About The Car
The car is a 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R. I bought it in 1999, when it had 85,000 miles on it and was completely stock. Since then, I've heavily modified it. This page is here to at least describe what I've done to it and the results we've gotten. It will be updated as I think of more things to add, and as I get dyno sheets and timeslips.
It started as most car projects do with a desire to go faster and handle better. Having previously owned a Nissan NX2000 that we had swapped a turbocharged SR20DET engine into, I knew to some extent was I was getting myself into. My plan was to have a turbocharged SE-R that handled well enough to road race, yet was still livable as a daily driver.
Knowing that putting a high powered turbo kit on a car without upgrading basic essentials like suspension and brakes is a foolhardy proposition, I started with suspension. I got a set of GAB adjustable shocks and an Eibach Pro Kit set of springs. Then I got a set of 16" wheels, knowing that I would need them for the SMC big brake kit I was planning on getting. I got the SMC brake kit, and then with the help of some friends, we decided the path I would take to get my car to where I wanted it.
The DET I had in the NX2000 was a wonderful engine, and it propelled my NX to a 13.8 @ 101 MPH completely stock, but that wasn't going to be enough this time. So we ultimately decided on building up a stock motor with stronger internals, and then putting a turbo kit on which utilizes the Garrett/HKS GT30/37 turbo. With the decision made, the long journey began. I started buying parts, and then doing things like extrude honing my turbine housing, and then getting it White Lightning coated at Swain Tech. That went on for almost a year, just with buying parts and getting things ready.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, I decided that the Eibach Pro-Kit and GAB adjustable shocks were not going to be sufficient, so I went to Mike Saiki at Motivational Engineering. He had developed a suspension system consisting of custom shortened stock struts, using Koni shock inserts, Eibach race springs and Ground Control coilover hats and collars. For the spring rates, we went with 325 lb. in the front and 250 lb. in the rear. The end result of Mike's suspension system is that I gained a huge amount of suspension travel, something that the stock SE-R suspension (and all the replacement struts like GABs, AGXs, Tokicos, etc.) does not have in abundance. The extra travel, combined with the Koni inserts which have stronger rebound damping than initial damping, gave the car a very livable ride. It was less harsh than the GABs and Pro Kits, even though the spring rates are now much higher. Now the suspension never crashes or bottoms out. I have a full 4" of extra travel in the rear, and about 3" in the front. With the addition of N-Tech's adjustable rear sway bar and an ST front swaybar, the car handles very neutrally. In fact, it will be entirely neutral until it gets to the limit of adhesion, at which point it will start to oversteer rather than understeer. I was extremely pleased with this suspension setup, and it should prove to be a formidable setup on the track.
Finally the time came to build the motor. We took a couple months and pulled a spare SR20DE motor apart, measured for the bearing and crank clearances, sent the head and block to Jim Wolf Technology for headwork, a valve job and 1mm overbore to fit the Arias 300ZXTT pistons we were going to use. When we got them back, we started putting it together with the forged pistons and rods, and little goodies like the SR20DET piston coolers and the GTiR main bearings, which have holes through them so oil can run through the holes, into the groove in the block, behind the bearings and back over the top. We finally finished the engine, and the Fmax Stage 4 turbo kit was ready for us to install. We went to SR20 Development to do the engine and turbo kit install, and after about a week, we started the car.
The car is now running, and it's very fast. I have done no testing yet, but I will post results here when I get some. Below is a list of modifications I've done to the car, which I'll update as it changes.
1991 SE-R, Super Black. 116,000 miles as of 8/28/01. 5-speed and A/C, SMC short shifter, Corbeau Forza racing seat, Alpine head unit and 6-disc changer, sub in the trunk.
Motivational Engineering suspension with shortened shock bodies, Koni inserts, Eibach race springs at 325 lbs front, 250 lbs rear and Ground Control coilovers. ES control arm, swaybar, steering rack and shifter bushings, Nu Tech swaybars and lower stress bar, strut tower bar.
SMC Big Ass Brake Kit, which includes Wilwood 4-piston calipers, 11.75" slotted rotors and steel braided brake lines. I also have an Altima master cylinder, which improves pedal feel.
JUN ultralight flywheel, Clutchnet sprung hub disc with organic on one side and segmented Fibertuff on the other, Clutchnet 2200 lb. pressure plate, flywheel and pressure plate balanced together, cryo treated and shotpeened gears, welded tranny case, Quaife limited slip differential, Redline Shockproof 75/250 gear oil.
SR20DE with forged Arias 300ZXTT pistons with Swain gold coat and poly moly skirt coating, 1mm cylinder overbore, 8.5:1 compression ratio, Crower forged rods, DET piston coolers, GTiR main bearings and the grooves for them cut into the block for 360 degree oiling, balanced stock crank, head porting and polishing, 3 angle valve job, port-matched stock intake manifold, GReddy metal SR20 head gasket, Unorthodox Racing 4-piece underdrive pullies, JWT solid mounts, SR20 Development dogbone mount, Nismo radiator, Flex-A-Lite 210 2500cfm puller fans, Westco battery and custom made battery box in the trunk.
FMAX Stage 4 kit with the tubular manifold, GT30/37 turbo, 3" V-banded downpipe, full 3" exhaust system including cat, glasspack resonator and muffler, 72-lb. injectors, Cobra MAF, TIAL 40mm wastegate, GReddy Type S blowoff valve, Spearco intercooler, Autometer oil pressure and boost gauges, Profec-B boost controller, Greddy turbo timer, MSD 6A ignition, 300ZXTT fuel pump, JWT ECU and Aquamist water injection system.