Ultimate SR20 Rebuild Guide: Part 1 – The Teardown
Cutting open an oil filter
We used an oil filter cutting tool to open up the oil filter. You can also use a chisel to slowly cut it open, but it’s a royal pain in the ass.
Inspecting an oil filter for metal
This filter does have some metal present in it, but it’s not that bad, since this oil filter is only 400 miles old. I noticed that something was going wrong in the engine beforehand, so I was pulling oil filters and cutting them open to monitor the damage.
Magnetic drain plug covered in metal shavings
The drain plug tells a different story however. The magnet has a blob of fine metallic powder on it, which is most likely the ashes of my piston rings.
Removing SR20 valve cover
Anyway, let’s start tearing into the engine. We begin by taking off the coil pack cover, coil packs and spark plugs. Then we can remove the valve cover.
Removing SR20 timing chain tensioner
Now we’re going to start disassembling the valve train. The first step is to remove the timing chain tensioner.
Removing SR20 crank angle sensor
And next, the Crank Angle Sensor.

18 comments

  1. Nikita,
    Huge fan of what you’ve done here! Just curious when youll be blueprinting the engine and doing assembly and posting that back on moto?

    Love it thanks man!
    Ryan

    1. Yes, I’ve broken my pulley using a 3 jaw puller like that before. It can be avoided if you’re careful and make sure to have the puller perfectly squared up with the crank and don’t apply any uneven pressure when turning the bolt.

      1. I’m surprised to hear that. I’ve never had issues, but I guess I’m careful. What type of puller do you recommend?

        1. If I’m not wrong, the correct type is an harmonic balancer puller. That type pulls the pulley with two bolts that go in two threaded holes in the pulley.

          1. Well the problem is SR20 pulleys don’t have two threaded holes in them! That’s why I’ve been using a 3-jaw puller my entire life lol.

        2. A normal 3 jaw puller will work, just be careful with your placement of the arms and make sure not to let the puller bolt shift on the crank bolt. When I broke mine I was removing the pulley while the engine was in the car while trying not to hit the radiator so I had minimal space to work with and was using an open ended wrench so it was hard to not let the puller move around.

          I’m actually in the process of disassembling an engine and had no issues this time around removing the crank pulley

        3. Hello i see that you live in LA and i wanted to know ware you take your block to the machine shop? it looks like i have a rod knock and am looking to rebuild my s14 Sr20det by myself . i would like to toake it to a machine shop that does things right. ware would you recommend me to take it ? i would really appreciate it. Thanks !!! Oh and am looking forward on seen your writeup on how to assemble the engine back.

  2. However, I’m looking at RWD SR20DET crankshaft pulley photos and I don’t see those two holes. I’ve seen them in FWD SR20DE.

  3. Hi I noticed you mentioned you stay out here in la would you recommend me a machine shop to send my block and get it checked. I have a rod knock on my engine and am thinking of rebuilding it by myself for the first time. Would really appreciate the help.. thanks!!!

  4. This write up will help immensely as I’ve never tore down an SR20 before and will be doing it shortly to replace pistons and rods. Thank you for doing this and I can’t wait to see your next post about blueprinting and reinstalling everything!

  5. Absolutely thrilled to find such a well done and current article related to (disassembly) rebuilding the SR20 Part 1 however a little confused in your choice of a second topic in the series!

    Our garage and assembly area are as near yours as possible, actually we are probable several pages ahead of you now however, my son and I are anxiously awaiting continuation into your thoughts and direction on blueprinting and reassembly.

    Is there a planned date for moving forward?

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