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Back to what you what you missed. Last month we announced Castrol's Top Shop Challenge to find out who can build the most powerful motor. The gauntlet was thrown and 2NER and our sister publications (Super Street, Lowrider, Eurotuner, Sport Compact Car, Modified and Turbo) rose to the task of picking an engine and finding a shop to build it. Once all said and done, the motors will be shipped off, slapped on an engine dyno and put through its paces. One winner, six losers, correction: one winner, six very sore losers and bragging rights for all eternity to the victor. Sounds like a daunting task, right? That's where the shop comes in.
Founded in 2003, G-Dimension over in City of Industry, CA is expert in all things Nissan. They live, breathe and eat SR and RB motors. In fact the owner, James Chang, is one of the first to ever in the US to successfully complete the SR20DET swap back in March of 1995. When the rest of So-Cal was obsessed with B-series in Civics, James had a zenki S13 240SX powered by a J-spec turbocharged 2.0L. A genuinely nice guy, James and his head mechanic, Stephen Rhim tout a rare character that most mechanics lack: honesty. They both lack the ability to spit bullshit and working with people you can trust is an intangible, yet oh-so important asset that no gauge can measure.
Beyond personality, G-Dimension has the experience and know-how to step up the challenge. They've worked on Formula D drift cars, built magazine featured vehicles, wrenched on time attack rides and troubleshot plenty of cars plagued with gremlins. A one stop shop, they have the capability to fabricate, assemble motors and tune.
Once we decided to go with G-Dimension for the challenge, different motors were discussed. What about using the stout RB26DETT for its raw turbocharged power? Or how about going with a newer normally aspirated VQ35DE? We finally settled on the SR20DET for its proven abilities and more importantly for the rules concerning motor size.
To account for varying sizes and number of cylinders in different motors, Castrol came up with an equalizer to judge the contest: horsepower per liter. That is, take each setup's total power output and divide it by the liter size of the motor. Now a small four-cylinder can effectively hang with a V8 motor. For example, a stock 6.0L LS2 engine putting out 400 hp would make 66.67 hp per liter, while a 1.6L B16A cranking 160 hp from the factory makes 100 hp per liter whooping domestic ass.
How about turbos or superchargers? Castrol's also taken into account forced induction by multiplying the engine size by two. Taking the B16A from the previous example, if we were to turbocharge the 1.6L producing 320 hp, because of the multiplier, the engine size would count as a 3.2L (warning, multiplication ahead: 1.6L x 2) resulting in the same 100 hp per liter. To compensate for the boost penalty, fuel is allowed up to 100 octane, however methanol or water injection is not allowed.
Besides peak horsepower and torque, the competition will also measure power under the curve, have to last a 30 minute drive cycle and be judged by a panel of three experts on build quality and craftsmanship.
Taking all of this into account is how we came to the SR20DET conclusion. At 2.0L the motor's displacement is relatively small compared to a six or eight cylinder option and the SR has huge power potential. Stock S15 Silvias equipped with the blacktop SR20DET made 250hp, but with a bigger turbo, built motor and adequate fuel, SRs have made well within the 600 hp range. We're attempting 800 (emphasis on the, "attempting").
How are we going to try to achieve such farfetched goals? By building the bottom end for sure. A ported head with aggressive cams are also a necessity. A turbo or maybe two. Hours of tuning definitely and a whole lot of Castrol oil. Sounds almost feasible, right? After all, Qin Shi Huang had the Great Wall of China built and Brian Austin Green somehow scooped up Megan Fox, what's that compared to cranking 800hp out of a SR?