My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Basic tech questions such as future setups, different turbo kits, car diagnosis, etc
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Alonso
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Post by Alonso » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:44 pm

I would have replaced the cracked piston and refreshed the motor with new rings,bearings, and gaskets. Done.
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Post by Theo23 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:09 pm

Alonso wrote:I would have replaced the cracked piston and refreshed the motor with new rings,bearings, and gaskets. Done.
Yeah, I hear ya man, but I'm looking to the future, and not having an engine rebuild in it.. Like I mean decades! I'll have had this car for 7 years in May, and is definitely not going anywhere (unless the insurance co buys it.. and then, still) I'm slowly building it into my dream car.. after the motor, I'd like to have it painted along with the mix of jdm/usdm aero (that I have in the shed) installed and then a set of 18" 3 piece Meister S1's. Then it will be done.. top to bottom.. well once I finish installing the bushing kit anyways.
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Post by Theo23 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:14 pm

body80 wrote:
Theo23 wrote: I'll be a one woman, and one 240 man from now on. :)
And so it begins.
I hope you can find the time to complete the project. The marriage thing can leave you with very little.
The thing hindering my garage time is working on the house.. the basement is under re-construction as we speak, and that takes a lot of my time, but I've set aside monday evenings every week along with usually one other day/eve. we'll see how she goes.
Walperstyle wrote:Trade my 65 chrysler, 84 f250, 93 f250 and 240sx for that Vette?
Not sure the old man would go for that, but I'll mention it to him :D He's busy working on it too.. trying to get it ready for NCRS judging. It won a top flight award in '90 or '91(with the previous owner) and he's going to try his hand at it this summer.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:47 pm

Hey guys, it's been far too long!! Jeepers, looking at the dates in this thread, I can't believe its been THAT long!

Looking at my last post "I've set aside monday evenings every week along with usually one other day/eve. we'll see how she goes"
That was just shy of 3 years ago!!! Well, the basement reno is done and we sold that place.

We have been busy in the mean time. My wife and I now have 2 kids that are a year and 3 weeks apart... that wasn't exactly planned. The same week we found out we were expecting our second, we also found out that an offer we put in on a house got accepted. And guess what, the house was a fixer-upper! By fixer-upper, I mean to say that we ripped out every interior wall and completely redesigned it.
We are now living in the new house, our boy is almost 21 months and our little girl is 8 months old.

I hope you guys can understand why the thread has been dead for so long.

So, I've been getting out to my dads place again, Monday evenings like last time, and have made some pretty good progress.

I can't find the shots of assembling the short block, but here are some of the progress pics thus far:

instead of searching for shims, we checked the valve lash and machined the stems to get the right numbers. Took a couple tries for a few of them, but we got them all right on spec.
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Fancy removal tool my dad machined up
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Timing is everything!
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Goodies!!
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This pic is of both the old and the new replacement guide for the right side. As everyone says, be sure to order the correct bolts for the newer guide! I didn't, but luckily my local Nissan store had them in 2 days for $2.50 each.
The one on the left is the new one.
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Painted her up today, lower timing cover on and torqued as well.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by timmmins » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:45 pm

Looking good! I've just recently joined this forum and intend on doing this very same thing to my '97! Loving the build and I'm extreeeeemely jealous of the resources you have! Congrats on the family life front too!

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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:53 pm

Hey thanks man, I am definitely blessed to have these resources! I'm sure that I wouldn't be going as far with it as I am without my dad's shop and his expertise.

Enjoy the KA-T community, there is TONS of awesome information here! Have fun with your build too. If you have questions, feel free to PM me.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:07 pm

Weekly update:

Only got a few hours in last night.. the kids didn't want to go to bed!!
Got the head on, torqued with ARP studs and a new cometic head gasket.
Also got the cams in and torqued.

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The yellow tag is connected to the cotter pin holding the tensioner spring as a reminder to remove it.
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And we're done for another day. Next week, new cam gears, upper chain, and tensioner.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:01 pm

Another week, another couple hours out at Dad's.

Finished installing the timing stuff!
New cam gears and bolts installed
New upper chain and tensioner

Also had to pull the cam caps off to lube them. (thanks to my dad for asking if I had done that.. brain fart)

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I know this may be painstakingly slow for some readers (if there are any readers), but I'm just happy there is progress happening!!

Since I only have 2 new pics this week, I thought I'd post a few from the past.

Has anyone else done a base dyno run before the turbo instal?
This is mine with just a k&n drop-in filter and a full mani-back exhaust
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And this was after the turbo install, tuning the SAFC.
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Random: The S13 Coupe I had (as pictured in an earlier post), I bought with the understanding that the engine had lost all oil (oil change gone wrong).
It wouldn't turn over in the seller's driveway so I just towed it home. When I got it home, my buddy suggests trying to start it. It actually fired up, the tow must have jarred something free. It was rattling pretty good, so I decided to touch the gas pedal, and this was the result! This is how I found it:
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:22 pm

OK 3 week update.

A VERY good friend of mine gave me this motor, and it is coming in super handy as a guide now that I'm bolting everything onto the motor.
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All finished inside the motor, and she's all buttoned up!
Rudy makes a special (sleepy) appearance in these next two shots!
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Getting some brackets on, also the frost plugs are installed (except the rear one dues to the stand.. hopefully I don't forget it!)
Just have to scrape the excess gasket maker off when it's semi-dry.
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Front shot
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Ready to start working on the engine bay soon!!!! Have lots of wiring to figure out and some re-routing of oil lines etc. I'm taking this opportunity to take full advantage of all of the tutorials people have done on things such as the fuel pump re-wire, oil distribution block etc.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by shift_down » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:37 pm

I love seeing motors pulled from a car and sitting on an engine stand.
It's like Ramen Noodles; you have a blank slate and can make it into anything you want :P

This will be sick, good luck!
Come at me bro

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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:32 pm

Thanks man, I can't wait to turn that key! The motors sole purpose for the forseeable future, is a reference guide for vacuum lines and orientations etc, but we do have some stringent emissions regulations here in Ontario so it may be used as an emissions dyno mule. We'll see about that.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by ka240de » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:00 am

I notice your cams are orange on the intake and green on the exhaust, are the s14 colours backwards from the s13 cams ? I have my orange one on the exhaust. But everything installed right and looks good.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:46 pm

ka240de wrote:I notice your cams are orange on the intake and green on the exhaust, are the s14 colours backwards from the s13 cams ? I have my orange one on the exhaust. But everything installed right and looks good.
You just made my heart sink into my stomach.. but they are right. The second pic in my first post of this thread shows them before they came out.

I do appreciate the concern tho, thanks!

Looking forward to spending a few hours out there tonight!! There may actually be a turbo mounted in the next pics.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:08 pm

I have been faithfully working on the motor once a week. I have been unfaithful in posting progress reports. Partly due to a busy schedule, but probably primarily due to the lack of excitement in the progress that has taken place. Cleaning vacuum lines isn't exactly the most exciting stuff on the internet...

After my last post, I started working on the oil pan. I had a small leak since the original turbo install that was coming from a pin hole in my oil return bung welds.
I ground it almost all the way down, re-welded, and then tested and painted it. I don't have a finished product pic, but here it is before the re-weld.
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Then an engine flip to instal the pan
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I started to get antsy to see the turbo and manifold back on, so I temporarily bolted them on.
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Time to get some real work done. I fabbed up an EGR block-off plate
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Cleaned up all of the vacuum hard lines and hoses that go onto the intake manifold
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Plenum ready to accept the lines
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So far so good. The spare motor from my friend John is a gigantic help on this one!
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Next week, more EGR elimination and instal the resistor to trick the ECU into thinking the EGR is still operating properly.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:09 pm

June update!!

Been grinding out the odd day and making progress.

The Manifold is all buttoned, hosed, and torqued up.

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Cleaned up the starter and alternator

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The alternator was doused with oil spray from when the oil puked out of the valve cover, so I decided it would be best to check it out inside. I cleaned it up the best I could, but when I went to reassemble it, the rear seal had gotten saturated by the oil, and swelled to the point of not being able to instal it. A great friend happened to have one kicking around, so we swapped seals, hoping that mine would eventually dry up and shrink back to the proper size. Just gotta get my seal back to him before I lose it!

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Did some reading up on wastegate set-up, and adjusted mine. I had it waaay too loose before. Should be more power right there!

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After all of that, The long block is all together, except for the turbo manifold, one frost plug (engine stand is still in the way), and I have to torque the crank pulley. Super happy day!!!

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Now over to the "clean" shop, where the car is, to see what we find under here:

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MOLD! tons of mold spores, especially the interior. More on that later.
The engine bay looks pretty much the same, a bit of mold on some of the rubber parts like the tie rod boots and some random spots in the bay. Shouldn't be hard to take care of that.

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Pulled the tranny and front driveshaft portion. Removed the steering rack brackets to instal energy suspension bushings on it.

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I was going to clean the bay right here, but soon realized how greasy it actually was and decided to get the bushings in, lower the car back down and push it outside to degrease it out there on the gravel.

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Now, back to the interior mold I mentioned earlier.. The entire interior will need to be removed for cleaning, ARRG!! One of the drawbacks of inside storage.. lack of fresh air. I even had the windows open a ways along with the trunk popped a bit to let the seals expand for better sealing.
So, I started with the leather mostly cause it's the easiest to remove, but also because it would be the most $$ to replace, and they are in pretty good shape.

Before:
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During:
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After:
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I'm doing a 4 step process on the leather.
Step 1:Norwex bed mattress cleaner (kills all living organisms without bleaching)
Step 2:Leather cleaner with a light duty fingernail brush then buffed with a cloth
Step 3:Leather conditioner, hand-massaged in and buffed with a cloth
Step 4:NEVER let this happen again!!!!!!

The seats are at home, so I can work on those when time permits and leave the rest of the motor stuff for the one-night-a-week at my dads place. The car is on the ground, and ready to be pushed outside when I clear a path. I'm looking forward to letting her see some light!! might even give her a bath, as I hooked up the battery and closed the windows last night.

My outlook on the project has been defined a bit more as of late. Most of you probably figured it out before I did, but I'm treating this as the beginning of a complete 'restoration' of the car. The paint will be one of the last things, but I want to remove, clean, check-over and grease the entire suspension once the motor is in and running. Since installing all of the adjustable arms, tie rods, sway bars, etc. I have never taken any of it out to actually have a look at what 3 years of drifting and hard street driving does on non oem components. I will no longer be doing any competition drifting with it, so it has probably seen the harshest abuse it has ever and will ever see. I also would like to install the aero stuff I have collected. (JDM Zenki skirts and valances with a brand new oem USDM Kouki lip. I also have a smooth trunk lid to mount some sort of low pro lip, or spoiler on) I would like to hit up the odd track day, though, as drifting never gets out of your blood (atleast I sure hope it doesnt!!)

Anyways, see ya in about a month I guess ;)
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by shift_down » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:14 pm

This is a cool thread. Keep it up. And keep posting those pics, we love em. And don't forget to get that alternator seal to your friend!
Come at me bro

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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:34 pm

Hey thanks a lot man, that is very encouraging!! As if the thoughts of driving this thing keeping me awake at night weren't enough, it helps!

Cheers, and ya, I have to get that seal to him, pronto!
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:23 pm

Been another while since posting.. Sorry to those watching my thread.
I finished cleaning and have applied the cream onto the back of the rear seat. It is now being stored in the house, where the temp and humidity is fully controlled. I can even monitor it with an app on my phone, and it will notify me if something happens outside of the parameters I have set.. So we should be good now!
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Here is a shot of the rear, bottom seat, to give you a comparison. It is now ¾ of the way done too.
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I pushed the car outside to degrease the engine bay. Just as I got it outside, It started to rain. My parents are on well water, so the water is pretty hard, so I decided to grab a raincoat, and give her a wash!
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After the degreasing, and cleaning, the bay came out pretty good.
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Once I got her all cleaned up, it was time to sit down and make a check-list of the things that needed to be done to complete this build/install. The other thing I did that night was figure out what I was going to do about the IAT sensor. I had purchased the GM IAT sensor and plug when I had the AEM system all ready to go in, but sold the sensors when I sold the AEM computer. I did have the bung welded into the cold pipe though, so I had to do something. I trimmed down the original sensor and found a ½” to 5/8” NPT bushing that it fit right into and will also fit the bung. Bought some sealing, pressure resistant glue, and done!
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Side story for you..
A while back, I was outside with the family after dinner, when my son, who is just over 2 years old, comes walking out of the garage with an old bottle of wheel cleaner with his thumb on the trigger, pointing the nozzle towards him! He actually sprayed some before I got to him, thankfully, it only got his shirt. That stuff is toxic, and extremely unsafe.. I now had to find a higher spot for all of my cleaners and sprays and junk. Well, wasn’t I driving home from church the following Sunday, when I see something at an Esso station. There was an oil/washer fluid cabinet sitting in the corner of the lot with a sign that says ‘free, comes with keys’. At first, I drove away, thinking it was just something else to collect dust, like what was I going to use this thing for??? The second I got back on the road, the episode with my boy and the bottle of cleaner popped into my head. I turned around, and loaded her up. I went inside and let the attendant know I was taking it, and she gave me the key. Score!
All cleaned and lubed up, works great!
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While I was organizing my garage, I got to doing some organizing of my workshop in the basement too. Still some work to do here, but its getting there.
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An acquaintance from my local 240sx club posted a single Work Meister S1 for sale. I had no cash, but did have an old JDM Kouki S14 rear bumper that I decided I wasn’t going to use, and he took it in trade.
This is my 18x9.5 garage central vac hose reel! Fitting, as these are my ‘dream wheels’
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Stay tuned, I have more, but have run out of time for this evening.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by supakat » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:05 am

Good stuff. Kids get into everything. Way to be a great dad. GLWB.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Caveit77777 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:39 pm

Nice work man. Do you know what you're going to be running aero wise in the front? Only 3 more rims to go!
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:07 pm

supakat wrote:Good stuff. Kids get into everything. Way to be a great dad. GLWB.
They sure do! Turn your back for a second and he's got his hand halfway up the tail pipe on my truck!! Thanks for the nice words!
Caveit77777 wrote:Nice work man. Do you know what you're going to be running aero wise in the front? Only 3 more rims to go!
Thanks! I will be running the USDM front lip. It is actually pictured a few pics up in my last post. It was brand new, and they are a bit rough around the edges out of the box, so it will need a bit of body work to have it looking mint.. I don't really want any glass on the bottom of this thing, so thats ok.
As far as the rims go, I think I'd like the Bright buff finish with the black.. I'm also thinking of going with the 2 piece wheels for a cleaner look without the bolts. I always thought 3 piece was the way to go, and it still has its benefits -resizing the barrels being a big one, but ever since my wife said they look too 'blingy' , I've actually liked the 2 piece a bit more.. not to mention saving at least a grand.. And no, she didn't know there was a price difference.
My first set of wheels on the Kouki was a mint set of staggered Work E-Wing 3 piece. They were a chore to clean with the bolts, on top of them being meshies, so a 2 piece 5 spoke would suit a clean-freak a bit better!!
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by S14wayz » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:11 pm

nice build! that rat nest of emission related garbage looks very familiar lol spent hours trying to cap everything off and still pretty sure i missed something. You have a tig setup for aluminum?
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:00 am

Ya not looking forward to chasing leaks when its installed..
I don't have a tig welder. My former sponsor Weirtech welded the bung into the coldpipe for me, if that's what you are refering to.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:31 pm

Happy New Year guys! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and got to spend some time with loved ones.
I got to spend time with loved ones, and my 240!!!

Here goes my latest update.

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Slightly modified an Autometer dual gauge pod to fit above the tweeter.

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Soldered and heat shrunk all of the gauge wire connections.

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Fun stuff.... actually wasn't too bad, just takes time and patients.

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I was very happy with the fitment and texture of the plastic on the Autometer pod. The AEM gauges also fit in the holes nice and snug.
I wasn't fond of the plastic mounting hardware that came with the kit, so I epoxied some nuts to the back of the a-pillar, then used some stainless machine screws to fasten the pod to the pillar. It is working great, and I love the way it looks.

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Gauges all finished up with the TruBoost set in where the lighter socket used to be.

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Fabbed up a little 2 ply heat shield to protect the vacuum hose and gauge wires where they come through the firewall, as it is right behind the exh mani.

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With the engine bay all cleaned up and wires run, it was time to bring the engine over from the engine shop.
It wasn't a very long trip (about 60 feet), but the driveway is gravel, so dragging the engine hoist over was not an option.
I hired the best crew I could find...

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This is my Dads 1928 Model A Roadster Pick-up. All original with mechanical brakes, 6 volts, and a crank starter in case the battery goes dead

Once the engine was delivered, I could start getting things ready for insertion.

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Cut and fitted the new oil drain line. Again, very happy with the kit (ebay), just had to purchase a 45 degree fitting separate.

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Installed the new XTD 350z/RB25 clutch and pressure plate combo with the billet flywheel. I have heard mixed reviews on this set-up, but am hoping that with a long and easy break-in, she will work good.

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Tranny is bolted up. Getting excited!
Time to throw this sucker in there!

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Thanks for all the help, Dad!!

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This is what he is working on these days. 1932 Ford 3 window coupe. This car will be getting that flathead V8 from the first page of this thread.

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Yours truly.. cranking down my urethane filled engine mounts.. we will see how long they last.

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AND SHES IN THERE!!!

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The final batch of parts came in from Nissan.

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Removed the coolant overflow tank for a good cleaning and de-burr of the plastic flashing to facilitate easier cleaning in the future.

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The vacuum lines will need to be routed properly, but everything should be in order at this point!!
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:32 pm

I had to split this post into 2 posts due to too many urls.. I guess 25 is the max. Please start with the post above this :)

Fluids have been filled. Time to touch rubber to ground!

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Pulled the spark plugs to prime the oil pump with no load.
This first video is right after i put the fuel pump fuse back in. I forgot to prime the fuel pump (by letting it prime itself), so it cranked over for a while until i realized it wasnt getting fuel, and let the pump run for a few seconds.

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Now that fuel pressure has built, lets try that again.

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There she goes!! After 6 years since I drove this thing, my parents are almost as happy as I am!
After running for a few minutes, it smoothed out and started to run beautifully! Time to turn it around and get some coolant into the system.

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Parked back in this spot for the last time!! The task now is to clean the garage. I did manage to get almost 5km on her driving up and down the road at about 2:00am and it feels great so far!

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First real bath in over half a decade! felt real good to put a couple kilometers on the odo!
Also, garage is cleaned out, so time to bring this girl home!

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Coming up my driveway, wife and kids awaiting our arrival with great anticipation!

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And finally parked in my garage! With enough room for my wife's car next to it for the winter.

A big thanks goes out to my Dad for letting me take up space in his shop for 6 years, for all of his machining expertise and teaching. Thanks to mu friend Jeff for helping out on the last night getting things on the car and filming.
The biggest thanks goes out to my beautiful wife Anne, for allowing and encouraging me to work on my car and get her done! Thanks honey, I love you even more for that!
Last edited by Theo23 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by p00t » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:28 pm

That's a big update. Never thought I would see a model A driving around with a KA in the bed...

Looks like you are ready to have some fun again with it in 2016 after the hibernation.

It's been tough finding time for my projects. Anything that takes more than an hour or two needs to slowly be chipped away at.
Current Experiment: APS SR56, Methanol Injection, & Built Block

Theo23
240sx Wannabe
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:09 am
Location: Ontario Canada
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:44 am

Ya I guess it's more like a 'year in review'. There is way more that I wanted to write, along with more frequent updates, but honestly, whenever I had time to sit at the computer and write about the car, I figured I would rather go and work on the car. I felt obligated to keep this thread going for you guys. Like, seriously, is there a longer build thread on here, time-wise?
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Theo23
240sx Wannabe
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:09 am
Location: Ontario Canada
Contact:

Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by Theo23 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:49 am

p00t wrote:Looks like you are ready to have some fun again with it in 2016 after the hibernation.

It's been tough finding time for my projects. Anything that takes more than an hour or two needs to slowly be chipped away at.
In regards to finding time, I had to actually schedule it, or it would never happen. The last year or so, it's been every other Tuesday night. I'd put in 5 or 6 hours. Chipping away, but it got done. Another thing that really helped me was to make lists. One of things I need to buy, and one of things to be done. That helped to get my head into things when I got there 2 or sometimes 4 weeks between visits.
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modulation
Dreams of owning a 240!
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Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by modulation » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:38 am

Theo23 I know how life goes, seems like we've had similar paths.
Bought 240sx in 2007, thought I'd be turbo'ed within a year...
Well 8 years, 2 kids, 2 cross country moves, and buying a house later I finally got it turbo'ed this year.
Seems like once my youngest turned one I have more free time on my hands.

Love the work you've done, I just slapped a turbo kit on mine without doing more then a head-gasket and arp studs internally. Wish I could've done everything you have engine rebuild wise. Real quality and attention to detail without cutting corners. Your dad raised you right!

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SoundEfx
240sx Wannabe
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: My KA Machining/Build Thread *Opinions welcomed*

Post by SoundEfx » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:38 am

Wonderful work man. It shows that patience pays off eventually.

Question, what are the specs of your rims?
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SoundEfx up in here causing trouble......
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