S13 SR20DET Engine Swap

For Frankenstein Setups like the VET or VVL Head Swaps

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Welcome to your Definitife guide to swapping a SR20DET into your S13 Chassis


This guide is as comprehensive as possible, however we cannot be held responsible for any mishaps or accidents that may occur due to following this guide.
Please make sure all safety requirements are met when doing an engine swap and that you get the car checked out by a licensed mechanic before going on the road with the car.

Now t hat this is out of the way… lets continue!


Everyone Say its easy? Well here we have a rating for your on Difficulty and Cost.
Rated in instances of Dumpsterfires out of 10.




Essentially when you are attempting this swap it’s because you tossed out the old trashfire of a CA18DET and would like to install the every so slightly smaller trashfire that is the SR20DET.

The SR20 does come with quite a bit of better features thant the stock CA18.
Bigger Turbo, Better injectors, lighter, more after market support and better/more linear power, to name a few.

In this guide we will go over all the aspects of doing the SR20 Swap in your S13 Chassis. From Engine mounts to ECU…


What do you need Neo?

Parts… Lots of Parts!

Well actually not that many really.

  • SR20DET Motor + Gearbox
  • SR20DET Motor Mounts
  • CA18DET Gearbox Crossmember (SR20DET also Works)
  • CA18DET Propshaft (SR20DET also Works)
  • CA18DET Radiator (But would say upgrade to a think core radiator)
  • New SR20DET Water Hoses
  • New Downpipe/Exhaust
  • CA18DET speed Sensor
  • Custom Intercooler Piping and Intercooler

This is the basic list needed to do the swap.
The main other item to consider is the ECU. You can either use the stock S13/S14 ECU and loom or go for a After market Stand alone Unit.

I will do a writeup for both, as I have done both in the past.


Well you have come this far.. your bought all your parts… you bought some beer (or water for those who don’t drink when doing a engine swap [yes I’m looking at you]) , you have your toolbox and engine crane ready and you have invited a friend or two to help (Yes you can do it alone Rambo! but it’s always more fun with moral support)

First things first. You need to get your current motor out of the car. Be in a KA24 or a CA18(which it most likely would be looking at the South African Market) However both of these will be pretty much the same.

I normally drain the oil on both the engine and gearbox before removal if possible, less mess when pulling it all out.

And while the car is on Jack stands you can start.

Disconnect the battery.

Remove the front Bumper to gain access to the intercooler.

Start unplugging the wiring in the engine bay as well as the ECU inside the car. We will be removing the whole Engine Wiring Harness.

While inside the car you can remove your center bezel and take of your shifter (small circlip to pop it out), as this will make life easier when removing the motor.

Disconnect the fuel lines, water hoses and heater hoses on the firewall.

Remove the radiator and AC condenser.

Next step is undoing the 2 engine mount bolts and the 4 gearbox bolts on the gearbox cross member.

Once this is done, hook up the engine crane and test the tensile strength of whatever you forgot to undo…

Congrats your old POS has been removed and you are ready to start cleaning that disgusting space you call your engine bay.

The Deap CLEAN

Whille not really needed for most swaps, I always like to go the extra step and make sure the bay is spotless to accept the new heart I’m about to drop in.

I mean, you don’t put on new clothes if you havn’t washed your behind no do you?

So don’t do that to your SChassis, they deserve more love.
So Go at it! Clean to your hearts content.

Depending on how bad your bay is, you might get away with a bit of soap and a high pressure washer. Or you might need to just  scrap the car and buy a new one… (kidding)

Once all is nice and clean, lets move to the next step!

Prepping the Mighty SR20DET!

Ok mighty might be a overstatement. But this little powerhouse of a motor is awesome in almost every way (here’s looking at your rockers and shims -_- )

Your motor should be pretty much drop in really.

You will need to transfer the engine mounts and gearbox mount if you did not receive them with your SR20 but that’s basically it.

Jack it up. Drop it in the bay, bolt the engine mounts and gearbox mounts in place (remember to slide your prop shaft into your gearbox while dropping the motor in)

And that’s it. Your SR20 is now in your S13.

IT's OVER 9000!

Well in your wildest wet dreams maybe…

Here is more accurate power figures Stock vs Stock

0 kW
0 Nm
0 kW
0 Nm
+ 1 kW
+ 1 Nm


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