Latest Project NX GTi-R Articles

NX GTi-R: Hill Climb Edition

by Frank Ewald

Two years of wait time is over. With the car now running and putting down reasonable horsepower, it was time to dust off my driving gear and check out how rusty my skills had become. The NX GTi-R was pulled out of AES Auto, loaded up on my tow dolly, and started the trek east down the Trans-Canada Highway and Coquihalla Highway to Kelowna, B.C. and the home of Knox Mountain Park. This was the location of my next bucket list adventure, the Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb.


 

Nissan NX GTi-R V. 3 Continued

by Frank Ewald

You have either been waiting for a year for this update or you are not even sure of what the NX GTi-R is. Of course, a minority may be saying not again but you will have to endure my writing about my favourite car. For those of you who have been waiting, it has been a challenging couple of years but, with the help of AES Auto, things are moving in the right direction. For those of you who are not familiar with this project, this one owner Nissan NX1600 comes with a pedigree earned in the school of hard knocks. The SR20DET swap took place about five years ago and it has been an ongoing learning process - and I must admit I have made some mistakes along the way. When a cracked oil pump took out the engine in 2015, it was time to sit down and really think through the process. 


 

NX GTi-R: Version 3

What Happened! And Start Collecting Parts!

by Frank Ewald

There has been silence in my garage for almost a year. The NX GTi-R, when you last saw it, had rod knock and was parked until I had the time to work on it. Life intervened and many things have caused this project to get pushed to the background. Then Mike Kojima and I met in the paddock at Buttonwillow. It was not that I was stalking him (well, maybe I was sort of stalking him) but a chance to meet the man after years of online chatting and emails was something I knew had to happen. After very few pleasantries the conversation moved to cars and then Mike asked about the NX. With his suggestions and input, my future build took a change of direction with my intended stock build moving to a built engine. Believe me, it did not take very much persuading to make this move. Eagle Rods, CP - Carillo Pistons, JWT cams, Calico Bearings, and a Precision Turbo. There is a plan for the NX GTi-R. I have not put this much money into the car since I bought it! The end result, however, should be spectacular. Version 1 - GA16DE with almost all bolt-on options. Version 2 - SR20DET with boost controller. And now for Version 3 - with a built engine, larger turbo, and eventually a stand-alone ECU.


 

NX GTi-R - The Search For Traction: Finale

by Frank Ewald

We quickly got our car through tech, got the Volks and RRs mounted, and headed onto the recently redesigned Driver’s Development Track at CTMP. It took three to four laps to get the car warmed up, a couple of more to be sure that it was ready, and then – with the GFB Electronic Boost Gauge set to 12 lbs – with Katie in the passenger seat we went hot. And literally started laughing and high fiving. On the way down in the RV Katie had a discussion with me that the car simply was not working. It was not fun. It was not reliable. All of that was forgotten as we could step on the gas and it would simply take off. Exiting the corner… at the apex… even before the apex. The Nismo LSD was literally better than I had even imagined – the car pulled like mad through the corners. After two laps I had to pull off. Katie knew it was to give her a turn behind the wheel – when in actuality it was because I was on such an adrenaline buzz that I had to park.


 

NX GTi-R: Vacuum Routing

by Frank Ewald

One of my tasks for this winter was to ensure that all of the vacuum lines on the SR20DET were accurately connected. Small stuff but I have not been positive that it was completed properly. I have put off an accurate setup for too long. While I read tons about this on SR20-forum, I went to my buddy Will at PZ Tuning for the expert's touch. After all, if you miss the small stuff it may damage your car.


 

NX GTi-R: The Search for Traction – Part Two

by Frank Ewald

The thing about being involved in a search, perhaps more aptly named a quest, is that one usually follows a meandering path as opposed to a direct route. My quest started just over a decade ago when I began the path to improve my Nissan NX 1600 beyond the limitations of what the factory had imposed upon it. Having owned the car since 1992, I knew what it was good at and what some of the limitations were. In 2011 I fulfilled a huge part of my quest, which was the installation of an SR20DET from a Pulsar GTi-R. That moved me into the next phase of my quest, which was improving the handling and the traction. If you have read my previous articles then you know my disappointment in finding that adding the horsepower has produced great straight line speed but reduced what was an amazing momentum/cornering car into a cornering lump. Each year since there has been improvement, and hopefully this year will be a huge step in the right direction.


 

NX GTi-R: The Search for Traction

by Frank Ewald

At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the car with Hoosier R6 205 50 15s ran 1:47 with the GA16DE powerplant. At the same track the same fast driver, Katie, took the car with Toyo RA1 225 45 50s around at a time of 1:40 with the SR20DET. That is a good jump, but with a 200 whp gain I wanted more! You have to be in the car to realize how much speed is being lost exiting corners. It simply cannot find traction.


 

We Can Rebuild It!

By Frank Ewald

It was the last day of the Ontario Time Attack season and the competition was at the Shannonville Motorsport Park's Long track. We'd been up the night before adjusting the timing and finally getting the car to perform, as evidenced by the fact that Katie had just caught and passed a Corvette. Then she pulled off to the side and parked. No noise. No smoke. It was just a graceful glide to a stop...


 

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