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 1990 Nissan (Z32) 300ZX and have a question about the brakes. I've heard that the brakes on these cars were weak and I want to upgrade. Can you point me in the right direction for some decent brake upgrades that fit? Do you think I could use the brake system off a 350Z and would this upgrade them or not. I really don't want to spend $2500 to get upgrades from the web. DeWayne Lowe Via the Internet
A We're not sure what you've heard but the brakes on the Z32 are great. Factory aluminum 4-piston front calipers and aluminum 2-piston rear calipers. Just ask any 240SX owner and they'll tell you that the Z32 brakes are what they want for an upgrade. We suggest you get performance pads, new rotors, stainless steel brake lines and completely flush out the fluid. This setup should cost just about $500 depending on brands. If you wanted to take it a small step further, there are aftermarket brackets that allow you to use the 350Z 12.75" front rotors, instead of your 300ZX 11" front rotors. But if you find a set of 350Z Brembo calipers, the fronts will work (after you drill out your spindle); unfortunately the rears will not.
Q You replied to Anthony Firth's question in the October Tech Support about a 'factory' stroke increase using a B18 block partially incorrectly. The B20A3 has the same main journal diameter as the B18A/B/C, but with the added benefit of a 95mm stroke. Using B16A rods and OE pin location pistons and the B20A3 crankshaft in a B18 block you retain a "factory-esq" piston-to-deck clearance. Thus the crank will bolt in, but making it work correctly will require some minor modifications. The end of crank will need to be modified to allow a proper seal at the oil pump and have enough length at the keyway for an OE crank pulley. When I ran this setup in 2002, I had these extensions made from billet and pressed them onto and into, respectively, the B20A3 crank. At a 81mm bore you have increased displacement to just under two liters. For a tuner on a budget it could prove extremely handy to make your own stroker kit using junkyard parts. I hope you can pass this info along to Anthony and possibly your readers. Dan Jones PFI Performance Fort Collins, CO
A Guess we were wrong about piecing together an OEM 2.0 liter stroker kit for a B18. When we think about Honda B20 blocks, like most, we think of the DOHC B20B and B20Z found in the '96-00 Honda CRV. The SOHC B20A engines from the '88-91 Prelude and '86-89 Accord were thought to be prehistoric and completely different from all other B-series engines. Who would have known the 2.0-liter crank could be modified to fit. We guess you did! Thanks for the correction; we're going to try to make Gary over at Project Car magazine try this on their next project.
Q I have a question about my Datsun 521 pickup project (don't laugh because you put a Datsun 620 pickup in your magazine, January '08 issue). I want to swap in a Nissan SR20 to replace the beaten L16 that currently cranks about 65-ish very tired ponies. But I want to have a NA SR20 engine not a turbocharged one, to keep the headaches down to a minimum. My question is: would it be any easier and quicker to use a FF SR20DE engine and bolt it up to a FR SR20/KA24 transmission than try to build a NA SR20DE out of SR20DET like Gary Narusawa did with his '91 240SX (October '05 issue)? William Peterson Via the Internet
A Wow, aren't you a loyal reader?! We love Datsun trucks, but there just isn't enough of them done up nicely. Nothing wrong with a 620 or your 521. Even better, we really like the older B120 Sunny/1200 trucks. Those are 4-lug not funky 6-luggers like the 521 or the 610! Okay enough salt on the wound. Unfortunately a RWD transmission will not bolt up to a FWD SR20. However, non-turbo RWD SR20DE engines do exist in lower model Silvias. These engines are typically cheaper than turbo ones. If you can't find a RWD SR20DE, you can do like Gary 'I owe Charles a swap' Narusawa and take a RWD SR20DET and simply pull off the turbo. For an even better setup, you could run a SR20VE head on top of the RWD SR20 block.
Q I was looking through a Hyundai Genesis Forum and came across a picture of a red Genesis coupe with an absolutely ridiculous body kit on it. Is this in one of the past SS issues? Or rather, do you know the name and manufacturer of the kit or whether its custom? I really appreciate any news you can give me on this subject! Michael Clapp Greensboro, NC
A Yes, we featured the 2010 Hyundai Genesis that HKS built in our February '09 issue. The kit on the car was made by Kenstyle. The HKS car was in fact the demo car for that kit and we are unsure if anyone else has purchased the kit since then. Both the US and Japanese Kenstyle websites don't list the kit. You'll have to check with Kenstyle USA, if not, check with HKS to see if they can help you out.
Q A few issues back I saw where you told us that if we want a quick and cheap boost in power that we can put P29 pistons (88-89 Integra D16A1) with Teggy LS (B18B) rods in our D-series motor. I for one have a D16Y8 with a Megan Racing Header and Tsudo N1 Cat-back exhaust (still a friggin work in process). I went online to look at the compression ratios and figure out how my HP I will get. I estimated I am getting 141 hp (maybe less) out of my motor (127 hp stock + 7hp exhaust + 7hp Header according to your Building Blocks section). My question is what type of fuel should I use when I put these pistons in? I have heard contradicting things; 87 octane, 93+ octane and one person even said race fuel. So please, I beg you, tell us what fuel do you recommend? Jake Royal Wilkesboro, NC
A In your D16Y8, even with a full thickness headgasket you will have a compression ratio of about 13:1. This is very high, and we can't suggest using 'pump' gas for this, only race fuel. To be safe, nothing with over 11.5:1 compression should be using 93 octane.
Q I'm trying to put a B18B1 in to a '92 Honda Civic 4-door sedan. I think I have everything but the wiring harness and mounts. Is there anything else I need? Tim Carle Juneau, AZ
A Here's a complete shopping list for your B18B1 swap (but various other combinations can be used): • B18 engine with throttle-body, intake and exhaust manifolds • B-series hydraulic transmission ('94-01 Integra or '94-97 Del Sol VTEC) • Non-VTEC OBD1 B-series distributor ('94-01 Integra RS/LS/GS) • B-series axles and half-shaft ('90-01 Integra or '94-97 Del Sol VTEC or '99-00 Civic Si) • B-series shift linkage ('94-01 Integra or'94-97 Del Sol VTEC or '99-00 Civic Si) • B-series motor mounts ('94-01 Integra or '94-97 Del Sol VTEC) • Non-VTEC B-series throttle cable ('94-01 Integra RS/LS/GS) • Non-VTEC OBD1 B-series engine harness ('94-95 Integra RS/LS/GS) • Non-VTEC OBD1 B-series ECU PR4/P74/ P75 ('92-95 Integra RS/LS/GS)