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 Post subject: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:16 pm 
Korean Jesus
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Canberra. Where the Fast Geminis live
So in the spirit of me trying to boost the forum and make it more useful I'm going to remake my 'build thread'.

OG one is here from 2007 > viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20695 if you wanna read it.

This is going to be a huge one. I've got to sum up the entire next frontier of the sedans life in one page. Hold on cause it'll be a novel.

I'll start from 2004 when I got it.

Was a shitbox. Everything was f*#cked. In hindsight I should have just bought a VL Commodore which where all the flavour back then.

So the idea was simple. Clean it up, fresh paint, get the rego sorted and do the whole resto p plater car arrangement.

Long story short (will attempt to keep the shitfight stories to a minimum) got this sorted tuned (made a whole 65rwhp) and then obtained rego.
Pulled it mostly down in school and discovered it was a bucket of s*#t. Bushes are all stuffed ball joints dodgied together to make it look like they were ok. Brakes were rubbish rack was stuffed.

So I sunk some of my pizza delivering salary into getting that all fixed.
Went to a ghetto high school so tools and things were either rubbish or non-existent, so I attempted to do what any person with a shithouse paint job would do and lay some fresh paint down, figured this would bring my mark up.
Unfortunately I was a week late getting the red down but managed to get 93/100 for the overall project (managed to convince the assessors that the paint was on its way from America and the shipment was late).
With that school ended skids happened and off we went. (have all the pics somewhere but cbf finding them)

I daily drove the thing until one morning the head gasket in the old 1600 let go. Big plume of steam out the back and I knew it was toast..
Went out and bought a ute and then decided to sort something for motor. Back then being on NSW licence turbo and high performance motors weren’t cool and no one like them so I sort after something that had enough go and looked factory. So I got offered the worlds best engine conversion into a gemini eva and bought a 4ze1 (EFI 2.6L) out of a rodeo, did some research and according to experts it was a “bolt in” conversion.
Like most things in these rotten things it was not.

Here’s a pic I found of it before the motor went in with the new wheels on. Sat high as f*#k! (standard suspension didn’t help)

I'll go into the 4ze1 conversion as best as I can remember it.
This I am hoping will be a decent reference point for anyone wanting to do a 4ze1 conversion

See how I used inverted commas to say bolts in? Yeah cause that's a f*#cking lie. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Only motor that bolts in is another standard motor.
Any conversion will rely on a number of elements.

Cash, Cash and more cash. Nothing is ever cheap. Don't fall into the trap assuming you'll do this for $50 cause you've got all the s*#t.
willingness to listen and learn things.
Some useful c*#t with half a clue.

4ze1 conversions aren't the most particularly expensive conversion but still requires money.
When we did the 4z into mine one of the old forum regulars and a few others helped me out. I can't wire a radio let alone an ECU (lies i can do it but you know) back then I didn't.
Going from Carburettor to EFI is a big step. Plenty of info out there. Plenty of it useful, plenty of it rubbish.

When we did this. Nothing fit.
The standard Rodeo sump is no go. Fouls on the x member.
The standard dizzy hits hard up against the firewall.
Extractors or exhaust manifold did the same.

Now it took us ages to get around this and this forum helped us to a point.
Now we know there's a few options.

To resolve the sump problems >>> We managed to get a 2nd hand 4zc1-T Piazza sump for mine. This sorta worked.
Things to note. 4ze1 have a massive stroke. Yeah cool we know. You won't know till the f*#cking crank wacks the sump and it sounds like the motor is seized up.
You'll need to maybe turn the motor over and let it score the sump then 'encourage it' with a hammer so that the sump will clear the crank assembly while it's reciprocating (spinning).
You'll also need someone who can weld and sort yourself out a shortened oil pick up. 4zc1 sump is smaller and so the 4ze1 oil pick up is too long.
Dependant on the 4ze1 they've got locator pins at the end of the block so you may have to make reliefs for those in the sump (I had to cut into the tin to make allowances for this).

Too hard man wtf I can't source a Piazza sump anywhere. Yeah tbh I'm still on the look out for a spare one to so if anyone has a hook up...

4zd1 2.3 Rodeo motors are also useable if you can find one. The other option is Running the standard e1 sump with a diesel cross member.
Mates of mine did this with a piazza to avoid making a 'relief' for the dizzy and said they'd not do it again. More f*#cking around than it's worth.

4zb1 or whatever the diesel one is works some how to. One of the guys who knows how this works can interject and let me know.

Dizzy Problems >>> It's not really a problem but they're in an absolute head f*#k of a spot. They sit to the very rear of the head and make it painful to change/adjust/remove/install with the factory parcel shelf there.
Solution. Install a diesel cross member and have the engine sit forward so it clears (like I said above) OR make a small 'relief' with a sledge hammer.
Engineer rules say 10mm from anywhere and that usually just enough to clear the shelf and allow movement.

I'll try and dig some pics out of the archives so I can show you how mine was setup originally.

We also noted that having standard Gemini engine mounts (as in the ones off the block) swapped over each side with a small 10mm spacer seemed to sit mine pretty much factory.
There's various comments on notching them etc. You can but this seems less painful. Will also help with the gearbox mount (won't need to change it)

Other misc rando short cuts you can take to make this not hate your life.

Gearbox >>> Gearbox thankfully share the same pattern as a G Series motor (and visaversa) So you can run a Gemibox instead of a MUA rodeo one. The rodeo ones are bulk strong but include a fair amount of modifications to get to work.
For a G series box > You'll need not much. If you mount it like I did you shouldn't need any spacing/notching or mods to the gearbox or mount. Mine sat perfectly factory and worked.
You will need to make something to keep the clutch cable straight however. Tailshaft will be standard to suit whichever box you throw in.
4ze1 box > Needs a bit of work to get in. You'll need to start by converting to a hydraulic clutch which is a pain unless you know what you are doing/have someone do it for you.
Will require tunnel mods to allow the massive shifter to poke through.
Needs an auto tailshaft to fit it also. 10 times easier to get the Gemini one in. Unless you've got 384723ty KW.
They're also a huge pain to remove/reinstall. I think it's a box off then engine out job. I did Jimmys Turbo Gemini one with him a number of times. Never again. (Get a hoist then try this lol)

Clutch >>> Besides doing diffs clutches are my next least favourite job. The factory pressure plate is massive. Remember it's designed as a work truck motor not a performance one. The factory one/factory replacement one will cause a little drama with getting the gearbox back on. There's weird like I dunno tab things on the pressure plate. They don't provide anything and almost like the mould or whatever they use to manufacture them just has it as a push out bit.
For mine we grounded that down and the box slid straight over.
PRO TIP. f*#k it off. Buy a Exceedy Sports tuff or whatever (mine was a safari) clutch. The pressure plates are prefect for this. No mods fresh clutch and slip straight over
I've mentioned above you'll need a clutch cable mount if you do it that way also. The clutch kit will come with a hydraulic bearing. You'll need a standard Gemini one if you base if off that.

Brakes and Diff. Always good to upgrade. I had my brakes completely rebuilt/overhauled and they pulled up ace and passed engineering.
Brake and diff things aren't part of this but if you can upgrade where you need to.

Fuel system. I haven't really touched on this and I probably should.
EFI is high pressure. Carb is low. Prime time to rip out all your old as f*#k lines and chuck them. The hard lines are suitable for an n/a application so you can leave them in.
Replace all the rubber hosing with something EFI rated. I can't remember the pressure you need to worry about but make sure you have that and new hose clamps. Not the rubbish isuzu chucked on the carbs.
Even the coupe I've re-done all these to EFI spec hose and hose clamps.

Car fires suck.

We managed to run the standard intank pump as a lift pump to my surge tank.
Surge tank then fed and bosch 040 pump and so on. You'll need to wire these up to a relay and go from there. Having a decent fuel system is a good idea. Don't really skimp on cheap s*#t cause it'll probably fail/bite you in the ass.

This isn't my forte but I can do it. I just pay people cause it's easier and I don't like electrical fires.
ECU/Wiring >>> Originally I ran the factory 4ze1-M (manual) ecu. I'll level with you. Straight up throw the cnt in the bin where it belongs. They're old, they're rubbish, they can't be tuned (f*#k off don't tell me otherwise).
The biggest issue with the ecu is that if you go looking there's like 3 different 4ze1 looms out of the Rodeo alone. Not to mention all the other things they were in (Jackaroo bla bla bla)
Bin. I do have the wiring diagrams for all of the ones I found that are close somewhere. I'd rather just burn them so no one goes through the head aches of trying to wire them up.

So after you've recycled the factory ECU to drink cans, go out and buy yourself a decent aftermarket ECU. I should have done this from the start and my Gemini would have been years ahead in the build.
They're all pretty similar these days. I bought a Microtech LT10s when they were new (shows my age hey). Good basic ecu that sorta did the job.
Buying 2nd hand don't buy something of that vintage that doesn't have specifically that table loaded forget it. Microtech don't update old ECU's and Haltech aren't much better (you can create your own stuff on old haltechs but) Mircotech are locked in and that's it.
Don't get sucked in to "oh just get it remapped". Cause it more than likely won't happen.
Jump on line and grab something newish for about a grand terminate the loom and off you go. Not sure? Talk to an autoelectrian. I was really lucky cause I had two on hand to help me through both phases.

It's a pretty basic motor to wire up anyway.
Requires > Dizzy, Injectors, Water Temp & TPS to run essentially. We got Adams going in an hour after sorting out problems we weren't responsible for. (see Adams Skidbox)

Once you've sorted all that check timing, check with tuners if you're unsure and see if it'll fire.
Go through the usual spark, fuel problems and timing. By then you'll work out it's probably 180 out and fix everything.
Then pull 2nd gearys.

75 TX Coupe
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 Post subject: Re: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:37 pm 
Korean Jesus
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Canberra. Where the Fast Geminis live
Now being the moron I am I was coaxed into pushing n/a power through the 4z. This is a bit more story time than useful information cause I've pretty much covered how to do a non s*#t 4ze1 conversion in my ramblings above.

To this I do not recommend. Frequently blew headgaskets and s*#t.

Here's a pic after it was all right to drive etc.


I had to add in big wheels cause the 13s just fried. Was a handful in the wet. Taught me alot in the time it was standard. Mainly to throw the standard ECU in the bin and move on with my life.

So I did, along with head work, cam, inlet plenum, ECU some other s*#t I can't remember and a colour change.


Figured why stop there and went out and bought some nicer seats (GTi swift recaros) and had a fella knock some rails up to suit, once that was done sent them off for a new look and had the lot re-trimmed. New colour as well as the Sting Red was never as good as it could have been.

Paint rep put me onto HOK brandy wine candy. Looked the business so ordered as much as I could at the time.
Months after the head along with my piece of drain pipe shitcunt plenum was supposed to rock up it came

I wanna stress that I wasn’t quite 21, worked a s*#t job and had little money so I bought things I thought were reasonably price made by ‘reputable’ people. Like all things Gemini the thing turned out to be complete rubbish.
Hence my random ramblings. I was poor as back then. So all this s*#t took ages to get up on. If I can save you the head ache that's my gift to the Gemini community.

Especially things like buying a gutter pipe 'plenum' from racinggemini in Melbourne who not only makes shithouse motors but shithouse plenums to! I think he's out of the business now so you shouldn't really have to worry.

So after getting everything set I sent it to a ‘microtech’ specialist and got f*#cked around and ended up having the thing towed back to my house.

I assume they were trying to get the timing right and was playing with the timing gears. One was put on backwards and the timing belt ate through the plastic timing cover. Band new belt destroyed and timing cover goneski.
So another 12 hour night time session was served and we managed to get the thing running driving and somewhat ready for re-tune.

Got it to the painters and had it painted up.


Seemed to be running ok
Fail after fail after fail. Motor sorted and running somewhat ok, seats weren’t delivered on time, tuners weren’t willing to finish the job so summernats was out and spent the weekend drinking instead.

Mid summernats the seats are done pick them up tell old mate his work was excellent but wouldn’t recommend him to anyone. (This is a story in itself) and a few weeks later I received a bill for $500 and got an utterly shithouse dynotune and excessively low HP read out.

Drove around for a few weeks, car ran terribly wouldn’t idle, starting took forever fuel enrich cycle was all over the place.
Ass tuned it with a hand controller and managed to get it passed over rego (went from NSW to ACT) which was a super big headache in itself.
Once I received my new permit to drive freely around it was sort out the tune time.
Hand controller out my mate the ‘head mechanic’ Marty and another mate spent hours getting this thing somewhat driveable.

Marty got the timing was bang on 12deg btc and few other things and it was an absolute animal off the line.
Eventually we managed to pull 147HP out of it. I’d say more cam and probably bigger injectors would have seen it probably go and easy 150. Knocked the timing back a bit and sat happy around 130 which was enough for the street and ripping skids out nothing in 2nd.

(And lol at the average v6 commodore owner getting beaten)


Drove around for a bit, took my sister to her formal and replaced about 4 headgaskets 3 water pumps and 3 starter motors (one was actually recondition twice).
After a year or two in the colour it was in I gave in to not being happy with the paintwork (had excessive orange peel and the fella that painted it skipped down before I could get it fixed) and had a mate -repaint it.

Few lads had a hand in getting the thing straight and tidied up (ajs991) in this time I ditched the shithouse plenum (I can’t stress to you how s*#t this thing was) and invested in this custom million dollar arrangement. (I should mention that I made the power listed above with this plenum I jumped a bit head sorry)

Was pretty mad for while. Headgaskets was a thing and f*#k it drove me nuts. We'd do one like an oil change.
Could never work out why. Never mind that.

Anyway for a while it sat in the shed and we introduced Amy's Gemini into the Mix.

Another TE sedan, this time with a G200 (2L) EFI turbo, from memory making 256hp at 15psi.
he 2L was an awesome combination but kept blowing head gaskets. (Boost and s%*tty headstuds bad mix)
Did skid did get out of control a lot. Nopics wasn’t happy about the power figure so we went all out on this one.
G180 sourced & built up with all the shiney bits inside, obtained Garrett GT35R, 900cc injectors better fuel system a lot of work by Mr Jones and went up to see Dale for new haltech and tuna.


Probably seen pics of us putting it around. It's fast enough for her. s*#t your pants fast when it needs to be. An an absolute monster under full noise.
Now with some trickery makes an easy 320HP @ 22psi


Anyway after getting all this sorted Summernats rolled around and it was time to rip the red thing out of the shed. Threw down a fresh gasket cleaned the head up and off we went (although cliché 12 hour overnight rebuild).

Early February that year I get a call to do a fellas wedding in Orange. Spend the day getting the insides smick.
Cruising along temp gauge crawls up and I do a lot of hmms and s*)ts and eventually a are you f*#cking serious.
Something went wrong. It overheated drastically stopped at Yass Servo and suddenly didn’t want to go anymore.

So yet again another 2 hour wait at a servo for my less than pleased old boy to come rescue me. What a f*#cking pain in the ass.
And from there it’s literally sat in the shed since. The 4z came out and decided it was a good time to clean everything up.
Turbo motor was going to happen just needed to sort out which one. In this time I get booted from my job and I’m left with a half bitsa car. So I literally gave up on it.

Amy's Gem kept us cruising while we sat around touch ourselves and tried to work out what to do on extreme limited budget.

I got a new job. Started paying off the massive debts we got into from me being off work...
Got into the green a little and started searching for something better than the 4ze1. You'll have noted me in many cases saying the 4ze1 belongs in the bin. Mostly true.
I'll more than likely do another one soon enough to another car. We've done 4 or 5 successfully now.

What's next? Well... The plan for my Gemini was always Turbo. Because of NSW p plater restrictions at the time it was illegal. Well lets face it. If I ever got pulled over I'd have been screwed with the 4z anyway. Just "looked" standard.

Couldn't find a G series for the write price. 4z no f*#cking way.
The obvious choice was a Nissan Motor.

Enter the SR20DET of excellence.
The peoples hero motor.
The tractor factory of madness.
Choice of Datsun spastics since 1995.

Sacrilege waa rubbish they knock and have s*#t problems with rockers walking.
Eh f*#k off.

75 TX Coupe
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 Post subject: Re: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:40 pm 
Korean Jesus
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Canberra. Where the Fast Geminis live
So with the SR20 Conversion this is another massive undertaking.

This was more involved than the 4ze1 conversion, cost more than the 4ze1 conversion and for about the same price I coulda easily had a built G series with turbo stuff.

The biggest difference is this. Everything on Amys G180 turbo is custom not really off the shelf stuff (some things you can actually buy now but weren't around when we did hers) so along with the 4Z everything was dependant on someone else. Fabricators, parts dealers, ebay. Anything Gemini is an overnight delivery or couple of nights from somewhere.
SR20? Yeah sick got 10 on the shelf. Having bought 18 4z headgaskets they take 3-5 business days depending on suppliers. SR20 stuff? Yeah I'll get it from x and it'll be here this arvo/tomorrow or nah wait bro it's just here.

For me this was a massive win. Nissan not badness, easy to get s*#t, no need to rely on shithouse fabricators from Melbourne and be delivered garbage...

So. Sourced a Gemini with this conversion half done in it. This is where Scott came into play. Everyone needs a f*#cking magic man and he's 10 of them. He helped me out with alot of this conversion.
After pulling it out of the donor car the mounts where rubbish and he said no f*#cking way.

Was incredibly kind of him to give me a hand/hoist/tools to get things moving on it. You can get away with doing this on the floor of a garage as well.

First things first we ripped everything out of the car.
No 4z wiring/old s*#t/any random other stuff in it.

All the OG isuzu stuff out. So I had basically a rolling shell again.
We then attempted to install the SR how it was in the donor car and see above response from Scott.

That all back out and time to re-engineer everything.

The main thing with SR20 conversions is money. Your budget will never cut it unless you're baller and have bulls*#t money lying around.
The next bit is engine and gearbox mounts. Seems easy enough.
SR20s themselves aren't really cheap. Ideally you wanna get one that's either in a running car (like mine) or make sure it's got absolutely everything with it.
Having everything makes life easier. Even if you bin it, it's best to have it than not and need it again along the line. I did this with mine, as in thought I wouldn't need it then did then had to buy it all back...
Unnecessary cost.

It's best to be prepared to replace everything as well. Nothing worse than spending 10k on a conversion to find out you've got a cracked hose and it's causing vac problems or leaking coolant or worse fuel.
With mine I went a bit retarded with this...

With a new engine I figured Ohh should get new wheels (nothing to do with SR20 conversions but its MY BUILD THREAD SO f*#k OFF)
Genuine 3 piece FR Simmons to set this off. This is before 1 piece s*#t was around and every fraud and his boring Gemini had them. Them being 1 piece ones. Plebs.

Next stage was pull everything to pieces and start again.
And we mean pull everything to pieces.

Yep flashed up the cross member and arms because I could.

Few weeks later we started putting it back into my Gemini

While we were waiting for things to happen we investigated the next element to this conversion. Like the 4ze1, well like any non G161 or G series that was in a Gemini before the sump needed mods.
SR20s have like a two piece sump arrangement. The top section has a slope thing at the base of it which hits the cross member and rack.
Scott fixed this problem


If you look in the 2nd picture he actually chopped and welded in half a cylindrical bar to help clear the rack. Not a bad idea!

With this you do take a percentage out of the sump. SR20 dislike low oil pressure and have a tendency to do bad things i.e. blow up.
We think that we should have been ok with the amount to have taken out an not worried about it. I'll probably cover this later cause I didn't get one at the time.
Look into Winged sumps to suit SR20s. Remember budget and budget that again for little things like this.
They're about $150 for a cheap one I think? Just adds that little extra oil capacity. I don't see that ever being a bad thing for an SR20.

I also bought some bomb proof clutch. Did that (again good time to do the things while it's out!)
looked great after a solid clean to!

Now the worst part of this conversion was the f*#cking mounts. The first ones where junk and the ones I ordered off a supposed 'purpose built conversion shop' in Castlemaine Victoria where rubbish.

Elkin and I did alot of work on this car together. These mounts almost ended our long term friendship.
Hours on hours trying to get the motor and box in. Everything looked fine. Anyway Scotty to the rescue.
Turns out that this purpose conversion shop in Castlemaine Victoria's mounts aren't that crash hot. Tell you the truth, the f*#cking welding skill on them was as good as I would do. (Yes I can't weld).

Pulled them all to pieces and started again. For the price they're a good start to getting the SR20 into your Gemini, assuming you've got some whizz at your disposal. If I didn't this thread wouldn't exist and the Gem be worse off that it was with a busted 4z.

Anyway. We started getting it all back together.

You might notice this has non standard brakes on it. Took us a while to work out what they are. I need to dig up the link and put it in here on the conversion.
It's a very 90s brake upgrade but works absolutely perfect!
The fronts are SS Commodore Calipers and Magna rotors. They need some hokey bracketry I think to make them work but these are all good.
The rears are VL calipers (same as VN, VR, VS) and just whatever of those Commodore rear discs (Need to be live axle)
I'll touch on that laterish.


Few weekends later!
New f*#cking everything under there! If you're doing a conversion like this, you're a moron not to do everything while it's out. Full bush kit, rebuild the rack and stuff.
Cleaned everything underneath (thanks hoist!)

Now back on the topic of mounts. Because I pulled this out of a Gemi with it in it we didn't have to do much to make the gearbox mount work.
From the looks of it and I'll get Uhley to confirm what he did with his but mine has an adaptor plate between the box and the standard Gemi mount. This seems to work in my case.
But I'll clarify what you can do without that option.
The adaptor plate basically mounts to the SR20 gearbox (and stupid me never got a picture of it) then mounts to the Gemini mount separately. So there's 4 bolts holding that section together.
Spoiler alter it's run since this part obviously and I've torched tyres in various scenarios and the box mount has never been an issue. Diffs and torque tubes yeah but anyway that's another story.

And all in and sitting pretty!

Now with intercooler mounted neatly and a dump pipe custom fabricated to suit.

That was about it in regards to getting it mounted and setup. So the Gemi returned back to my garage after its holiday at the workshop.

That's about the main things to getting an SR20 into a Gemini. It's 5:40 real time and I'm going to head home.
I'll keep going with the upgrades from there. You'd already have noticed the absurd turbo on it amongst other things..

75 TX Coupe
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#TurboFamily #Geminats #Bucketship
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 Post subject: Re: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:14 pm 
Korean Jesus
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Canberra. Where the Fast Geminis live
So preceding on from yesterdays chapter.

There was still a heap of things left to do with the Gem.

I bought some sweet exhaust manifold and the GT35R Turbo to go with it (as you can see).
I've been very persistent on doing everything neatly so I figured I'd run brand new braided lines for the turbo. This conversion was never going to be on the cheap.

A standard SR20 swap you could honestly get away with the T25/T28 turbo and have good times. Uhleys skidwagon has a T28 on it and goes excellent.

The idea was to be comparable to Amys Gemini for power. If I could squeeze 300HP out of it without too much strain then do it. (You'd need a built g series for that sorta powers).
Amy's has a 35R so I got one as well. Hers is internal gate and this one is external. Worked well for me cause the manifold supports an external gate.

I bought some tools, some lines, some fittings and started doing all the lines.
Absolute pain in the ass job but pay off is excellent.


Did the turbo oil and water lines with ease.
Tip: IF You're going to do this make sure you get the correct fittings. Maybe even get a bloke to come and check. I bought mine from a 3rd party dude and the block fittings weren't correct. I had a guy come out and check and sold me the correct sized ones.
Sometimes you can't trust an online fitting specific specialist...


I bought some bits and pieces to push this along.

I got myself a newish rocker cover with AN fittings welded in for breathing, grabbed a catch can and added some rocker stoppers for added security.
Pulled the old silver rocker cover off and added the new s*#t.


Did up some lines mounted the catch can:


Did some irrelevant polishing on the intercooler piping and wastegate (they where filthy and that I've been neglected for 10years stained chromey colour)
So now I’m hoping the turbo side stuff is all ready to go.
Actually bolted it all down securely added gaskets here and there as well.

Hot side pretty much done!

Now this is a notable thing for anyone who wants to run these and upgraded brakes. Or maybe just brakes in general.
I know the S14/S15 SR20 inlets are completely different to S13/180sx (mine is a 180sx SR20) but provides the same issue. With mine the factory SR20 plenum fouled up against the brake booster.
I couldn't really have this because engineered and safe etc. The obvious choice was non-standard plenum.
I went back and forth with 3 different plenums and still hitting with the factory TE booster and master cylinder.
Which ever way I played with it still no dice.
In previous pictures you might notice I've thrown on a ebay greddy plenum. This thing cost bugger all and retains the factory SR20 throttle body.
The Idle control unit sits underneath it. You better believe that it didn't fit also.
In my parts bin at my parents I had a TX booster and master cylinder. If you can get your hands on one of these they are excellent. Why? You can buy an 1inch master cylinder for it instead of using the usual XB Falcon one.
Not that they're a problem they just look neater and for this process helped with space issues.

The biggest problem is space. You might have guessed that. The way around this is a bit unconventional but worked.
Step one. Rotate the master cylinder so the vac line for the booster is on the other side. Seems retarded helped. That gave me a little bit more room on that side to the plenum.
I actually bought one of another Sr20 Gemini but turned out to not be useful...


You can see here it hitting the cups

I needed to notch out the back of it and try and get something organised there. Turned out wouldn't work. The master cylinder is for a truck so no problems for space there. What I did do was swap the cups over. One's higher than the other.
I threw the greddy one on and fiddled some more. Eventually I worked out that I wasn't going to get anywhere with the idle control unit.
You can tune around it but I have removed it completely. There are decent bosch units you can buy and run in the vac line to the throttle body (I think) then wire it in. I've short cutted it there and just left it out. I use a small piece of cardboard to crack the throttlebody on warm up, then remove it. Same same. Cheap bogan hacks lol.
I should note that the provision for the idle control unit it still there. A mate of mine made up a blanking plate and it's sealed up nicely. Can be returned to stock if needed/sold off etc.

The pricey way around this is to buy a custom plenum. I had one ordered but it never got built so I didn't worry about it. Now you can buy them pretty much anywhere for not much money.
I'll eventually do it. The ebay one was a cheap easy fix for the time being but oh my dam do they heat soak... Also no provision for an aftermarket fuel rail which I have sitting around which I can't use.
I've got a decent sized fuel system for it just ran short on time trying to get it done for summernats that year.

So from there we plodded along with fiddly things. That brake problem literally took weeks to resolve.
Amy and I got accepted to do the city cruise so we were all in for that.
Lets get this bitch done!

I get a letter in the mail saying the missus and I are in for the Summernats Street cruise. f*#k the thing isn’t far from actually working. Lets do it.
G’d up some mates and we spent some hours getting it back together and running. f*#k power s*#t now lets just make it run.

So as with the 4ze1 I ran brand new hoses and stuff for the fuel lines. New engine new stuff.
The factory ecu got sold off to someone who needed it so I bought an after market ecu for this. I purchase an new Haltech PS1000 which was hi tech when I bought it. IT's been superseded now...

With this it's a fair few steps ahead of the LT10s it used to have. I left this one to a professional.
So I called in my mate Steve to wire the bitch up. He’s got a SR20 Gemini as well so he basically matched the looms. After getting it all in and powered up.
2am crash course in ECU setup and punching in some numbers. “Turn the key man”
The haltech software was incredibly easy to use. Click this click that set this set that.

Fuel pressure obtained and sounds ready to go. Crank crank crank crank. Cough.
Hmm ok. That's not bad.
That tapping doesn’t sound f*#cking fantastic. Woman came in and told us off and that was that.
So essentially working conversion aside from this knocking. f*#k... It has been sitting for sometime? Could this be a problem?

So SR20 with no oil pressure, summernats a week and a bit away already dodged two tune dates cause of things f*#k what is it.
Booted up the google machine “Common things include oil pick up clogged or not receiving much oil”

Greeaaaattt… Fast forward some back and forth with the lower sump. “Being tin they can bent slightly and the pick-up may be not getting as much as it should be. Tin sump went flying into the neighbours yard and off to import parts (3pm NYE) to get this done. Got some fancy as winged sump for f*#k all somehow and wacked it on. After gone through 2 fresh oil bottles I went for the third and turned the key TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP FFUUUUUCCCKKKk *tapping goes away and NORMAL noise.
Thhaaannnkkk f*#k. It doesn’t idle but eh who cares.

Got plastered and forgot about it that night.
The boys came around next day (waz and Adam) to help me get the last of the s*#t done.
Clutch pedal was put in a few times and eventually bled up.

Actually this is the only thing I haven't covered. Clutch setup. What a head f*#k... Being of the Cable Clutch originally there's nothing to base the hydraulic master cylinder off.
So some idiot made this bracket with some cheap master cylinder and made it work.
Note cheap master cylinder. Do not do this. Go to a brake shop and buy a non s*#t one. Trust me. I'll touch on this later.

Elkin and I got our s*#t together fixed up anything on Amys Gemini and kicked her off to scrutineering for Summernats.
We hadn’t really had much road time to test this so it was all new. Got to the servo which is about 10ks away from home and the things pouring out steam. f&*ks sake wtf is wrong now.

This is something I missed in the ramblings to. The radiator itself is a bit of custom mods. The thing will need more than a standard radiator to keep it cool. We did an SR20 into another Gemini and the stock radiator didn't hold up at all.
This is just an ebay job. The one with the least negative reviews. We checked the tanks etc on it (they tend to be welded a bit s*#t from time to time) and modified it to suit.
One f*#cking annoying thing is SR20s aren't like 4z's and have the water outlets on the opposite sides... FFFFFFF.
So the best thing is to get a stock radiator modify it to suit. Switch the outlets on the radiator over (you'll need a welder mate and probably TIG). With mine it's actually on a slight slant. So the bottom is closer to the lower apron than the top is. Still mounts normal but just gave a inch extra space to clear the crank pulley.
I did find a loop hole for clearing that but it's expensive. Ross Racing do a SR20 harmonic balance thing you can pull down depending on which accessories you have. Being a Gemini it only needs the alternator and water pump.
No AC or powersteering to worry about.

So turns out that the way my radiator is the lower rad hose gets awfully close to the alternator. In this specific case I had the hose slightly on an angle and you guessed it hit the alternator and slowly (well in 10mins) ate into the hose.
Supercheap is next to the servo so grabbed a new hose ghetto’d the old one up and legged it back home. Made a fix and got back into the car.
It actually broke me a bit at this stage... f*#cking bitch of a car. So just something to be mindful of if you do this.
I think the work around if I was to do this again is instead of the standard outlet, have one come out and kink off towards the front of the wheel. Then find a hose to suit.

Anyway lugged it down there just in time and passed scrutineering and we were all good.

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It pretty much sat for a few months from then until Geminats in April.
Another torque tube in it and off to get tuned properly this time. Made 180kw @ 10psi at Jakes.

“f*#k all that s*#t and only that much?” I told Jake pretty direct instructions for tuning it.

Going to Geminats next week. I want to drive the c*#t up there and around all weekend with absolutely no troubles. If it makes 100hp so be it as long as it’s reliable. People often whinge about Jake but my mates cars he’s tuned have never had an issue and this thing is absolutely spot on and for the time/scope.

Bla bla bla Geminats done, few other things done and that’s pretty much it I even drove it to our ACT Holden Day. We did another Summernats and broke the diff but other than that not really much has gone wrong, been updated with it.
Blew the torque tube actually. That's the back of the pinon gear jammed in there.
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Actually. It did get used for a special day. My now wife and I got hitched.
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Lovely trip out to my “parents property” for some neat pics.
Photographer: “Are we doing it?”
Me: Nah man, my mate got stitched up and we won’t be doing it after all.
My now wife: “Nah f*#k that. You know you didn’t just bring the thing to ride in. It’s happening, we are f*#cking doing it”
Me: Jimmy!! Come here for a minute.
Nek minnet…..
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And that’s basically it.
It's been a pretty stout machine really. I've driven it to a come and try day, Geminats, Geminats Trackday, Summernats etc.
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I'll get some more recent pics of the engine bay just as a wrap up. All I seem to have is this one:
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The 20k question.
Was it worth it? When I originally wanted to do an engine conversion SR20 was the want. Because of P plater restrictions I never visited the idea.
Really what I should have done was never done the 4ze1 conversion and just put a reco motor in putted around then did the SR20.

The 4z would pull in any gear to 140 (never took it past that for reasons) like a freight train. I could do 40kph in 5th then accelerate to 140 and never shift down.
The SR20 yeah forget that it's knock it back a cog or two then go.
The amount of money I pissed up the wall trying to make N/a power from it, other engines where there and I shoulda just rolled with G200 or something and gone turbo cause chasing n/a power is a waste of time.
That's comparing the two of them. I used to love the unassuming 4z chopping n/a 5Ls v6es and stuff but always just lacked that little bit more.
This is where the SR20 shines. Even at 180kw it's a f*#cking rocket. Being twincam doesn't mind revving and gets from A-B quick. I can't imagine what it would be like with actual power through it.
The turbo isn't as laggy as I expected but when it's on it's on and it doesn't mind letting you know. For what it is it's almost perfectly balanced.

All of the driving pics are a year and a bit old. You might have seen me mention don't buy a cheap master cylinder. It broke August last year and I haven't been bothered to fix it.
I should cause I miss driving it.

So to answer the question. If I had exactly the same amount of money. Wasn't keen on a single cam Gemini motor then yes 100% I would recommend doing it.
You need to remember budget x then double it cause it'll end up costing that much.
I can't really compare it to the white one either. The build of that was about the same amount of money. Hers is 320Hp and mines 240. Mine is capable of reaching that without leaning on it super hard. No G series would be able to reach that sorta power completely stock.
There's a lot of people on the internet claim they can do it but like most engine swaps get 30% of the way in and work out it's a) gunna cost them thousands or b) have no talent/skill/concept of stuff.
If that sounds like you, It's hella easier to keep to a G series tbh. They're a stout motor that can make f*#cking ace power.

Always need to budget in for brakes and a diff.
Diff if you might have noticed is currently to weak point of the car. I think we've swapped out 3 or 4 now? They're just not up to the job. I've sorta boycotted driving it till I can save up for something that will do the job and take the bashing I'll give it.

Happy to answer any questions or if there's things in there that don't make sense/need more info/specific details I'm happy to answer them.

Hopefully the ramblings of two engine conversions, mulitple headaches, years of research helps someone or at least makes an entertaining read!


75 TX Coupe
GemiNats > https://www.facebook.com/GeminiNationals
#TurboFamily #Geminats #Bucketship
YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPKSHb ... akJ04sOYjw

 Post subject: Re: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 580
Location: Nudecastle
Excellent read.

I know first hand about the "this bolts in" bulls*#t .... Piazza diff, Piazza brakes, Piazza power steering rack. I have an old magazine around somewhere which is probably responsible for the whole turbo Piazza diff crap. It had the Gemini swapperoo article in which it stated a turbo Piazza rear axle bolts in. f*#k heads!

This thing about money, skills and talent to do such an engine conversion is so true. I have bugger all money so does that mean I have skills and talent instead? Nah I'm just too tight to pay someone. Seriously though I did a rough calculation recently on what I've spent on my coupe and came up with an approximate of $8k. You just can't see $8k in it but there is.

My work - Freeze Equip

 Post subject: Re: Jonno's not so Stock Red TE Gemini
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:33 pm 
Korean Jesus
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 2340
Location: Canberra. Where the Fast Geminis live
Thanks Justin :)

Yeah without Scooters skills I'd have given up really. Just those small little hickups I encountered f*#cked me up royally. Like anything now having done one I know where the shortcuts can be taken and where they can't.

Yeah it totals up pretty quick. That's my budget and double it thing. I post this on facebook all the time but have gotten sick of doing it cause no one listens...

Here's an up to date pic of the engine bay anyway.

76697303_2524915004265451_1434653157153046528_n.jpg [ 129.97 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]

75 TX Coupe
GemiNats > https://www.facebook.com/GeminiNationals
#TurboFamily #Geminats #Bucketship
YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPKSHb ... akJ04sOYjw

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