Project Infiniti G20 (P10) AWD Turbo: Part 1 – Project Day Drinking
gray 90s charcoal-colored nissan sedan, front left 3/4 view, bronze wheels
This picture was taken back in 15+ years ago, but she still looks exactly the same. Peep the JDM amber corner lights, FMIC, and super rare 4-lug Nismo LMGT4 wheels!

Backstory: when I was 16, I bought a front-wheel drive, 140 hp, automatic ’93 Infiniti G20. Over the years, I modified the hell out of it: a built SR20DE+T making about 230 WHP on low boost, a 5-speed manual swap, and a ton more.

When all this accident stuff went down, I was 33 and still had the G20. I had always wanted to do an all-wheel drive conversion on it, as the non-US market P10 Nissan Primera T4 came AWD from the factory, but it was such an overly complex and overly expensive proposition to collect all the necessary parts that I never bothered to pursue it.

 

vehicle shell sitting in a backyard somewhere
When your wife says “I bought a car!” she might mean this, especially if she’s me.

So, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed on that fateful Thursday and saw a random connection from my Infiniti G20/Nissan Primera groups had posted a photo of a shell… and it was a ’92 Nissan Primera T4… and it was already in the US… and it was for sale!!! After I confirmed it had most of the parts I’d need (axles, driveshaft, rear suspension, various odds and ends, etc.) I drunkenly messaged him an offer on it, he accepted, and I immediately dropped the cash in his PayPal account.

 

In less than 15 minutes total, I had made a very good very bad decision. I quickly realized, though, that the car was located in Washington state and I was in Georgia. Yeah, it cost more to ship the shell to me than it did to buy it, but at least I had a plethora of parts to finally make my teenage dreams come true!

My husband was working on Project SC300 with Tom Stumpf that day, and that evening when he came home and we talked, I told him that I had bought a car. He, of course, assumed I meant a replacement for the Miata… Hahaha NOPE!! I told him what had transpired, and he was incredibly supportive. He knows I’ve wanted to do this swap for years, and I was grateful that he didn’t tell me I was a moron. ‘Cause I kinda am. [Erik’s note: She is not a moron. She’s not turning an SC300 into a race car. You all know who the dumber-er one is.]

 

gray 90s charcoal-colored nissan sedan, right side view, parked in front of a lake
Fun fact: the Primera T4 shell that I bought had been imported as a fully operational vehicle, but it was rear-ended while the former owner was on his way to sell it. Ironic and totally sucky for him, but a great opportunity for me.

A few weeks later, the T4 shell arrived. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it, or how I was going to actually make everything happen.

I was talking to my husband and commented about how I ‘just want to write the checks and enjoy the finished product and let someone else deal with the headaches of figuring it out’ and he – either generously or stupidly, probably both – commented how he loves the process of doing exactly that.

Without realizing what he was getting into, he got voluntold for the job and we began the process of me being the first (known) idiot in the history of the world to convert a FWD Primera to AWD instead of just doing things the smart/easy way and starting with the AWD to begin with.

The first task was finding a shop that would be willing to do the work. After asking around and chasing down several leads, we found a place about an hour away that agreed to take on my project and I had the shell shipped over to them.

14 comments

  1. I spent a lot of time on G20.net back in the day when I had my P10. Somehow even among all those Primera enthusiasts I never learned about an AWD P10. This checks a lot of boxes for me being out in Colorado, will be following this closely because I might just have to copy you.

    1. What was your username on Gnet? I was SR20DETg20girl. Small word. And I highly recommend NOT following me… just buy a T4 to start with and save yourself the headaches/cash. 😉

  2. OMG. I have to check with my friend as that actually might have been his old Z4M. did it have chrome wheels when you bought it?

    1. No, it had the factory M wheels. It belonged to an older gentleman, even though it came from a dealership I have his name and info. Woulda been a cool “small world” story if not, though!

  3. OI!

    Where is Part II?! I read this with much interest and then… cliff hanger!

    I can’t wait to read more about yr G20 so hurry up! 😀

    1. I can’t wait to read more, too! 😂 Hopefully we can get another update posted soon… the shop that has the car now had made some good progress (rear end in, etc) but then Covid came and shut down the supply chain so things have been on hold yet again. Supposedly they’re starting work on it again in the next couple weeks. Fingers crossed!

    1. As tempting as that is… no. 😄 I’ve already got a RWD N/A car and a (soon to be) AWD turbo car both for road racing so I’m thinking now I need a supercharged drag car… *evil laugh*

  4. Nice build, i was lucky to buy an original T4 eGT saloon from the netherlands. One day i hope to do an sr20det build aswell. So far away and the same passion for a p10, great!!!

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