Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at tech superstreetonline.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.
Q I have a few mods done to my '96 Acura Integra GS-R along with a GReddy turbo kit and recently started smoking white smoke. I know white smoke means that I'm burning coolant/anti-freeze, but it smells like burning oil. My level for the coolant is always normal and it never overheats. It only starts to smoke when I hit 6,000 RPM. Also my car idles kind of rough. I cleaned out my exhaust and catalytic converter. I did a compression test and everything came out normal. I'm going to do a leak down test next. My question is, what can cause my car to blow out white smoke? I've been told it might be my piston rings, intake and exhaust valve, out of timing or even my ECU. Can you guys help me out with any suggestions? I'm pulling out my hair! Alfred Mendoza Tucson, AZ
A White smoke indicates burning coolant; blue smoke means it's burning oil; and black smoke is from un-burnt fuel. Now the blue smoke is not a heavy blue. It just has a tint of blue. So it's very possible that you have the two confused. If it is coolant being burnt, then it would smell horribly different from burning oil. More than likely, you have an oil problem. Check to see if the oil is low. Do the leak down test to determine if the rings or the valve seals are a problem. If the leakdown test comes out okay, then it might just be the seals in your turbo. A general rule of thumb is if smoke is happening during acceleration, then it's the rings. Now if you get smoke when you let off the gas pedal, during deceleration, then it's the valve seals. And if it smokes under boost, start looking at your turbo.
Q Hey Super Street, I have a '91 240SX and I was doing some research and found that the 2.0L models of the early-to-late 200SXs and Sentras came with a non-turbo SR20DE motor. I was wondering if these motors are the same thing as a SR20DET but without the turbo? And if so could I rebuild one to turbo specs so it would be just like the SR20DET? It would be easier and cheaper for me to find one this way then to buy a SR20DET from an importer. Any advice on what I would have to do, buy or suggest for this swap would be great. I'm aware of all the other things I need for the swap like tranny, ECT/harness, but this is just for the motor. Thanks for making the #1 tuner mag out there. Daniel Pileggi Via the Internet
A Sorry, that's a no go. You're not the first person that's thought about that. And if it could work, you would have heard about it from one of the many many 240SX owners out there. Basically the 200SX, Sentra and even G20 came with FWD SR20DE engines. FWD meaning these are mounted transversely. Your 240SX is RWD, meaning it requires a longitudinally-mounted engine. The RWD SR20 and FWD SR20 engines have different blocks and they are not interchangeable. Even if it was possible, we'd suggest just buying a complete S13 SR20DET swap. Buying a non-turbo SR20DE, a RWD transmission and a turbo kit will end up being more than $1500.
Q I have been a reader since '03, and finally I have a question for you. I want to get an '84-87 AE86 Corolla but all I seem to find within my budget and area are SR5s. My question is: can I still have a good drift machine or do I swap engines? Carlos Via the Internet
A Well the Corolla SR5 isn't bad if you don't mind not having any power. The GTS model is definitely the way to go. You can definitely do a 4AG swap into an SR5, but the requirements include quite a bit of GTS parts. So if you don't mind spending a lot of time and money to find those GTS parts that every SR5 owner is already looking for, then go ahead. We'd just recommend holding out for a GTS.
Q Your mag is the best and I've been reading since I was 16, so six years. In one of the old mags (March '07, I think) you show an RB25/26 swap into an S13 but I can't find it. I wanted to know if anyone had a DVD out or anything like that because everybody's story is different about the swap. The downpipes, intercooler piping and oil pan but I can't find all the problems and solutions and I really want to do this swap. I know a company called Full Race makes a swap to keep the AWD, but its really pricey and I don't think I would want to keep the AWD (even though that would be sick). John Crossett Joppatowne, MD
A You're correct. With the help of Syko Performance, we did the RB26DETT swap in a S13 in our March issue of 2007. For back issues of any Source Interlink Media magazine, go to www.simbackissues.com. Syko Performance does sell the RB mount kit, as well as a DVD install video, incase you want to check out what's involved before you buy an engine. Check them out at www.sykoperformance.com.
Q Been a Super Street reader for over 10 years now and have never been let down, keep it up. I'm in the market for a new car to build and being a Honda guy (previously owning a Datsun 280ZX), that's pretty much where my focus is. I have been really interested in an '86-89 Accord LX-i Hatchback for the last couple years now and have wanted to work with one since it's not exactly a commonly tuned car (I have a thing for flip up headlamps and it's a Honda so double kudos). I'm not sure what kind of engine setup I should go with. I want the car to be clean and still in it's old school character, but still fun to drive and with enough fine tuning to make it noticeably faster than stock. Also, does that model Accord have a JDM variation, and if so, where could I acquire parts from it? Thanks a lot for the help and if you guys keep rockin, I'll put in another 10 years to Super Street. Clifford Russell Detroit, MI
A Of course, our oddball car lover Charles, has something for flip-up headlights as well. For most of us, it just looks like those headlights will reduce your speed by 5mph due to aero drag when turned on. Japan had the 2-door coupe and the 4-door sedan like the US. But they did not get the Accord hatchback that the US got. Instead they had the Accord Aero Deck hatchback. We can't remember ever featuring any Accord of that generation but we'd love to. Although Place Racing B-series mounts are no longer available, Innovative Mounts (www.innovativemounts.com) has just released their new B-series mount kit for the '86-89 Accord.
Q I have a B16A2 that I'm going to throw in a 1990 Civic hatch. I am eventually going to boost it so I was wondering what would I have to upgrade in this engine to be able to run up to about 10 pounds of boost? Also what would be a good tranny to go with? As far as I know, the engine, is stock aside from lightweight pulleys and has about 76,000 kilometers on it. Darcy Miller Via the Internet
A Typically, the two things people will upgrade are the pistons and rods. Forged aftermarket pieces will handle more heat and abuse than the factory counterparts. Now if you want to be even more on the safe side, then you can get new cylinder sleeves installed by a machine shop. As far as transmissions go, you can run either an older cable transmission or a newer hydro transmission. Cable ones are older and most could use a rebuild, so finding a low mileage hydro one might be optimum. Just make sure you have the right mount kit for the transmission. They do make both styles of mounts for the transmissions. Depending on what you're doing with the car (drag, road race, autocross or just a commuter) you can pick several different transmissions with various gear ratios.