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1992 Nissan Silvia S13 - Black Out

When's The Last Time You Saw A Shop Do Up A Customer's Ride Like This?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
May 1, 2009

Let's admit it, drifting is not exactly the easiest form of motorsport for a car. The main aim of the sport is utter destruction. Tires are the first to go, obviously, then comes the clutch following countless "kicks" to get the rear wheels to break traction. Bouncing off the limiter in every gear is not easy for the engine either and let's not even get into what can happen when things go wrong and you find yourself sliding uncontrollably into a barrier. With so many components becoming consumables, drifters have for years been forgiven for not caring so much about the way their cars look like. Functioning oily bits have always taken precedence over spotless bodywork, however this doesn't apply to everyone. Enter Andy Gray of Andy's right-out passion for the whole drifting scene is simply admirable. A few years back he moved to Japan from his native Scotland, to culture his drifting skills in the land where it all began. His philosophy is a simple one, drift cars have not only need to pack an almighty punch in the engine department but they need to back their performance with a stunning exterior. His latest S13 project car is the perfect example of such fine balance.

Built for a customer, the 1992 S13 Nissan Silvia you see here sports a very clean and simple approach to aesthetics. However, as the old clich goes, looks can be deceiving. Under strict orders to create a very powerful setup Andy decided to do things a little different from the norm. So instead of going crazy with tuning parts on the stock SR20, the 4-cylinder motor was pulled out and set aside for something with a little more, ehm, oomph. D1 shop Kazama Auto sourced an RB26DETT from an old R32 Skyline GT-R, an engine that was in great condition despite its age. To prepare it for a slight increase in power the head was pulled off and the bearings upgraded to Nismo items. An HKS metal head gasket was fitted to make sure the engine would cope with the slight increase in boost. To keep the spread of torque and power accessible at any rpm a set of 256 HKS cams were dropped in and adjusted with the aid of HKS slide cam pulleys. Once the engine was all sealed up it was on to the turbo manifold, which was slightly ported to match the slightly bigger openings on the Nismo N1 turbine flanges. These Garrett blowers are a tested and proven upgrade and good for 500 HP on a stock engine like this. With all ancillaries in place, it was on to creating the custom engine mounts and making sure everything would fit in the smaller Silvia engine room. The exhaust side was finished up with a set of HKS front pipes, which were slightly modified to clear the underside of the chassis, ready to be connected up to the one-off cat-less exhaust system that had been fabricated. Custom aluminum piping was used extensively in order to create intake pipes on which the two GReddy filters would be fitted on. Custom work extended to the intercooler piping which had to be fabricated to line up with the HKS intercooler. In the fueling department, only a Nismo in-tank fuel pump was fitted which makes sure fuel pressure stays high so that the stock injectors can be used at their full-duty cycle. Thanks to the remapping done to the Impul ECU that the S13 originally came with, 500 HP were easily achieved, giving the Silvia way more power than it needs. Exactly what you want on a drift car! To take care of the cooling, an HKS oil cooler was joined by a Yashio Factory triple layer radiator which is kept in check by the custom air-separator tank. To make life easier, a 5-speed R33 Skyline Type M transmission was mated up to the RB26 along with a twin-plate OS Giken clutch. Still from OS Giken is the 2-way LSD, which locks instantly allowing the car to be steered on the throttle.

Throwing 500 HP into a car that was engineered to take half of that power, means some changes were necessary for both the suspension and brakes. Bilstein adjustable coilovers take care of the damping while some much-needed Cusco arms were fitted to perfect the car's geometry. Cusco also supplied the stabilizer bars as well as the strut tower bars, the front of which had to be slightly bent to clear the RB26's cam covers. To give more wheel choices, a 5-lug hub conversion was carried out at each corner, which was then joined by R33 Skyline Type M brakes, a cheap and easy upgrade. Braided brake lines and a master cylinder stopper make sure the brake pedal stays nice and firm at all times.

Andy had already planned out how to transform the exterior of the car with some choice body parts. First up a Vertex front and rear bumper kit was fitted along with side skirts of the same brand. This helped give the S13 a more aggressive and slammed down stance, like a true drifter. None of Andy's cars would be caught dead with stock fenders so Dmax FRP front-vented items were put in place. At the rear the fenders were widened thanks to a set of Dmax overfenders, riveted in place for that raw look. To hint at the car's connection with the GT-R, a BNR32 Nismo rear lip spoiler was adapted and fitted to the lightweight FRP trunk. One of the most unique aspects of this Silvia however is the Dmax hood, which had to be subjected to some extensive cutting around the vented area to clear the taller RB26 engine. The result makes it look like the GT-R's motor is trying to rip through the hood, making sure everyone out there realizes this is no ordinary S13! Since Andy's customer stated the car would be used only for drifting, the stock glass was replaced with lightweight acrylic windows, except for the front windscreen. To give a more modern feel to the exterior the aging front and rear lights were relegated to the trash and replaced by G-corp clear items up front and two-tone ones out back. A set of SSR III Agle Strusse 18-inch wheels have found their way into the widened fenders, their chrome 2-piece design creating a great contrast to the custom dark metallic gray of the body. Sticky Pirelli P-Zero tires are used up front on the 9.5" wide wheels, while Yokohama DNA GP are stretched over the 10" width at the rear.

Weight-saving measures extend into the interior where only necessary equipment has been left behind. Gone are the carpets, rear trim, transmission tunnel console, audio system and A/C. This made it easy to bolt in the 7-point rollcage. On the driver side a Sparco Rev racing bucket seat offers a snug fit for the driver while for the passenger a R33 GT-R seat has been fitted, yet another hint at the GT-R-connection. The Momo steering wheel is joined with a host of upgraded controls like the Trust shift knob, Razo pedal set and the fly-off side-brake button, a must for any drift car. Keeping an eye on the N1 turbos is the HKS EVC controller while the Pivot RPM gauge gives a more accurate reading and comes with the bright red shift-up light. A triplet of Omori gauges has been fitted where the center A/C vents were once located, allowing the driver to keep an eye on the temperatures. The conventional key-approach to cranking the engine on doesn't apply to this S13, it is all taken care of by the Top Secret push-start button on the center console, which also comes with a toggle switch for the electrics. Very D1!

With such an impressive project completed, Andy was more than satisfied with the result. The current economic climate however meant that his client pulled out of the deal, leaving Andy empty-handed. And see he currently owns four drift cars, he just can't justify keeping the RB26 powered S13 as well. With a spec like this however, he is sure there are many out there who would kill for a drift car like this. Anyone?

Sstp_0905_23_z+1992_nissan_silvia_s13+shift_knob Photo 13/14   |   1992 Nissan Silvia S13 - Black Out

Fast Facts
1992 Nissan Silvia (S13)
Owner Andy Gray
Daily Grind Tuner at Power Vehicles
Power 500ps, 54kgm

Under The Hood RB26DETT twin-turbocharged engine; modified engine mounts with NISMO bushings and NISMO bearings, N1 turbines and fuel pump; HKS 1.2mm metal head gasket, 256 camshafts, slide cam pulleys, turbo outlets, modified front pipe, intercooler and oil cooler; ported factory turbo manifold; custom straight-through exhaust, air separator tank, intercooler piping and intake pipes; Trust air filters; Yashio Factory triple-layer radiator

Drivetrain R33 Skyline Type M 5-speed transmission; OS Giken twin plate clutch and 2-way LSD (4.3:1 final)

Brains Impul remapped ECU; HKS EVC boost controller

Sstp_0905_24_z+1992_nissan_silvia_s13+ssr_switch Photo 14/14   |   1992 Nissan Silvia S13 - Black Out

Stiff Stuff Bilstein adjustable suspension kit, Cusco front & rear stabilizers, front tension rods, adjustable rear upper arms, front strut tower bar (custom-bent to clear engine) and rear strut tower bar; custom Hicas cancel rods

Rollers 5-lug hub conversion; SSR III Agle Strusse 9.5Jx8" +22 (front), 10Jx18" +6 (rear); Pirelli P-Zero 225/40/18 (front), Yokohama DNA GP 255/40/18 (rear)

Stoppers R33 Skyline Type M calipers (front & rear); Goodridge braided brake lines; Project master cylinder stopper

Outside Vertex front bumper, rear bumper and side skirts; Dmax FRP vented hood (custom cut to accommodate engine), FRP trunk with twin spring fasteners, FRP vented front wide fenders and rear overfenders; R32 GT-R NISMO lip spoiler; acrylic side and rear glass; G-Corp clear front lights and rear light combo

Inside 7-point bolt-in rollcage; Sparco Rev racing bucket seat; R33 GT-R passenger seat; Sabelt 4-point harness; MOMO Race steering wheel; Trust shift knob; Razo pedal set; fly-off side-brake button; Pivot RPM-gauge fitted to stock dashboard and shift-change light; Omori center mounted gauges: oil temp, water temp, oil press; stripped carbon look center console; Top Secret engine start button; battery relocated to the trunk

Www,, hksusacom, (Project Mu),,,,

By Dino Dalle Carbonare
4 Articles



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