Ultimate SR20 Rebuild Guide: Part 1 – The Teardown
Pushing down SR20 rods with mallet
With the rod pushed down, we can now rotate the crank 90 degrees to give us room to stick a mallet handle in there. We use the mallet handle to GENTLY tap on the rod to push the piston out. Be very careful to not scratch the cylinder bores with the rod, and make sure the rod stays straight or else it will break the oil squirter.
Removing SR20 piston
As you tap the piston out with one hand, your other hand should be underneath ready to catch the piston as it falls out.
Damaged SR20 piston ringland
Repeat the process for all other pistons and then start taking instagram pictures of your carnage! Tag @motoiq and @nikita240 in there while you’re at it.
Removing SR20 crank pulley bolt
Now we can disassemble the front cover. We could have done this before we pulled the pistons out, but I personally prefer to keep the crank pulley on as it makes it easier to turn the crank when you’re juggling pistons. We use a pry bar between the main girdle and a crank counterweight to hold the crank from spinning while we zap the crank pulley using a 27mm socket.
Removing SR20 crank pulley with a 3 jaw puller
Next we use a 3 jaw puller to pull the pulley off. You can rent these for free from your local auto parts store.
Unbolting SR20 front cover
Next we removed the front cover bolts in the proper sequence.


  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!

    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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