Photography by Virgil Knapp
In any nuclear family, there are some kids that are at an immediate disadvantage. And it’s not always the rule but they might no have as many natural abilities and talents as the others. Especially true with the first child that is always the most nurtured and usually ends up setting the tone for the rest of the siblings. If they over achieve the others strive for success, if they flounder, it becomes natural for the others to think: ‘hey I can flake out and still not be as useless as that kid.’ But some kids buck the trend and beat all of the odds by improving themselves and pulling themselves outta their situation by self-improvement.
So this is where we find the USDM 240SX born in Japan and shipped to America with a truck motor. The Japanese car was linked with the DNA of a turbo 2.0L – the SR20. While the legendary SR20 has enormous potential, swapping that engine into a USDM S13 had been played out. So much so that it doesn’t even raise interest of onlookers and the tuning world wanted to see more outrageous swaps. Well they came in many forms including the RB motors. But even then, there were many already out there so owner Trevor Empey of Ottawa realized that to be different, you needed to go against the grain. He decided to run with an RB, not just the more common RB20 or RB25 either but the big dog from the Skyline GT-R…the RB26. A 2.6L twin turbo power plant capable of over 1000hp and in the lighter 240 chassis is downright frightening to drive.
After three years and $150,000, Empey arrived at what you see today. What appeared to be a mild custom 240, turned into something real interesting when you see under the hood. And it is almost as if what you can see is the real magic behind the build. This particular motor build started with the desirable N1 block from the R34 GT-R which is stronger and lighter than its predecessors. The block was outfitted with the HKS 2.8L stroker kit giving the engine that much more punch even if it is just under 10% increase in displacement. A complete HKS bottom end was complimented by HKS gear in the head as well including valves, springs and 272-degree cams. After the package was bolted-up with ARP studs and a cometic head gasket ready to take the abuse from the new snail.
The factory twin pea-shooters were eliminated in favor of the mighty GT42R turbo from Garrett. The squished air is sent though a maze of custom piping and a healthy custom front mount popping off excess air with a TurboSmart BOV all fabricated by JRP in Toronto, ON. The charge air slips past a 101mm billet throttle body by Top Secret before entering the six shooter. Huge gulps of high octane a picked up by twin Walbro pumps and flowed into an HKS rail and sprayed out 1000cc Precision injectors. When the mixture is read, it is ignited by Splitfire coilpacks, which are a necessity on all of the high horsepower applications. All of the flames, er fumes are fired out the back with a custom 3.5-inch stainless system capped by an A’PEXi N1 canister.
How much is high horsepower? Well for now the car puts down 821whp with 575lb-ft of torque. The tuning performed by AEM technicians on the EMS standalone netted that horsepower on the KVR Performance Dyno in Ottawa, ON. Thaat is enough to throw this light S13 around with the kind of intensity reserved for supercars. But the driveline wasn’t having it, so it was beefed up with a Quaife LSD, Driveshaft shop stage 5 axles, ACPT carbon fiber driveshaft and an Exedy triple plate carbon clutch. All of these components are high grade, more notably the Exedy triple plate that can withstand over 800lb-ft of torque.
With the new found power, Empey needed and aggressive look. Always being a fan of the more classic styling as opposed to hot JDM flavor of the month be went with a VeilSide front and BN Sports rear bumper. Genuine parts, not knock-offs but when it came to the widebody he found himself lost for a supplier. Empey did the next best thing to contract a Dez’s Paint shop bodyshop to fabricate a widebody completely out of metal. After many hours of prepping, a VIS carbon fiber hood was added and a APR carbon fiber adjustable wing for downforce. The headlights were an AB Flug conversion and the tails were converted to JDM tails. All of the molding and badges were shaved off and the handles were removed, making the sides as smooth as glass. The paint work was performed by Painters Secret in a deep black with a subtle transition to blue.
Rounding off the looks are a set of Work Meister S2R wheels with ample dish all around. The fronts are 18x8.5-inch wrapped in BFGoodrich KDW 225s, while the rear are 18x10-inchers wearing 285/30ZR18s. Lurking behind the polished spokes are Stop Tech 4-piston brakes all around, chomping down in 13-inch 2-piece rotors. A set of TEIN Type FLEX coilovers we installed with the adjustable EDFC motors on all four corners. To reduce the roll around the corners, Whiteline sways both front and rear were installed. Empry found more gear in the Whiteline catalogue and added a front and rear strut bar as well to tighten up the aging chassis. He also blending in some suspension components from Battle Vision including front tension bars, lower arms, power brace, rear toe traction and both upper and lower rear arms. The sum of these parts is one S13 that handles like it is on rails.
Empey planned on taking this former audio contender to shows and knew that his mint interior would have been torn up to make room for custom work. The stock leathers were pulled in favor of some Sparco Torinos draped with Sparco 5-point harnesses. The structure is both protected and strengthened by a Mazworx 6-point cage surrounding the cabin. A wealth of carbon fiber accents and wrapped are found around the interior, in addition to Auto Meter carbon fiber pods for the gauges. The steering wheel is a Sparco Flash connected to a Momo hub and NRG quick release.
Since Empey is a former audio competitor, he hand-picked some of the better components out on the market. With signals output from the Sony CDX-90 headunit, the Phoenix Gold amps bump up the volume before heading to the speakers. On the low-side of the frequencies are the twin 600.2 Ti Series from Phoenix Gold feeding heavy bass to three MB Quart PWD 304 subs. The mid range is taken care of with a 500.4 Phoenix Gold amp running the MB Quart QSD component found throughout the interior. All of the wiring and distribution locks are all courtesy of Phoenix Gold. And the results will speak for themselves when Empey begins to compete in this car.
We have to hand to Empey for going against the grain with the looks and power plant of his car. He said it was really frustrating getting all the parts together and for now just wants to enjoy the car and all the fun a 1000hp motor offers. For his sake, we hope he doesn’t start experimenting with race gas.
Owner: Trevor Empey
Location: Ottawa, ON
Vehicle: 1992 Nissan 240SX
Power: 821whp with 575lb-ft
Engine: Nissan 2.6L RB26DETT inline-6
- Nismo N1 block
- HKS 2.8L stroker kit
- HKS valve train
- HKS 272-degree cams
- ARP studs
- Cometic head gasket
- Garrett GT42R turbo
- Custom intercooler & front mount
- TurboSmart BOV
- Top Secret 101mm throttle body
- Twin Walbro pumps
- HKS fuel rail
- 1000cc Precision injectors
- Splitfire coilpacks
- Custom 3.5-inch stainless exhaust
- A’PEXi N1 canister
- AEM EMS
- Exedy Triple Carbon Clutch
- Quaife LSD
- Driveshaft Shop stage 5 axles
- ACPT carbon fiber driveshaft
WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
- Work Meister S2R wheels - (f): 18x8.5-inch, (r): 18x10-inch
- BFGoodrich G-Force KDW tires - (f): 225/35R18, (r): 285/30R18
- Stop Tech 4-piston/13-inch brakes
- Tein Type FLEX coilovers
- Tein EDFC
- Whiteline sways bars
- Whiteline front and rear strut bars
- Battle Vision: (front tension bars, lower arms, power brace, rear toe traction and both upper and lower rear arms.)
- VeilSide front bumper
- BN Sports rear bumper
- Metal widebody by Dez’s Paint
- VIS carbon fiber hood
- APR carbon fiber wing
- AB Flug headlight kit
- Paint by Painters Secret
- Sparco Torinos
- Sparco 5-point harnesses
- Mazworx 6-point cage
- Auto Meter carbon fiber pods
- Sparco Flash steering wheel
- Momo hub
- NRG quick release
AUDIO / MULTIMEDIA
- Sony CDX-90 head-unit
- Phoenix Gold 600.2 Ti Series x2
- MBQuart PWD 304 subs x3
- Phoenix Gold 500.4 amp
- MB Quart QSD components
- Phoenix Gold wiring and distribution blocks