Think back 12 years ago when the S14 chassis 240sx was still new. Most of our edit staff was still in high school driving our first hand-me-down car, except for Dadsy Nadsy, of course. Nobody would give the 240sx a second look because they simply weren't as cool as the Hondas and Acuras that flushed our scene: Aftermarket parts were readily available and B-Series or ZC motor swaps became a common trend. You could even throw a couple of Toyotas into the mix with the capability of upgradint the factory turbocharged MR2 and Supra.
Nissans were, well, not so popular - the 240 especially since it was a lot more expensive, heavier, and underpowered (KA owners, dont get all pissy. 155hp for a 2,800lb car isnt that great). Common knowledge told you that any 240 you ran into was pretty much stock and would top out at 120mph. Even the hardcore Nissan companies would only make replacement filter and maybe an exhaust. Sadly the Sentra, SE-R was a much more enthusiast-friendly car because of the price and the fact it came equipped with the SR20DE motor. With a 240, your best bet would be to cheese-ball together an intake and visit a ton of muffler shops. You'd have better luck fixing up a 300ZX if you could afford one and had circus carney hands to wrench with.
It took nearly a decade for the momentum to shift, but what a huge shift it was. Yeah, the H and A badged cars are still around, but they're not quite as dominant once people started to realize the untapped potential of the 240SX. (Like our Super Street sticker says, we're just a bunch of stupid Americans, right?) Then there's the sheer undeniable fact that there are just a handful of front-engine rear-wheel drive sport compacts in this country-even less after all the manufacturers decided to kill off supercars like the Supra, RX-7 and 300ZX. Check out the endless upgrade path for the 240SX now: body kits, coilovers, bolt-on turbo kits and engine swaps. You name it and we guarantee you'll be able to find it for a 240SX. Now, you'd be hard pressed to find any year 240 that isn't fixed up in some way.
We're not sure if you got the memo, but drag racing is pretty much out. Drifting and Time Attack are in like low-carb diets. We sure hope that you see where this is leading-we have a 240SX, Spec Clutch and Time Attack. To those that were good at word problems: What would you get if you put those three elements together? A. The Spec Clutch Time Attack 240SX, B. The Spec Clutch Time Attack 240SX, C. The Spec Clutch Time Attack 240SX, or D. All of the above. It's D. of course, sillies. We would have also accepted, E. shut up and finish the story.
Spec Clutch is located in Alabama, and for a state that's mainly known for college football, cowboy hat-wearing rock bands and BBQ pork, we'd never have imagined to find a gem quite as striking as this 240SX. Draped in the custom "Spec" Blue DuPont paint, the Spec car looks rather stealth for a racecar. The Charge Speed wide fenders fatten the car's appearance and allow for some studly wheel sizes and offsets. You'll notice the essentials like a carbon fiber trunk, hood and wing (all tinted in Spec Blue) to lighten up the borderline heavy S14. Then comes the Bomex kit with the giant opening in the front bumper to direct air straight to the intercooler and radiator. But it's the graphics and Time Attack plaques that hint that this car belongs on the track.
But, you can't just bring a 240SX with some bodywork to the track. Well you can, but don't expect to place high in the rankings. The Spec 240SX uses a lethal combination of power and handling to make it a solid competitor. Starting with the power-adders, the KA was yanked out and replaced with a Sunbelt Racing Engines-built SR20DET. But before getting chained to the cherry picker, the SR bottom-end internals were swapped with forged CP pistons and Carillo connecting rods and sleeves. The head was given a racing valve job and a Tomei solid lifter conversion.
We'd love to tell you the specs on the billet cams, but then we'd have to kill you and our circulation would drop by one. Sandwiched between the top and bottom ends is a Cometic head gasket fastened in place with ARP head bolts. A custom GT35R mated to a Turbo Specialties manifold cools hot exhaust gases in the GReddy intercooler. To ensure that the boosted motor doesn't lean out, a set of Siemens injectors, twin Bosch fuel pumps and a JWT EMS were hired on to control the flow of the oh-so-pricey petrol. With that many ingredients, the end result was 599hp at the wheels, which isn't exactly an easy number to put to the ground. We know you're thinking, "too bad the Spec guys don't know of a good clutch place to hook them up." Oh, but they do. Themselves. Spec is a custom clutch manufacturer that specializes in high performance clutches known for maintaining in high horsepower racing conditions. In fact, this 240 is utilizing a Spec 184mm two-disc clutch and flywheel package.
And we're not even close to being done. As many drag racers have figured out, going fast and straight is hard enough. But going fast and throwing in a bunch of twisty turns from a Time Attack course is a flat out bitch, to say the least. Fortunately, the Spec 240 is equipped with JIC Magic FLTA2-RS coilovers on all four corners; an adjustable weld-in 48 spline torsion bar assembly; and Battle Version adjustable control arms, tension and traction rods. Even the custom rollcage helps stiffen the chassis while keeping the driver safe from any unfortunate mishaps.
When it's in attack mode, the Spec 240 sports a set of Enkei RPF-1 wheels with gummy Toyo RA1s to hug the asphalt. On its days off, the 240 rocks Volk Racing TE37s wrapped in Bridgestones Choosing between two sets of badass wheels-it's a rough life.
There's no doubt that the Spec 240 was built to race and the Spec crew left no stone unturned when assembling the car, but they still ran into a minor issue at our East Coast Time Attack finals in Atlanta. Though they diagnosed the problem as just a bit of wheel rubbing under hard cornering, it kept the car from running full force. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Fortunately, it's a much easier fix than having to tear the entire motor down and rebuild it or something of that nature (knock on wood). With Shrek coordinating our Time Attack schedule as I type, we know the Spec car will be ready for a huge impact this time around.
Owner David Norton
Hometown Bessemer, Al
Daily Grind Owner Of Spec Clutches And Flywheels
Power 599hp and 510 lb-ft of torque at the wheels
Under The Hood Sunbelt Racing Engines-built SR20DET; complete balanced and blue printed rotating assembly; Advanced Sleeve engine sleeves; custom billet camshafts with confidential specs; JUN cam gears; Carillo connecting rods; CP pistons and rings; racing valve job with Tomei solid lifter conversion and rocker arm stoppers; Cometic head gasket; ARP bolts; Ferrea valves; JWT valve springs and retainers; GReddy intake manifold, oil pan and Type R intercooler core; Siemens 96lb/hr injectors; custom fuel rail and intake; Accufab 75mm Ford Mustang throttle body; custom stainless 3.75-inch turbo back exhaust with A'PEXi GT Spec muffler; equal length Turbo Specialties manifold with Burns stainless piping and collector; custom Garrett GT35R; HKS Racing bypass valve; TiAL F46 wastegate; custom C&R Dual Pass radiator with overflow; GREX oil filter relocation kit; Mocal oil cooler; twin Bosch fuel pumps; Fuel Safe fuel cell
Drivetrain Spec 11lb aluminum one-piece driveshaft, 184mm two-disc clutch and flywheel; solid transmission mounts; short throw shifter; 4.63 Nismo gears for short tracks, 4.11 for long tracks
Brains JWT EMS; Corvette Z06 coils; NGK Iridium spark plugs; custom MSD spark plug wires
Stiff Stuff JIC Magic FLTA2-RS coilovers and strut tower bar; Speedway Engineering adjustable Nextel Cup weld-in 48 spline torsion bar assembly; custom Derlin aluminum spherical bearings; Kirk Racing World Challenge spec rollcage; Battle Version adjustable front control arms, rear upper control arms, tension rod and traction rods; Ziel Motorsports hard tie rods, rear aluminum Z32 uprights; ARP extended wheel studs
Rollers street: Volk Racing TE37 wheels 19x9.5 (front) and 19x.10.5 (rear); Bridgestone Potenza tires 255/35ZR19 (front) and 285/35ZR19 (rear); race: Enkei RPF-1 wheels 18x8.5 (front) and 18x9.5 (rear); Toyo RA-1 tires 245/40ZR18 (front) and 275/35ZR18 (rear)
Stoppers custom Wilwood Super Light 14-inch front brakes and brake pedal set with integrated dual master cylinders; Z32 rear brakes with Brembo rotors; Hawk brake pads; Goodridge lines
Outside Charge Speed wide fenders; Seibon carbon fiber trunk and hood; Bomex front bumper, side skirts, marker lights and grille; OEM Silvia rear bumper; Signal Auto carbon fiber mirrors; Nismo R34 carbon fiber wing; "Spec" Blue DuPont paint; Radio Active graphics; all carbon fiber tinted "Spec" Blue
Inside Recaro Profi SPG racing seats; black cloth upholstery; custom alcantara on aluminum dash; Stack dash display; A'PEXi analog memory playback; Sparco 353 suede steering wheel and five-point harnesses; Signal Auto quick release; Razo carbon fiber shift knob
Props Ben Chen at JIC Magic; Toyo Tires; Randy at Enkei; Ed Senf the dyno tuner and the crew at Balanced Performance Motorsports; Alex Pfeiffer at Battle Version; Chris Greene at Wolf EMS; Ken Harrison and crew at Enjuku Racing; Richard and Robert Wong at Nippon Power; George Klaus at Accufab; Reid Patridge at Turbo Specialties
Connect accufabracing.com; balancedperformance.com; battleversion.com; enjukuracing.com; enkei.com; jic-magic.com; jimwolftechnology.com; specclutch.com; toyo.com