How does one envision and build one of the coolest-looking Nissan 240SX S13s of all time? Apparently your name has to be Rainier Ramolete, live in Las Vegas, and spend a lot of time studying the unique body styling of some of the most stylish manufacturers and car builders in the world. Ever since Rainier was a child he was obsessed with cars. As a kid, his parents could not keep him away from his Hot Wheels. A few years later, he took scaled-down models of cars apart to see what was inside them. As a teenager, Rainier spent a lot of time watching Option videos, and reading JDM Hyper Rev magazines. Rainier was so inspired that he already had his sights set on buying his first car. Making money flipping Go-Peds on eBay, Rainier purchased an S13 240SX hatchback at the age of 14. He couldn't even drive yet, but that would not stop young Rainier's passion and love for cars from being fulfilled.
Being the JDM nut that he is, it was not long before he came across an authentic righthand-drive S13 Nissan Silvia that he just had to have. Shortly after this, he realized that he hated being on the right side while driving. At the time, Rainier was friends with another Las Vegas local and Formula D driver Tommy Suell. Tommy had a pristine '91 Nissan 240SX coupe shell for sale and offered to trade chassis for chassis. Rainier jumped on the opportunity for this perfect shell and decided he was ready for his first ground-up build.
Rainier wanted to build a simple drift car that would pass tech at the track, yet still be suitable to drive on the streets. After a few years of various different builds the simple part of it went right out the window. Rainier spent a lot of time following and admiring the unique styles of his favorite Japanese tuners and race cars. Influenced by some of his favorite companies, such as 326 Power, TRA Kyoto, Ben Sopra, and Ito Style "Break", Rainier had an idea of the direction he wanted to go with the car. Taking the car to Get Nuts Lab in Las Vegas, he had an insane amount of tube work done to the car. There he had an over-the-top 'cage put in the car with more bars and gussets than most Formula D cars. He also had the entire rear section of the car cut out and installed a custom tubular rear skeleton. This skeleton houses and protects the fuel cell with custom external surge tank. In the front of the car you will find a custom front bash bar mixed with some extra strengthening bars and a set of custom wheeltubs. Not stopping there, Rainier had a custom V-mount setup done for the intercooler and radiator to assist in keeping the engine cool and had the entire chassis stitch welded. While this may seem like a lot already, these are literally just the basic core components of fabrication on this insane build.
The exterior styling of this game changer is what really sets this car apart from any other 240SX that you will find here in the United States. With all of the JGTC, and DTM racing he had been watching, Rainier wanted to utilize high-end Japanese parts and modify them to make his version of the sickest S13 drift/street car that he could imagine. Starting with an authentic BN Sports Type II aero kit from Japan, Rainier cut up the rear bumper and made the wildest diffuser we have ever seen on a 240SX. Utilizing a specific type of 1/8-inch polymer sheet, splitters were made to go underneath the front bumper and side skirts of the BN Sports body kit as well. Pushing the boundaries of the typical 240SX build further, a set of custom canards were made for the front bumper, a monster of a custom wing to the back with more custom endplates to give the car a menacing look with lots of downforce. Keeping to the JDM style, a Silvia front end conversion was done on the car using "brick" style headlights, with DMAX signals and markers. Taking the lighting game a step further, Rainier used a set of clear taillights and fabricated his own custom LED light setup for them.
Fitting some giant wheels was the next challenge. Believing it is better to shine than to reflect a typical setup, he bought a set of Work Schwert SC2's in an 18x10 and 19x11 stagger setup. Completing the set, these were fitted with Achilles ATR Sport tires in 215/35-18 and 245/35-19 sizes. With an extremely aggressive offset of -17 in the front, DMAX 40mm fenders were installed to counteract the aggressiveness of the wheels. Even still Rainier had to run -9.5 degrees of camber in the front to fit. This makes the bottom of the wheel have a lot of poke and flows really well with the aggressive bumper canards he had made. In order to fit the rear wheels, a set of DMAX 50mm over-fenders were utilized. With a -19 offset in the rear, Rainier was able to achieve the elusive Royal Flush rim tuck status with only -4 degrees of camber. For those of you who only care about function, he has a set of Work XT7's in less aggressive offsets that he will use while on the track-that is, when he isn't breaking your neck driving down the Las Vegas strip. With exterior styling finished, the car was transported to Jon Adams at Hot Property paint shop to get laced with some jet-black paint.
Underneath these layers of daring creativity is a set of Stance super street coilovers, connected to some custom knuckles for more steering angle while drifting. To keep the rack from over-centering, he had the front crossmember modified to move the rack farther forward. For proper roll center adjustment PBM front LCAs were installed. For maximum adjustment and strength, Ikeya Formula inner tie rods were fitted with Tein outers. Keeping the front suspension solid Rainier also installed a JSFAB front tension rod bracket V-brace. To correct the stock rear suspension issues, you will find a set of PBM solid subframe risers along with Kazama toe and upper control arms. The car is then held flat with front and rear Tanabe sway bars finished off with Megan endlinks. Lastly, to slow it all down are upgraded front and rear brakes from a twin-turbo 300ZX.
Inside, once you get through the jungle gym of rollbars you will find a pair of JDM Bride seats attached to Bride LowMax rails and a four-point Takata harness. Looking forward is a stripped and flocked dash with a custom gauge panel, using an A'pexi tachometer and a pair of Greddy gauges. Also in the mix is a Sparco steering wheel attached to a 9K Racing quick release and JDM Works Bell hub. Keeping it street, Rainier finished off the interior electronics with a JVC double-DIN head unit and a set of Memphis 6-inch components.
Powering this fancy ride is the JDM SR20DET from the Nissan Silvia. Internally keeping things together is an A'pexi 1.1mm head gasket with ARP head studs, Brian Crower valvesprings, retainers, and Tomei rocker arm stoppers. Externally, there is a set of Greddy pulleys and a Moroso oil pan with a blacktop oil pickup. Rainier also installed a pair of custom oil and power steering coolers using Greddy cores mounted to the front bash bar. Making oil changes easier is a Greddy oil filter relocation kit. Ensuring that cooling is not an issue, Rainier used -16 AN lines hooked into a modified Koyo radiator with an A'pexi swirl pot. Feeding the engine is a custom intake setup with a Garrett GT2871R mounted on a Full-Race custom bottom mount external wastegate manifold. This turbo is regulated by a Tial 44mm wastegate. The pressurized air is then cooled through the V-mount setup and into a Greddy intake manifold paired with a Godspeed throttle body. The air is then exhausted through a custom Get Nuts Labs turbo-back exhaust. Fuel is taken care of by a custom top-feed rail and RC 1,000cc injectors. Any ignition breakup issues are cleared up by Denso iridium spark plugs and an MSD DIS4 ignition box. Rainier also took the time to rewire the engine harness, getting rid of all of the unnecessary wiring and re-looming it for a fresh look. Once this was complete, the car was taken to Justin at Izumi Racecraft for tuning, where it laid down 400 whp on 110-octane race fuel.
In the end, Rainier has built one amazing machine. With his own personal style, utilizing the characteristics of some of the top Japanese and Euro tuning companies, one would be hard-pressed to find a 240SX similar. Watch out Japan, Ray's car is here.
Behind The Build
Las Vegas, NV
Fender Work/wheel fitment/designer/fabricator, self-employed
Progressively 5 years, 2 years from its last version
"I always wanted to build a drift car that was track tech legal, but that I could also enjoy on the street. I always loved raw-looking coupes. I found this immaculate S13 as a shell for a fair deal, so I couldn't pass it up."
'91 Nissan S13 240SX
400 whp at 7,000 rpm/380 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm (dyno)
Engine JDM Nissan S13 SR20DET engine; Garrett GT2871R .86 AR turbo; Full Race turbo manifold with custom bottom-mount external-gated T2; TiAL Sport 44mm wastegate, 50mm Q blow-off valve; Autronic SMC stand-alone (tuned by Justin Izumi of Izumi Racecraft); Brian Crower valvesprings, retainers; ARP head studs; A'pexi EL II tachometer, AVC-R boost controller, 1.1mm head gasket, modified coolant reservoir tank/bubbler; Nismo motor mounts; Greddy intake manifold, engine pulleys, oil cooler, oil relocation kit, water temperature gauge, boost gauge; K&N air intake; Godspeed throttle body, intercooler core modified to V-mount by Get Nuts Laboratory; custom intercooler piping; Bosch 044 fuel pump (primary); Walbro 255-lph fuel pump (secondary surge pump); custom fuel surge tank; Tomei Type L fuel pressure regulator; Get Nuts Laboratory custom top feed fuel rail; RC 1,000cc top-feed injectors; custom five-bolt flange turbo elbow to V-band Full Race 3-inch downpipe; A-Spec muffler with custom Get Nuts Laboratory piping (V-band 3-inch); MSD DIS-4 ignition system; Odyssey PC925 battery; Denso Iridium spark plugs; Moroso aluminum oil pan; Koyo radiator modified for V-mount by Get Nuts Laboratory; custom Earls AN -16 radiator fittings with Prolite hoses; Flex-a-lite 420 electric radiator fans; custom chassis harness and simplified engine harness done by Rainier; Tomei spark plug cover; custom brake master heat shield; custom V-mount radiator shrouding; custom core support cooling plate
Drivetrain Exedy Hyper Single Plate clutch, lightweight flywheel; Nismo transmission mount; welded rear differential
Suspension Stance Super Street coilovers (8K spring rate front and 6K spring rate rear); Tanabe Sustec sway bar (front and rear); Megan sway bar endlinks; Get Nuts Laboratory custom strut bar (front and rear), custom rollcage, tube chassis rearend, engine bay tubs, full chassis stitch welding, front strut tower reinforcement, custom bolt-on front bash bar, reinforced front framerails, custom crossmember steering rack relocation; Powered By Max front lower control arms, rear solid subframe risers; Kazama rear upper control arms, rear toe arms; Ikeya Formula inner tie rods; Tein outer tie-rod ends; JSFAB custom tension bracket brace
Wheels/Tires Work Schwert SC2 (18x10 -17mm offset, front; 19x11 -19mm offset, rear); Achilles ATR Sport tires (215/35/18 front; 245/35/19 rear); Project Kics lug nuts; ARP extended lug studs; drift wheels: 18x9.5 +15 Work Emotion XT7 on Achilles 123 tires
Brakes OEM Nissan 300ZX front and rear calipers, rear drum e-brake; Project Mu drum pads; custom Teflon braided brake lines; Nissan S14 240SX brake booster
Exterior BN Sports Type 2 body kit; custom rear diffuser, aluminum front canards, GT wing, and splitters on body kit designed and made by Rainier; Origin roof spoiler; DMAX D1 Spec +40mm Silvia front fenders, +50mm rear over-fenders, vented Silvia hood, clear Silvia corner lights, clear Silvia turn signals; Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors; OEM Toyota black paint; painted by Jon Adams of Hot Property Paint Shop; vinyl cut and applied by Rainier; rear fenders cut and welded for rear wide fenders by Get Nuts Laboratory; JDM S13 Silvia "Brick" headlights; custom LED roof brake light; clear LED taillights; Phillips 4,300K HID kit
Interior Bride Zeta III driver-side seat, Bride Brix passenger seat, Bride seat rails (driver and passenger); Takata 4-point harness (driver and passenger) Sparco steering wheel; Works Bell steering hub; 9K Racing quick release, shift knob; custom gauge cluster; custom stripped and flocked dash; JVC double-DIN head unit; Memphis Audio 6-inch front component speakers
Gratitude "Get Nuts Lab, Jon Adams at Hot Property Paint Shop, AutoRnd, Stance Suspension, Touge Factory, GarageBOSO"
Special Thanks to Junkhouse