" lines to and from the front. 
I liked this spot because it's accessible and lets the wires route through the existing wiring hole. 



While in the area, I re-ran the power lead to the trunk battery. My last had seen better days. I accidentally put a zip screw through it at one point. ?
As well, it was rubbing somewhere just after the starter and had worn all the way through to the core unbeknowst to me. 
I got my first cable at Interstate Batteries it was much more pliable but clearly not to abrasion resistant. 
I went to Pacific Power Batteries this time around and went up from 4ga to 2ga. Maybe it's because Pacific is more of a marine supply store but their cable jacketing seems way thicker and much more durable. Of course, everything should be routed so that abrasion doesn't occur in the first place.


So, as I mentioned I finally gave in and bought a solenoid adapter kit... I should have read up a bit better though. Turns out that these are (obvious now) all made for use with a RWD block.
The difference being that the RWD block doesn't have oil supply to the solenoids through the head like the FWD block does. So the kit get an external oil line plumbed from the oil sender or where ever. Unfortunately for me that means I would have to try and block the port on my head and get the oil from the block. No bueno.
So, I went with option number 3.
I've been staring at the solenoid block long enough now to feel confident and lopped off the back solenoid port. 
This brings me down to one solenoid which means I can only actuate my exhaust and intake lobes at the same time rather than independently.
 Since every build seems to end up actuating their within a fe hundred RPM of each other, I don't think it is much of a power loss. 

It will however make the VVL "hit" a bit harder not being able to stagger the rev changes.


Had to cross drill the exhaust passage over to the intake solenoid



A bit of sweet welding skills spread all over by Jeff and everything seems to be functional.


Now lets just hope it fits ?


Turned some attention to the FWD cooling routing, yeesh. You can't see the thermostat in the stock configuration below because it is remote and behind the block. ?


Lots of head scratching later. Thermostat mounted to the intake brace so that the entrance should be just above the frame rail in the bay. 
Chopped and welded hose bulkhead on top of that. Hoses run over to the pump, and up the the water neck. Waterneck modified for GM water temp for megasquirt. Datsun sender for stock gauge and elbow fitting for heater hose. Phew, sorted, I think.


Got a great deal on some boosty bits. HKS SQV BOV never used as far as I can tell. 


Also, RB25DET OEM turbo. Not a typical Garett T28. These are Nissan designed and built by Hitachi. Their an odd T3 frame with T28 internals.
They get alot of mixed reviews since Nissan used a ceramic Exhaust and Aluminum intake wheel to keep the weight down for decreased spool times. This work great for the OEM 7psi application. Proven safe up to 12 psi daily, but after that the ceramic begins to shatter and blow out the tail pipe. That said, Aussie forums claim 17psi with a good tune.
I'm only looking for about 10psi myself so I decided to accept the risk.



A little cleaning.





I grabbed a V3 cross-member to get ready to sit the engine on. Couldn't resist a generational photo.






Edited by volkswagner
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Pics are all broken on your latest post.

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