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Nissan Silvia (S14) - Heavy Artillery

Breaking Out the Big Guns with the JET200 S14 Silvia.

Brad Lord
Nov 10, 2011
Photographer: Alastair Ritchie

As the brains behind the Australian performance car video series, Motive DVD and the director of the Australian Drifting Grand Prix and forthcoming Track Battle time attack series, 30 year-old Sydneysider Andrew Hawkins’ life is far removed from days spent in the Australian Air Force. If there’s anything he took away from his early career in the airborne military however, it’s a mindset to engineer things the right way, and of course, to make them go as fast as possible. They’re good traits to have when you’re piecing together a low-flying machine destined to wage war with the world’s time attack elite.

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When Andrew purchased his Nissan Silvia for the basis of a DVD project car build in 2003 it was just a good looking, reliable but fast streeter. With rear-wheel-drive, a turbocharged engine and plenty of scope for upgrade, the S14 was—in Andrew’s eyes—an easy choice, especially considering the first phase of his ‘JET200’ project was a $10,000 upgrade.

The car we met in Sydney, Australia for this shoot is a very different beast from the original “budget” build, which as Andrew explained wasn’t focused on any one thing in particular, but rather versatility as a street, track, drag and showpiece. Over the years that mindset hasn’t changed a whole lot. What has changed, though, is the magnitude of the staged builds, which now total three. “The one great thing about the car is that I’ve never got sick of it,” says Andrew. “I’ve just rebuilt it into something else. It was a street car and now it’s a full Open class time attack car.”

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To see the transformation through, Andrew enlisted the help of some of the biggest names in the Australian aftermarket tuning industry. And he (literally) didn’t need to look far to get the ball rolling, because as it happens Motive DVD’s office sits above one of Australia’s most well-regarded performance workshops. Croydon Racing Developments has been in the turbo-tuning game for over two decades, and in that time has stamped its name on some of Australia’s fastest, and most powerful Japanese machines. CRD’s owner, Jim Souvas, was more than happy to lend his experience to JET200’s ultimate engine build.

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Centered on a S13-spec SR20DET, the hard-tuned four-cylinder mill has been built tough, with a Nitto Performance Engineering (NPE) 2.2-liter billet stroker crankshaft, NPE I-beam connecting rods and CP forged pistons all getting the nod from CRD. The result is a bulletproof bottom end ripe for some serious air and fuel injection.

To that end, the SR20’s DOHC cylinder head went under the knife and was kitted out with Tomei Pro 270˚/12.5mm camshafts, HKS solid lifters and Ferrea double valve springs and titanium retainers. The big news however is the turbocharger—a giant GReddy TD06SH-25G that was custom-modified by Australian turbo specialist GCG for the application with a larger thrust bearing and a v-band flange in the exhaust housing. The turbo system uses a GReddy exhaust manifold; a 48mm wastegate and a huge GT-R spec intercooler from the same maker, along with Hypertune aluminium intercooler piping. Killer Customs fabricated the 3.5-inch exhaust system that branches into twin tailpipes.

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The intake system comprises of a K&N air filter running into a Hypertune 4-inch alloy inlet, 3-inch throttle body and a custom intake manifold. But it’s in the E85 fuel delivery arena where things have got really serious. Popping the trunk reveals a Hypertune surge tank and a PWR fuel cooler complete with 10-inch thermo fan. A Weldon 1500hp-capable fuel pump and Walbro in-tank lift pump are also employed, as are twin -8 Teflon fuel lines, a Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator, a Hypertune fuel rail and finally, Injector Dynamics ID2000 2-liter injectors. Firing orders come via a Haltech Sport 1000 ECU.

According to Andrew, in its current low-boost guise, the SR engine is pushing around 400hp at the back wheels, but once the boost is turned up, there’ll be a lot more in it. In fact, in a previous engine guise, which utilized the same turbo arrangement, around 500hp was finding it’s way to the rear rubber. Unlike the current set up however, that engine was well and truly stretched and that was about as far as power levels could be pushed. Now it’s a whole different ball game.

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To get the power to the ground as efficiently as possible, the Silvia’s factory transmission was swapped out in favor of a Nissan Skyline R33 GTS25T-sourced five-speed gearbox complete with a straight-cut dog engagement gear set. Attached to the engine via a modified SR20 bellhousing, the upgraded drivetrain uses a Direct Clutch Services billet twin-plate clutch and a custom driveshaft mated to a Nissan R200 rear end equipped with a NISMO Pro LSD Type-TT 1.5-way limited-slip differential. Suffice to say, the chance of breakage is slim.

One of the most modified areas of the car besides the engine is the suspension and handling department where Andrew has gone to town. Custom-built coilover struts fitted with Koni 2-way adjustable dampers and King race springs feature, as do Whiteline adjustable sway bars front and rear. Every single Circuit Sports Arms high performance rod and arm component that could be used (and there are more than a few of them!) have been fitted, and that’s on top of the high quality suspension-tuning gear from the likes of NISMO, Kazama, ETS (Engineered to Slide) and Driftshop.

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The brake system also got the treatment with Wilwood 13-inch slotted 2-piece rotors and Wilwood 6-piston Superlite callipers at the front end, and 12.6-inch DBA 4000 slotted rotors and Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R N1 Brembo 2-piston callipers at the rear. Project Mu HC+ pads and braided lines feature throughout.

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Like the mechanical aspects of the build, the way the Silvia looked was of equal importance. To achieve both a functional and aesthetically pleasing appearance, Andrew ticked all the boxes in the Origin body kit catalog, which not only netted JET200 some extra girth to squeeze some big feet under, but also a strawberry face conversion to boot, thanks to S15 Silvia front fenders, a Stream Line front bumper and Type-II carbon-fiber hood. On the subject of carbon there’s more lightweight, composite goodness in the Moonface Racing doors and Origin side under canards and giant GT wing, too—the raw fiber a classy match for Andrew’s chosen paint hue: House of Kolor’s shimmering ‘Galaxy Grey’ gun-metallic. The whole look is pulled together with custom-painted Enkei RPF1 flow-formed alloy wheels—18x9.5" up front, and 18x10.5" out the back, and all wrapped up in sticky Toyo Proxes R888 semi-slick rubber.

Inside the S14, it’s a purpose-only affair with a six-point rollcage by Killer Customs (which is the same company responsible for stitch-welding much of the chassis), a Haltech Racepak digital monitor that renders the factory dials redundant, and a plethora of Sparco gear that includes a Evo 2 driver’s seat, harness belts, a carbon-fiber pedal set and a dished 368 Suede steering wheel mounted on a quick-release hub. The dashboard also got the flocking treatment to eliminate unwanted reflections in the windscreen.

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The plan ahead is to continue to race and develop the car with the ultimate goal of being the fastest S-chassis time attack machine in Australia. Judging by its premiere performance at the 2011 World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek in Sydney, where the hard-tuned Silvia threw down a 1.39.750 lap in the hands of experienced local race driver, John Boston, he’s on the right track—no pun intended. Ten seconds off the Cyber Evo’s winning pace that time might be, but for a new build, which hasn’t really even begun its development phase yet, Andrew for one, certainly isn’t complaining. And with a machine as fine looking as JET200 occupying a space in his garage, let alone one capable of turning in some seriously quick lap times on the circuit, why would he?

Tuning Menu

Nissan Silvia (S14)
Owner Andrew Hawkins
Hometown Sydney, Australia
Occupation producer
Engine Nitto Performance Engineering (NPE) 2.2-liter billet stroker crankshaft, head gasket and I-beam connecting rods; CP forged pistons; over-sized ARP main studs; 0.5-inch ARP head studs; Tomei Pro 270˚/12.5mm camshafts; HKS solid lifters; S13 SR20DET cylinder head; Ferrea double valve springs and titanium retainers; GReddy exhaust manifold, pulleys, Type R blow-off valve, modified TD06SH-25G turbocharger, 48mm external wastegate and GT-R intercooler; Hypertune 4-inch alloy inlet, intercooler piping, throttle body, fuel rail, catch can, custom intake manifold and surge tank; K&N 4-inch air filter; Killer Customs 3.5-inch exhaust system; Haltech wideband 02 kit, expander box and CAN-BUS, ignitor and 5-bar MAP sensor; Walbro in-tank lift pump; Weldon 1500hp fuel pump and fuel filter; twin -8 Teflon fuel lines, Injector Dynamics ID2000 injectors; Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator; PWR fuel cooler with 10-inch thermo fan, radiator; oil cooler and power steering cooler; Canton remote oil filter; TuneAgent oil sandwich plate; Moroso enlarged sump and accumulator; Splitfire coil packs
Drivetrain Nissan Skyline R33 RB25 five-speed gearbox; straight cut dog engagement gear set; modified SR20 bellhousing; Direct Clutch Services billet twin-plate clutch; NISMO braided clutch line; Driveshaft Shop custom driveshaft; Nissan R200 4.1:1 rear end; NISMO Pro LSD Type-TT 1.5-way limited-slip differential
Engine Management Haltech Sport 1000 ECU
Footwork & Chassis custom coilover struts, Koni 2-way adjustable dampers, King Springs 300lb/200lb (front/rear); Whiteline adjustable sway bars; Circuit Sports Arms (CSA) castor rods, front lower control arms, rear camber arms, rear toe arms, rear traction rods, rear lower control arms; NISMO Power brace; Kazama tie rods/ends, Driftshop steering rack bushes, ETS (Engineered To Slide) custom knuckles; reinforced rear subframe; SPL rear subframe alloy bushes and alloy diff bushes
Brakes Wilwood 330mm slotted 2-piece rotors, Wilwood 6-piston Superlite calipers (front); 322mm DBA 4000-series slotted rotors, Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R N1 Brembo 2-piston calipers (rear); Project Mu HC+ pads; braided lines
Wheels & Tires Enkei RPF1 18x9.5" +15 alloy wheels, Toyo Proxes R888 255/35R18 semi slicks (front); Enkei RPF1 18x10.5" +15 wheels, Toyo Proxes R888 275/35R18 semi slicks (rear)
Exterior Origin Stream Line bumpers, sidesteps, S15 conversion with widebody front fenders, widebody rear fenders, side mirrors, Type-II carbon hood, carbon GT wing, side under canards and taillights; Nissan Silvia S15 headlights; Moonface Racing carbon-fiber doors; custom Lexan windows; House of Kolor ‘Galaxy Grey’ respray
Interior custom six-point rollcage; Sparco Evo 2 seat, suede steering wheel and carbon-fiber pedals; quick-release hub; Haltech Racepak digital dash display
Thanks You Croydon Racing Developments; Killer Customs; Haltech; House of Kolor; Savanna Motorsport; Kustom King; Moroso; Direct Clutch Services; Link International

By Brad Lord
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