datsun 510 / 1600 sr20det conversion

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180xs 1/2 Cut
sr20det ECU Modifications
sr20det 180sx 1/2 Cut
I have chosen the sr20det motor which is found in the Nissan 180sx and silvia sports cars. For the moment, I am retaining the stock T25g turbo and all engine internals are untouched.

I bought a 1/2 cut from Rolin Automotive, and was and still am extremely happy with my dealings with them. They were 100% professional before and after the purchase.

Pics of the 1/2 cut below:

 sr20det 180sx half cut  sr20det 180sx half cut  sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut
  sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut
  sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut   sr20det 180sx half cut  


Once the engine was out of the 1/2 cut it was time to do a trial fit in the datto. I knew the engine would fit after seeing numerous other 1600's with this engine conversion, it was a matter of checking how the engine would sit and how much room there would be in the engine bay and also to measure up how much to cut out for the gear stick.

The mounts didn't quite fit, so I used some 10mm round bar to make up some spacers as you can see in the pic below.

sr20det datsun 510 conversion sr20det datsun 510 conversion sr20det datsun 510 conversiondatsun 510 sr20det conversion engine in

Ok the last image (on the right) is from the very first start. Everything was just bodged together. I use electrical tape to connect the intercooler pipes and fuel was taken from a can with the battery sitting right next to ie :) Nice and safe!

After the trial fit, the engine was removed once again and the engine bay painted. With the engine bay painted up it was now time to plonk the engine back in (this was meant to be the last time i put the engine in but ended up having to re-fit the engine another 3 or 4 times~!!! ).
datsun 510 sr20det motor in with painted engine bay!  datsun 1600 sr20det intercooler pipes hooked up datsun 1600 sr20det installed

The gearstick from the sr20det sits back alot further than the original datto one so a little cutting was required. This proved to be a very simple procedure, simply jack up the gearbox and mark out where to cut.

Quite a bit had to be cut out ~150 to 200mm longer than the stock datto gearstick location.

datsun 510 sr20det engine conversion

I used a volvo 740 type intercooler.
The reason being is price which was ~ $200 and also the fact that Cam Mckinnon ( has used this same intercooler quite successfully.

The volvo I/C is quite a bit larger than the stock sr20det unit, so i'm hoping that it will provide better cooling.

Fitting required alot of cutting (see pics). I cut out most of the radiator support panel and 2 areas near the headlights. I also had to grind alot of material off each headlight. So much that a support was needed to be welded in to stiffen up the radiator panel.

The intercooler pipes were made up out of 2 1/2" mandrel bends on the turbo side and 3" mandrel bends on the TB side.

The intercooler is enormous, fuck I love going over the top with things. Just makes it that much more interesting.

datsun 510/160 sr20det intercooler  datsun 510 sr20det intercooler fitted  datsun 1600 sr20det intercooler intake pipe
Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo

Well I went and bought myself a new turbo (Garret GT2540R to be exact). Yes I know i've got it in the title, I just like saying it. Oh man I can't wait to get this thing hooked up. I can't believe how big this turbo is - I know there's the TO7's etc but fuk me sideways this thing is HUGE. TO4 housing is ENORMOUS! Datsun 510 + sr20det + Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo = Grin from Ear to Ear!!!

I bought the Garret because it has a small exhaust turbine enabling it to spool up on my sr20det at lower revs (well here's hoping anyways).

garret gt2540r ballbearing turbo  garret gt2540r ballbearing turbo  garret gt2540R ballbearing turbo

As it is the datsun 510 is a real handful to keep from burning up tyres and with the addition of my beautiful GIGANTIC Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo it's going to be an absolute monster!!!

But it won't get installed until I get time to sort out some larger injectors, install the 300zx MAF that I have and get the sucker engineered properly. Ahhh no matter how many times I say it, I never get tired of it. I own a Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo - I own a Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo - I own a Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo.

I can't wait to teach mr bridgestone a thing or two!

Garret GT2540R Ballbearing Turbo Tech Specs
Ball Bearing. <- Yeah Baby!
Turbine Housing: 0.86a/r.
Compressor Housing: 0.70a/r.
Internally Wastegated.
Rated: 440hp.
Flange: T25/T28
Datsun 510 Induction

I have a pod filter for the current induction setup. I've also made up piping to allow for the pod to poke out infront of the left front wheel (see pics). In the quest for cold air - don't want any of that under bonnet hot air ruining my chances of gaining more hp :)

I know, first thought it splash back and as yet i've done nothing about this. I am in the midst of sorting out a guard(see my drawing) The drawing is very basic but you get the idea. There will be a small opening in front whilst the rest of the splash will box in the pod to protect it from splash back.

datsun 510 splash guard  datsun 510 pod setup   510 custom pod setup   510 custom pod setup

if you are planning on doing this - it's actually not such a difficult job to undertake. All you'll need is a grinder pr hole saw the same diameter as your piping (3" in this case) and a bit of inner door trim.

Simply work out exactly where you want to make the hole and either use your hole saw to make the cut or do like I did and make 4 cuts (in a square shape) and simply file it back by hand. The metal is very easy to work with as the datto's body is very thin. Now once you have the hole sorted grab the piece of inner door trim and simply clip it on the inside of the hole.

Why add this? Well for a few reasons, it will stop an annoying metal on metal sound(piping hitting the car body and also help to seal and hold the piping in place (make it a snug fit).

sr20det ECU Modifications

Due to all my other modifications and planned future modifications combined with my lust for more power I have had the standard ECU modified.

There is a huge debate over whether you should go after market or stick with standard and for me it worked out both cheaper and alot better to modify existing.

Anyways - I got my ECU modified by Pete Liebig from the sr20transplants group, Pete is a genius when it comes to electronics and has developed some very impressive hp numbers from tinkering with the original fuel maps (he really knows his stuff).

sr20det modified ECu

The above image shows you the daughter board that has been added to my ECU. The daughter board contains 4 fuel/air maps and the little pad on the left allows for changing between fuel/air maps on the fly.

The maps I have currently in place are as follows :

- valet mode which basically restricts speed to 60km/h and revs to 3000rpm. Great for when you have to drop your car off at a shop/mecanic/road worthy/engineer.
- standard map but optimised for running 14psi of boost (good for everyday driving).
- Drags map - runs a richer mix to extract a little more hp and maybe run a little higher boost
- Hot day map - for those of you not in Australia it gets pretty how here and on a hot day the old sr20det can ping it's pants off. So this map is good to protect the engine from harm on those hot summer days.


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