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1973 KE20 + SR20DET Build

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Enjoyed reading up on progress to date and will look into the Eaton PDM as I need something for my build also ... keen to hear how it works out. Quite jealous of the clean setup to work on ! And the new tools of course :D

Thanks David, the Eaton PDM is a real hassle to get here in NZ so be prepared to take one for the team. If you have american friends it helps ALOT!

Love it when a plan comes together. The IAT placement was all kinds of wrong if you read all the guidance so I had it relocated.

Right before the throttle body is recommended and look at where the element sits, right in the centre of the intercooler piping!

Bulkhead connector is here. Again a budget conscious decision here.

HD30 47pin plug.

Think I need the ETS fabrication course.

Having to outsource welding is going to mount up :)

Streamlining the cooling system of the SR. Goal here is to delete as much of the factory hoses under the intake manifold as possible and feed water to the turbo from the right hand side of the motor.

Been making steady progress, mostly harassing people I know to clarify I am going about the wiring configuration correctly. Was going to wait until this loom was all done and finished up but good to show some progress is being made in the backround. For those reading this I have never done anything like this before taking the club level wiring course and this is how far I have come since then.

Welcome to my wiring nightmares, so again some inspiration and justification for a full rewire on this car.

But this pleases me. I have terminated the entire loom now except for at the bulkhead.

So next question for those looking, I have a very tight space for the return on the radiator, trying to fit in -16AN fittings.

Since it is such a short distance should I be worried about the engine torqueing, could I loop from a 45degree fitting into a strait into the head with no problems? I am assuming water is being pumped thru the system so no problems with general direction?

I diffently dont think you are gonna have a problem with the position of the waternecks. because this is your outlet, and since your radiotor sits above the the engine the hot water will by natural cause seek the top.

But i do not if your are gonna have problems with the engine torgueing. rather depends on your engine mounts.

Best regards


Thanks for the reply,

Yes I agree engine movement is going to largely depend on engine mounts, I have my fabricator putting the AN fitting as close to the header tank of the radiator as possible and at a 45° downward angle so that with a 45° -16AN fitting it should sit level with the 90° fitting you can see in the pictures. It is going to result in a hose length of around 50mm between the two fittings. Fingers crossed it has enough flexibility to cope. Only time will tell.

Should have a update by the end of the week on the radiator front with fitted hoses etc for the last time.

Still gutted with the wiring in the switch but I have pushed on and finished the coil loom which I wasn't happy with the first two versions so after some refinement I now have a fully terminated coil wiring harness.

Just a few more supplies to arrive for the engine harness to be completed to the firewall then out with the engine and gearbox to get on with body work and relocating brake lines.

Just a better picture of the engine loom, so close now but being fussy about the boot on the bulk head connector so waiting on that.

Intentionally overlooking the update surrounding the -an conversion for the cooling system as I have struck a problem. I am currently looking at options to get the top hose to fit in the limited space I have available. Will update this aspect of the build once it is finalized and I actually have a solution.

Focus recently has been to get the intake manifold sorted, it was a custom fabricated item that was on the car when I first purchased the car. Looks good but in practice it has some issues.

Firstly, there is not a single boss welded on this manifold. Instead they opted to tap the 3mm alloy to attached the IAT, vacuum lines and throttle body. Will discuss one at a time.

1/ IAT. As noted in the previous posts it was right at the back of the intake manifold on the underside, not an ideal spot so I have had a boss welded on my intercooler pipe right before the throttle body. Win. However this now leaves a hole in the intake manifold. Plan is to weld a boss on from EFI Solutions in Australia which will give me a series of vacuum lines so I can get that side of things sorted. Aiming to convert all vacuum lines to push-lok fittings to keep things easily maintained.

2/ Existing vacuum lines, now that I have a new location tucked under the intake manifold for these to come out from I need to weld over the back of the intake manifold. It was a mess! Once parts arrive to weld on I will update with finished pics. For now this is what it looks like.

3/ Throttle body. Now this has a number of more serious issues which have arisen over the few years I have had this car. Now that I have stripped it all down it is apparent where they come from. Firstly the mounting of the throttle body to the intake manifold. Again no Boss used, BUT the surface of the manifold is not even flat. It would seem they made the end plate for the intake to suit the throttle body then welded it on with no consideration of the weld lifting the throttle body itself. This has created a leak at the two lower bolt heads as seen in these pics.

Not the end of the world. But I am having a new adaptor plate machined so that it can be welded on the intake and will also incorporate a o-ring seal between the adaptor and throttle body. Pics when it is made and on to follow.

The more serious issues, the throttle butterfly could move almost 10° without the throttle being pressed. This resulted in the car revving upto 3500RPM when stopping at lights or even on deceleration it continued to rev. Not ideal.

Turns out it was the cap screw on the right of this picture. The head has bottomed out on the throttle linkage and hasn't even threaded far enough to hold the shaft the butterfly attaches to.

Fixed, proper fitting grub screw that is fully secure. Maximum satisfaction.

Next was the TPS, it was also held on with cap screws that had a head too small to locate it where it was supposed to be. When the car was dyno'd the first time my tuner @ross discovered the problem where the TPS was bottoming out on the underside on the throttle body housing resulting in the tps staying a WOT. (clearly this leads to some excitement when you climb up the car then jump off the pedal only to find it isn't slowing at all) Correct hardware securely fixed and the problem is solved.

Proper hardware for those two fixes owes me a grand total of around 0.35cents. Hard to believe you wouldnt fix those at the beginning.

So once the boss parts arrive I will have them welded on and update intake progress. For now I have an engine crane on loan to remove the engine and gearbox ready for the engine bay overhaul.

So I have the intake all back in one piece. Custom flange for the throttle body, new vacuum ports and all sealed up.


So bit of a better update for those following.

Firstly, the exhaust manifold. Let me start by saying unlike just about every other build I have seen recently people seem to be chasing big HP numbers. That was never the intention of this build, I am trying to attempt to build a responsive fun daily car that I can throw around a track at a club day with mates. Not looking to win any races or smoke too many tires although it does a reasonable job of that at the moment.

So the exhaust manifold. I picked up the Sinco manifold a few months ago since it was something on the list but lack of research has meant I have had to replace it with another. The one I brought was a T3 flange with a 45mm external wastegate. I really wanted to put a gen2 garrett turbo on however the smallest Gen2 T3 flange was a 3071 which I deemed to big for my application. Instead I wanted to put a more modest 2867 which meets my power goals with enough up its sleeve to keep me in the efficiency range of the turbo. This is where the manifold now longer suits. The 28 frame garrett only has a T2x flange or a 2.5" Vband to attach to the manifold. To add to the this if you opt for the T2 flange you have to run the internal wastegate.

Since Sinco dont do a 2.5" Vband on there manifolds it meant to stick with Sinco I have had to stay with the T2 flange and internal wastegate. For ease of installation I have gone down this road.

So, now that I had made up my mind I brought the turbo and figured a turbosmart actuator will give me reasonable boost control for my mild street build.



Next on the list was to sort the intake manifold pictured above.

The first step was put the IAT sensor into the intercooler pipe rather than at the back of the intake manifold. This was the original location, simply tapped the sensor into the 3mm aluminium.


Punched holes were drilled out for the new vacuum boss.


Then since I moved the vacuum lines to under the intake I had to do something about the horrid assortment of once again tapped holes in the end of the intake. (SAD FACE)



And lastly the borage or issues that surrounded the throttle body. Mainly the fact that it didn't sit flush to the surface as mentioned in the post above with the other little issues. I had my good mate Shannon at PRO CNC Ltd knock me out a new flange complete with o'ring seal machined in.



And another addition to my wiring tools I was stoked to get a nice new stop for my wire strippers. By eye is one thing, repeatable it awesome.


Hey man, keep up the good work, I'm still following your build! I love the fact that you aren't chasing a specific HP number but instead you want a responsive setup. Too many people wants 500hp out of an SR20 for a daily driver, then end up being disappointed when they have literally no fun under 4000rpm...

Btw, where did you get that stop for you strippers? How does it attach?

Its a genuine part from Ideal. I have the ideal Stripmaster 45-092 and the wire stop part number is L-5270.

To fit it you remove the screw that locates the bottom blade in and the textured screw has a grub screw in the end of it to thread into the now available hole.

I ordered mine from Element 14 in AUS, but if you search this part number you should find it elsewhere also.

Even though that car is half caged it is still just for fun. Not drag, drift, race prep just fun daily. It is so light in the back end it can't make use of the power it has in any of those applications. I am sure these mods will result in more than the 200wkw it made on the last dyno run but much more and I will run into gearbox failure with not a lot of options for a stronger box without more serious chassis modifications which just doesn't fit this build.

So been too long between updates mainly holidays and all that.

So I have been struggling with the car electrical system trying to learn / teach myself about other circuits not covered in the HPA courses. I have turned my attentions to three key areas.

1/ Headlights. This is relatively easy but packaging for the wiring / switches / relays is being worked out. Mostly there now on this front which has left me with a few considerations that I should have sorted with more research in my initial phase. Problem I encountered was the switching of the relays in my pre configured fuse box is not going to work for headlight circuit. So I need one external switching relay to get the headlights to work. No big deal just an oversight.

2/ Alternator. This has been a little confusing but I think I have worked thru this one too. Nissan 3 wire alternator. So far this is what I have worked out. Wire 1 "charge" wire which is to be wired back to the starter solenoid which is where the battery cable finishes from the boot to engine bay.

Wire 2 "Sense" wire which is to be wired back to the positive side of my power distribution.

Wire 3 "warning" wire which is to be wired via a Diode and a 3w min. incandescent warning light bulb to highlight the charging system isn't working. (however the bulb is not required but the diode is a must)

3/ Wiper motor assembly. This one was a head scratcher since I can't even confirm if the motor I have is from this car originally. So I have a 5 wire wiper motor that never auto parked which was a huge pain in the ass. Along with it having a push pull two stage Hi/Low switch that meant you needed impeccable timing to park the wiper arms at the bottom of the window consistently. So I set about trying to get the thing to auto park, with several hours trolling thru the internet and watching youtube clips I got to the stage you see below. Motor attempts to auto park but carries on. Luckily I got to this point and asked for help, the solution was just to add some load to the motor and it auto parks. Great success.

Only thing to do now is translate my switching into relays so I don't run full power thru the switches I will eventually be using.

So I have sorted the wiper motor, one thing off the list and bolted back into the car for the final time.

I setup a test with switches and switching relays to get it to work without using the switch to supply power to the wiper motor which is how it was originally in the car. Packaging the added relays for this and the headlights is next thing to sort but I know how it works!


So just sheathed the wires on the motor and put a DT plug on so it can be easily disconnected and taken out should the need arise.


Deliberately been putting off the radiator update. I have a plan of attack now so hopefully this part comes together without too many problems.

So with limited space from the radiator to the port into the head for the coolant I have had to consider routing options. I like the way Nigel at ETS has dealt with this in his v configuration on the PS13. (pictured here)

So I have been gathering materials to make my own radiator fill pot and mounting it in the engine bay. Should look cool and be totally functional. Will update when I have it all welded up.

Another small update, Thanks to Adam @ Link ECU for the part recommendation I have a IACV for the corolla all sorted now. Just another thing that was overlooked in favor of just get it going type mentality I guess. So now I have this nice Bosch IACV so hopefully get this back together and running like a factory car should.

Yay for cold starts.

So this is still all happening just slowly in the back round. I have picked up the new radiator reservoir, no filters or finishing being applied just raw from the welder and I am stoked.

Will get some mock up pictures tonight when I get home to show how it is going to be fitted. But for now so happy to have another piece checked off the list.

Really enjoyed reading through this and you can see how well HP Academy has taught you and how well you've taking the info with that harness mind! It looks top notch!

Looking forward to the next update.

Thanks Martin, been some ups and downs and certainly made a fair few mistakes buying the wrong thing / impulse buying only to discover it is not going to work to not all smooth sailing. But at least I want to share it as I get things done so others can see that the average person can get this stuff done.

I really want a Tig welder now and do the ETS Fab course.

Brian, do it mate! It's going to save you a lot of money and time.

I've welded for most of my able to life, don't skimp out on a machine is my #1 advice buddy, I have in the past and it costs you more in the long run. When looking at a TIG welder make sure you buy a AC/DC welder as you want to be welding in AC with aluminum to clean the pool on the opposite pulse. You also need to think about you welding environment in regards to access, is it all going to be bench work or will you be in and around the car welding? So you may want to look at an additional torch that has the start on the torch as well as the pedal. Gas wise you guna burn through a lot so opt for a gas that's going to cover the majority of your intended jobs.

YouTube is a grate place to start learning to get an idea! Get to know you equipment, cups, tungsten ect. You'll probably hear to start wit a 5 or a 6 cup when learning but honestly, go for a big see-through gas lens and a stubby kit, learn with what you'll use I say! It's the same for what you'll be making/working on, there's no point welding lap joints in 5mm plate when you'll be working with 1.8mm pipe. Lay a few passes on think plate learn how to manipulate the pool ect when to dab when not and where. Once you have the figured jump straight onto your cheap pipe and you'll get the hang of it. Look at the correct way to grind your tungsten, if you ever dip it, grind it! Always make sure your work is clean, then clean it some more, acetone is definitely your best friend and keep your equipment material specific too! Never cross contaminate.

It really is the case of practice practice practice and don't be afraid to experiment.

What's next on the agenda for the car then?

Whats next is

- Pull the motor and box so I can do some chassis work.

- Delete the brake lines in the engine bay while I have the engine out

- Sort out all the locations for bulkhead connections

- Add new welded earth stud on the front chassis rail

- New mounting points for the radiator reservoir

The list is huge at this point as I want to get the best out of this car. So even this list is a drop in the tea cup. Should have my replacement manifold shortly so I can start a mockup of the exhaust system along with the intercooler plumbing that I will need to replace after relocating the turbo position.

I have a very lengthy list of other stuff I want to tackle as well as a list of things I must do for certification here in New Zealand.

First step of the above done.

- Pull the motor and box so I can do some chassis work.

- Delete the brake lines in the engine bay while I have the engine out

- Sort out all the locations for bulkhead connections

- Add new welded earth stud on the front chassis rail

- New mounting points for the radiator reservoir

So I missed one step in this build which was to make some engine lift points as I only have access to an engine lifter no hoist.

So some cardboard aided design to water cut and painted items.

I began this weekend with another item on the list, getting the bulkhead connections done.

Would you look at the state of the firewall. Looks like someone "massaged" it with a sledge hammer. More panel work :(

But this is how the day started out. Original engine looms, battery cable ran thru this hole with no grommet I might add.

To this. HD30 connector for wiring harness. Amphenol stud for battery cable.

Slapped some primer on just to protect the metal in the mean time until I get this bay blasted.

- Pull the motor and box so I can do some chassis work.

- Delete the brake lines in the engine bay while I have the engine out

- Sort out all the locations for bulkhead connections

- Add new welded earth stud on the front chassis rail

- New mounting points for the radiator reservoir