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Pretty S13 - Nissan 240SX

A Drift-Spec Nissan 240SX For The Ladies

Text By Joey Leh, Photography by XeroTalent

Drifting currently reigns supreme as the undisputed media darling of the import world. Many enter grassroots drift events eager to take their spot as the next Sam Hubinette or Ken Gushi, but does it take balls to be able to conquer the drifting world? Keep in mind, by balls we mean, quite literally, that sack between your legs you call your manhood. We're referring to that piece of misshapen pride that shrinks ever so slightly when Amanda Lam and her 1993 Nissan 240SX blast by you, riding the striped inside curbing of a highly banked turn.

A full-time nursing student who was still in class scribbling notes during the first portion of our photoshoot, Lam didn't start out drifting in protest for women's rights. There are much cheaper and easier ways to get your political motives heard. Rather, Lam picked up this 240SX, her first car, in 2003 with the financial help of her sister and her boyfriend. A rare find even three years ago, this S13-chassis 240SX was clean, had a straight frame and glossy black paint and was completely bone stock. The perfect blank slate for any project.

Taking into consideration that the car was a designated daily driver, early modifications consisted of mostly driver comfort and feel upgrades. Content to just be driving the car, Lam's student budget dictated that all modifications would remain relatively tame. The first round of changes consisted of new brake pads, cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors, a shift knob, a Nardi steering wheel and a set of blingin' new wheels.

It wasn't until the arrival of the Drift Association's Drift Day 10 that Lam discovered what all the sideways sliders were talking about. "At the time, I was only 17 years old but I was determined to learn how to drift and succeed," said Lam. Soon, the pure black S13 was a regular sight at all the local area Drift Days, Just Drift and cone-dodging autocross events.

Understanding that the most important part of any car is the driver, Lam spent most of her income on event entrance fees before deciding to crack the Nissan open. After numerous events, and with her experience growing, larger upgrades began to find their way on to the 240SX. The eventual makeover was led by a Nismo two-way limited-slip differential, picked up at R&D Factory. With better control and response versus the stock open unit, the Nismo LSD opened up the floodgates to the vicious cycle of upgrades. The ability to put power down meant more power was needed, and a Red-Top SR20DET engine was procured out of a JDM S13-chassis Silvia.

The 2.0L SR20DET promises to deliver more than 200hp in stock trim, pushing 8psi of boost. Undeniably one of the easiest and most popular engine swaps for 240SX owners, the SR20 engine has huge untapped power potential with its factory turbocharged design. Bucky Fellini of B3 Tuning swapped in Lam's SR20 engine with the stock engine internals, a stock SR five-speed transmission, ACT Xtreme clutch kit and Prolite XACT flywheel to match. A stock S14-chassis T28 turbocharger was fitted with an HKS internal wastegate actuator and then placed underneath a Megan Racing tubular exhaust manifold. The front-mount intercooler is a Megan Racing prototype kit, stuck in place with Hose Techniques silicone hoses and sporting an HKS Super Sequential blow-off valve sitting dead center. Breathing through a HKS air intake kit, the turbo spits out through a loud, but not too loud, Megan Racing downpipe and exhaust setup.

With the bottom end remaining in stock condition, the cylinder head was removed and sent to Anh Lang Head Shop to be resurfaced and have the valves reseated. Upon being returned, the head was fitted with Trust rocker arm stoppers and an A'PEXi 1.5mm metal head gasket by B3 Tuning before being reinstalled. Taking into consideration the greater air flow through the SR20, fuel flow was augmented with an OE Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo fuel pump, 550cc/min RC Engineering fuel injectors, and a Megan Racing fuel rail and pressure regulator. Tied together with an A'PEXi S-AFCII, this 240SX is no stranger to Wilmington, Calif.-based Church Automotive's dyno, where B3 Tuning dialed in all the settings necessary to survive drifting.

With more than enough power on tap, the project build turned toward suspension. TEIN HE coilovers were installed and setup at G-Dimension, along with Megan Racing tower bars, TC Sportline control arms, and TEIN tie rod ends. The TEIN coilovers use light 448 lb/in front and 336 lb/in rear springs, and have been setup with an extremely low ride height. But you have to keep in mind, this car really doesn't weigh that much. In fact, to our surprise, even though they seem to be stretched to all living hell, the 225/45/18 front and 245/45/18 rear Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires don't have fender clearance issues. This is even with the healthy amount of lip afforded by the 18x9.5 Sport Max Racing wheels. The brakes remain stock, aside from the aftermarket rotors and Baker Precision stainless steel braided lines. Remember, drifting is all about smoking tires, not pounding on the brakes. A simple pad and rotor change is usually sufficient enough for most any drift car.

After receiving a custom rollcage from former 2nr tech slave Gary Castillo of Design Craft Fabrication, this 240SX was stripped and torn apart for an extreme makeover. Leigh Guarnieri of Extreme Dimensions proposed the bodywork for the transformation and Lam provided that necessary female touch. Guarnieri helped strip the car down to its bare panels and ship the car over to John's Customz and Performance (JCP), where the chassis was stitch welded and sanded. Extreme Dimensions provided the new bodywork, which consists of an ED M-1 front bumper, M-1 side skirts, M-1 +25mm front fenders, GP-1 rear bumper, and carbon-fiber hood. The rear fender flares are a full custom JCP job, which consisted of 1995 240SX front fenders being cut and then grafted on the rear of this 1993 model. A brilliant and reflective BASF Carizzma Violet base coat with Arctic Ice effect powder covers the body, with a custom ghosted graphic across the rear fender, applied by shooting paint through a section of carefully laid lace fabric. JCP also took the liberty of complementing the now-purple engine bay with an intake manifold, valve cover, and master cylinder coated in pink-ish BASF Carizzma Fuchsia Pearl.

With an arrest-me purple paint job and custom pink vinyl by AfterDark Signworks, the car is most definitely not a sleeper. So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the interior rocks custom pink alcantara-wrapped Status Racing carbon-fiber racing buckets. Crossfire Car Audio amplifiers and component speakers litter the car, along with a soon-to-be-hooked-up intercooler spray bar nitrous bottle and an Optima Yellow Top battery shipped next day air by Mike Ragan of Interstate shortly before SEMA. Fully gutted for competition, there's not much else within the car except for the previously mentioned parts. Remember, lightness is one of the key points of the build for this Nissan. The stock gauge cluster has even been removed and replaced with another stock 240SX gauge cluster, the new one reworked with fiberglass to ingest a host of Autometer gauges. Autometer C2 series water temperature, oil temperature, boost/vacuum, fuel pressure, voltmeter, fuel level and tachometer readouts have all been placed dead center, replacing the redundant and less accurate stock instrumentation.

This S13 Nissan 240SX is a complete clash of two worlds. It's bright and noticeable, is painted purple and pink, rocks pink racing seats and has high-mounted custom Wedge Engineering seat brackets that only allow enough room to fit a 100lb. female. But it's also turbocharged, powerful, loud and goes ape shit sideways. Can a car be both badass and pastel at the same time? Maybe. Remember, it is a girl's drift car after all.

Extreme Dimensions/Carbon Creations
Schikane Clothing
John's Customz And Performance
Hose techniques
1603 Border Ave.
CA  90501
B3 Tuning A'pexi
Megan Racing Autometer
BASF Automotive Finishes
Afterdark Signworks
Dunlop Tires Superior Nissan
Crossfire Car Audio
12222 Bell Ranch Drive
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
Dept. 2NR
RND Factory
Optima Batteries
5757 N. Green Bay Ave.
WI  53201
817 Lawson St.
City of industry
CA  91748
Status Racing
Ahn Lang Head Shop
206 East Ave., K-4
CA  93535
Nitrous Express
5411 Seymour Hwy.
Wichita Falls
TX  76310
Sportmax Racing
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By Joey Leh
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