SR20DET Valve Cover Replacement

Back when I cleaned up the SR20 that would ultimately be swapped into my coupe in early 2020, I elected to send the valve cover out to TRG Coating for a refresh. TRG came highly recommended from a friend and from Zilvia, so I thought I would give them a shot (despite needing to ship the valve cover out of state.) Even with the cost of shipping, their prices were very reasonable and the work was top-notch. I can’t say enough about how positive the experience was.

Since my goal with the engine bay in the coupe was to keep things looking relatively factory, it only made sense to try to replicate the OEM SR20DET valve cover color. My friend Greg had recently had his cover redone in this color scheme and was kind enough to share the color combination with me. It turned out so nice, in fact, that I decided to hold onto a spare valve cover from one of the other SR20s I parted out in order to have a matching cover coated for my hatch.

My current valve cover that I had coated in 2009.

Fast forward to last week, where I finally collected just about everything I needed to swap the new cover onto the hatch’s SR20. I ended up purchasing new OEM nuts and washers for securing the cover (which are entirely too expensive for what they are), a fresh coil pack cover, a PCV refresh kit with valve and supporting hoses, and gaskets for the spark plug tubes and valve cover itself. I bought most of these items from my long time friend Russell at NissanParts.cc.

Fortunately, removing the valve cover on the SR20DET is pretty straightforward. I started by removing the coil pack cover and coil packs. Next, I disconnected the PCV/breather hoses from the various attachment points on the cover. Finally, I removed the 13 nuts and washers that hold the valve cover to the head. Make sure all of your wiring is disconnected from the front of the cover, and you should be clear to lift it off of the engine.

See that small gasket missing in the middle? Well, I didn’t when I took this photo… I always add a small amount of RTV to the half-moon shape portions of the gasket. I am still mad at Nissan for them making the gasket maker that comes with an SR20 gasket kit orange instead of black…

After replacing the main gasket and spark plug tube gaskets, I bolted up the fresh valve cover. In fact, things went so smoothly that I didn’t even realize that I did not install the small circular gasket in the center of the valve cover until I was completely finished with the job and was putting my tools away… doh! So I got to experience the installation process a second time. I had just put a full gasket kit on the SR20 in my hatch not too long ago now, so I was able to reuse the gasket I had. If you want to get all new gaskets for your valve cover though, make sure you get these part numbers: 13270-52F00 (x1), 13270-53J13 (x1 – this is the one I forgot about), and 13271-52F00 (x4).

After the valve cover was sorted out, I installed most of the new PCV hoses that came with the NissanParts.cc kit. This included the long line off of the PCV valve (as well as a new valve), the two small L shaped breather hoses it connects to above the fuel rail, and the two hoses that connect the OEM catch can to the valve cover and drain tube. I am running a factory Nissan airbox and catch can on my coupe, and am hoping to source the needed items to do the same on my hatch soon. I never thought I would see the day where I desired that sort of look, but it really cleans the engine bay up nicely. It’s great to not have an air filter flopping around loosely in there.

I’ll be replacing the vent hoses on this side with OEM ones soon- I just need to get a hold of a factory catch can and airbox. I need to order clamps for the PCV hose still as well.

So there you have it! A fresh valve cover for the hatch. I decided to hold onto my old wrinkle red valve cover as a garage decoration- at least for the time being. This valve cover is the original blacktop cover that came with my hatch when I bought it. Inspired by Kuruptr on Zilvia, I had it redone in wrinkle red in early 2009. I sold this valve cover with the engine when I parted my car out in 2012. When I bought the rolling chassis back, the guy I sold the engine to still had it- but wanted a lot more money for it than I had sold it to him for two years prior. However, he was willing to trade me valve covers so that I could have my old one back. It’s kind of a silly story, but it’s kind of cool to me I guess. Maybe it will look nice on display in the garage somewhere.

I should probably make an SR20 coffee table one of these days, eh?

Anyway, that’s about the extent of what I accomplished this week! I have some other cool stuff to share in the month of February though that I am really excited to post about. And hey, now that I mention it, I’ve made it a month into 2021 writing a new post every Friday- not bad! Let’s keep the streak alive.

My hope is to buckle down a bit this week and get my plans in order for what I truly want to accomplish with the cars prior to the weather ideally begins to break in April. Once those tasks are finalized and the parts are here, I want to try to keep a fairly aggressive schedule to ensure both cars are ready to drive as soon as the weather allows. 2021 is going to be a great year and I’m super excited to finally enjoy driving again.

I hope things are going well in your world- thanks for reading along. Have a great weekend!

Damon

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2 Responses to SR20DET Valve Cover Replacement

  1. rm6330 says:

    Heya man my SR20det is due for me to replace the leaking cam cover gaskets and I picked up a Nissan gasket kit a few months ago from efisolutions.com the part numbers 13270-65F00 and 13271-65F00 from looking at the differences it seems 13271-65F00 is 2 of the gasket kits you listed (but packaged in 1 kit)
    It’s got the spark plug o-rings and the smaller o-ring in the center all attached in one gasket.
    My SR is in my S15 so possibly they’re different between VCT S14/S15 and S13 cam covers I’m not sure?
    Anyway great write-up and hopefully those part numbers are useful.

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