The SR20DE is a responsive and powerful four cylinder that has proven to be an excellent candidate for adding power. In recent years, the number and quality of parts for the engine has expanded significantly.
For this installment of Project SE-R, we will bolt on a Generation 5 header from HotShot Performance and move beyond basic bolt-ons by installing Jim Wolf Technology (JWT) cams and a JWT-tuned ECU. Of course, each product will be dyno tested to illustrate the bottom line concerning power output.
Project SE-R comes into this barrage of power mods armed with an AEM intake, a cat-back HKS exhaust system and Unorthodox Racing's pulley set already on the car.
The HotShot header features stainless-steel construction and can be ordered with ceramic coating for added durability and performance. The two-piece proposition fits like a glove and features all the necessary fittings to hook up all related emissions equipment.
We also liked the inclusion of a braided flex joint, which diminishes vibrations that can cause the manifold to develop stress cracks. The HotShot unit has a beefy 3/8-inch flange to guard against warping and the ceramic finish looks awesome.
The Jim Wolf Technology cams are the latest S3 versions dubbed S3-HL that have been refined with 0.015 higher lift, compared to the original S3s. The idle quality of these cams remains S3 smooth with 260 degrees of duration. JWT's Clark Steppler told us, "The S3 is our sleeper cam; butter-smooth idle with a wide powerband. Our bag of tricks is combining short duration and high lift, so the guy next to you doesn't know you have cams until it's too late. There are Japanese-spec cams with greater duration, and we make our S4s that are a bit more aggressive, but on the street the S3-HLs fit the bill."
To make the most of the added airflow generated by the S3s, Jim Wolf Technology has developed an ECU program featuring a computer tuned specifically for the cams and other mods made to the engine. This is not a flash tune or chip swap. The classic SE-R computer is tuned by swapping in a programmable sub-board with proprietary JWT EPROM.
JWT has a cornucopia of tuned maps that can be dropped on the motherboard via the EPROM. If an enthusiast upgrades to S4s, and adds a ported head or a turbo kit, JWT can download the tuning without charging for another sub-board.
|Peak-Power Gains||HP||TQ||HP GainTQ Gain|
|Jim Wolf S3 Cams||142.5||129.2||5.9||2.5|
|Jim Wolf ECU||144.1||130.6||1.6||1.4|
|Total Gain @ Peak||--||--||14.9||7.2|
|Max Horsepower Gains|
|9.8 @ 6600 Header vs. Baseline||17.1 @ 5800 Header/Cams/ECU vs. Baseline|
|9.5 @ 5900 Cams vs. Header|
|11.25 @ 6100 Cams/ECU vs. Header|