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PDM Racing Nissan 240SX - Part 3
Wow, where do we start with what’s happened
to the original black hatch.
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
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
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.
||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
||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
||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.
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.
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!!
||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.
||Connections for the IAV were
done up in AN plumbing (overkill, but it looks
|Turbo is water cooled, so lines were plumbed
off the heater core inlet area, and wrapped
in Aeroquip heat protector.
||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.
||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.
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.
Coming Soon: more modifications were done to
the black hatch to hook up all of this newly found
power. Stay tuned . . .