RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

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RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:02 pm

So my daily driven SOHC isnt really cutting it as far as power and its a tired ole motor with roughly 160K on it. Burns a bit of oil but still runs and drives fine.

However by springtime I need to have a decent power plant that will help me have a bit more fun with this daily / track / drift car.

Im planning on picking up some coilovers in the upcoming weeks, already picked up a Z32 LSD thats gotta get put in, got some Z32 calipers/rotors sitting around, will be ordering some energy suspension bushings etc. Only thing the car will really lack will be power.

I dont need anything monsterous as my S14 with the KA-T will be me high horsepower cruiser / drag / fun car. I just need a bit more kick for my daily and some power to kick the rear end out.

So in a nutshell I was debating on the options and rebuilding my spare SOHC + turbocharging it will run a decent amount of the green $$$. I know that the RB20DET motors are fairly cheap, easy to install and will put out decent enough power for roughly the same cost as an SR swap.

So those of you that have them / have driven / know someone that has one:

  • how much did it cost you to install it,
  • what parts did you use,
  • how do you like it?
  • hows the reliability factor?
  • was it worth the time/ effort etc.


Thanks for chiming in.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by 240sxguy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:51 pm

I am of the opinion that there is no reason to install an RB20det. Either 25 or larger, or SR20DET.

Saying the cost is the same is definitely a stretch IMO.

Reliability is just as good as any other proper swap.

Owning a 25, I can't imagine a smaller motor.

Evan

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by LongGrain on Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:53 pm

buymysr, back when it was stock it was still faster than my friends lightly modded RB20... now it has cool go fast shit

oh and you can buy my coilovers too

/thread

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:36 pm

Well from my understanding the cost of a shipped RB20DET is roughly

$1300 - shipped motor

$100 - R32 cross member

Custom wiring, KA driveshaft, and possibly a mount kit for roughly $200.

Thats $1600 for a 2.0 L I6 with 200 hp roughly the same as an SR. Add a few bucks for a recalibrated tach and your done.

An SR on the other hand will run around the same or a bit more and will have roughly the same amount of power out of the box so to speak.

Thats the only reason why I am looking into it. That and it seems like an interesting swap. Even though for a while I was against the idea since im very much for turbocharging the KA. If I had a lot more cash on me id rock an LS1. That to me is the best swap an S-chassis can get.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by LongGrain on Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:51 pm

so you're just going to buy some junkyard motor and throw it in without freshening it up at all? thats the worst idea ive ever heard.

and dont forget you'll need a fuel pump, radiator, fans, hoses, front mount, DOHC power steering lines and resevior, not to mention all the other shit you SHOULD get when prepping a motor thats been sitting in a junkyard for who knows how long.

my motor has everything needed to swap, and plug and play 300whp...

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:59 pm

I know that basic maintenance is always required. Water pump, timing belt, thermostat, possibly coils, spark plugs etc.

As far as fuel system its a piece of cake, I can get a walbro for $70 all day long and its 2 wires to splice. Radiator and fans and hoses id have to upgrade regardless of engine. And the DOHC power steering lines and radiator I have laying around my pile of 240 parts.

either way its all a few bucks extra that would cost me regardless of engine that I am putting in.

I am merely trying to compare whats more cost effective and what gives the better bang for the buck.

And I seen your post. I am not interested in an SR, if I was gonna spend that much on an SR, I might as well buy a smashed up 98+ Camaro off an auction and do an LS1 swap. It will run about as much as an SR20 swap with a few bolt ons.

Im merely looking to get something that is comparable to the power I can expect from a turbo kit on a KA. I can piece one together anytime of the day and I have had experience with many KATs. I just wanted to try out something different.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:03 pm

LOL im trying to get input from people who own one.....

I dont want you to try and sell me on your SR.

This IS NOT A WANT TO BUY SR thread,

its a YOUR OPINION ON AN RB thread!

THANKS!
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:07 pm

240sxguy wrote:I am of the opinion that there is no reason to install an RB20det. Either 25 or larger, or SR20DET.

Saying the cost is the same is definitely a stretch IMO.

Reliability is just as good as any other proper swap.

Owning a 25, I can't imagine a smaller motor.

Evan

I get what your saying. But im not looking for mad power. If I was to spend the money on an RB25 or 26 engine id rather drop the cash on a V8. Stable power band, low end torque with no need for fancy fuel management or upgraded turbos. Not to mention super fitment.

Im just looking for an alternative to a turbo kit. Otherwise I might as well take my spare SOHC, replace the headgasket with a nice MLS one, throw in some ARP head studs, possibly better pistons, fresh gaskets, some injectors, a wally, a Stanza ECU, N60 MAF, and rock a nice T28 or small t3/t4 turbo setup with a cheap FMIC and call it a day.

But like I said, i want to try something I havent had yet.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by 14k on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:31 pm

When u come over drive mine
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by 240sxguy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:46 pm

^ Best idea right there.

I don't think the 20 is a bad motor, don't get me wrong.

If your master plan is LS? or whatever why don't you just wait and do the swap you want to begin with? Always cheaper in the long run. If you can do it for the price of an SR swap, I would LOVE To see you do it.

On the other hand if your goal isn't "mad power" why are you even doing a swap? Isn't the KAT capable of your hp goal fairly easily?

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:04 am

240sxguy wrote:^ Best idea right there.

I don't think the 20 is a bad motor, don't get me wrong.

If your master plan is LS? or whatever why don't you just wait and do the swap you want to begin with? Always cheaper in the long run. If you can do it for the price of an SR swap, I would LOVE To see you do it.

On the other hand if your goal isn't "mad power" why are you even doing a swap? Isn't the KAT capable of your hp goal fairly easily?

Evan

I have a 95 240SX with a KA-T. This is for my 89 SOHC 5spd daily driven coupe. And yes its more then capable. but I wanted to c if I can do it for about the price of a turbo kit. Since the motor isnt in the best shape I would have to rebuild it and then put a kit on it, which will run more then the price of swap.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by 240sxguy on Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:03 am

I am just playing devils advocate here and you should do whatever you feel is right for your situation.

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by u2chuki on Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:10 pm

boost the sohc =]
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by ricefest on Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:14 pm

my sr wtih t25 stock setup exhaust fmic and boost set to 11psi ate rb25's.

ghey thread.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by 240sxguy on Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:04 pm

Stock boost, unmodded rb25s are turds IMO.

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by WhatsADSM on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:46 pm

# how much did it cost you to install it
My RB20 I did sort of right and threw on a few mods at the same time. I think it cost maybe 4000-5000 all said and done.

# what parts did you use
I got a complete motorset. Used the R32 crossmember and stock KA driveshaft. For performance mods I had a turbo upgrade, custom turbo adapter/FMIC/exhaust/intake, injectors, piggyback, and clutch.

# how do you like it?
It was fun. Nothing astounding, but it was pretty quick and I was a kind of poor college kid so I was happy with what I had.

# hows the reliability factor?
Fair. As good as you can expect with most used JDM engines honestly. Biggest problem was replacement parts were a little hard to find and expensive once you found em.

# was it worth the time/ effort etc.
Honestly no. I could have done the same thing with less effort and money had I done a KA or something. Part of my reasoning at the time was that it was different (which it was years ago).

If you go with an RB20 I think the following parts are all left out of your list and are a must have:
- Fuel pump
- Clutch
- FMIC & IC Pipes
- Custom Exhaust
- New timing set
- New hoses and belts


OP it sounds like you are confused about the true cost of a swap, no matter what engine (sr, rb, LSx)... Sounds like you think all 3 are much less than the true cost. Having a pretty good amount of experience with RBs (owned a 20 and 26), along with friends that have owned LSx and SR swaps... they all cost much more than what you are quoting to do it correctly.

Having said that this is my personal thoughts (keep in mind again I have owned a 20 and a 26)

low end power/cost best value: KA-T is my first choice, then RB20 second
Mid end power/cost best value: RB25 + mods, second choice SR + mods
High end power/cost best value: LSx with light mods, second choice RB26 + light mods.

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by ricefest on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:30 pm

WhatsADSM wrote:
low end power/cost best value: KA-T is my first choice, then RB20 second
Mid end power/cost best value: RB25 + mods, second choice SR + mods
High end power/cost best value: LSx with light mods, second choice RB26 + light mods.

all of that is wrong..
complete sr swap and a ls1 swap are pretty much the same price saying you do it yourself...
parts for ls1 are cheaper then SR..
rb25 is the most expensive shit around to do..

now if your talking about labor with that list that u made.. you're still wrong.

RB swaps will be under LSx swaps..

but ka-T would be first then ca then sr and so on...
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by ricefest on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:31 pm

DBL post.
DBL chees burg w/ktch n mac sauce.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by xDABSx on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:50 pm

buy a finished car because its like you get all the cool shit free.motorswaps are hella expensive say you buy

sr swap $2000
2871r $1000
turbo lines and clocking adapters $150
zmaf $100
injectors $400
ecu tune $400
exhaust $400
front mount $400
intake $100
radiator and hoses $300
fans $100
clutch $300
mounts $300

thats around $6000 +labor just for 300hp sr.you would still need a car to put it in lol and you basically need all those parts no matter what swap you do unless you wanna ride stock

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:10 pm

All the prices you just quoted are way above what I get my parts for or for that matter many of the parts priced way more then what I would even pay in the first place.

Also, just to clear things up, ive been in the game for along time. Ive had my first 240 since 2003 and that was back when I wanted an SR. Ive had a KA-T for 3 years now. This is just an option for my daily driven S13, which was a $300 car that i bought with a blown head gasket off that one for sale thread on Chicago Area 240.

As far as labor I do everything myself or with the help of a few people so labor is no factor. I also tend to buy used parts as you get better value out of them.

I get parts dirt cheap. I just picked up a Z32 MAF with pigtail for $25. Heres how I would price out your list dabs:

sr swap $2000
2871r $1000 - Way overpriced, not needed
turbo lines and clocking adapters $150 - no need.
zmaf $100 - $25 already in my garage,
injectors $400 - top feed conversion $150 for rail + 100 for used domestic style injectors
ecu tune $400 - Calumsult - $280 shipped + free tuning
exhaust $400 - 1 pack of coronas a vibrant muffler and Velasquez Muffler shop special piping - $150 bux + Coronas
front mount $400 - prob only $300
intake $100 - what intake? LOL home made / Ebay baby!
radiator and hoses $300 - 180 for radiator - a few more for hoses.
fans $100 - 60 bux
clutch $300 - about the same but using a custom DXD clutch
mounts $300 - what mounts? STOCK KA mounts

I just dropped the overal price by a couple thousand.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by xDABSx on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:19 pm

Good for you I was talking about quality parts tho.And since you know so much why even start a thread

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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:45 pm

xDABSx wrote:Good for you I was talking about quality parts tho.And since you know so much why even start a thread

I get what your saying, quality parts cost, but not all "quality parts" are worth the price, nor are they as bad ass as they seem. HKS is a perfect example of how they take regular off the shelf Garrett turbos, add a HKS sign, polish the compressor housing and sell it with roughly a 600% markup.

Same case with any Japanese brand injectors, which will run roughly 2x the price of an equivalent domestically made injector. Exhaust systems for turbo cars are restrictive and are only needed for sound control, hence why a good resonator and decent muffler is all thats needed and the rest can be custom piping.

Im not trying to come off as a dick, but all I cared to know was what people thought about their RB20 motors from their personal experience and here I am getting a bunch of people trying to sell me on an SR swap, which I wouldnt do because id rather rebuild a KA and turbo it if I was going to go the 4 cylinder route. LS motor swaps on the other hand will run pretty highly but how much you get your motor and trans for is what tips the scales. I have access to crashed cars from auctions and that makes it that much cheaper rather then hunting one down on the forums or on Ebay. But im not gonna turn this into an LS swap thread. But if i had a lot of extra money laying around thats the route I would take. I might eventually do that on my S14.

All im saying is that an RB20DET is about as complicated to swap as an SR, cost a bit less intiially since the RB20 go for at least a $1000 less then a decent SR and provide a cast iron block with bucket lifters and 2 extra cylinders. That alone is a selling point over an SR. Granted the SR has a much bigger market for both performance parts used and new as well as OEM replacement parts. But im not looking to build a crazy sick engine. Im looking for a ballsy stock motor with a few bolt ons that will cost about as much as KA-T. Only drawbacks to the RB that im seeing is the difficulty with replacement parts and the fact thats its an older engine. Other then that it seems like a dooable swap.

I guess the next few months will tell. I still have to get some coilovers and a few suspension components before I can dish out the money on an engine. In the mean time my buddy is gonna boost his SOHC and ill see how that drives. Maybe ill change my mind. Who knows.

But those with RB20s please keep going. I appreciate all the input and information.
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:50 pm

ricefest wrote:my sr wtih t25 stock setup exhaust fmic and boost set to 11psi ate rb25's.

ghey thread.

Just for reference are you referring to DiPumas RB25 powered red S14 or rather should I say the one he bought from Jorge ?
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by u2chuki on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:31 pm

again...

Boost the sohc!!
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Re: RB owners (mainly 20det) please talk to me!

Post by boostin240 on Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:54 am

u2chuki wrote:again...

Boost the sohc!!

Well the good thing about SOHCs is that they are easy to work on, plentiful and cheap parts, low compression already, and cant go wrong with 2.4 L of displacement. A while back Jordan Gladman did a pretty sick setup on a high mileage SOHC and it held up awesome!
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