|Check out these old wheels. Believe it or not in their day these 15″ wheels were an improvement over the stock 14″ SE-R wheels.|
Note from the author: These articles and this project started in the spring of 2002. As such some of this content may be somewhat dated but hopefully it’s still enjoyable to read. Despite their age, these articles serve as a brief guide for installing a turbo kit. When possible we've updated sponsor links and we've edited the articles to freshen the content. New articles are planned for this project in the future. Enjoy!
In our last article we covered an introduction of Project Sentra SE-R. Building a turbo kit that will make respectable power and have quick boost response is a challenge. Thankfully other SE-R owners have been down this road before. Still, being the types of people we are here at MotoIQ we're always looking for bigger and better, or in this case more power and quicker boost response. Our goal is to have the boost response commonly found in the T-25/T-28 turbos but achieve the high peak hp (400 wheel hp) possible in the Turbonetics T3/T04E turbo.
To accomplish this high horsepower goal, we went to SE-R turbo gurus Rob Cadle and Mike Kojima. They both agreed that the next step for an SR20 turbo kit is to start with HKS and their GT line of turbos. HKS supplies their turbine housing and utilize a Garret compressor wheel and housing to produce a truly unique product. These turbos represent the latest designs for an off the shelf type turbo and are only surpassed by racing applications in terms of technology. Garrett's design also incorporates a true ball bearing center section that surpasses Turbonetics single bearing. It uses two ball bearings in a floating cartridge that help damp out damaging shaft harmonics that lead to turbo failure. This bearing also helps spool up of the turbo, reducing unwanted boost lag and requires less inertia to spin the turbine wheel.
|HKS' awesome GT series turbo will be good for approximately 400 wheel hp on race gas.|
We selected the GT 3037 because of its similarities in terms of performance to the T-3/T04E that has been used in other big turbo SE-R applications. The T-3/T04E has been very successful in terms of providing high horsepower numbers and great driveability with the SR20DE. We'd like to improve on what has been done already, having a turbo that will spool-up even quicker, provide a more linear boost curve and produce about the same peak hp levels.
The GT 3037 uses .60 A/R T04E Garrett compressor housing. Rob selected a 52 trim compressor wheel in this housing because of its broad efficiency range that reaches close to 78% through 20 psi of boost. The wheel is of more modern design than the Turbonetics T04E and has significantly higher mechanical limits, meaning it can spin faster without destroying itself. This wheel choice should also be good for achieving our desired peak hp goal and quick boost response.