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  • s13 Build questions

    Hi NRR guru's,

    I am looking to pull the blown KA24 in my 1989 S13. This car is a track only car and was used for SCCA in ITA class. Looking to donate the car to my endurance team to run it in AER. This is a weekend race series that runs 1 day of practice on fridays and two 9 hours days on saturday and sunday. As I have an E46M3 for sprint racing this one is sitting in my garage and I want to get it back on the track.

    Car has the following:
    blown KA24 motor
    Short throw shifter
    Tomai Diff
    Ebach spring and coilovers
    New fire suppression
    new belts
    2 sets panasport rims with 1 set hosiers and one set of toyo proxies
    2015 SCCA logbook

    Here is what I am looking to do (I am not a Nissan expert in any way)
    Pull the KA24 motor and replace with a redtop SR20DET and build it for about 300-350 hp (would like to be right at 350HP). This will make this car a non momentum car and I feel will be fun for the series.

    Questions for all you experts:

    Reliability
    Cost
    Motor build, how far to go?

    I know I can drop in the red top with minimal changes to the harness , ect. that part is easy.

    Based on my reading it appears the 350 hp mark is very easy for these motors, now to make it last. Heat is an issue (as always). Looking to keep the costs down as this is not a build where money is no object. It looks like I can pickup a motor for about 2500 bucks (Osaka imports in Canada) then I would need to go through it.

    I am sure someone has already done this so I am not looking to reinvent the wheel.

    What say you experts ?

    -M

  • #2
    I say your power level is a bit high for endurance racing. you will also run into longevity of everything else on the car if it's currently built for ITA specs. On top of cooling, you'll need brakes, wheels, etc --- "more" everywhere. An ITA car is maybe 130whp and you're going for 200 more. you have to get that heat out of the engine bay and out of the brakes, and all of it to the ground through the tires.

    IMO, your endurance racing budget will be incredibly high at that power level.. You're going to need minimum 275 width tires to make them last 9hrs on track, so a 9" wheel at minimum. most tire choices are 17 or 18" in that width.

    Throw in front and rear brakes- minimum of the Defsport 12.2" kit up front and 300ZX rears. At that power level, I'd buck up and go to a 2-pc 13" rotor. don't even think about a cheap 1-pc rotor from another street car. Add brake ducting up front as well. Rear, you'll probably be fine with 300ZX brakes and some good pads.

    With that much extra grip, heat, and power, the S13 wheels bearings now become a weak link. Step up to an S14 hub and front knuckles and you might as well go 5-lug while you're doing it. The wheel bearings on them last much longer.

    This will no longer be a cheap IT-level toy to play with-- you've been warned!
    Originally posted by SoSideways
    I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
    '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
    '96 240SX- The Track Toy

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks Matt, that,s why I came here ! Maybe leave the HP down below 300Hp say 250-300? WHat are your thoughts there with keeping some of the same parts and running with lower HP ?

      Comment


      • #4
        300 to 350 rwhp or BHP - pretty big difference.

        Honestly, the engine can handle it if your cooling is up to snuff and you have a GOOD tune. But I would not think you can just bolt on some parts over a weekend and have a troublefree endurance racer at 350 rwhp. Keep in mind that a lot of the stuff is designed around a street or drag car making that much power, which is super easy to keep together. For one, off the shelf tunes are likely a bit aggressive, and you could be right on the hairy edge and have one really hot track day then BOOM.

        That said, I beat the absolute snot out of my bone stock redtop SR at about 320-330 rwhp (14-15 psi on a GT2871R). It was dead reliable until a 22+ year old o-ring let loose on my oil pump outlet. Probably didn't damage the long block at all, but I sold it while it was yanked out. I imagine I did about 40-50 DEs with it. Now I know some will say racing is way harder than DE usage on an engine, but I think if it holds together, it holds together.

        You will have a harder time with temps, as on hot days when my setup wasn't 100% dialed in on cooling it got hotter and hotter until the 25 min session was over. On tires - you'll murder them with a sweet clutch diff. You need big ones to really run it for long periods of time and REALLY lean on 'em in hot weather. When it's cool, strangely enough I have trouble getting them up to temp (255/40 here). But when hot they wear like crazy when leaned on.


        It's totally a doable goal, you just need to have a realistic plan and budget. This isn't like bringing a 280 rwhp stock E46 M3 up to 320 rwhp with some bolt-ons and a tune. This is doubling the power of a 175 rwhp stock engine to 350 rwhp.


        It's not impossible, or even super hard. Just going to take a clear plan. The stock engine will hold together if it's in good shape, I'd maybe think of a head gasket and head studs tho'.
        '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!


        DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!
        http://www.nissanroadracing.com/showthread.php?t=5902

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by m13s View Post
          thanks Matt, that,s why I came here ! Maybe leave the HP down below 300Hp say 250-300? WHat are your thoughts there with keeping some of the same parts and running with lower HP ?
          If the wheels you have are ITA-spec, then they're going to be a 15x7 maximum size IIRC. That will get you around the track for an hour at a time on DOT-Rs, but you're going to be limited with 15" 180TW street tires even in ITA trim. you'll be sliding around a lot at that point and managing wear. I can't imagine trying to run at a track on narrow street tires with even 250whp, let alone doing it all day and keeping the car on track..

          (most of the s-chassis enduro guys I know locally run a 225 or 245 on 7 or 8" rim. I run 245/40/17s on my STU car and can overheat a 245 street tire pretty easily with minor aero and 150whp.)
          Originally posted by SoSideways
          I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
          '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
          '96 240SX- The Track Toy

          Comment


          • #6
            Guys really appreciate the feedback. I just check my tires and they are 225's. All this has me wondering that maybe this is not a viable option unless the funds were unlimited.
            Just don't like seeing the car sit and not get used. What is the stock HP on the S13 sr20's anyway ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by m13s View Post
              Guys really appreciate the feedback. I just check my tires and they are 225's. All this has me wondering that maybe this is not a viable option unless the funds were unlimited.
              Just don't like seeing the car sit and not get used. What is the stock HP on the S13 sr20's anyway ?
              Firstly, welcome to the enduro club! The more non BMW chassis we get in AER the better. I've run my S13 with the stock KA24DE at the AER Watkins event and plan on sticking with AER for the future so hope to see you at events.

              If you're only running in AER, what class are you looking to compete in? My S13 was competitive in class 2 with the stock KA24DE. Yea, it's a bit of a dog in a straight line, but they are very reliable for endurance racing and cheap as a mofo so when they do let go you can find one for less than $500 (like we had to do at the April Watkins event Friday night). The car can hang and pass well prepped E30's with M20's when well driven and setup. My car is on 15x8's with 225's and Z32 brakes all around and it does just fine throughout a weekend. Just get camber in the front, don't be a meathead and realize it's not a sprint race.

              At that power level it sounds like you want to be a Class 4 or 5 contender and hang with all the E36 M3s (Team GTR with $4k+ MCS suspension) and the sole (as of now) E46 M3? Personally, I think wrung out turbocharged engines are a recipe for disaster in endurance events at this level, unless you have deep pockets like you said.

              But, like you I'm craving a faster package and want to stick it to the BMW guys (ironically, I own two street driven E30's). I thought about swapping all sorts of engines into the S13, but in the end I picked up a barely used, very well prepared S14 VQ35DE swapped race car off this forum and the current plan is to try it in AER next year. VQ's aren't a pinnacle of power, but they are very reliable when not revved to oblivion and the P:W ratio, suspension, brakes (defsport wilwood kit), wheel/tire (17x9.5 w/ 255's) should make the car a class 4 contender at the very minimum. We want to dethrone the BMW's, but at the same time, at what expense? If we blow the VQ, we're already in almost 3x more money than a KA. That's the beauty of running the KA S chassis. It's dirt cheap.

              What the hell am I sayin? I'm saying that because of the openness of AER, I'd look strongly at all the different types of engine swaps. Hell, throw a friggin S52 in one (don't think there's any kits for this)! That would be fantastic. The S chassis dimensions and suspensions are very similar to an E36. Or, just rebuild the KA and have good, cheap fun.

              Anyways, I probably didn't help lol. Good luck!
              Core4 Motorsports
              CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
              S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Team

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Gills We met at the glen I was running with the team garaged next to you. We spoke several times and I say the car at Palmer as well. SO my initial thoughts were to ressurt the car with the SR20 as it can make decent power with few mods. After reading the great responses above that is a no go. So in the interests of not having to change wheel sizes and everything else to accommodate the increase in HP, maybe just the stock SR 20 which will almost double the HP of the KA motor to about 200. Will this be a viable setup ? The KA is a dog and I have run plenty of miata's as well. Just need to get some grunt to get put some real estate between me and the other cars. I figure at this point Class 2 or 3 fine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A KA with bolt-ons will do 160 rwhp without too much trouble. An SR on a stock turbo with a 3" exhaust will do about 200 rwhp and about the same torque.

                  Is this a power to weight class?


                  I think you're seeing too much doom and gloom in the above responses - they're just being realistic. It takes some work, maybe a tad more money than you were thinking to make things really reliable - but it's possible.

                  Me personally... I could buy an SR20DET, then put in about $1500 to get around 300 rwhp, and $1800 would get it to about 320-340 rwhp. That's not using the best parts (Chinese JB bolt-in turbo), but it can be done on a tight budget. It will probably run hot as balls on a knockoff radiator, and need some cool down laps here and there - something you can't do in a race. But I can do this because I've been there, done that, know the car and engine inside and out. First timer doing it - probably $2500ish with mistakes/learning/paying for people to do some things they are otherwise not capable of doing.

                  Up the budget to $3500ish on top of the engine, and now we're talking about some reasonably nice components and pretty good reliability.


                  But think about how much you spend in tires when racing. I don't get the point in trying to shoestring in on your hardware that will last you seasons and seasons then burning up double that in a year on tires... year after year. It's an expensive hobby, and it seems all too often people try to pinch pennies on the hardware side of things, when I say that's where you should be prepared to spend the cash. If you want to bolt-on the sticky tires, it's always an option in the future.


                  You can also do a mild KA turbo if that's allowed. I'm generally not a huge KA fan, but they're pretty damn cheap, and once you spend a ton of time taking the emissions crap off them they're not too bad to work on.
                  '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!


                  DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!
                  http://www.nissanroadracing.com/showthread.php?t=5902

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks for all the great feedback. The series is based on times with 5 classes, so its a run what you brung mentality and they adjust the classes based on your times. So reliability is the key for me. No cheap Chinese junk. To keep the existing drivetrain and tires I am leaning toward the SR20 with beefed up internals added cooling and mild boost. Now I have to sell it to the team !

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Something to keep in mind is the factory turbo is a bit small and will be working at absolute max for your power levels.. that creates extra heat loading and shortens the life of the turbo.

                      you'd be better off with a slightly larger GT series turbo (Def can suggest that kinda stuff way better than I could begin.). but get one with oil and water cooling if they're available. hot turbos for hours at a time are a beyotch...

                      Maybe throw the thing together "stock-ish" and run it for a race or two.. see how the stock turbo does and work out any bugs in the rest of the car at 200whp. then add power once it's proven reliable at 200whp so you're not trying to chase major demons at 300whp..
                      Originally posted by SoSideways
                      I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
                      '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
                      '96 240SX- The Track Toy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Def View Post
                        A KA with bolt-ons will do 160 rwhp without too much trouble. An SR on a stock turbo with a 3" exhaust will do about 200 rwhp and about the same torque.

                        Is this a power to weight class?

                        They makes classes based on lap times during Friday qualifying day. They then monitor lap times throughout the weekend to check for sand bagging. Every driver has an RFID tag on their helmet that gets scanned as you cross a certain point at pit in/out so they know who's out there. Pretty neat stuff.

                        m13s, you were right next to me in the garage? Which team? My memory is destroyed from that weekend because of being up until 4:30am on Friday night and I don't remember talking to anyone, except for CodyAce who's another S chassis guy on this forum (part of Krabby Kraut VW team).

                        But, anyway, my vote is still for an S52 swap!! Think about all the support you'll have for that motor in an AER paddock lol
                        Core4 Motorsports
                        CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
                        S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Team

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gills View Post
                          They makes classes based on lap times during Friday qualifying day. They then monitor lap times throughout the weekend to check for sand bagging. Every driver has an RFID tag on their helmet that gets scanned as you cross a certain point at pit in/out so they know who's out there. Pretty neat stuff.
                          Hypothetical here... what happens when you put in a hotshoe that runs 2-3 sec faster than every one else in the car?
                          Just curious.. (really, I am..) Do you re-class the car or penalize them or what?

                          for instance, say one of the drivers that qualified on friday drinks too much Friday night, then is still puking saturday afternoon when it's his turn to drive. It just so happens that Randy Pobst is sitting on the pit wall with helmet in hand.. You hand the keys to Randy and he out-drives everyone else in the car, beating whatever qualifying/grid/class time you set previously.

                          Obviously a hypothetical, but it's not that far out of things I've seen happen at a LeMons/WRL race with 6 drivers on a team..
                          Originally posted by SoSideways
                          I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
                          '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
                          '96 240SX- The Track Toy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Matt93SE View Post
                            Hypothetical here... what happens when you put in a hotshoe that runs 2-3 sec faster than every one else in the car?
                            Just curious.. (really, I am..) Do you re-class the car or penalize them or what?

                            for instance, say one of the drivers that qualified on friday drinks too much Friday night, then is still puking saturday afternoon when it's his turn to drive. It just so happens that Randy Pobst is sitting on the pit wall with helmet in hand.. You hand the keys to Randy and he out-drives everyone else in the car, beating whatever qualifying/grid/class time you set previously.

                            Obviously a hypothetical, but it's not that far out of things I've seen happen at a LeMons/WRL race with 6 drivers on a team..
                            So, they are generally aware of who the hotshoes are on the teams from practice/qualifying day. They understand that there are going to be discrepancies like this, but if they notice a larger trend of significantly faster laps, they'll bump you up a class. There's a dedicated staff there solely for timing. So far it's been working well.

                            And, Randy Pobst has been on the overall winning team a couple of times now at AER events (surprise, surprise..).
                            Core4 Motorsports
                            CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
                            S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Team

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If it were me...

                              On a budget:

                              1. EFR 6758 T25 hsg on a ported stock manifold - tack weld nuts and turbine hsg to manifold (can grind off tacks if you need to remove for some reason)
                              2. ROM tune/Z32 MAF of some sort with 740 cc sidefeeds, or just go with some 1000 cc top feeds right now (I'd recommend the 1000 cc's in case you want to dabble with E85)
                              3. Cams of some sort
                              4. Valve springs
                              5. Head gasket
                              6. Head studs
                              7. Underdrive water pump pulley
                              8. Koyo N-flow radiator
                              9. Walbro 450 lph E85 pump
                              10. Decent FMIC - I'd probably lean about going to all knock-off Wiggins clamps (2.5" Pegasus clamps) - charge pipes blowing off on a MAF setup are going to mean you probably won't get back around to the pits in an even semi-safe manner - they suck
                              11. Baffled oil pan
                              12. Usual exhaust stuff
                              13. Clutch to hold it
                              14. Obviously some pretty good brakes - I make a nice set for the front, Z32s are fine in the rear


                              If you want to do it even better:

                              Replace EFR 6758 with a Full-Race twin scroll mani and EFR 7163 TS. Go with an AEM Infinity setup to allow more adjustability/safety/easier troubleshooting and enable flex fuel to be incorporated no issue. It sounds like a lot more money, but in the grand scheme of things, it'd be a drop in the bucket.


                              You could do a used T28 setup from an S14/S15, but they're old by now if it actually came off one of those engines, and it will do about 260 rwhp max for reliable track usage. You can push them to the limit and do 300 rwhp, but that's not something you can track at all. You still need all the same other components, so why not go with a nicer turbo that can support some power - again, in the grand scheme of things it isn't that pricey. The manifold will flow more, and make more power without stressing the engine out.

                              The above setup will be faster than a lot of "fast off the showroom floor" cars, like modded C5 Z06s, C6 Z06s, Porsche GT3s etc. Not all of them of course, but it'll dust off a pretty stockish one with sticky tires without issue.


                              The stock bottom end should be fine, but I would think turning the 7163 up to full tilt might tax it a bit. That's a 500+ rwhp turbo, and you'd need to run E85 to do that, but it's nice to know it has plenty of headroom.


                              The above sounds kinda scary when you spell it out, but it's almost all off the shelf parts, and not super hard to build something like that in a garage over a few weeks.
                              '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!


                              DefSport Koni Sleeve and Spring Perch Buy!!!
                              http://www.nissanroadracing.com/showthread.php?t=5902

                              Comment

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