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Building A Nissan KA24DE Motor - Tech Knowledge

Raising The Bar

Text By Phillip Okazaki, Photography by Phillip Okazaki, Staff

Over the course of the past year, our sister publication, Turbo Magazine (bless her soul), has been following along on a unique buildup of a KA24DE engine--the ubiquitous 2.4L engine produced from July 1988 through January 1996, powering numerous Nissan vehicles ranging from the sporty 240SX to the sport-ute Pathfinder. Now, you might be asking why anyone would want to build the KA24DE; it's a 65hp/L truck motor that everyone junks for the SR20DET. There's no denying that, pound for pound, the SR20 has its advantages over the KA24 in stock trim. We skeptically took a look at the initial build of the KA24DE and did a double take when we found out that the motor is slated to make 750 bhp! This isn't your run-of-the-mill build, and with Naoto Negishi of NPD as the mastermind behind the project, nothing is impossible. Naoto is more than familiar with extracting big power from import cars. His past builds include a list of GT-Rs, including a 1,100whp beast now roaming the streets of the Midwest. With the demise of Turbo and the cult following that ensued during this KA24DE buildup, we decided to pick up where they left off--but not before we updated our readers with a recap, including some significant transformations. Stay tuned, as we continue the build in our upcoming issues wherein NPD attempts to break 750 bhp!

Displacement: 1,998 cc
Bore/Stroke: 86mmx86mm
Displacement: 2,388 cc
Bore/Stroke: 89mmx96mm
While the SR20 has a box design and can handle higher RPM, the KA boasts a huge difference in displacement. You would have to stroke and bore an SR motor to its limit to match the same displacement as a stock KA.
Aluminum Block Cast Iron Block The SR wins out when it comes to weight. But since we are only concerned about power, the KA block is more rigid for our purpose. We won’t have to re-sleeve our block as we would with an SR.
Cast Aluminum Piston
Steel Rod
Cast Aluminum Piston
Steel Rod
Not much difference in this department when talking about big power. With either engine, you would have to switch to a forged piston and billet rod to handle any serious amount of boost.
Rocker arm Shim over bucket The SR can spin some RPM but is notorious for breaking rocker arms at high RPM conditions. The KA utilizes a shim-over-bucket design, eliminating the risk of rocker arm failure.
Variable Cam Timing Standard Cam timing VTC is a great way to make power, but there aren't really that many choices when it comes to VTC-compliant cams. The SR wins when it comes to this feature. But since most tuners use non VTC cams, it's not by much.
Coil Pack Distributor The KA's distributor design is a simple and reliable way of transmitting spark to the engine. But the coil pack design of the SR conducts a stronger, more responsive spark. Since we will be using a stand-alone ECU, we have the ability to integrate a coil pack system into our KA.
Turbo Naturally Aspirated Alright, this is the deal breaker. Sure there is no replacement for displacement, but when you add forced induction into the equation, all bets are off. This is the core of the power behind the SR. Our KA will be addressing this with an HKS T51R SPL turbo.
AMS Portflow
BC Supertech Performance
GReddy Ultra Performance Machine
HKS Xcessive Manufacturing
Jim Wolf Technology WPC Treatment
Okada Projects
By Phillip Okazaki
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