For the uninitiated Nissan enthusiast, the Nissan 240SX is essentially an updated version of the beloved 90s street racer, the Nissan Silvia. With its lightweight body and great rear wheel drive, it is no wonder why the 240SX and Silvia are both considered some of the best drifting cars.
Because of that drifting heritage, the 240SX and Silvia are often customized to tear up the streets. From drivetrain mods to power mods, there are so many ways to make your 240SX unique. Here are 8 of most popular ways that you can modify your Nissan 240SX:
1. Swapping The Engine
The first way that 240SX car owners are upgrading their rides is replacing their older stock KA24E engine with a KA24DE engine. The KA24E was a 2.4L, 12-valve engine with a single overhead cam that was in the 240SXs before 1991. The KA24DE engine is much more powerful engine found in later 240SX models that was a 2.4L DOHC Engine.
Comparing the two is like night and day, with the KA24DE having a larger horsepower and torque output. So, if you’re looking for an immediate and powerful modification, think about replacing your 240SX’s engine.
2. Weight Reduction
The 240SX is already on the lower weight end amongst vehicles in its class, but if you look into reducing the weight on your 240SX, you’ll turn it into a monster on the road. There are several ways that you can lower your weight depending the model of 240SX you have.
For the S13 model, some of the biggest reductions you can modify are: the A/C compressor, condenser, reservoir, and piping at 29.2 lbs, the spare tire and wheel at 28 lbs, and the back seats at 20.8lbs. For the S14 model, some of the biggest reductions you can modify are: the Hood at 47 lb, the Stock Electric Sunroof at 24 lb, and the Drive Shaft at 19 lbs.
3. Strengthening The Chassis
Now that you’ve lowered the weight on your 240SX, you’ll need to make sure it’s strengthened for when you take on the tight turns and long straights. There are a couple of ways that you can strengthen your 240SX’s chassis. One of those ways is to add strut bars to prevent any chassis flex from occurring.
Another way you can strengthen your chassis is to stiffen the back end of your chassis with either a C-Pillar reinforcement bar or lower rear tie bar. One last way is to affix a roll cage in your car if you’re looking to really tear up your 240SX.
4. Adding Shocks And Springs
However you want to drive to your 240SX, upgrading its suspension will be a well worth investment, and adding custom shocks and springs to your suspension can improve your ride immediately. Shocks help to keep your springs from bouncing around, and springs determine how high your car is.
As a general rule, stiffer, lower springs offer better weight transfer when taking on tight corners, however you’ll sacrifice a bit of ride comfort when driving it around daily. If you choose to go with these stiffer, lower springs, check out new shocks that will support those lower springs.
5. New Sway Bars
Similar to strengthening the chassis, sway bars strengthen your vehicle’s suspension by connecting the opposite wheels together through short lever arms and a torsion spring. If you decide to upgrade your 240SX’s sway bar, you’ll increase the suspension’s roll stiffness, which will improve its roll resistance, especially through turns.
New stabilizer bars are a great way to improve your vehicle’s drifting ability on tight turns and can help you power through longer turns. When looking for a new sway bar, consider the adjustability and front clearance of it since these factors can either hinder or improve your performance depending on your goals for your 240SX. A final note about sway bars is that choosing the right sway bar can reduce your car’s weight by 10-20 lbs.
6. New Brakes
Even though brakes are often later on the list of modifications, they are nonetheless very important. Your stock front wheel brakes are sometimes not enough to stop you quickly when you’re going at high rates of speed. It is crucial that think through all parts of your brake system to upgrade when modifying your vehicle.
From pads to rotors, and from brake lines to brake fluid, all parts of your brake system should be checked before you go on hooning adventure. There are many options for brakes, but a popular option is the Z32 front brakes, which can be found at sites like Enjuku Racing.
7. Changing The Differential
The next modification for your 240SX is changing out your rear differential. The rear differential allows you to draw more power from the rear wheels. One popular way to change up your differential is to add a VLSD or a Helical LSD. A VLSD stands for a Viscous Limited Slip Differential, and it works by heating and expanding a thick fluid, which locks the your rear plates together.
A Helical LSD has gears, which are cut in order to turn the gears, mesh them together, and transfer that power to the tire for more traction. Unlike the VLSD, the Helical LSD does not lock the plates, and a major benefit to the Helical LSD almost never wears out.
8. Upgrading The Ignition and Fuel Management
One last modification that you should consider for your 240SX is upgrading the ignition and fuel management. The ignition and fuel management systems in your 240SX engine factor a great deal into your overall performance. There are several available types of modifications for the Nissan 240SX.
These include adding a MAF, or mass airflow meter or a FMU, or Fuel Management Unit; upgrading the ignition systems and spark plugs; replacing the stock engine control unit, or ECU; adding an engine tuner like a Piggyback Computer or a Daughterboard. All of these modifications will help get your engine running at peak performance.