June 6, 2014 12:17 p.m.

I'm thinking about building another LS-V8 powered car and I've already done an FC and really like the look for the 89-93 Nissan 240sx Coupes and think they have a better designed suspension than the FC's. Looking to maybe daily drive it with the stock engine for a little while....price range $2k -$5k. Don't think I can touch the FD RX7 for this kinda money. Maybe 2nd Gen MR2 but i dunno.

What's everyone think uses a better suspension technology for Daily Driving/track days?

June 6, 2014 12:39 p.m.

The E36s (not the trailing arm cars like ti or Z cars) have excellent rear suspension and simple but effective McPhersons up front. They are also very well balanced with a big straight six up front and the shorter v8 makes that even better. They are very well handling race cars with just spring/damper and swaybar updates.

My bucket list has an LS7 powered E36 M3 GTR clone on it.

If you are doing an E36 LS swap - start with a 96+ M3 to get the chassis reinforcements, stronger axles, and bigger brakes. One with a bum motor won't cost much of a premium.

tuna55 UltimaDork
June 6, 2014 12:43 p.m.

I just wanted to chime in and say that GPS's recipe sounds delicious.

mad_machine MegaDork
June 6, 2014 12:57 p.m.

doesn't the S13 had a ton of anti-squat built into the rear suspension? I think this is why they make such good drift cars, they naturally want to slide out from under you

tuna55 UltimaDork
June 6, 2014 1:05 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: doesn't the S13 had a ton of anti-squat built into the rear suspension? I think this is why they make such good drift cars, they naturally want to slide out from under you

I don't know the answer to this, but I know two things:

Anti squat should increase rear traction

I think the earlier Z cars had positive-squat, which would decrease rear traction while pitching the car to feel like it's accelerating to the masses, like some 50s cars did.

turtl631 Reader
June 6, 2014 2:27 p.m.

Easier to get BMW parts. For the 240SX you'll have to get creative if you want better than Koni Yellows or crappy chinese coilovers. They can be made to handle pretty well though.

Mr_Clutch42 Reader
June 7, 2014 8:04 a.m.

I think that the suspensions are about the same in an autocross setting. But that's comparing them when I own an E36 and rode with a guy with a S13.

djsilver
djsilver New Reader
June 7, 2014 11:26 a.m.

I have three 240sx's currently in the back yard (one of them actually runs!). My wife drives an E46 convertible and had an E30 before that. I had a 1st Gen RX7 waaaay back in the day, but I've never driven an FC.

The S13 does have to much anti-squat in the back that binds the suspension during acceleration. It's easy to fix by swapping in the S14 subframe. The S13/S14 will both need front Roll-center correction to make it handle really well. The S14 has a much stiffer chassis.

E30 BMW had a trailing arm rear suspension. E36 has a multilink rear. Both have struts up front, but the E36 is easier to modify if needed. The BMW handling is more confidence inspiring, but in road racing it's the BMW motor that puts it ahead of the 240sx on the track when running in the same class.

DirtyDiesel New Reader
June 7, 2014 1:54 p.m.

Hmm interesting, so the BMW E36 is better stock, and no need to modify the roll center?

That's interesting you say the S14 is stiffer as I haven't heard that before, I just assumed the lighter weight of the S13 would benefit it. I'm wondering if the E46 is a huge leap forward vs. the E36 as I've found a few coupes with blown motors almost as cheap as the others.

Assuming both engines are an LS1 which would you prefer for road racing (track days) and daily driving punishment? Thanks for the replys.

djsilver
djsilver New Reader
June 7, 2014 4:41 p.m.
DirtyDiesel wrote: Hmm interesting, so the BMW E36 is better stock, and no need to modify the roll center? That's interesting you say the S14 is stiffer as I haven't heard that before, I just assumed the lighter weight of the S13 would benefit it. I'm wondering if the E46 is a huge leap forward vs. the E36 as I've found a few coupes with blown motors almost as cheap as the others. Assuming both engines are an LS1 which would you prefer for road racing (track days) and daily driving punishment? Thanks for the replys.

The E46 is more refined, but quite a bit heavier than the E36, which is quite a bit heavier than an E30. With an LS1 there's no shortage for power and I'd go with the E46 over all the other choices. Here's everything you need! http://www.vorshlag.com/index.php?cPath=1_8_281

Spoolpigeon UltraDork
June 7, 2014 5:12 p.m.
turtl631 wrote: For the 240SX you'll have to get creative if you want better than Koni Yellows or crappy chinese coilovers. They can be made to handle pretty well though.

This.

I had an s13 for 7 years. The best budget suspension is koni/ground controls with camber plates on the front. I was very competitive at our local autocrosses with that combo. The big problem I had with it was how limited the front suspension travel is. I 'might' have had 2-2.5 inches of travel in the front. Our lots are pretty bumpy and it wasn't uncommon to hit the bumpstops.

That said, it was still a fun ass car.

stan_d Dork
June 7, 2014 8:58 p.m.

I had a 375hp to the tires s13 2700lbs cheep Chinese coil overs Iron block lt1 worked nicely. 52% weight on front , with ls I bet the rear would weigh more. I kept full interior street car.

My vote is s13.I am just a little biased though.

kanaric
kanaric HalfDork
June 7, 2014 11:20 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: doesn't the S13 had a ton of anti-squat built into the rear suspension? I think this is why they make such good drift cars, they naturally want to slide out from under you

S13 rear suspension is shared with R32 Skyline which is generally considered to be top tier. Skyline has double wishbone front, however.

mad_machine MegaDork
June 8, 2014 9:17 a.m.

and the skyline has all that fancy electronic gizmos to make it easier to control.

djsilver
djsilver New Reader
June 8, 2014 9:18 a.m.

I'm going back to your original posted use; Daily driving/ track days.

For your stated purpose, My choices would be in this order; E46 BMW, E36 BMW, S14 240sx, S13 240sx, and E30 BMW. The E36/46 will make much nicer daily drivers and have more vertical clearance to fit a V8 without it hanging out under the car as a curb feeler. The 240sx can be made into a competent track day machine, but the BMW's start much closer to the stated goal and have more quality bolt-on parts available for that purpose. If you pay someone to work on your car, the BMW is more expensive, but if you do your own maintenance it's a wash.

DirtyDiesel New Reader
June 8, 2014 10:14 a.m.
djsilver wrote: I'm going back to your original posted use; Daily driving/ track days. For your stated purpose, My choices would be in this order; E46 BMW, E36 BMW, S14 240sx, S13 240sx, and E30 BMW.

Yeah I do all my own work, and my Dad has a E46 M3 and I've driven it 15 hole miles but LOVED the handling, almost as good as my C5 Z06. I do wonder if just buying a turbo E36M3 might be the way to go instead of swapping in the LS. Hmmmm...

turtl631 Reader
June 8, 2014 1:03 p.m.

I think that would be a huge pain to keep together on track. M3 with blown motor seems like the way to go, although those interiors really need some love to keep them nice at this point.

mr2peak Dork
Nov. 10, 2015 12:51 a.m.

Or just get an E46? S54 motor is damn good. A full S54 swap is ~$3.5k, that should get you a nice LS when you decide to swap.

Classic Daily LS3 E46 http://www.classicdaily.net/category/past/ls3-e46-m3/

Top Gear E46 M3 CSL video :) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4veu8_top-gear-bmw-m3-csl_auto

unevolved SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2015 7:58 a.m.

Man, I'd forgotten that people are starting to figure out the E46 CAN bus. Maybe I need to start collecting LS swap parts...

Tyler H SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2015 8:06 a.m.

I have nothing to add here, except I double-dog-dare you to get an LS V8 into a second gen MR2.

DirtyDiesel New Reader
Nov. 10, 2015 8:37 a.m.
Tyler H wrote: I have nothing to add here, except I double-dog-dare you to get an LS V8 into a second gen MR2.

Yeah not sure what I was thinking saying that, as I don't think anyone has been able to do it, although I want to say someone swapped in an Audi 4.2 V8 but it required lots and lots of cutting. The Toyota V6 with forced induction is a pretty plug and play swap, not to mention the newer toyota turbo engines are plug and play.

I wonder if you could swap some of the better suspension bits off the R32/R34 Skyline to the S13/S14 chassis.

Nov. 10, 2015 12:04 p.m.

If you do the E36 -- I'm in the middle of one now -- don't pay too much of a premium for an M3 chassis. At this stage, the M and non-M will both need full suspension bushing refresh and new dampers. They're pushing 20 years old now, and the bits just can't be expected that long. In the course of refreshing that stuff, you can get the non-M to M-equivalency for very little extra cash. But check out the parts cost on the suspension refresh before you jump in; it's not a budget job either way.

The biggest PITA part is welding a set of the M-style rear subframe reinforcement plates on the underside of the non-M, which is kind of a nasty-ish job, but not awful.

On the other hand, if you're getting a running E36 with the idea of selling the motor, the M3 motor is likely to draw a bit more sales proceeds.

The Hoff UltraDork
Nov. 10, 2015 12:24 p.m.

I absolutely love my S13 for autocross. I went for Ohlins coilovers, so no "chinese" suspension. If tuned right it is a very neutral chassis. I run a 10/9 spring combo with a Tanabe front sway and stock rear sway.

It is very competitive locally. I even took the 2013 Street Modified championship with a SOHC and am running 2nd this year. This is against an e36 M3, a few different boosted FRS, and a few STi's on e85. The great handling has made up for the large HP deficiency.

My somewhat biased opinion goes to the s13. I DD an e46 and am a BMW tech, so I am very familiar with the BMW chassis and handling too. There is a huge aftermarket support for the 240 since it is still a very common car for drift and time attack.

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