Turbocharging the Nissan MR20DD Engine! Part one, the External MR20DD Architecture

We will take oil for the turbo from this passage.  The return will be into the side of the block or the pan if we can get it high enough.

Looking at the odd exhaust manifold with the siamized center ports, we were getting some ideas.  If we modify the stock manifold it looks like a turbo could fit pretty nicely. The stock manifold is fabricated steel and easier to modify than traditional cast iron.  The manifold is odd, but its better than a log manifold. We have made plenty of power with log manifolds in the past.

Since this motor is going to be for off-road use only, it looks like if we cut the cat off we can add an adaptor pipe. So we can position the turbo to neatly take the catalytic convertor’s place and put the downpipe right in the same position as the stock exhaust. For better packaging, we will be using internal wastegate.

Now that we have looked at the external features of the MR20DD to see what we would have to do to turbocharge the engine, in our next segment we will look at the engine’s internals to determine its suitability for turbocharging and high performance. Stay tuned – stuff is going to become more interesting!



  1. This is the kind of content I hope leads to more new cheap fun cars. Nissan had a project 370Z a few years back that turned out to be very similar to the new Z. Fingers crossed this leads into a new Sentra SE-R or, fingers crossed, a competitor to the Twins.

  2. OK, love it… obviously I can’t fault playing with known enthusiast cars (in good, detail oriented ways) but doing something Good And Weird is stuff I live for. Look forwards to seeing where this goes! And also wondering how temperature tolerant that EGR valve is, because I’ve been thinking about air bypass antilag lately…

  3. I’m willing to bet it has pencil thin connecting rods.

    Is Nissan trying to find another easy opportunity to over-advertise their cars?

  4. I just purchased this car. Gave up my dream car for a while.
    It’s an interesting car.
    Have you thought of super charging it instead of turbo charging it?
    Or does Nissan only want to see how a Turbo would work out.?

    And congrats, having Nissan contact you for this project must feel pretty darn awesome!

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