NX GTi-R: Vacuum Routing
The advantage of living with five or so months of snow is that there is some time to work on your car to prepare for the next track season. This picture was taken during the first week of March, when the temperature actually rose above freezing for the first time since December. The weather has been awesome for the past week and with luck spring is literally just around the corner – and I am so tempted to post a pic of one of my Eibach springs peering around the corner of my garage! Where are those stick-on eyes?
Those of us who live in the snow belt love when we begin to see the edges of driveways, grass, and gardens beginning to peek through the snow cover. I do not want to know what people who live in year round seasonal weather do – because I am guessing that it is tracking year round – and that would make me quite envious. One of my tasks for this winter was to ensure that all of the vacuum lines on the SR20DET were accurately connected. Small stuff but I have not been positive that it was completed properly. I have put off an accurate setup for too long. While I read tons about this on SR20-forum, I went to my buddy Will at PZ Tuning for the expert's touch. After all, if you miss the small stuff it may damage your car.
If you have read my earlier articles about my car or are a Nissan fan, then you will realize that not all Nissan SR20DET engines are the same. My engine came from a Pulsar GTi-R and bears the 54C designation stamped on the block. Some suggest that this means that it has even more headaches but I optimistically view it as being the best SR20DET built by Nissan. This engine was only used in the Pulsar GTi-R, a three door hatchback, in Japan and Europe. This car was Nissan’s World Rally Championship car in Class A – unfortunately it did not attain the victories that anyone associated with it expected. The headaches often referred to regarding this engine are simply due to the limited availability of parts. The 54C has a quad-throttle body setup, sodium filled valves, solid lifters, unique crank, wider rod bearings, thicker head bolts and flywheel bolts that means parts are not interchangeable. There is more, of course, as the engine was designed to withstand greater stresses that would be found in the WRC. Most notable is the Garret T28 turbo. All in all, a very nice setup.
Mechanically I know that my engine is good to go. Where I had done some guessing in the past was in the area of the vacuum hoses. In 2012 when the engine was out I replaced all of the hoses with silicone hoses. I cannot even imagine doing this in the engine bay of the NX as there's simply not enough room. I purchased a hose replacement kit off of e-Bay, Autobahn88, which covered many of the hoses – including the rad hoses. Then I turned to my friend, Dave Schlueter, who in addition to being my engine builder also accessed silicone hoses that are used in the trucking industry to finish off the task. So you will see that I have different coloured hoses in my engine bay – but they work and often the ‘odd’ colour is even stronger than those that are matched. One of these hoses is the vacuum line that wraps around to the front of the engine and ties into the vacuum header.