Project Drift 240SX

 

Black Label Performance 1991 Nissan 240SX SR20-DET Hatchback Drift Project

Completed September 2011

 

Old 240 Side View

 

This 240SX project started with a 1991 240SX KA24DE equipped hatchback that was later found to be unfit for the job. The original 240 was dropped off shortly before the owner was shipped out to be stationed with the Army in Afghanistan. The plan was to build up the motor, turbo it and put some real choice suspension components underneath it. Once BLP got the chance to really look at the car, it was found that there were structural and integral issues that made the original plan of turning it into an all out drift car not seem cost effective.

New 240 Side view

 

With that in mind, the owner searched for a different 240 while overseas. He soon found a mild mannered, low mileage, well taken care of 1991 hatchback, much like his current car, but in better shape. The vehicle was purchased sight unseen off a popular 240SX forum and the vehicle was transported to BLP. Once it arrived, BLP then inspected this 240 and found it to be a great starting point. The vehicle already had an SR20-DET engine swapped in, although the workmanship could have been better. Plans were discussed to do a full rally-spec cage, fully adjustable Heim joint suspension set up, replacing every control arm with alloy parts and every brace known to the 240SX world, but after much deliberation, and due to having to purchase a better car to go forward, it was decided that we would simply throw on a nice set of Megan fully adjustable 36-way coilovers, add Suspension Techniques sway bars front and back, including end links, and install Energy Suspension urethane bushings throughout the whole chassis. Regardless of what plans we had for the suspension, we knew that we would be pulling the SR20 and rebuilding it with forged internals, upgrading the valvetrain and gaining some insurance that the power plant could actually handle the boost we were looking to throw at it. CP forged pistons, Brian Crower Sportsman rods, 264/264 cams, stainless steel valves, all new valve guides, and upgraded springs and retainers were installed, along with a fresh 3-angle valve job and decking of the head and block surfaces. The crank was found to be in great shape, so it was polished and new bearings were installed. We freshened up the bottom end replacing both the water and oil pumps and resealing everything along the way with OEM gaskets and seals and replacing the timing chain, gears and guides. The addition of a GT28 turbo and a manual boost controller set to 20psi topped the SR20 off with plenty of power and torque to smoke its way around the track.

 Engine Internals Overview

 

In the aesthetics department, we chose to keep things simple, but still attract attention without overdoing it. The 240 was fairly straight, so repainting it didn’t involve a ton of body work. The bumpers and spoiler were warped, dinged and sun faded, but those were easily replaced with an Origin Lab body kit and an APR carbon fiber wing. Before we had the car painted, we stripped everything out of the engine bay to have that shot, too. We went ahead and removed the useless ABS system since this was intended to be a functioning drift car, and deleted a few other unnecessary under hood items as well. The engine bay received the same black gloss as the rest of the body and was treated to painted, powdercoated, and polished parts, where we felt it was necessary. It was not in the budget to do anything with either intake or turbo manifolds at this point, so they were cleaned up and reused as is. For cooling, a nice electric fan setup and cooling shroud were added to replace the mechanical fan. To further tidy up the engine bay, aluminum coolant and power steering reservoirs replaced the originals. The addition of powdercoating the valve cover, front mount intercooler and charge piping made a huge impact on the overall look of this car. Again, we did not want flashy, so coating just the end tanks and leaving the fins raw, putting all black couplers throughout the engine bay kept the look clean, but also stealthy. There are bits of aluminum and shiny spots here and there, but nothing overwhelming.

 240 Undercar View

 

Many small, detail-oriented things were done to this car as well. Many wires were cracked or broken that had to be repaired. Brake lines were replaced as needed. Wheel lugs were swapped out for new ones. Brakes pads were upgraded. Rotors turned. Hydraulic hand brake was installed along with an adjustable proportioning valve for race day. Steering rack was rebuilt. Clutch was upgraded. HKS Hi-Power exhaust and downpipe were added. Many things were done to this car that could easily get passed up, not noticed or fall through the cracks, but the overall picture came together pretty well if you ask us, or the proud owner of this daily-driven, highly-capable drift car. He is happily competing with this finished project on the central Florida amateur drift circuit.

240 Underhood Finished

240 Car Show

240 Drifting