We have said it once and we're saying it again. the day is coming when there will be more SR-powered 240s than KA-powered ones. We have seen a surge in the SR20/240 phenomenon where the stock KA24 is ditched and replaced with the engine that should have been there in the first place-the SR20DET.
The SR20 is the king of the swap insurgency wielding its way into 240SXs, 510s, a sprinkling of 350Zs, Miatas and AE86 Corollas. It makes sense; the factory turbo power plant is stout out of the box and only needs a boost controller to get the party started.
Greg Deese of St. Petersburg, Florida got his boost party started with a 1990 S13-vintage 240SX hatchback. Like many projects we see, it started on a sour note. "I picked up the 240 for $400 after totaling my tricked out JDM-style Prelude," says Deese. "I took all the money from the settlement and poured it into the Nissan."
The 240 bounced between the engine shop and the paint shop. First stop was at Durden Prefab to dissect the single-cam KA engine/tranny combo. Then it was off to the body shop where the engine bay was painted the color of choice; House Of Kolor pagen candy gold. Then it was back to Durden for installation of the SR20 bullet.
Deese went on a big shopping spree at GReddy; scooping up a trick polished intake manifold, downpipe, radiator, pulleys, catch can, front-mount intercooler, PRofec B-Spec boost controller and turbo timer. To ensure his chi was not totally out of balance Deese opted for an HKS SSQ blow-off valve. The engine and tranny are secured via Nismo mounts and the five-speed manual gearbox was fitted with an Exedy Stage 2 clutch.
After the boosted power plant was snuggly nestled in the engine bay the car was shipped back to the paint booth for the remainder of the bodywork and painting. "It was first going to have an S13.5 front end," says Deese, "but I ran into huge problems and decided to go back to the 180SX sleepy-eye look. I ordered the Charge Speed kit, after having a full S15 Bomex kit and S13.5 conversion in the wings. I picked up Charge Speed carbon fiber hood and headlight covers and it was all painted pagan candy gold with extra flake, and the roof was painted black."
Back at Durden, the 240 got its Tein SS coil-over suspension, five-lug conversion and a few other details. "I decided to change up the sleepy-eye look a bit," says Deese. "I installed a PIAA driving light kit instead of the original headlights to have a ultra sleepy-eye effect and added 180SX Kouki taillights to drive home the car's JDM aura. As far was the interior, I dropped Recaro Speed seats, Takata harnesses, 180SX floor mats and Recaro material on the doors to match the seats."
The Nissan took nine months to go from a $400 welfare case to an award-winner with a full trophy case to prove it. While the Nissan is rolling on a regular basis Deese is re-working the interior, installing a Cusco eight-point cage and dreaming up more stuff to add that JDM flair and performance to the mix.