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1991 Nissan 240SX - The Inside Touch - Project LS13

We finish off interior upgrades and add some security.

Peter Tarach
Nov 9, 2011
Modp 1111 01+1991 nissan 240sx+cover Photo 1/23   |   1991 Nissan 240SX - The Inside Touch - Project LS13

To finish off the interior of Project LS13, a new steering wheel was a dire necessity. Not only was the stock OEM one faded and ripped but its styling was more bland than a white piece of bread. Off it came and into the garbage it went. In its place would reside a new Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel. With its minimalistic design and leather wrapping, the Monte Carlo is the perfect wheel for a clean-looking interior. It won’t attract too much attention, but true enthusiasts will appreciate its classic styling. With a 320mm diameter, it’s a bit smaller than stock, but not so much where you feel like you’re driving a go-kart.

Another reason to upgrade to an aftermarket wheel is to add a steering wheel hub that offers a quick-release option — a great line of defense against a thief. While not completely theft-proof, it may be a deciding factor for a criminal to walk by and pass your car rather than take a chance at stealing it. We all know how easy early ’90s-era cars are to break into, so adding a proper quick-release setup is a smart idea.

A-Spec is a great source for all things hub related, and that’s where I picked up my Works Bell short hub, Rapfix II quick release and key lock system. For good measure, I also grabbed one of A-Spec’s awesome-looking titanium shift and drift knobs that I’ll use once the car is complete.

Modp 1111 02+1991 nissan 240sx+parts Photo 2/23   |   Works Bell short hub, Rapfix II quick release and key lock system are all made in Japan and offer excellent quality, ensuring tight fitment of the wheel between the quick-release hub.

This is the first time I’ve used a Works Bell setup, and judging by the quality of the products, it won’t be the last. Works Bell is a pioneer of the quick-release hub and has therefore perfected its ball bearing release and lock design, ensuring the wheel is tight and free of excess play when on the column. Combined with the short hub, the wheel extends slightly farther back than where the OEM wheel would sit. This actually provides better hand-to-wheel position, especially for the track.

As I mentioned earlier, the quick-release setup is great to deter thieves, but it’s not 100 percent effective. To add even more security, a key lock system is a worthy purchase. When your wheel is removed, it locks onto the hub and prevents anyone with the same steering wheel setup bolting it onto yours. If you park your car anywhere public, then having a Works Bell key lock system is a must-have, not to mention it provides peace of mind.

Modp 1111 03+1991 nissan 240sx+shifter ball Photo 3/23   |   If you’re into the burnt-titanium look (who isn’t?), then an A-Spec titanium shift and drift knob are the perfect addition to your interior.

Installing these parts requires a steering wheel puller to remove the old wheel, then the Works Bell parts slide right onto the column. About the only thing you’ll have to worry about is the horn hookup. You can quickly find the wire that leads to the horn with a multi-meter, and with a brass tab (I use a Honda one PN: 35259-SH3-A02) it’s as simple as running a wire from the connector to the tab, and you’ll have a working horn again.

Getting back to the issue of security, I took it upon myself to wire in an alarm because there’s no way I’ll park this car anywhere without having a good security system intact. As to which system to get, there are many on the market, but one of the best and most trusted is from Directed Electronics: the Viper 3303 Responder LC3 SuperCode two-way security system. I’m not going to get into all the features because there’s literally about a page worth of specs, so if you’re interested just have a look at Viper’s website. Instead, I’ll provide you with my experiences of using Directed’s alarm systems for more than eight years. They have yet to let me down and saved my Integra from being stolen one night, thanks to the two-way pager alerting me. I ran out onto my second-story balcony to find someone underneath the hood of my car yanking the battery off. Thankfully, I had installed a battery backup (much like I will do on the 240SX) from Directed and it ensured the system stayed on even when the battery was disconnected. Long story short, I chased the thief away and still had Project DC2 in my possession, thanks largely to the Viper alarm system.

Modp 1111 04+1991 nissan 240sx+steering column Photo 4/23   |   This tab or something similar is what you’ll need to make your horn work.

One of the new features on the 3303 (and most Viper systems) I must praise is the rechargeable two-way pager remote. In older models, you had to constantly replace the batteries every couple months or so. With the new remote, you simply plug it in and it’s charged within hours. Furthermore, the LCD display has a wealth of information at the palm of your hand, and its range is about 2,000 feet.

I won’t mention where or how I installed my alarm for obvious reasons, but leave this to the experts if you’re not comfortable with wiring. Normally I would, but it was easy to install because I already had the dash ripped apart.

Modp 1111 11+1991 nissan 240sx+key ring Photo 11/23   |   The Viper’s two-way LCD key fob provides plenty of information about the car’s state of arming and has a range of up to 2,000 feet.

With wiring still on my mind, I began to tackle the stereo install shortly after the alarm. Thanks to Pioneer, I had the latest audio gear at my disposal. Starting with a DEH-7300BT CD receiver, which has built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and front USB port for direct control of your iPhone/iPod. This is a great deck for the money considering you can make hands-free phone calls. Four 4x6 200-watt, three-way TS-A4674R speakers would find their homes in the front doors and in the rear hatch area. Powering the speakers would be an 800-watt, 4-channel GM-9500F amplifier to deliver lots of crisp sound in a relatively compact size.

It’s been a long time since I’ve run a subwoofer in my car, but with Pioneer offering an 800-watt, 10-inch sub in a super-small enclosure, I couldn’t resist the urge. This bad boy will pack quite a punch paired with an 800-watt, mono-channel GM-7500M amplifier.

Modp 1111 12+1991 nissan 240sx+pioneer audio system Photo 12/23   |   A complete audio setup found its way into the S13, courtesy of Pioneer.

There’s not a lot of room to work with in the 240SX, but thanks to the small size of the amps and sub enclosure, it all fit with room to spare. I mounted both amps on the back of the rear seats and set the sub in the rear corner of the trunk with room to spare. I’ll admit, I wasn’t convinced putting a system in the car would be a good idea, but after seeing how compact it is, I’m happy with the results.

Aside from wiring up the engine harness into the chassis, that wraps up the build for the inside of the car. Next up, the heart of the beast!

Modp 1111 13+1991 nissan 240sx+deh 7300bt Photo 13/23   |   Simple yet effective the DEH-7300BT receiver can control your iPhone/iPod and has Bluetooth hands-free built into it.

The last item I was itching to install before I could start working on the engine bay was the drive-by-wire gas pedal. Since I’m using GM’s LS3 e-rod engine package, I needed to use all the supplied hardware, which includes the actual gas pedal. A custom mounting solution needed to be made since the pedal isn’t built for any specific application. With some measuring, cutting and grinding, I had fabricated a steel plate that would bolt to the existing Nissan gas pedal spot and fit the DBW pedal in the OE position. It took some time to get the proper spacing down, but the DBW pedal sits almost exactly in the same spot as the OE one — fully depressed, it hits the factory plastic stopper.

Sourcebox

A-Spec
Works Bell Short Hub, Rapfix II Quick Release, Key Lock System, A-Spec Titanium Shift & Drift Knobs
aspecproducts.com
626-618-1100
Momo
Monte Carlo 320mm Steering Wheel
momousa.com
800-749-6666
Directed Electronics
Viper 3303 Responder LC3 SuperCode 2-way Security System
viper.com
Pioneer Electronics
DEH-7300BET CD Receiver, TS-A4674R speakers, GM-9500F & GM 7500M Amplifiers,
TS-SWX251 Subwoofer
pioneerelectronics.com

Sources

Pioneer Electronics
Long Beach, CA 90810
310-952-2000
www.pioneerelectronics.com
Directed Electronics/Viper
www.viper.com
A-Spec Products
Schaumburg, IL 90193
630-618-1100
http://www.aspecproducts.com
By Peter Tarach
352 Articles

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