Open hours: Mon - Sat 8.00 - 17.00
Fast Shipping Provided by Canada Post
Saint-Denis de Brompton, Qc J0B 2P0 1955, Route 222
Open hours: Mon - Sat 8.00 - 17.00
The X-trail GT SR20VET

Some of you probably heard about the SR20 VE ? And the frequently made Frankenstein SR20VE+T ? But there is a non common and rare version of SR20VET from Nissan directly. This engine theoretically produce 280ps (276bhp) from the manufacture. Its literally the most powerful version of the SR platform ever made! Let’s see the engine and the components.


The engine itself is a axial engine coupled on a AWD automatic transmission ( never done in manual ). Many parts differ in shape and function compared to the VE. One of the most important things are the VVL solenoid. This version only have variable valve lift on the intake cam. And the solenoid position is really more practical due to the angle mounting position, this add more clearance for any kind of transplantation of the engine to an other model of chassis.


The injection system differ than the other version of SR20. This system is top feed styled and operate high independence solenoid. Normally Nissan using low independence injector in most of the top feed setup, like in the pulsar GTi-R. The injectors used on the VET are high independence and the possible volume provided by them is 444cc at 3bar


The exhaust manifold on the particular model is really better designed for maximum velocity. The shape of the runners are really more like it should be to get more speed of the post combustion gas. But ! There is a big but, Nissan engineers made several notch to the runners to get clearance for the bolts, big notch. For example, the first cylinder exhaust port is reduced the way that we can’t enter a finder in the manifold. This will cause a resistance that increasing back pressure on only one cylinder and a lot flow distortion at full boost.

The ports have a mismatch about 4mm on the exterior side of the cylinder 1 and 4, like the manifold stretch back. That’s a lot of handicap for a “performance” engine.

The exhaust ports have the same pattern than all the SR20’s manifold, that’s good for performance mods and engine adaptation on an other chassis. In this particular case, we try to install an S13 bottom mount OEM manifold. We can also think about using flanges to design custom manifold ( available here )


The intake manifold is really more efficient than DE & DET versions. The intake have shapes inside to improving air flow and velocity without creating any turbulence. The aluminum cast is really high quality, that make modification and welding much easy to do. The intake plenum itself is really more higher than all the other version of the D’s, making engine swaps a little bit more difficult, because the VE & VET intake manifolds have a different pattern and port shape than the other SR20. Both VE and VET have normally the same pattern.

In this case, we try to simply turn the intake plenum entry from right to left. But the two middle ports are a little offset and make the operation impossible. So we scan the ports, to get a perfect match on the computer and designing our own velocity stack to weld directly to the OEM runners. The runner length stay the same but we add a little more length to improve the flow by adding velocity cones. We also create a simple plenum that pointing the throttle a little to the ground to help future clearance issues and possibly help the air flow inside the plenum itself.

The throttle body of the VET is drive by an electronic motor, the servo motor system generally add pedal lag and are not specially effective and cost more to adapt in performance application. So we install a S13 Sr20DET throttle body that is drive by cable.


The transmission on this model is automatic, this causing problems to most of conversions. A manual transmission is normally most desirable when you swap an engine. On this engine some of the accessories are re-localized. We talking about the starter that is moved upward to give more room to the FWD differential. The SR20DET flywheel pattern is bolt on. But the ring gear for the starter is not compatible, the DET one is smaller than the VET, the only reason of that is the re-localization needed for differential clearance.

We remove the VET ring gear on the automatic plate, mill the DET gear to the inner diameter of the VET one. Press the VET ring on the modified DET ring and welded them together. Now the engine can start and he’s ready to receive a manual transmission.

The bellhosing pattern is half the same of the DET. So we have to modify a RWD SR20 transmission or create a custom adapter for this transmission. But the 280ps produced by the VET is really too near of the RWD SR transmission break limits. So we opt for a stronger solution, a Nissan CD transmission from 350Z & G35. Normally capable to hold a lot of power. So we create a complete transmission adapter for this VET.


The Turbocharger on this engine is not advanced as the Gt28 with ball bearing found on S15 version SR20DET. This engine only have a bushing bearing and the trim is really small compared to the HP produced.

Many source affirm that the turbo used on the VET is a special billet wheel GT28 with ball bearings but this is absolutely false. The model used to pressurize the VET is a non-common version of the GT25. This turbo is generally designed to produce between 170 to 270 HP on 1.4L to 2.2L engines. The entire routing of the piping is really well done, the piping have good size transition before the turbo to improving high velocity. Smooth curves, improved for best flow intercooler and the throttle body right after the outlet of it, making this engine near lag free and using the most percents of efficiency as possible. The inlet flange of the turbine hosing is a normal T25 pattern, but the outlet pattern is not the same as normally found GT25. The flange shape is the same but using different pattern, possibly because of the catalytic converter bolted directly on the turbo that required more space than a regular downpipe.

The turbo exact model is GT2560S. This can be ordered with the new revision Garrett part number ( 715643-5002S ), previous version are ( 715643-0001, 715643-0002 ). Or at Nissan directly with this number ( 14411-8H601 ).


This particular engine using coil on plugs like most of the SR20 but only identical as the S14 and S15 and have specific spark plugs. These are produce by NGK but are not available outside Nissan. 3 model of spark plug are available, the difference is the temperature.

By default Nissan used the PLFR6A-9 ( 22401-8H616 ) but they have a hotter version PLFR5A-9 ( 22401-8H617 ) and a colder version PLFR7A-9 ( 22401-8H615 ).

You can order them normally at Nissan, they will order them from Japan.

In our case, the spark plugs on the engine we have will never good enough to get them back in place. The gap is way over the range ! ( see by youself )


VVL, what that mean? its simply the abbreviation of variable valve lift. The VET have a special cylinder head ( number 8H6 ), its a little different than a P12 head because only one cam is variable, there is a big difference between lobes. The smallest have 5mm and the VVL lobs have 6.75mm this is really big, about 26% lift difference. The exhaust cams get 6.5mm lobs.

The cams do not directly push the valves, there is rockers that will change the valve travel. The intake valve movement is 8.5mm on the base lobes and get 10.15mm on the bigger lobes. The exhaust always have 11.5mm. ( these values can need to be re-done a second time to be sure )

The compression ratio is normally 9.0:1

To be continued.


  • Alex Middleton Posted 2019-08-27 11:45

    Hi guys, i have read the article about the THE X-TRAIL GT SR20VET. I have one of these engine that i am converting to FWD. my engine had a flywheel and clutch on it when i got it from the suppliers. i do however have an issue mounting the center drive shaft to the engine block, not all the mounting points are on the block and a spacer needs to be made to use the strongest points so that the block does not crack. i am based in South Africa. the engine will be fitted into a Fiat Uno, H&R suspension, semi slick tires and Brembo brakes, all bushes are poly. i am in the process of making the spacer and front engine mounting from billet aluminium on a cnc. please any more info on this engine would be great. the reason i went with it is because i wanted something that makes 200kw stock with no mods. Remember the car only weights +- 800kg…

    • Simon R Posted 2019-08-27 12:02

      Hi, what flywheel do you using ? Do the starter ring is aligning to the starter itself ?

  • Vicente Posted 2019-08-29 11:20

    HI! I have a sr20vet from xtrail. wre trying to swap on a s13 like you. Your post is awasome, a lot of good info. the question is what about motor mounts? Wre trying to desing an adapter but in the exhaust side there is not enough
    threads. Do you have any solutions about this?
    Thankyou so much for your post bro!

    • Simon R Posted 2019-08-29 11:31

      Hi, we working on that by part time. We plan to install this engine in an already Sr20det BMW E30. The exhaust side is standard but yes the intake side will need a special setup. We maybe need a third mount to keep it solid. Because the only bolts available on this side are from the axles pilot bearing.

      • Vicente Posted 2019-08-29 11:51

        Okey thankyou for the answer. we will keep to working on it!

        • Brendan & pTen Developments Posted 2020-01-09 02:01

          I know this is an old post, you have likely already found this out, But its a million times more efficient to fit the VE/VET head to the RWD DE/DET block

          • Simon R Posted 2020-01-09 09:30

            No, in this case the base of the VET is better than DE/DET’s versions. Dissembling a factory sealed engine can require modification that can result of failures really fast. Instead of opening and transfer everything, we decide to create a conversion kit that make this engine ( and possibly the gti-R too ) ready for RWD operation.

            This is efficient in the way of engine lifespan.

  • Lengwe Posted 2020-02-25 05:07

    Hi there,
    I have SR20 Nissan extrail engine which was recently serviced after being parked months. Strangely after servicing the engine, the rev’s couldn’t go beyond 2 even though it was moving. After some days, it started having some kind of start and eventually stopped responding. The mechanic who diagnosed it reported that it was having fuel rich mixture which left the spark plugs excess carbon. We replaced the plugs but could not start and still left the new plugs with excess carbon. The mechanic tried different replacing sensors, injector nozzles, coils and even went on to try a different computer yet nothing.
    Please advise what could the cause of this


    • Simon R Posted 2020-02-25 07:35

      Hi, last time I personally see that problem, it what a rag forgotten in the turbo piping by the mechanics. This seems like a lack of air. While they did the service, they probably put some rag to block free holes to get dust in it, but may forget one somewhere.

      For easy test, open the air box, unplug the piping at the throttle body, and blow air inside, the air must not flow easily and potentially go back from where you blow it.

      Hope this can help you !

      • Lengwe Posted 2020-02-25 08:10

        Hi, Thanks for advise. I will communicate this to the mechanic.

  • Hendrik Posted 2020-10-11 20:32

    A lot of great info here! I’ve been looking to swap one of these into my P11 Infiniti G20 (2002). Does the FWD 5MT transmission just bolt right on without any issues? I expect to have problems with wiring and electronics though. If the motor comes with an ECU and harness, will those connect without issue to the rest of my car?

    • Simon R Posted 2020-10-15 08:09

      Hi, the transmission pattern must be really similar of the SR20DE G20. But we don’t have both model here to verify the exactitude of these two transmission. If you have one in hands, you can contact us with some of your measurements and pictures to compare it properly. For the wiring its hard to know without compare these two harness together but the years of these engine is near the same so it must be near compatible or adaptable to the DE harness, once again, if you have some picture of the harness you have and ecu connector, we can compare with the VET we have here. ( sure some connector will missing like the VVL and some other sensors are not at the same location on the engine ).

  • Alex Posted 2020-12-06 08:59

    Hey Guys, I have SR20VET factory version but have some problems and maybe anyone can suggest anything. So my problem is on 2k-3k rpm i am losing power even if i push acceleration into the floor after 3k its going as it should go. When it started i saw that the catalyst with shelter was getting super hot and red and removed it thought it was a problem but nothing helped. What i have noticed is that on that RPMS car is boosting 0.5-0.7 bar when in normal car starts to spin up turbo on 2.5k and goes from there super good. Have no idea what the hell is happened it was running normally like 4 years already. All this happens if i am on uphill and its not happening all the time 🙂

    • Simon R Posted 2021-01-15 07:55

      This seems a fuel problem, pressure or injector. Super hot catalyst for nothing mean the mixture is not good at all. I suggest you to do injector test and cleaning and verify the fuel pressure while driving under load.

  • Rafael Posted 2021-01-14 15:47

    Hi Alex. I am having the same issue. Please do let me know if you get any solution. Thanx

    • Simon R Posted 2021-01-15 07:55

      This seems a fuel problem, pressure or injector. Super hot catalyst for nothing mean the mixture is not good at all. I suggest you to do injector test and cleaning and verify the fuel pressure while driving under load.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phone: 819-212-3863
1955, Route 222
Saint-Denis de Brompton, Qc J0B 2P0