It’s too freaking hot over here in Norcal. It shouldn’t even be this hot this time of the year. Well hot weather can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse because I can’t work on the motor outside, but it’s a blessing because I get to catch up with Fitted Life inventory, design, and of course catching up with the Fitted Life blog to provide our readers updates from our side of the motor work. So let’s flash back to last weekend.
A shot above shows the finished crankshaft install with the ARP main studs which hold the main bearing cap in. The ARP studs are of the greatest quality and they’re well known in the racing industry. What I also liked was that ARP utilized a different style of securing the main bearing cap to the cylinder block compared to stock. With the stock version, to tighten down the main bearing cap, you would have to secure the cover with drop in bolts. With the ARP design, it utilized a double female end stud and allowed me to easily drop the main beam in with the studs in place and secure it with ARP nut fasteners. This also allowed for precise fitment and ease of installation without worrying about stripping the cylinder block threads.
Of course, it is highly recommended to switch to ARP fasteners at the cylinder head-block mating surface. This critical place is the heart of combustion. If you have failing hardware, chances of a blown head gasket or a warped head can occur which will result in engine failure. As with the main studs, the head studs utilize the same methodology to secure the cylinder head to cylinder block. The ARP fasteners allowed me to drop the head onto the block easily without worrying about incorrect placement or misalignment.
Because of my power and race guidelines for the S14, I wanted to ensure my cooling was top notch. I purchased a NISMO thermostat which opens at 62°C versus stock which opens at 76.5°C (roughly 143.6°F vs. 169.7°F). This will allow me to quickly cool the motor under heavy loads of operation. I’ve read the forums on why some go against this mod, but to me, having the ability to alter the thermostat point gives me insurance that even as the motor is being driven harder, I know my cooling system can quickly react to the situation. Sure, ramp up to operating temperature may require a bit more time, but it’s worth the patience.
So here’s how the engine looked before the insanity. It was a blessed sight to see after one month of tinkering with the motor. For those of you wondering, the paint I used for the valve cover and the engine block was VHT Metallic Burnt Copper. I stole the idea for the color choice from these uber bad ass youtubers called Poor Man Mods. These guys work on all types of cool projects and they even had a sweet KA24DE build video that I used for reference. Hit them up for more cool vids.
So here’s another shot of the KA and I wish there was more light out so you could see the metallic shine better. Unfortunately however, as I later found out, aluminum needs a correct primer (zinc chromate primer to be exact) for paint to stick. I’ll have to redo the timing cover, valve cover, and the manifold to ensure the paint doesn’t peel off. I’ll elaborate more in a future post.
So here’s a little funny setup that most of you may or may not know. This clutch setup is based off a forum member named s14turbose and the “white bunny” name is in reference to his 98 S14 turbo SE. With our stock KAs, the stock flywheel is 225mm and according to s14turbose, the 1990 to 1997 Nissan D21 pickup utilized a flywheel that could be installed on the 240SX with minor modifications. The D21 flywheel could fit the KA spline and offered a larger flywheel surface at 240mm which gave us more surface for the clutch to grab. The OE style D21 setup is rated to hold up to 400HP whereas the six puck alternative is rated to hold up to 500HP. I opted for the six puck as it’ll give me leverage just in case I break the power goal I have in mind.
Also, don’t mind the titanium exhaust wrap on the stock manifold. Though it looked like a bad ass setup it was short lived as I never got the motor in before the event at FAME. So no bueno, but I’ll save it for keeps when it comes time to do the biannual traditions that California likes to play with us car fanatics.
As of now the motor is pulled once again and that white bunny setup is now uninstalled and resting on my living room carpet. Time to tackle the KA engine once again.