I'm not going to lie; I'm not fan of doing cross-manufacturer engine swaps in cars. I'm one of those stubborn purists. But on the other hand, I'm a gearhead. Power and performance definitely sway me. You can't even compare a 350hp naturally-aspirated V8 to something like a 350hp turbo motor. But what about the added weight and adverse handling effects? The all-aluminum LS1 weighs less and even sits lower than the SR or KA.
Matthew Youkhana has built several cars before this. Along with many Hondas, VWs and Audis, this is his third 240SX. Like many people that have owned an S14, he went back to the S13. I've seen plenty of people who have owned an S13, sold it, got an S14 and then sold it just buy another S13. There is definitely a mysterious attraction for the S13 chassis. Possibly the most commonly modified car, globally of all time. So popular that Nissan continued production in conjunction with the S14 until 1998.
Matthew admits his obsession, "out of all the cars I have had in the past years, this is the only one I have kept for longer than a year. It was the biggest pain in the ass, and I never get bored of it."
Almost five years ago when Matthew purchased the car his plan was simple, build an overall streetcar. And like most other S13 owners, he did the typical SR20DET swap with a GT2871R turbo upgrade. But when he got further into his build, "nothing on the motor was left stock, except for maybe the valve cover bolts". The day came when two friends decided to race him, one with a Yamaha R6 and the other with a Ducati 748. Chicago highways soon turned into a psuedo Wangan expressway. They went head to head for three races. The first two, the S13 simply walked away from the two bikes. But on the third run a main bearing on the SR20DET decided to give out, and sent the car to a 100mph coast.
Instead of giving up, or just rebuilding what he had already done and tried, Matthew tried to step up the level of craziness by adding a LS1 engine. "I chose to go the road less traveled, and experiment with nothing to go on", he tells us. Back when he did this swap there wasn't as much support as there is now. Wiring, motor mounts, headers and all were custom-made at MPH Motorsports for the conversion. When all was said and done the project literally brought tears to Matthew's eyes.
"The way I have my exhaust routed, the fumes get picked up and carried inside the car on a non-windy day and it burns the shit out of your eyes... it's beautiful."
If you've ever actually witnessed something like this on the street, it's confusing. You hear a Corvette coming yet you see a 240SX coming at you. Like a magic show, you can't believe your eyes.
"I love the reaction from people's faces when I pull up to a light with the V8 rumble. I will never forget the hell that it has put me through, and that's why I don't think I could ever sell it."
Aside from the engine, the exterior was also executed differently from most other S13 cars. Instead of the typical FRP quarter panels and wide fenders, a set of ZG fender flares were chosen to cover the low offset wheels. And rather than covering the car in glitter and metallic like a drift car, this particular S13 got an old school two-tone look, Championship White on top and solid black on the bottom. We've all seen a lot of 240SX cars built. There are plenty of cars that look good and there are tons of other that mimic those. Every once in a while do we get to see someone do something different at the same time do it without any compromise to style or performance.
Nissan 240SX S13
Owner Matthew Youkhana
Hometown Chicago, IL
Occupation Truck Driver
Engine 2001 Chevrolet engine LS1 swap; LS2 intake; LS6 cam; custom headers, ported 90 mm throttle-body, intake and heads; custom intake; 2.5" dual exhaust
Drivetrain CC Stage 2 clutch; 11 lb flywheel; R200 diff with a 4.09 FD; Hurst short throw shifter
Engine management Z06 tune
Footwork & Chassis Stance GR+ coilovers; solid aluminum subframe bushings; Nismo power brace and control arms; Cusco strut tower bars; Megan tie rods; custom tube frame frontend
Brakes Hawk drilled rotors and pads; stainless steel brake lines
Rims & Tires Work XD9 rims 17x9" +17 (front) and 18x10" +18 (rear); Pirelli Corsa R; Ichiba 25mm spacers all around; Kics Project lug nuts
Exterior Championship White/Infinity Black paint; Version Select IV kit; Origin "Sexy Style" hood, rear window lip, rear trunk lip; ZG flares; custom front rear tow hooks
Interior Nardi 330mm steering wheel; JIC Magic reclining seat; Cusco seat rail; NRG 4-point harness; Autopower 6-point cage
Audio Eclipse CDA3000 headunit; MB quart speakers
Thank Yous Big thanks to MPHmotorsports for putting up with all my shit in the last 4 years or so; Riskydevil.com, Illphoto.blogspot.com, T2films.blogspot.com, TougeFactory.com, One6motorsports.com, and Kevin S. for all his help.
WWW autopowerindustries.com, jic-magic.com, mphmotorsports-skokie.com, nardi-personal.com, nrginnovations.com, one6motorsports.com, riskydevil.com, stance-usa.com, t2films.blogspot.com, tougefactory.com, workwheelsusa.com