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Nitroracer Dork
8/18/09 11:43 p.m.

I have been driving an 03' SVT Focus for the past few months and while it is a nice car I am already getting bored with it. My automotive ADD is kicking in a lot sooner than usual. The car doesn't accelerate from a stop the way I'd like, the seating position is a little high, etc.

What I am thinking of replacing it with is a B13 sentra se-r or an escort gt. Smaller, lighter, better on gas, more tossable, and I can take the extra cash and put it towards school. Between those two cars which one would you give the edge and why? I've driven an NX2000 and it was fun but cramped, and I had a 1.8L miata and I thought it revved pretty slow for a four banger. I tend to like my daily drivers ones that can be revved out and put into corners, the whole slow car driven fast thing.


EvanB GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/18/09 11:56 p.m.

The Escort GT has the same 1.8L engine as the Miata so it will still feel like it revs slow but it will be worse because you are trapped inside a FWD escort.

Try a 1.6L Miata, you may enjoy it more.

mtn Dork
8/19/09 12:36 a.m.

Miata, with help from Flyin' Miata

CLNSC3 New Reader
8/19/09 1:40 a.m.

I had an NX2000 for a few years and it was a great car, as is the b13 se-r. My car had some basic suspension mods and a roll cage and it was quite an awesome autox car! These days you can get a well sorted b13 se-r with a sr20det swap for cheap, I would definitely take the se-r over the escort any day of the week!

cghstang New Reader
8/19/09 6:27 a.m.

Having owned an EGT (though quite the beater), currently driving a beater B13 SE-R, I would have to say it depends.

If you want a low seating position, MX-3 seats in the EGT will do that. I like the upright seating that comes in both the egt and se-r. I don't know of any easy lower seat options for the se-r.

The egt will probably get slightly better gas mileage and will definitely be able to hold waaayy more stuff in the hatch than the se-r in the trunk+backseat. I was getting low 30's in the escort and I've averaged 29 mpg over the last year in the se-r.

Finding parts (oem and go fast goodies) is a lot easier for the se-r. The egt has a pretty limited aftermarket and the b13 chassis is still being sold new in Mexico. Same thing with teh online support community: SR20forum.com is gigantic compared to clubprotege.com or feoa.net

My egt was a dog down low (no torque) because the keyway for the timing pulley was wiped, but man it pulled up top. The se-r feels like a v8 in comparison.

I'd try to drive both and see which you like better, but I'd probably give the nod to the SE-R.

jstein77 HalfDork
8/19/09 8:16 a.m.

Interesting; I owned a '91 Escort GT for 11 years and now drive an '03 Sentra. (I know, way different than the B13.) Way back in the dark ages (1991), GRM tested both on the same day and on the same course with the same tires. In fact, I was one of the writers/drivers. Believe it or not, the EGT was faster than the Sentra. That was when I bought the Escort that I won two state championships with.

TreoWayne New Reader
8/19/09 10:03 a.m.

Most of the FWD SR20DE cars you will find will pop out of fifth gear because of a flaw in the transmission.

It is tough to lower a B13 Nissan since the suspension travel is already so short.

I have a 91 Mercury Tracer LTS (Escort GT sedan basically) and it is pretty grippy with front control arms from a V-6 MX-3, ZX2 S/R struts and Eibach lowering springs.

I have MX-3 seats in my Tracer and they are loooow. I am 6'4" and a long torso so I think the seating position is awesome.

Taiden Reader
8/19/09 10:21 a.m.

I have never seen the 5th gear pop out myself. I have been in at least 10 FWD SR20mobiles most with over 170k miles. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I think the problem is blown out of proportions.

I have a lot of love for the B13 platform as it was the first thing that I really got my hands dirty with.

And SR20VE with the 4 cw crank and a 8.5 lb fidanza flywheel will rev faster than 99% of anything out there. It will also put down 200 whp plus with bolt ons cams and a good dyno tune. Throw that into a 2288 lb 4 door Sentra E and you have one hell of a sleeper.

My friend with a VE with all stated mods gets 37 mpg highway on 91 octane.

If you want to go turbo, bolt on kits can be found all day long between $1000 and $3000, power outputs ranging from 200 whp to 450 whp. The stock fwd SR20DE block is known for handling well over sane whp daily driven (aka well over 300+ whp).

The SR20VE spools a GT3582R with great success. I have seen dyno charts of people making 21 psi before 4000 RPM on a 2.0L SR20VE with a redline somewhere around 8200 RPM on a GT35R.

If stupid fast isn't really your thing, a member on sr20-forum.com (known as The Dash, which resulted from a sell out of sr20forum.com) made 140 whp on a STOCK motor with STOCK everything and a VEMS. The SSAC header is known to yield 8+ whp for around $130, the JWT pop charger is known to yield 5+ whp for around $100, and an exhaust makes everything that much better. Fully realtime programmable ECUs are available from Calum for about $350. If chipping and programming EPROMs is your thing, a chipped ECU runs about $120 and does the same thing as the realtime (minus the USB Romulator emulation).

In short, I woudn't even consider the Escort as an option when compared to the B13.

andrave Reader
8/19/09 10:25 a.m.

I would go with the SER just for the sheer lack of any aftermarket for the escort. I know... because I owned an escort.

Fosters Reader
8/19/09 11:11 a.m.

I vote SE-R or NX also. I'll have a NX with a custom roll bar for sale if you are near St. Louis - most of the performance stuff is off of it though.....see cheap. :)

I'm a big fan of G20's (the earlier P10's). Same engine, 4 door, and still pretty fun to drive. I have 2, plus the NX, and a couple B13 SE-R's in the past.


2002maniac Reader
8/19/09 11:23 a.m.

how much does the G20 weigh in comparison to the SE-R?

Travis_K HalfDork
8/19/09 11:47 a.m.

Nissan engine parts (as in any performance stuff) is $$$$$. Neither of those cars have performance struts available off the shelf unless you get the last couple AGX struts tirerack has, or get some custom ground control stuff for the escort. Id suggest getting a neon rather than either one of those, but given the choice i think id go for the nissan.

Taiden Reader
8/19/09 12:38 p.m.
Travis_K wrote: Nissan engine parts (as in any performance stuff) is $$$$$. Neither of those cars have performance struts available off the shelf unless you get the last couple AGX struts tirerack has, or get some custom ground control stuff for the escort. Id suggest getting a neon rather than either one of those, but given the choice i think id go for the nissan.

The B13 Sentra doesn't have OTS suspension parts?

Off the top of my head: Koni Sports, KYB AGX, Koni Reds, Bits & Pieces, KSport, Tein, and Progress.


Also, Nissan stuff in general may be more expensive than say Toyota stuff, but the FWD SR20 platform is very cheap. 40k kilometer verfied used JDM SR20DE can be found for about $350 picked up from an importer. The SR20VE which puts out ~190 crank hp stock naturally aspirated can be found for a hair over $1200 from a reliable resource.

There are three basic flavors of SR20DET, and they can be found for between $1200 and $1800 last I saw. There was a guy named Fred Casey who bought a 91 SER when it first came out, drove it 100,000 miles, put a huge turbo charger and a clutch on it. Made about 450 whp, did 200+ 11 second passes and 50 or so 9 second passes, and drove it 175 miles round trip to the drag strip. He still has the same motor and transmission. The motor has 170k+ miles on it easily and the compression is still good. He was running it at 24 psi with a tune as far as I can recall. The only reason he took the motor out is because he was going to do a trick SR20VET setup.

andrave Reader
8/19/09 12:48 p.m.

yeah thats the whole advantage of the sentra, to me, is the huge available of off the shelf everything. Any engine part, any suspension part, brake kits, etc, all just a credit card away.

most of that stuff for the escort turns into trying to figure out what other cars it shared parts with, parts bin de-engineering, and homebrew solutions.

Hey... thats stuff's fun. But if I have the choice, I'd rather take the easier option.

vladha New Reader
8/19/09 2:17 p.m.
cghstang wrote: I don't know of any easy lower seat options for the se-r.

You can swap the seat rails from an nx seat to your se-r seat... drops you down about an inch, which gives you just enough room to wear an helmet in the car during hpde days. Ask me how I know. Course, if I didn't have a friggin sun roof, it wouldn't have been a problem to begin with.

Clean and well maintained se-rs are getting harder and harder to find. Unfortunately, some of the ricer crowd has discovered the car. There are some options to improving the suspension travel, besides shortened struts. Someone, a while back, had re-engineered the control arm and hub to fix the poor geometry on lowered se-rs. Can't remember who built them, but they weren't expensive.

On the other hand, my car is mostly stock... progress suspension, solid mounts and a cold air intake. Still lots of fun to drive.


boxedfox New Reader
8/19/09 4:13 p.m.
2002maniac wrote: how much does the G20 weigh in comparison to the SE-R?

P10 G20s carry between 400 to 500 lb more weight than the equivalent B13 SE-R. So yeah, they can feel a bit sluggish. Especially if it's an automatic.

Most of that weight is sitting in the passenger cabin though, so they're still good candidates for a track / race car.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
8/19/09 4:21 p.m.

I think Travis is right. Between the Sentra and Escort GT, I'd look for a Neon. That's only because B13 Sentras are getting older and harder to find. Then again, finding a good Neon these days isn't that easy, either.


ccrelan New Reader
8/19/09 4:47 p.m.

I have been driving a 91 se-r for since the beginning of the year now. My previous car was a 89 325is. I don't regret selling the E30 at all.

The se-r is a great, cheap ride. Comparatively speaking, prices on the the b13 are shockingly cheap. I am on the sr20 forums everyday and am regularly shaking my head at the prices of cars for sale. I regularly see turbo cars for sale less than $3,000. Everything for these cars is cheap. The only springs that you want to use are b13 specific Hypercos or Road Magnet- they lower the car about an 1".

In the nyc metro area, there are no shortages for b13 cars for sale. The only thing that would scare me from buying one is rust. As has been previously noted, sr20det and sr20ve engines can be bought very reasonably.

MedicineMan New Reader
8/19/09 5:58 p.m.

I loved my egt to death...no really I broke the frame with 300k miles on the chassis the frame broke in half. (Though it was during a hard launch against a firebird...and I did comeout ahead, leaning to the right but still ahead) You have to be creative with an egt, like 3.8 t-bird injectors, handcrafted short throw shifters...that kind of stuff. I have drove se-r of the vintage...I was a little cramped...but thats just my opinion (and for the record I am a nissan fan! Love my NISMO)

Just my 2 cents

Nitroracer Dork
8/19/09 6:01 p.m.

It looks like the $400 rod-knockin SE-R I found might be worth snagging after all.

I have driven an NX2000, it was my first car but at the same time I think I may have given it too much credit in my head being that it was the first vehicle I wrenched on and ran hard. The extra space in the se-r is more of what I am looking for now. The ease of upgrading is also a plus for the B13. I'll just keep my fun mazdas rear wheel drive for now. The neon I'm not to keen on, I can't stomach sitting in that interior everyday. But I'll give it a second look.

Soo, since the particular car I am looking at has a dying engine, how difficult is a VE swap over just slapping in another DE? Emissions legal?

Taiden Reader
8/19/09 7:25 p.m.

The VE is super easy. The motor goes in just like the stock motor and then you wire up relays to activate the VTAK solenoids with an RPM activated switch.

I had a 4 door XE with a VE + intake / header / ecu. It sucked the doors off of a 2005 STi with uppipe, downpipe and a Utec ECU on the highway.

racer_ace New Reader
8/19/09 7:43 p.m.

So you want something, small, light, tossable, fast revvin' and good on gas? How about an '88-'91 Civic/CRX Si, '92-'95 Civic EX Coupe or some form of Integra? No 4 banger revs like a Honda (...well except for a Suzuli Swift GT). They handle great, are extremely agile, and there is an insane amount of aftermarket support.

jstein77 HalfDork
8/19/09 7:58 p.m.

I've always wanted to try swapping a QR25 into a B13 chassis. Probably wouldn't fit, though.

dxman92 New Reader
8/19/09 8:24 p.m.

I'm gonna throw a curveball here. How about a Zx2? It probably has more usable grunt than an Escort gt and will be easier to find..

andrave Reader
8/19/09 9:57 p.m.

the only decent ZX2 is the s/r or whatever it was called with 4 wheel discs.

Any other model and youre actually behind what the EGT brings to the table.

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