Project Defiant1: Introduction & Concepting

Project Defiant1: Introduction & Concepting
By Justin Banner


When I first bought this $250 S12, I intended to use it as a Rallycross car, but it just remained an idea. I let the car sit until I finally got a better job working as a service writer at a local garage. With the CA20E never really running right, I tossed it and though for a while the idea of a CA20E with a CA18DE head played around in my brain, the cost would have been too much for an engine that wouldn't make much power. While I got rid of the engine, I did keep the transmission. Why? Well, turns out that the front half of the transmission from a KA24 engine will work on the rear half of the CA20 transmission. So, I performed a “bellhousing” swap from a junk KA transmission I had lying around on to the FS5W71C transmission. Both it and the KA24E are sitting, waiting for their new home along with an Eaton M90 Supercharger from a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, no turbos for this car!

Currently how Project Defiant1 sits, sort of.  It is at the shop with the engine and transmission out.
It's amazing what fits on these S12s from other S-chassis cars.

However, the first thing I want to document is the Goal of Defiant1 and it's pretty simple and hot rod-ish, “have a brutal street car that I can take to a drift event and slide it around, or take to a track day and have some fun.” See, simple. I have ideas of swapping a V8 into this car and I may still do it in the future, but if I do it won't be a Chevy going in! No, sir, I'm going against the grain here, why stick in something that everyone is putting in? However, the project is simple and cheapish, so it won't be a Nissan V8 going in, either. If I do a V8 swap, I'm doing a push rod, Windsor built Ford V8! I may use the 351 cubic inch version, but I may go with the 302 cubic inch icon, the “5.0.” Time will tell, so don't hold your breath on it just yet. Hell, I may even do something weird, like use a SHO V6, but again don't hold your breath yet. The KA24E will stay in and be there for a while.

You can't deny this wouldn't look cool in the engine bay of the S12.

Speaking of the engine, the KA24E is one of the first items I'm looking at when it comes to making Defiant1 unique and “against the grain.” In the plans for this first iteration of Defiant1 I will use the Generation III Eaton M90 supercharger sourced from a L67 GM 3.8L V6 to improve the KA24E's torque and power short-comings. Supercharging engines is nothing new, but I am looking at a past Toyota to not only make it powerful, but also a little more efficient as well! I will design a system similar to the supercharged Toyota MR-2 AW11 chassis and use an electromagnetic clutch to engage it when I want more power! It will come from a simple switch that I will put on the shifter, just like the modified Ford Falcon XB GT seen in the Mad Max series of films! The plan is when I push that button, the circuit will ground and engage the electromagnetic clutch and secondary injectors and feature an intercooler between it and the intake manifold, I may even splurge on a water/methanol injection system!

However, for now the KA24E will be the engine powering my S12.  This isn't it, though Ford Blue does look good on that block!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *