The 1991-'94 Sentra SE-R is a diamond in the rough. Introduced when the import phenomenon was barely a blip on the radar, the SE-R ran circles around the Hondas that would soon dominate the landscape. The SE-R was a two-door powered by a 2.0-liter, 140-hp inline four engine; it came with four-wheel disc brakes, a sweet five-speed manual gearbox and what many consider the best bucket seats on the road. The Nissan's SR20DE engine is a real go-getter that responds well to bolt-on power parts.
AEM has recently developed its Cold Air intake systems for the classic 1991-'94 SE-R. AEM's Cold Air system features CNC mandrel-bent 6061 aluminum tubing, TIG welding and a powerdercoat finish with clearcoat. Systems can be ordered in silver, blue, red or polished finishes to match other dress-up mods on the engine. Filtration is handled by AEM's own filter. It features a lightweight urethane body with a four-layer, cotton gauge filtering surface. An internal bell or air horn design speeds the flow of air. AEM did its homework; it tested numerous pipe lengths to determine which length produces the most power gains. Installation is quite easy and AEM's soft mounts and rubber bushings incorporated into the mounting bolts allow for engine flex and isolate the tabs from vibration where the system is secured to the fenderwell. This reduces the chances of rubbing.
Off to the Dyno Cell
Dyno testing was performed at SP Engineering in City of Industry, Calif. on the shop's Dynojet chassis dyno. Our test subject was not totally stock; the 1991 SE-R came with an HKS exhaust system already bolted on. Prior to installation, the Sentra made 118.3 hp and 119.5 lbs-ft of torque at the wheels. With the intake, peak power increased to 121.0 and torque checked in at 121.6 lbs-ft. While a 2.7-horse jump seems small, it's not always about peak power. At 6,100 rpm, the AEM system generated an 8.6-hp gain and showed considerable increases from 5,500 rpm to 6,500 rpm; right in the engine's sweet spot. On the torque side a 7-lbs-ft jump was realized at the same point in the dyno pull.
The classic vintage SE-R's introduction to the market could be called cursed as it was ahead of its time. The Sentra was overshadowed in the aftermarket by offerings from Honda and as a result, despite offering more performance out of the box, there are fewer performance possibilities for the Nissan. It is refreshing to see companies like AEM realize the potential of these cars and build products for them.
2205 W. 126th St.
Hawthorne, CA 90250