What happened to my SR20VE? So Weird !! - SR20 Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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What happened to my SR20VE? So Weird !!

Hi everyone,
I just came out of a very difficult racing weekend!
Three weeks ago, we took the engine out of the car since we've had to remove the transmission, so we could take care of that front plate oil leak ( was under the head gasket where it meets the chain cover ), and to install the N1 cams. Everything went great, the engine was pulling strong till Saturday Morning when we went on the race track to finalize our set up. We are using an MSD controller so we wanted to try the different chips to set the best RPM for the VVL to kick in.

We started having an issue once the VVL Kicked in. You could hear the sound change but no power. The solenoids are ok, they get the signal, but no power. We also realized that the oil pressure was low. We use Total Synthetic 5W40. The Mechanic that used to work on the car before we bought it, advised us to use some thicker oil such as 20W50.

We did but didn't solve the problem. After two qualification laps, the engine overheated super fast so I went back to the pits. When it cooled down, we started the engine and it was knocking. Went Back to the shop, pulled the oil pan to see particles from the crankshaft bearings. All that looked like a bad oil pump. So we spent the whole night replacing the oil pump and the crank bearings.

Fired up the engine, wonderful oil pressure ( 80PSI cold ) was still low at idle but it have always been this way, took the car back to the track right before the second race on Sunday. Took the start with the same issues and exactly after two laps, the exact same things happened. Overheat, Knocking lower end.

I can't find the link between:
the lack of power when the VVL Kicks in and the overheating, and specially the lower end suffering from it.

Sorry for the long story but here I think the details matter. So frustrated.

Need you guys thanks !!

1992 Nissan Sentra B13 with SR20VE Race car
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 01:14 AM
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5w-40 oil is alot better than 20w-50 for a ve. buy the right full synthetic oil, with a SN rating, an you should be fine. mind you, if your racing, invest in an oil cooler quickly. the ve's piston oil coolers will run the oil past 120 deg C pretty quick racing. at that temp, the oil will degrade quickly

whats maybe happening is the motor is getting hot, and the ecu is then pulling timing and running on the knock maps to preserve itself. sort out the cause of the overheating, could be a simple bleed needed (air bubble) or thermostat blocked.

most n1 cams like 5000-5500 rpm as a change point. changing before that could result in lower power.

check the water pump's fins are still good?
double check the cam timing
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Last edited by sss4me; 12-30-2016 at 01:23 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you SSS4me for your precious advice,

an oil cooler definitely is an excellent investment specially in racing situations.
My Knock sensor is not plugged cause we are using stronger engine mounts which transmits more vibrations that could foul the sensor.

I see your point regarding the overheating, but the power issue on VVL occurs even before the engine reaches high temps which makes me believe the hot temp to be a consequence of the initial issue that is still undiscovered.

What do you think?

1992 Nissan Sentra B13 with SR20VE Race car
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 05:21 PM
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you have a wide band or access to a dyno? check the afr's.
then check the normal stuff. cam timing, plugs/leads/rotorcap. make sure the cooling system is right.
maybe invest in a live tunable ecu
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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No I don't have access to a dyno!

The cam timing is ok.
When we've installed the N1 cams, we've used the exact same chain links that's been used with the OEM cams ( IN 10 o'clock and EX 12 wish to me looks more like 1 o'clock, but to make sure, we checked on the net and all the pictures found looked the same). And remember that the engine ran perfectly for a few days.

All the other normal things also look ok.

Could it be lubrication related !

1992 Nissan Sentra B13 with SR20VE Race car
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