Nissan CA engine: Wikis


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The CA engine is a 1.6 L to 2.0 L Inline-4 piston engine from Nissan designed for a variety of smaller Nissan vehicles to replace Z and smaller 4 cylinder L series engines. It is an iron block, aluminum head design with a timing belt, thus was cheaper to make than timing chain Z and L. Earlier versions featured SOHC and 8 valves. The new CA block design was a scaled up E series block with timing shaft and other ancillaries removed. Oil pump was fitted direct on crank nose and distributor driven by end of camshaft. Like the E series and A block that the E was derived from Nissan used a taller block for the largest stroked 2.0L engine.

Later versions featured DOHC with 16 valves for increased high RPM efficiency and smoother power delivery. It is effectively a Nissan RB engine head with two fewer cylinders. The hydraulic lifters being interchangeable between all DOHC RB and VG series engines except those with solid lifters.

The motor was expensive to produce being cast iron, Production ceased in 1991. 1.8L and 2.0L were replaced by the SR series as the primary Nissan 4 cylinder engine, while smaller 1.6L was replaced by GA. Engines for low volume European/UK 200SX being supplied from a stockpile.



The CA16S is a 1.6 L (1598 cc) water cooling serial 4 cylinder OHC engine. It produces 81 PS (60 kW; 80 hp) @5200 rpm and 123 N·m (91 ft·lbf) @3200 rpm.



The CA16DE is a 1.6 L (1597 cc) engine produced from 1987 through 1988. It produces 122 hp (91 kW) @6400 rpm and 137 N·m (101 ft·lbf) @5200 rpm. Bore and stroke is 78 mm (3.1 in) and 84 mm (3.3 in). It was a 16-valve DOHC engine with multiport fuel injection, for front wheel drive use. North American versions used Nissan's NICS (Nissan Induction Control System), which opened up the secondary intake ports to each cylinder via a butterfly valve in each said port. Activated at 3,900 rpm, this improved flow and performance resultingly. Additionally, on activation of the secondaries under a heavy load the fuel injection also went from sequential mode to simultaneous-pulse mode. These features were also found on North American CA18DE engines as well.


  • Nissan Pulsar NX SE (United States and Canada)
  • Nissan EXA (Australia and Japan)
  • Nissan Sunny B12
  • Nissan Sunny N13 (Europe)


The CA18(i) is a naturally aspirated 1.8l 4-cylinder with 91 hp (68 kW) at 5200 rpm engine. The fuel in this engine is delivered via fuel injection, but not via Multiport Fuel Injection which stands for the "E" in the engine codes, it is rather delivered by Throttle Body Fuel Injection ("(i)" in engine codes)




The CA18DE is a 1.8 L DOHC 16v (1809 cc) engine produced from 1987 through 1989. It produces 131 hp (98 kW) @6400 rpm and 159 N·m (117 ft·lbf) @5200 rpm. It has the same head as the CA18DET, however it did not use piston oil squirters that are found on the CA18DETs. A crank girdle as found on all CA18DET's is fitted to some versions for some markets, Nissan's parts data system "FAST" has to be consulted or the sump removed to determine if it's fitted.


production went all the way through to January 1991.



The 1.8 L (1809 cc) CA18ET produces 135 hp (99 kW) and 141 lb·ft (183 Nm) from a single Garrett T2 turbocharger which did not feature an intercooler (Autocar 1986). It was built from 1984 through 1990. The engine has fuel delivered via Multiport Fuel Injection.

It was used in the following vehicles:



The 1.8 L CA18DET was the last version of the CA engine to be released. It produces 169 hp (124 kW) and 166 lb·ft (228 Nm). It received a brand new DOHC aluminum head with 16 valves. The turbocharger was also upgraded to a Garrett T25 (.48 A/R) unit for increased flow capacity, and as such, was fitted with an intercooler to help prevent the onset of pre-ignition and/or detonation. Fuel was delivered via Multiport Fuel Injection. 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. The CA18DET is a robust built engine considering that many people have produced over 600 hp (450 kW) with modification. Often referred to as the four cylindered RB engine.

It was used in the following vehicles:

There were 2 versions of the CA18DET available, yet only one was produced for Japan. The late model Japanese CA18DETs received 8 port (low port) heads, with butterfly actuated auxiliary ports in the lower intake manifold which corresponded with 8 ports in the head.

Below ~3800 rpm, only one set (4 ports open, 1 per cylinder) of long, narrow ports would be open, accelerating the intake charge to the cylinder. This allowed for quick spool and good low end tractibility. At the 3800 rpm change over, not only would the ECCS shift into batch fire (as opposed to sequential) fuel injection, but it also opened the second set of short, wide ports (8 ports open, 2 per cylinder) which assisted in high RPM flow.

This motor is known for stronger torque characteristics, as well as faster spool at lower RPMs. However, due to displacement-based taxation and cost of emissions testing in Europe, the CA18DET was sold as the only available engine in the S13 chassis 200SX (Euro model) until replaced by the S14 in 1994. The Euro motors received the 4 port (high port) head and intake manifold, as well as revised ECCS ("Electronic Concentrated Control System") parameters.

Power was not increased, but high RPM flow was indeed improved, making the 4 port CA18DET the most desirable of the late generation Nissan turbo 4s.

The CA18DET is finding a new following as its price is much lower than that of its closest rival the SR20DET. Many 240SX owners and kit car builders are using this engine, and as such its popularity has made a sharp comeback. Many tuner shops which would never carry CA18DET parts now carry a plethora of even obscure parts. With the CA18DETs low price people are also being more adventurous with modifying it as buying a replacement can in some cases cost as much as a clutch for the SR20. Many tuners are now converting the engine to a CA18DERT, which is the CA18DET with a supercharger bolted on.



The 1.8 L CA18(s) was a carbureted version of the CA engine available in Japan. It produces 90 hp (66 kW) and 110 lb·ft (149 Nm). Bore is 3.27 in (83 mm) and stroke is 3.29 in (83.6 mm). It was used in the following vehicles:

  • 1984 Nissan Laurel
  • 1984 Nissan Skyline
  • 1988 Nissan Stanza
  • 1987-1988 Nissan Auster
  • 1985-1990 Nissan Bluebird


The SOHC 2.0 L (1974 cc) CA20E produces 115 hp (84 kW) and 108 lb·ft (146 Nm). Bore is 3.33 in (84.5 mm) and stroke is 3.46 in (88 mm). It was used from August, 1981 through 1991. Fuel was delivered via Multiport Fuel Injection. Dual sparkplugs per cylinder were used for enhanced combustion efficiency, and to combat poor head design.

It was used in the following vehicles:


The CA20S is a SOHC 2.0 L (1974 cc) engine produced from 1982 through 1987. Bore is 3.33 in (84.5 mm) and stroke is 3.46 in (88 mm), and is fed by a carburetor. It produces a peak power of 105 hp (78 kW) @ 5600 rpm and has a peak torque rating of 160 N·m (120 ft·lbf) @ 2800 rpm.



There was never a factory-produced twin-cam CA 2.0L motor, nor a turbo version. However the blocks are similar, and it is possible to fit the DOHC CA18DE/T twincam head to the SOHC CA20 block. However the DOHC/SOHC manifolds are different and the timing pulley/belts are not compatible. Despite this, CA20DET turbos have been built. The cheaper alternative to a CA20DET is a newer SR20DET. Parts for the SR20 are less expensive and more readily available.

This is no easy task, however. The rods of the normally aspirated CA20 series of motors are not up to the task, and many tuners use modified Mitsubishi 4G63 con-rods in this application. With a larger bore than the CA18, custom, flat topped and forged pistons are a must if boost is to be reliable. The CA20 also did not include the crank girdle support which vastly increased the harmonic resistance of the CA18. But the crank girdle from a CA18DET block will fit the CA20 main caps. The CA20 also did not include the under piston oil squirters of the CA18, but like the crank girdle, oil squirters from a CA18DET block can be fitted to the CA20 block.

Tomei and JUN of Japan produced 2 litre stoker kits for the CA18. A company called Norris Designs produces a CA20 stroker kit as well as a CA20 engine.

External links

See also

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