At a glance:

  • Car - 1972 Datsun 1600 (510)
  • Engine - S13 SR20DET
  • ASE intercooler
  • Chinese tube type SS exhaust manifold
  • Front brakes - VY commodore V8 twin piston calipers, Verada rotors (cross drilled and slotted from DBA)
  • Rears brakes - R31 skyline set up (cross drilled and slotted rotors from DBA)
  • Tyres - Dodgy Khumo 205/40/17's
  • Wheels - Lenso SHU 17x7 rims
  • Suspension - Standard 1600 struts with king springs and KYB shocks.
  • Diff - 3.9 R200 clutch type LSD
  • Management - factory ECU w/ PLMS remap for 550 inj/Z32 AFM and 16psi
  • Injectors - Sard 550cc
  • Turbo - Garrett GT2871R (0.64 ex hsg, "T28 style" comp hsg, 48 trim comp wheel)
  • Performance - 201rwkw on 16psi, 1/4 mile 12.5 @ 115mph


Graeme first contacted us when he was starting the build on his car. We managed to help him out with the wiring and a dump pipe. He had a couple of false starts with dodgy SRs but after some "negotiations" with suppliers (and a few weekends on the spanners) Graeme had a purring SR.

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Looks innocent doesn't he? Don't be deceived - he's a madman! ;)   No nonsense interior.   Tidy. Understated. It's a lost art I tell ya...


When it came to upgrades Graeme was pretty adamant that he was going to be needing more - before he'd even driven it standard! A lot of people are surprised at the pace of an SR powered 510 even in standard trim. But after his first drive Graeme was true to his original thoughts and planned power upgrades immediately.

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Coming from a background of hot Vee-dubs Graeme has absolutely no time for lag (pardon the pun...). So big turbos were out. He finished up with a turbo that has become quite popular around these parts. It's what Garrett call a GT2871R. But in the interest of boost response it was ordered with the 0.64 exhaust housing and 48 trim compressor wheel. He also has the optional "T28 style" compressor housing so it's a bolt-in replacement for the T28. And once installed you can't pick it from a T28. So lag was never going to be a major issue - the challenge was always going to be how much peak HP we could get from it.

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Not the prettiest catch can ever - but perfectly functional.   Nice, if slightly unusual brake combination. 17's really look the part.   Gratuitous shot of the 71mm GT35 comp wheel found on the GT2871R.

Naturally an injector upgrade was going to be mandatory with the bigger turbo. Graeme secured a set of Sard 550's for minimal $$$. Which is just as well. I helped fit them and they are indeed nasty things. It's pretty obvious that these injectors were never designed to fit an SR20. They rely on a dodgy combination of oversized O rings and adaptor collars to make them (sort of) fit. And then the injector plugs need to be changed too. Sheeesh!

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Fully hectic tuning session. Z32 airflow meter being sucked on to the tune of around 4.3 volts It's electric really - I can see the cord... Shapes of things to come.

We started off at low boost and started adjusting mixtures to safe levels. Once everything was looking sharpish we started to dial in a bit more boost. Slowly working our way up to 16psi. Boost control was via a simple bleed valve which is actually a godsend on the dyno as they allow such easy adjustment. Unfortunately it also created a boost spike which called a halt to precedings. I removed a heap of timing to suppress detonation where the spike was but didn't want to go any further once the spike was going to 18psi. This resulted in an ultimate boost level of 16psi, which made a shade over 200rwkw.

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Good peak power figure but the best part is how the power was delivered. Check out the area under the curve! This makes it a really sweet car to drive. Full boost is reached by 3500 rpm which is within 500rpm of standard. I drove the car on the street after the dyno work and it's really quite impressive. With the 3.9:1 R200 LSD it is quite capable of smoking the rear tyres in the first three gears when boost comes up - no clutch work either!"


Nothing like a timeslip as proof of performance. Graeme's data is on the right. And this was the first time the car had been to the strip too. This was on the same street tyres that are used every day. Check out the left column - that's the VW of Graeme's mate Adam. It's usually a sad day when you get beaten by a VW - but not when it's a VW of this calibre!

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Yep, it's even legal. Anyone who has a legal SR turbo powered 510 in South Australia knows the value of this little plate. You need to go through numerous painful and expensive tests - these days it's nearly $2000 worth of testing and excruciating inspections. Often by people who go out of their way to make your life miserable.


Fast forward a year or two (time flies...) and here are some results after the cams were fitted. As per usual with these cams an extra 20rwkw was produced (OK, plus or minus a bit).

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Then we leaned on it a bit. The two problems we encountered were that it was starting to detonate and we had to pull heaps of timing out to stop it. Plus we were using a Turbotech manual boost control valve which gave us too much boost down low but not enough up top. Unusual - they're usually my favourite thing. Not a bad result all the same.

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Graeme would like to extend a huge thanks to Debiasi Auto Repairs in Adelaide. They allowed him to use their workshop for pretty much the whole build of his 1600. Not bad considering they're VW specialists. By the way - Adam Debiasi was the one keeping Graeme honest at the drags with his 2.4l VW! If your VW is being beaten by pesky SR powered 1600's give them a call on 8262 7533.