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Should I do a VE swap

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  • Should I do a VE swap

    So my Sr is a red top. It is in a lotus seven clone and this year I am shooting for 350-400 whp. Stock long block with a 2871 and the to4b front housing. I also have a spare motor and another head. I was thinking about building the spare head up. I already have a 264 intake cam that was never installed. I was going to get a 272 exhaust and probably BC valve spring kit. Have a light port job done before I put it back together.
    But I have read that the newer VE head is the way to go. But they are close to $1000 if you can find them. Then I have to do the rest of the mods to install it.
    So my real question is, how much better is the VE head. If I do all the work on a s13 head it will probably make more power than a stock VE head. But I read that the VE is a better valve train(no rockers).
    Really would like so good advice on the best was to spend my money. I autocross the car and it spends most of its life near 7000rpm. Thanks.

  • #2
    The VE head is so much better than even a worked over DET head it's not even funny. Stock P11 cams on a VE head will make more power, and have a better overall powerband than a mildly worked over (ported, valve springs, big cams etc.) DET head.

    Put ~$450 SR16VE N1 cams in the VE head and it'll outflow any DET head.

    The VE head with a mild port job would flow more than the most radically worked DET head by a huge margin. The VE head also has more reliable shaft mounted rockers vs. the freefloating DET rockers (although I personally never had issues with the DET stuff). The VE head will easily tolerate 8000-8500 RPM, which will help with autocrossing to give you the option to hold a gear out a bit longer rather than bang off the rev limiter.

    It's absolutely worth the effort and expense for all but the most basic SR build. Do it while the P11 engines are still cheap.
    '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!

    DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!


    • #3
      I've bought two VE engines for our Lemons Sentra now. First was $800. The one I bought a couple weeks ago was $1100. Def is right. Get em while they're still cheap. The last one I was told there wasn't any more available from their supplier. They're $1200 most places that have them though and the top end power is impressive even NA. You won't regret it.
      98 240SX SCCA STUish


      • #4
        Yeah, I noticed a jump in engine prices as well. I bought mine for 990 drop shipped to my door. Now, there are all minimum 1100, some without shipping.

        However, you can typically find a P11 head for 3-500. However, if you are going with the P12 CAS, P12 Cams, etc, better to just spring for the entire P12 engine and just sell the bottom end and tranny.

        In all said and done, it's not significantly more expensive than building a DE head, but with a much better ROI even on the stock VE hardware. Throw an xcessive IM, an easy bottom mount manifold (probably v band), and a GTX or EFR turbo and go hurt some feelings.