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View Full Version : Looking into tracking a 240...


sscguy
07-11-2003, 06:34 PM
Here's the deal: my brother wants to get into going to the track, and he's absolutely in love with 240SX's, he had a '95 but sold it due to insurance...complications (6 points, 19 years old, yow!). Now he's thinking about going with an older S13 as a track-only car. Among other things, he wants to swap in an SR20, Z32 brakes, suspension (not sure what yet), and possibly a rollbar. We're looking at some dirt cheap ones (How does $450 sound to start?), but I'm having trouble finding reputable places for the SR20. It seems a front clip would be the best way to go, what with all the necessary hardware, ECU, intercooler, etc. available that way, so if anyone knows of a really stand-up place, that'd be super helpful.

Also, how do you all like the SR20-240 on the track? Any particular suggestions or warnings about that setup? Thanks very much for the help.

Adam

jmauld
07-12-2003, 09:00 PM
Here's what I would do.

Buy the following items:
- racing pads
- Performance brake fluid
- Brembo OEM replacement rotors
- new shocks/struts
- a good helmet

Install those things and do every bit of routine maintenance that you can think of. Spend a year on track, and then decide if you want to do more mods or get into racing.

In comparison to a stock NA car, Turbo's are difficult to maintain on track and require A LOT of attention to detail. They are also a great way to frustrate you and make you give up. Get used to being on track first, then spend money on mods later.

sscguy
07-13-2003, 09:58 AM
I agree with you entirely, and that's actually the route that I'm going with my own car. For his though, we might have to starting with such a POS it would be unsafe to track it, so some upgrades (Z32 brakes for example) might be done earlier than usual. From what I've been able to tell, stock springs and shocks are sorta soft, and from personal experience with stock and aftermarket setups, just skip the stock stuff to begin with. As for the engine though, you say it requires extra attention to detail, how so? For that we might hold off if it's too much of a pain in the *** to begin with.

jmauld
07-13-2003, 01:24 PM
Okay, here's my view on the suspension. It's easy to pick out aftermarket suspension pieces that will increase the handling of the car. However, it's not so easy to keep the car as forgiving as the stock suspension is. Forgiveness is pretty important when you're on track and you just made a small mistake at 80mph. It could be the only thing keeping you out of a tirewall.

I jumped in feet first for my first time out on track. If I had it to do over, I would seriously consider taking a stock car, just so I can concentrate on my driving and not so much on the car.

I would however do the things that will make you comfortable with putting the car on track. If you need the z32 brakes and a rollbar, then they would definitely be beneficial and won't hurt you when starting out.

Turbo's put a lot more stress on an engine as opposed to a non-modified NA engine. You just have to pay more attention to the cooling system, headgasket and pretty much everything else under the hood of the car. I'm not suggesting that whatever engine you have can't handle it, just something to be considered and budgetted for.

sscguy
07-14-2003, 10:13 AM
I understand what you say about the suspension. The only issue with that is that the suspension on the car will most likely have upwards of 150,000 miles on it, and will be quite junky. As for the turbo, I'm talking about a stock SR20DET, not a modified KA24. Whatever the case for the setup, my primary concern is getting him some track time. Thanks for the help by the way.

AKADriver
07-14-2003, 11:24 AM
A stock SR will have no problems, provided you properly set up the cooling system. That means an SR-specific radiator with the inlet on the driver's side (stock JDM is fine), stock fan and fan shroud. Other than that, those engines have no issues with heat and stress at stock pressure.

If you're concerned about worn suspension wear making the car unstable, based on personal experience, subframe spacers and tension rods make the biggest differences on a tired car. If your brother doesn't have much track experience, when you replace the struts and springs, stick with something soft but balanced like Whiteline springs. The rates are only 50% higher than stock so weight transfer will still be easily felt, but the car will be nicely more aggressive (and not sagging). Match with KYB AGX and set the dampers where you feel comfortable.

sscguy
07-14-2003, 05:24 PM
The cooling system was one of my concerns, and I thought the SR20-spec radiator would be necessary given the extra heat of the turbo. I did want him to have something not too radical suspension-wise, no triple adjustable coilovers or anything. I'll look into that combination (Whiteline and KYB), are there many options available, or does whiteline make one spring that fits the 240? Also, while not a concern right now, are there any big benefits to different sized rollbars? I have no idea how they are on the 240s.

AKADriver
07-14-2003, 06:39 PM
Whiteline only makes one spring set for each generation of 240SX. if you want something slightly more aggressive but similar, go with Tein's S.Tech spring, the one they offer in the US.

Sway bars... it depends. If you get a 240SX with HICAS I wouldn't bother. I'm upgrading my base 240SX's bars (24mm front, 15mm rear) to the HICAS car sway bars (25mm front, 21mm rear). Aftermarket bars are typically 27-29mm front and 20-22mm rear. The only reason I'd go aftermarket would be the adjustable Whiteline sway bars.

sykikchimp
07-15-2003, 03:09 PM
I am assuming by getting him on track, you mean a road course, as in HPDE's?

If so, I recommend getting the brakes done how you like. 300zx brakes are a great option simply b/c they are almost as cheap as just fixing up your stock hardware., and repairing whatever might be broken. Leave everything else stock. If the struts aren't blown, don't replace them. Send him out on the set of all-season tires it probably will already have on it. Let him get his feet wet with a SLOW car, that handles in a SAFE manner.

I ran my first 2 events on the stock suspension, and very talkative Kumho Ecsta 712's, and it saved my as$ on multiple occasions. Most Instrutors prefer you have less modifications when you are learning b/c everything happens slower, so when you make a mistake, its easier to correct, and hurt yourselves or the car.

After he gets a couple events under his belt, get some tires, and someway to remove the 115 speed-limiter, and rev-limiter.

And I always say it's NEVER too early to put safety gear in the car.. i.e. Roll bar, harnesses, seats, etc..

IMHO - There is no need to put an SR in the car. Unless it's going to be a street/hpde toy ONLY.. If you put an SR in it, there will be nowhere for you to ever race it. There are no race series in NA that allow JDM engine swaps in 240's. I've looked.

AKADriver
07-15-2003, 03:16 PM
Well, it sounds like he intends to buy a very tired car, which is why he wants to immediately replace the engine and suspension.

My stock 140,000 mile engine and suspension are still fine for HPDEing though... just the tension rod bushings really went bad.

jmauld
07-15-2003, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by sykikchimp
Let him get his feet wet with a SLOW car, that handles in a SAFE manner.

I ran my first 2 events on the stock suspension, and very talkative Kumho Ecsta 712's, and it saved my as$ on multiple occasions. Most Instrutors prefer you have less modifications when you are learning b/c everything happens slower, so when you make a mistake, its easier to correct, and hurt yourselves or the car.

Thank you! That's exactly the same point I was trying to get across.


IMHO - There is no need to put an SR in the car. Unless it's going to be a street/hpde toy ONLY.. If you put an SR in it, there will be nowhere for you to ever race it. There are no race series in NA that allow JDM engine swaps in 240's. I've looked. [/B]
I haven't looked at it closely, but check out the NASA Racing Super Unlimited class. A SR20 swapped 240sx might fit into that class??? I honestly haven't looked at the class close enough to know though.

sscguy
07-16-2003, 05:26 AM
Yes, it will be strictly a street/HPDE toy, no actual racing with it, so the SR20 won't be a problem as far as class goes. As for starting slow, I also want him to start slow, and more than that I want him to be safe. I guess you'd have to see the ****crates we've checked out to fully understand this suspension issue. Blown shocks are an understatement in most cases, so even from a safety standpoint, that's something that we need to address. I'm hoping the motor will be at least running, because I would like him to not start with the power of the SR20, get more of a feel for the car. I do agree with all of you, safety first, track time before mods, etc. In this particular case though, certain mods are almost necessary just to get the car to the track (brakes, struts, etc.). Thanks for all the input as well, this is very helpful.

sykikchimp
07-16-2003, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by jmauld
I haven't looked at it closely, but check out the NASA Racing Super Unlimited class. A SR20 swapped 240sx might fit into that class??? I honestly haven't looked at the class close enough to know though.

Well.. you are correct, it does fit there.. I should have said, there aren't any racing series that I would consider that would allow it. I had asked about that on the NASA forums a while back. Not really sure if you could be competitive though. Thats a series you could throw a TON of money at and still never podium.

TBreu007
07-17-2003, 06:09 PM
In NASA's unlimited class in Florida, you'd be running against 600+hp $200,000 911 turbo race cars, GT cars and other monsters that don't fit into any other traditional category.

If my ITS 240sx isn't competitive, I'm fully building a SR20DET, slapping on some monster brakes, full gumballs and smoking some super rich guys in Porsches :)

sykikchimp
07-18-2003, 07:23 AM
lol.. now that would be a site. :bowdown: :bowdown: