After owning a 1976 Toyota Corolla for a year, I decided to purchase a completely stock 1983 Nissan Pulsar Exa for $2100. The panels were straight and the engine was in relatively good nick. Six months later, after a master cylinder and alternator replacement, I installed a boost guage and a simple bleed valve (thanks Tarragon). Keen to see the car go a bit faster, the popular AFM relocation was done and a Simota pod filter found its way onto the new intake. At a price of $120, a full 3” exhaust with 3” dump pipe and straight-through muffler was fitted onto the exhaust housing of the t2 turbocharger.
The new exhaust made the car sound a lot meaner, boosting performance a little but not to the extent I was wanting. After picking up a series 4 Mazda RX7 intercooler for $100 (thanks Jarrad), it was fitted at the front of the car, replacing the second thermo fan, which I had NEVER seen working anyway. In hindsight, I would have preferred it mounted sideways and a bit lower to take more airflow. A Turbosmart type II BOV also went on to the new 2.5” intercooler piping.
Now with cooler intake temps, the boost was upped to 12psi using the in-cabin needle valve, but mostly stayed around 7psi for daily driving. However, after a two hour fang through the Dandenong’s only 12 hours after the intercooler was fitted, the turbo decided to die and was replaced by a recently rebuilt hi-flowed Garret t25 (AR .48 / .49). New water lines were fabricated to cool the bigger turbo and a new 3” dump pipe was fabricated as a few ridiculously high speed bumps had put a nasty dent in the dump. The car was then put on a dyno to check that a/f mixtures were safe and it made 94kW at the front wheels on 12psi; higher boost pressures making the mixtures dangerously lean.
The windows were darkened with 35% tint improving the aesthetics of the car. Still not happy with the look of the car, a complete blue/black turbo interior, including the dash, seats, carpet and trim, was transplanted from a wrecked Exa replacing the boring blue-grey interior (that was a fun day J). Progressive-rate King springs now sat over the wheels lowering the car 35mm and the wheels were replaced with 15” TSW rims wearing Goodyear F1 Eagle tyres (195/50/Z15). The whole interior, springs, wheels and an mr2 rear wing were bought for only $600 the lot, not bad I guess. To finish off the visual appearance, front and side skirts (still yet to be painted) were fitted along with a 3” chrome exhaust tip. Other small changes included personalised plates, autotechnica steering wheel, Momo gear knob and a Blitz turbo timer. I also fitted an alarm and immobiliser with remote central locking to protect my investment. A VL throttle body was used to replace the factory unit.
After coming home drunk after one night out with the boys, I bought a dual stage Turbosmart boost controller from autospeed.com, my intoxicated brain decided it liked the idea of electronic switching between high/low boost (d’oh!) and my wallet never forgave my stupidity.
The stereo also received some attention with a 200W RMS amp powering a 12” sub mounted in a four port box (a 21st present from my mates). The rear 6½” 3-way speakers are powered by a 2x140W amp. The head unit is a Clarion single-CD player.
All was fine with the car until a few months later when the ring gear on the flywheel developed the common crunching sound on ignition. The problem was fixed and at the same time the flywheel was lightened and a heavy duty Kevlar clutch plate replaced the under-performing standard clutch. To compensate for the extremely lean mixtures under high boost, a Malpassi rising-rate fuel regulator and an inline Bosch pump were fitting to increase fuel pressure through the standard injectors under boost. Although not yet ideal, top end now runs richer and minimises pinging until about 14psi of manifold pressure. On the dyno, the car was making 102kW at the wheels on only 12psi.
Back on the road and the new clutch was already showing signs on slipping in 3rd gear. Quite disappointed, I took the car back to the garage and got them to replace it with a sprung centre button clutch. Although a lot harder to drive in traffic, it seemed to hold up well under high boost. At the same time, a push button ignition replaced the worn key ignition barrel.
With the standard engine tiring very quickly with 230k on the clock with no rebuilds, the search for a new motor began. The RRC changeover idea was abandoned due to availability and reliability issues. Eventually, a block and head was found as a replacement which came out of Lou’s 12 sec Exa. With oversize forged pistons, considerable work on the rods and crank, ported head and a stage 3 camshaft, the engine had already proven to be very strong and that it could handle some considerable power. The changeover was carried out by Lou, who also relocated the battery to the boot, cleaned and detailed the engine bay, and painted bits and pieces.
Still smoking, it was believed the turbo was responsible so the t25 was replaced with a non ball-bearing t28 turbo from a 200sx as well as fitting Lou’s JPC custom cooler behind the grill. Only thing letting the setup down now was the lack of a decent ecu. But only time (and a BIT of money) will fix that problem.
|Period of ownership:||2000 – Present.|
|Engine mods:||T28 turbocharger|
Frontmounted custom JPC cooler
3” HPC coated piping
VL Throttle Body
Ported Inlet manifold
Malpassi RR Fuel Reg.
VL Turbo fuel pump.
Turbosmart Dual Stage Boost Controller @ 9/15psi
3” inch dump into full 3” exhaust system.
Sprung-center Button Clutch.
|Interior Mods:||Replaced standard trim with “turbo” trim.|
Alarm/Immobiliser with remote central locking.
Speco boost guage.
Sports steering wheel.
Momo gear knob.
Clarion CD Head Unit
2 x 100W RMS Amp
2 x 140W Amp
Phillips 6 speakers
12” sub in 4-port sub box
|Exterior mods:||Lowered King springs.|
3” Chrome tip.
MR2 rear wing.
35% tinted windows
|Wheels:||15” TSW Wheels on Goodyear F1 195/50/15 Tyres.|
|Performance:||Not yet run.|
|Future Plans:||Some bigger callipers and vented discs are going on soon|
Aftermarket engine management
Bigger injectors (sitting on my desk)
Respray in black