Project Defiant1: The KA-Engine Build
By Justin Banner
With time ticking and the S12 not getting much of anywhere, it's going to be amazing if Defiant1 and I reach our goal. I can tell you that the time frame is long gone, major changes have been made for time, and some stuff will have to be put on the back burner for the time being. Between not being able to use the shop where I work to work on the car, to delays on getting the car home, and to waiting my turn in my Father's sign shop that's a converted farmer's storage place, it's a wonder I'm even off the ground! However, this isn't a sob, feel sorry for me, crap story and it never will be. Defiant1 is here to encourage you to get out there, drive, race, and have fun with your car, no matter the difficulties, obstacles, or even if it's a 1987 Nissan 200SX!
When I started this build, I had one thing in mind, a reliable engine producing 350 Horsepower. The idea to use a supercharger and the KA24E was thought to be a great ticket. I knew other KA's that had made that power reliably, so why shouldn't the KA24E? Well, you see, there is a reason why the KA24E was only used for one or two years in the 240SX. It doesn't handle combustion heat well, at all. This makes it prone to engine destroying detonation. When you combine that with the poor thermal efficiency of a roots supercharger, you basically end up with what we like to call a Certifiably Legit Time Bomb.
|What you see is, well, not quite all of it. For $100, it isn't bad!|
So a new plan of action was called and after a consultation from Mike Kojima and Clark Steppler of Jim Wolf Technology a supplying sponsor of Defiant1, and searching the MotoIQ Engine Database (read: Craigslist), I found a partial KA24DE for $100. You West Coast guys are probably saying to yourself, “You only found a partial one for $100, you got ripped!” Welcome to Virginia, my friends! Housing's a little cheaper, but good luck with that Japanese car of yours that isn't a Honda! Specifically, in this region of Virginia, where Detroit Iron and Drag Racing are still popular. You're actually kind of weird if you don't own a Pickup of some kind.
|Remember, if anyone asks, it's a TRUCK ENGINE!|
Anyhow, we're getting off track, I picked up that truck engine and did score a few parts to help convert the front accessory drives to work with an S chassis while I was there. Upon returning, I called up a machine shop and was able to get the engine bored out. Here was the first obstacle after getting the car home. A little bit of advice, make sure you get a price in writing before you drop off your engine block. What I thought I had agreed upon was $85 to just bore and hone the block became a $171 hot tank cleaning, hone, and bore job. I had agreed to the cleaning, just not the jump in price, oh, well. At least the engine gets cleaned out better!
|$171 later, I come back with this. Not bad, except I paid more than I expected.|