The Heart of a Record Breaker III: Completing the VVL Head Swap and Engine Assembly


After placing all the shims back in their appropriate place, Nick Hunter installed a new set of factory Nissan head bolts.  

Another necessity to swapping the front wheel drive SR20VE VVL head onto a RWD block is the 20V CAS (Crank Angle Sensor).  The distributor that is used on the other variants of VVL engines simply won’t clear the S-chassis' firewall.  The 20V CAS isn’t easy to find but if you’re in the market, Greg Vogel at G-Spec Performance usually keeps them in stock. 

Nick Hunter installed a pair of Jim Wolf Technology adjustable cam gears onto the end of each of the N1 camshafts. The cam timing was set for 10 degrees advanced and 10 degrees retarded on the intake and exhaust respectively.  Although the popular line of thought is to spread the lobe centers on turbo engines, we tightened the lobe centers to increase overlap and reduce back pressure.  The idea here was to decrease back pressure and promote “blow down,” which expedites turbo response.  

Honestly, we need to spend a lot more time on the dyno to figure out what cam timing this particular engine combination likes; and also, which will result in the best horsepower and torque characteristics for land speed racing.     

The last parts needed to complete the SR20VE head swap onto our SR20DET block were a Mazworx water neck and a custom intake manifold. 

Since factory SR20VE and SR16VE manifolds would both point the throttle body towards the firewall of our 240SX, we had John Kuchta of Specialty Cars fab up a new manifold for our SR15VET.  The intake runners and plenum base were constructed from raw material purchased from Mazworx.  Since the OEM SR20VE 20V intake flange is unique and does not share patterns with any of its VVL predecessors, John Kuchta had to use the OEM intake manifold flange and then port it to size.  


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