Awesome … or Sacrilegious! Meet the Nissan NX K24 Swap.

2020 was not a good year for the NX GTi-R. 2021 looks like a fantastic year. While the aero work completed in the early spring of 2020 was looking good and track use demonstrated that it was effective, the pandemic meant that the Knox Mountain Hill Climb was canceled for the first time in about 60 years. Local time attack events were canceled. The Canada/USA border was closed so Canadians were not able to attend Global Time Attack at the amazing Ridge Motorsport Park in Shelton, Washington. And a dyno run demonstrated a significant loss of power with the 54c SR20DET. A smart man would have pulled the engine right then, but I chose not to. Instead, I assumed that the engine wouldn’t be hurt much more when only running a few events during the bizarre summer schedule that 2020 brought about. Then I started gathering parts for a winter project in which a VE head – which I had owned for several years – would be installed on the GTi-R block.  That all changed in early January 2021 when, upon tearing down the engine to begin the VE swap – the block proved badly damaged. It could have been sleeved. A DE block could have been sourced. But this was just devastating news. It wouldn’t be the NX GTi-R with a VE head and a DE block! I chose not to sleeve it, but to go in a completely different direction.

The decision to do the K swap was made around lunchtime; that evening I received this photo from AES Auto with a K resting in the engine bay. Talk about inspiring! The entire project took several months!


I was at AES Auto when I got the news. Paulo and I sauntered down to the banks of the Fraser River while we pondered this revelation and considered options. I’ve done this walk a few times with Paulo and, in the past, with his pug Taz. It is Paulo’s refresh and refocus walk. The walk to get energized. This walk, however, was for me and to update me on the findings. You need to know, I have owned a ton of Nissans – B13, B14, Versa, & Altima. I’ve owned several Mazdas. I’ve owned domestic vehicles. But I have never owned a Honda automobile. Paulo knew that this was the decision at hand; he knew that this damaged SR20 just might be the tipping point for me. It didn’t take long before a decision was made. Paulo has long wanted to drop a K engine into the NX’s engine bay and now he had the green light to make it happen. On my way home I called my buddy James Houghton and asked his opinion – the enthusiasm over the phone for the swap was incredible. Please note, Nissan/Datsun aficionados, that this is not a KA24 swap. Some jumped to that conclusion in an earlier social media post but that is quite wrong. This was a complete platform jump that you will either consider to be awesome … or sacrilegious! It’s possible that you may not be able to make up your mind. Regardless, meet the NX K24. 2021 looks like a good year for the NX K24! The Nissan 54C SR20DET is out and the Honda K24 is in.

The 54c SR20DET from the Pulsar GTi-R was my dream engine. I’ve said previously that the NX should have come from the factory with this as an optional engine. With 359 whp it was an incredible ride – but it seriously couldn’t handle the heat. It also hated the 3rd gear to 2nd gear missed shift that I made while racing up Knox Mountain Hill Climb back in 2018 – surprisingly the one clean run that I made took me to a first in class finish. But the head was scrambled from that shift and that was the start of my engine woes. It was my fault and I admit that. I’ll also admit that I pushed this engine beyond what should have been expected of it.
The move from the empty engine bay to the fully installed and functioning K24 required weeks of work, moments of incredible frustration, and then the thrill of victory the moment it fired up! You’re right – that is a billet Nismo oil cap on the Honda K24’s valve cover.



    1. Upgraded, thank you so much. You’re very aware of the struggle that I’ve had the last few years. And know that a lot of thought went into this decision. Thanks so much for introducing me to AES Auto!

  2. This K24 engine is simply silly fast. WHP drop from 360 to 280 – but at the first track day I was out all day and as long as I wanted each session with temps barely rising. I haven’t had a day like that with the DET ever.

    1. It’s like Honda put the things it learned in the past into the K24 and made available in many platforms — Decent power, good reliability with potential for upgrades.

  3. I don’t think we got a final pic of the subframe, but it seemed like there had to be more crossbracing than the one bar with the motor mounted in it, right?

    Also, that’s a 4-2-1 header that’s installed.

    Hey, congrats on the build. It should be bulletproof.

  4. A little sad to see the SR go, but nothing better than having a track car that just works every time and nothing to think about! 280whp on a mustang is plenty of power. It would probably trap 115-120mph in the 1/4.

  5. And for reference, my old B14 SE-R with T25 and JWT S3 cams put down 250whp on a dynoject and trapped 110mph. The poor stock VSLD wore out which made the car about worthless on an auto-x. Not too bad on a road course with big enough turns to keep from lighting up the inside tire.

    1. Khiem, sorry that I missed your posts. I haven’t had it out to the 1/4 yet as I’m worried about the axles. I’ve lost Nissan axles in the 1/4 and they were relatively available so I wasn’t worried. These axles are one off and, while I’m having a second set built, I don’t want to risk them just yet. The M-Factory LSD is absolutely keeping the power down in corners, so I’ll have to get out to an autocross (just never been my forte), and just a few weeks ago I put down a personal best at my local track. Besting the SR20DET’s time by half a second.

  6. Cool to see someone throwing a K series in an NX.
    I currently have the only known Nissan Pulsar NX with a K series.

    1. Well Done! I think there are now more than one B13 chassis with the K series, but at the time this was the first running one that I knew about. Do you have some pics of yours?

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