What made you choose the CA

Discuss topics related to the CA18DE and CA18DET series engines.
cadet18
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Car: 89 s13 coupe ca18det

What made you choose the CA

Postby cadet18 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:52 am

Just wanting to see how people came across owning their CA's. What made you pick this motor over others, or did it just happen by chance.

I got mine when looking to replace my single cam KA in my 89 240sx hatch which i had blown, rebuilt for high compression and given up on. I was looking through craigslist and came across the whole swap for $900. At the time i didnt even know what the CA was. After looking into it i scooped it up and put it in my car. a few months later, me being young and dumb tried tuning with only an safc and cracked the ringlands on all 4 pistons. The CA came out and was rebuilt with forged internals, an MLS headgasket and all oem nissan gaskets. I then started putting power adders and Nistune among other upgrades to the car which i have today. At this point in owning it i am happy to have something quite different. When people see my s13 with an R32 front they assume RB of some sort, but when the hood opens and they see a CA 90% of people dont even know what it is and are intrigued by it. I take pride in having something different and would make the choice to go CA anyday. All in all, mine came about mainly by chance as i was going to just go SR like everyone else. Im glad the CA found its way into my car though, ive learned alot since owning it. Plus i think it sounds better than the SR.

Lets see your story. im interested!


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Laecaon
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Car: 71 510 Wagon
Location: Portland OR

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Laecaon » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:51 pm

Shortly after buying my Datsun 510 Wagon I started researching on what engine I wanted to put in it. KA SR and VG are all common swaps. Looking at importer sites I came across the CA. I started looking up specs and quickly realized the CA was the perfect engine for a Datsun. Light weight, small overall size, Decent power in stock form. Of course finding a CA is a different manner. My friend told me about a CL posting, so I messaged the guy and told him I just needed to sell my welder and to give me 24 hours. The next day I went in my friends truck (lowered Datsun 521), and loaded up a cherry picker, took the engine out of the guys S13, and into the truck. This weight caused major rubbing on the rear tires, so we rolled the "fenders" with the handle of the cherry picker. And then it sat in my garage for 2+ years...

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Izento
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Car: RPS13

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Izento » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:44 am

There's more to the beginning of how I got my 240sx, but this story is already too long. This story is kind of weird and sounds like an episode of Initial D; you've been warned.

As I was drifting in the mountains with my 240sx with coilovers, Kaaz 2 way and KA24E, I ended up meeting a guy with an S13 with an sr20. He asked if he could touge with me and I said "sure" (fastest driver I know in the mountains still). Afterwards, we exchanged numbers and he said he could help me with a motor swap whenever I had the money. I wanted a true low budget, unique build and stumbled upon the CA18 from a local importer. I bought the front clip, had my new-found friend help me with the swap and kept on drifting in the streets afterwards, practicing at an abandoned warehouse with a couple of traffic cones by myself, trying to master my car with its different heart. After every upgrade, I would go on my multiple touge routes to test out the feel of the car.

Whenever I would go to meets (actually, still the case) , people would look at my car and notice how ugly it was, damaged quarter panel, uncommon CA18, fucked up fenders, etc. I didn't necessarily like my car for the aesthetics, but more-so for the performance. I mostly kept it at a stock appearance since I lived in an area where car theft was very rampant.

Fast forward a couple of years and here I am, still with the CA because I don't want to buy another motor and start at ground zero with a random imported motor (i'd probably go 2jz at this point). I'm doing the sunk cost fallacy. I know there are better motors, but I have too much sunk into this one. On top of that, I'm not looking to professionally drift or drive, so the best motor isn't my goal, it's simply to have fun on the touge/track and improve my driving skills. I'm currently a valet/driver for some of the most powerful people in WA, if only they knew my background, hahaha.

Buddyworm
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:55 pm

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Buddyworm » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:20 am

Iron block, cam on bucket, cheap. But most of all the noise. SR20's sound flat at toneless next to a CA18.

Sideways s12
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Sideways s12 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:13 pm

Long story short I loved the single cam ca's a buddy of mine swapped his s12 with the 18det and took me for a ride in his and I was sold! I'm on my second ca powered s12!

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float_6969
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby float_6969 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:33 pm

I was on my 4th S13 (wrecked 2, sold the 3rd one to help fund the 4th one) and it was a KA-E. It had treated me well for a few years, but it had over 200K miles on it and was getting tired of me ragging on it all the time. It still started and ran like a champ, but was using huge amounts of oil and was fouling the plugs a lot. It either needed rebuilt or I needed a motor swap. This was in the early 2000's and engine swapped S13's were really becoming popular, though in my area, VERY rare. I was poor, but I knew the KA-E wasn't the direction I wanted to take. I considered a KA-DE+T, but back then they were terrible about bending/breaking rods due to the poor tuning options available at the time. I knew I didn't have the money to buy a junkyard KA-DE, and then tear it down and buy forged internals and rebuild it, and I wasn't going to risk turbo'ing it with out internals, so that was out. Like everyone, I wanted an SR20, but they were big money back then (IIRC, a motorset was going for $2,500, and that was nearly 15 years ago). I was stuck and didn't know what to do. Then one day, I was at a car meet and this weird-a** looking FWD 2 door car pulls up. It was a Pulsar. I'd never seen one before, so I was curious and went over to check it out. The owner (I always wish I could credit him when I tell this story, but I can't remember his name) had done a CA18DET swap in it. I'd never seen this motor before and started asking him a million questions. He was older than me and I'm sure I was annoying, but he was cool about it. Somewhere in the conversation he asked what I drove and I pointed to my S13. He told me they made this motor in a RWD version and it could be swapped into the S13 just as easily as an SR could and it was way less money. Soon after he told me this, he gave me a ride and as soon as we pulled out of that parking lot and he got on it, the seed had been planted. I spent the next few week pouring over the internet finding out everything I could about this new motor (back then info was hard to find compared to now). The more I learned about it, the more I liked it. Physically small, weighed less than anything else, iron block, bucket lifters, factory forged rods, etc. I was torn. The SR was so popular and aftermarket parts were easy to get, but something about the CA attracted me. Then I met a local guy with an SR. AFAIK, he was the FIRST guy in our town with an SR swap. Eventually he ended up taking me for a ride. It was fast, but there was something about it that seemed lacking. A dullness. It just seemed to lack excitement compared to the CA. That's what finally decided it for me. Soon after I ordered a CA front cut. My intention was to install it completely stock, and then modify it as time allowed. Unfortunately, the front cut I was sent was NOT the front cut I saw online. It was missing all of the intercooler piping, intercooler, and turbo inlet pipe as well as vac lines, vac canister solenoids for the power valve, etc. I paid way more for a front cut to get all of those things. After much haggling, they gave me the difference in price back and I bought the parts I needed to get it running. I'll never forget the first time I fired that thing up. Still one of the happiest days of my life. Eventually the engine came out of that S13 and ended up in my S14. Now the engine has been rebuilt a few times, the head was ruined at one point from a bad oil filter, so now it has a 4 port head on it, but that block, crank, and rods are what I'm still using today, over 10 years later.

project//s13
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Car: 200sx s13

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby project//s13 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:32 am

Well ca18 is stock in Europe for the s13 so it came with the car :rolleyes: That was for my first s13..second one was again ca18 from factory but it started burning oil and smoking(piston rings) after 2 months of own it..sold the engine some months later to get an sr20 like everybody,but they send me a bad one,took a month to send it back and take my money..and then a good friend of me said "why not rebuild one to be sure it will be good?" ..so we found a blown one but with a rebuild head(new valve guides and valve seals-previews owner stopped the rebuild for a v8 he found) just without gearbox for 300euro(330usd) :chuckle: ..and that was it..back to the ca18 game,+i always liked that motor and how it sounds :cool:

There are 2 other reasons i forgot :

*cheap parts (usually)

**If you put an sr20 here,then to be legal on the road the year taxes and insurance changes a lot,like 800$ more ! :wtf2: :whistle: :facepalm: :crazy:

cadet18
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:46 pm
Car: 89 s13 coupe ca18det

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby cadet18 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:11 pm

enjoying reading all of these. its cool to see how everyone came across theirs

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dhen
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:27 am
Car: MGA w/ CA18DET

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby dhen » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:33 am

Lightweight, small car. This engine barely fits but is a blast in a 2,000-lb car.

boost_boy
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Car: B12 sentra w/built CA18DET, B12 sentra w/fully-built CA18DET, S13 coupe w/ CA18DET, S13 hatch w/CA18DET, 2002 maxima SE
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby boost_boy » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:21 pm

My story started in 1991 while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Saw the Silvias and loved them, but never looked under the hood. I walked off the base to go look at some used cars and saw a B12 sunny with the squared-looking motor with red valve covers and "Twin Cam 16 Valve" inscribed on the coilpack cover. Since my first car was a B12 sentra, I saw an opportunity to step-up the power game.

Once I got back to the states (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii), I went to the Junkyard to get some parts for my 1988 Hyundai Excel and saw the KN13 (1987-90) pulsar with that same squared-looking engine. Even though my B12 was home in Florida, I again said I have to have one of those in my carb-powered E16S. Once out of the Marine Corps, I went to the Junkyards in Miami and saw an 87 pulsar with a CA16DE engine it that was wrecked. I made a trade with my Junkyard connects (two excels for the pulsar) and the changeover/swap-over began.

Around August 1996 I started my first swap and by January of 1997, I had a CA16DE with CA16 tranny, powered US spec Nissan sentra that was pretty damn fast compared to the E16S that originally came in the car. My first encounter was a B13 SE-R and I gave him with that CA16DE. I would beat-up on other car makers and their rice boys, but I knew I needed more power. So later in 1997, I turned to the CA18DE and upgraded the harness to the CA18DE's ECU. I was giving people a hard time with that CA18DE and the CA16's tranny, but it started knocking and the tranny couldn't take it anymore, so I turned to a friend of mine who imported engine from Japan and had him bring me an AWD CA18DET.

I swapped in the CA18DET and left the intercooler on top and at that time, I thought I was John Force or something. The car was fast with that N/A CA18DE ecu, but that be short lived because I melted the #4 piston racing a ford mustang on the highway. I was the first person (at least I was told this) in the U.S. in 1999 to get custom wiseco pistons made for the CA18 83mm bore. I got my shiny new pistons, installed them, got my U.S. Spec CA18DE ecu re-chipped by JWT (First one as well with this experiment) and my shiny new pistons were dead in less than 1000 miles.

I would get another CA18DET from Japan, continue to use the JWT tuned ECU on my car and then duplicated for my girlfriend at the time. Obviously, mines was faster, but hers was more reliable. That got boring, so I bought my first SDS EM-2 2nd hand from a guy here in Miami, installed it on my car and have never looked back. I got really good at tuning standalones, then got very good at building CA18 engines and here I am today. I have the BLUEPRINT to extract as much power from these motors than most can handle. Though I don't use my cars much, occasionally I get to build an engine or two for serious enthusiasts who wants them built right the first time.

That's my story in short order :crazy: Been around this game for a long time and love it. Don't care for the SRs nor the KAs. I've rebuilt my VQ35DE engine on my Maxima and it reminded of how much I hate timing chains. Timing belts all day everyday. Long live the CA, VG, RB, 4AG series, 7M series, 1J and 2J series and the mazda BP series. I may have been quiet for a while, but I'm still in the game :slap:

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Izento
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Izento » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:12 pm

Damn, we got all the old guys in here (almost). Now to wait for TheMadScientist.

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themadscientist
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby themadscientist » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:49 am

Image

Why the CA18? It came in the wife's 180 so I had to work with it. It impressed me and served me well.

Image

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r34 gtr
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby r34 gtr » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:45 am

It would have been the correct engine for my '89 hatch, plus I got a whole front clip (white + brown two tone!) with 34k km on it for $1000.

The key chain had a bunny on it with a rainbow overhead and it said "L. Suwa." Had a little bell on it so it jingled. Made it really hard to misplace that key.

Did donuts, blew it up. Rebuilt it. Did donuts, blew it up. Rebuilt it. Did donuts....

Hopefully I can get around to putting it all back together this summer/fall. Its been 7 years.

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Izento
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Car: RPS13

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Izento » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:28 am

Looking at all of our stories and history with this engine, we really all need to meet up one day, in the middle of the country and have a beer. First round is on me :)

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float_6969
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Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby float_6969 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:40 am

I'm in Kansas, which is literally the middle. Let's have it here!

Luchitosan
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:43 am
Car: Nissan 200sx Ca18det 4 port
Location: Argentina

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Luchitosan » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:01 pm

I'm in, just let me know in advance,I plan to go usa on vacation in May.
It's a long way from home....

Luchitosan
Posts: 185
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Car: Nissan 200sx Ca18det 4 port
Location: Argentina

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby Luchitosan » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:10 pm

My story with de CA:

I always like the japanese cars cause' my dad had 80's Toyotas and Mitsubishis and where very reliable
A few years later, when I was just a teen, I saw a 200sx S13 in red aztec and instantly feel in love.
Nissan it's not a popular brand here, theres a "uncommon" car and so there are a few S13 in the country.
Start to investigate some info about that car to learn if it was as good as it looks.
All the versions arround here fit the Ca18 4 port (euro spec) and on the web they say the CA it's like a mini RB motor,
light and strong. Knowing that, was a great bet try modify a vehicle like this to get 400 hp, most of my friends says don't do it but...
the plan was under way...Cast iron block, 16v dohc, turbo, RWD...what could go wrong ?

Look for a while a S13 But I did not have enough money to buy it, cause are expensive for +25 old car...
I saw a sale ad of one in another town, 500 miles away. So i call the guy, he send me some pictures,
nice shell and interior, at half the market price, I thought that was my only chance to get a S13.
So travel to there (result a car dealer shop), drive the car (was death) and I puschase it !
I take it home, drove a couple of days and ...blow the engine. That was Dic 2009.

The proyect was quiet for almost 2 years until achieve all the parts, then join to Nico to learn more, meet some friends and bang.
Now got 2 engines, 5 heads (4port), 3 transmissions, a dismantled body and a lot of parts.

The original engine its nearly stock fitted in the car (T28, ex cam swap, 9 psi boost, Oem SMIC, Walbro 255)

The other one, just get the ported head (280cfm/12mm), new crank, in process to desing the custom cams according to head flow, custom 300L steel rods (lighter and stronger than 4340 steel) 2 mm longer than stock, long stroke design, solid lifter convertion, to rev 9k rpm or 8k safely, and take the block to the machine shop, etc, according to the calculations of a good friend that's racing engine builder, can reach arround 450 hp, more that i expected

I hope to have it working in April, let you know !

leadpaw
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:29 pm
Car: 1985 sentra ca18de

Re: What made you choose the CA

Postby leadpaw » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:14 pm

I just think CA18s sound amazing compared to most 4 cylinders. That and it shared almost the same mounts as my old motor (CD17)


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