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PDM Racing Nissan 240SX - Part 3

PDM Racing Turbo KA24DE

Wow, where do we start with what’s happened to the original black hatch.

In the winter of 2004/2005, we had decided that the Battle Coupe was limited as to how far we wanted to build up. Over the winter, B.C. Region had finally adopted SCCA rules which I (Don Nimi: owner of PDM Racing) personally had pushed for over 15 years. Finally our car classing and rules would follow the US rules, which makes life a lot easier. However this would have pushed the Battle Coupe into E Prepared, and it was felt that it would be virtually impossible to drop the weight down to 1600 lbs, along with the cost of building a full GT spec race 4AG, so it was decided upon to take on the E Prepared 510 project. I purchased an ex GT tub race car shell off my teammates who had started this project over 5 years ago but had never finished. Shell, bodywork and suspension pieces were all ready to be installed, however we needed a potent power plant. Pistons, rods, engine pieces were all ordered up, and the Nismo close ratio option 3 race box that I had from my tube-frame 510 was salvageable. So all the pieces went to Andy Pearson at Specialty Engineering to be rebuilt. 2 sets of Panasports were ordered up and it was decided to put the 510 together to E Prepared specs.

In the meantime, we had been finishing building our 1972 turbo Datsun 240Z when the turbo bug hit me again. It’s been years in the making, but I never did finish my killer turbo project that Andy and I had started well over 5 years previous. We knew that half the pieces I had put together for my KADET project were not acceptable for my recently finished KADET race motor…. so for shits and giggles, we decided to stuff the excess turbo pieces onto my street 240SX and “play”.

With well over 210,000 “well abused” km’s on the street car, we wanted to keep things simple to allow us to learn how to tune and break the code on the OEM ECU. So we popped the motor out of the car to allow us to take the pan off and properly plumb the turbo feed and return lines. Knowing that the stock motor was tired, we wanted to test the limitations of a lot of the stock components with a properly tuned turbo system. Therefore we intentionally left the internals of the motor bone stock along with keeping a lot of the other things stock. All that was changed was the stock injectors to SR20DET 370 cc stock injectors, a 300ZX fuel pump, and we plopped on the turbo and intercooler. That was it. We kept the stock MAS, we even kept my 8 year old Centerforce clutch which had countless launches from racing.

click to enlarge pic in new window In the meantime I had Andy commissioned to put together another milder race motor. This motor would only have a race prepped block, pistons, rods, mild porting and small cams, so I knew the stock motor was coming out within a month or so.
The turbo was my old, but never used T04B, .63 A/R, water cooled, non ball bearing unit. Revhard cast manifold I ported and ceramic coated over 5 years ago. -10 oil return line, -6 oil feed line we plumbed off the stock oil filter block click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window Knowing that the race motor that would go into the shell later could handle more boost, we used a mid-sized Garrett intercooler core, which we custom built end tanks.
Then welded the intercooler and mounted it behind the rebar, which we retained as per the SCCA SM rules click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window Plumbing was our standard 304 stainless tubing cut, TIG welded and back purged. Tubing size was 2.5” i.d.
Note how we cut out the stock battery location to drop the tubing down. A Genesis race battery is moved sideways and allows for lots of room for the intake pipe. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window
There is a certain degree of complexity involved in making piping with stainless, but overall finished product is well worth the extra time. All welds are back purged with argon to ensure clean, smooth porosity-free welds inside and out. All flanges are hand built out of stainless by tracing the pieces we need to mount; just cutting, drilling and grinding to size.
click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window

Downpipe is 3” stainless again with hand made flange. This was later ceramic coated on the inside to help with the high heat created from the turbine.

Here are the finished pipes all polished on our industrial polisher. Shiny!! click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window 3” stainless resonated cat bypass pipe in place.
2 stainless O2 sensor bungs welded in the down pipe to hook up the wideband O2 sensor and regular O2 sensor. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window Connections for the IAV were done up in AN plumbing (overkill, but it looks killer)
Turbo is water cooled, so lines were plumbed off the heater core inlet area, and wrapped in Aeroquip heat protector. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window Wastegate connection is welded in place on the down pipe. I’m not a huge fan of open wastegate dumping, and wanted to keep the car’s noise level sane for racing.

Wastegate dump pipe made with flexible stainless connector to assist with tubing heat expansion differential. Since the wastegate tube is only exhausting occasionally, it would not heat up to the same temperature as the main down pipe, so a flex section is required to make sure it does not shear off. Wastegate exhaust tubing is 1.5” stainless.

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click to enlarge pic in new window All assembled with Koyo rad, silicone connectors in place; the project turned out pretty clean.
In house ECU tuning was one of the main reasons for doing our KA turbo, and master programmer Rune Engleshard has allowed PDM to break the Nissan ECU code for the KA, SR and Z32. This will allow PDM to custom tune ECUs for maximum hp, while retaining all the factory idle and off throttle characteristics. Base tuning was all done in shop, while rough mapping was done on the street with a PLX Devices wide band O2 sensor computer. Final tuning would be done via dyno testing. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window
On the first dyno session with the bone stock tired motor, 8.8 psi and proper tuning, with stock cams the motor made 295 WHP !! (yes, wheel hp, not crank.) We knew this motor was making good power, but those kinds of numbers are literally unheard of on a bone stock motor with so little done to it. Good turbo size, and good tuning appear to be the key to this powerplant’s huge numbers.
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Coming Soon: more modifications were done to the black hatch to hook up all of this newly found power. Stay tuned . . .