Jump to content

The Silvia

Sign in to follow this  
  • entry
  • comments
  • views

The Silvia

Sign in to follow this  


So I've had a few people ask why I don't have any of my cars posted. Well, the Corollas just a standard Corolla, the Hilux is just a Hilux so the only thing left that's remotely interesting is the Silvia. Personally I just don't think my cars that interesting. I don't think I'm doing anything special or different. But anyway here goes;



So the background story with this car, I had my TA22 at the time and I was saving up to import an ST195 GT4 Celica. At the time though I kinda wanted to try my hand at drifting and the GT4 wasn't really suitable. By coincidence a friend of a friend had imported an CA18DE manual Silvia with blown motor and was selling it dirt cheap. I think I bought it with full intention to do an engine conversion, I did look at fixing up the CA18DE and just driving it but I'm glad that didn't happen. I did have a CA18DET around that time but I can't remember if that was ever the intention. Regardless, the same friend had another friend who was selling a freshly rebuilt an SR20DET with standard internals. So I snapped that up and then went about sourcing the rest of the parts for the conversion. In hind sight this would have been MUCH easier with a front cut, but they were pretty scarce and expensive at the time. I had another mate who had just imported a 600hp S13 drag car so I scavenged a heap of parts off that as he swapped them out for better gear. Sometimes I had to buy more than I wanted, e.g. an entire engine just to get a loom, but I sold on most of that stuff so it didn't end up hurting the wallet too bad. So I would have gotten the car around mid 2005 and got compliance and rego with the SR20 in May 2006.


Photo of it off the boat:



And just home:



Shot of the filthy engine bay back in 2006 pre compliance, looks quite different now:



Original specs were something like;


GTiR T28 on a standard manifold

Hybrid intercooler kit

GRID chipped standard ECU

Bosch 040

Cusco Zero-2R coilovers (ridiculously stiff, 8kg/6kg springs or something there abouts)

Tomei short shifter

Some mild steel 3" exhaust

17x7.5 Enkei RP01s on the front with nankangs

17x9 Volk Evolution 4 on the rear with nexans (I have a full set of the evos, but the front offsets are stupid, like +48 or something)

SR20 brakes with Endless CC-X pads (scary on the street)

probably some other stuff I'm forgetting...


Initially I had a heap of problems with a rusty fuel tank. Once I got everything sorted out the car made a rather rich 170kW @ 12psi on mercury's dyno.





I never did get into drifting. By the time the car was running on the road I'd gotten over it. I took it to the drags, got a whopping two runs in 4 hours for a best of something like 13.7, could have gone much quicker with more practice. At some point in 2006 I decided to go out to the Saturday afternoon sprints at QR. I put R33 GTSt brakes on the front with Ferodo DS2500 pads for a bit more stopping action over the standard SR brakes and I think Racebrakes RB74s in the rear. I ran a 1:05 first time out which seemed to be considered pretty good for a noob and the bug had bitten. I went to a few more SAS but they got really crowded so I changed over to midweek Time Attack days in Early 2007 I think. I moved off the shitty tyres onto 225/45 Bridgestone RE070s on the front and 245/45 Continental contisportsorsomeshit on the back. Massive improvement on the street, but on the track they still got greasy after a few laps.


SAS Dec 2006:



Same SAS:



Time Attack mid 2007?:



Time Attack August 2007:



I loved how the car looked with the standard CA18 wing from all angles.


I went chasing a bit more power so on went SARD 700cc top feed injectors with a SARD fuel rail and the newly released Wolf V500. I had serious headaches with that ECU dropping CAS sync. I changed almost everything I could, shielded everything as best I could but the problem seemed to be heat related. I finally figured out it was the ECU by cooling it with a bag of ice and voila, car drove fine for ages. I returned it and got a new one back with the same problem so I got a refund and moved to a Haltech E8. That hasn't been plain sailing either. The Haltech was good for a while, made 255hp/193kW @ 12psi with HKS 264 step 1 cams.


I did some misc cooling mods in here somewhere, big chinese radiator (was awesome, and cheap!) and a greddy oil cooler kit.


I got really dudded with track days through 2007 and 2008 too. In the middle of a drought and about half of them were completely wet but I still pushed hard and would run 1:08s around sprint in the pouring rain while everyone else is pottering around doing 1:15-20s. Good practice!


After the Haltech was fitted around 2008 I put on the sydneykid Bilstein kit. I still haven't had a chance to do them justice yet, my alignment is all over the shop and I was still tweaking the ride height setup when the turbo issue (below) happened. I don't think I dropped much from my lap time, but they did make the car easier and more fun to drive over the rock hard Cuscos.


With the extra power I was having big problems with rear grip. I chucked a cheap carbon fiber GT wing on which made the car feel less nervous through turn 1 and 2 (placebo maybe? I thought it felt different) and I bought some R33 GTR rims and Hoosier A6 'semi' slicks (they're basically a slick with two grooves). I never ran them on the front because it was still 4 stud but the extra grip on the rear was excellent. I came 3rd (out of 4 cars lol) in the Race class in 2008 behind Darren Hennigs V8 Supra and a BMW M3 despite only attending 1 of the points rounds.



In early 2009 I attended the first public event after the reopening of Lakeside. Noise restrictions were tight, the track surface hadn't been repaired yet and there was no lap timing available. But then the unfortunate happened. The Haltechs map corrupted and started running lean. Despite having a laptop there and my mechanic/tuner being at the track day he didn't want to look at it. Suffice to say I now have a new mechanic. Turbo housing cracked from the heat so I decided it was a time for an upgrade. The GTiR turbo was good, made plenty of power at low boost but it was way too laggy for the power it was putting out, full boost was about 3800rpm! So I pulled that off and replaced it with a GT2871R 52 trim (aka "HKS GT-RS") on a Tomei expreme manifold. The goal was to go for something which could push the power up a bit while improving the response. And this is pretty much the stage that I'm at. My enthusiasm waned through 2009 and 2010 and not much got done on the car. Parts I were getting weren't fitting properly and I'd frequently get the shits and just not want to look at the car. In late 2010 I decided to get moving on the car again. I decided to buy a tow car because it was far too stressful driving the car to the track all the time. One day it was going to break and it'd be going home on a tilt tray many hours later. So I bought the Hilux with the intention of renting trailers. With the car itself I put aside some of the parts (radiator, intercooler) that were frustrating me and replaced them with more a more conventional setup. Des (AE70) helped me out finding some parts through Nissan and around April 2011 I started the car for the first time in 2 years.


Then I decided to quit my job (kinda) and go to Uni, so the car went on hold again. After a few months at Uni, my financial situation is sound and I've started working on the Silvia again. I dropped rego on it because I couldn't justify continuing to pay it so its now a track only car. I decided to strip out much of the interior but I've left the dash and door trims so I can still meet IPRA regs if I want to.


I'm currently sorting out my brakes and getting the car ready to go to the new mechanics to finish off some work for me. The brakes are being changed to rebuilt Sumitomo R32 GTR calipers and rotors on the front (off a mates GTR, cheers Si!) and rebuilt R33 GTSt 2 spot calipers. Calipers are being rebuilt with alloy pistons instead of steel and I'm thinking about possibly anti knockoff springs too (but probably not). Front pads are now Project Mu RC09 Clubracers which should be freaking awesome, they're essentially H16-03s (V8 Supercar pad) on street car plates and maybe some compound tweaks. They look crazy aggressive! The rears are Hawk HP Plus, nothing terribly exciting but cheap and should do the job well. Master cylinder is being upgraded from a piddly BM33 (looong pedal) to a BM44. I'd like a BM50 but I've been quoted $700 ex japan...! Contact me if you have a cheap non-abs BM50! I think I should be happy with this brake setup for a long time to come.


Things to do before sending it to the mechanic/tuner:

Install Odyssey PC680MJT drycell in rear passenger side footwell and wire it up.

Finish cleaning up the tar off the floor.

Finish installing Moroso swinging trap sump (5L capacity w00t).

Wash the dirty dirty thing.

Run the sensors for Blitz oil pressure gauge and Greddy oil temperature gauge.



Things for the mechanic to do:

Install HKS cam gears.

Install Greddy remote oil filter and thermostat block.

Install Tomei N2 oil filter replacement block (this thing)

Fabricate new hotpipe.

Fabricate new LOW seat mount, cut seat mount cross bar out. I'm 6'4 and even with a bride ultra low rail and a Sparco Evo 3 I still whack my head on the roof with a helmet on. Friggen annoying!

Install 1.5way LSD. I'd like a Nismo GT Pro but I'll probably just cheap out and get a Kaaz. Viscous is as good as an open wheeler with 190kw!

Give the engine a once over and get it tuned!



Things to do after (or before if there's time) it comes back:

Install the new calipers and rotors.

Install rear sway bar (waiting on brackets to arrive).

Switch studs configuration to 5 stud on the front.

Have Federal FZ-201 235/45 semis fitted to the GTR rims.

Fit Cusco strut brace.

Have ranko fix my shoddy wheel alignment.

Buy a car trailer! Don't like the look of the death trap rent-a-trailers. Criteria: Light 4-500kg, hydro or electric brakes, not full floor, not cheap and nasty. The goal is to have the trailer and car weigh the same which is ~1600kg each.


The goal is to shake down the car at the November 15th QR day and maybe attend the December 11th Lakeside day and then a balls out attack on the Time Attack championship in 2012. I'm gonna try and attend every single round if I can.


So here's my current spec, some of these parts may yet to be fitted but they will be before the next track day:



Engine and Gearbox

Haltech E8 ECU with Haltech patch loom & 3 Bar MAP sensor

Garrett GT2871R 52 trim .64 exhaust housing

SARD Top feed fuel rail

SARD 700cc low impedance top feed fuel injectors

Bosch 040 fuel pump

HKS Fuel pressure regulator

HKS Camshafts

HKS Cam gears

Tomei Rocker Arm Stoppers

NGK Iriway iridium sparkplugs (heatrange 7)

Nismo engine and gearbox mounts

Exedy 5 puk ceramic button clutch

K&N air filter & hard pipe intake with S15 turbo snout

Blitz SE intercooler

Koyo 54mm core radiator

TRUST V-type oil cooler kit with braided lines & earls fittings

Greddy Remote Oil Filter Relocation with Thermostat

Moroso Upgraded Aluminum Oil Pan

Tomei N2 Super Oil Block

Tomei genuine short shifter (~30% throw reduction)



Tomei Expreme manifold

Tomei Expreme dump pipe

Blitz front pipe

3 inch High flow (de)cat-convertor

3.5 inch Catback into stainless oval muffler



Apex'i AVC-R boost controller

GReddy 62mm Black electronic peak recall boost gauge

GReddy 62mm Black electronic peak recall oil temperature gauge

Blitz 60mm Black electronic low alert oil pressure gauge

Nismo 330mm suede leather steering wheel with quick release

Takata 3 inch 6 point harness

Sparco Evo 3 fixed back, fixed mount seat

Stripped interior


Suspension & Brakes

Front: R32 GTR 4 spot brake calipers with alloy pistons on 296x32mm slotted unknown (P-Mu?) rotors.

Rear: R33 GTSt 2 spot brake calipers with alloy pistons on 297x18mm slotted RDA rotors.

Front: Project Mu RC09 Club Racer pads.

Rear: Hawk HP Plus pads.

Maltech braided brake lines front and DIF conversion brake lines rear all stainless braided.

Motul RBF600 brake fluid.

Wheels: R33 GTR 17x9 Rims, Federal FZ-201 235/45R17 tyres

Bilstein mono tube shock absorbers with Eibach springs front and rear

Cusco Castor Rods.

Kaaz 8 plate 1.5way LSD

Selbys front adjustable swaybar

Selbys rear adjustable swaybar

Whiteline rear camber kit

Nolathane bushes here and there






230kW/300HP at the wheels. Shouldn't be a problem, gearbox probably wont like it very much though.


Sub 60 seconds on QR sprint. Should be achievable, semis are worth ~2sec/lap and I'm doing 62s already. I wouldn't be surprised if I can go under 59s next year with the alignment fixed up, the extra power and some tuition. The Option 1 S14 does 56s with supposedly 240kW and apexi coilovers but they've got a bit more aero (front undertray) and wider tyres than me. Ultimately I'd like to be able to go as fast as they are currently.


Under 1100kg without driver. The car was originally 1180kg in full trim, I think I may have achieved this already but I wont know until I get it corner weighted.




Future Plans

Full jungle gym CAMS roll cage, this could happen over the New Years Time Attack break depending on how the bank balance looks after the cars racing again. May log book it as either an IPRA or sports sedan car. Sports sedan offers far more freedom but demands quicker times.


Front air dam and undertray. Probably just consist of a vertex copy front bar and a ply wood or fiberglass undetray. I was looking at the URAS GT kit and while it looks awesome and comes with an undertray, its not low enough in my opinion.


Fix the panels, touch up the paint. The car has one big dent in the passenger side where someones backed into it in Japan. Looks don't really bother me, I'm more interested in going fast, but trying to pick up any kind of sponsorship is impossible if the car looks like crap.


Drop more weight. On going battle this one, carbon fiber bonnet, boot and doors are on the list to do one day along with fiberglass guards maybe.


DRIVE IT MORE! Over the few years I had been driving it I didn't drive it anywhere near as much as I wanted. Going to the track was hugely stressful and wasn't as much fun as I wanted it to be. Stress driving there (am I gonna get defected?), stress about whether the car will survive so I can drive home and then stress again on the way home. Hopefully the trailer, especially if its my own, will make the whole process much more enjoyable. Load the car up the night before, tow it out, thrash the shit out of it and drag it to the mechanics broken and sorry at the end of the day. Hopefully much more fun!



Moar picks later



Thanks to:

avalonea - Found the car for me originally as well as the engine and sold me his gearbox (still not dead!). Provided heaps of advice and support over the years.

John (miss13) - Helped me HEAPS with parts and advice, I recon I bought well over $3k worth of gear off him over the years.

Si - Listening to my hair brained ideas and plans, helping me out with parts and contacts.

My brother and father - Helping me out, putting up with my bullshit.

Kev Rowely - for modifying my loom and helpful advice, absolute legend.

Greenline and Nengun - Giving us access to Japanese parts at non-ripoff prices.

FRSport - Cheap parts, fast delivery, shame you're in America or I'd buy even more stuff from you.

Marty at Racer Industries/Project Mu Australia - Awesome to deal with smile.gif

Rollaclub - for not yelling at me for owning a dirty Nissan.

Sorry if I've forgotten anyone!



If you've got any questions about my setup I'm more than happy to answer them.



Source: The Silvia

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...