1989 240SX - ITA Racecar
I purchased this old racecar in early-2010 from a local Porsche race shop. They had it for a beater racecar / trainer car for customers, and it hadn't been used in some time.
It came with a full spares package - Extra motor (with a few cool, custom bits), extra transmission, spare wheels / race tires, spare rotors...and a ton of other miscellaneous stuff. The car was fully prepped for SCCA 'Improved Touring' class, with the full array of required safety gear - Rollcage, braced seat, window net, cutoff switch, transponder, side-impact head net, fuel cell, etc...
I planned on using it strictly for a track car...it should improve my driving, as there's no power to lean on for fast lap times...hehe.
This car was built and raced originally by 'bbracing' and was advertised as: "a proven fast car in arguably the most competitive ITA region in the county". That *was* with a built motor and probably 15 more rear wheel horsepower than as it sat when I bought it, so I don't expect to set any records with the car...but it should be fun nonetheless!!!
Stock SOHC motor
Injen Intake pipe (cut down)
Custom 4-to-1 header / Full 2.5" exhaust / cheap-o muffler (that I added - I HATE loud cars)
Setrab (7.5x13) 25-row oil cooler / Canton billet adapter / Canton 6" tall inline filter / -10 AN lines
Griffin Aluminum Radiator w/ Derale electric fan (manually switched)
Koni Yellow Shocks / Ground Control coilover sleeves - 450lb/in (F) / 325lb/in (R)
Suspension Techniques Anti-Roll Bars
Custom spherical rod-end T/C rods
Dragging it back to the house, with a blown headgasket and a truck full of 'spares'...
Wheels / Tires:
Team Dynamics 15x7 (2 sets) / Stock alloy wheels from a base-model S14 (15x6.5)
225/45-15 Hoosier R6 (used) on all four corners
"With age, comes a cage"
Front: Stock calipers and rotors, Hawk BLACK Pads
Rear: Stock calipers and rotors, Hawk BLACK pads
Goodridge stainless lines
Nissan Motorsports 4.6:1 ring and pinion...Nissan Motorsports diff (clutch type)
Setrab Oil Cooler
Momo drivers seat
Aluminum passenger seat
5-point harnesses, window net, arm net
Steering wheel quick relese
Gauges: 2 5/8" Autometer - Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Water Temp
Battery kill switch
MAY 2010: After some work...I added a muffler and turndown, raised the front ride height an inch, replaced the headgasket,
added an electric fan, repaired some wiring, replaced all the fuel hardlines, and made a TON of other small improvements....
I thought it was ready to take to the track...
First track day went "OK"...it was within a half second of my goal for this particular track.
Lost a wheel bearing, but no big deal...it didn't blow a motor or catch on fire...so that's SUCCESS!
Note: Girls tend to drive girly cars...like a girl.
JUNE 2010: After the first track day, I got a couple new front wheels bearings and repacked them with Redline CV-2, but also
found a number of other things wrong with the car. Cam timing was off a tooth, fuel injectors sticking open, collapsed lifter, etc...
...and then it spun a rod bearing at track day #2 (first session out, of course).
That actually turned out to be an OK thing to have happened...as it allowed me to address a number of other small things while
the motor was out. The same 'ole junkyard KA24E got a new crank, new rod bearings, and new main bearings...and I relocated the
oil temp sender. Cleaned up some other areas, put in 4 brand-new fuel injectors...and she's ready to try again.
Track (testing) day scheduled for early August...
New main bearings installed, ready for a new crank and rod bearings...
AUGUST 2010: Track day number 3 was a total success...the car ran well (maybe still a little low on power?), but the Hoosiers are starting to heat-cycle
out, and grip is falling off. The repaired motor performed well, oil pressure was excellent, and it ran lap after lap with zero mechanical issues or failures.
My only complaint - the rain (and the seemingly flat power-band).
Beautiful morning, headed south to Gainesville Raceway...
Waiting to go another round, after the rain...
SEPTEMBER 2010: After that last track/testing day, the data showed I was still low on power above ~4500-5000rpm. I tested every sensor and associated wiring.
(all tested OK). Fuel pressure was good at idle, but I wondered if it was dropping off as the revs climbed. I pulled the cover off the fuel cell to find the fuel
feed line coming off the pump was too long, folded over, crimped...and too large (diameter). It seemed closed off (where it was folded flat), so I cut it open and found:
So I replaced that fuel line with a properly sized (5/16") line, that was shorter...and the car runs better than ever!
Starts better, accelerates smoother, is more responsive, makes GREAT power, etc...this was the issue, all along. I never had reason to suspect fuel pressure, as it was good at idle...and I had a host of other problems to fix (previous owner's neglect).... :(
I cannot wait to get it back on a racetrack!!!!
OCTOBER 2010: With proper fuel flow, and the car ACTUALLY making good power...I took it back to
Gainesville Raceway, and managed a 59.2 second lap - Not bad for an underpowered car, on that track.
More track time to follow, time allowing.
FEBRUARY 2011: Well, I've had NO time to do any events for almost 3 months...but finally made it to one.
Had a rainy start, mediocre lap times, and even one spin (oops!)...but once the track dried out, I finally managed
to run a bunch of sub-59 second laps...with a best of 58.5.
And that will stand as my best in the car, as I had a committed buyer the night before the event...and sold it the Monday after.
So, it's been fun...and A LOT of work...but I am sad to see it go.
The new owner will use it how it needs to be used - Club Racing, HPDE's, etc...which is nice to know.
FALL 2012: Well, maybe not "the end"...!
Turns out, a friend of mine in Gainesville bought the car (after it traded hands once more after I sold it).
He plans to rebuild it with more power and with less rules to follow...and run it as a "Chumpcar"...!