LS2-Powered, Pristine S14

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With simple add-ons and no frills, the subtle exterior belies some serious performance.

The S14 240SX stands out in many people’s minds as the most relaxed-looking of the S-chassis, which is unfortunate since those demure looks might dissuade people from building one up. Some people prefer a bit of understatement, however. With the intention of making a comfortable car that can hold its own on the drag strip, the road course and the autocross circuit, an ambitious and scientifically-minded petrolhead in Kentucky took an unmolested example and implemented an interesting mix of parts.

The highlight of this particular build is the LS2 engine. Light, powerful, reasonably inexpensive and with a great aftermarket support, this swap is becoming quite popular. The SR20DET which this car came with was a regular headache with exhaust leaks and a less-than-stellar intercooler piping job, so the move to a big-bore Chevy motor was a fairly pragmatic choice. Furthermore, the light aluminum composition of the LS2 does not spoil the lovely weight distribution of the Nissan.

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Hinson’s mounting kit makes the LS2 look at home in the Nissan’s engine bay.

The LS also responds well to modifications. With the engine swap came a set of Hooker headers and exhaust as well as a fuel system and ECU from Holley, power nears the 400-hp range. Considering he works for Holley, that sort of horsepower can’t be had for much cheaper. However, this build isn’t solely about grunt.

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Stance’s coilovers come at a serious price – but they certainly look the part.

SPL tie-rods and Stance GR+ coilovers have been called upon to help harness that power. The rubber of choice here is Nitto’s NT-05 with 235- and 275-section tires front and rear, respectively. Wearing that rubber is a set of clean and simple five-spoke FN01R-Cs from 5Zigen. With a comprehensive alignment done and some old-fashioned fender rolling, the car’s stance is purposeful and stylish.

Not content to have just a quick car, the owner gave it a complete sand-down and paint job to complement the performance. With a second coat of the original blue-green paint, simple wheels and no ostentatious bodywork, the car looks incredibly unsuspecting.

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COMP’s valvetrain made the LS2 more urgent and powerful.

After one year of ownership, a mild LSR cam from COMP cams was added. The icing on the cake were the new valvetrain pieces from the same company, including springs, spring seats, valve seals and retainers. After a tune, the result was 414 horsepower pushing a car that weighs just over 2,800 pounds.

To bring it to a quick stop, a set of Evo 8 Brembo calipers for the front, STi calipers at the rear and slotted DBA rotors were added. Matched with stainless lines and Hawk pads, the car is a potent all-rounder sure to convince both import and domestic fans placing an American motor in a Japanese car is far from heresy.

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The latest addition, a set of Advan wheels, give it a suggestion of JDM.

 

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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