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AkumaNoZeta

Why the bad rep on the CA18?

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Today a classmate of mine got me into looking into the CA18DET and I liked it. It's pretty much like a miniture RB engine, it revs like 9000 from the factory. I searched on here and I saw nothing but bad comments about them. Preferably I think I may even go with this engine because I never actually looked into them before because they weren't common around me at all. As may be evident from my previous posts I love high revs and this quote from wikipedia really wowed me "Bore is 83 mm (3.3 in), and stroke is 83.6 mm (3.29 in). This near square design, coupled with the head design, allows CA18DETs to spin well beyond 8,000 rpms, even in stock trim" I know some of you may flame me for using Wikipedia as a source because, well...high schools wont allow it for an essay source, but everything I ever read on wikipedia was true so I kinda trust it. I'm not really having problems finding parts for it when I started looking, everybody says the aftermarket for them is quite low. And it's not like I'm going for a 1500hp build, I just want a really high reving engine with at least 400, preferably 500 horsepower. I know that it will be years before I get to an engine swap so thats why I'm being open minded about other options. I tend to be getting smaller in my wants too. First I wanted to put a 302 SBF, then an RB26, then an SR20, and now I like the CA18. Whats next? The 1.3 Wankel, or maybe a 1000cc bike engine, lol. Sorry, I ramble

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i have heard peopel bag the CA before, and usually followed by something along the lines of "the SR20 is a better motor because everyone puts them in their drifters"

ie, clueless sheep who dont do thier research.

 

the SR has rockers that are prone to breaking at high RPM

it has uneven cylinder spacing, and gets hot spots between cylinders under heavy loading (worked motor, working hard)

having a timing chain as opposed to the CA's belt drive, the motor is also inherently noisier.

the SR will never rev as hard as a CA BECAUSE it has rockers.

the direct shim and bucket arrangement on the CA allows it to be very stable at high RPM.

the SR is an Alloy block, so bonus in weight savings, but disadvantage in block strengh,

the iron CA block wins that one at a cost of extra weight.

yea, bigger capacity is better, so the SR gets that one.

and from that making it popular as a swap (more power stock) it has a larger aftermarket following.

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It may make only 10 horsepower more but it's also one liter smaller and that was only running 9psi. Build it to run like 20 pounds and it would be more fun. It wont be as torquey because, let's face it there's no replacement for displacement. To me thats like saying the LS1 (5.7 litres, correct?) is 350 horsepower stock and the 2.2 litre from the S2k is 250 horsepower stock. Sure the bigger engine makes more power but the effiencency of the smaller engine is what impresses me. I hear people bragging about 2000 horsepower 572 BBCs and stuff but it doesn't impress me because if you're gonna have all those cubes you better have all that horsepower, but hearing about 1000 horsepower ecotecs, SR20s, and 1500 horsepower 2JZs/RBs impressed me because those are blown/boosted V8 numbers from engines almost half the size

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Ride in one and you will see. There is absolutly no torque what so ever. You can make a lawn mower engine rev to 15k, but it will never be as powerfull as a z car engine.

 

True that. If you wanna feel like you are driving a honda.. go for it.

 

I prefer torque over horsepower, gets you moving quicker.

 

Sheeet.. My 87 Jetta has more torque than horsepower.. its a 4cyl 1.8l 8v.. So smaller liter engines don't necessarily have No torque, and my engine can rev up to 9k. :mrgreen:

 

If you wanna see some cool stuff, theres some guys called FLTD That pumped 1200hp out of Volkswagens 1.8l 8v engine. :icon6:

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It may make only 10 horsepower more but it's also one liter smaller and that was only running 9psi. Build it to run like 20 pounds and it would be more fun. It wont be as torquey because, let's face it there's no replacement for displacement. To me thats like saying the LS1 (5.7 litres, correct?) is 350 horsepower stock and the 2.2 litre from the S2k is 250 horsepower stock. Sure the bigger engine makes more power but the effiencency of the smaller engine is what impresses me. I hear people bragging about 2000 horsepower 572 BBCs and stuff but it doesn't impress me because if you're gonna have all those cubes you better have all that horsepower, but hearing about 1000 horsepower ecotecs, SR20s, and 1500 horsepower 2JZs/RBs impressed me because those are blown/boosted V8 numbers from engines almost half the size

 

A really buff pinky finger isnt as useful a the average thumb... Just thought of that, I think it works nicely in this case... really though, The one I helped build and ride in was, bleh. Sure you can build it to run more boost, but you can do that to any engine really. I just dont see why anybody would want to start with an engine that needs more mods to keep up.

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I think the CA18DET gets the bad rep because there's other Nissan engines out there that make more power, more torque, and have better aftermarket support.

 

The CA18DET is a good engine, but why spend money on a "mini-rb" when you could get a RB20DET for almost around the same price. It's not the big grand daddy of the RB Family, but it's a Inline-6 2.0L vs a 4 Cylinder 1.8L. As you said, there's no replacement for displacement.

 

I've had a RB20DET in my last 240SX. I've drifted and abused it(it loves to rev to high rpms), but I also daily drove it. It was very reliable, got good gas milage when I wasn't driving like a maniac, and the sound it makes is just music, hahaha.

 

I've also had a SR20DET in my first 240sx. It's just that the demand for the SR20DET makes the engine more expensive. As another member already said, it's a lighter engine because it's an alumminum block and it puts out more HP and torque with tons of aftermarket support than the CA18DET.

 

With all that said, the CA18DET is just given the bad rep because no one really look to it as they do a SR20DET. Also, because a couple of SR20's in those civics will be good for race wars (some sh!t like that, hahaha).

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I have a 5.0 Mustang so I know and do like torque. The CA is supposed to be a little torquey for what it is, but for my car I don't mind if I have only like 60 lbft of torque and 80 horsepower below 4000 RPM and getting into traffic is slower than a Geo Metro driven by an elephant, I want the car to pull more in the upper end because...mainly I want the watch the tach to very slowly go up at first and then when it gets 3500, 4000, 4200 and then it just flies to redline, lol. May make me sound kinda ricerish but I don't care. It's not like I want it a race car, gonna have lots of chassis/suspension work so it will handle like a dream and thats what I really care about. I'm going for the F1 approach: Great suspension, light as ****, big revs, and no torque. lol. Also on the RB20 thing, the way I always saw it is that since its the same displacement as the SR just get an SR because its lighter and in the Z gives great weight distribution...but straight sixes do sound magical

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CA18s are fun motors. I rode in a freinds tht had bigger injectors, S14 T25, 3" turbo back and boost was jumped up to 12lbs. It was in his 1989 S13 hatch. that thing put a smile on my face like you would not beleive. yeah, it lacked a little down low, but once you hit boost and 4000rpm, it moved like it had rockert boosters attached to the back.

 

On a side note, Ive had both the SR20DE in a sentra SE-R and a CA18DE in a 1989 pulsar SE twincam, and honestly, I liked the Pulsar more. the SR wouyld rev, but you could tell it didnt like it, the CA on the other hand, just seemed to dare me to hold the pedal down longer.

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I have seriously considered putting a CA20(DET) (the 2.0's only came single cam, as far as I know, so i'd be using the 1.8L's head) into a 510, if not that, then a KA24DE(T). I'd imagine that the CA frankenmotor would do much better, especially if the CA18's crank girdle would fit. (i guess the RB20, 25, and 30 motors don't share the RB26's crank girdle, because the CA20 doesn't have one, but the CA18DET does) Would i be wrong to assume such?

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"Bore is 83 mm (3.3 in), and stroke is 83.6 mm (3.29 in)"

How is the stroke longer in mm, but shorter in inches? Maybe you should rethink the following: "but everything I ever read on wikipedia was true so I kinda trust it."

 

Kidding, sort of, but seriosly "mainly I want the watch the tach to very slowly go up at first and then when it gets 3500, 4000, 4200 and then it just flies to redline, lol". If that is all you want maybe you should get a front wheel drive. It does't take much power to slam to the redline if you have no traction.

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Grim,

Have you ever driven a car with the characteristics you say you want around town?

 

Last spring I bought a 1990 Eagle Talon TSi and put it back together thinking I would like the rev happy 2.0L turbo motor. I replaced the stock 14b turbo with an Evo 3 16g so it would have a little more punch but ran it at stock boost levels (max 12psi).

After driving that car around town for a couple months I was done with it, having to rev the thing to 2 grand just to get it moving and then get back out of the throttle to stay out of boost so I didn't run into the guy in front of me got VERY old.

On the highway or a back road the car was a lot of fun but around town the lack of low end torque made the car miserable to drive.

Think about that when you're day dreaming of a 9000rpm motor.

 

I got rid of the Talon and now have a 240SX with the KA24DE. I'm much happier with the KA, it has the shim and bucket valve train like the CA but it has gobs of low end torque. So when I put a turbo on it I'll have the best of both worlds, low end torque to tool around town and boost for racing and more power on the highway. :)

 

Wheelman

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Also felt KA-T's in s13's... much better, to be honest I like the way the KAT felt better then an sr20 swap I had experience with.

 

off topic but hey wheelman, I saw one of those at the track, running 11's. the guy told me it was all stock except 20psi of boost and crazy fuel pressure, not reliable but still cool, it launched like no other, getting the jump on faster cars.

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MJLamberson,

Yeah, those 4G63T motors can make tons of power and are very tough, assuming the tune is good, but the transmissions in those cars are trash. Mine was very notchy even after I replaced it, that's another reason I got rid of it. I was always worried I was going to blow-up the tranny or break and shift fork or who knows.

Like I said the car was fun on the highway and tearing up a back road but around town it sucked big time, but that's my personal experience, YMMV.

 

Wheelman

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A lot of things I say are me making fun of myself, I'm one of those that like to laugh at myself. The slowest thing I've drove is my dad's 1991 (somewhere around there) automatic Corolla, second slowest being my first car which was a 2001 Toyota Celica GT that I traded in to get the 1990 Mustang 5.0. I want the high reving engine because I love the sounds of the high revs. I know I'll have to run a bigger gear to get suitable torque multiplication to be more standable on the streets. I'm not gonna run any giant tires or anything where I'll need a lot of torque for. Which reminds me, FWD burnouts arent really that fun and I'm not really a fan of burnouts at all (to Roger280ZX). I'm getting a R200 for free from a classmate of mine, don't know if its a long or short nose, but it's an open diff so I figure I can get a bigger gear for it along with an aftermarket LSD, haven't looked for bigger gears for them yet so if I cant get any I may look into another IRS diff where I can get one or comes with a good one. I also have to start looking into what ratios may suite me too...Lots of things to still think about, right now I'm preoccupied with suspension and chassis than the drivetrain. I just come in and out of different drivetrain ideas.

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I've never built a car before, this would be my first car build, so I love input from other's opinions. From what I learned in school I can get into the generals of what I want, but the lack of experience makes it harder for me. So far I love the idea of a high reving CA, and if I'm not happy with that then I could just go ahead and do a VH/VQ V8 swap.

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I was playing with this a little today. http://www.geocities.com/z_design_studio/ I used the CA18DET transmission gear ratios I found which were 3.321, 1.902, 1.308, 1.000, 0.838 with a 9000 RPM redline and 225/40/17 tires and I think a 4.50 rear end would be pretty good according to this graph. Would anybody like to suggest something better?

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Ok, I actually looked up gear ratios you can buy for the R200 longnose, theres a 5.143, 4.875, and 3.154 from Kameari (expensive though) and then I looked up the Nismo 6-speed (can that be adapted to the CA? Custom bellhousing?) which was 2.9071, 1.9888, 1.5373, 1.2179, 1.000, and 0.8624. I plugged all this in using the same tire size and redline and think the 6-speed with the 4.875 would be pretty good. Slow in first but after that would seem to be fairly quick.

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