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Author Topic: Efficiency  (Read 27718 times)

Offline menassy17

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Efficiency
« on: 12:41:16 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
I have a 1984 200SX notchback CA20E.  I am looking at doing an engine swap, but my goals are different from what I have seen expressed as I have read around the web site.  I want a car that is the most efficient it can be.  By efficiency I am talking about gas mileage as well and durability and dependability. Therefore, I am looking for cost efficient and fuel efficient.

The CA20E was great when the speed limit was 55 mph.  But since the engine lacks much power, the mpgs drop dramatically after 55 mph.  Is there an engine that will have a little more power that will get better gas mileage than the present engine?  Would it also be a dependable and durable engine?  

I am looking at restoring my car to be as "like new" as possible.  I don't necessarily mean like "stock".  I mean that it will be completely ready to perform like a new car which only needs basic maintenance to keep it going.  I want to do body work and interior to the same end.

I had read somewhere that the turbos (CA18ET) of that same year actually had more power and better gas mileage than the CA20's.  That is what sparked my interest in swapping engines.  If what I read is true, it would seem that either the CA18ET or the CA18DET would be good candidates for my car.  But I wanted to see what you more knowledgeable ones have to say about this.

Thanks for any help and guidance you can give me.
« Last Edit: 12:42:59 PM / 23-Nov-08 by menassy17 »

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Offline DjayS12

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Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: 12:48:19 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
If you want something that doesn't need a lot of maintenance, try to stay with a non-turbo engine. A sr20de will be a nice choice I believe, or a ca18de wich you can get almost every parts from any nissan dealer.

Ca18det was never offered in america (correct me if I'm wrong on this) and some parts will need to be imported from europe or japan.

Offline menassy17

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Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: 01:22:16 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Thanks bigjer.

Would a CA18DE have more power than the CA20?  I had not even seen that engine mentioned in the threads I have read.  Was it in a 180SX?

Do you (or anyone else) know what the CA18DE and/or SR20DE do in gas mileage?

Offline asparagus

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Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: 01:25:03 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
I would recommend the ka24e or de. It's so readily available, cheap, easy to swap, decent gas mileage and it's a tank. I have friends who average higher than 25mpg
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Offline Julie

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Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: 01:27:07 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
if im not mistaken, a turbo engine will be more efficient then a non turbo since it uses exhaust gases to make power and in a sense can get more mpg per hp then a non turbo.

either way, any CA engine is a bolt in afair, and all you really need to do is the wiring. swapping a SR into the s12 is a lil more complicated, but nothing that requires more then simple handtools. the real issue is gonna be keeping your foot light on the pedal once you become addicted to turbo surges as its alot of fun lol. id suggest a special type of boost controller that only spools hard when u stomp on the gas, that way you can drive normally and save fuel till you wanna have a lil fun, then u step on it and the boost goes up. its quite cool
« Last Edit: 01:29:27 PM / 23-Nov-08 by julie »


"like people, every car possesses a unique character, with its own DNA, talents, and idiosyncrasies. push it too hard and it'll turn on you, as a person would. if its worth anything, it gets more interesting the more you get to know it"

luck is earned through hard work and determination, not to mention the willingness to take risks and to see bad luck and setbacks as opportunities for growth and a new direction.

Offline asparagus

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« Reply #5 on: 01:28:42 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Quote from: julie
if im not mistaken, a turbo engine will be more efficient then a non turbo since it uses exhaust gases to make power and in a sense can get more mpg per hp then a non turbo.

either way, any CA engine is a bolt in afair, and all you really need to do is the wiring. swapping a SR into the s12 is a lil more complicated, but nothing that requires more then simple handtools. the real issue is gonna be keeping your foot light on the pedal once you become addicted to turbo surges as its alot of fun lol

Well depending on the setup, it doesn't necessarily mean more gas efficient. More air = more fuel
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Offline Julie

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« Reply #6 on: 01:31:47 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
yes, but the turbo also recycles the byproduct of the burned up gas and translates it into power, which the NA engine would let go to waste. as you said, it comes down to setup and such. i think the deciding factor for the thread author will be costs and ease of install, as he doesnt seem too concerned with power and more with a cheap daily driver


"like people, every car possesses a unique character, with its own DNA, talents, and idiosyncrasies. push it too hard and it'll turn on you, as a person would. if its worth anything, it gets more interesting the more you get to know it"

luck is earned through hard work and determination, not to mention the willingness to take risks and to see bad luck and setbacks as opportunities for growth and a new direction.

Offline asparagus

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Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: 01:38:19 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
he's looking for fuel efficiency, not engine efficiency.

e. If you wanna talk about engine efficiency, we could talk about rotaries all day.
« Last Edit: 01:40:13 PM / 23-Nov-08 by asparagus »
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Offline Draconis

Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: 01:39:53 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
I would say for a daily driver setup and not as an aggressive of a tune, that a turbo setup would have the edge on efficiency.  I see this as the reason why many small engines that use less petrol on average than a bigger block can produce a good amount of power without the automatic assumption/use of petrol.  I would almost say that VTec would be a better ideal to work with honestly.

Offline asparagus

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« Reply #9 on: 01:44:31 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Come on guys. ka24e

engine set costs like 200 bucks with trans
easy swap
cheap
readily available
25+ mpg
super reliable

it even has some grunt
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Offline Draconis

Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: 01:46:51 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
I havent seen a KA with 25+mpg.  But then again, that's me and the area i'm around.  Most KAs get low 20s and most are ditched.

Offline asparagus

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« Reply #11 on: 01:48:34 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
My single cam STOCK buddies get 25mpg all day everyday, I'm pretty jealous. But I mean, people are almost giving these engine sets away. So why beat around the bush? Keep it in shape and it's the whole shabang
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Offline Draconis

Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: 01:49:06 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
But doesnt engine efficiency also lead to petrol usage in non aggressive tuned applications?  I'm talking more about daily driver every day styled motor setups.

Offline asparagus

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« Reply #13 on: 01:51:17 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Where are you going with this? I'm already talking about non agressiveness, I'm talking about stock. haha
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Offline Draconis

Efficiency
« Reply #14 on: 01:54:58 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Quote from: asparagus
My single cam STOCK buddies get 25mpg all day everyday, I'm pretty jealous. But I mean, people are almost giving these engine sets away. So why beat around the bush? Keep it in shape and it's the whole shabang

Okay.. that's just one example.  I would be jealous too.. but I wouldnt say that one example can express what the line of engines can do.  Randy up here got in the high 20s/low 30s with his VG30E and it has over 300k miles on it.  Both my VGs only got mid 20's and didnt have nearly the mileage he has.  Granted, he has an upgraded coil setup and intake but besides keeping it maintained and stuff.

As for keeping the motor in shape and such... wouldnt that count towards the motor's efficiency?  Keeping a motor at it's peak efficiency and stuff for any engine will increase it's mileage and performance regardless.  If you want to compare to other engines, yeh, we should talk about rotary engines... but then you have to think about the upkeep costs of one and compared to a single cam KA, the KA wins hands down.

Quote from: asparagus
Where are you going with this? I'm already talking about non agressiveness, I'm talking about stock. haha

I was referencing to post 6 where you said depending on the setup/tune.

Offline menassy17

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Efficiency
« Reply #15 on: 01:56:21 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Thanks for your input Asparagus and Julie.

Going a little further then.  If I went non turbo, what set up would increase efficiency?  It is my understanding that not much can be done for gas mileage except maybe a change in exhaust.  If so, what would be the recommendations for each of the suggested engines (CA18DE, SR20DE, KA24E)

From Julie's suggestion, what is the best set up for a turbo CA engine for efficiency.  Julie, what you described is right on as far is my ideal is concerned.  Can you be more specific about the boost controller (name or whatever)?

Btw, Julie, you don't have to worry about a lead foot here.  When the car was new I got 45 mpg on the road even though the car was rated at something like 38 mpg.

With regard to bigjer's comments about maintenance of turbo, how much more maintenance does a turbo normally require?  I don't mind a little maintenance here and there.  But I don't want a continual headache!

Thanks again.

Offline rage

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« Reply #16 on: 01:57:37 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
KA's definitely get between 25-28

CA's might get better mpg just due to the obvious displacement difference 600cc's give or take

TX > CA

Offline asparagus

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« Reply #17 on: 01:57:45 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Well I mean, by keeping it shape, I simply meant things like making sure you have enough oil in it and parts that aren't broken. Stuff like EGR check engine lights will actually cause the engine to run richer, etc etc etc. Things like that should be kept in check, but that applies to every engine right? If it works like it's supposed to, it's "the whole shabang"

But if the vg30 is getting upwards of 30mpg, that sounds like a definite option too. But it would require a vg crossmember
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Offline Draconis

Efficiency
« Reply #18 on: 02:02:38 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
For an NA engine I would suggest you keep it well maintained as far as tuning.  Maybe play with the timing just a bit to help accommodate the stock rich setting the factory tends to put on the car.  Intake and exhaust and such.  Maybe a MAF but depends on what engine you are running with and the following ECU with it if it is applicable.

Quote from: asparagus
But if the vg30 is getting upwards of 30mpg, that sounds like a definite option too. But it would require a vg crossmember

True, but I wouldnt count on one example.  I've owned 3 VG cars and 4 VG engines in them and none of them got that with any reliability.  Only a couple hit it and it was more freeway in a particular param.  I would go KA over the VG if you are looking for fuel efficiency.  About the same amount of power, easier to swap the maintenance cost is less.

Offline menassy17

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Efficiency
« Reply #19 on: 02:14:22 PM / 23-Nov-08 »
Thanks to you, too, Draconis.  I really do appreciate the discussion.  I am listening.