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The Return of the S16?

I’ll admit I was a little more than disappointed when Nissan initially denied any rumor to the S-Chassis returning as a smaller, slimmer version of the 370Z to compete with the Toyobaru twins.

I never get tired of the S15

Many Nissan fans didn’t like the news that Nissan though of the Juke as a suitable replacement in the subcompact sports car class.

hmmm..

In 1996 Nissan unveiled the Urge, a six speed rear wheel drive roadster that was a few years to late to the game.

With Chevy and other manufacturers clamoring to replicate the success of the lightweight rear wheel drive Toyabaru twins, it only seems logical for Nissan to bring back something that’s long been a staple of their company.

In the fall of 2012, Nissan design director Shiro Nakamura talked Austrailian based automotive magazine Drive and hinted to the possibility of a lightweight rear wheel drive coupe.

Hinting to the possibility that Nissan may consider downsizing its sports cars, including possibly a sub-compact 370Z model got enthusiasts excited. He also revealed that the next version of the Nissan Z may not have a higher displacement motor than the current one.

“I much prefer smaller sports cars,” Nakamura said. “With 370Z, we still don’t know if the next-generation will have a smaller or larger engine.”

Besides the possibility of a smaller engine, Nakamura said reducing the weight of the next Z car is a priority and all other future Nissan sports cars will be lightweight.

As well as dropping hints to the next Nissan Z, Nakamura also spoke about the possible return of the Silvia, otherwise known in the States as the 240SX. Nakamura was notably coy when pressed for details from Drive Magazine, could this really be in the works at Nissan?

“I cannot say,” Nakamura said, “A light, sport coupe is a nice concept, I like it.” he would continue after reinforcing the fact that he was a huge fan of the lightweight rear wheel drive platform.

With the 350Z, 370Z, and the Skyline GT-R, could Nissan support all the different platforms and vehicles as well as possibly add the new 240SX to rival the FR-S and BRZ under the same performance moniker?

According to Nakamura, yes. “If there is a market, we will do it,” Nakamura said.

Rumors are abound regarding the MR engine and many have projected it’s use as a 1.8L powerplant. Question is will that be enough to hang with the likes of the new FR-S, BRZ and STi flagships that have recently been released?

If there’s any clue to the temperature of the “market” and the willingness of Chevy and other domestic manufacturers to join the lightweight rear wheel drive coupe race, we could see the S16 make a triumphant return.

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

Case Studies : Following the progress of Tomei’s Hyundai Genesis Turbo

My first experience with a Hyundai was when I was a teenager, and my father owned a 1984 white 4door Hyundai Excel. This thing was the epitome of the 80’s econo-crapbox, constructed with cheap plastics and budget minded parts that  translated into a reputation of being notoriously unreliable.

I can remember a time when the word Hyundai would make car enthusiasts turn up their noses and spit in disgust at the Korean Automaker that struggled to make a name for themselves in the US.

While my fathers Hyundai Excel ran for over 400,000 miles on the original motor, for the most part this reputation was well deserved.

Fast forward 30 years, and Hyundai has done a marvelous job reinventing themselves, and while the foray into the sport compact market has netted the Korean automaker less than desirable results in previous years, they seem to have hit a homer with the Hyundai Genesis.

While the luxury sedan has been well received by the automotive press, the coupe (shown here) is powered by the G4KC, a 4 cylinder turbocharged aluminum motor named the Theta.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for 4 cylinder turbocharged goodness!

With the revolution in rwd sport compacts such as the Genesis and the FR-S, RWD sport compact enthusiasts have never had it better!

I will be following the progress of one of my favorite tuners, Tomei and their Genesis Coupe Turbo to see just how it stacks up against some of the classic 4 cylinder turbocharged titans that have graced the US shores such as the SR20DET, EJ25, and my all time favorite the 4G63.

Stay tuned and happy boosting!

Saying goodbye to my R33 Skyline GTST.

It’s been a good run for my R33 Skyline, but with the third addition to our growing family and lack of bond paperwork for my GTST, I had been trying to sell my Skyline for quite some time and I’ve finally found a buyer for my baby.

I’ve owned this vehicle for quite a while, and wasted no time putting it together when it first arrived off the docks as a parts car.

My S2 RB25 –

After the motor was installed and running, I opted for HKS Hipermax coilovers all the way around, and an HKS 3037S Turbo upgrade. The car already came with a Blitz 4 row front mount intercooler… ahh the JDM goodness.

More eye candy :

My time with the GTST was definitely an eye opener, as it led me down the path of modding Nissans / RWD as opposed to the usual Honda / Mitsubishi / FWD stuff I had been doing since 1996.

With minimal mods, this car put down a healthy 385 / 360 ft lbs on a 448X DynoJet at just 16 psi. I loved my time with the R33, but after doing over 25+ RB swaps for 240 guys locally, it’s not much different than a nice S14 with a RB swap in it, RHD and JDM factors aside.

With the growing anti-Skyline sentiment and the federal legalities of owning a state licensed car, I had to make this sale.

After all, who wants a knock on your front door from ICE?

Don’t know who they are? they are the nice federal agents who are hell bent in seeking and DESTROYING these cars because they are such a threat to the nation at whole.

Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(l)(A),a motor vehicle that was not originally
manufactured to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety
standards shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle
originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States,
certified under 49U.S.C. 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the
motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to
conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Where there is
no substantially similar U.S.-certified motor vehicle, 49U.S.C.30141(a)(l)(B)
permits a nonconforming motor vehicle to be admitted into the United States if
its safety features comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with,
all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards based on destructive
test data or such other evidence as NHTSA decides to be adequate.

Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or
importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49CFRpart 592.As
specified in 49 CFR 593.7,NHTSA

Skylines imported into the US for use on public roads must either be over 25 years old or they must conform to FMVSS standards. While R32 – R34 Skylines were initially allowed for import, the FHTSA rescinded the importation of the majority of Skylines by limiting it to R33’s that were manufactured between January 1996 and June 1998.

In order to import a Skyline, an official RI must be used and they must fill out a HS-7 declaration for the vehicle. If the vehicle is to be used on the streets then the RI has 120 days in order to modify the vehicle to pass FHVSS requirements. The only company that has information in regards to Federally legalize R33’s is JK technologies.

Found this page after searching for the terms “Skyline” and “registration”? Take a look here at several links that will help you answer the many questions that Skyline owners in the US have, including the story behind Hiro and Motorex, NHTSA and DOT legalities, and the inherent dangers of buying a state licensed Skyline.

NicoClub’s comprehensive Skyline importing guide

EPA KIT Car Legalities

How to import a Skyline

 

UPDATE : As of late 2014 Skyline R32’s have been importable and 100% legal to own in the US. Click here for more information on the how to import a Skyline process.

Happy boosting!

Case Studies – Installing Megan Rear Upper and Lower Arms in a S14

Today we are bolting on a set of Megan Rear Upper Control arms, and Megan Racing Lower Control arms in a 1996 240SX ( S14 ), part numbers are :

MR-RTCA-NS14Nissan 240SX Rear Lower Toe Arms

These arms allow you to change the static toe and toe change during suspension compression and load. An easy bolt-in upgrade, alignment is required after this install.

MR-RUCA-NS14 – Nissan 240SX Rear Upper Control Arms

These arms are meant to adjust rear camber to whatever specifications you desire. Replacing the stock rubber bushings with pillow ball ends provides a upgrade in stiffness and response.

Here is the car in question before the install :

Tools you will need for this install :

  • 14mm socket and open ended wrench
  • 17mm socket and open ended wrench
  • 19mm socket and open ended wrench
  • jack and jack stands
  • MR-RTCA-NS14 – Nissan 240SX Rear Lower Toe Arms
  • MR-RUCA-NS14 – Nissan 240SX Rear Upper Control Arms
First jack up the car and secure it safely using your jackstands, for those of you fortunate enough to work on a 2 post lift, just remove your wheels.
First use your 19mm socket and open ended wrench to undo the outmost bolt holding your rear upper control arm in place.

Next take off the rear bolt, and put the bolts safely away. You should now be able to remove your entire rear upper arm

Now, you’re ready to install your rear upper arm but not before lining your old arm up and adjusting the Megan arm to a similar length. You will need an alignment after this install regardless, so you might want to keep the jam nuts loose.

Next undo the outer most bolt in your rear lower toe arm, this bolt is located to the rear and left of your shock housing ( from the driver side )

Now, undo the inner bolt and this arm will come right off

Now install your new rear toe arm by reversing the process and you’re done!

Make sure your jam nuts are tight if you cannot align your vehicle right away, you don’t want them coming loose on you.

After your alignment, you should be ready to rock and roll!

Happy Drifting!

 

Jesse’s RB25 S13 – Installing Top Feed Injectors

When we last left the RB25 S13, the injector duty cycles kept us from bumping up the boost and making some real power. The solution? some 760cc top feed Precision Injectors to help our S13 crack the 450whp mark.

Parts you will need for this conversion

First we begin by opening the fuel cap and disconnecting the fuel feed lines, engine harness and fuel filter setup.

Next unbolt the 3 12 mm bolts to the rail and lift the entire rail along with side feed injectors, take care when doing this because you don’t want to lose your fuel rail isolators ( the plastic pieces that space out your rail from your head.

Jesse was using a Z32 fuel filter, which we will be ditching for a Aeroquip -6 1000 micron inline filter.

Someone light a match and throw it at John! QUICK!

Next, install your injectors into your aftermarket rail, take care when pushing the injectors in so to not damage your o-rings. Without any damage to our o-rings, we test fit the aftermarket rail onto our RB25.

The particular rail setup we are using is the JGY unit, and although the fitment is rather questionable, the low cost of this piece makes it manageable.

Ahh... so much nicer

If you own a JGY rail, now is NOT the time to tighten it down to the head unless you feel like removing the rail to plug your injectors in.

hrmm...

After installing the injectors into your rail, install your liquid filled fuel pressure gauge into the 90 degree 1/8th inch NPT fitting, and then screw the entire assembly into the regulator. Depending on your setup, you may need to install the fitting before the gauge.
Next, take the rubber fuel lines off of the hard lines located on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Take a pipe cutter and pick a spot on the hardline that has a fair amount of straight section to it.

Make sure to use caution as to not kink or bend the hard lines, this setup is meant to terminate at the firewall, so if you intend on running full stainless line back to the tank you’ll need more than 4 feet of the hose.

Next take your -6 AN to hard line compression fittings and slip the cone end over the hardline you just cut.

The S13 uses 1/4inch size hardlines, make sure the brass fitting slides snugly over the line and compress the two ends together to create your seal.

After both compression fittings are installed, it’s time to move onward to the injector wiring.

Most companies sell their injector setups complete with pigtails to convert from the old clips to the new ones. If not MSD sells them seperately for around 2 dollars apiece at most retail stores or websites.

Wiring of these injectors is straightforward, make sure to have the injector clip orientation consistent for all six new clips.

Use your -6 male to 3/8th pipe fittings now on either end of your rail,depending on where or how you want to run the lines, the other 4 swivels will comprise the rest of the fuel setup.

Once all the lines and hardware is installed, then tighten the rail brackets onto your head.

We had to use 2 of the brackets as JGY did not properly machine their rail to take 3 mounting brackets. Further we had to use the factory isolators on the opposite side of the bolt to make things tight and secure.

Once bolted down, turn the key to the on position to pressurize the lines so that you can check for leaks. Once we found no leaks we started the car and adjusted the fuel pressure accordingly. Make sure to double check for leaks after the car is started, as pressure will be significantly higher than it was with the key at the “ON” position.

With no leaks and the fuel pressure adjusted, we are now ready to tune the car. With time running late, i use Jesse’s hand held Power FC Commander to make some small adjustments to the part throttle map and the cold start map along with the idle map.

The Power Commander is quite useful if you are in a bind, or need to clear up a rough spot in your tune.

But with a viewable map grid of 9×9 cells, it makes tuning a vehicle such as this rather cumbersome.

Come get some... RB25 Power

Next we will hit the dyno with a full laptop and FC Edit to squeeze as much power out of the S13 as possible.

Stay tuned………..

Case Studies – Jesse’s RB25 S13 – The Beginning

Jesse’s S13 first came to me as a 700 dollar shell with an auto tranny and a completely shot KA24. Within a week, Jesse had sourced a RB25 and tranny and had 2 wiring harnesses ready to be wired up.

When it came to the mounts, Jesse had sourced a shop that was closing in San Jose off of Bird Avenue. After review, the mounts looked to be a Ruckus Racing knockoff, and the shop had left us with doubt, but they worked like a charm

Ruckus Rep Mounts

Within 3 hours, we had the stock KA out and the RB25 mounted and ready to rock and roll.

After dropping the motor in, next was getting the car to run as it was missing the turbos, exhausts, maf and intake pipes.

Deciding to go the budget route, Jesse had me weld a wastegate opening into his manifold, and we opted to use a Ebay adapter flange to go from Garrett flange to the T3 flange. After test mounting the turbo, a Pro Street AN oil return line was installed.

Running a T3 62-1 with a .84 a/r and Stage V hotside, along with a Pro Street downpipe and Pro Street Stage III Intercooler Kit using a Spearco 2-216 core, Jesse’s RB25 put down 325 SAE corrected wheel horsepower at 14 psi on my Dynojet.

Resonators? inline mufflers? who needs that crap?

My time tuning Jesse’s car was limited as his stock side feed injectors just couldn’t keep up with the turbo. After 6000 rpm, the injector duty cycles began to creep above 85% which was well above the Apexi Power FC warning threshold.

Up next : Installing top feed injectors into the S13.

 

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….