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  • Writer's pictureFrank Oles

1992 Nissan 240SX Summary

Updated: May 1, 2023

After 6 years of wrenching, waiting for parts, spending lots of money, switching tuners and finally getting results, I am so pleased with the finished product. Since I purchased my 240 hatch back in 2017, putting a turbo SR in the engine bay was a goal of mine. It was a lot harder than I thought, and it completely transformed the car into something very special. But enough words, let's get to the part you really want to see - the dyno session!

I am happy to report that this stock bottom end SR20 with a S15 T28 Garrett turbo makes 298 wheel hp at 5400 RPM and 318 lb-ft torque at 4500 RPM. The car has 5 boost settings on a Haltech rotary switch - position 1 is on wastegate only, which makes 247 wheel horsepower. So the electronic boost controller is doing its job! Here is the dyno sheet from the tuning session with John Drew at R&D Performance in Carol Stream, Illinois.

Here is a list of the engine mods my car currently has:

Nissan SR20 DET engine, stock bottom end, stock head gasket

Nissan OEM S15 T28 Garrett Turbo with 15lb wastegate actuator, electronic boost controller

Haltech Elite 1500 ECU, wideband sensor and iC-7 digital dash display

Wiring Specialties pro custom wiring harness

Nissan R35 coil packs with PRP mount

AEM trigger disc for Nissan CAS

FIC 1000cc injectors with Radium fuel rail

Aeromotive Fuel Pressure regulator and fuel pump

PBM oval exhaust/down pipe straight pipe exhaust

ISR front mount intercooler and piping, cool air intake with K&N Filter

ISR radiator with twin 1000 CFM Derale cooling fans with Derale controller

The car is running true sequential fuel injection control via the Haltech Elite 1500 ECU with its built-in MAP sensor, so no MAF is necessary. That allows more options for mounting the air intake for the turbo. Initially, I had the air filter placed under hood, but I found that the car suffered from heat soak in traffic with the AC on. Did I mention this car has WORKING AIR CONDITIONING? I was able to source a new air compressor from a Nissan Pathfinder. It bolted right up with the correct S14 SR compressor bracket and the pulley from my old compressor.

I was able to rig up a cool air intake to pull in outside air from the inner fender. I run the factory inner fender liner to prevent splash from the wheel. Also visible in this photo is the catch can assembly to prevent oil vapor entering the intake system.

This engine is also fitted with Tomei rocker arm stoppers. With the power band this engine has, there really is no reason to get anywhere near the redline, so it is more of a protective measure. Also visible in this picture, you can see the Radium Fuel Rail and the custom-made heat shield for the exhaust manifold and brake master cylinder. Under hood heat management is critically important in any SR build.

I mounted the Haltech iC-7 dash in the factory radio location, where it has a very OEM appearance. I mounted a single knob bluetooth controller for the radio on the ashtray lid. Radio functions are controlled via my phone, with fine adjustments taken care of by an equalizer hidden in the center console. Clean and simple!

Here is a close-up of the dash display. This is fully customizable for information displayed, colors, and design. It also has an LED strip across the top that illuminates as the car gets near redline (also adjustable). Honestly, the days of having a row of round gauges completely blocking your field of vision are over. This display is the way to roll! Worth every penny and only getting more advanced with every passing year.

Cooling was a big priority since airflow with the Kouki Type X front bumper is challenging. I followed in the footsteps of many 240 builders and fabricated a custom undertray to direct all cool air through the intercooler and then through the radiator. I also added the GK Tech upper coolant panel up top.

I conducted my own experiments to monitor coolant temps with the AC on and in traffic. I wanted to make sure that this SR ran cool in any circumstance, especially considering it is a summer car. Many people choose to open the license plate mounting area for additional airflow on the Type X bumper. I found that if the area directly under the plate mount is opened up, there is the same amount of airflow without the eyesore opening. I also fitted a tubular bumper bar instead of the factory crash beam to further open up airflow and minimize blockage in front of the large front intercooler.

The new larger opening is completely hidden from a normal viewing angle. Therefore, we decided to "shave" the front license plate mount for a much cleaner look. Can't wait to see this all painted with a Type X front lip!

I added a GFB dual port blow off valve, which allows me to toggle between having a BOV and having a completely closed system (and the cool flock of pigeons noise!) any time I want. You can see the optional trumpet attached to magnify BOV venting sound. Gotta have all the turbo noises!

It was quite a journey but one I am very glad we embarked on. I could not have accomplished this without the help and expertise of my Father and my Uncle Jim. I am very proud of what we achieved with this car!

The car is back from paint at Speakeasy Customs. It is painted Ferrari Rosso Corsa and it turned out stunning. The finish is glassy smooth without any traces of orange peel.

It was a challenge to track down an OEM Nissan 180SX Kouki wing from Japan, but I am so glad I went through the effort. It took FOREVER to collect all these parts for this car: 6 months to get the Shine Auto Project side skirts and rear bumper, 1.5 YEARS for Dorki Dori to start producing the Poly front lip extension again, and 8 months for the Car Modify Wonder Lotus Vent Hood. In the end, all worth it! You can't build one of these cars overnight. It takes a lot of time and patience.

I am also pleased with the clean, OEM+ appearance of the interior. Those are JDM OEM Nissan S14 leather seats, along with the Haltech iC7 digital display, bluetooth controller for the stereo, and a Momo Prototipo steering wheel. And of course, an OEM dashboard with no cracks - very hard to source clean, unblemished interior parts for 240s.

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