Building the Ultimate Street Car – 2JZ powered S14

Project 240SX : Fortune favors the bold.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog here due to this unfortunate accident.

oops…

I crashed, I’ve gotten over it but my back hasn’t.

It was only a matter of time I suppose, given the abuse the S14 had been taking at the track. Fortunately, I’m relatively okay and I’m pretty fortunate to have escaped the entire episode without incident.

Moving forward, the car will be rebuilt, better, faster and lighter hopefully in time for next year.

Meanwhile, my focus for the 2JZGTE swap has taken an abrupt turn when I picked up Project SC a week ago. It took me some time to find a 5 speed manual, but I just didn’t want to deal with converting the auto to stick before my 2JZ swap.

Luck would have it, I found a cheap deal on a green 92 in SF. It didn’t take me long to swap over my wheels and rims, after a trip to Treds and some Butchie love.

Up next, the return of the 240SX, but not before some SC300 modding.

Note : The title is borrowed from jsworks, a fellow gearhead, enthusiast, inspiration and overall cool guy.

Check out his work after the jump!

JS Works Fortune Favors the Bold

Project 240SX : And the hits just keep on coming…… CT26 turbo failure

I’ve begun to tear into the 2jz and start cleaning, prepping and stripping for the swap into my s14. It’s been slow going for Project 240SX, but I’ve had more than enough on my plate lately.

The saga of the 2JZ just refuses to die down, because after inspecting the CT26 turbos, I’ve been setback yet again.

Using a turbo bench, it appears as though the CT26 will not build more boost than 4 psi.

This CT26 from a 7MGTE was a cheap starter turbo to get my swap in and running before cams and headswap and a bigger single.

At a the cheap price I had found it at ( thanks to Frank @ TTA ) it was a no brainer but now it won’t build any boost which makes it about as useful as a doorjam.

Troubleshooting a CT26 Turbo

Recommended tools : Air compressor, 14mm open wrench, 8mm socket

First we check the shaft play of the turbo, which seems to be fine. There are no excessive oil leaks or signs of blown seals on our CT26, and the CHRA seems to be in decent shape all things considered.

The turbo spins freely and nothing looks like it’s hitting one another, so we turn to the wastegate.

Using a air hose nozzle to gently blow into the internal wastegate inlet, the arm of the internal wastegate appears to be moving.

That means either the flapper is done or the arm may be bent out of shape, holding the flapper open.

Removing the 4 14mm nuts that hold the 02 housing to the exhaust housing. This will allow access to the internal wastegate flapper and troubleshooting the lack of turbo pressure.

Upon opening the unit back up we find that the internal passage that leads to the flapper have completely cracked open. Since the flapper can no longer close the opening sufficiently to build boost due to the stress and cracking, it means that I’ll need a new housing.

This brings me to a crossroads because if this turbo cost anymore than it already did ( nothing ) I had to decide whether or not the investment would be worth it in the CT26.

Next up : Looking at possible turbo replacements

Project 240SX – Oh… the Irony….

Well as some of you know, our flush mount hood pin install on a S13 writeup caused some legal issues to come to the forefront. As those issues do not pertain to me individually, I would encourage those shopping for a flush mount hood pin kit ( or ANY performance part ) to do their due diligence before plopping your hard earned cash down on anything.

So imagine the irony when my JDM hood flipped up and smashed my windshield and roof in the middle of a Patterson Pass run.

At around 45 mph, entering a hairpin turn on the south end of the canyon road, my hood suddenly flipped up. With less than 30 feet between me and a large drop off into a canyon, I was reminded why I installed a set of Evolution X calipers on my 240SX.

The car came to a stop just as the front passenger side tire had rolled off the cliff, largely unharmed but not without damage.

What my roof looks like now…..

What my kouki hood looks like now…

Where the stock hood latch decided to shear off it’s mounting points. I am unclear as to how exactly this happened, but I have a feeling the previous owner had performed some “modifications”

I am just happy that I got to walk away from the accident, and that no further damage was done.

Unfortunately, kouki hoods are hard to find nowadays and I am having a hard time justifying a carbon fiber hood since I’ll most likely have to cut holes for ventilation once the 2jz goes in.

The accident has also sped up my timetable as far as getting work done on the car. It’s just too easy for me to get into a groove and be lazy, and perhaps the hood incident will get me to get off my ass and actually complete this project.

Time will tell..

Project 240SX – Installing EVO X Brakes

This post has been moved to it’s new permanent home at My Pro Street, where they have purchased the intellectual rights to this article. If you have a how to site and want to make some spare cash check them out. Click here for the full article.

Click here for the How To upgrade your 240sx brakes

Click here for the How To upgrade your 240sx brakes

For the time being, we will be using a Centric 300zx brake master, part number 46010-30P22 for a master cylinder bore of 17/16th. However due to the ever elusive third brake fitting, we opt for a banjo bolt solution instead.

By using a m10 banjo bolt fitting, we install another Russell 65702 – banjo straight to 10mm female -3 and another Aeroquip FCM2945 – -3 male to 10mm x 1.0 inverted flare to go to the passenger side front brake.

 

Aligning at Treds

A good friend of mine just opened his doors at Treds Alignment in Hayward, which presented me with the perfect opportunity to hash out any lingering stance issues.

Jesse, Butch and Chris are as cool as they come, and provide top-notch support and service. Butch is probably one of the most experienced and knowledgeable alignment guys in the Bay Area.

The runway....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After swapping / replacing all the arms and my rear subframe, Butch tells me the only thing left is my front passenger side lower control arm. I probably will not be opting for the replacement arms here, but instead going with stock arms and Energy Suspension bushings.

What do you mean the car doesnt drive straight???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shot of my rear arms, and now straight subframe.

It's really....... blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dialing it in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Butch dials the car in, the difference is as drastic as night and day. The car no longer pulls to the right and feedback on turn-in as well as exit is much more consistent. I also take the time to upgrade my inner and outer tie rod ends, and as a result bumpsteer is significantly reduced.

Next up : 2JZ wiring and other nightmares.

 

Setting the Stance – Aligning the 240 and Megan Racing

After my ordeal with C&J Automotive, I finally got my Megan subframe bushings pressed in and locked in. My last shipment of parts from Megan Racing finally arrives with my upper rear control arms and tie rod ends.

I remove my old subframe, and find that the subframe itself had been cracked and rewelded.

Performance Options in Oakland, go there if you want shady half-ass work.

This vehicle was worked on by Performance Options in Oakland and sold to me by them, who apparently has no problem selling bent subframe cars without disclosing what is wrong with the vehicle…. with this kind of honesty, no wonder guys in the Bay Area don’t trust shops…. but I digress.

After yanking my old subframe, I mount the Megan Rear Upper Control arms and rear toe arms, along with my subframe collars.

putting it all together

The subframe takes just an hour to drop and after prepping, is ready to go back in.

Jesse installing the toe arms

All put together

Its so.... Blue

Next up, aligning the 240 and sorting out the bumpsteer issues.

Project 240SX – Installing Megan Subframe Bushings

Nelson and the boys at Megan Racing come through again, sending me a full set of their S14 Hardened Subframe Bushings.

Getting Hard

I get the dumb idea in my head that swapping my subframe at home is something that I actually want to try.

Unfortunately, having just moved to Tracy, CA I’m not exactly close to the shops I would normally go to have these hardened bushings pressed into my subframe.

New subframe ready to go in

I am still getting used to working on the floor, but since I need to have the bushings pressed, I decide to rip apart the car and get to work.

clean up time

Using a wire wheel i knock off all the surface rust and lay down a fresh coat of paint, and I’m ready to rock and roll.

Fresh and Clean

I take off the wheels and disconnect my exhaust, driveshaft and brakes.

After calling and speaking to Gene @ C&J Automotive in Tracy, I take my subframe there and he proceeds to mess up a job that a small chimp could have completed. I’d rather not rehash the embarrassing turn of events with this supposed “ASE Certified Mechanic”, but for a full breakdown, read my Yelp review here :

Yelp Review of C&J Automotive – the Corner of Mo and Ron

To make a long story short I end up having to get another set of bushings on the way from Megan to make up for this guy’s incompetence. Needless to say, I won’t be recommending this asshat to any of my friends, but I’ll keep his info handy for people I dislike in Tracy.

Moving on….

Project 240SX – Sorting out Subframe issues

Well the 240’s stance has certainly had it’s fair share of issues, and after a trip to see Butchie @ Treds Alignment Specialists it didn’t take long to determine what the issue was.

It doesn’t take Butch long to determine that my rear subframe is bent, as well as my front lower control arm. Bummer. Looks like the kid tried to be King Drift and ended up kissing a curb, which pushed in my passenger side inboard about an inch.

After further inspection, the frame rail looks to be straight, which was important for this car if I wanted to keep it. After picking up a used subframe from a kid in Hayward for 100 dollars I make another series of calls to start collecting the parts I need.

After another call to Megan Racing, I receive my inner and outer tie rods, lower toe armsrear upper arms, hardened subframe bushings, short shifter and rear lower arms.

Next up : installing the bushings into my subframe.

Frozen Megan Track Coilovers

While I sort out the issue with the freight company dropkicking my 2JZ off the pallet, I decide to take care of my front end noises. The 240 pulls to the right on acceleration and makes an ugly clunking noise when turning the wheel left.

After tearing apart the front of the car, I discover that both my inner and outer tie rod ends are completely blown, my tension rods are shot and my Megan Track Coilovers are seized.

I absolutely despise anyone who installs bottom threaded coilovers without anti-seize, because it goes a long way in preventing this kind of seizing issue.

I take off the front coilovers and allow them to soak overnight in a mixture of Greddy Blue Synthetic 5w-30 motor oil and used pennzoil 10-40.

What's for dinner Ma?

As the entire bottom assembly must turn, this really is one of the only ways to unseize these kinds of coilovers without ruining the mounting perches or collars by clamping down on them.

Making a mess.. JH style

After spraying off the excess oil, I disassemble the coilovers so that I can knock the lower half of the coilovers free.

Air Tools FTW

After removing the adjustment screw and the allen head securing it to the rod assembly, I take off the pillowball upper mounts and pull up the dust boot to expose the shaft.

Remove the spring and lower locking perches and unwind the locking perch on the very bottom of the shock so that the lower assembly will freely turn.

Fly away Stanley.... be free

It takes just one swing of the hammer to knock loose the coilover mount, and now I can raise the car from it’s current “I-scrape-on-bubble-gum” setting.

After a call to my boy Nelson @ Megan Racing, he sends me a set of their new tension rods for the S14 chassis.

minty fresh!

Here’s a pic of my 15+ year old tension rod

That's not #winning

And finally a picture of the new Megan Tension Rods installed, for the record its 2 17mm nuts holding this part to the front lower control arm, one 17mm head bolt and 19mm nut on the K member

minty fresh!

With the new tension rods installed the car no longer has the horrible noises on deceleration and is much more predictable over bumps, eliminating the guesswork and diminshing the “bump steer” factor of the 240sx.

Next up : Installing new bushings and arms for the complete rear pumpkin assembly.

OH NO0OEZ!!11

The freight company calls with some bad news, it appears as though my good fortune in finding a 2JZ may have run out. My motor looks to have fallen off the pallet during shipping and according to the warehouse worker “is pissing all over the floor”

What my motor looked like before being dropped and cracked open.... sniff

Time to file a claim and see where this takes me..

Murphy’s Law strikes again….