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88 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:)Hello Everyone I am new here, friendly helpful :smt077

It's a daily driver build, reliability and economy are epitomized.
I do not like cars that sit. This will be my only vehicle so I am pressured into finishing, maintaining, and putting high mileage on it.

Not my first build, but this is my first LS engine. Luckily I've been doing this 20years so everything comes naturally, i.e. cleanliness, torque sequences, tuning, wiring, etc... is easy for me.

I am full time graduate student focusing PhD Mechanical, and also working as a teaching assistant. I hope to write some control theory into a little black box(digital controller) at some point to manage those things which the factory ECU cannot, such as fuel safety feature and temperature control application.


Ill write a few short sentences for pictures but overall, unlike other build threads of mine, I want to keep word count down and mostly focus on pics. Probably still going to write a lot though, but at least you know I didn't mean to.

Start with the filthy car. I got it with a blown motor and all the usual problems 240's have. Still, these are hard to find, even beat up like this. The paint isn't half bad but the car needs a new every suspension part and obviously a drivetrain.

Pulled the motor right away and pressure washed it.

Actually took everything out (seats carpet dash) and washed the insides also. I hate filthy cars, working on them in the dirt no thx.

Not sure how many pics I can post in each section so this is a test post.

Obviously I went with 5.3L because its extremely boost friendly, reliable, and affordable.

I do everything outside in the sun/moon without a lift and with basic hand tools. Not because I'm some kind of masochist; I'm just a poor stuent.

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Before I get into much 'building' I will post some of the research/wiring related (show how things are done) hopefully it will be helpful to other swappists

Before buying parts, I made a bunch of swap budget comparisons. It looks like a reasonable budget would be around 20k with reliable parts.

Having a converter means no clutch replacements or filthy dry crud slinging all over the place (did I mention I was a clean freak? I'd be pulling the trans every weekend to wipe out the bellhousing...)
Plus auto makes for a much faster car when done right.
So it looks like this will be a typical 'street/strip' car, a 4l80e is perfect for racing in a straight line with no parts failures at 'moderate' power output, and legendary 240sx IRS/handling might allow for some decent handling.

I did compare and contrast 5.7L/6-speed with the 5.3/4l80e/turbo swap,
The 6-speed, 5.7L aluminum engine drivetrain costs more, handles less power, and is more expensive to replace is there is ever a problem.
Its also 'stuck' under 500hp naturally aspirated for an economical street setup.

I decided that I would rather have the cheaper engine (4.8/5.3), cheaper transmission(4l80e), and an extra couple hundred HP instead.
As I could never afford to replace a six speed transmission (they are SO EXPENSIVE) or an aluminum 5.7L (those are NOT free)
and I am really rough on equipment, I am well known for finding every little flaw and bug. I like to test everything at every conceivable possibility.

I feel almost as if Nissan intended this car to have a V8, but knew it couldn't be offered at 2800lbs with a V8 so they put a 4-cylinder instead and let us figure it out.
Another way to see this is, the modern LS V8 drivetrain weight is similar (or even less) than sr20det, and more balanced for the car.
Somebody weighed it out for us, turns out the 240sx is more balanced with an LS engine after all

I went through Factory service manual and collected the info I would need into one picture
photoshop will make it easy for everyone to see all the information without having to post multiple pics. This cuts down on the # of pics through out the thread.

Before I even had the engine I was wiring the harness up. This car has around 100 hours of wiring in it as of today and approx 20k miles already.

wired up to fire up. Will it fit in the car though? i was skeptical.

It fit perfectly though, like an OEM harness right onto the passenger floor board. I will probably mount the ECU under the dash after the A/C is done.

tested the ECU at home to make sure it worked, did the segment swap and 2-bar OS. Everything went smooth.

There are some very helpful folks on the hptuners site that got me in the right direction

couple more wiring
For the alternator

4l80e wiring and logic channels. Trying to make this thread both helpful and instructive, not just pretty pics of someone's stuff.

the turbo I chose was the smallest unit Borg Warner offers that still supports around 85lb/min (800~horsepower)
It is known as "S364". This was the first turbo I ever purchased. I didn't even open the box it came in until the day it went on the car,
because I do not want the air attacking it and dusting it up. I will never expose the insides to atmospheric content without an air filter,
except for once or twice here and there just to look inside briefly or get a video of the wheel spinning or something like that.
The air we breath is filthy. High quality filtration is part of 'cleanliness' that exerts an aura of high performance.

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)

The 4l80e is a monster. I love making jokes about how heavy it is.
I carried it about 15 feet into the back yard and realized I would need an engine hoist to get it up onto the table I was using.

-When I get out of my car, it waits for the other passenger to get out.
-The car looks lowered (its not lowered)
-When you try to shift 4l80e, it shifts you instead.

Inside the 4l80e was very cherry, it came from a 4.8L Van with ~101,000 miles.

post regarding 4l80e I came across that seemed worthy

DBW to DBC conversion chart (I made this because the schematic fooled me pretty good, its got both color harness connectors shown together on one plug)

Couple more FSM pages that are useful

Alright lets see the engine work!
First thing they all need is a good wash

Cleans up pretty good for a start

hit it with a wire wheel to shine it up and remove the rest of the crust. Just be gentle.

So now it was time to remove those annoying broken exhaust bolts

A friend told me about the secret recipe (shhh)

Well, after breaking extractors and dremeling them out and breaking more extractors... I was just /facepalm
The heads flew off

Really happy I got to get under the heads and clean the engine up
Thats more like it. I was also able to inspect crosshatch and lifters

It looks good to me so far! Hit the image limit, on to the next post...

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
While waiting for the new heads to come in I found out how tight the balancer bolt was

FSM procedure for MLS deck prep

Clean up that OEM balancer

I don't have an angle gauge... but I do have a plane of reference and a unit circle!

Setup a timing pointer that I didn't need, and inspect deck flatness

Heads came, New sweat to drown me in :rock:

Looking back I think this was good preventative maintenance I should have done anyways.

I've been around the internet... and heard too many stories about installing head gaskets backwards and coolant flying out of orifices not to stop and check...

Use brand new head bolts... do et!!111:smt115

"Dress up this rotten carcass, just to make it look alive" -NiN

Well that was easy :p


88 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A very nice person on corvetteforum sent me a whole box of LS1 accessories.
I used F-body spacing this time around. Seems like theres tons of room for any space I want in the 240 though.

This is how you get the 5.3 to accept LS1 alternator bracket

The PS line kit for 240 they sell in ebay was too long, simply cut it with a hack saw

Speaking of cutting the sikky oil pan instructions require that I cut rear of the windage tray, I think this is for oil return reasons.

Since I had the pan and tray off anyways, I looked around inside.

Gen3 internals good to at least 600bhp, and I've seen them at 600rwhp so I think I can push my luck to 700bhp or so without issue.

Not sure if I did the engine any favors but I primed the oil galleys manually, it felt right

I'd never seen an LS before this so all these different models were confusing, like L6 Lx LM LY LOL IT R ALL SAME V8 TO ME :smt072:axe:
Was the LS6 cover gasket the same as the truck cover?


I decided to use the truck cover after all. After inspection, I noticed the LS6 valley cover has a baffle but not a check valve, it was just an open hole in the back.

Yeah, like my engine needed another hole in the crankcase, in a hard to access location (at the rear).

Who does/want that?

I swung by my friend's fab shop and he let use the tig to slap an oil drain on the sikky pan.

I set the intake on to do wiring harness injector lead extensions.

Somehow I managed to reverse the two sides, I guess when I worked the harness to fit the car interior, every injector wire needed to be extended. I only noticed because I pay attn to every little detail, could you imagine the motor firing up with #1 injector wired to #2 and so forth? Yeah it would have run... like shit!

Pan chillin on engine

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Cut the 4l80e 'ears' off they said

After cleaning all the aluminum out of my ears

I fill the new converter with fluid and engage the most important part of the vehicle ever so gently into its new home.

And it was time for a test fit. The 5.3/4l80e combo was so heavy I decided the best way would be to chain the hoist to the bees nest.
I started calling the ~40 year old boat 'bees nest' when a family of bees... well you get the picture

The hoist is around 25 years old (maybe older) and barley works. I have to be careful not to get under it because at any minute it could break me in half. Its wasn't in the budget to replace so...
Luckily with no core support the engine only has to come chest high give or take.

I simply push the car under the engine and lower bit by bit. Easiest job ever.
It fits great! I love all the space in front and around the plugs.
The car was made for this swap

Next day I started making the trans mount. Everywhere I read says I would need to do major surgery to get this 4l80e to fit in there.
"nonsense" I said to myself, as I raised the tailshaft. "I'll make it fit with the stock crossmember watch"
And so I did.

Or so I thought. After cutting some nicely shaped materials and firing up the 30+ year old arc welder (everything we have is super old and barely works)

I was like yeah, that was easy...

Reinforced OEM crossmember with some extensions on it looked to be a quality piece.

I was looking at it and something was bothering me about it. Hmm what was it. What did I neglect...

Suddenly, I knew what it was

@#*&@# I had forgotten about the pinion angle. This was my first trans cross member fabrication and I was only vaguely aware of such atrocities.

Sure enough it was wayyyy off.

The trans had to go up another... it felt like 10 feet.

Seriously though the tailshaft to move up at least 5 inches.

And of course... there was no way to do that because the factory cross member mounting... brackets? stubs? what do you call those things anyways. Well, whatever they were, they were in the way.

I cut them off the chassis faster than I can form coherent thought

Couple hours of hammering and cutting later, I had all the room i needed. And then some. I bet I made the record for most roomiest transmission tunnel 240sx chassis in the world.

Quickly got to work making a whole new mount system. Thicker... stronger... less bolts... easy to access.

I am glad this happened the way it did.
And best of all, pinion angle was PERFECT. And if I sound surprised... I was. After all this was my first real trans mount ever, and the materials came from a scrap pile of leftover steel from bridge construction materials.

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I took some time to file the burrs from support spot welds, and coated the bare metal with POR-15 to seal it up.

Love that stuff.

Then I pulled the plugs, put a battery charger on it, and started looking for oil pressure on the trusty $12 mechanical gauge I purchases specifically for this one critical test

30~ seconds later, no oil pressure. And nothing in the see-through lines either. No kidding...

Well, damn. I didn't want to take any chances, so,
Pulled the engine back out and ordered a new oil pump.

Pulled the pan and front cover

looked inside the old oil pump

And it looked fine!

Primed the new pump and installed it.

Chalked it up to preventative maintenance.

My method for putting the pan on. And off. And on. And off...
and on.

You gota use a new balancer bolt each time, too

FWIW the motor did the same thing: no oil pressure for a good 30 seconds. Its just how they are after sitting I guess, and residual oil protects the motor while it waits.

After 40+ seconds it did finally show oil pressure.
Video of oil pressure results

Plenty of oil pressure primed up,
The motor was looking good, couple things left to do before the fire :smt025

Got the manifold on and ready to go, but first I wanted to pressure test the manifold/head

A very simple, essential test that is often overlooked.
I made a video of this as well to help others with the overall idea

I will do it again from the compressor once the turbo is placed and plumbed.
A "Boost leak pressure test" is always done prior to running a forced induction motor. It is one of the three things I always demand before tuning an engine (other two are: compression and timing test)

Tentatively placed the core support back so I could find radiator hoses and finish some wiring to fire up.

Couple of runs (literally) to the auto store and I had everything I needed more or less.

Looped the trans lines for the moment because its not like I was going to drive it yet.

I plugged in all the basics, lines runnin all over the place, just to get it started of course.

Loaded HPtuners on the laptop and used the scanner to add fuel until it started and ran. Pretty easy...

I let it warm up, fans kicked on, everything seemed to work well. But the exhaust being so short bothered me a little so I shut it off and shoved some clothing into the manifolds to keep cold air from... you know... doing stuff to the valves. Or whatever. I'm just being super careful ok!

I put the car back up and started working on the shifter next.
I think of this as sort of an intermission.

The Engine running was a big step for me, hearing it just... well you know how it feels, I bet.

Earlier in the week I had gone to U-pull-it and grabbed a bunch of different shifter related hardware because I wasn't sure what would work with the 4l80e.

After trial and error a bunch of different shifter strategies I found one that worked. I think this was the 4l60e bracket from a V6 Camaro...

After slightly elongating the holes it bolted to the trans easily enough. And worked marvelously with the OEM Camaro shifter...
I made a plate to cover the huge hole of course. And that was just the beginning of my insulation plans...

My dream had come true- An OEM style shifter fit the car perfectly. Like it was made for it.

I started laughing manically at some point over this.
My god this thing will be so easy to hide. :smt077 Even left like this you almost can't tell it wasn't made for the car.


88 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
As I get a chance between homeworks I can keep updating,
thanks for the kind words

next step: get exhaust plumbing so it will drive and finish the rest.

I knew better than to try to do all the hard wiring/clips/shields/routes/details/fuel/etc without first knowing where those hot exhaust tubes are going to be.

I had the car towed to a friend's house that does turbo exhaust plumbing. Hes got a few cars and I've tuned a couple of his 5.3L engines and really like the way his fabrication efforts look and holds up, the cars are fast and I stood on the plumbing. He offered to do mine when I suggested a V8 swap back before I started.
I was like hell yeah!

We used OEM truck manifolds and a 220V mig welder.

The car shouldn't be allowed to make any noise from it's gate.
Furthermore I wanted the gate extremely easy to access.

We went to U-pull-it and bought $40 of stainless exhaust tube which was more than enough. The 2.5" stainless came from volvos mostly and some of it was slight oval shape which I thought was cool, I used that close to the ground so the pipe is sort of flat on the bottom. I had always wanted to use oval pipe somewhere.

I spent a lot of time on the collector.
Extremely beefy with no sharp corners.

The top of the tube actually slides into the flange.

Before wraps

Here is driving it open downpipe, exh ends at bellhousing

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I enjoy welding/cutting/cleaning the intercooler plumbing, I've made around 30 sets for various vehicles over the years. I like all the different ways you can make welds look using different torch/tungsten.

I don't own a tig welder so throught this build the only activity I won't be doing myself is the welding.

I wish I did have a tig of course and if you wanted something welded I would do it just because I enjoy the process of measuring, cutting, cleaning, welding something.

My friend let me alone in his shop again to cut and clean everything.

He has some really cool tools for doing these types of jobs.

I love cleaning pipe spotless and positioning the clamps for easy access.

The car theme is speedy access.

I took the car for one last welding, a random muffler shop (I knew a good exhaust shop could bang out the tail-exh in a professional manner for cheap and I didn't want to bother my friends over this little piece, too easy)

I made a trade with them(a large muffler) to get a proper size muffler with extra resonator installed using my provided V-band clamp to extend the exhaust to the tailpipe.

Now it will look and sound like a regular car.
I love this picture down the back, with the exhaust hanging casually and the trans pan split.

One of the things I love about quiet car is ability to listen for engine/transmission noises. This is why I always recommend a quiet exhaust system for every car, to listen carefully to the drivetrain, then you switch to noise mode later if necessary.
Immediately I heard some kind of clattering noise in neutral, that I couldn't hear before with loud exhaust.

I did some searching and there was no info about this specific noise.
Yank suggested it could be the flexplate. And every since i put synthetic oil in the engine the rear main had started leaking. (checklist: always change the rear main, got it) so I figured this was time to pull the trans and do some maintenance.

First time opening the rear cover of an LS engine. Not the last.

All cleaned up. And while I was in there I added much needed insulation.

First time using rivnuts also

Triple checked the converter pull out I was using

Check fluid color in the daylight

Put it back on the road and still had the same noise.

Immediately I somehow knew it was the pump in the transmission, and realized I should have changed it anyways as preventative maintenance. The pump is the 'heart' of the trans and if it fails, the entire trans/converter could be finished.
A friend let me use his lift to make it faster. He also had a transmission jack. I felt spoiled doing this in the air while standing up.

New pump in. I 'rented' the pump tool from ebay (re-sold it).

Is it like a Regular car at idle?

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Next I wanted to do the fuel system but there was still too much wiring to do first. Since I had to pull the dash anyways I used this chance to fix some of the major cracks you might have noticed.

I took the next 25 hours or so devoted to re-wiring the chassis harness to relocate the fuse box to the rear.

I use extra protection everywhere. Its usually wires under tape, inside hose, wrapped in a loom, or even two hoses, or some combination of those.

I kept the OEM wiring for everything(air bag, horn, wiper washer, fog lights) available in case I want to re-use it (fog light switch can be used to turn something else on for example), plus I added several wires as spares so I wouldn't need to pull it back out again if I wanted more wires.

Where the harness goes through places like this it gets a big plastic shield. I scavenge these plastic sheaths from junkyard cars so I got plenty.

For now I wrapped the fuse box in a breathable bubble of protection and stuffed it into the quarter panel (shown below without wrap). Its still wired like a factory harness, battery power comes through the OEM fusable links in the trunk where the battery is now. I kept it simple.

Dash got huge upgrade.

Still not perfect but at least the huge ugly gashes are gone.

In preparation for the new fuel system, I ran some new hardlines.

Of course I used riv-nuts and OEM fuel line mount rubbers.

Hard steel fuel line is ideal for daily driver applications.

I ran the line on the side of the car away from the exhaust system.

I washed these out several times with brake cleaner then flared the ends using rental tool.

Even though the car still had the OEM fuel pump in the tank I was able to make 3~psi of boost reasonably on OEM injectors (to like 5500rpm) I drove it like that for quite a while and compiled this video of random pulls (mostly for audio enjoyment, I like listening to quiet car)
It was still on 3.9x differential so it spun easy, it wasn't very fast yet.

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
my car has a fuel infection
(I wrote this somewhere else but it was so well done I thought it fit here. )

Time to mate the newly installed fuel hardline with the new fuel system

The highest quality injectors I could find at a reasonable price turned out to be fuel injector clinic.
I got a great deal, bargained for a student discount on their cheapest injector, which was actually larger than their smallest injector.

Naturally I placed the highest flowing of the set on cylinders #7 and #8, mostly superstition

make sure you solder near open fuel lines for highest heart rate rush

Remember to grease O-rings !

So here is the pump I wound up with, another great deal I couldn't pass. Aeromotive stealth. 750hp forced induction capable they say.
Notice I only use high quality 'breeze' stainless hose clamps.

This picture is to remind us which direction the fuel sock must face when the pump is installed into the vehicle!

SO here is the original fuel lines/hat setup. The factory uses rubber hoses that wrap around the tank.

lol I used both clamps on the fuel pump feed because hey, why not

For the fuel pump wiring I decided not to use solder, it just seemed like a bad idea.
So I found these gasoline compatible crimp connectors, with some kinda 'vulcanizing' (heat shrinkable) ability.

So above we saw the factory lines are simple rubber wrapping around the tank.
A friend gave me the S15 tank topper which uses opposite direction for fuel lines,
I ran some braided hose exactly the same way the rubber lines were done from the factory, but on the other side (away from exhaust).
I wrapped them in protective rubber/tubes just like wiring to keep them from contacting anything. Most of us know what happens when stainless hose vibrates on other objects (it ruins both the object and the hoses).

Notice I didn't use any AN fittings anywhere in my fuel system (Okay, I admit I have ONE and its a RUSSEL on the fuel rail)
Clamped braided hose like this is track legal, and it eliminates any chance of AN fittings coming loose or leaking fuel etc... the horrors of AN fittings and braided hose is mostly avoided.
Far more simple and easy to deal with this way.

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content

For now, I set it up so that all the lines and regulator are easy to access. In the future I will put a 90* on the line and hide the filter etc...
but for now i Wanted it all very accessible for service just in case I wanted to change something.
You can also see the one AN fitting in the system, on the rail. It was necessary to mate the rail to the fuel line, there is really no other option there.

After you do this sort of work, run the fuel system in a quiet place with no wind. That way you can smell fuel if there are any leaks.
I crawled all along the car, under and over, inside and out, smelling for gasoline which has a strong odour we are familiar with, while the fuel pump ran.
The Quiet helps listening for things that should not be making noise.

After the new injectors it was 1am~ but I still wanted to drive it real quick.
I plugged in the numbers and one the very first try/tune it was good enough to start and drive around with, and even go WOT for a test run.

Next thing I needed was a proper intake tube and PCV vent/draw for the crankcase, like OEM. I have copied the Toyota/Nissan turbocharged engine platform exactly. I will show the tube soon, after the shielding is started.
While I was at my friend Kiko's shop, I had the intake tube off and made this video for fun (I never get to see it spinning, I wanted to get a video I could watch over and over and over...)

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Spark plugs
An essential for performance applications is easy plug access. I really like how inline 4 and 6 cylinder engine's plugs are so easy to get to. If I couldn't get the easy access I wanted... I wouldn't have done this swap.

Not that I check them much, or at all, haha :rolleyes:

It was about 7k miles that I had put in the new injectors/pump. I had been driving on unknown injectors (LS1 or something) and had put the plugs through hell, so to speak, what with all the tuning and fooling around with what is/was a new computer system. I made a post on HPtuners about it because its always nice to have other people with more experience check your $#!T out.

Here are the plugs with 7k

They looked pretty good to me. A little anti-seizy but I think that's mostly from handling on the way out.
The plugs take about 30 minutes to change. Even so, I'm so lazy I never even checked them once. It has been a maintenance free monster. I can just tell from how it runs and sounds, plus I got a third eye on the wideband all the time too so it never stays rich and fouls them up. It knows better. Or maybe it has me trained to know better. Either way I spose is fine.

Luckily OEM manifolds support like, oh I don't know, around 800rwhp+ and have easy plug access. What more can you want from a V8 in a random chassis?

even with school pressing down... I still managed to get a bypass installed right after the compressor (The way it should be). Don't let anybody convince you to put a bypass after an intercooler :smt076

It works [email protected]#*(@# FANTASTIC, very tight and very responsive. I am very sensitive to the sounds of a compressor "in pain". Now I can finally start turning up the boost without damaging the poor turbo (it is one of the keys to maximize the lifespan of the turbo)

Now that I was driving it so much, I figured it was time to get an alignment and put some decent suspension parts on the car, and some tires. I did the tie rods, struts, strut mounts, lower control arm bushings, ball joints, TC rods, probably some other stuff I forgot about. I'm not huge into suspension, I do not enjoy super low cars or ridiculous adjustable units for a daily driver, and none of that stuff will make it any faster on the street.

Pretty much everything in the front end needed to be changed, and it wasn't very expensive.

I used all OEM parts (I mean, KYB AGX I consider pretty much an OEM strut)
And of course I can't do everything myself- Thanks, Stephan, for aligning the car.

That took a day.
Now it drives like a Cadillac.... Escalade :smt075(5.3 humor)

Rear End Fun

Unlike other cars :smt064
Nissan 240sx has incredible options for differentials and brakes that are extremely robust, affordable, and easy to install.

The entire differential setup was surprisingly easy to find.

This is from a 90's (90-94 I think) Q45 (V8 car),

basically an indestructible, wheel stand capable, 32-spline axles, etc etc &c
Same differential as in the twin turbo 300ZX I believe (3800lbs car).

I had never seen one before, only vague impressions over the years from forums. And no, it didn't fit in the Corolla. I bought a cheap Corolla to pick this up (and other dirty work) and I had it hanging out the side of the car for a couple miles, in the rain.
It got the back of the Corolla so filthy I was afraid I would have to burn it. Gear oil plus 20 year old grease is a GREAT combo. for um :-fire

The right rear end ratio, right around 3.5:1 is just about perfect for 130-140mph trap speeds, 10 second quarter miles and tidbits of highway cruise economy, a sweet blend of everything in an easy to install and extremely reliable package.

A large benefit of Nissan lineages IRS appears to be this interchange of parts between similar vehicles, offering V8 quality differentials in cars originally equipped with 4-cylinders.

To get this thing to mate the driveshaft (The 4l80e-yolked Sikky piece) just drill the flange. Only takes a couple minutes.

I put driveshaft flange on to make the holes center.
Some made the mistake of removing that bolt in the center. You can't just bolt it back on that easy. To do that is complicated and unnecessary.

I prefer simple and easy. The non-abs extension differential was same length as the OEM unit.

A shot inside the diff was difficult to take but worth it. I love how these things basically never wear out.
I used Amsoil's best synthetic gear oil in this thing to give it a fighting chance.

Exhaust shot
I love how it came out, very straight and easy to remove, its just puurfect. Wireless cutout is amaaaazing
This my friend weppa shop btw. He let me use his lift for the differential.

The diff made it much happier. A stock V8 wants a bit of load at 2500rpm, ya know? Poor thing couldn't get a grip...

It's time for a little progress video
Cutout and Bypass valve

A new meaning for 'cheap paint'
I also experimented with paint on the exterior a little.
Okay, a lot.
I just want to paint all over the car like a kid I guess. Usually I pick a spot that has something to cover, like the bumper has a small spot where I backed the car into an engine.

I saw some really good looking stripes on a car from magazine so I attempted to capture just a little of that essence here.
I think it came out good considering its a washable, $1 paint from walmart and I did it in the dark.

I feel it gives a personalized taste for no cost... how can that be wrong?

I love organizing and cleaning up my engine bay. I really enjoy starting out with a huge mess and gradually hiding and stylizing every single object in sight. It takes a loooong time though because before I can pack something away I need to be sure its going to last a loooong time. That is why you see lots of extra length wires, bolts in hoses, stuff kinda meandering around with seemingly no purpose.
This is how I manage to drive and work on the car at the same time, the extra length and extra easy access of parts that are normally 'hidden' allow me to diagnose on the fly while still in the process of the build. Don't judge till I'm done pls kthx
A progress shot of the engine bay

You might be wondering why all the colors, paint, etc...
couple reasons. One is, I am not sure what color I want things yet. What theme for the engine bay? I have a couple ideas but I needed to see some color on it first to help me decide. Another reason is... its basically free to paint with cheap paint which will also wash off with water if necessary, and I was bored (hard to imagine but yeah I get bored at night when I can't work on the car).
A third reason is, I was concerned about the temperature under the hood, and putting some paint with a very low tolerance to temp would help me see if anything was getting too hot. Basically the paint would run and I would notice that right away. It gets runny around 240-250*F I think. You'll see more about the temperature stuff in a minute.

I try the paint on lots of different parts. I noticed I could actually paint several things that normally wouldn't be very colorful... like the hoses for example.
Its just a start of course. Eventually I will pick a theme and basically paint (or powder coat) and shield/cover everything in the engine bay. At the same time the coverings will all be very easy to remove. I'll probably use some kind of snap-in-place parts like the new cars have for engine covers.

HPtuners small details
One of my favorite things about HPtuners (OEM ECU stuff) is all the options you get. For example, I've got one wire connects to a momentary switch which enables a secondary transmission map in the computer. This way, I have one map for normal driving, and one for... well, whatever.

The second map can change almost anything about the trans behavior, shift pressure (firmness), timing (delay), torque management, shift speed/rpm.
I found it extremely handy recently to keep from having to fool with the shifter. For example normally when driving the car goes from 1st to 2nd very early, even at 40-50% throttle position it will shift early to try and conserve fuel. I tuned the car this way on purpose... to conserve fuel of course.
however, sometimes you want to step on the gas lightly but not have the trans shift. Most people would pull the shift lever back to "1st gear" and then manually shift to 2nd, etc..
But I find that tedious, annoying, unnecessary. So instead, for now at least, I set my second map up so that it wouldn't shift so early from 1st or 2nd, that way instead of having to touch the shift lever and worry about shifting manually etc... I just smack (I'm rough with stuff to break it if its going to break) the button on my console and WHAM I have an ideal map for... rolling into 1st without having to worry about when to shift, hitting a limiter, or having it shift early, etc...

Egg Yolk?

This is just a shot of the yolk spacing at the trans, a critical distance some would say.
Luckily I didn't need to cut the driveshaft or rebalance it... ever. I like to avoid that kind of thing because it would invite vibrations and trouble if not done properly. And right now the car glides smooth as glass at all speeds so NO WAY I was willing to cut anything that turns.
I simply took the Sikky driveshaft they provide for the 4l60e,
then had a professional place put on the correct yolk. It needed some kind of "counter boring" I think they drilled down the center some distance for the 4l80e.
And walaa... It just happened to be the perfect distance for me. Good news for those of you wondering about that sort of thing.

Shielding video
Here is a video i made to help understand how I determine where needs shielding, more or less. Before I consider the airflow dynamic under the hood I simply take IR measurements first.

Most of it is doubled up, there are two pieces of shield with air space between them in most places as the most effective measure. I've done more since, this was just the first step and I banged out the video for comparison purposes.

I'll likely create another couple videos with this sort of progression, then figure out the final air path for the engine bay, buttoning up the undercarriage and putting water (lines/drips/heat exchangers/creative plumbing) wherever necessary.

88 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Since I can't edit posts, check in newer posts for error corrections and added details

post#2 broken link

Almost caught up.

Oil pressure switches be crazy
This was my first and only parts failure so far, and it was kind of funny. I came out to the car from class, and looked under it...
And saw a puddle of oil.
"UGH" I thought. Immediately my thoughts went to the rear main seal I had some recently "@#)(*# did the rear seal fail already?"
I didn't want to believe the seal had failed. I did that job so clean it would have truly shocked me.
I prayed it was the oil pressure switch and popped the hood and... it was!

This thing never worked to begin with. Something was wrong with it... I guess this is why... it was full of oil and had finally 'popped'.
Luckily I was carrying a replacement fitting for the back of the engine. I have many spare parts like that I carry around while building the car so that when stuff like this happens I am prepared. It took 30 minutes to pull this thing out and re-route the oil line and get back on the road.

some engine bay progress shots now that I am getting sorted.
Some of the events are out of order, for example the video of shielding happened before the alignment.
At some point I got a new camera so that is why the pictures suddenly start showing dates. The old one got brake cleaner on the plastic lens and its never been the same. I remember one time I tried to clean a plastic headlight with that stuff.

Hahahaha yeah that wasn't my car.

whats an active build thread?

I usually skip mundane topics for brevity but for this car that includes stuff like brakes and brake lines, oil changes, cleaning days, minor wiring, small diagnostics, etc... Like the time I took off the door panels and greased the window regulators and put anti seize on the door locks

Or that time I changed the alternator because I thought the old one was weak (it was fine) and made a little shield for it

Or Like (yes I just used like) it should be obvious the car has S14 silvia style (300zx) brakes and dot approved stainless lines, because I would be crazy to try and go 130mph without amazing brakes, and silvia brakes (26-30mm Aluminum 4-piston caliper stuff with new rotors from rockauto yum) are really really easy to get and no trouble OEM parts. Everyone knows that... So to me this obvious stuff, I never did a section on it like brakes because to me that is trivial, obviously I used this option. I only mention it now because my job is to save everybody money and that is two major ways the 240sx saves you money: IRS diff and brakes are basically done if you only need a 3.5:1 ratio, pretty sure I've seen 7's or 8's on this hardware. Do your research though as this is my first one.

To further improve fuel economy I am looking for taller tires, And some lighter rotating parts. I hope to get the weight for all the internal 4l80e parts and see if there are some lightweight alternatives if I ever need to go into a trans I'll try to have them handy. Also Hopefully soon I will get a second, light Al driveshaft to try, lighter wheels (probably put OEM wheels on the rear just to test). It's already got the tightest, lowest stall Yank could make, in the most efficient 9.5" size lockup, and an SFI flexplate. Its already got the synthetic gear oil in the diff.
I got some new rear wheel bearings thinking of preventative maintenance, but the Stock wheels bearings are so good- I've never had one fail or make any noise in any 240sx. So I am loathe to just start changing wheel bearings for no reason, what a job right? IF it ain't broke...

Besides rotational kinetic energy and inertial investment reductions, I have/can remove much weight from the car still to further improve economy to hopefully where I want it (lets say for now that 28mpg at 65~mph would be NICE but I think maybe 26-27 is possible, 25 is definitely possible. I will discuss mileage at length somewhere else). There is a list of things (I'll show my real lists to give examples) that need to go I just have to finish so much other stuff first before I will feel like 'cleaning' or 'scraping' the chassis for tid bits and welding holes shut and throwing away the spare brackets lingering around the engine bay and using actual hardware to hold stuff. Because right now I know I will need some of those brackets when I add or strap things down with tasty hardware instead of zip ties. And I still want everything accessible within a fair reason.

In case you can't tell, I am obsessed with economy. I never drive the car easy though, so the obsession makes no sense. It might just be that I need to know everything is extremely efficient- and good economy is a great sign that everything is turning smoothly, very low energy is being wasted, plugs are clean, pcv is clean, no smoke or fumes, a tight ship. Like if a part vibrates around, that is a bunch of wasted energy. And everything vibrates, everything is elastic, it is one of our jobs to sort out what parts need additional damping and how to achieve that.

Its always been fun to get 33mpg highway and have 400rwhp with the 4-cylinder models in this car, pretty standard setup I am very familiar with,
heres one of my very first cookie cutter koukis

To beat that power/weight is entirely subjective. In my opinion, it needs at least 580rwhp to compensate for the drop to ~25mpg. That is kind of where this build is headed for a peak power setting while still maintaining high reliability. And there are subtle hints everywhere- the injector sheet for example, showing 580rwhp being possible with 85% duty cycle with a relatively low fuel pressure setting.
Don't get the wrong idea here. It isn't the engine's fault for 25mpg. With a six speed manual trans, my setup right now would probably easily touch 30mpg. The main fuel hog is that 4l80e monster. Its like running an additional 2 to 3 A/C compressors all the time behind the engine. That is why I want to find some lightweight internal parts for her. Or some rollerized parts. Just anything to make it turn easier.

Is the trade off worth it in terms of auto vs manual? Oh GOD yes. 10000% times I prefer the feeling of a finely tuned automatic over anything else. The correctly timed, effortless shifts dialed to the exact firmness is a sweet symphony while I manage to hold a drink cup (hands free) getting sideways slightly on the 1-2 like it was an accident. OOooops sorry the car just does that when it shifts hahaha. When I press the little button on the dash it does... and when I press it again its back to nice and firm with no crazy tire spins and a reduced redline with some torque management etc...
Its an extremely customizable experience and it is very consistent and reliable. And supposedly there is very little wear and tear- the trans is designed to pull like 7000lbs and could very well outlast the 3000lb car. Nevertheless they are affordable and easy to find so I am not going to baby it.

As the plot only thickens
more questions and longer lists

Speaking of lists, I promised to share mine, here is a fairly recent version

And an older list

And a little rough sketch of temperatures around the engine bay

Lists are important so we don't forget things. I simply cannot remember all these items day to day. Gradually they slip away.
SO it is very important that you write things down if you are like that too.

Of course there need to be new lists, new sketches, as improvements are made they will get cleaner until I have a fairly exact portrait of the engine bay conditions under as much load as I can provide (probably on a dyno getting back to back runs through all gears). That way the car will be reliable under the harshest conditions which it is unlikely to ever see in the field, either that or I will be aware of potential issues.

Some of last semesters homework/materials for fun

And because I like to end each post with a updated video or two if possible to keep it interesting


88 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
One of the things i did around the end of last year was connect the wideband to the HPtuners scanner, so I can log the a/f ratio while driving and go back to check it later. The way I've BEEN tuning is basically by driving the car and then trying to remember where it was lean or rich (I'm pretty good at that) but my lazy method is no match to actually logging the wideband accurately then reviewing the situation painstakingly for hours making minute changes to fine tune the engine.

Key word here is 'fine tune' and HPtuners 2-bar OS does not support real-time mapping which makes it difficult to remember where the engine was lean or rich 20 minutes later sitting inside at a table and then re-upload the map. On the other hand the result is often superior when using data-logging when instruments are logging how you think they are in specific frames. No sense wasting 10-15 hours reviewing logs and making changes if your just going to change injectors or something the next day or if the logs don't have data presented the way you need it.

So here is my original map I've been driving on for months and months "un-tuned". this is the first log more or less I took with the hptuners scanner. I tuned it this way be "feel".
It was fairly close but definitely needed fine tuning. I was being a bit too conservative with fuel, it wasn't knocking or anything but it definitely picked up a bunch of torque and response right through the mid-range with the extra fuel, it seems to run great between 12.6 to 13.0 approaching 0psi. The knock sensors do work and from time to time they did help me remove 3 to 5 degrees from some of the mid-load regions of the map where it had 25* or something and really needed more like 20*.

Now here is it after a day or two of fine tuning, still not done but much more well tuned

Here are the changes I made to the VE map in order to 'fine tune' the engine

Now that is some fine tuning. Here is the VE map before and after as well:

After fine tuning for ~1 day:

And even more fine tuning later....

In order to fine tune, or rather what kick started my fine tuning, was the addition of an IAT sensor and appropriate shielding for the intake tube:

Yeah I've added a couple more shields. I will show more shielding once I get a little more of that done. Still lots to do, like that silly radiator tap for the steam port; it needs to be a welded fitting ideally. But I need to replace the radiator anyways because the orange water coming out of the truck engine is disgusting inside it. I've been flushing it monthly until it turns back to normal color, now that its clean I'll buy a new radiator and do the radiator shroud, hold-down/core support cover, clean up the plasma cuts, finalize radiator duct work and overflow container all at once, and hopefully move the trans cooler somewhere else (I'm thinkin near the rear of the car). It will be marvelous haha.

I can't wait to color that intake pipe by the way. The right way, probably real powder coat. But to do that I need to park the car for a couple days and I just can't bring myself to stop driving it...
Actually quite a few things need powder coated so I am just waiting to do all of them at once (need other things first though, like A/C)

Is it faster now that its 'analog wideband tuned'? Heck yes. I think it gained 20-30 horse and definitely gets up and goes quicker. The motor seems to enjoy air fuel in the 12.5's (much more torque) around -2psi and 0psi ranges.

What else can I say. Rock solid reliability I put thousands of miles on it since 2nd set of plugs. Still on my first set of plug wires.
I did a highway drive economy cruise at some point (just one so far) and get 22-23mpg with about 120lbs extra in the car luggage, mid-day Florida sun shining 70mph highway. It will do better in the future but for now this is pretty nice, almost back to what the stock KA24DE engine gets on the highway (25mpg with automatic)

Video time!

The first run:

So about 7psi of boost after the shift, notice that even with only 2-3psi of boost spooling in first the tires are already near their limits. Part of that is because the high cylinder VE due to the stock camshaft still being in the motor. When I finally install a proper camshaft the cylinder VE will drop in those regions (2400-3400) and the head/valve will flow more allowing more boost to make less torque in the low-rpm ranges where I want to spool the turbo and not blow the tires off. The reason it rises so slow and gently is because I have a large gate 44mm and using the weakest 3psi spring. With a heavier spring it should come on much faster and harder but all I have is street tires so this weak onset is actually tire sparing.

Also notice I am only taking to 5500rpm and 11.6:1. It's barely getting a warm up and already quick as a night terror. Even with less power than traditional 5-speed 2.0L 240sx swaps, its still much faster from a dead stop because of the auto and incredible converter. I love 'power braking' holding fuel and brake together. One time I almost crashed an oldsmobile into a friend's garage doing that, the carb got stuck wide open. I slammed it into park and shut it off. I was like 15 years old :D

Most of my drives are 40minutes to 2 hours. I'd like to work on the A/C system next and enjoy it at 7-8psi for a while but I think the need for more power will over-rule the search for A/C parts. Actually I drive the car so much now most of my $$ goes to fuel so I haven't been able to buy so much as a hose for the car in the last few months. Just using it like a work truck I guess. Almost 20k miles since the swap and the original 22 year old starter still works, original intake manifold gaskets sealed up (reused) original exhaust manifold gaskets (reused) and around 11-12k on the fresh TR6's from whenever I changed them.

It starts easy and hasn't let me down yet. Which is kind of scary in a way (its due for something I just know it lol)

How much power does it have / has it had so far

One of my favorite things to do is... math! I've been a math tutor for around 6 years now and teaching it is a great way to remember.

For this example, lets do two things. first lets try the traditional formula approach:
cidxrpm/3456 = cfm * .069 = converted mass/time (lb/min)
For 5.3L
323cidx5500/3456 = 514cfm * .069 = 35.4/lb/min at 100% VE
But this engine has an OEM camshaft so lets drop the VE to 80%:
35.4 * .80 = 28lb/min or 280 horsepower

Now lets compare what the engine is rated at... Oh look its 280hp stock.

SO our math is probably very close, that is, the motor probably does about 80% VE at 5,500rpm with OEM valvetrain.

So there you go. At 14.5psi (sea level) with the stock cam we got 280hp. If I add another half an atmosphere to it of similar temperature air, that would be 7psi of boost or 1.5 Pressure Ratio:
28lb/min * 1.5 = 42.5lb/min or 420 horsepower at 7psi of boost pressure. Wow that seems like a lot. Anyways lets now check at the tires, assume 17% drivetrain losses:
42.5 * .83 = 35.5lb/min or 350rwhp.

I feel like that is about right, just a little high for how I have it tuned. I bet I am sitting on 330rwhp right now with 20hp on the table to 'tune' into it with a bit more timing (couple degrees I guess).

Now lets see what it will do with a cam at 7psi of boost though:
323cidx5500/3456 = 514cfm * .069 = 35.4lb/min * 1.5 = 53.2lb/min * .83 = 44lb/min or 440rwhp! So a cam is worth around 100hp or more to the tires, the more boost the more its worth, believe it.

And now the 15psi run, with a cam:
514cfm * .069 * 2 * .83 = 58.8 or 580rwhp
Note that I am taking engine flow rated at 5500rpm Even though it will likely spin 6300~. Consider the additional flow rate due to rpm as part of the error in this calculation due to any loss of VE in the stock head.

In reality it will probably take more like 18 to 20psi to hit that number, for various reasons (the turbo is a bit 'small' for that flow rate, the trans is probably a bit more parasitic than I am giving it credit for, the intercooler might be a tad undersized for such a high flow rate, the water injection will absorb some of the power, the exhaust downpipe isn't perfectly free-flowing, basically a bunch of little things will come together at that level) however I intend to dramatically raise the octane using methanol so 20psi of boost is no issue for top speed runs (track and dyno) and won't even be necessary for the daily driver setting.

Just a stock 240


88 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I just had a mid-term so theres a bit of free time to do couple more sections.

I Should probably add a links and time frame post for this LS swap

Timelime <!>
I sort of always consider today (even now) as a 49% waypoint, the vehicle drives well and I think I have the basics covered: pinion/trans stuff is silent and smooth, overall wiring schematic and function of devices proper, trans/engine are good, no oil/water leaks, no strange noises, turbo doesn't smoke (good drain), no exhaust leaks, no overheating, verified every cylinder fires and contributes evenly by disabling 1 injector at a time while driving, car pushes fairly well (no dragging), drives as many miles with no issue. I still have alot of that list to deal with so check on that thing for hopefully near future changes.

1-23-17 I went to the junkyard to scope out some LSx engines. Just looked at them, I had never seen one in person before, I mean never really LOOKED at one and tried to remember things about it. I made a thread on an LS specific site asking questions about what I saw. It was epic and I got banned. the admin was being a jealous jerk at my beautiful word use, it was just a haiku.

2-2-17 I went back to the junkyard and pulled a wiring harness from a 5.3L Tahoe motor, and took the 411 PCM, took it home and started the wiring (following
If you want a more detailed build thread, you may see the more wordy version:

2-15-17 I received my first LSx 5.3L Engine from Ebay, and it was rusty and had low compression on two cylinders (bad head gasket). I got a full refund but it set me back.
2-21-17 I got a second engine from a local junkyard. It too had low compression on multiple cylinders. I didn't realize it at the time but that engine was probably fine to use, and just needed some cleaning and gaskets. Being inexperienced with LSx engines, however, I sent it back for another.
2-21-17 I removed the core support from the 240sx by removing the spot welds, took about 2 hours. De-bur the holes, sand, clean, and painted it. I used POR-15 on the chassis.
2-22-17 I received a 4l80e with 100k miles, took the pan off and it looked very good inside, red cherry fluid and minimal clutch material.
2-23-17 I received a third LSx engine and had even worse compression and a broken piston in this one.
2-24-17 I drove to homestead to check out the remaining LSx engines in the junkyard by myself. I brought a starter, battery, and compression tester with me, and walked throughout the junkyard and compression tested about 8 different engines they had. I wound up keeping the best one I could find, which had ~170 across the board. "Its a lost art" he told me as I left.
3-4-17 I pulled the heads from the engine I had selected. I bought re-freshed heads with new seals and a valve job, and exchanged my old ones in as cores.
3-11-17 The new heads arrived and I put them on the engine with new gaskets, following FSM procedure. Spent alot of time cleaning the pistons and chasing threads.
3-12-17 Installed F-body accessories, drilled and tapped the block for alternator, new balancer bolt, spent alot of time cleaning and chasing threads again.
3-12-17 Also Cut the "ears" off the 4l80e and installed knock sensors, valley cover.
3-17-17 Installed Sikky Oil pan, and booted the 411 PCM at home on the floor to connect with HPtuners, unlock it and do the 4l80e segment swap, and go 2-bar.
3-18-17 I put the engine into the 240sx and started making trans mounts
3-20/21-17 Made the first set of trans mounts to fit the 4l80e without cutting or banging the tunnel at all. This was a huge mistake because I found out a couple days later that there is such a thing as "pinion angle" and my home-made mounts put the trans at far too much downward slope. The trans needed to raise ALOT so I did all that work for nothing.
3-24/25-17 Pulled the engine back out, and modded the trans tunnel heavily. I will provide more details elsewhere. For now, just know I cut out the OEM crossmember mounting locations, and hammered it up a little too much (Over kill). But the reward was worth it: the trans fit with the proper pinion angle. Had to make completely new crossmember and mounting locations, though.
3-26-17 I spent some time cleaning; washing, scrubbing the front of the car, and added the POR-15 to the areas hidden by the core support.
4-6/7-17 Pulled the engine back out because I thought the oil pump was bad. I pulled off the front cover, oil pan, and installed a new melling OEM oil pump. Turns out, the oil pump was probably fine. Better safe than sorry, though.
4-10-17 Started it for the first time. It fired up and ran great even though I just guessed the initial injector settings and had no clue what the fuel pressure was.
4-16-17 Sikky sway bar and trans oil lines install. In case you are curious, I leave the torque converter unbolted from the flexplate until I am sure everything else is ready and the engine wont have to come back out.
4-18-17 my birthday. I installed the Camaro shifter into the 240sx and put fluid in the trans finally, and made the car drive a short distance. So far, so good!
4-28-17 I finally was able to get the car trailored to my friends house, where we started welding up the turbo manifolds (he has a mig welder). I saw his personal LSx turbo manifolds and I wanted mine the exact same way! We woekred on it about 3 hours every day from 5pm to sunset, missing a couple days on the weekend.
5-10-17 we finished the welding of the manifolds, overall it took about 24 hours total. I painted and wrapped them the best I could (my first time using wrap, I got very itchy) DEI titanium.
5-18-17 Just about ready to put everything on the car and start it / drive it away.
5-19-17 Welded in the wideband, installed the downpipe, finalized all bolt torque, used anti-seize on everything, and drove the car for the first time like a normal car. Err truck.
5-20-2017 have 26 minutes of driving on the car
5-23-17 Have about 100 miles on it and continue to finalize items on the enormous list I have

4-6-18 new injectors, aeromotive stealth, aeromotive regulator, fuel lines, fuel filter
4-28-18 7,000 miles, new plugs TR6 installed
6-28-18 3.5:1 differential installed
8-13-18 new alternator AC delco (now it feels like a regular daily driver lol)

As I finish each, I Will be able to show finishing of the multitude of minor details, such as battery relocation, battery tray reconstruction, fuel line relocation, radiator final placement, A/C condenser placement, final transmission cooler resting place, fuse box relocation, fuse panel changes, heat shield additions, fire sleeve/reflective surfaces, anything I think is worth documenting for maintenance or record. I keep different kinds of records on different sites. In other threads I have more about what I was thinking. So this build is really just getting started. It has many miles to go before finished. Its just not a corpse 'being built' as I am actively driving it.

quick breakdown comments;
I bought the transmission like Feb

from ebay then, and by 5-23-17 had 100 miles on it with an open downpipe, drivin around like a beat up work truck. So this is easily a six month swap, and you can skip all the fab work I had to do if use a Naturally aspirated kit. Compared to an SR swap which is 1-day swap. 1-day is too easy, I want to DO something to the car not just install a perfect engine and be done (is it crazy that I think its boring to drive a regular new car? perish the thought):-~hang
The only reason I was able to produce turbo is because I was able to get the fab work done quickly (I don't wait to do things), and I know I shouldn't depend on luck all the time to get good parts and just hope everything fits by pure luck, and that it will last forever if I just keep cleaning it. I was willing to work with the risk and assume I could conquer any obstacle with sheer perseverance, and that simply isn't always reality. There was one expensive bad part so far- the trans pump,

which cost almost as much as a next transmission, that definitely had been over looked in the budget but oh well.

Also error in an above post, somewhere I say "besides... inertial investments" I meant to say "besides rotating inertial investments".

Links <!>
I spent a couple years gathering information before jumping into this swap head first. I wasn't sure I would ever get the chance to do one but it just happened to work out.

Here is saved info in no particular order

Phil quote turbo pipe:
Its my belief that the pipes should be merged before the turbo and you should have at least 3" of straight pipe before it goes into the turbo. If space doesn't allow than you do the best you can do. You don't want hard turns right before the turbo.

Block the heater hoses, dont loop

coils dwell
"The dwell time at low rpm is what hurts the coils. Some coils (the round ones) will fire over 5ms by themselves hurting engines. I have ran the truck coils at 7ms above 5000rpm with good results."

engine building?

Alternator failure and replacement from a truck

LS to KA weight comparison

starter breaks block

Oil Barbell

grease the idler pulley

Cam oil retainer ring pressure leak spot

fix steam ports

low cost steam port solution:

the Al. 5.3 is where its at:

use Thread sealer for rocker bolts on ported heads:

use a torque plate, heat the block, art method?

About torque plate, NOT honing, etc

Oil pump swap writeup

Quick Squish post

more misc:

LS1 and LS2 lifter trays

timing chain thingy
from thread:

Road race oil control thread

Pullout prices

"I hear ya! Had more trouble with machining BS trying to use aftermarket parts than I care to admit. Wish I would have stuck to factory short blocks as well. Tired of pulling apart "built" motors when guys are making twice the power on factory original stuff and racing the whole season."

LS1 vs LS2 small thread

O-ring is very important

Chain rollers, PREVENT THIS

Rear mounts WORK

Wet sump oil falling RPM post

Even crate engines fail, use an oem block

weird ringland thread

HP tuner thread

good MEthanol thread with some calcs

Oil Accumulator post, followed by more goodness

reliability bottom end list

another bottom end reliability

Low mileage engines fail too, more reason to always use a cheap engine

Don't rebuild that engine!

"stock is reliable on the track"

Engine building (machine shop/paying for work instead of doing it yourself) screws you over most of the time


PS pressure reducing shim kit:
"the stock LS1 throttle cable bracket, it works great with the S14 throttle cable just by simply flipping the LS1 bracket upside down! "

240sx LS swap example forum

Common turbo items

BOLT SIZES FOR stuff LS motors

To swap from Truck intake to LS6:
ls6 intake
ls1/ls6 intake bolts (can't use the truck ones, they are too short)
97/98 vette fuel rail (for 99 to 03 trucks) or 98 to 02 f body fuel rail (04 & up)
ls1/ls6 style injectors (i chose 28.8#'s b/c i needed bigger ones already)
ls1/ls6 injector pigtails summit part no. MSD-2400
ls1/ls6 water pump
ls1/ls6 map sensor
custom idler pulley relocation bracket
LS6 Valley cover?

Use Anti Seize on the V-band threads!!
"Do coat the inside of the retainers with dry film lubricant to reduce friction between the coupling and the flanges."
Use a flexible exhaust piece between crossover joint!!!

"The trick we have learned from experience is to tap hard on the clamp with a mallet as you are tightening, you will vibrate the two ends flush together and when you go back to tighten the nut again, you will feel it has gotten loose."

"Most of the guys in the 240 uses are R4 LS0278 bracket if they are doing a/c."

" an easy way to tell if a motor is a gen3 but with the good internals, it will have the rear cam read, on the back of the "lifter valley" and have 13mm header bolts, and 13mm lifter valley bolts. They installed the larger head bolts at the same time they did the Internals, this has proved true in our experience so far."

"Buy the LQ9 out of an Escalade and a 2wd 4L80E out of a 2500 pickup."

Of course if you are standing in-front of a vehicle, you can look at the VIN#. 8th digit is the Engine, 10th digit is the year. T = 5.3L LM7, V= 4.8L LR4, Z = 5.3L L59 Flex Fuel (1999 to 2007) Typically 1999 to 2002 were cable driven throttle bodies, however, some did get drive by wire as early as 2000 I have seen.

2001+ Used MLS (multi layer steel) head gaskets. This can be identified by looking for a small brass rivet in the head gasket at each end of cylinder head where head meets block. Rivet = MLS

a couple other links I made
Guide for buying 240sx (this is on a couple Nissan forums)

A Previous 240sx 'build'

And for fun video my first stand-alone in 2001
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