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rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/5/21 6:56 p.m.

In reply to Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) :

Nice!  Hopefully I can get the car sorted by then.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/5/21 7:24 p.m.

4th of July, the Coil is here, and it's time for fireworks!

With the addition of the transistor and ground, I can finally see if the engine will fire up.


I got a bit excited, and completely mixed up the plug wires, so the first attempt was garbage.  it coughed, kicked, and never wanted to turn over enough to idle.  #1 and #4 were just pure soot, and #2 and #3 were completely dry, it made for some exciting external combustion moments with an open header just under the driver's seat.


I got SWMBO's time to come out and do some troubleshooting with me, and found and I had good spark, and each injector was clicking, but timing was way off.... That's when I discovered my mixup on the plug wires.  I felt like an idiot, as each wire is not only labeled on the wire itself, but the distributor as well.

Since the motor had been spinning around and coughing a bit, I decided to go ahead and change the oil, as there was likely 'stuff' in there from cleaning everything.  It was pretty nasty, but no glitter (yet). when I cut open the oil filter.


Then with the spark plug wires actually pointed to their assigned plugs, I gave it a twist and it actually coughed to life!


Now it's a bit loud from the open header, and you can tell it's not happy with running.  But now that it's idling, I can manipulate the throttle and the timing light at the same time, and keep it running to diagnose where it's happy.

I twisted the distributors full retard (Never go full retard) and it only ever got to ~15* BTDC, and stock is 20*...... so I'm afraid I'm a tooth off.   In addition, as long as these injectors have been sitting, they seem clogged/dirty.  I think it'll do some benefit to have fuel run through them for a while to clean out, but I might send all my spares off to get cleaned and install those.

In the meantime, turning it back to TDC, I think I'm off a tooth... I have no F'in clue how this happened, I must have accidently spun it backwards against the tensioner and it skipped a tooth.

Here's the plug parade after running for a few minutes to wake up the neighbors:


#4 is obviously not happy, and I still can't tell if #2 or #3 are even getting fuel.  I think my next steps are to pull the timing covers, and re-check everything timing chain-wise.  Also find an O-ring for my old compression tester (or buy a new one) and see how I'm doing with compression now that I can get some heat into the motor.



rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/11/21 2:57 p.m.

Well today was the first day I've driven a 240 in ten years! The last running S13 I owned ate a lifter at an autocross in 2011.

After the last startup on the 4th, I was doubting myself pretty hard, it seemed to be running rough, and I thought I'd got the timing wrong somehow.    So this weekend I got it in the garage, tore off the timing covers (again) to quintuple check everything.   Sure enough, it's all in line, and everything looked good.   Satisfied that I hadn't screwed anything up, I decided to tackle some odds and ends while I had jacked SWMBO's garage spot.

First up, the clutch slave cylinder had puked out the little actuator rod somewhere along the way, so I ordered a new slave and master cylinder.  With those installed, I also deleted the clutch delay valve.... I have no idea why a lightweight 'sports' car needed some added vagueness in clutch feel. Good thing it's easy, just bend the input line over the the slave cylinder, and unbolt the delay valve!

Next up:  What does every non-running piece of crap in the driveway need?   A fancy new steering wheel!   Some rodent had been gnawing on the old one, and it was inhibiting my wife wanting to help push it around or sit in it to bleed the brakes, so money well spent on a replacement!


The next task to address was the ridiculous ride height.  It was so damn low I couldn't get to the jack points, and had to use the radiator support.  I also gave it low odds on even clearing my driveway on it's maiden voyage. 

It had a set of JIC coilovers on it... however they don't look like any JIC magic coilovers I've ever seen and the logo is different... so I'm assuming they're knockoffs of some sort.  Either way, they were almost maxed out low, and since they only had single height adjustment, it was all at the expense of travel.  I didn't buy these, and the car didn't come with coilover wrenches, so I improvised with a pipe wrench, it was faster and more effective than the hammer and chisel approach to turning the rings.  3/4 turned without a fight, the 4th needed a soak overnight, and a touch of the heat wrench.  But success, non-idiot ride height achieved!   This is close to stock, and should allow the wheels to move a bit.  Hopefully the springrates and valving aren't garbage or blown.

Feels like I'm the only person to ever raise a 240 on coilovers...


Anyway, with that out of the way, and the car rolling around the driveway much easier.  Time to see if I can get it started and running better.   This time the radiator was filled with water, and the water pump was hooked up, distributor was double checked on alignment when I was checking the timing marks, and the plan was to get it running, idling, and warmed up for a compression test.

It fired up almost immediately, and sat into about the same idle as before.  with a couple revs, it sounded almost normal (save for the open header)  So I put the timing light back on it to see if it was better.  It was at that moment I realized that I am again an idiot...  I bought (long ago) the 'fancy' craftsman timing light with dial in advance on the back of the gun.  I can't be certain it was like this before, but it was cranked up 10*, I reset it to 0* and gave the distributor a twist, sure enough, it settled right in a 20* BTDC.  The motor sounded healthy and a bit smoother, it seems to be running better getting new gas through it.  So I let it warm up until the temp gauge started to trend up off the cold mark. (still no fans installed, so didn't want it too warm)

I called SWMBO out to help with a quick compression test, and result!

  1. 190psi
  2. 185psi
  3. 185psi
  4. 175psi

I was worried about #4 going in with how oily the plug looked after the first firing.  But 185-190 is very strong for a KA, this head may have been decked, 175 is a good number on it's own, and the variance is at the edge of factory specs:



After that good news, I tried to see how the clutch and brakes felt, so reversed down the drive, drove back up it, and parked the car long the side of the house.  Clutch felt great, had a good grab to it, brakes were 'eh', but they haven't been bedded in forever.  


Next steps:  Build an exhaust so the neighbors put down the pitchforks and torches (half the parts just showed up), hook up power steering and coolant overflow, get it insured, and take a couple drives round the block to see what falls off.

It's getting close to a proper shakedown, there's a glimmer of hope of making the August events.  Work has me out of town this week, but hopefully I can dive in next weekend, fabricobble an exhaust together, and take it for a spin.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/11/21 3:17 p.m.

Since this thread is equally about my nostalgia about 240's, it's story time!

Here's a pic I came across the other day the GRM crowd might appreciate from 2009:


After moving to Kansas for my first job in 2006, the motorsports were a bit sparse out there.  Nobody had a rallycross region within a 5 hour drive, and drifting hadn't caught on.   After a while, a club in KC started up a drifting organization, and I'd done a couple drift events many years prior, and figured I'd go support this new on in Kansas.  They rented out the skidpad at Heartland Park, and so I packed up some spare tires, and headed up there.  It took me a few laps to remember the violent techniques to get the car sideways on asphalt.  As I became more comfortable with the car, autocrosser brain started taking over, and I found myself getting closer to the cones, and at one point, I clipped a clipping point, and it clipped back HARD.

Instead of nice soft fluffly cones I'd been playing with up till that point, they arrayed the course  with some concrete jersey barriers so the photogs could get close to the action.  and with this picture, I can see that in autocrosser brain, my tire missed the apex.... but being sideways, the bumper was overhanging the tire, and met an immovable object, literally tearing the RF fender off the car.

The first picture was me in the pits, tearing off all the bits of 'loose' car so I could go back out there and get some more seat time.

I was able to mangle the RF of the car back into almost 240esque shape after this, but this accident led to me eventually selling the OG POS13.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/18/21 8:41 p.m.

Well, the intent for this weekend was to put together an exhaust, get insurance, and take it for a quick road test.


There were more than a few factors that popped up to ruin that fun. 

  • The muffler I ordered on Jegs was not as 'in stock' as it seemed, and is on backorder now
  • One of our dogs passed away, and so I've been spending some more family time lately
  • When I added the 240 to my Hagerty account, I got an unexpected Spanish Inquisition

With my Datsun 260Z and my wife's FJ62 Landcruiser, it was an easy process.  Add the car online, I get a quote, it gets added.   This time however, I was confronted with the "will this vehicle be used for racing?" question on the form... and I can't in good conscience not check that if it's primary purpose is a RallyCross ride.  Sure enough, the next day, I get a call at work from a strange number, when I called them back, it was an interesting conversation:

"We need clarification on the type of racing you'll be doing"  I explained that it was academic, as I wasn't going to be filing a claim related to racing, I just needed insurance for transiting on public roads to and from events.  They explained they wouldn't cover it in event anyway... but pressed on.  It was obvious the person on the phone was not familiar with our niche motorsport.  Autocross on grass sort of got the point across, but I still had to answer questions about jumps and other cars.  Eventually a supervisor got involved, and then the real questions came out.  "Will this car be used for drifting?"  Ah ha!  Finally, this is what they were beating around the bush for.  They needed to see if I was a drifter, as I'm sure the Actuaries have a big red 'bail' button on any account if they find out its' built to slide.   Drift tax strikes again!  At the end, I think I had it straightened out, but they needed additional pictures of the car.  "We need pictures of the Trunk, the interior, and the engine bay."

Well crap.  I wasn't really planning on re-installing all the interior pieces into a car meant to be flogged in the dirt.   Now all the sudden, clean and install interior came up to the top of the list

So off to the most effort, and least reward portion of this endeavor so far:  cleaning the interior of a RallyCross car!

I went through a few cans of interior cleaner, a roll of paper towels, and two cans of Amor All Cleaning Wipes.

In the end, it smells much nicer!  and I was able to remove decades of JDM farts from the Skyline seat that came on the drivers side, and even was able to remove the cumbersome and annoying automatic seatbelts.  It seemed like most of the mold was growing on the seatbelts, so it was good to axe those.   I also tried something I never got a chance to do on any of my other cars:  Remove the filthy Pink/Blue/Gray 90's tweed from the door panels, it just peeled right off:

I think it all came out OK.... we'll see how the underwriters feel about it frown


In other news, my tires showed up!   I didn't think this season of learning the car, re-learning how to drive, and tweaking it wasn't worth the expense of rally tires, so I grabbed some cheap snows.  I liked the old iPikes, but wasn't able to find the orig tread pattern.  TireRack and DiscountTire were both out of most of their snows in 15", so I amazoned a variant of the iPike.   I also dug through my wheel stack to see what would fit, as I've seen Steelies fail too many times in Rallycross.   I came across these Datsun Turbo wheels.  15x6 +10 fit the chassis well, and should suit a skinny snow tire well.  I think they'll look alright, and I recall someone running these wheel on a 280Z in RallyAmerica for several years, so they can't be too fragile.  Tire guy should be here Friday to mount them.



So back to exhaust fab, The car came with a classic Fart-pipe from Apexi.  It's 3", and has horrible ground clearance, so I want to fab something up  But while I wait for a muffler to show up, I'd still like to run the car more, and take some spins around the block, so I welded up a flange to my cheap header (which was missing a flange) and adapt it to the N1 using the 3" resonated test pipe.  I've had these two bolt flanges leak before, so I went with a three bolt flange for my new parts.  My butt welds on the pipe were fairly terrible, but should hold in gas, and I got the hang of the MIG with the flanges.

 With an actual exhaust on the car, it sounds more 'normal', despite being a 3" system and still a bit loud.  With pulses making it all the way to the bumper, I could detect that signature Subaru burble.... which on a real engine, means I've got a miss in one cylinder.  I double checked spark on each cylinder, and have compression, so I'm assuming an injector is frozen or misfiring.  For as long as it was sitting, I may just parts-shotgun 4 new injectors at it.  Rock Auto has Hitachi injectors for about what it'd cost to have the current ones cleaned.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/23/21 6:35 p.m.

Today finds me fairly frustrated with society.

Hagerty, despite advertising heavily with GRM and the SCCA, denied my request for insurance.  They said my racing posed too much risk to the policy...   I don't even know what to say.  I've got no marks on my driving record, live in a decent area, great credit score etc....  but check that box for racing, and it's out the window.  They also did a fairly good job of wasting a week of my time before letting me know.

The second thing was the mobile tire installation service.  I'd used Tread Connection before, the local guy had a pretty good reputation with the local subaru group.  It worked fantastically, I jacked up my car, pulled the wheels, and a van with a tire mounter and balancer just rolled up the driveway, a knowledgeable person swapped tires while shooting the E36 M3 about cars, and then gone again.    However this time, I filled out the online form, got contacted, swapped some details, nailed down a time for Friday afternoon, then nothing.....  Got ghosted.   I followed up yesterday and today with no response.   Guess I'll drag them to some brick and mortar. 

On the good news: injectors showed up today.  Swapped them in without destroying anything, and the car fired right up and purred like a kitten.  After a couple mins of running, the rough idle smoothed out as the cylinders cleared, and it sounds like a 240 with way too big of an exhaust!   If the car had insurance and tires, I'd be on a spin around the block right now!



jfryjfry SuperDork
7/23/21 10:03 p.m.

The good news is you're so close!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/25/21 7:18 p.m.

Thanks for the perspective!  It is super close.

I was able to call up the local Subaru Specialist I take my Outback XT to, and they had the good Hunter mounter/balancer, and a gap in their schedule on Saturday, so I got the tires mounted!

It's much more complete of a car now that it's not sitting on steelies, and I really like the look of them on the black car, I'll have to get some gold numbers to match. (maybe a screaming chicken on the hood?)

In a bit of ridiculousness, I ordered some Nismo lug nuts.  The car came with 2 lug nuts per wheel as a roller, and they were only a few $ more than generic.  Even came with a Nismo branded socked.  This made me smile because 1.) I'm a lifelong Nissan nerd, and 2.) my dog that just passed was named Nismo, so I'll think of her every time I change wheels.

Also I'm quite pleased with how much negative camber the car has at ride height up front, really looking forward to driving it soon:


Then Sunday, SWMBO and I took a leisurely stroll at the local Pick-a-Part.  Their online database indicated a few B14 Sentras, and internet lore said that those manual seatbelts would bolt into an S13 with minimal fuss.  They also had a few Altimas with KA's so I grabbed a few odds and ends.   Also nabbed an oil cooler from a turbobrick, as those are fairly well made, and I think I can use it as a PS cooler, since those tend to boil over with frantic steering.



When I got back home, I saw Moma and the twins checking out the progress

The seatbelts were tan, which is not ideal with a black interior, but will more closely match RallyCross dirt, but it's a million times better not having those terrible automatic belts always in the way, and it shaves a bit of weight off the car.  This is the 3rd time I've swapped an S13 over, but I used to be able to find an S14 in the junkyards, and those just bolted right in.  The B14 ones were a bit different, and needed to be modified to fit the bolt spacing in the S13....   I'm pretty sure the NHSTA recommends converting your grinder into a death wheel and hacking away at safety systems, but this actually shortens the moment on the bolt.  I've done it a few different ways for a street car, typically spacing the top bolt out to sit flush with the top trim panel.  But it adds more of a moment on the bolt, and typically you have to feed the belt between the upper and lower panels, which adds drag, and makes it a bit harder to retract.  This time I just hacked away the upper panel to allow clearance.  Not the prettiest work, but it'll do.


Reinstalled all the interior, and cleaned up the drivers side seat mounting, and plastic trims, and I'm ready for a test drive!   Hopefully the insurance comes back with some better answers on Monday


Turbine GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/25/21 7:22 p.m.

Those wheels look fantastic! 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/1/21 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Turbine :

Thanks!  I think they suit the car and purpose quite well.  The finish is garbage in person, but they look shiny in pictures.  I've got some gold numbers ordered, so hopefully it matches the painted portion of the Datsun wheels.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/1/21 7:31 p.m.

This week was a bit of a break, SWMBO and I took a short vacation to West Virginia this weekend.  Mostly as a break from the daily grind, but also to scope out different areas as we're interested in buying some land.  The mountains were beautiful, and I discovered some fantastic driving roads

But the best part of the weekend was that I got a call from my insurance agent.  I explained my situation to my local agent, and she was also affiliated with Hagerty and discussed the policy with them directly.  After some back and forth through the week, I finally had insurance.  The last hurdle was to 'fix' the valuation, the initial acceptance was at a $35k valuation for a 89 240SX?!?! 

With actual insurance covering a drive around the block, I prepared to take it for a quick test drive!   First step was to bleed the brakes, and the pedal was a bit spongy in the driveway.  3/4 went great, but the LF caliper would not let any flow through.  I may have some debris in there from the rust repair despite taping up each side.  I've got some new SS braided lines on the way now.   Unfortunately, the smooth running was gone, replaced by a lumpy idle and smoking out the exhaust....

I think when I replaced the injectors, I re-used the O-rings from the old injectors, and my theory is that the lower on #2 is torn and leaking, and running too rich to fire.  The plugs share this theory, #2 soot black, 1/3/4 lean and hot.

Regardless I needed check all the other systems while O-rings were in route.  I put my newly acquired coolant overflow tank in, tightened down the battery terminals, and taped over the + terminals, and hit the streets!  No pictures or videos but I'd say it went well!

  • It has gears 1/2/3/4, but didn't get fast enough to try 5th
  • Aforementioned brakes spongy, but stops
  • Suspension was typical 'boingy' of cheap coilovers, but didn't have the hard jolt of bumpstops.
  • Handling was giggles, she wants to slide all the time on fresh still-on-mold-release skinny snow tires
  • The diff locks up well, left some good elevensies up the wet driveway.
  • E36 M3s huge fireballs, due to the assumed leaking injector, but my inner child brain couldn't help but lifting off throttle and stabbing it back on to hear the POP! out the muffler.  However, smoking out the neighborhood and popping and farting around the block meant that i needed to cut the test drive as short as possible.
  • Clutch grab was good, but the pedal was sinking during the drive, so I've got a leak or some air in the system
  • Turn signals work
  • Seating position and seatbelt work well for a short drive


Hopefully the O-rings ship out of the vendor this week, and the brake lines make it here.  4 short weeks till the goal event surprise  I'm debating on signing up early

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/5/21 8:48 p.m.

Lots of woes of shipping and customer service, and a great comedy of errors resulting in the last muffler at Jegs being shipped to my old address in Kansas... but I'm not going to dwell on that.

You know what every barely running car needs?  Racecar numbers!  Sean from iZoom Graphics came through and quickly shipped out some new magnetic numbers.  Super thick magnetic material means they'll stick to even dirty paint, my old set lasted for over 10 years.  The gold color looks great with the wheels!  I was tempted to change my class to 'SAN' but I don't think the corner workers would get it.


Another couple last minute order showed up tonight, new brake lines and a speed sensor.  The LF brake line was blocked, and I couldn't bleed that corner.  And while a speed sensor seems like it should be pretty low on the priority list, on the 240sx, the speed signal is fed through the gauge cluster to the ECU, and if it doesn't receive a speed signal in top gear, it goes into 'limp mode' and won't rev more than 3k on the highway.

Well, that was a fail too.  The existing speed sensor had a gear drive that wasn't separable from the shaft, and every replacement one I can find online has a flat spot machined on it with no gear...  not sure how I'm going to fix this one without JBweld


In other good news, I got an appointment with the DMV monday to get plates.  Hopefully that goes smoothly, the injector O-rings show up (Or I can find some re-useable ones in my spare parts), and I can get some miles on this car to shake it down prior to the event.  If that happens, I'm going to sign up for the event next week!

birdmayne GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/5/21 9:04 p.m.

Loving this. 

Share more about the 260Z?

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/6/21 8:05 p.m.
birdmayne said:

Loving this. 

Share more about the 260Z?

Thanks!  I'm looking forward to where your 240Z is headed!  

I think I'll do a build thread on the 260 when I can dedicate a bit more time for it.   Right now it's in the garage with a blow'd up diff, and I've made a rule that I can't have more than one major project car at a time.  My wife caught me on video saying it smiley

Right now it's got some round top carbs, eibach springs and KYB shocks, and a 10-15 year old restoration.  It's exactly what I wanted it to be, nice enough to drive into a C&C event, but enough flaws I'm not going to be worried about driving the crap out of it.

My goals for the car is a car that's fun, sounds good, and is still comfy enough to take my wife on drives to breweries and restaurants on the glorious backroads around here.  Likely add some better seats, header, cam, exhaust, some stupid wheels from Japan, and fixing all the little crap that annoys me.

Here's a couple pics from Skyline Drive:

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/6/21 8:45 p.m.

So my hit list on the POS13 is getting shorter, I'm thinkin' this is what needs to get done before I can take it to an event:

  • Get Plates
  • Build better clearance exhaust
  • Install passenger seatbelt and seat
  • Install ECU bracket and passenger footwell
  • Mount HVAC controls
  • Sort speed sensor
  • Install radiator fan
  • Change diff fluid
  • Change oil again (likely washed with gas at this point)
  • Injector O-rings
  • Look into clutch and brake travel
  • Test Drive
  • Break in clutch
  • Check/set alignment

So tonight while waiting on parts, I decided to cherry pick some of the easy things off the list, got the ECU mounted, pass seatbelt made like the driver's side, and all the interior back in over there.  I re-mounted the HVAC controls, and I also sorted the terrible battery box in the hatch, but didn't take pictures of the boring stuff.

I looked through the spare parts, and found an injector rail with some old injectors in there.  I pulled all 4, and there were two non-smushed lower injector O-rings.  So I pulled the trouble injector on #2, and here's the Oh-no Ring:

In my best redneck voice: "Well that's yer problem right thar!"

So while I'm an idiot for re-using the old swollen, dry, o-rings, and not lubing them properly... I'm also getting fairly good at troubleshooting my own dumbass mistakes by now.

When I first joined forums in 2001 looking for a 240SX, Zilvia was the one I gravitated towards, and they named any new person "Leaky Injector" because this is such a common problem with this design.

I put on one of the 'less bad' O-rings, added a bunch of motor oil to all the surfaces, and put it back in.   I pulled the plug at #2 and cleaned it up with brake clean.

Again, fired right up!  purred like a kitten, all signs of a misfire gone.  No smoke out the exhaust, victory over my own stupidity!

Light was waning, but I was able to get one of the headlights up and on, so I took it for another spin around the block.  Ran great!         .... for about half the block.  Then it starts E36 M3ting fireballs again, by the time I get home, it's smoking again and running rough.  Sure enough, it had fouled the plug on #2 just like before.

So now I'm back to waiting on the set of O-rings to show up.  They were 'in-stock' when I ordered them last Tuesday from a 240 specialist in Connecticut, and yet again, no update on shipping...  In the meantime, I'm going to try and clean up the distributor points, buy a fresh set of plugs, and maybe rent a noid light to see if it's pulsing correctly.

2Girlsracing (Steffi)
2Girlsracing (Steffi) Reader
8/6/21 10:41 p.m.

I've found that checking temps across the exhaust header tubes with a heat gun really helpful for diagnosing how well things are running, if it's hotter or colder than the others you know instantly there's an issue. 
If you make your partner your co-driver they're much happier to spend money and time on the car, although it does mean you spend all day changing numbers on the car. 
Also buying your partner a cricut if they are the crafty type means they can cut new race numbers/ sponsor decals etc the night before an event which makes life a lot less stressful. And you get good husband points.

sorry to hear about your dog, that's a great name!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/9/21 4:36 p.m.

In reply to 2Girlsracing (Steffi) :

Thanks for the tip Steffi!  I'll grab the infrared pyrometer the next time I've got it out to check the header.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/9/21 4:41 p.m.

Still in parts waiting mode...


However, I did hit a milestone today!

Plates!  I officially own this Pile O' Crap now.  I find it cosmically ironic that my whole push to build this car was the excessive amounts of BMWs rallycrossing locally, and now my random plate number wants me to sell it for a 2JZ swapped E30 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/10/21 2:16 p.m.

The car is looking really great with the matching wheels, numbers and (sort of matching) seat belts!  I'm excited to hear about it rallying!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/14/21 10:07 p.m.

"The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!"

Ok, maybe I'm excited about nothing, but a package of new injector O-rings showed up finally! Got the upper and lower seals, as well as the plastic spacers for the rail to ensure everything was lined up correctly.

When I pulled the old stuff out, each lower injector O-ring was pinched, the spacers were substituted for a nut, and the alignment of the holes was terrible.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong... 

Hole alignment off 


So my plan of attack with the new seals was to add some vasoline into the grooves on the fuel rail, and some... lubricant on the O-rings to ensure that there was no pinching or ripping as the injectors were put in place.

With some careful assembly, they all popped back into place.


And with that sorted, I re-installed the clutch fan, threw in a set of new plugs, cleaned the windows and headed out for a quick around the block test drive!

Overall much more smoothly running, the smoke started to go away, and it revved more cleanly.  With the car running better and with real plates and registration, I could venture out of the neighborhood and onto some faster streets.  I still kept it close to home, but got some heat into the systems, and tested it out a bit more thoroughly.

My impressions initially are:

  • Brakes were just slightly better than terrifying.  Pedal went to the floor before any meaningful braking, way too much travel and felt like a ton of air in the system
  • The motor feels about like a 'normal' KA as I remember them, but it seems like the top end of the rev range is still struggling
  • Handling is... odd.  It feels exactly like a car running on blown ass cheap coilovers, which it is. Way underdamped and oversprung, I caught air on a couple bumps in the road... this doesn't bode well for rallycross as-is.  the soft, tall sidewall tires are a significant portion of the spring-damper system, and not at all paired with the springs/shocks.  Hopefully I can tune a bit with tire pressure.
  • All the lights and turn signals work fine, even the aircon blower fan is functioning.
  • Clutch feels good, but pedal lacks travel.
  • Cooling system is holding, and cooling the car off >40mph, but slow speeds the temp rises with the un-ducted stock clutch fan.
  • Smoke seems to reduce during the drive as I worked out old fuel from the cylinders, and the backfires went away entirely.

So after that, I pulled the plugs again, everything looked perfect!   I also pulled the dipstick, and as I expected, the oil smelled of gas.   So I did an early oil change to get that out of the sump for the next drive....

And disaster:

I cut open the oil filter to find not only the expected swarth from the engine rebuild, but a worrying amount of dirt and metallic flake, not small ones either.   It seems the filter did it's job, and it was mostly in here rather than that metallic-paint sheen to the oil from the pan, but there was a lot in here.  About 30% of the filter pleats were clean, but the rest had a bunch of this stuff crammed in there.

I'm very conflicted, the optimist in me says it's just all the crap in the bottom end of cleaning and prepping the engine.  On the other hand, running it with fuel as a lubricant could have done damage to the bearings, or worse.

I put fresh oil and a new filter on, bled the brakes, and took it for another drive.  Smoking was all but gone, and the oil smelled 'right' after the drive.  So I'm assuming I fixed the injector issue, hopefully not too late.  Brakes are still hot garbage, even without air in the system, I'm going to look at replacing the master cylinder.

I'm going to sleep on it, but already looking to see if I can find a new engine before the event at the end of the month.


rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/15/21 8:18 p.m.

So a 'deal' came up on FacespaceMarketspaceplace where someone was selling a running KA24DE....   So just in case, I hitched up Ron Burgandy The LandOozer, and drove up north of Dulles to load up a 'spare' engine/trans/radiator/fans/header/driveshaft/ECU/MAF etc.

Most parts seem to be in better shape than the crap I have installed.


So I'm guessing the plan is to try and put some miles on the car tomorrow, pull the oil filter, cut it open:

  • If it's all sparkly in there, bail and swap in this new motor
  • If it's still good, keep the existing engine, and pray it holds together for the weekend. 

At a minimum I'm swapping the radiator over, since it has better fans, and will actually work with S13 radiator support brackets.

As a bonus, this is the longest trip I've taken the old FJ62 on without blowing a random old rubber coolant hose, so it's earning some more trust to run around the area.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/16/21 7:44 p.m.
rallyxPOS13 said:

So I’d throw a new set of intake valves, no machine work, a good gasket kit, and a hard cleaning, twist the key and pray!

Dear Matt-from-the-past,

You're an idiot.

-Future Matt

So, with a heart full of optimism, and a radar screen full of rain, I went to Vatozone to get some wipers for the car, and with those fitted, I did a flog around the neighborhood with the real oil in it.  After that, I figured the motor had a similar amount of run time as the first go-around. Yanked the oil filter and....



The filter was full of dirt, rust, and sparkly newly 'clearanced' metal.  Something's pissed, and not long for this mechanical world....


Let's see what's behind door #2!


Having learned some sort of lesson from all of this, I checked the oil filter on the 'new' motor:

Filthy and well past it's change date.... but otherwise intact, without the sparkly glitter that's been keeping me up at night.

Guess now all that's left before the event in 12 days is:

  • Remove engine/trans
  • Swap over S13 intake mani, distributor, and temp senosor onto S14 block
  • Change leaky main seal
  • Swap White Bunny kit over to new engine
  • Install new trans with B&M shifter
  • Modify wire harness for passenger side fender mount MAF with new engine
  • Remove FUBAR'd brake fitting so I can swap over new brake master cylinder
  • Bleed/adjust clutch
  • Try to source stock S13 suspension locally
  • Break-in/troubleshoot ... everything
  • Sleep
  • Race


rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/18/21 8:57 p.m.

Hopping on for a minute while avoiding dealing with the exxon-valdez sized slick of distilled water and transmission fluid under the car right now!


New motor torn apart from the trans, and intake manifold removed.  Only hiccup I've encountered so far is an impressive amount of oil in each spark plug hole....  Guess I should have tried to pull the plugs before I bought it.  Internal part of the plugs looks good, cylinder walls seem OK from peaking in there, valves look OK, and cam wear looks fantastic...  So I'm under the impression the previous owner used all the foot-lbs to install the valve cover gasket, since I need impact to remove the bolts.   Or maybe the cylinder rings are gone, not sure I can be bothered to care at this point.

Full send mode, as the kids may or may not be saying these days cool

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/21/21 2:59 p.m.

Well, I'm stuck on a strange issue on pilot bearings....


The S14 block seems to have a half millimeter smaller pilot hole in the crankshaft, and it's not making this fun...  Since I have a drawer marked "Clarkson" in my toolbox, I've broken two pilot bearings trying to install, and the last one looked like a mushroom. (Bottom in pic, top pulled from S13 motor)

The one in my clutch kit just shattered... the soft bronze ones swell, and that reduces the ID of the bushing to where I can't install the clutch alignment tool.


I don't own a lathe, so this may just somehow get chucked in a drill or dremel and sanded down to fit...

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/22/21 9:50 p.m.

So I walked into the auto parts store that had some pilot bearings in stock, and the kid behind the counter said, "we have 4 in stock from different vendors, which one would you like?"  

"All of them"

So I measured them all out of the box, and it's all S13 sized, I then also threw them in the freezer to see if I could get them to shrink up to the correct size....  no bueno

Oh!  I didn't even mention how painful it was to remove the mangled one that was initially in the crank.  It wouldn't come out with the slide hammer, I was watching the end of the crank deflect with no movement of the bushing, so I decided to do the same thing to 'cut' a bearing off a differential, where you cut 90% of the way through the profile, then whack it with a hammer to use the hoop stress to break it.   I was terrified of damaging the crank, so I just held a jigsaw blade in my hand, and slowly sawed a notch in the pilot bushing, then hit it with a small screwdriver and a hammer to break it:

Anyway, back to the 7th ring of pilot bushing hell.  This had cost two days of measuring, testing, buying, and nothing was working out.  So I did what any idiot who's running out of time would do: Chucked it in the drill with a random bit that happened to be a slight interference fit with the ID, and grabbed a socket, wrapped some sand paper around it, and slowly ground down the OD until it would fit.

The socket made it easy for the only point of contact to be a line, and I was able to slowly roll the sandpaper to always have new 'grit' as the pilot bushing spun.


Anyway, all of this mostly worked, I didn't really know where to stop... the S13 one was a mild interference fit, so I couldn't keep going to my caliper measured dimension, or it would be too loose of a fit.  So anyway, I stopped too soon, and while it drove into the crank just fine, the ID was smooshed, and the clutch alignment tool was tight.

At this point, I invented several new curse words, threw some things, and got back to what I should have just done in the first place, and grabbed the Dremel.

Turns out the yellowish colored grinding bit is the exact outer diameter of a 240SX transmission input shaft.  Very slowly, so the bit wouldn't catch and shear off, I carefully eyeballed my 9 axis milling machine of redneckery and cleaned out the ID so the trans would fit.

Blind rage didn't allow for much picture taking, but the good news is that as of tonight, the 'new' motor is in with transmission attached. I've got the exhaust re-attached, drive shaft on, distributor wired up, throttle cable attached, radiator installed and filled, and wrong-fender-intake system mocked up

It's too late to start it, so for tomorrow night, I'm going to wire it up, figure out how the intake is supposed to fit, put in fresh fluids, and see if this motor is any less of a diaster than the first one!

6 days to RallyCross frown

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