PRE Tuning

High Horsepower SR20DET Engine Build…Done Right!


Out of state customer called us to inspect and quote an engine rebuild. This is an S13 SR20DET engine. Originally purchased as a “built motor”, this was nothing but an exercise in fixing and making right what someone else could not and did not do. Upon initial disassembly and inspection it was obvious the previous engine builder did not know what he was doing. Piston to cylinder clearances were 0.006″ inch plus. Not only were the bore clearance almost double than recommended, the bores were also tapered and out of round. This “500hp” engine still used factory main stud bolts which showed signs of wear and main cap walk and fretting. Due to heavy damage of the main stud threads, the block was mounted in a 2-axis CNC machine and all threads repaired using Time-sert thread repair system. Engine bearings were heavily worn and most likely reused during engine rebuild. Engine was advertised with a set of Brian Crower 272 degree camshaft and they turned out to be Brian Crower 264 degree camshafts. Stock valve springs and retainers used with high lift camshafts. Cylinder head was completely stock with worn intake and exhaust valve guides. All valve guides were replaced and exhaust converted to 6mm stems, in lea of standard 7mm stems. Valve guides honed using a Goodson diamond hone and seats recut using a Serdi 100 cutting system. All valve springs validated using a Rimac valve spring tester. After final assembly camshafts were degreed as per manufacturer instructions. This is critical to do since both the block and cylinder head were machined, affecting final valve and ignition timing.



  • Darton Sleeves
  • CP 86.5mm forged pistons
  • New CP piston rings
  • Eagle H-beam forged steel connecting rods
  • ARP 2000 1.5 inch connecting rod bolts
  • ACL Race series main, rod, and thrust bearings
  • ARP main stud kit
  • ARP head stud kit
  • Silicone bronze intake and exhaust valve guides
  • New 6mm stem intake and exhaust valves
  • Brian Crower 272 degree intake and exhaust camshafts
  • Brian Crower single valves springs
  • Brian Crower titanium retainers
  • Fidanza adjustable camshaft sprockets
  • Apexi 87mm head gasket
  • Rocker arm stoppers
  • Install Darton sleeves
  • Bore/hone block to size
  • Deck mill block with oil pump front cover and hand stone to prepare for metal head gasket
  • Align hone crankshaft main bearing bores
  • CNC repair main stud threads
  • Weight match pistons
  • Weight match connecting rods
  • Measure and record connecting rod bolt lengths in log book
  • Balance and micropolish crankshaft
  • Disassemble, clean, and inspect oil pump
  • Measure all bearing clearances using micrometers and bore gauges
  • File fit piston rings using Childs & Alberts piston ring grinder
  • Replace front and rear main seals
  • Measure piston deck height
  • Measure piston dish volume for compression ratio calculator
Cylinder Head
  • Replace intake and exhaust valve guides with silicone bronze units
  • Hone valve guides using Goodson diamond hone
  • Recut valve seats using Serdi 100 machining system
  • Hand lap all valves and check with machinists blue for seal
  • Deck mill cylinder head and hand stone to prepare for metal head gasket
  • Check valve spring pressure using Rimac valve spring tester
  • Check rocker shim thickness and adjust for proper fit
  • Bleed hydraulic lifters
  • Degree camshafts using degree wheel and dial indicator
Pictures of engine build:

76 Comments to High Horsepower SR20DET Engine Build…Done Right!

  1. William Hernandez's Gravatar William Hernandez
    25/01/2015 at 04:49

    How much did all this cost?
    i am currently doing a build and looking for the same engine. i have the engine disassembled and ready to be gone through and built. I plan on swapping the sr20 into my ’84 Porsche 94. Love to hear back with some information.

  2. Doug's Gravatar Doug
    10/05/2015 at 09:41

    Could you also send me an email with a pricing breakdown for a similar build.

  3. easten Tietjen's Gravatar easten Tietjen
    13/05/2015 at 02:24

    I am also curiose as to the price since I was looking at something quite simaler I’m order to assure good reliability

  4. Allen Lara's Gravatar Allen Lara
    02/06/2015 at 21:59

    It’s hard to find a good machine shop and engine builder to ensure everything is right. I’d be interested to know what the cost would be. Could you please send me information as well. Thanks.

  5. jo alfaro's Gravatar jo alfaro
    07/06/2015 at 06:08

    Hi I’m interested in a similar build. Can you give pricing on similar build and or other build options? Also info on shipping if any? Thank you

  6. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    17/06/2015 at 02:25

    Along with everyone else I would also appreciate a breakdown in cost for this build. Also what turbo was this build paired with as well as hp made when it was all said and done. Thanks in advance.

  7. francisco's Gravatar francisco
    06/07/2015 at 02:13

    half way there just need pricing if you don’t mind and what are your thoughts on double rocker guides. would you recommend buying new lifters. thanks a bunch

  8. Jason-Karl Hare-Huru's Gravatar Jason-Karl Hare-Huru
    10/07/2015 at 13:10

    Such a great build . And great crafstmanship.
    I have a similar build in mind for my Datsun (Nissan) Navara Ute.

    May I also have the imformation regarding this build please and any other info please.

    Cheers Jason.

  9. Josh's Gravatar Josh
    15/07/2015 at 09:44

    Interested in the same build . Could I please have info as well. Thanks

  10. Angel's Gravatar Angel
    27/07/2015 at 06:33

    About to embark on my first 240 SR swap. I’m also very interested on how much it costs to rebuild one since buying crate is out of the question

  11. Veejay's Gravatar Veejay
    04/08/2015 at 09:39

    Hello I was wondering if you can help, I’m going through a rebuild now
    And was wondering what head gasket to have? I have 86.5mm JE Pistons

  12. An's Gravatar An
    15/08/2015 at 11:01

    Hey I’m also interested in this build? Can you send me info and pricing? Can I send my block and head to you to do it? How much would it cost for me to ship?

  13. Joshua's Gravatar Joshua
    19/08/2015 at 01:52

    I would like an estimate for a redtop head rebuild with new valve guides, valves, and shimming. Thank you

  14. Steven's Gravatar Steven
    26/08/2015 at 20:52

    Great looking build. Could you send me additional info as well, I have a couple engines laying around that could use some lovin. Thanks

  15. Stephen Klemko's Gravatar Stephen Klemko
    04/09/2015 at 03:44

    How much was this labor and machine work on this? I’m working on the VE head swap, I have all the parts, just need it machi ed and installed. Can you shoot me an email as well?

  16. Kory Philmon's Gravatar Kory Philmon
    16/09/2015 at 18:18

    Hey, I know this the same message lol, but I would like a cost as well. I just recently got a Nissan 240sx S13 hatch and was pricing out swaps as well. Thank you.

  17. Braeden J's Gravatar Braeden J
    08/10/2015 at 05:40

    I am looking to do a similar build on an Avenir with an auto transmission. Would you be able to send me some pricing info as well as suggest a transmission pairing to handle the build?

  18. Jeremiah's Gravatar Jeremiah
    16/10/2015 at 23:36

    Was wondering what price was on that rebuild and a stock rebuild

  19. Jeremy's Gravatar Jeremy
    20/10/2015 at 13:54

    I am also interested would it be cheaper to buy a engine and have you guys build it or just buy a engine complete from yall…. just bought a nissan 240 with blown motor am interested in putING 400 or more hp to the wheels not my daily driver will just be a toy

  20. Carl's Gravatar Carl
    06/11/2015 at 10:58

    Hi I’m interested in a similar build. Can you give pricing on similar build

  21. Tony's Gravatar Tony
    23/11/2015 at 02:21

    Hi. Wondering if you could please email me a breakdown in cost for this build. Thanks.

  22. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    25/11/2015 at 21:36

    hi I like the build am an interested in a cost breakdown as well. Also at what horsepower do you recommend the steel sleeves ? And have you had issues with water leaks from the sleeves .?

  23. jose's Gravatar jose
    08/03/2016 at 12:07

    Can you please send me a break down of the cost to build this engine. Im planning to put this in a ae86.

  24. TonyJ's Gravatar TonyJ
    20/04/2016 at 19:58

    so the cost of this setup is 8k? How much power does this setup put out to the wheels?

    thank you


  25. David Tomazovich's Gravatar David Tomazovich
    26/04/2016 at 18:37

    I have sr20 red top that needs rebuild. What’s the cost and the process involved in getting you the motor. My motor tapped out last night.Lol

  26. Victor Callizo's Gravatar Victor Callizo
    06/06/2016 at 21:22

    Hello, I was working on getting exact same set up. Wanted to go with 86.5 cp pistons, could I just bore the original sleeves (super light rust on cylinder walls or would you recommend sleeving the block. Please email a quote for this kind of work. Thank you, great build, great craftmanship. Located in Miami.

  27. Vossman's Gravatar Vossman
    10/10/2016 at 05:17

    Could you send me a price on this build as well

  28. Justin's Gravatar Justin
    14/01/2017 at 03:35

    Hi there can I have a ball park figure for this build please. Engine is out and can be dropped

  29. Gerald Arndt's Gravatar Gerald Arndt
    24/02/2017 at 10:15

    Just came across an Sr20det. Need to know what it will cost me to get it rebuilt. The right way. Basically a block and head, just a general, cost and planing for this build. Would love to get the 89 240sx, back from the dead.

  30. Kyle's Gravatar Kyle
    26/02/2017 at 15:48

    Hi I am going through a huge mess with a sr I purchased has cylinder score and idk if it is savable, the head was missing can caps and cams , so much stuff messed up or missing should I cut my losses or go for a new cylinder head and machine work, any information would help . thanks a lot

  31. Kyle's Gravatar Kyle
    28/02/2017 at 21:11

    What kind of power does this set up make? And how much did it cost?

  32. Kronick's Gravatar Kronick
    05/03/2017 at 16:35

    Hi I would like to use this build but would this work for a daily driver car?

  33. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    14/03/2017 at 16:30

    I would like to find out the cost to rebuild an S13 Blacktop for my 240sx.

  34. 28/05/2017 at 23:34

    How much did this cost?

  35. ben's Gravatar ben
    02/06/2017 at 23:52

    I’m building my sr20det and I need to know what the oil clearince should be on the main and rod barings thank u and I can’t fined information aney were.. no one has a spec book on sr20det the do on the sr20 is it all the same??I’m going for 500 hp what should the ring gap be and the bearing oil clearince be on main and rod barings thanks a bunch

  36. David's Gravatar David
    07/08/2017 at 20:24

    Do you guys have rebuilt sr20det motor for sale or do you just do services. Im planing on buying a motor for my Datsun roadster.

  37. Wade Whitaker's Gravatar Wade Whitaker
    08/08/2017 at 18:26

    Hey guys I don’t want to build something as crazy as a 800hp Sr but I do want a reliable 450 to 500hp build what do you think that’d cost and what’s needed to buy to build a reliable 450hp sr20.

  38. Alex Brown's Gravatar Alex Brown
    12/08/2017 at 23:42

    I would like to rebuild an SR20DET engine and get it up to 4-500 horsepower reliably and I would like a price on the build.

  39. Aaron Gordon's Gravatar Aaron Gordon
    23/10/2017 at 18:48

    Could I also have a price breakdown for this engine build and all the information.

  1. By on 14/07/2016 at 09:22

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