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Nissan Pure Forums • CA18DE vs SR20DET

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#1 - 02-14-2014, 9:43 AM.



With money rolling in and not having a 5 speed transmission in my car I've decided to just get a complete motor swap + 5 speed transmission. My s13 is a DD and I would like to keep it clean and reliable.

Anyways I have cash to spend and I was wondering if I should go CA18DE or SR20DET. Now I know the difference one has turbo the other doesn't, honestly I could care less about it. I found a really nice complete 5 speed CA18DE for $650 including harness and ecu that looks in pristine condition. On the other hand the SR20DET is really good from what I hear.

I have no idea what to choose, I need help. Any info on both motors will be appreciated. Thanks

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#2 - 02-14-2014, 1:38 PM.



SR20DET replaced the CA18DET. I wouldn't bother with the CA18DE. Smoothest route would be the SR, if its properly maintained and unmodified it can be very reliable. Mine ran for 5 years no problems. It's all up to you.

Cheapest route would be just get all the components to do the 5 speed swap for your KA.

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#3 - 02-14-2014, 10:20 PM.



^^ What he said exactly. I loved my SR and it was very reliable for 3+ years making over 300whp. Plus the aftermarket support for the SR is amazing and very easily to obtain any part you need.

But regardless, you would still need to purchase the clutch pedal assembly and other parts to complete the auto to manual conversion.

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#4 - 02-15-2014, 8:58 AM.



No offense but, why is this a topic of discussion?

On forums around the world you would get flamed for asking stupid questions like this.

The CA motor is old, it was replaced by the SR. The CA is not a bad motor, its just older tech.

The problem is, you're comparing a non turbo (650 dollar) setup with a turbo (3000 dollar) setup. You're not comparing apples with apples.

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#5 - 02-18-2014, 10:00 AM.



How on earth is a CA a "bad motor".....

"old tech"... like it is carb or something? It is an iron block and aluminum head engine, not unlike the RB. is that old tech as well? Are we talking because it is not OBD2? Since when is that a positive thing?

As for the question at hand, Old S13 is right about one thing. Comparing an NA CA18 (which car is it out of btw as there were FWD configurations) to a SR20DET is not apples to apples. at best it is an older skyline powerplant, and a significant step down from a KA24 which is also an iron block and aluminum head. Other than being lighter weight, it has very very little upside compared to the KA.

Going to the CA18DET vs the SR20DET has been an ever long debate. back in 2006 when I did my first swap the CA was priced more reasonably and had a lot of upside with the higher reving engine and iron block. The limited aftermarket was a bit of a limitation, but in reality it is pretty much like the SR market, with fewer cheap shitty knock offs. Quality over quantity is always a leveling factor in the market place. People have been and continue to make over 1000HP on these engines, and far before the SR was in that relm.

they are both great engines and i have driven both. If I were to do it again, the CA would be without question the way to go for me. if nothing else just for the revs and the wow factor.... Seeing "240 bois" climb into the engine bay to try and figure what it was in the car was entertaining as hell.

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#6 - 02-18-2014, 1:42 PM.



Dude, actually read the posts above, not one person mentioned the CA being a "bad" motor at all, actually they stated the exact opposite. They just stated they are older than the SR.

Everyone has opinions when it comes to "what swap is better". Its all personal preference, so do your research, determine what you can afford, and then have fun with it.

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#7 - 02-18-2014, 5:26 PM.



So lets say hypothetically I get the CA18DE, will it be hard to find the parts to go turbo? If of course I wanted to do it in the near future.

I know that the SR20 has many aftermarket products, but does the CA18 have some if not the same?

Also, the reason I am hesitant about the SR20 is because every time I see someone with a 240sx it has a SR20 in it. I kind of feel like not going that route because of that. May sound stupid but that's just me.

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#8 - 02-18-2014, 6:36 PM.



I would highly advise trying to convert a CA18DE into a turbo motor, seems like a wasted effort, especially when the CA18DET exists... You would be better off buying a cheap KA24DE swap and building it up for turbo.

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#9 - 02-18-2014, 7:22 PM.




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