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View Full Version : RB20det swap?/Reliability?


Cody47
02-10-2012, 06:53 PM
Im thnking about doing an rb20det swap and i want to know how reliable the engine is and what to look for when buying one. i got an s13 hatch. just looking to see how they are so if you got some info thatd help me out, it would be much appreciated. i already found a motor and tranny setup within driving distance, just need to know if its worth the drive.......

thankyou

Jtuned_andy
02-10-2012, 07:15 PM
The stock swap is easy enough if you buy the right mounts. No matter how you dice it up, you'll be spending X amount more dollars to replace parts and upgrade it when you want to than an SR or RB25.

The only reason to buy an RB20 is to be 'different'...some people take that either as a good thing or bad thing. I initially bought my RB20 because it was a couple hundred cheaper than an SR20. Most 20 swaps i've seen are hack jobs, I guarantee that yours will be too if you go this route just by asking these questions (no offense) but the learning curve of an RB is much different than SR/KA

Jtuned_andy
02-10-2012, 07:18 PM
That being said, they are smooth as hell when they run. Power band isn't punchy like an SR and you CAN get MOST of the parts you will need. Want to run a forward facing manifold? Shell out $1,000 and time and resources installing it PROPERLY. Want to upgrade the turbo parts? Find a T2 flange and 6 bolt o2 housing because they are RB specific parts unless you buy a $1500 manifold from a real fab shop because all your choices really are ebay manifolds made with coke cans in a Burmese cave that dont fit AT ALL.

Don't boost past 8psi stock or if you upgrade exhaust and intake it will spike to 10psi and at 14psi your ceramic turbo impellers will detonate.

CantSTOP
02-10-2012, 08:00 PM
^^Did you use the stock ka radiator? And did you run a fmic?

wrgibson
02-10-2012, 08:08 PM
I've been DDing an RB20 swapped hatch for a couple of years. With that being said, I've had minimal problems with it. I swapped it myself using an R32 x-member instead of a mount kit and also did the wiring myself. The only problems I've had with the engine have been the coilpacks. I replaced them with some SuperSpark coilpacks and have been running great ever since.

Do all the maintenance on the engine BEFORE you drop it in...I'm talking timing belt, idler and tensioner pulleys, oil pump, water pump, etc. It is also a good time to replace the rubber water lines under the intake manifold as they are quite the bitch to get to once the engine is in.

The stock exhaust manifold is T3 flanged, not T2. RB20s boost to 10-11psi stock, RB25s are 7psi. I run my stock at 13psi and haven't had any problems...that's not to say that I won't in the future. Stock turbos are shit but cheap to replace. My RB20 makes good enough power to break loose 245s on a heavy ass 17x9.5 in second gear without the clutch....and I live at 6500ft. If are down near sea-level you could expect quite a bit more pep than I'm getting.

My opinion is that if you are OK with having less than 300hp, get an RB20. If you think you may want 300 or more, get an RB25. 25s are close to 300hp in stock form and are easier to upgrade for big power.

Jtuned_andy
02-10-2012, 08:18 PM
^^Did you use the stock ka radiator? And did you run a fmic?

KA koyo rad and a FMIC yes. You'll need to run pusher fans because no room inside the bay for fans. Crank pulley is like 1.5inches from the radiator

You'll also have to knock in the trans tunnel to clear the starter bulge or else you'll have problems stuffing the engine into the bay. I also run Mckinney mounts.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/388327_3065021233341_1497817245_3158743_1032659538 _n.jpg

CantSTOP
02-10-2012, 09:02 PM
KA koyo rad and a FMIC yes. You'll need to run pusher fans because no room inside the bay for fans. Crank pulley is like 1.5inches from the radiator

You'll also have to knock in the trans tunnel to clear the starter bulge or else you'll have problems stuffing the engine into the bay. I also run Mckinney mounts.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/388327_3065021233341_1497817245_3158743_1032659538 _n.jpg

WOW! Clean set-up! I'm having problems with my fmic, seeing where I should cut near the battery location and thinking of removing the crash bar to make it fit. And my 3 row megan racing rad doesn't fit T__T. Oil cooler I got with my swap has one short line, and thinking about deleting power steering(previously sohc). T_T :rant:

Charky87
02-10-2012, 10:01 PM
thats a clean ass set up andy! and about the intake manny, godspeed has some for $2-300 they dont look to bad either. looks better then the ISIS intake manny IMO.

N2HIFI
02-10-2012, 11:57 PM
thats a clean ass set up andy! and about the intake manny, godspeed has some for $2-300 they dont look to bad either. looks better then the ISIS intake manny IMO.

i wouldn't worry about a front facing manifold, unless your making over 350 it wont make a difference other then in the distance of your intercooler piping. Basically trying to make over 350-375 on a rb20 throws anything that resembles reliable out the window .. trannys and bottom ends start exploding

But if your looking for a very fun and typically reliable swap for less money then a SR then the rb20 is the way to go.. I have a rb20 swapped s13 and love this motor and chassis combo.. my swap is basically stock .. FMIC,3" down pipe and wasted spark set up (stock coil packs are usually junk) and stock 10 psi. My car has been together going on 2 years now with almost zero mechanical issues and i drive my car regularly on the street, drive to all events (typically 5hrs away 700 mile round trips) beat on the car all day long doing 3rd gear clutch kicks and still able to drive car home and get 25 mpg.

Honestly my swap after it was all said and done (all parts and fab work done) i came out less then what a complete SR swap done to the same level would have cost me and my car makes the same power to the wheels as a sr but my car is ALOT more fun to drive due to the power band and sounds AMAZING ..... inline 6 sounds FTW

Basically any swap can be reliable OR unreliable depending on how far your willing to go to make sure your swap is NOT a hack job.


PIC of my swap just cause
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y61/n2hifi/240SX/rb20hoodlessNM.jpg

eklips3
02-11-2012, 12:39 AM
I gotta chime in on this thread :D

its a really fun swap no matter how you put it together, whether you go crazy with your build or you keep it stock to mild upgrades.
I've had this motor/chassis combo in my s13 for years now and i love it, powerband is so fun and i daily and drift my car competitively. I beat on the motor as much as i want and i have so much confidence in it, before my rebuild and after ( not cause i blew the motor ) and i have even more confidence with a mild rebuild. I mean as long a your sensors are in good working condition then the motor will have zero problems and if you take care of it and change the oil like you're supposed to, it'll last.


heres pic of mine of the last two years.

Before
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l21/rbpwns25/100_3195.jpg
After
http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l21/rbpwns25/rbwitht3t4-1.jpg?t=1328942126
please excuse the above pic. i was just finishing up and i have no more recent pics.

Charky87
02-11-2012, 07:47 AM
Those are some clean set ups! I'm working on a RB25 right now that I am planing on bringing back to the states with me when I leave Japan. But don't know what I'm gonna swap it into yet.

fliprayzin240sx
02-11-2012, 11:15 AM
Those are some clean set ups! I'm working on a RB25 right now that I am planing on bringing back to the states with me when I leave Japan. But don't know what I'm gonna swap it into yet.

Stick it in an S14...thats what I'm doing. Sold all my SR shit before I left and brought back an RB25. My damn RB25 is still packed up with my TMO.

Charky87
02-11-2012, 09:42 PM
Stick it in an S14...thats what I'm doing. Sold all my SR shit before I left and brought back an RB25. My damn RB25 is still packed up with my TMO.

Lmao! I hate TMO they take for ever with every thing! But yeah the 14 shell would be the easiest to swap it into, but I'm more of a PS13 kinda guy if I can find a vert 13 I would swap it into that shit. So you just pcs'd from oki? Had any problems tmo'ing your RB? What you pack it up in?

s14-rb20det
02-13-2012, 09:30 PM
400hp http://img859.imageshack.us/img859/6606/img0093oi.jpg

StryfeS13
02-13-2012, 09:34 PM
^ That is a nice RB20 man. Have you had any problems with that maf being so close to the turbo?

s14-rb20det
02-13-2012, 09:39 PM
^ That is a nice RB20 man. Have you had any problems with that maf being so close to the turbo?
thanks, never have problem with that maf

fliprayzin240sx
02-13-2012, 11:10 PM
Lmao! I hate TMO they take for ever with every thing! But yeah the 14 shell would be the easiest to swap it into, but I'm more of a PS13 kinda guy if I can find a vert 13 I would swap it into that shit. So you just pcs'd from oki? Had any problems tmo'ing your RB? What you pack it up in?

Took the valve cover, cams and the oil pan off and stuck the whole engine minus accessories in one of the large wheel-less black box from the BX. Ones that is designed to look like bench on top. Went to Makeman and added caster wheels on it so I can push the bitch around.

No issue with TMO or the movers...I grease the wheel when the movers showed up. Had 5 cases of 30 pack budweiser sitting for them at the door and they literally took my whole car minus the shell. I had seats, wheels, suspension, diff, engine, tranny and a whole s14 kouki front end in my back yard.