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 |   |  1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming
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1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming

20 Years in the Making, This Originally Owned, KA-Turbocharged Nissan S14 Has it All

Trevor Ryan
Jul 29, 2019

Do you remember the car your mom drove you to school in? Perhaps it was a trustworthy Camry, maybe a tired, old Accord, or a minivan with a television that popped down from the roof. Kyle Murphy of Miami, Florida, still has vivid memories of his mother driving him to school in one of her three turbocharged Mk3 Toyota Supras. Crazy, right?! He remembers the times he'd ride shotgun and she let him shift through the gears while she worked the clutch. The weight of the car transferring as the throttle was applied, the sound of the turbo spooling up, and the feel of a rear-wheel-drive Japanese sportscar—these distinct sensations all stayed with Kyle over the years, and it shouldn't be a surprise that by the time he turned 17, he found his way into a '96 Nissan 240SX.

1998 Nissan 240SX Kouki Side Skirts 02 Photo 30/30   |   1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming

Unfortunately, the S14 was totaled when someone ran a red light and T-boned Kyle at 60 mph at an intersection. Thankfully, he was fine, but the Zenki was totaled. The search for a replacement project car began for either a Kouki S14 or an FD Mazda RX-7. With both cars discontinued by this time and the availability of any used examples scarce, Kyle wasn't sure he'd be able to find what he was after. Ultimately—and unsurprisingly—his mom came to the rescue.

While reading the newspaper, Kyle's mother found a black '98 240SX SE for sale at a local dealership, one of just a few brand-new 240s still available for sale in the entire country. Kyle says, "We rushed over, and the rest is history!" This S14 ended up being the car Kyle drove to pick up his date to prom, and he's owned it ever since.

1998 Nissan 240SX KA24DE Engine Photo 30/30   |   1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming

In the late '90s, before the birth of the U.S. drift scene, the 240SX wasn't a very popular car. Finding other 240 owners to hang out with proved to be no small feat. Still, Kyle knew he couldn't be alone and formed a group called SFL240SX, bringing S-chassis enthusiasts together in Southern Florida. After the 2003 arrival of D1 Grand Prix in California, more enthusiasts were getting their hands on rear-wheel-drive Japanese cars, notably the S13 and S14, and Kyle's circle of friends began to grow as the S-chassis garnered more appreciation. Not to mention, his own 240 project continued to evolve.

Kyle has always been a fan of the factory look, explaining "the aggressive styling and the angry eyes of the Kouki S14 had my heart from the first time I saw one." He carefully picked and chose upgrades that enhanced the original character of the car rather than replaced it. The classic S14 bodylines are retained but subtly widened, and the JDM Silvia bumpers work well with the other exterior details that have been added along the way. The only obvious deviation from any JDM influences is the Laguna Seca Blue paint borrowed from the BMW E46 M3, which Kyle had never seen on any S-chassis builds when he had it sprayed back in 2002.

1998 Nissan 240SX NISMO 330 Steering Wheel Photo 30/30   |   1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming

Inside the cabin, you'll find NISMO parts just about everywhere you look, and Kyle mentioned to us that there are even more goodies at home. This includes multiple steering wheels, NISMO horn buttons, shift knobs, and even various harness pads from which Kyle can choose. Kyle has sourced plenty of rare parts over the years, and something tells us he'll be doing the same for years to come.

Perhaps most important in maintaining the spirit of the original car is the fact that the factory KA24DE remains. Kyle admitted plenty of friends and critics have offered their engine swap suggestions over the years, but he couldn't give up this original powerplant after all they've been through together. But that didn't mean he was going to keep it stock at its measly 155 hp. Many long nights were spent with his friend Armando Alvarez to rebuild the block using Wiseco pistons and Carrillo rods, while the head received Supertech components and Brian Crower cams. A Garrett GT3582R turbo was then bolted to a Ground Zero equal-length header, resulting in a four-cylinder that's pleasantly torquey with more than 500 lb-ft but also has the top-end to back it up thanks to nearly 600 hp on E85. The KA-T is quicker than you'd expect off the line and punchy through the rev range, helping the aging car feel as if it isn't.

1998 Nissan 240SX Kyle Murphy Photo 30/30   |   1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming

As of this year, Kyle has had exactly 20 years to hone and perfect his S14. From the DressUpBolts hardware replacing every visible nut and bolt to the one-off 2.4T emblem on the rear as well as the custom neochromed pieces, every inch of his car has been carefully thought through. Kyle's quick to share that his car wouldn't be where it is without support from his wife—and with a laugh he can't forget about his mom, either.

1998 Nissan 240SX JDM Silvia Front Bumper 04 Photo 30/30   |   1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming
By Trevor Ryan
1 Articles
1998 Nissan 240SX (S14) - Miami Dreaming
Tuning Menu
Owner: Kyle Murphy
Hometown: Miami, FL
Occupation: Industrial Sales
Instagram: @sfl240sx
Power: 600 hp
Engine: KA24DE with Wiseco .20 over pistons with 10.5:1 compression; Carrillo Pro H-beam rods with CARR bolts; Brian Crower Stage 3 272? cams; Supertech valvesprings, retainers; head and block mod for 11mm Evo head studs; Cosworth head gasket; NGK spark plugs; polished Xcessive intake manifold; Ground Zero equal-length manifold; Garrett GT3582R turbo with polished compressor and jet-coated turbine housings; DEI ONYX carbon-fiber turbo blanket, fire sleeves, and fire tape; turbo velocity stack (for shows); TurboGuard screen (for street); Infiniti Q45 throttle body with polished bracket; TiAL Q's 50mm black blow-off valve, 38mm black wastegate; Radium Engineering fuel rail; ID1700x injectors; K20 Smart coils with polished rail; Koyo radiator; Flex-a-lite dual electric fans; carbon-fiber cooling panel; Circuit Sports radiator overflow tank; Chase Bays power steering reservoir kit, fuel pressure gauge; NISMO motor mounts, radiator cap, thermostat, oil cap; polished intercooler piping, reservoir covers; Dukefab custom catch can; AEM E85 dual fuel pumps; flex fuel sensor; Weldon fuel pressure regulator with polished mounts; 3-inch downpipe with flex; wastegate screamer pipe with flex; HKS Hi-Power 3-inch exhaust; XS Power intercooler; black braided lines, -AN fittings and couplers; Optima RedTop battery; Treadstone fittings, clamps, couplers, hoses; Titanium DressUpBolts; neochrome parts throughout
Drivetrain: Z32 300ZX five-speed transmission swap; Mazworx adapter kit; Xcessive shifter relocation bracket; SPEC Stage 3+ clutch, flywheel; custom one-piece driveshaft; NISMO transmission mount, clutch fork pivot, clutch slave; R33 Skyline starter, speed sensor; J30 limited-slip differential; 3.916:1 gear ratio
Engine Management: 565hp at 6750rpm
Footwork & Chassis: Fortune Auto FA500 Gen 6 coilovers with Swift springs; NISMO Power brace; Suspension Techniques sway bars; Cusco strut bars; TEIN tie rods and ends; SPL tension rods, subframe collars; Kazama Auto rear upper control arms; JIC Magic toe arms
Brakes: Z32 color-matched aluminum calipers, drilled and slotted rear rotors, e-brake cable; Z1 Motorsports caliper relocation brackets; Z33 12.75-inch two-piece drilled and slotted front rotors; Hawk HPS pads
Wheels & Tires: 18x9 +10 front, 18x10 +17 Work Equip 01 Five Star wheels; 225/35R18 front, 245/35R18 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires; Kics R40 Neochrome lug nuts; NISMO hub bolts
Exterior: JDM Silvia front and rear bumpers, front turn signals, fog deletes, rear valances, rain visors, rear spoiler; GReddy front lip; Autech Silvia front grille; Kouki side skirts; Chargespeed 20mm front fenders; rolled and pulled rear fenders; Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors; shaved antenna and hood emblem; BMW E46 M3 Laguna Seca Blue paint
Interior: NISMO seats, GT Spec four-point harnesses and pads, pedals, hub, 330 steering wheel, leather shift knob, gas cap cover; Works Bell Rapfix 2 quick release, steering wheel lock; StreetFaction fire extinguisher mount; Mazworx powdercoated harness bar; R33 Skyline dead pedal; carbon-fiber shift boot; custom dash gauge holder; DRAGint mats; H3R Performance Halguard fire extinguisher

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