Posted on 84 Comments

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:

84 thoughts on “High Horsepower SR20DET Engine Build…Done Right!

  1. 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. Thank you for the inquiry. We sent you an email.

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

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

  5. Hello Doug,
    We sent you an email with additional information.

  6. Hello,
    We sent you an email with details.

  7. 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.

  8. Hello Allen,
    We sent you an email with additional information. Thank you for the inquiry.
    PRE team

  9. 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

  10. Hello Jo,
    Thank you for the inquiry. We are sending you an email with request for additional information.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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?

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

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

  20. 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?

  21. Could you send me a pricing email as well? Do you have the Dyno information?

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

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

  25. 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

  26. Hello Jeremy,
    Send us an email with additional details of your engine. We can discuss your engine requirements and build costs.
    Pavel Osovets
    Pavel’s Racing Engines Inc

  27. Hello Jeremiah,
    Please send us an email with detailed description of your engine’s current condition and expected requirements(power, RPM, type of end use).
    Pavel Osovets
    Pavel’s Racing Engines Inc

  28. Hello Braeden,
    Please email us additional infomation about your engine’s current condition and performance requirements for your SR20 engine.
    PRE team

  29. Hello Kory,
    I sent you an email with additional questions.

  30. Email sent with additional questions and information request. Thank you.

  31. Double rocker guides are a good idea. Most important is setting valve tip heights. All too often machine shops perform valve job, sink valves, but do not measure and equalize tip heights. This causes rocker arms to sit “crooked”, create uneven rocker arm contact, camshaft lobe wear, and in extreme situation even throwing rocker arms off. These days I typically don’t even use rocker arm stoppers once all valve tip height ground to same height and shims selected properly. If correct shim unavailable I grind shims to suit. New lifters only required when yours are worn and will not maintain pressure once bled.

  32. Hello Alan. Engine build cost varies considerably based on the current condition of your engine. Email me additional information regarding your engine and we can discuss your requirements.

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

  34. Hello Carl. Email sent to discuss your project.

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

  36. Hello Tony,
    I sent you an email for additional details.
    Thank you for the inquiry.

  37. 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 .?

  38. Typical cost of such long block is $6000 without sleeves. Sleeved version costs about $8000. Sleeve requirements vary based on your engine use(street performance or road race car). We recommend sleeves for any sr20 engine over 600hp for street use or 500hp for road racing use. Sr20 sleeves are “dry” install so water leaks are not an issue. Of course, proper machine practices have to be observed.

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

  40. Hello Jose,
    Typical cost to prepare such engine is about $8000. Check your email for additional information.

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

    thank you


  42. 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

  43. Hello David,
    Sorry to hear about your engine failure. I shall send you an email and we will discuss your project.

  44. Hello Tony,
    You question is extremely broad with too many variables(turbo size. boost, RPM) involved. I will send you an email to dicuss your engine requirements and custom tailor one for your needs.

  45. 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.

  46. Hello Victor,
    Factory block can be safely bored to 87mm. No need for sleeves if it is a basic rebuild. Cost of block boring and honing with a torque plate costs $225. Your pistons are required for measurements before machining. If you don’t have pistons already we can supply you a set. We strongly recommend piston skirt coatings as well. Please check your email for a message from us.
    Thank you.

  47. Could you send me a price on this build as well

  48. The typical cost to build such engine with Darton sleeves is about $8000.

    This the includes the following and services:
    -CP pistons with skirt and crown coatings
    -Carrillo I-beam connecting rods
    -ACL Race series rod, main, and thrust bearings
    -ARP head and main studs
    -Darton sleeves
    -high volume oil pump
    -Tomei metal head gasket
    -bore and hone cylinders with a torque plate
    -deck mill block
    -align hone main bearing housings
    -machine main bearing saddles for GTI-R 5 hole main bearings
    -extract crankshaft oil plugs, and drill and tap crankshaft for removable plugs
    -polish and balance crankshaft
    -weight match connecting rods
    -weight match pistons
    -disassemble, inspect, and prime new oil pump

    Cylinder head
    -Supertech intake and exhaust valve guides
    -Supertech intake and exhaust valves
    -Supertech valve stem seals
    -Supertech dual valve springs with titanium retainers
    -PRE camshaft cap bolt kit
    -adjustable camshaft sprockets
    -Kelford camshafts (model based on customer needs)
    -valve guide replacement
    -radius valve job
    -deck mill head gasket surface
    -measure and grind to equal height all valve tips
    -measure and grind rocker arm shims to equal height
    -dual rocker arm guide shim conversion
    -measure valve spring install heights and pressures, and shim as necessary
    -install new valve stem seals
    -degree camshafts

  49. Hello Pavel I have heard good things about you and was wondering would you rebuild a blacktop sr20det engine for me. I just got the engine and would like it to be very reliable. Please let me know. Thank You Tom Perry

  50. Hi Tom,
    Please check your email for a reply and request for additional information.
    Thank you,

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

  52. HI Justin,
    Please check your email for additional information request and pricing.

  53. 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.

  54. Hello Gerald,
    Please check your email for additional information.
    Thank you for the inquiry.

  55. 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

  56. Hello Kyle,
    We just sent you an email with a request for additional information. Thank you.

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

  58. The cost of such a motor is about $8000 for parts and labor. This motor was built for reliable 600hp range, although it would be capable of more.

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

  60. Hello,
    Your question is somewhat vague and it is hard to provide a definitely answer. There are a lot of undisclosed variables we will have to discuss. These days large fuel injectors and turbos capable of supporting 600+whp are a lot more efficient than even 5 years ago. These days you can daily drive on 1700cc injectors and E85 like its an OEM car with a proper tune, of course. Your power requirements and turbo size will mainly dictate how drivable the car will be. We have customer daily driving GTX3582R cars.

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

  62. Hello Ben,
    Please check your email for additional information request.

  63. How much did this cost?

  64. 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

  65. Hello Ben,
    Engine bearing clearances will depend on how you will be using the engine(street performance, drag racing, endurance racing), engine RPM, oil pump volume, oil viscosity, and oil temperature. Higher viscosity oils will require larger bearing clearances that lower viscosity oils. When building engines at the shop, we take all factors into account and select appropriate bearing grade and perform necessary block and/or rod machining to obtain the target clearances.
    PRE team

  66. Hello Braxton,
    This type of engine preparation service, assuming you provide a reasonable condition engine core, costs about $8000.

  67. how much would it cost for a 800 hp build and what kinda block would I need

  68. Hello Trevor,
    The SR20DET engine is not designed for extended use at your quoted power requirements. The engine will require extensive work and maintenance. I suggest using an RB26DETT or a 2JZGTE as a starting point for an 800+hp project. We have done those types of builds on 2JZ engines and they are much more reliable and cost-effective in the long run than a ‘built’ SR20 engine.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. Hello David,
    We do have block and cylinder head cores in stock that we can use for your project. Please check your email for a message from us so we can discuss your rebuild options.

  72. Hello Wade,
    Thank you for the interest. Please check your email for additional information request. We can discuss your particular needs and design the engine accordingly as a package with a properly matched turbocharger, injectors, and ECU.

  73. 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.

  74. Hello Alex,
    Building an engine to meet your requirements will cost about $7000 for parts and labor.

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

  76. Hi Aaron,

    Please check your email for an additional information request. Describe the current condition of your SR20 engine, your requirements, both in power and type of use, i.e. drifting, street performance, endurance/circuit racing, as well current parts you already have. This will help me design your project and estimate build costs.

  77. Would you be able to email me some contact information?
    We currently have a SR20 which has a “built” bottom but yet we managed to have it fail during street use at 21PSI on a 3076R while only making 349WHP.

    I am looking at either sending you this motor, or purchasing one from you which would make a reliable, street-able, 600WHP and would be fun for daily use as well as track (no drifting).

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  78. Hello Mario,
    Please check your email for additional information request so we can discuss your project.
    Pavel Osovets

  79. Im looking into building an sr and would like to know pricing and some other info. Could you please email me with info

  80. Would like some info on building an sr motor. Email me if you would please.

  81. I have a s13 redtop sr20 that recently started knocking really badly. I’m looking for a reliable 350-400 to the wheels, quick spooling, and reliability. This is my daily that I thrash on from time to time, so it needs to be strong. Please contact me soon as I’d like to get this started now.

  82. Also curious to how much the build was for every thing blow my sr up

  83. Hello Jared,

    Typically a built SR20DET without the Darton sleeve upgrade costs about $6000 for parts and labor. Sleeved version with a few other upgrades costs about $8000. Please check your email so we can discuss your exact engine condition and the type of rebuild service that best suits your needs.

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