Building the Ultimate Street Car – 2JZ powered S14

What’s a StockSpyder

It’s been almost 10 years to the date when I said bye to the car that was once my pride and joy, that gave me a shop, a business, a lifestyle but also broke my heart more than a few times.

So when a friend recently asked me “What’s a StockSpyder”, it brought back memories of my 1999 Spyder, and the many adventures I’ve had in it.

Back in the days.....

400hp, 91 octane, 21 psi, full exhaust and cat. STOCK BOTTOM END

The name is part of the old school DSM chat rooms in California where Ty@Road Race Engineering had the name StockGST for his 1g FWD Eclipse. I always had a place to crash when I drove to LA, not sure where Ty is now, but I hope his family and (three?) kids are doing well.

It seems like a lifetime ago and we were tuning cars with crude piggybacks but it was a great time to be an enthusiast back then.

Back when kids didn’t buy chinese parts to modify their cars, and the names Greddy, Apexi, HKS actually still meant something. Back when EBAY wasn’t the first place you look when shopping for a turbo, and shops were actually shops instead of absolute jokes.

Seems like a lifetime ago, but thanks to Ty and Road Race I had the experience of a lifetime building my “StockSpyder”





I will always choose to remember the good times, and good friends in relation to the car and not dwell on the many bad times and backstabbers that went along for the ride.

Project 240SX – Devoid of Rational Thought

I had originally planned on swapping in a LS3 into the 240SX, a continuation of my ongoing quest for the perfect street car. After selling my LS1 powered S13, this only seemed like the next logical step.

My Ls1 powered 240sx

And why not? the GEN III Chevy Small block is a modern revelation in power and reliability.

With just longtubes, a full catback and a Lingerfelter cam my S13 put down 454 / 432 to the wheels, while retaiing A/C, P/S and exhibiting very calm street manners.

So logic would have it that I would just go right back to another GEN III motor…. right?

As luck would have it a friend of mine found a guy on Zilvia that was getting rid of his 2JZGTE. After talking to him for a few days I worked out a trade for parts, which works out perfectly for me as I am working from a limited budget.

No Shit, 2JZ????

Yes, a motor that will cost more to mod, more to maintain and more points of failure. I can’t retain A/C, and will require a ton more modification to shoehorn the venerable Japanese I-6 into my 240SX.

Why not a V8? Good question and I don’t know the answer other than “I like boost”

Why not a RB? I debated it at length, considering I could swap a RB25 into the 240 in my sleep, but ultimately my respect and admiration for the Supra pushed me towards the 2JZ.

Foolish? maybe.

Next – Addressing the car’s stance

Project 240SX – Why there are professionals for this

After my excursion into wiring hell, I take the Kouki front end off to see exactly what the hell is the problem with the hood not lining up.

I discover that the fenders are OE metal, but seem smashed in on the passenger side, not to mention the headlight is busted on that side as well. Seems as though it’s just a plain collision until I get to the drivers side.

I also find that there’s over 10 zipties holding the Kouki lights, front grill, and front bumper onto the car. The bumper has no bolts other than what appears to be a wood screw through the Zenki front bumper support. And?? It gets better!


What I originally thought was negative camber, actually turned out to be a tweaked front lower control arm that was sucking the drivers side wheel about 2 inches inboard and the bottom of the wheel out half an inch past the fender.

Upon further inspection the passenger side rear wheel also looks sunked in about 2-3 inches inboard.

The frame checks out and is straight, thanks to Jack @ Motorsport for lining her up and checking her out. So looks like I will be replacing the front lower arm as well as the rear subframe.

Why do I want this car again? lol

Project 240sx – What did I get myself into?

Upon bringing the car back home, it dawns on me that I just may have traded a perfectly good 4dr EG9 for the world’s crappiest 240sx. Good thing it’s just a Civic huh?

None of the dash lights work, none of the fuses seem to be good in the cabin and all of the interior is missing. yay for me?

I begin by ripping out the poorly installed turbo timer, alarm, boost gauge and indiglo cluster wiring.

Why ricers should never work on their own cars

Whoever did this “install” should have his hands chopped off, fried and force fed to him.

He wired the boost gauge directly into the ignition harness, sending a constant 12v to the gauge. The piezo sensor for the alarm somehow made it’s way into the heater box and there were a handful of live wires just hanging out waiting to ground themselves on any loose piece of metal. Fun times….

He also decided to run the passenger side door harness OUTSIDE of the door, with the wires going to the window switch and door lock just hanging out. While rewiring the entire passenger door, I also discover the door hinge isn’t secured to the chassis and the window rail is bent.

Next – Making it look like a car again part II

Project 240SX – This one’s for you Hyung

I can remember my first time in a S14, being just 12 and going to the movies with my hyung and being terrified of how fast it was or how fast he drove. My passion for driving fast and modifying cars traces back to my older brother (hyung) who played such an instrumental part in my early pre-teen years.

For a kid starving for a male role model and guidance, he was one of the main influences in my life. He always had time for me and always made sure I was a man about the situation and took ownership of the issue.

Sadly, I couldn’t do the same for him before I lost him to cancer just a shade over a year ago.

So, over 20 years later and countless project cars built and sold, I traded my Civic Ferio for this S14 in his honor.

To be brutally honest, I am not sure what possessed me to pull the trigger on this trade because this car was a complete mess.

The kid was probably 22 years old, and wasn’t very forthcoming when discussing the car. He couldn’t tell me what was wrong, what the check engine lights were for, what the noises were about or what the damage to the car was from.

The entire front end was literally ziptied to the front of the car, the hood didn’t close right, the front bumper was held onto the car by a single wood screw, the interior was missing, the radio gone, none of the dash lights worked, reverse lights didnt work, the door panels off, all four tires needed replacing and the rear end made sounds like it was ready to fall apart.

The primer and JDM hood color mixmatching reminded me of one of the funniest internet car jokes ever.


Next : Making it look like a car again.