Nissan SR20DE

Nissan SR20DE engineThe Nissan SR20DE is a 2.0 l (1,998 cc, 121.92 cu.in.) straight-four gasoline engine from SR-family manufactured by Nissan Motors sinse 1989 to 2002. This engine was used in over 15 Nissan medium models. The Nissan SR20DE replaced old CA20 engine wuth cast-iron cylinder block.

The SR20DE has an aluminum cylinder block and head, DOHC design (four valves per cylinder with two camshafts driven by timing chain) and multi-point fuel injection system. The SR20DE cylinder bore is 86 mm (3.39 in) and piston stroke is 86 mm (3.39 in), compression ratio rating is 9.5:1 for engines before 2000 (Red Top and Black Top) and 10:1 after 2000 (Roller Rocker, RR).

It produces from 115 to 165 PS (85 to 121 kW; 114 to 162 HP) of horsepower and from 169 to 192 Nm (17.2 to 19.6 kg·m, 124.6 to 141.6 lb·ft) of torque.

There was a more powerful version of SR20DE from Autech Japan. The compression ratio, the valve timing, the throttle, and ECU have been modified.

The Autech SR20DE produces:

  • Nissan Primera P10: 180 PS (132 kW; 177 HP) at 6,800 rpm and 192 Nm (19.6 kg·m, 141.6 lb·ft) at 5,600 rpm
  • Nissan Lucino B14, Puslar N15: 175 PS (129 kW; 173 HP) at 6,800 rpm and 186 Nm (18.9 kg·m, 137.2 lb·ft) at 5,200 rpm
  • Nissan Silvia S15: 200 PS (147 kW; 197 HP) at 7,200 rpm and 214 Nm (21.8 kg·m, 157.8 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm

The Nissan SR20DE engine modifications:

  • Red top or High port – the first version of this engine had a red valves cover. This engine was producted since 1989 to 1994. It had a camshafts with duration of 248° on intake valves and 204° on exhaust valves, valves lift were 10.0 mm (0.39 in) and 9.2 mm (0.36 in), respectively. The exhaust system had 45 mm (1.77 in) in diameter.
  • Black top or Low port – the early version of this engine was available only in 1994. This version had new cylinder head with revised inlet ports, new camshafts with 240° of duration and 9.2 mm (0.36 in) of valves lift. The exhaust system had 38 mm (1.50 in) in diameter.

    In 1995 the intake camshaft was changed. New camshaft had 232° of duration and 8.6 mm (0.34 in) of valves lift.

  • Roller Rocker, RR – a number of modifications have been made in 2000. The SR20DE was equipped with roller rockers, new camshafts with 232° and 240° of duration on intake and exhaust valves, respectively. The intake valves lift were 10.0 mm (0.39 in) and exhaust valves lift were 9.2 mm (0.36 in). In addition, the engine had a shorter on 3 mm (0.11 in) valves, new valve spring, light aluminium pistons, new lighter crankshaft and short-length intake manifold. Compression ratio was increased to 10:1.

The breakdown of the engine code is as follows:

  • SR – Engine Family
  • 20 – 2.0 Liter Displacement
  • D – DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts)
  • E – Electronic Fuel Injection

General information

Engine Specifications
Engine codeSR20DE
LayoutFour stroke, Inline-4 (Straight-4)
Fuel typeGasoline (petrol)
Production1989-2002
Displacement2.0 L, 1,998 cc (121.92 cu in)
Fuel systemMulti Point Fuel Injection
Power adderNone
Power output 115 PS (85 kW, 114 HP) at 6,000 rpm
130 PS (96 kW, 129 HP) at 5,600 rpm
130 PS (96 kW, 129 HP) at 6,000 rpm
135 PS (99 kW, 133 HP) at 5,600 rpm
140 PS (103 kW, 138 HP) at 5,600 rpm
140 PS (103 kW, 138 HP) at 5,800 rpm
140 PS (103 kW, 138 HP) at 6,400 rpm
143 PS (105 kW, 141 HP) at 6,000 rpm
145 PS (107 kW, 143 HP) at 6,000 rpm
145 PS (107 kW, 143 HP) at 6,400 rpm
150 PS (110 kW, 147 HP) at 6,400 rpm
160 PS (118 kW, 158 HP) at 6,400 rpm
165 PS (121 kW, 162 HP) at 6,400 rpm

Autech engines:
175 PS (129 kW; 173 HP) at 6,800 rpm
180 PS (132 kW; 177 HP) at 6,800 rpm
200 PS (147 kW; 197 HP) at 7,200 rpm

Torque output 169 Nm (17.2 kg·m, 124.6 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
172 Nm (17.5 kg·m, 126.8 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
173 Nm (17.6 kg·m, 127.6 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
178 Nm (18.1 kg·m, 131.3 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
179 Nm (18.2 kg·m, 132.0 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
181 Nm (18.4 kg·m, 133.5 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
186 Nm (18.9 kg·m, 137.2 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
188 Nm (19.2 kg·m, 138.7 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm
192 Nm (19.6 kg·m, 141.6 lb·ft) at 4800 rpm

Autech engines:
186 Nm (18.9 kg·m, 137.2 lb·ft) at 5,200 rpm
192 Nm (19.6 kg·m, 141.6 lb·ft) at 5,600 rpm
214 Nm (21.8 kg·m, 157.8 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm

Firing order1-3-4-2
Dimensions (L x W x H):685 x 610 x 615 mm (27 x 24 x 24.2 in)
Weight139 kg (306 lbs)

Cylinder block

Cylinder block
Cylinder block alloyAluminium
Compression ratio: Red top and black top (1989-2000): 9.5:1
Roller Rocker (2000-2002): 10:1
Cylinder bore:86.0 mm (3.39 in)
Piston stroke:86.0 mm (3.39 in)
Number of piston rings (compression / oil):2 / 1
Number of main bearings:5
Cylinder inner diameter (standard):86.000-86.010 mm (3.3858-3.3862 in)
Piston skirt diameter (standard):85.980-85.990 mm (3.3850-3.3854 in)
Piston pin outer diameter:21.989-22.001 mm (0.8657-0.8662 in)
Piston ring side clearance:Top Red top and black top (1989-2000):
0.045-0.080 mm (0.0018-0.0031 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.040-0.080 mm (0.0016-0.0031 in)
Second Red top and black top (1989-2000):
0.030-0.065 mm (0.0012-0.0026 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.030-0.070 mm (0.0012-0.0028 in)
Oil Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.065-0.0135 mm (0.0026-0.0053 in)
Piston ring end gap:Top Red top and black top (1989-2000):
0.20-0.30 mm (0.0079-0.0118 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.20-0.39 mm (0.0079-0.0154 in)
Second Red top and black top (1989-2000):
0.35-0.60 mm (0.0138-0.0236 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.35-0.59 mm (0.0138-0.0232 in)
Oil Red top and black top (1989-2000):
0.20-0.60 mm (0.0079-0.0236 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002):
0.20-0.69 mm (0.0079-0.0272 in)
Connecting rod small end inner diameter:24.980-25.000 mm (0.9835-0.9843 in)
Connecting rod big end diameter:51.000-51.013 mm (2.0079-2.0084 in)
Connecting rod center distance:136.30 mm (5.647-5.650 in)
Crankshaft main journal diameter:54.974-54.980 mm (2.1643-2.1646 in)
Crankpin diameter:47.968-47.974 mm (1.8885-1.8887 in)
Crankshaft center distance: 47.2 mm (1.858 in)
or
42.96-43.04 mm (1.6913-1.6945 in)

Tightening procedure and torque specs

Main bearings (from center to sides):

  • Step 1: 32-38 Nm; 3.3-3.9 kg·m; 24-28 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 45-50° or 73-82 Nm; 7.4-8.4 kg·m; 84-61 ft·lb

Connecting rods cups:

  • Step 1: 14-16 Nm; 1.4-1.6 kg·m; 10-12 ft·lb
  • Step 2: Turn all bolts 60-65° or 38-44 Nm; 3.9-4.5 kg·m; 28-33 ft·lb

Flywheel to Crankshaft:

  • 83-94 Nm; 8.5-9.6 kg·m; 61-69 ft·lb

Cylinder head

Red Top High Port (1989-1993)
Cylinder head height:136.9-137.1 mm (5.390-5.398 in)
Valve timing:INTAKE248°
EXHAUST240°
Valve head diameter:INTAKE34.0-34.2 mm (1.339-1.346 in)
EXHAUST30.0-30.2 mm (1.181-1.189 in)
Valve length:INTAKE101.19-101.61 mm (3.9839-4.0004 in)
EXHAUST102.11-102.53 mm (4.0201-4.0366 in)
Valve stem diameter:INTAKE5.965-5.980 mm (0.2348-0.2354 in)
EXHAUST5.945-5.960 mm (0.2341-0.2346 in)
Valve spring free length:49.36 mm (1.9433 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE38.408-38.598 mm (1.5121-1.5196 in)
EXHAUST37.920-38.110 mm (1.4929-1.5004 in)
Valve lift:INTAKE10.0 mm (0.394 in)
EXHAUST9.2 mm (0.362 in)
Camshaft journal diameter:28.000-28.021 mm (1.1024-1.1032 in)
Black Top Low Port (1994) – only differences
Valve timing:INTAKE240°
EXHAUST240°
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE37.920-38.110 mm (1.4929-1.5004 in)
EXHAUST37.920-38.110 mm (1.4929-1.5004 in)
Valve lift:INTAKE9.2 mm (0.362 in)
EXHAUST9.2 mm (0.362 in)
Black Top Low Port (1995-1999) – only differences
Valve timing:INTAKE232°
EXHAUST240°
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE37.550-37.740 mm (1.4783-1.4858 in)
EXHAUST37.920-38.110 mm (1.4929-1.5004 in)
Valve lift:INTAKE8.6 mm (0.339 in)
EXHAUST9.2 mm (0.362 in)
Roller Rocker (2000-2002) – only differences
Valve timing:INTAKE232°
EXHAUST240°
Valve length:INTAKE98.17-98.63 mm (3.865-3.883 in)
EXHAUST99.09-99.56 mm (3.901-3.920 in)
Camshaft cam height:INTAKE37.775 mm (1.4872 in)
EXHAUST37.404 mm (1.4726 in)
Valve lift:INTAKE10.0 mm (0.394 in)
EXHAUST9.2 mm (0.362 in)

Head tightening procedure and torque specs:

  • Step 1: 39 Nm; 4.0 kg·m; 29 ft·lb
  • Step 2: 78 Nm; 8.0 kg·m; 58 ft·lb
  • Step 3: Loosen all bolts completely
  • Step 4: 39±5 Nm; 4.0±0.5 kg·m; 29±3.6 ft·lb
  • Step 5: Turn all bolts 90°
  • Step 6: Turn all bolts another 90°

Intake Manifold

  • 16-20 Nm; 1.6-2.0 kg·m; 12-15 ft-lb

Exhaust Manifold

  • X-pattern: 7-5-3-1-2-4-6-8 (from the middle out in): 36-47 Nm; 3.67-4.8 kg·m; 27-35 ft-lb

Problems and malfunctions

The Nissan SR20DE is reliable and durable. This engine sometimes has problems with an idle air control valve and MAF sensor.

The engine has a timing chain, their service life is about 150,000 miles of mileage (200,000-250,000 km). The engine is equipped with hydraulic lifters, so valve adjustment is not required The SR20DE motor life expectancy is 250,000 miles of mileage (400,000 km) or more.

Maintenance data

Compression pressure
Standard Red Top and Black Top:
12.5 kg/cm2 (178 psi) / 300 rpm
Roller Rocker:
13.0 kg/cm2 (185 psi) / 300 rpm
Minimun Red Top and Black Top:
10.5 kg/cm2 (149 psi) / 300 rpm
Roller Rocker:
11.0 kg/cm2 (156 psi) / 300 rpm
Compression differential limit between cylinders1.0 kg/cm2 (15 psi) / 300 rpm
Oil system
Oil consumption , L/1000 km (qt. per miles)up to 0.5 (1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil For positively improve fuel economy: 5W-30
For warm and cold areas: 10W-30
For hot areas: 20W-40 and 20W-50
Oil type APISF, SG, SH or SJ
Engine oil capacity (Refill capacity) With filter change 3.4 l
Without filter change 3.2 l
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000 (3,000-6,000)
Oil Pressure, kPa (kg/cm 2, psi) Idle speed: More than 78 (0.8, 11)
3,200 rpm: 314-392 (3.2-4.0, 46-75)
Ignition system
Spark plug Standard: BKR5E-11 (NGK); RC10YC4 (Champion)
Hot: BKR4E-11 (NGK)
Cold: BKR6E-11 (NGK)
Spark plug gap1.1 mm (0.043 in)
Spark plug tightening torque20-29 Nm; 2.0-3.0 kg·m; 14-22 ft-lb

Vehicle applications

ModelYears Produced
Nissan 180SX1991–1992, 1994–1997
Nissan 200SX SE-R1995–1998
Nissan Almera1996–1999
Nissan Avenir1990, 1992–1995, 1997–2001
Nissan Bluebird1989, 1991–1993, 1995–1998
Nissan Liberty1998–2000
Nissan NX20001998–2000
Nissan Prairie Joy1995–1997
Nissan Presea1990–1993, 1995, 1997–1998
Nissan Primera1990–2002
Nissan Pulsar1991–2000
Nissan R’nessa1997–1998, 2000
Nissan Rasheen1998
Nissan Sentra1991–1994, 1998–2001
Nissan Serena1991–1995, 1997–2000
Nissan Silvia1991–1993, 1995-1996, 1998–2002
Nissan Wingroad1996–1999
Infiniti G201991–2002
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3 Comments

  1. I’m at 145,800 in my bone stock 1991 SE-R and the biggest engine malfunction as of yet *just* occurred — two fuel injectors finally went. I thought I had a much more severe issue initially, such as valve, but after replacing the injectors it’s back to its former glory. It’s great.

    The biggest complaint I have is a near-constant high idle at 2200-3500 rpm, but honestly it seems more like a problem with the tach than the motor because it doesn’t sound stressed. Besides that and a subtle complaint about city driving MPG I have nothing negative to report.

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