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Ugly! There’s no other word to describe the performance of the KA24DE engine in stock form. Nissan tunes the KA24’s 2.4-liters of displacement to deliver just 155 horsepower at 5,600 RPM. Take the KA24DE under the knife and add a turbocharger system and you’ll see the “ugly” transforms into a knockout. With the KA24DE, Nissan accidently built a awesome foundation for a turbocharged four- cylinder engine. The engine’s large displacment drives turbos into boost quickly. The KA24DE’s connecting rods and crankshaft are also quite strong. With proper tuning and a well-engineered turbo system, 300 horsepower can be realized on the…

Is factory turbocharged performance superior? Can an aluminum block deliver the goods? Making the most of the SR20DET engine has been the focus of the D’Garage Silvia S15 project car from day one. With the introduction of our KA vs. SR Challenge, taking the head start that the SR20-powered S15 has and ramping up to further distance it from the KA- powered 240SX is now top priority. After four Test & Tunes and water/methanol injection, the SR20DET last generated 403 horsepower to the wheels. In addition, a JIC Magic suspension setup by Jon at Ziel Motorsports helped to improve the…

Since 1991, the great debate among Nissan’s S-chassis fanatics has been between the SR20DET and the KA24DE. On the one hand, the JDM chassis’s were equipped with the turbocharged SR engines, offering out-of-the-box forced-induction power from the factory. On the other, the USDM variant received the torquey-yet uninspiring KA24DE engine. Many felt short changed by Nissan’s decision to equip the 240SX US drivers with a truck engine. But as more tuners researched and developed the KA24DE, some began to appreciate the potential that this powerplant has to offer. To really get a feel for the contenders, a detailed comparison was…

Adding power isn’t always the best method to go faster. Take a look at the various divisions of motorsport, for example. How do 200-to-300 hp club racer formula cars outperform 725hp NASCAR cars around the same track? Or how do 90hp, 250cc go karts turn quicker lap times around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca than the 727hp McLaren P1? What the formula cars and go karts lack in power, they make up for in low weight and handling. Stage three of the D’Garage Ford Fiesta ST project called for the same approach. The Fiesta ST underwent power upgrades in both of…

There’s no better proving ground for a car’s strengths and weaknesses than on the racetrack. The twists and turns separated by straightaways and high-speed bends test every element of a car’s driving characteristics, from the engine’s powerband to the chassis’ ability to stick to the road. Our first stage of the DSPORT Ford Fiesta ST build delivered 10 extra horsepower and 43lb-ft more torque to the wheels. Along with the additional power, a 150 lb weight reduction lightened the factory platform. The resulting two-second gain in lap times showed the value in our street performance brake pads, intake, tune and…

Many forget that although the Apollo missions that set foot on the moon nearly 239,000 miles away were a tremendous achievement, these daunting voyages took place with less computing power than a modern smartphone. Adding to this undertaking, NASA implemented extremely low power consumption and massive weight savings for maximum efficiency and functionality in every individual piece of the spacecraft. This meant running the command module on only 2,000 watts of electricity and building the lunar lander with a wall thickness no greater than that of a soda can. These missions displayed what’s possible when you strip away all the…

THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. NISSAN’S R35 GT-R is the performance bargain of the century. When it was originally introduced, its $69,850 base price was definitely more attractive than its current starting price of $101,770. Due to this 45-percent increase in price, enthusiasts looking to make the jump behind the wheel of a GT-R have begun purchasing the earlier 2009-2011 CBA models secondhand. While Nissan made a number of significant refinements and performance improvements to the car in 2012 and even more in 2015, the ability to pick up an early model GT-R for $50-60,000 has made the CBA-R35 very…

BE IT A JUNKYARD BARGAIN FIND OR A COMPLETELY REBUILT ENGINE FROM THE ground up, swapping in a B-series engine will generally require the same parts, procedures and pain-in-the-you-know-what. Within the family of B-series VTEC engines, small differences like the intake manifold, deck height, combustion chamber and sensor placement distinguish them from one another. Which traits your engine will have depends on the year and model that you purchased. As mentioned in the previous installment of Swap Shop, we’re swapping in a B17A1 and YS1 transmission from a 1992-93 Acura Integra GS-R into our 1989 Honda CR-X HF. Read on…

As we close out this November issue, we look ahead to the next opportunity to bring our GT-R to the dragstrip. If you remember from last issue, our GT-R managed a 10.34- second elapsed time. While this accomplishment is extraordinary on many levels, we have still not reached our primary goal of collecting the 9- second timeslip in full-street trim. Hopefully, this round of modifications will help us to reach our goal. Text and Photos by Michael Ferrara Executing the Gameplan When we left off with the project last month we mentioned that our gameplan was to address gearing, power…

Photos by Sami Sharaf // Text by Michael Ferrara Wednesday, July 20th, 2005 During the weekly DSport magazine meeting, it is decided that we will try to get as many vehicles race-ready for an upcoming import drag racing event at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Our plan is to have our Project STi, Project Street Tire EG Civic and our Project GT-R at the event for some shakedown runs. With the closure of Carlsbad Raceway and the hectic work schedule at DSport, opportunities for a trip to the dragstrip are extremely limited. After the meeting, all of the project car…

“Should have…could have…would have…” Our most recent trip to the strip with our Project GT-R proved to be full of both trials and tribulations. While many questions were answered, a number of new questions and concerns surfaced. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Persistence Pays The original plan was to head out to California Dragway in Fontana for their season opening Street-Legal event on Saturday, January 22nd. We arrived at 8:30am and waited for about an hour before we were informed that all 400 tech cards had already been sold. The following Monday we place a call to California Dragway…

In our last installment of Ported & Flowed (October 2004), we mentioned that our next step would be to put the computer model to the test. This test would occur when we installed the ported cylinder head along with the camshafts on our GT-R. Then we would optimize the fuel and ignition curves for the new setup. The question that this exercise would answer is “Will the real-world numbers match the computer prediction?”. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Commentary by Allan Lockheed The Computer Prediction While we still had the engine set up with the factory heads and cams,…

You’ve probably been told or heard from someone that “an internal combustion automotive engine is just a sophisticated air pump.” Here’s the truth. What you have been told isn’t entirely accurate. First, a pump is a device used to move fluids and it operates at relatively low pressures. Air is not a fluid, but instead a gaseous mixture. Second, the primary purpose of an internal combustion engine is not to pump fluids or compress air. The engine’s purpose is to perform energy conversions to produce horsepower. Internal combustion engines turn the chemical energy in the fuel into thermal-pressure energy in…

Last issue, we said “when we get back on the dyno, we won’t be surprised to see 500-plus horsepower on 91-octane with a boost and power curves that we never believed possible with turbos so big. As predicted, we accomplished our mission with 505 horsepower registering on the dyno after fixing our exhaust leak, crafting a new intake system and spending some more time on the dyno. This taste of success motivated us to make a long overdue trip to the dragstrip. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Dyno Time Our previous visit to the dyno proved to be more…

Giant peak horsepower figures made on race gas make for great headlines. Just the mention of a “1000-horsepower Supra”, “740-horsepower WRX” or “500- horsepower EVO” draws attention. While peak horsepower numbers are real and exciting to any enthusiast, these high- caliber numbers tend to distort the total performance picture. This picture becomes blurred since few enthusiasts understand the performance difference attainable between 91-octane pump gas and 117-octane racing fuel. The fact is that swings of anywhere from 50 to 500 horsepower can be seen on turbocharged vehicles when the fuel is changed from pump gas to race gas. While the…