Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at email@example.com or Super Street c/o Tech Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Feel free to include a picture of your project or tech problem.
Question Of The Month
Q I love reading your magazine and reading all the articles about Datsuns. I'm writing this e-mail for help. I own a Datsun 510 Bluebird coupe. The car was sold in Japan and is very rare to see out in the street. I want to give the car a new engine. I'm thinking about a SR20DET engine but I don't know what I need for the swap. I'm on a budget and I don't want to buy things I don't need.Isaac CortezSan Jose, CA
A A true Datsun `510' Bluebird is pretty rare here indeed. Now if your Bluebird is an SSS the original engine has some very rare and sought-after parts (head and carbs). It wouldn't be a bad idea to just rebuild your L16 (or L18) for more power. Some old- school alternatives that are easier on the wallet are swapping in a L20 block, or even doing a Frankenstein Z22 block. But if you do have the money to do a SR20, then look into McKinney Motorsports (www.mckinneymotorsports.com). They have a SR20 mount kit that fits both 510s and Bluebirds.
Q I am looking into swapping a SR20DET (JDM) engine into a '97 240SX (S14). Is this conversion street legal, in CA? If possible, could you please point me towards info or links that would explain CA laws on mods? This car is for a Christian performance project with all intentions to push options to the limits, w/o having illegal modifications. Thank you for any help and blessings.
San Diego, CA
A The SR20DET is not a legal swap in the state of California. Although, previously suspended, the state referee program is now back effect. To approve an engine swap, the referee will look up the donor car's specifications and make sure all the US emissions parts were swapped over as well. Although the SR20DE came to the US, the SR20DET never made it here. So the referee will not be able to bring up any information on that engine, resulting in FAIL. Check out www.bar.ca.gov for more information on California automotive laws.
Q What's up guys at Super Street? You rock my socks off!! I'm in a bit of a stump right now, I really want to build an autocross car and have 2 choices of car, a `91 Civic DX hatchback or a `93 Civic DX hatchback. I'm building a turbo Z6 motor and just don't know which one to put the motor in. I'm kind of leaning towards the `93 cause of the more aerodynamic body but a part of me wants to go with the `91. I haven't really seen any '91 EFs whoopin' some ass out there, so it would be pretty cool to do. Which one should I go for? Any help would kick ass!
P.S. Your mag kicks every other mags papery ass!!!!
Via the Internet
A Jonny and Charles are pretty much obsessed with the '88-91 EF. The body style is pretty badass, but from a performance standpoint, a '92-95 EG is a much better platform to build. Everything you can do to an EG, you can do to an EF. But it will just require more work. EGs definitely have an advantage with the brakes and suspension design. Get an EG and you will have a wider selection of parts. Also the myth of EFs being lighter than EGs is not always true.
Q My first car was a NA Miata ('89-97) with every suspension mod you could think of. The car didn't have a lot of power, but it could definitely handle the curves. I regretfully sold it a few years back, but an NB Miata ('99-05) has worked its way into my life. Right now, it's all stock. I plan to upgrade the suspension and add a rollbar in a similar manner to my NA. The extra power from the NB is nice paired with the 6-speed and Torsen LSD, but it's just not enough. I've been wanting to boost it via turbo but lately I've been thinking of an LS1 swap. I'm not looking for insane power, 350whp at most. I daily drive the car so I want it to be reliable. Which direction would you suggest I go?Chett Earnheart,Via the Internet
A Cause we're a bunch of lazy slackers, we'd suggest the ease of putting on a turbo kit. Plus we were once told boost gets you laid. In such a lightweight car, 350whp would be insane. Having 250whp in a Miata is plenty of power to be fast and fun. Because the BP engine is an offspring of a boosted Mazda engine, it still retains an iron block, which makes it the perfect candidate for a turbo. The 250whp range can easily be obtained with popular turbo kits such as Flyin' Miata (www.flyinmiata.com), and Bell Engineering (www.bellengineering.net). But if you really want a LS swap, check out Boss Frog (www.bossfrog.biz). They make complete conversion kits for fitting Chevy or Ford V8 engines into a Miata. But having such a large engine will cause the car to handle a bit differently, and just as well having daily amenities such as air conditioning might be a problem.
Q First of all let me start by telling you that you guys rock with all your know-how and snappy comebacks to all the people that hate on you! Now down to business, I just finished installing a new Momo steering wheel on my `96 Jetta VR6. Now the only thing is that I have the airbag light constantly on, obviously since I removed the airbag. So I've asked around about how to fix it and the general consensus is that I should find a resistor of some sort to put in the plug that originally went to the airbag. That's where I'm at now. I have no clue of exactly what to try and what to actually get. I'll appreciate any info you can shoot in my direction. Thanks for your time.
P.S. The models in the magazine have been getting hotter and hotter. Good stuff, I love the direction Super Street is headed!
A Although you drive a girly-man's car, we'll attempt our Euro knowledge anyhow. The easiest and cheapest fix is to just pull the bulb out of the cluster. Having the airbag light on will not hinder the performance of your car. But if you prefer to get rid of the code, you'll need to get a 4.7ohm resistor (0.5 watt, 5% tolerance), and stick it in your yellow harness. Tape it down, and then get a VAG-COM tool and clear your code.
Q Hey my name is Sumit and I'm living in Sweden. I want to ask you a question about a twin turbo Toyota Supra. I want to build a 1000hp Supra. How can I do this? Or can I buy a Supra with 1000hp from you? Can you ship the car to Sweden or not??? Thank you.
A Sure, we have one of those lying around here somewhere. Just let us fill up the NAWZ bottle before we ship it out to you.