We’re rapidly approaching F.A.M.E., a biannual event in San Jose, CA that showcases underground streetwear and start up brands emerging from California. We attended F.A.M.E. last year with a small booth and a humble selection, but this year we’re going all out. Bobbi Vie, the organizer and creator of F.A.M.E., offered us a spot to showcase one on our project cars for the event. So with that proposition locked in, we began our journey of rebuilding the S14’s heart, the KA24DE.
At this point in time, most people would say, scrap that KA and put in an SR, RB, 1JZ, 2JZ, LS1, etc. That would’ve been the easy route, but knowing us, we’re all about refining pieces into greatness. We decided to pull out the KA and rebuild it for a more powerful setup.
Engine removal can be broken into three parts: electrical, exterior engine components and drain, and pull. Before the engine can be pulled, the ECU upper and lower harness must be disconnected. Likewise, positive lines from the alternator and starter must be removed as well. Along with the power lines, negative terminals (grounds) must be disconnected from the engine. Also before all these disconnects, make sure the battery is disconnected and removed! It’s no fun business blowing fuses or getting shocked!
Before removing components drain the radiator, engine, and transmission. Aside from the engine electrical, exterior engine components such as your intake plumbing, AC compressor, heater lines, coolant lines, and fuel lines must be disconnected and/or removed. Also, make sure you drain the fuel lines by disabling the fuel pump and running the motor until it dies. If you plan on keeping the AC, just disconnect the compressor off the engine and leave it off to the side. When removing the heater hoses and coolant lines such as the upper and lower radiator hoses, make sure there is a catch pan below! Lastly, the driveshaft should be removed from the transmission so you can pull the motor and tranny out the same time. You can also remove the transmission first and then pull the motor, but we didn’t have that much space to work with so we went with the engine+transmission pull setup. Lastly, make sure the shifter is removed for ease of removal.
After the electrical and exterior engine components have been dealt with, it’s time to prep the pull. Double check that the electrical harness (upper and lower) have been completely disconnected from the engine. Also, make sure all fuel/coolant/vacuum lines have been disconnected as well. Now here’s the tricky part. Support the transmission with a jack and remove the transmission support. The only reason I did this was to keep the tension off the motor until I chained it up. Once the transmission support is off, go ahead and unbolt the nuts from the motor mount. Now get your shop crane and guide the motor out of the car. Also as a tip, try to pull the motor out and swing it slightly counterclockwise. Swinging it CC will allow you to avoid damaging the condenser fins (if you have AC) or the front of the chassis. You’ll have so much space to play with on the right side of the engine bay (exhaust side).
The engine pull is straightforward, but it does require time, elbow grease, and patience. Make sure you take your time in documenting the process so remember how to put it all back together later. For reference I used the S13 KA24DE Engine Removal Guide which I highly recommend. There are some small differences between the S13 and S14, but it’s pretty much the same. Anyways, it’s back to garage for us. Keep it fitted!