posted on November 21, 2011 20:50
Project Defiant1: The KA-Engine Build
By Justin Banner
With time ticking and the S12 not getting much of anywhere, it's going to be amazing if Defiant1 and I reach our goal. I can tell you that the time frame is long gone, major changes have been made for time, and some stuff will have to be put on the back burner for the time being. Between not being able to use the shop where I work to work on the car, to delays on getting the car home, and to waiting my turn in my Father's sign shop that's a converted farmer's storage place, it's a wonder I'm even off the ground! However, this isn't a sob, feel sorry for me, crap story and it never will be. Defiant1 is here to encourage you to get out there, drive, race, and have fun with your car, no matter the difficulties, obstacles, or even if it's a 1987 Nissan 200SX!
When I started this build, I had one thing in mind, a reliable engine producing 350 Horsepower. The idea to use a supercharger and the KA24E was thought to be a great ticket. I knew other KA's that had made that power reliably, so why shouldn't the KA24E? Well, you see, there is a reason why the KA24E was only used for one or two years in the 240SX. It doesn't handle combustion heat well, at all. This makes it prone to engine destroying detonation. When you combine that with the poor thermal efficiency of a roots supercharger, you basically end up with what we like to call a Certifiably Legit Time Bomb.
|What you see is, well, not quite all of it. For $100, it isn't bad!
So a new plan of action was called and after a consultation from Mike Kojima and Clark Steppler of Jim Wolf Technology a supplying sponsor of Defiant1, and searching the MotoIQ Engine Database (read: Craigslist), I found a partial KA24DE for $100. You West Coast guys are probably saying to yourself, "You only found a partial one for $100, you got ripped!" Welcome to Virginia, my friends! Housing's a little cheaper, but good luck with that Japanese car of yours that isn't a Honda! Specifically, in this region of Virginia, where Detroit Iron and Drag Racing are still popular. You're actually kind of weird if you don't own a Pickup of some kind.
|Remember, if anyone asks, it's a TRUCK ENGINE!
Anyhow, we're getting off track, I picked up that truck engine and did score a few parts to help convert the front accessory drives to work with an S chassis while I was there. Upon returning, I called up a machine shop and was able to get the engine bored out. Here was the first obstacle after getting the car home. A little bit of advice, make sure you get a price in writing before you drop off your engine block. What I thought I had agreed upon was $85 to just bore and hone the block became a $171 hot tank cleaning, hone, and bore job. I had agreed to the cleaning, just not the jump in price, oh, well. At least the engine gets cleaned out better!
|$171 later, I come back with this. Not bad, except I paid more than I expected.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 6:30 AM
I can relate with doing a build in the "country". Before Lowes and Home Depot came into my town even finding a metric bolt was a headache. My last engine build involved 2 different machine shops 2 hours away and a coatings shop 5 hours away. Ended up with a stout 7M-GTE though =) Looking forward to the rest of this build.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:25 AM
Definitely nice to see a real budget build here, especially a car that most people don't tune. Good luck Justin, definitely waiting to see more! And to MotoIQ, I for one would love to see more budget builds like this.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:46 AM
Cool project. A weak economy provides opportunitiy for the binned engines and get's us petrolheads something interesting to read about. Well done.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:21 AM
"good luck with that Japanese car of yours that isn't a Honda! Specifically, in this region of Virginia, where Detroit Iron and Drag Racing are still popular."
Sounds like here in Mississippi.
I was skeptical at first about this project but good job. It's nice to see an "every mans" engine build on MotoIQ
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:48 AM
Justin, I offer to drive down there and help out, but you first have to promise me I won't start hearing banjo music on the way down there.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 10:39 AM
I love my small town, I really do, but working on stuff like this can indeed be a headache sometimes. Weve got a pretty legit hardware store now, which makes things a bit easier.
"Dont buy that car kid! You cant get find any parts for those dang things! They all gots to come from Japan, yah know!"
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:18 AM
Thanks everyone! I have to say, the guys here at MotoIQ have done a great job in keeping me reeled in. It's over tempting to just blow out a build. After seeing most of the reaction to the concept and a little bit of reality kicking me square in the arse, I have no choice but to keep in with-in reality.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:17 PM
As the owner of a 240sx living in the south I just want you to know I'm rooting for you the whole way.
And MotoIQ, I find this project just as exciting as your other project due to I'm a novice myself.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:12 PM
"Totally Jawesome" -Street Sharks. If you saw it you know what I'm talking about.
I like this low-buck-beginner-underdog story. Keep it up.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:14 PM
What?! No micro-beadblasted-super-deep freeze cryo-stroker crank? No hyperslick-heat-shielding-great-tasting-less filling NASA developed coatings? Is this Moto-IQ? ;)
Great to see a real world enthusiast build.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 4:31 PM
"The professional installer will have a tapered installer, designed for the bore of the piston. The rest of us hacks have a ratchet fit installer that works just fine!"
Once you use a tapered piston installer, you will gladly pay whatever the cost might be. They make installing pistons so easy. Those ratchet fit installers always seem to hang a ring.
Good luck with the build. I like the old KA24. Its not a bad engine. Its not a great one, but its not bad.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 5:51 PM
I'm pretty sure I would, but mine didn't hang anything, but I did pretty much soak the installer, too.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:22 PM
If those pistons were going to do 8.5:1 with the KA24E head, won't that be over 10:1 with the KA24DE head? I believe the combustion chamber is smaller on the DE head.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:37 PM
Don't forget that the KA-E pistons are nearly flat tops and the KA-DE are dished. Putting the KA-DE pistons in a KA-E will drop the compression ratio by 1, but KA-E pistons WILL raise the CR in a KA-DE up to, from what I've heard, anywhere between 11:1 to 11.3:1.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:56 PM
Hey Justin. I go to the junkyard 3-4 times a week for work. I can get you anything you might need. You know how to contact me.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:12 PM
Cool budget friendly build.
You mentioned supercharger, will we see a retrofitted Eaton blower in the future? ;-)
Thursday, November 24, 2011 1:31 AM
The JE shelf pistons are 8.5:1 with the DE head. JE does not make shelf pistons for the E.
Thursday, November 24, 2011 9:56 AM
Yeah, I fat fingered that one and kept saying it was 9.5:1 because that is what is stock on the KA-DE. DOH! Correction made!
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