B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
11/23/16 7:45 p.m.

EDIT: you have been warned... this post has turned into more than just my b13 build thread. If you find yourself liking this thread because it's awesome, well you would be correct. Because it is awesome. - April 25th

I have been wrestling with the idea over the past few weeks If i should post my build to this thread.

You See:

My name is Jon, and I have a problem. I have never finished an automotive project, ever. But as sat in my office yesterday it became clear to me that this time it would be different and that through sharing what is sure to be a long process full of other vehicles and distractions this little Sentra isn't going anywhere. Hopefully someday it's going to go everywhere fast.

The reason I am titling this thread "Out of the Shadows" is because of the first picture I took of my 1993 Sentra SE-R. This one: <img src="" />

Yeah, you are seeing that correctly that's a real deal Nissan Skyline R33 GTR V-spec. It's one of my dad's cars. My dad is the man. I'm a gear head because he was. He is the reason I'm addicted to cars, motorcycles, speed, anything old and vintage. He is one of my heros. But I have always stood behind him and lived vicariously through his racing and his collection. (ill share more about his collection in a later post)

As I looked at this picture I realized that my new car that I worked hard to get was shining the light on his car. It was the focal point (and deservingly so) of the picture. Nope, not this is my time. It is my time to stand on my own two feet and live out my own motoring dreams and be proud doing it.

Its my time to come out of the shadows and be my own gear head. To share about what Im doing with my build and this time... Finish it.

Rewind to 2 months ago. I was sitting in the Florida panhandle on the internet after accepting a new job back near where I grew up in Central Florida. Gainesville would shortly be my wife and I's new home. At that time i was rolling around and a nicely built Jeep XJ. I had a love/hate relationship with the thing but it was an amazing trail rig to take out on the Eglin AFB reservation. <img src="" /> <img src="" /> It was a total blast. My wife and I loved every moment of getting to do "real" off roading and exploring that I never had to the chance to do in my old 1984 Chevy CUCV. (more on that beast in a later post) <img src="" />

I knew we were moving to Gainesville so I was looked for new places to take the jeep. I stumbled onto "The FIRM" in Starke Florida. Check THE FIRM out

"Wait, you mean to tell me there is a rally school, rallyX course and full race track just a few minutes from where we are moving!? " (Shoots wife a text): "Babe, I'm Selling the Jeep"

I got it in my head to build a RallyX car. I knew it was cheap and buckets of fun. So, because I bleed Nissan/Datsun. I began to research Nissans that were good for rallyX. In comes the Great Jacob Perkins aka member "Bubs". He is the king of RallyX in a Nissan b13 Sentra. I read every page of his journey of being a RallyX driver in his SE-R and that was it. Time to buy an SE-R. I always had a soft spot for those cars and I had once owned a 200sx SE-R that I loved more than anything. I knew the platform and motor well so it seemed like a good option.

I searched Craigslist for weeks and found the car I now own. From the pictures it was rough. But no rust on the car, it didn't have a sunroof and the car already had aftermarket goodies and a SR20VE swapped in it. The description said that it was a fresh swap and that it was mechanically A+. I was sold. I talked the owner down a bit to 1800 bucks and headed to Miami.

CL Photos:

<img src="" /> <img src="" />

My amazing wife and I drove the 12 hour trip and got the car. I'll be honest... I was exhausted and so was my wife. I trusted the guy too much. I barely inspected the car and got on the freeway for the 5hr drive to Gainesville. I Really got into the power... Kinda sluggish... Then comes bad noises... Bad CV. I thought to myself.

"What have I done?"

I needed this car to be a daily. And a reliable one at that. I work for a church in Gainesville as the Director of Family ministries. Translation: I don't make much money (but i love my job). My wife is in graduate school. We are broke.

I bought new CV joints and put them in ($160). Realized the tires were crap and the break pads broke apart in my hands. Great... Found some Kosei K1s on Craigslist with decent tires for a great price ($400) Had the wheel hubs bored to fit the Nissan hubs ($120) and we were moving in the right direction. <img src="" />

I spoke with some wise RallyX folks. Many of whom advised me that it is best to have your RallyX rig be something you don't daily drive and this car was already built more for track days on the tarmac rather than the dirt.

Change of plans: Build a Capable Daily Driver that can hold its own at the track.

The car was still not running the way it should. This wasn't a SR20DE its a VE... We are talking at least a 50hp difference. Something wasn't right. So I Pulled out the ECU that I was told was tuned properly to check it and it's the stock sr20de ecu... Again, my fault for not fully checking the car out. So I immediately unhooked the MSD window switch running the VVL after learning its bad to run the VVL with a stock DE tune.

My buddy GAVE me his old Corbeau seat after i found an old Seat bracket specifically for a corbeau seat in a b13 Sentra on ebay for $75. Yeah I have great friends. <img src="" /> It sits a little high for a guy my size but it will do for now. I need to lower the rails for better helmet room.

So here I am writing my first post and I own one of the many cars on my bucket list. Im excited and looking forward to what is next for this build. I hope that you will follow and enjoy the thread as I hope to keep it updated regularly. Happy motoring. Here are some more pics of Leo (short for Leprosy... The clear coat is peeling off all over and a middle school student said it looked like it had leprosy.) <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" />

Stay tuned for the next posts as I share about next steps for the car and a solution to my ECU debacle as well as a visit to meet a B13 legend.

thewizard
thewizard New Reader
11/23/16 9:55 p.m.

Having owned/run a B13 Sentra Rally car, I can tell you its not that bad to run a stock ecu with a window switch. You will not make the most power out of it but it ll be fine, many have done it with the stock ecu. I ran mine like that for a while and got an eprom soldered and had a friend tune it later. My biggest issues have been rod bearings...Contrary to what people say these motors spin rod bearings. I would suggest you change the oil pump ASAP which is a bit of pain to do (think insurance) and availability is limited and its relatively pricey... I got to know these a bit so if you have questions feel free to ask. Good luck with the project. Oscar

B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
11/24/16 8:57 a.m.

In reply to thewizard:

Oscar,

Thanks a lot for the advice. I plan to get a second b13 SER down the road that is rougher to rallyX. Oil pump is on my list of things to upgrade thats for sure! Im driving it very easy at the moment until I get some other items ironed out, oil pump being one of them. Thanks for the comment! I look forward to asking you for advice in the future.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/24/16 9:48 a.m.
B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
11/30/16 12:10 p.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Yeah man I have seen that car a few times. Its really nice. Super clean and reliable race car. Out of my price range that is for sure.

B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
1/31/17 8:07 p.m.

Part 2: ECU Solutions, The B13/NX2000 Legend, and More Problems,

Lies. There is nothing more in this world I hate than a liar. As I mentioned previously this car has been a bit of a headache. It has felt like each week I find another thing on this car that isn't as described. But I'm here I'm stuck with what I got so I'm making it work.

Through the wonderful world of Facebook I got connected to a guy named Jay. He has been in the game for a long time super kind and helpful dude and a walking encyclopedia on the B13 Chassis and frankly anything with a SR20. He has two of the cleanest cars I have ever seen. Tastefully modified to the nines. Here are some pictures from my visit. <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" />

Jay was great. Hooked me up with some free parts. He took me for a ride in his VE powered b13 and it was epic. He lives in the center of the Ocala national forrest. We went into the forrest to get away from Johnny Law for some hits. Tons of nice wide open roads out there. So Jay starts really getting on it, the road is lined with tall pines and the sound of that SR20 at almost 9k RPMS was amazing. We made came up on a bit of a hill and began to climb it, full throttle probably 80-100MPH and as we crest the top of the hill a giant group of deer hunters scattered to their vehicles as a few doe ran into the forrest. Jay immediately slowed down and as we passed the hunters at a normal rate of speed they where clearly... Less than thrilled.

ECU issues were solved that day as Jay had some moates chips from his ECU from an older tune on his car. $50 they are mine and with a new MAF and fuel pump and a few minor mods we are ready to go.

Latest issues: 1st: Minor oil burn upon start up... Not happy about it but Valve job isn't a huge deal. 2nd: Front struts are bad as a result of the crappy lowering springs. The AGX gas shocks are rare (discontinued) and matched with the SR20forum group-buy Hyperco springs they can be a potent setup for the track and semi-comfortable daily driving. Today I snagged both for cheap. Im very pleased that I was able to purchase these hard to find items that will make this car better than I even planned for it to be.

Stay Tuned: Our RallyX Subaru Impreza and The B13 get more work done and hopefully doing some RallyX @ The Firm.

B13Birk
B13Birk New Reader
4/25/17 8:34 p.m.

(sits at desk, cracks open a corona)

Let's see, Where were we? It has been a while.

News: Im addicted to rally. Through a mutual friend I met a guy who is a huge gear head and has two race cars. A Porsche spec Boxter and a Subaru Impreza. We hit it off right off the bat and he mentioned he was looking for someone to race the Impreza with at The Firm and offered me the chance at getting behind the wheel at the next RallyX event. I have never competed in RallyX before but growing up near the Ocala National Forrest I have spent many hours haul butt through the woods in less than capable cars at more than dangerous speeds. But I had never tried my hand at competitive RallyX. The Firm is different from traditional SCCA Rally Cross. Instead of being in a big open field with trees and crap load of cones The Firm offers actual stage style courses that average around 2-3miles in length through the woods and over all types of surface changes. I couldn't wait to get my shot. Graham couldn't make it to the event so it was just me and I was nervous. I showed up to find your typical mix of Rallycross prepared cars, four stage rally prepped cars, The GRM Focus Project car and Yamaha side by side.

It was epic. I was in the stock AWD class and had competitors in may class with far more experience and way nicer cars... Oh and that darn Side by Side. I LOVED IT. There was lots of learning to be done in that day as it pertained to car control and rally technique but my ability to point and shoot while maintaining some sort of control got me second place in my class (behind the side by side) and third place overall only surfaced by a stage prepped Impreza and that darn side by side (the side by side was epic, it screamed through the woods and put on great show the entire day.

The GRM gang was awesome. They always are. I have had many conversations with them over the years and I am always impressed with the caliber and character of the people that GRM chooses to employ.

Here are some Pictures and video: <img src="" />

<img src="" />

THE VIDEO: My First RallyX @TheFirm

I learned a ton that day. I learned to not put the ABS fuse back in even if you think it will help on the limerock section of the stage. I learned allowing a random kid to do a ride along is distracting and that having a GoPro is priceless. Having video where I could watch my hands, the lines I was taking as well as my vision really helped me improve at the second event. I truly believe the only reason I placed as well as I did is as a result of my MotoX days. When i was young my dad would make me follow him on my cr80 through the national forrest while he raced ahead on his Kx250. If I didn't keep up I would get lost. It taught me to feel what i was riding and driving, to trust what I felt and saw and to not be afraid.

As the great Colin Mcrae once said "If in doubt, Flat out." All in all. I was pleased with second place. <img src="" />

My next race I had a few goals: Better Hand placement, Improved corner attack and vision, be smooth. The Subi was improved with our sticker bombing efforts, new clutch and flywheel and some body repair.

<img src="" /> <img src="" />

So Got the work on the car done and we Headed to another event at The Firm. This time we had a large crew with us. My best friend David and my dad showed up and Graham was there to race as well. This event I took first and class and first overall, even barely edging out my arch nemesis the side by side. I ate a few cones on my first run but was able to recover on the following 5 stages. It was a great time having my dad and david there and they got bit with the rally bug too. (more on that later) The Highlight of the day though was a fella that rented a brand new Camaro SS and entered it in the event. Let's just say total hoonage doesnt even begin to describe the result of that. The car left unscathed and he was proud to remind everyone that he purchased the $11 insurance... Here are some pictures and video from my Runs:

HERE IS THE VIDEO: My morning RallyX @TheFirm

Afternoon run with david @TheFirm

I am loving the Rally stuff and Loving The Firm. We went to a track day this weekend and had a blast. The Firm is becoming a home away from home.

As I mentioned earlier my Dad and David caught the rally Bug. So... I bought a 95 Infiniti g20 5spd for $350 bucks. Time to build a second car for rallyX! We also have plans to enter it in the $2000 challenge. Cheers to more cars, more friends and more racing. Stay tuned for more of my racing and wrenching journey. Thanks for stopping by and giving this a read.

Stay tuned for more on the Impreza as we head to Daytona for the SCCA show case , Updates on the B13, and the beginning of the project we are dubbing "G20 Over Crest"

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