SR20DET Installation Preparation
Before you get started, you want to make sure you have a decent set of tools and other supplies for the installation to go smoothly. Preferably, you want to have a flat paved surface if possible. You're going to need an engine hoist, a jack, some stands, socket wrenches, a good set of metric sockets and an oil drainer. No real specialty tools are needed. Aside from the hoist, these are all tools that your average garage would have. For cleaning up, you'll want to get a roll of shop towels, rags, newspaper (anything absorbent), some engine degreaser would be nice as well.
KA24 Motor and transmission Removal
So, before the SR20DET installation can take place we have to start by removing the KA24 motor. Start by jacking up the car and setting it up on jacks, making sure it's secure. You don't want it too high or low, you want the bottom of the car at least about 15 inches off the ground so you can get under there and also to provide space when you're angling the motors in and out. Next, you can disconnect the battery and drain the motor oil, transmission fluid and radiator fluid. You can start disconnecting all the sensors and wiring from the motor and transmission at this point, as well as all the radiator and heater hoses. Basically, anything that would restrain the motor from coming up and out of the engine bay. This also includes disconnecting the A/C compressor and the power steering pump, and tying it up and out of the way. Remove all the AIV emissions equipment. Unbolt the downpipe and the exhaust and get the whole thing out of the way. Finally, you must remove the shifter from the transmission from the inside of the car. The easiest way to get to that is by removing the plastic trim above it and using some needle nose pliers to remove a c-clamp type fastener that is holding shifter in.
Moving on to the main mounts, there are 2 nuts that mount the motor mounts to the chassis. You'll want to get them from the bottom of the car. It's much easier to just remove the front tires to be able to access these nuts and get better leverage on them. Once those are off, put your jack under the transmission for support and get the 4 bolts that mount the transmission bracket to the under-body of the car.
At this point, there should hopefully be nothing holding the motor and transmission back. Find a good location on the motor head to hook up your engine hoist. It helps out a great deal to have a leveler on your hoist. It just makes for an easier removal and installation of the new SR20DET motor. So, moving on ... Oh, by the way, it helps if you remove the radiator and fans completely, including the clutch fan, for more clearance. Now, you can start pulling out the whole motor and transmission in one piece. Pull out slowly making sure that everything is in fact disconnected from it. Make sure you get the O2 sensor, coil pack sensor and heater hoses between the firewall and the motor. You want to pull out a little and then hoist it up a little and just keep going up and out slowly making sure not to hit anything important like the power steering lines. Also, you're going to have to start lowering the back end of the transmission while pulling the front of the motor up to get it at approximately a 45 degree angle to clear the front of the engine bay. Once it clears, hoist it up and roll it back away from the car. You're half way there - Not really :)
SR20DET Motor and Engine Bay Preparation
It's important to remember these removal steps, because the SR20DET installation is, for the most part, the same thing in reverse order. And, you're probably going to use a lot of the same bolts, nuts and brackets from the KA24 counterpart, so make sure that you remember what came from where. It's always a good idea to label everything and separate them to avoid mixing it all up. Zip-Lock bags are very useful to keep everything organized. So, it's half-time, go grab a bite to eat, use the restroom, whatever ... If you're planning on cleaning up your engine bay or painting it, now is definitely the time to do so. It's also a good time to clean up or detail your SR20DET motor before installation. Recommended parts to change out while the motor is out are: Clutch, belts, oil filter, spark plugs, water pump. You can also remove the AIV assembly, you won't be needing that anymore, and the turbo heat shield. And, of course, any performance or other replacement parts that you are planning on installing are just 10 times easier to do when the motor is not in the car. So, do it now, or forever hold your peace.
Chain up the SR20DET motor to the engine hoist and lift it up and over it's new home. Once you get it over the front of the engine bay, start angling the SR down to about 45 degrees and just inching it down and in little by little. Basically, just reversing the order of the removal. You might want to connect the 2 heater hoses on the flywheel side of the motor to the firewall connections, because getting it on afterwards is almost impossible. Make sure that the driveshaft is entering the back of the transmission properly and then aim those motor mounts for the holes. Once the mounts are in place, loosely screw on the 2 nuts. Then, get the 4 bolts on the transmission mount. Once you have everything straight and in place, you can go ahead and tighten the motor mount nuts down.
To be continued...We are working on getting some pictures of the SR20DET installation to better illustrate the process. We should be complete by the beginning of November.
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