Norwegian S14a - Building My Ultimate Street Car

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by hkn_s14, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    Welcome to the build thread of my 1999 Nissan 200SX S14a (Kouki) with the SR20DET engine!

    [​IMG]

    Quick facts about me:
    22 years old from Norway
    Currently studying IT for the 2nd year.
    Over average interested in keeping cars clean and do some detailing work on the side
    Also work a part-time job as a salesman in a book store

    Backstory: (Don't blame you if you skip this)
    I've always wanted a S14a since I started looking for my next car while I still had my first one (Red Ford Puma 1.7). I was looking for a car that stood out from the rest, was rear wheel drive, had decent power and had a manual gearbox. Within the price point I was looking at, the s14a stood out the most and I've wanted one ever since. They were a bit too much for me at the time, so I ended up getting a MX-5 NB 1.8 first that I had for a year. Pics here for those interested:
    Was a blast, but I was ready to move on and finally try and get my dream car.

    I looked at several images of the car and found out about the different models & trims, so I knew exactly what I wanted. First of all it had to be the facelift (S14a Kouki), then it had to be red as I missed having a red car and thought that was the best factory color for the S14a. The others made it look more bland than red did. I also wanted it to have all the factory aero bits & styling instead of some janky bodykit. On the interior side I just wanted black leather interior and no sunroof to have a stiffer chassis, less weight and no chance of leaks. Other than that, just find one that was well maintained and looked after, not abused by some boy racer like myself :cool:

    First I found was a 290whp s15 engine with tein coilovers and some basic work wheels. The "only" thing apperantly wrong was the paint where the clear coat had failed all over. Was a legit setup with a bunch of good parts, but was due for a MOT soon. Had the owner do one before I would consider buying it and came back with a few faults. He first only stated some issues with the lights and rear left brake pads. That suddenly became even more lights that either didnt work or was out of adjustment. Also now needed brake pads and discs both sides at the back. Finally got him to send the entire sheet from the MOT with the faults right after I had already booked a train ticket for the next day. Turned out they also took him for illegal modification to the engine and a few more minor stuff. Once again tried to downplay the problems, but I wasnt going for it.

    Some time passes and I eventually put out a post that Im looking for a red S14a. One person contacts me that I've seen post in the group a few times. He had a nearly fully stock one that only had H&R Coilovers, open air filter, HKS Boost Gauge, 3" decat and custom 3" catback. Had all the factory styling with the Z-edition lip added and a carbon replica kouki spoiler. It was just what I was looking for! Ended up talking him down quite a bit in price due to it being almost winter and agreeing that he could keep some misc parts that I wouldnt need anyways. Overall only 144 000km on the clock and for the price that wasnt bad at all.

    o27uuWa.

    Went and looked at the car and tried it out. Was a few minor things here and there, but nothing that made me afraid to get it. It had previously had some rust, but had been sorted. However he had used fiberglass to patch holes as the car was undersealed and no shop would weld in new metal because of it. Thats the only part I disliked, so the plan is to eventually remove all the undersealing and do a proper repair job. Other than that the rear brakes possibly needed a service and the clutch was very aggressive, but probably an upgraded unit. Also the shifter was as sloppy it could get, so a short shifter was high on the list. The RPM Gauge doesnt work either, or it works but is super sloooow... Previous owner tried to fix it by re-soldering it, but I will have to give it another go or maybe check wires/connectors/sensors etc. Possibly just get a new tach.

    c0cZtVV.
    1K1OVh5.
    (The owner kept the carbon cooling panel and intake cover, but plan to get a cooling panel at least)

    I drive it straight home about an 8 hour trip and continue to drive it for a week, before having to put it into storage. Car had no issues what so ever and I was very happy with the purchase! The car was very clean and couldnt find a single dent in it! The paint was also in good condition with only a few swirls. Has been repainted at least once according to previous owner. Also going through the paperwork that came with the car, seems as all the gaskets have been replaced a few years ago along with the rod bearings. Not sure if thats because of a rebuild of the engine or just preventive maintenace.

    The previous owner had tinted all the lights with some cheap ebay tint that didnt look that good with wrinkles everywhere. Was also coming off a few spots. Removed it and the car looked 10 times better if you ask me! He had also put some carbon tape on the grill, hood prop and strutbar. Overlapping everywhere and you could see the lines. That was also removed along with a few stickers he had on the car. It was officially mine.

    AxWpUXP.

    During storage I fitted a GKTECH shortshifter which was a massive improvement! Went with Gktech as it was very affordable in relation to other namebrand shifters, but shouldnt have as much vibration noise as other shifters. I havent tried anything else, but no annoying vibration noise from the Gktech unit at least. Goes smooth into gear and isnt all to notchy. Also not too short, but just enough for me at least.

    During winter I manage to accquire a Tomei Titanium Ti Expreme Catback! Always wanted this exhaust due to it being the lighest for the S14 and gives the exhaust note a nicer sound versus the one I had that was just plain 3" drone. Also is much louder which makes my inner ricer happy. Was bought brand new this summer and only used on the car during that time, so basiclly brand new and I got it for a steal!

    FmkbmeA.

    Finally winter is coming to an end & I found some new summer rims to replace the boring curbed 18s that came with the car. Wanted some very light rims and wanted to get 17s as I think it looks a bit too high with 18s unless you stance the crap out of it. Ended up finding a set of RAYS Volk Racing CE28N's for sale! They were 17x9,5 ET15 all around, so perfect for the car! Also only weighing 7,6kgs per wheel! They had a few minor issues where some paint was cracking due to removal of tires, but overall they looked good. Had barely been used at all, just a few laps around a track. Here I am test fitting them for the first time.

    UY9Lr60.

    The time comes for the dreaded MOT, the only concern I had was the exhaust volume. I had to buy a new cat as one didnt come with the car, so emissions was no concern thankfully. Anyways it fails on 3 whole other different things. The front right wheel bearing, rusty rear brake discs and rear fog light not working. Instantly tried changing fog light bulb, but no luck. We had plans of fitting the Tomei catback right after the MOT and since it passed all the exhaust related stuff, we decided to proceed with it! So drove straight out to my friends workshop and ripped the cat & catback off. The old catback would bang around and didnt fit quite right, but the Tomei fitted straight up with no issues and sat snug. Probably partly due to the lower weight, but also shows the quality difference you get with proper parts I suppose. Turns out my car came with a 3" Greddy downpipe fitted too, nice suprise! First test drive and Im completely blown away. You get turbo wistle at low rpm, while cruising you get pops and burbles, get it up in the rpms and the thing absolutely screams into life! Completely deafening in tunnels! You even get the odd proper bang with some heat in the exhaust. My friend also spotted some flames during our drive later that night. Couldnt be any happier with it! You can check out some sound clips on my instagram highlights @hkn_s14
    Also got rid of the rear wiper and installed a Kill All Wiper plug kit! Looks much cleaner! (See pictures further down)

    xJTV7m8.

    After a few days, I get a new wheel bearing in. I break a tool trying to get the hub bolt off, but finally get it off with a ratchet & exhaust pipe as leverage. Easy enough.

    KQ4icNi.

    For the rear brakes I decided to first just try and grease the sliding pins. Start taking everything apart and the pads disintegrate. So there goes that... Also turns out the sliding pins were completely rusted and seized. That explains the rusty discs. Car has to sit for a few weeks while I wait for new pads and I also had to return to my study place.

    6iG0KrS.
     
  2. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    A few weeks go by and I get back home with the new pads having arrived. Instantly start tackling the job. Get them on and the car finally is able to move again. Quick test drive and can tell the difference immediately! Was driving around with no working rear brakes the whole time haha, no wonder the previous owner complained about the brakes & wanted to upgrade to Z32. I also try and diagnose the fog light more, but cant find the fault. Tried swapping fuses and relays with no luck. I rear that I could maybe pass the MOT without the fog light as long as the button is removed and the rear fog light is removed as well. I go in for the 2nd time, but no luck of course... Rear discs are still too rusty, so end up ordering new ones (more waiting for parts...) and the fog light apparently has to work as the car came with it and needs to have it... Need to leave the car home again as I go back to my study place... At least I got some pictures of it before leaving and had a few nice drives with it.


    d22eEBu.


    tong33F.


    fqjNN5S.

    Doesnt look that bad after a proper wash! #NoFilter
    rJYONQZ.

    April comes and back for round three! New discs going on!

    Old:

    74GTLio.

    And new with some fresh paint to prevent rust in the future:

    ttpBMp6.


    Im still unable to find the fault with the fog light though and my friend and I end up testing the switch. Thats all good. Also check all the grounds, but they seem to be in order and other stuff shouldnt work if there was a Issue there. So we start trying to understand the wiring diagram so that we can just hardwire the switch past the relay and all the factory wiring. Before that though my friends father is a mechanic and we ask him to take a look first. He measures current and continuity at the relay and thats all good, so he follows the wiring back to the junction where we also test and its all good. When he goes to test from the junction back to the light he discovers where the fault is! Turns out some previous owner has cut the fog light wiring and connected it to an aftermarket tow hook contact! Yeah thats right, my car has an aftermarket tow hook setup xD So its as easy as unplugging it and putting the two correct wires back together. Finally its ready for MOT and passes with flying colors the following days! Super stoked! Before that though I ended up getting a set of new Federal 595 RS-R tires mounted on my Volks! Went with 235/45 as that was a happy medium between enough contact patch, but not being to big up front. Wanted to run a square setup for the best driving experience. End up putting them on the car the same day! Also protected them with Sonax Rim Sealant, so should be easy to keep them clean.


    cspIOTG.

    cvc2MEL.

    So happy with how they look on the car! Perfect match for the S14!
     
  3. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    Ended up going for a long drive with my friend the same day it passed MOT! Missed not driving it for a month and is planted on the road with the new tires! One thing I gotta hand to Norway is the canyon/valley roads and nature! The taxes and prices though... ugh..

    HmSdXNj.


    Got some more pictures with a proper camera myself later that day too

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    NgPl3Jo.

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    4NfieGY.


    Used half a day giving the car a proper hand wash and fresh coat of Fusso Wax. Turned out so good. Do plan on correcting the paint during summer, but this was good enough for now. Also changed the boring Nissan badge over to the S15 Silvia badge!


    YbUTyAf.

    And took it for a drive later that day

    jlcaEZO.

    Also ended up meeting up with one of my friends that does car photography! He took some pretty sick pictures of my car if I do say so myself!


    He did some photoshop magic and lowered my car, haha! Need to get that done for real now though

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    Do me a favor and check him out on Instagram! @kristoffersen_carphotography


    Got some new fluid in the diff and gearbox. Felt a difference going through the gears, much smoother now! Also changed the stock steering rack bushes to poly! Didnt feel a difference in the steering wheel as I want more feedback from it, so will get tie rod ends eventually too.


    Tried blocking off the blow off valve to get the famous dose sound. It did not disappoint! Did the stu stu so easily when not even in boost, and sounded even better letting off from boost. Also resulted in the car using even more fuel and gave insane bangs from the exhaust! Sounded like gunshots! I ended up going back to the blow off valve though. Felt the car was more laggy and it used to run 0.8 bar of pressure, but ended more down at 0.6-0.7

    Had a look at the ECU at the same time and 3 wires have previously been tapped into. So someone has definitely been tinkering with this car before me. Can also add that the restrictor pill has been removed as its pushing over 0.4 bar of pressure.


    Wanted to see for myself if the car actually shot flames! So stopped at a remote location during dark and started revving it up. Probably did that for a solid minute until the flames started showing up, the car did not disappoint! Probably 1m+ long flames! I would show the video, but havent been able to blur the license plate yet so hope you can understand why Im not putting it up as of yet.

    pAN4i0Z.


    The wiper arms looked a bit sorry for themselves with the paint fading. So gave them a quick once over with sandpaper and painted them. Came out much better, no before pics sadly.

    Rl4zB2b.


    Also tried the plasti dip the grille black, but didnt turn out that good. Instantly ripped it off. Might try gloss black later on, but matte black just looked cheap and out of place.

    JQnFrsp.


    And thats pretty much how the car sits right now! Ended up having a issue with the gearbox/clutch where it would constantly grind when the clutch pedal was depressed! Happened after letting my friend drive and he was very aggressive with the gear changes and then later on I missed 4th during a pull. Adjusted the clutch pedal a few times and got it to the point now where it doesnt grind anymore, fingers crossed its fixed but do think the gearbox is making a few more different sounds now...
     
  4. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    Finally having got you all up to speed, I think I can tell you what my plans are for the car moving on.

    I'm going for a street car build mainly, so nothing too crazy in terms of making it a drift beast or track machine. However I do want to make it drive better. Coming from a light MX5 that handled very good, I miss the driving feel of that. So I want to try and get this car down to similar weight of a standard MX5. Hence the light exhaust and wheels so far. So further plans are carbon hood but paint matched (stock one is super heavy), possibly remove isolation and rear seats. Lighter battery, lightweight flywheel and driveshaft. Recaro bucket seats are on the list too, but tempted to go with CS Sportsters or the standard reclinable Recaros that comes in the Evo 8/9 for example. Other than that, just get rid of minor stuff thats not needed either.


    For power mods I want the best response I can get. Its quite laggy now with the factory T25 turbo, so want to do a S15 turbo on it. Also just need a 3" elbow to complete the exhaust setup. But do eventually want to get a custom elbow/downpipe/testpipe made in titanium to match the tomei.

    High mount intercooler from PBM or Japspeed to minimize intercooler piping and bends. Wiggins or Vibrant clamps to go along eventually too as I will be running no BOV, so that should help with keeping it all connected when I let off. Apexi air filter to replace the generic non branded one. Nismo 555cc injectors, bigger fuel pump probably walbro 255lh and finally for ECU im thinking Nistune to start with. Keeps the ECU factory and no one will know its been changed/modified. Looking at other options too though that isnt as dated and has more functionality. Apexi Power FC, Link, Haltech or Vipec.


    To go along with those power mods I will need some cooling upgrades, so oil cooler is high on the list. Also need gauges to go along with everything else, not sure what Im going with there. Probably what I can find 2nd hand for a decent price as new gauges are costly when you need multiple along with sensors... Cooling panel and ducting. Also thinking about brake ducts and duct to the air intake. Alu rad with copper core. Im a bit thorn between keeping the clutch fan and upgrading it, or going with electric fans. Clutch fan with the shroud is probably the best cooling I can get, but was tipped that removing the clutch fan really wakes up the engine. Opinions welcomed!


    Interior as mentioned going with Recaro bucket seats, also removing rear seats. Half cage is in the plans along with harnesses that are road legal. Want the gauges on top of the dash, not a fan of them on the steering coloum, in the center console or on the A-pillar. I want to dye/paint the headliner black along with the carpet. Audio system with android headunit. The rear speakers that sit on the shelf are actually missing, but wires still there. Not sure if it came without speakers but just have the wires still going to it, or they have been removed. Will be adding some there though. Something I really want to do, but might not be completely possible is full S15 interior with the steering wheel, dash, center console and door panels. They dont make them in LHD unless you get a fiberglass copy or get it custom made. But its definitely a plan of mine when I have the funds and everything else is done. Probably get some stuff re-upholstered in alcantara too.


    For the drivetrain and suspension, just restore what I currently have. Powder coat the subframes and arms. Polybush everything, upgraded sway bars and bracing. Zinc plated hardware etc. Also need to replace the LSD with a Kaaz, Nismo or similar unit. The factory vLSD is pretty shit when I come from a MX5 with a Torsen.


    Finally the exterior is pretty much for the most part staying how it is. Just minor changes here and there. Shave the license plate frame up front, shave the side markers that are blank anyway, shave the side blinkers and probably get some foldable jdm mirrors with blinkers or ganidors. Shave the rear antenna and 3rd brake light and get something to have on the rear shelf. Also want to do something with the rear tail lights. Thats the biggest gripe I have with the S14a styling. The rear end is a bit boring or could be better at least, so some fancy DIY Custom LED lights would spice things up. A full respray is in the plans too with time as the front and rear bumper have some paint chipping and rock chips. Along with the boot having a terrible job with plugging the old spoiler holes. The new wing also looks like shit from the paint job by the previous owner.


    If you made it this far, I applaud you! Thanks for your time and appriciate any input! Probably forgot a few things or will change my mind on some things, but this is what my plan is thus far! Hopefully you enjoyed reading through this and I'll keep this updated as the car progresses. Also sorry for any bad english or spelling errors, english is not my main language.


    GelZPtq.
     
  5. GlenF95

    GlenF95 Member

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    Looks good mate, just sold my s14a and was the biggest mistake I've made lol. Keep up the good work, get that thing lower!
     
  6. kwalker705

    kwalker705 Member

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    looks great !! Is that Tananger in the pics with the supply boats ???
     
  7. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    Thanks dude! Working on it :) Actually tried lowering it the other day, but need to get the specific H&R spanners. Had some universal one that didnt work.

    Thank you! It is, how did you know? :thumbs:
     
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  8. hkn_s14

    hkn_s14 New Member

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    Got a Tomei Gear knob:
    53AAeJ6.

    Also tried to fix my Tach as its been pretty useless. Slow needle and sticks. Hit the 8 big solder points in each corner and also played a bit with the needle. Got it working much better, but shows 500rpm too much so will need adjustment. Also when revving the car out, its lagging a bit. Cant keep up with how fast the RPMs are climbing.
    38pXGt7.

    Also went to the first car event of the season. Avetti Cars & Coffee where we meet at the dealership and take a scenic route to a special destination. This years event we were going to the city Egersund and parked up at the town's square.
    Z6AFjFn.

    0vzQgRn.

    Ropt5cw.

    The next day there was another car event that I went to. So happy that events are finally happening again and Im able to the take the car out. Really forget how much you appriciate something like that until its winter.
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    e8VwJKc.

    My camber botls also finally showed up, so I could sort that out. The front wheels were sticking a bit out of the arches and preventing me from going lower. Also looks a bit more legal now. We also tried to lower it the same day, but the universal spanner didnt work that well. Also only fit the smaller cup. Will need to order specific H&R Spanners.
    LoZqADA.

    8vfvPg4.

    Pretty amazing how some bolts can give you so much more camber. Looks really aggressive now, might get it dialed a bit back when I get a wheel alignment done after everything.

    Lastly Ive just been enjoying the car, running strong and no other issues. Gave it a wash the other day and took a few more pictures of it.
    DNhUT2R.

    acp5aY2.

    frjeEDM.

    ycrHFRq.

    AMpGXAN.

    Pretty happy with how it looks now. Just needs some lowering and its perfect exterior wise.

    We also filmed some driveby's yesterday If anyone is interested. Its up on my instagram.


    The car sounds insane in person, nice deep tuner sound and gets more rowdy up top. Can hear it coming from miles away as its echoes off everything.Will say its hard to capture the sound on camera though, definitely sounds more like a tractor in video than person haha!
     
  9. sx-si

    sx-si anti-copy parts

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    keep up the good work :)
     

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