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PDM Racing Nissan 240SX - Part 4

PDM Racing Turbo KA24DE Build Up

Graphics for the car were next and the details for the simple, but effective white on black graphics were looked after by PDM Racing’s own Bernie Chiu. Bernie races a C Mod 85’ Honda Civic, and was able to work his magic on the turbo hatch.

click to enlarge pic in new window Simple, but very effective graphics good for shows and racing. click to enlarge pic in new window
PDM Turbo 240SX was running on street rims and R compound tires. 18 x 9 rear Volks, and 18 x 7.5 fronts with Pirelli P Zero C’s. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window The S13 was assembled and readied for the Pacific International Auto Show, where it was in the VCMC Solo Motorsport booth. Very good exposure for the unveiling of the turbo beast.
Race wise, we started to run the car locally in B.C. Region Street Mod, running 245/45/17 Kumho V710’s on 17 x 8 5 Zigen +25 rims. While the car handled well, it definitely lacked rear grip with the car making over double the hp that it had previously. Also, at this point, the car was getting faster and faster, so the 510 project was put on hold indefinitely so we could focus our efforts on the S13. click to enlarge pic in new window


Even though the car was running awesome, we knew that the bone stock 15 year old motor was living on borrowed time even running at low boost in competition. New forged pistons, and rods were ordered up in June of 2005, however it was decided that a new turbo engine from start to finish would not make it in time for a July debut, so the engine project took another turn.

I (Don Nimi; owner of PDM Racing) had commissioned Andy Pearson from Specialty Engineering almost 5 years earlier to build the most potent KADE turbo motor in existence, but work and family commitment had prevented PDM from finishing this engine project. However, the motor was finished in 2004 and had been in storage at PDM for almost a year. This motor was built with nothing spared and completely race prepped: O-ringed block with knife edged crank, forged ceramic coated pistons, forged race rods, huge amounts of porting and flow work, exotic valvework with inconnel exhaust valves and custom race turbo cams. The original intent was to build a custom exhaust header and mount the turbo near the passenger compartment of a true S13 racecar; however, I felt the motor was being wasted lying in storage, so it was decided to use this motor for the Solo II car. Realizing this motor in it’s full trim would be far too excessive for Solo II work, the cams were extremely detuned and new profiles were developed with PDM and Colt Cams to work for maintaining/increasing bottom and mid range torque, with the emphasis on spool up time and not peak hp numbers. After all, response time and corner exit velocity is super critical for Solo II Autoxing and a peaky dyno queen motor would not suffice. Even if the motor was built for over 600 hp, it would be useless in a Solo II situation.

The engine is now running a custom baffled, larger capacity Nissan Motorsports pan as dry sumping would add too much unnecessary weight to a solo car. We made up a custom oil filter remote, incorporating a custom PDM heat exchanger, which eliminates the traditional air cooled oil cooler. There are two advantages to this setup: 1. With the water from the radiator cooling the much increased oil capacity of the KADET, oil warm up time is decreased as engine water will heat up faster than oil and pass this heat into the engine oil. 2. With the lower speeds in autoxing and very little straight line velocity, there really is not much airflow being directed into a traditional air cooled oil cooler, so the possibility of actually overheating the oil on hard abusive short burst was possible. Modifying a 190,000 BTU industrial stainless heat exchanger to fit snugly on the inner rail this cooler and filter assembly is neat, tidy and VERY effective.

For the turbo, the same T04B water cooled turbo was running so effectively on the stock motor with very little lag and huge torque numbers, it was kept for the race motor. While not the most efficient turbo compared to todays exotic dual ball bearing units, the T04B proved to be more than adequate for this car’s purpose, which is strictly solo II.

Next, the focus went on the driveline and suspension. Knowing that the JDM Zeal B6 coil overs were not properly valved and built for serious auto-x, I contacted Ground Control to build a custom set of double adjustable (bump and rebound) Advance Design coil overs. Valving is very critical for auto-xing, where steady state cornering is never achieved. You toss a car back and forth so often in such a short time span, that regular off the shelf coil overs would never achieve proper dampening.

Then more rubber had to be put under the car to focus all this new found power. So 17 x 10 5 Zigen FN01RC rear rims with 275/40/17 Kumo V710 rubber and front 17 x 9 with 245/45/17 V710s were ordered up. Knowing that this would never fit in the fenders, the rear arches were cut and rewelded to raise the rear quarter panel arch, and fiberglass flares were added to help clear the very big rubber.

A Kaaz 2 way clutch type diff was added as no other company was able to supply a grippy one way or 1.5 way clutch in time for the car’s most recent debut. Ideally it was felt that the 2 way would not be the final solution, as it appears to create too much initial push/understeer when the car is first tossed into a turn. An aluminum driveshaft was also added, along with an ACT Xtreme Duty clutch.

So now with a completely new setup: new engine, new power, new shocks, new ride height, new wheels, new tires, new LSD with zero seat time, I took the car down to the Seattle NW SCCA Regional Tour not knowing what to expect. Making a wild guess on alignment and running on asphalt for the first time, the car was not behaving nearly as desired. Running the same 8.8 wastegate regulated boost, on the fresh race motor, the engine was running awesome and there were hints of definate potential in this car.

click to enlarge pic in new window Car with the smaller rubber on front on the first few minutes of actually rolling around after being put together.
Ride height is a bit high here but not wanting to have rub issues, the car was purposely run high and set up with too little camber front and rear. click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window
Rear 275/40/17 on 10” rears, front 245/45/17 on 9” fronts.
Nice photo shoot opportunity with the beautiful Pacific Northwest mountains as a backdrop in Packwood, Washington. Racing is done in the huge paved storage lot of a working saw mill. click to enlarge pic in new window

Next up was the CACC Canadian National Autoslalom in Red Deer, Alberta in the beginning of August. So it was decided to revamp the front suspension a bit to add more grip to compensate for the understeer. Eventually, front wheels were upped to 10” also with 275/40/17 tires. Rear tire size went up to 295’s as we learned that most A/SP and SM2 Corvette racers put that size on their 9.5” front rims. A LOT of inner fender massaging and suspension reworking was required to fit this very large width rim and tire combo setup in the front.

Rear quarter panels were cut again and rewelded to gain more vertical clearance and the fender flares heated up and massaged to fit the extra width of a 295. The ride height was lowered another ¾ inch, and a much more aggressive alignment put back into the car.

click to enlarge pic in new window On grid at the Canadian National Autoslalom. Car ran Canadian rules D Street Prepared for this weekend.
Fenders are now really filled with big sticky meats !! click to enlarge pic in new window
click to enlarge pic in new window Worried about back to back re-runs or two driver overheating, we also run water injection onto the front of the rad where it can spray down the radiator between runs with a very fine mist of cool water. A simple water injection sprayer unit running off the windshield washer bottle and pump that is manually activiated while in line idling between runs. Ice cubes are dropped into the washer reservoir to help squirt a super cold mist of water onto the Koyo Rad.
Along with a Cryo CO2 intake charge and intercooler spraybar system, ice can actually be formed on the intercooler if sprayed for over 10 seconds !! Super trick setup running off of a boost switch that activates under WOT when the car starts boosting over 8 psi. click to enlarge pic in new window
Next to come is some more possible suspension and body reworking to recover more front and rear grip so we can turn up the boost !! Stay tuned . . .