Last month saw the first round of the 2017 British Drift Championship. We are a little behind in terms of blog posts, as the start of the year didn’t quite go to plan (more on this later!). In this issue I thought I’d cover a little about my own S14, and throw together a couple of paragraphs summing up what we have been up to during the off season.
The first thing to talk about is the engine department. The engine for this year is a Straight Cam SR20DET from my previous competition car (1992 Nissan PS13 Silvia). We didn’t have the budget to go for fully forged, so a full refresh was in order. All parts were replaced with brand new, genuine OEM items, apart from where we could obtain basic upgrades. This included:
ACL Race bearings
ARP Rod bolts
ARP Head bolts
Tomei 1.2 mm Head Gasket
Tomei Pon Cams
Tomei Rocker Stoppers
Improved Solid Intercooler pipework by Race Day Developments to the GTR Intercooler
The entire bottom end balanced Inc clutch and flywheel.
Walbro 450lph fuel pump
This added to the existing:
Owen Developments GT3868HTA
Nismo 740cc injectors
Grex Oil cooler
3 inch Custom Exhaust with Jetex and Buddy Club Boxes
Rear mount radiator
With these modifications, the car needed a re-tune. This was undertaken at Protuner, where Greg Gush (The Sr20det Guru) worked his magic. The car made 350whp, which is a 50hp increase on what was achieved before the refresh.
Once the Engine was sorted it was time to turn our attention to a few other areas of the car. The new rear rad set up had been working great in the few times we had tested it over the last year. The only issue was, with such an increase in the volume of water when the temperature increased; only a small amount the pressure was enough to bypass the radiator cap, so during the off season we have added a small expansion bottle with a re-circulating and self bleed system.
During mapping, the system worked perfectly and the thermal imaging camera clearly proved that the radiator was performing well, even under an intense workout.
We also looked to improve the handling of the car with a new set of 7Twenty Monotube Coilovers, which allowed us to have much more control over the way in which the car transferred weight, and enabled us to get maximum attrition from the tyres. We will cover more about car set up in coming issues.
With the car’s new power, we made a rather last minute decision a week before our pre season test and only 2 weeks before the first round of the championship we decided to fit a Z32 300zx Gearbox.
With not much planning I ordered a conversion plate for a SR20DET to Z32 from Low Origin, a friend had a Z32 manual box from a previous project so we had the main components for the conversion to hand. After four long nights, followed by a 48 hour straight-stint in the garage (overcoming hours of unforeseen issues), we emerged from the garage a few hours late but ready to roll and hit our first practice of the year at 3 Sister’s Raceway.
We arrived early afternoon after my girlfriend's mum, Fiona, offered to tow us to the track (as she felt it wouldn't be safe after myself and Ffion being awake for so long)!
The conditions at the circuit were sketchy at best, with damp patches and intermittent showers throughout the day it was difficult to get any real testing done. However the engine was running great and the new box seemed to be working.
We had one minor issue where I had forgotten to tighten a bleed bolt on the engine and it popped out mid track, fortunately a quick tow back and re-bleed and we were up and running again!
I wanted to try and get used to the new box, especially the change from the direct close SR gear throws I had been driving with for the last 8 years box to the remote VG Shifter, I tried to hook up third a couple of times, but with the 3.9 diff and the relatively small circuit it did not seem to want to hook up as well as I would’ve liked.
By the end of the afternoon, a little frustration had crept in and I wanted to make sure third at least worked so I entered the lunar section of the track in third and clutch kicked the car until it finally broke into a drift. However, I was so offline by this stage I clipped a waterlogged foam barrier which span us across the track and into some tyres placed on the inside of the circuit.
It was my own fault, but at least I knew third worked, the car didn’t start after the crash so we loaded it up and headed home to assess the damage.
We had a week to go until BDC Round 1, and with the car back in Wales, it was time to asses the damage. The good news was the engine started, but something didn’t sound quite right, the knock to the rear left when I hit the block had smashed the rear bumper and bent the exhaust in 3 places and ripped the flexi section out.
With a couple of days to go, Hywel from Race Day Developments was able to spare a couple of hours one night for some emergency repairs.
Hywel came over to asses the damage, it was clear that the entire exhaust needed to be re shaped, and reset. Unfortunately the RDD workshop was full of awesome projects currently undergoing major work, and with no ramp available we turned to a RX7 FD loving fellow Jap enthusiast Josh, luckily he had a ramp available for us to use.
With the car in the air we set about fixing the damage, and within a couple of hours the car was ready to go.
It was time to head to BDC round 1.
Till next time, take it easy!
- Joe Ankers
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