Nissan 240SX Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective Nissan 240SX modifications."

In other regions the 240SX was badged as the 180SX 200SX and s13 just to cause confusion! The pop up headlights are peculiar to this model but we have seen an S13 front end on the S14 and S15.

There is a reason the 240SX is popular on the drift and track circuits and thankfully there are lots of aftermarket mods available for it.

We review 240SX tuning and summarise the premier modifications. Nissan 240SXs are awesome to work on and with the optimum uprated mods you can dramatically enhance your driving enjoyment.

The 240SX is a awesome car tuning project to have. With the right mods your 240SX can be transformed into an awesome motor. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades on the 240SX

Handling modifications are the thing most do first for the 240SX.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you 240SX usually enhancing your drive.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 26mm - 40 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 240SX with a nice fat peak torque band.

Spending a little bit of money on the best engine and handling parts could transform your car into a very credible performer.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

240SX Engine tuning mods.

The following performance mods are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Engine choices ranged from 1.8 to 2.4

  • 1.8 L CA18DE I4
  • 1.8 L CA18DET turbo I4
  • 2.0 L SR20DE I4
  • 2.0 L SR20DET turbo I4
  • 2.4L KA24DE I4

Getting the best modified modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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Best Engine Mods for your 240SX

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

240SX Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 26mm - 40 mm.), Remap, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Engine balancing.

You really need to keep as much low end power as possible and aim to achieve a long power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

The point of our articles here is to give a limited introduction of car tuning modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your customized car project, the best sport parts and all aspects of modding cars.

Remapping the 240sx

Some of our members recommended the following aftermarket ECU's from their projects. You'll generally find harnesses available now for most of the aftermarket ECU options for these engines.

  • LINK G4X
  • Megasquirt
  • Apexi
  • Syvecs
  • Haltech Elite 1000/1500
  • IMPUL Hi Power

An aftermarket ECU is harder to setup and requires some specialist knowledge of your engine and parts you've fitted, but gives better performance and helps you optimize the timing and fuelling to a fine degree of accuracy - we suggest you go for the Link G4+ (or a G4 with an external knock control unit) or the better but more expensive Syvecs ECU (the upgraded data logging feature is extremely useful)

240sx best power mods

A fast road cam usually works out as one of the best NASP power modifications you can do mechanically to your engine.

The exhaust and intake valve durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

When pushing up the power you will need to pay attention to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Nissan project after fitting other parts. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

240SX Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.

Air induction kits only help to boost power if your cars air intake is restricted!

Adding an induction kit to most stock engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a performance panel filter should suffice for most applications.

TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional gas flowing.

These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods. When you heavily modify your 240SX you will see that the standard clutch starts to suffer so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we would do for your 240SX are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story.

remapped turbo will give significant power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block. Adding forced induction will see impressive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are generally easier to add than turbos.

It is harder to map a turbo as the boost increases exponentially with rpm.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine .

240SX Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloy wheels are less heavy they improve performance and they can help to cool the brake disks.

If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tires - ideally with a soft compound tire. Large 240SX alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Because of this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 240SX options in more detail with our 240SX owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Nissan tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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