View Full Version : Trying to talk a friend out of a Z32 and into an S13/14...

02-13-2002, 06:14 AM
I have a friend with an '89 Mustang GT convertible. He's getting tired of the
poor seals in the convertible top when it rains. It also handles like a dog. I've
been able to outcorner him in my stock '99 maxima, and even that doesn't
have all that great of a suspension.
He really likes the Z32 300ZX, and he might be able to find an NA model in
his price range. However, like most people, he wants the TT, and I know he
won't find one. I've been trying to talk him into looking at a 240SX. I know
the platform is much more nimble, but I dunno if that's a priority for him. I
also know that the 240SX can be a little on the slow side stock(135hp for a
SOHC KA, right?), but you can still turbo it or do an SR or CA swap. I've also
told him about changing the front end. He might like the S14 MC front end.

So help me out, guys. I need some good selling points for this car. I've
already got one strike against me. His fiance also has a mustang, and she
loves cruising in his GT with the top down. I really don't want to get on her
bad side.hehe

02-13-2002, 06:40 AM
Selling points huh? Lets see....Very light car (if you get the RPS13) for its size. I've compared my '89 to my cousins '90 Civic, and '86 RX-7. The 240 is about 150 lbs heavier than the civic and about 100 lbs lighter than the RX-7.

Strong aftermarket potential. Like you've already said you can turbo the KA or go with the SR, or CA. If you had more cash you can put in a VG, RB, or anything else you think up.

Very responsive handling. The 240 is known for it excellent handling.

One of the cheapest rear-wheel-drive platforms out there, and the one that in my opinion is most worth getting. (used S13's can be had for anywhere from $500 - $3500)

Race potential (A resonably high powered S13 would be able to beat on some much more expensive cars at the track assuming they were prepared correctly and had a good driver)

As for downsides....

Open differential. (most S13's don't have a LSD although one can be swapped in fairly simply)

Japanese sourced parts (because the 240 never caught on here as well as the 300zx many of the aftermarket parts we need/want have to be sourced from Japan. Also if you get the SR some parts have to come from Japan)

Low power engine. (the stock KA isn't a very exciting engine putting only 101 bhp to the ground in SOHC trim)

Can't think of any more although I'm sure I've missed a LOT of positives and a LOT of negatives. Someone else fill in if you think I left out anything important.

Edit: Just can't bear to leave typos

[ 02-13-2002, 06:43 AM: Message edited by: SR20VET ]

02-13-2002, 08:38 AM
Thanks for replying. I was in a rush to post last time, but now I've got a bit of time.

My friend was also considering and FD3S RX-7, but I think even he knows he can't afford one. I forgot about swapping in the VG engine. He might want more torque like his Mustang has, that's a good option. He could also pick up a VQ35DE from a Pathfinder. It would be a nice, torquey NA engine.
He won't really have any competition from any friends in our little circle. Other than a Civic with Greddy axles and a Clutchmaster setup, I'm the only person that can really give him a run for his money. With a stock S13, that would change, so I'm sure he'll be looking at aftermarket stuff. He also likes to powerslide every now and then. He can't do it all the well in the 'Stang, so maybe a nimble S13 will be better.
I've learned a lot about 240's just from lurking in this forum. I was already trying to talk another guy into getting an S13 for his first car, but this Mustang guy really surprised me. Even the Civic guy wants to get S14 MC lights for his car now. http://www.freshalloy.com/ I kinda wish I had an S13 now, too. Anybody wanna trade their S13 for a '99 Maxima? http://www.freshalloy.com/

02-13-2002, 09:36 AM
hehe, no trading sorry, maxi's are sweet tho, anyway you can also include better gas mileage, um yeah disorganized thoughts, im assuming hes not gunna spend over 10k cus you can find any of the cars you listed for under that, anyway, the z32 is a bigger car, so if he likes the big stang he may just be more comfortable in a z, but has he ridden in either, thats the best bet, i wanted a s13 for fun untill i drove one, its waaay to small for me, i couldnt move, but the s14 is fine, so he might just be best off trying each


02-13-2002, 03:14 PM
YellowS14 is right about the size. The biggest downfall to the S13 is that it is soo small inside. I'm not all that tall (5'9'' at the most) so it doesn't bother me but seeing my 6'2'' brother try to drive my car is hysterical. He has to hunch over like that tall dude in the tiny car on the simpsons (I know somone will know what episode I'm talking about.)

As for having torque any nissan engine will put out very good torque. SR20DET's have almost the same torque and bhp numbers (205 bhp 203.5 lbs/ft). KA's put out more torque than bhp (SOHC 101bhp to the wheels 119lbs/ft to the wheels). If he is on a limited budget I'd say go for a turbo engine. If you can find a low milage DOHC for a good price then turboing the KA should be the cheapest option, if you look around you could probally find a high milage SOHC or one with a blown engine for dirt cheap (blown ones are usually under $1000 with no rust) and then swap in the SR. They money spent cramming a VG or VQ into the S13 chassis would be better spent making power with the KA or SR.

If you have an unlimited budget then that of course is a different story. A VG30DETT has more power potential than an SR20DET or a KA24DE+T simply because it's a bigger engine. Starting out with a big power advantage adoesn't hurt either.

I'd say see if he fits into an S13 and then sell him on the handling while mentioning the potential power of the car. If he likes the S13 but is a little too big for it then get him into the S14. If he's more interested in the power and image that go along with the Z32 then let him have fun with that. I'm personally a Silvia and Skyline fan but Fairladys are still VERY nice cars.

02-13-2002, 04:48 PM
Well I have another friend that is trying to steer him toward a 240SX as well. This guy could probably fit inside an S13. I'm about 6' even, and he's a bit shorter than me, maybe 5'11. Thanks for all these replies. You guys are really helpful. I actually spend more time here than in the forum for Maximas.hehe:rolleyes:

I know this guy would like the looks of the S14 better too, and so would his fiance. I mean, hey, it even looks newer! He might want to just turbo the engine if he can find a local shop to do it. I don't know if he'd want to deal with an engine swap. Which do you think would have more downtime? Turbocharging the KA or installing an SR or CA?

The guy looking for a first car is pretty much sold on an S13, ever since I showed him the JDM front end. He just has to save up and find one. I've already told him to check out this forum and browse it, just so he can learn some stuff. I should tell the Mustang guy too. http://www.freshalloy.com/

02-13-2002, 09:31 PM
I would guess that turboing the KA would be quicker. I'm planning on my engine swap taking somewhere around 1 month just to pull out the old engine, put the new one in, and get everything running right.

While I'm at it I'm seriously considering stripping my car to the frame and rebuilding it replacing all worn parts in the process. This way I'll have intimate knowledge of exactly how my car is put together and I'll know exactly where each peice is. A side benefit is that I should be able to get rid of most if not all of the random rattling and squeaking in my car, and I'll be able to search the car for any signs of rust and rust proof the entire chassis.

Once I finally have my car back on the road after all of this it will be like new. Every wear-able part on the chassis will be new, it will have a fairly new engine, fairly new transmission, and new front body panels (they'll probally be damaged but I'll fix them). By then hopefully I'll have it ready for a new paintjob and have the cash for it.

Getting back on the subject though I'd guess that a turbo kit would take less time to install, and would cost less in labor. Yury and Jeff of HeavyThrottle/SRswap charge $1500 for labor to swap in an SR, add $2400 for a red-top from them and your now up to $3900 for just the engine. You still need exhaust, IC, IC piping, BOV, downpipe, and whatever random parts need to be replaced. I'd figure $5000 bare minimum to have someone else install an SR.

02-15-2002, 07:30 AM
Originally posted by SR20VET:
You still need exhaust, IC, IC piping, BOV, downpipe, and whatever random parts need to be replaced. I'd figure $5000 bare minimum to have someone else install an SR.<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial[/img]Oh yeah, thanks for mentioning that stuff. I gorgot that you'd need those things too, whether you're doing an SR or CA swap. Man, it'd be nice if there was a really good NA engine we could swap. I can only think of the Q45's V8, since my friend likes V8s.