It’s true that any car can be transformed into a performance giant with the right work, but pound for pound, some just do it better than others. The Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer EVO are two of those cars. Engines boasting over 300 hp, stout drivetrains, all-wheel drive, and massive stopping power can all be yours from the factory, and with the right aftermarket support, can all be made better. If you’re loaded, that is. For the broke-status rest of us, there’s the Nissan 240SX.
We’re all familiar with 240SX/Silvia engine interchangeability and the ability to make your 240 churn out big power with surprising ease. Most of you are also aware of similar options available for fitting your S-chassis with larger brake rotors and calipers from corresponding Z- and R-badged Nissan sports cars. Well, thanks to the overengineered STI and EVO, and some clever aftermarket ingenuity, an even better option is on the table for as much effort and possibly less coin than you’d invest in any alternative. Here’s how.
1 First, the parts list. You’ll need front calipers and pads from an ’04-06 Subaru WRX STI; front and rear rotors from an ’03-07 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO; and brake master cylinder from a Nissan Z32 300ZX; front caliper adapter brackets from Skullwerks; and new stainless steel lines for a Z32 300ZX. (If you want to go a step further and do the rears like in the picture, you’ll need rear STI calipers, rear Z32 300ZX rotors and e-brake assemblies, and an R32 e-brake cable.)
2 You also need this: an S14 Nissan 240SX (duh), and an install facility complete with a lift, pneumatic tools, and a brake lathe. Yes, you can complete the install in your garage with your car on jackstands, but a facility like Performance Auto Express in City of Industry, CA, will make it all way, way easier.
3 Pop those front wheels off, remove the 17mm banjo bolt securing the brake line to the caliper, remove the 14mm bolts securing the caliper to the hub, and bid “Sayonara!” to all that stock crap. Except the hub and the bolts—keep those.
4 Stock 240SX (252mm/9.9 inches) versus EVO front rotor (320mm/12.6 inches).
5 Pop off the pressed-in cover of the hub’s lock nut as shown, force the nut off with an impact gun, and gawk in amazement if the hub pulls free as easily as ours did; you’ll probably need a hub puller.
7 Remount the 240SX hub, making sure to dent in the crown of its lock nut.
8 Slide on the EVO rotor and gawk in amazement somewhere off camera, having learned your lesson twice before.
9 Skullwerks’ instructions call for the raised areas around the caliper’s mounting points to be grinded flush. Show guys might have a fit here, but we simply grinded them down as needed and bolted the bracket to the caliper with the included hardware.
10 Bolt the caliper/bracket assembly to the hub, mount the brake line (we opted to upgrade to the SPL Parts stainless/Teflon versions seen here), slip the pads in, their retainers on, and if it all goes together smoothly, you’re done. Oh, and make sure you have larger, more aggressive wheels to clear the new brakes...
11 ...unlike we did. Our Z33 350Z wheels just barely didn’t make the cut, so we had to make a pit stop to nearby Mackin Industries for some 5mm Project Kics spacers. After that? It fit like a glove!
If you’re only concerned with upgrading the front half of your 240SX’s braking system, stop here and brag to all your friends about how cool they are, whilst standing in front of your rear wheels to cover up the embarrassingly small stock 240SX brakes behind them. If you’re a true boss in the arts of ass-kicking brake swappage, then do the STI rear brakes from our first picture. It’s completely bolt on and no adapter is needed.