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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I was thinking about getting a SE-R, and would like some feedback. First off, I've heard that the engines in these cars are can't break them if you wanted to(within reason). I was just wondering how much you guys/gals like(or love) your cars.

I used to own a '95 Nissan pickup with the KA24E engine...4 years and 115,000 miles later, the engine ran like new. I drove this truck like I hated it...redlining on a daily basis, 3-4k neutral-drops(it was an automatic), etc. I got into 7 accidents (only 1 was my fault), so I got rid of it...too much bad luck.

Just wondering if the SR20DE will be able to stand up to the same or worse treatment. I actually take good care of my engines. I use Mobil 1 10w30 and a Mobil 1 filter every 3k, flush the coolant, change the belts/dist. cap/rotor/plugs/wires every 25k, etc...I just like to drive hard. I would probably end up turbocharging it.

Basically what I want is a high 12 sec car that is somewhat reliable, and can pull 1g in the turns.

I currently own a '99 Honda Prelude, and I would never be able to get that kind of performance out of it for quite a long time, since I pay about $500 + $200 insurance every month.

Please post your suggestions, your mods, your timeslips, pics of your car, etc.

Also, if there are any other forums about this car, I'd love to know about them!

Thanks, and sorry about the long post.

· Registered
133 Posts
Long posts get you thorough answers, son't sweat it. Everyone is helpful around here, it's the Nissan way. SE-R's are bad-ass my friend. I'd recommend getting one although I can't give you all the reasons. The reasons span from the fact that fewer people are driving them (no trend wagon here) to the fact that the SR20 is one of the strongest motors around. The SE-R is a wonderful sleeper, dependable as hell and now that Nissan is making engines like the SR20VE and the QR series, the engines are going to be beefier, too.
My question is: why wouldn't someone want to own a Nissan?
As far as dependability goes...what Honda motor can be daily driven with a true 100 shot on it?
My only warning is that some parts are more expensive because the aftermarket isn't as big as you're used to with a Honda. However, this is countered by the fact that Nissan aftermarket stuff is usually made better.
Good luck and I hope to see you back here with an SE-R soon,

· Registered
267 Posts
The SR20 block is very bulletproof. You can't blow it unless you do something really stupid like squeeze NOS on 87 octane or something like that. The car loves to be redlined everyday, its actually healthy for it. I beat the crap out of my car pretty much everyday. The Sentra SE-R actually has a little more power than the 200SX SE-R. Both cars are perfect sleepers. They'll easily take 100 shot NOS with stock internals. They have a solid block, unlike Honduh's open deck. No timing belt which means you don't have to worry about replacing one. One thing to look out for if buying a Sentra SE-R is 5th gear popout. Its a common problem with the older SE-R's. Handling is a dream, even stock. I took a pair of opposing curves near my house at almost 90mph (yeah yeah yeah I was stupid), the Honduh's that were following me could only muster 75. I dunno if its because they're not as stupid as I was or scared or whatever but I love the way it handles. Anyways hope that helps.


3,601 Posts
The first couple things I like to tell/show potential SR20 owners are these:

1. Ryan Besterwich's car is a 96? 200SX SE-R with an Fmax turbo kit.
392hp and 367lb/ft of torque. STOCK INTERNALS.
This is currently his daily driver.

2. The late Matt Kempe's road racing story. If that's not a testament to the potential of ours cars then nothing is.

The 9 months I have owned my car, not one person has had a negative thing to say about it. This past weekend I hung out with a guy with a 90 Eclipse turbo with some free mods done to it. Took me a ride in his car and I took him a ride in mine. His car pulled a bit harder, but he said he though my car was VERY close to being as fast as his. He didn't have time to race, but he thought it would be very close.

I beat on my car all I want (as I'm sure MANY of do) and it's still craves more. I've driven a friend's Civic Si. The power at the very top is about the same as the SE-R, but it doesn't come on til about 6.5k. The "power" in the SR20DE comes on at around 4k and builds upto that, not an immediate flood at that speed like the B16. I have swapped a 91-93 intake cam in my 98 and the powerband is WIDE and HUGE. I love the engine.

Here's my dyno curve before the 91 intake cam. This is stock with open airbox and 20 degree timing:

Add around 9hp and 6ft-lbs with that $100 used cam I got, a bit broader powerband, and a LOT more grins

Also go to and search for "project sentra" and see what Sport Compact Car has been doing with the project Sentra SE-R and project 200SX SE-R.

Where are you located? Maybe one of us is somewhat near you and can take you for a spin?

· Registered
1,688 Posts
Well, I had a Nissan pickup with a KA24 also, and I beat it to hell also! After selling that I bought a coworkers NX2000 (that's the coupe version of the sentra se-r, sorta).. Well this car had 180k on it when I bought it and I've been driving it daily and autocrossing it and I have had NO problems. As far as handling, well when I bought it the suspension was far from stock and I can run pretty fast around the auto/x course. Soon I'll be getting coil-overs and then this thing will fly!

Oh and I have enough faith in this 180k engine to take it to the track for the SE-R vs ClubSI shootout. Buy a Nissan. Enjoy the Ride.

· Scary monkey windmill
291 Posts
It's true about the engines. They are really bulletproof. Mine has 115,000 miles on it and it still rocks the house. I recently dynoed at 130 HP to the wheels, my only mod is a chip. I'm about to do a major turbo project that'll put me in the 400+ HP range, and I expect that to be reliable as well.

For high 12 second times, you can either do NOS or a turbo kit, like the FMAX kit. You can make it extremely reliable, not just semi reliable. The SR20 can take a hell of a lot of punishment, it doesn't start sweating until you go past 500 HP. I know a couple people whos SE-Rs run low 12s, and they've been that way for a couple years now... on completely stock engines. All you have to do is make sure they don't overheat and detonate and it'll last as long as you want it to.

As far as handling, well, the Prelude has one distinct advantage over the SE-R... it can fit bigger/wider wheels than the SE-R can. So looking only at ultimate grip, I think you can get more out of a Prelude than an SE-R... simply due to the wheel/tire width limitations. But that's not to say you can't get an SE-R to do over 1g... not at all. There are a number of extremely good suspensions available for the SE-Rs, using coilovers and GABs or AGXs, or Koni inserts, etc. And there's all manners of swaybars, strut bars, bushings, camber/caster plates etc... almost everything you can do suspension-wise is available for SE-Rs now.

If you're in the L.A. area, or in SoCal, let me know, I'll take you for a ride. Also, if you want, show up for the Club Si vs. shootout at Buttonwillow Raceway on the 30th, there'll be plenty of people to talk to there. Dunno if you're in SoCal or not though.
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