GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/26/18 12:26 p.m.

My second and probably last time importing car parts for someone else has blown up in my face. I was bringing in parts for a '94 Nissan Serena, an SR20-powered JDM van. Apart from a timing guide missing from the delivery that will obliterate almost all of the profit from the job if I'm lucky, the distributor cap that I ordered is like a 108% scale version of the one it was meant to replace. Does anyone know how many different sized caps were available for these engines?

Edit: Here is the cap I ordered, specified for a '94 2.0 Sentra:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=5766948&cc=1213029&jsn=439

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
4/26/18 1:01 p.m.

Two SR20's will sell for a premium 2 weeks before Race Wars!

 

Sorry, had to do it....

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
4/26/18 1:15 p.m.

A quick check of the wikis says those vans are RWD.  I think the distributors are different between the RWD and FWD variants of the SR20.  The FWD versions are run directly off the rear exhaust camshaft, the RWD one seems to have a different setup and appears smaller in pictures.  You probably need the cap from a JDM market Sylvia, check ebay.

RWD

FWD

Hope this helps

pimpm3
pimpm3 SuperDork
4/26/18 1:20 p.m.

1994 is also an oddball year for sr20's.  The earlier ones had a high port intake, not sure if that effects the distributor.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/26/18 3:00 p.m.

So far I've found that there are at least 4 different distributor caps available for this engine: The one I imported, meant for a Sentra, the one from the Serena which is pretty much the same but slightly smaller, this one that's almost the same as the one used on the Serena but the base vs. plug wire clocking is 90 degrees off, and one for S14/S15s where the plug wires stick straight out the top of the distributor rather than off the side.

I haven't seen another cap like the Serena cap online anywhere. Here is the actual Serena cap that needs to be replaced:

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
4/26/18 3:24 p.m.

Maybe it was misboxed?  The airtex/wells 5D1182 cap looks to be an exact match based on your picture.  But what you have looks like it could be a touch smaller than a regular FWD SR20 distributor.  I can measure the cap when i get home.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/26/18 3:27 p.m.

Thanks, that would be helpful.

Edit: That Airtex/Wells model is listed as an alternative to the one I ordered, so early signs aren't promising...

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
4/26/18 4:47 p.m.

Probably not going to come from usa.  Finding them in England and new zealand

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan SuperDork
4/26/18 4:54 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

I momentarily looked up e-bay uk but apparently the Brits only had diesel Serenas.  Friend of my dad used to have a Serena and whilst there wasn't many of them on the roads a rwd SR20 donor would be sweet. smiley  I have a 95 SE-R sitting on the corner but buggered if I can be more help than a pic.

edit. 96.

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
4/26/18 7:02 p.m.

Ok, took photos.  Here's the cap dimensions from my 91 G20

5 inches (127 mm) from mounting ear to mounting ear

4 3/8 inches (110 mm) between the bolt holes (center of the hole)

3 1/4 inches (82 mm) inside cap diameter

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
4/26/18 7:30 p.m.

This is completely unhelpful, and will likely get me some angry responses, but I just can't help it:

 

 Lordy Pete, I hate trying to fix JDM stuff.

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
4/26/18 10:57 p.m.

Can you import me a Toyota v12?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/27/18 8:54 a.m.

OK so I got the measurements from the guy. He got 108mm for the center-to-center distance on the new cap which is close enough to 110, and 89mm for the old cap, but I think he may have put the zero mark inboard of one of the holes from the pic he sent me:

Here are pics of the old and new caps together. The hole-to-hole distance is close enough that you can sort of jam screws through both at the same time:

But the difference in lateral offset of the center of the cap vs. the bolt hole axis is enormous, obviously enough to cause interference with the rotor...notice the top of the pic:

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/27/18 8:55 a.m.
yupididit said:

Can you import me a Toyota v12?

Don't think so, there are about as many 1UZ-powered cars here as LS-powered cars...which is maybe 5? The price of gas and insurance costs strongly discourage mere mortals from owning cars with anything but small displacement engines.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
4/27/18 9:08 a.m.
06HHR said:

A quick check of the wikis says those vans are RWD.  I think the distributors are different between the RWD and FWD variants of the SR20.  The FWD versions are run directly off the rear exhaust camshaft, the RWD one seems to have a different setup and appears smaller in pictures.  You probably need the cap from a JDM market Sylvia, check ebay.

RWD

FWD

 

Hope this helps

JDM Silvia engines would have had a cam angle sensor in place of the distributor; the cap would only make sense if converting it to the Silvia's coil on plug ignition.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/27/18 9:45 a.m.

I think I've found a perfect match for the cap...certainly not cheap though:

http://www.butlerautomart.co.nz/our-range/Ignition/Distributor-caps/Product-Specification-GH661.aspx

Works out to about $50US before it leaves the other side of the planet.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/28/18 6:04 p.m.

Now it turns out the head gasket is wrong? sad I'm guessing there's a family of engines that all share the SR20DE model code, like 4AGE blacktop/silvertop/redtop/bluetop.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
4/28/18 8:21 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Now it turns out the head gasket is wrong? sad I'm guessing there's a family of engines that all share the SR20DE model code, like 4AGE blacktop/silvertop/redtop/bluetop.

It would make sense that rear drive engines would have different head gaskets from front drive engines.  If the rear drive engine has water outlet at the front, you would want the head gasket to force the block coolant to the rear of the engine before it goes up into the head, so it doesn't shortchange the rear cylinders.  A transverse engine can have the coolant outlet on the back of the engine and the head gasket water port situation will be much different.

 

Put a transverse head gasket on a longitudinal engine, the rear cylinders run hot.  Put a longitudinal head gasket on a transverse engine, the front cylinders run hot.

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
4/28/18 9:05 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Now it turns out the head gasket is wrong? sad I'm guessing there's a family of engines that all share the SR20DE model code, like 4AGE blacktop/silvertop/redtop/bluetop.

Yes, something like that. There are at least 5 different FWD SR20 I know of. And even engines in the same family will have component differences. FWD SR20DE have different oil pans for manual and automatic versions of the engine in the same car.  So, yeah..

In reply to Knurled:

The SR20DE FWD version has an external water manifold that connects the water inlet at the rear of the engine directly to a port at the front of the cylinder head at cylinder #1.  My guess is exactly for the reasons you state.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
5/2/18 1:28 p.m.

Does anyone know if the intake & exhaust manifold gaskets are also different?

This is the best deal I've found for a head gasket so far:

https://frsport.com/cosworth-20000925-metal-head-gasket-nissan-sr20det-87mm-1-5mm-thick

Anyone know of anything better?

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
5/2/18 1:54 p.m.

There is a list of head and block codes out on G20.net.  Definitely not complete but possibly helpful. 

Heads:
53J: '91-'93.5 P10 (USDM high port intake manifold)
94Y: '93.5-'96 P10 (USDM low port intake manifold)
2J2: '01?-'02 p11 (Roller rocker arms, Low port intake manifold)
52F: Highport DET RWD (blacktop)
54C: Pulsar GTiR

Cylinder Blocks
53J: FWD '91-'02? G20 (unsure what block was used in P11 but I think 53J)
78E: AWD Primera T4 (DE), Bluebird SSS(DET)
52F: RWD DET (blacktop)
54C: ??AWD DET (Pulsar)

Other that that I got nothin. Try to get a complete head set if you can.  More expensive but you won't have to chase down individual gaskets.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
5/3/18 9:30 a.m.

Managed to find the distributor cap a little cheaper, ordered 2 of these since they're so hard to get:

https://www.sparesbox.com.au/part/bosch-distributor-cap-gh661-f-005-x04-607

The owner of the van sent me pics of the old gaskets and the manifold flanges so I can check if they're the same as the ones meant for the Sentra's SR20.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
5/16/18 8:08 p.m.

OK, think I've got him sorted out now. Had to order a gasket set and timing set to get all the timing and gasket parts he wanted, and then I ordered one of these:

https://frsport.com/nissan-11044-65f03-oem-head-gasket-s14-s15-sr20det

There are actually at least as many SR20 variants as 4AG(Z)E variants.

B13Birk
B13Birk Reader
5/16/18 9:23 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

In the future a great place to get help and parts is from http://gspec.com/

They are super helpful and knowledgeable. If you do a lot with SR20's and you are on Facebook be sure to join either of these groups. 

Florida SR20 Group

or 

Sr20 Parts for sale

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/11/18 9:49 a.m.

Ultra-hard bonus round: Behind this engine is an automatic transmission that we can't find any info on, so far the owner has only found "CB#1" stamped into it. Does anyone know what model transmission this might be? Or what others might easily swap in?

Our Preferred Partners
0cywCfdxMT5ZbZWSEhuOiJkujLg81oUJ8hfa1O1gUWehbZebTWMQPeuP3XlBvDrz