Magazine Blog: Modified>>project Ls13

The definition of a sleeper car can be different depending on who you ask. For some, the exterior has to be completely stock looking. Even the wheels. But underneath the hood an engine with loads of power lurks. When I set off to build this particular 1991 240SX, I knew I wanted to keep it very simple and mild from the outside but enough get up and go to open some eyes.

Sticking with the OEM JDM Type-X aero off the 180SX, I felt the car would retain much of its original look but with a hint of aggressiveness. Most people that encounter this car don’t think much of it, which was exactly the goal of this build.

Even from the rear the car looks muted with a twin tip muffler that resembles the OE setup.  It also sounds exceptionally quiet for a 3-inch system. When (and if) you hear this car coming, there’s no obnoxious exhaust note rather a low rumble. Those with a keen ear will easily note that this S13 doesn’t have a 4-cylinder under the hood, others don’t notice a difference.

Under the hood is where the surprise lies. A GM Performance e-Rod LS3 engine package has been mated to this S13 chassis. It produces 430hp and 424ft-lbs of torque right out of the crate. Rumors state that it’s under rated but this car has yet to see a dyno so it’s hard to tell exactly how much power is being put to the ground. This particular setup is 100% emissions compliant retaining GM specific cats, charcoal canister and ECU parameters. See, you can be green and still shred some tires along the way.


Silver 18×9.5 Enkei NT03+M wheels with 235/40R18 Bridgestone Potenza S04 tires keep inline with the understated exterior. Look a little bit closer though and you’ll spot a Wilwood big brake kit up front. This car needs to be able to stop in a hurry considering the power it’s putting down and the Wilwood calipers do a great job without breaking the bank.

The interior keeps things simple with a Personal steering wheel on a Works Bell quick release and Corbeau GTS II seats being the only aftermarket upgrades. You’ll also notice that the trim is far from perfect. I’ve been contemplating replacing it with pieces in better shape but I’ve somewhat grown attached to the weathered look.

Driving this car around proves rather amusing due to the puzzled looks that most enthusiasts give when they hear it drive by. However, the most satisfying feeling is when no one looks at the car at all, especially the Police.

-Peter Tarach

For a complete look at the build visit:



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Kouki 180sx aero...not "type x"


inspiring! wow


THE perfect sleeper car!


only complaints: needs a type-x lip and less 4x4. otherwise, spot on.


this is the bastardization of all things jdm... but i love it. this has got me thinkin...what if you get a r34 shell or s15 and drop an ls in it... would it be street legal in california??? jdm engines are so hard to come by and practically illegal for smog in cali what if..???


Nice, really like this. Not normally a fan of this sort of converstion, but there is something understated about this that appeals to me.


VETICAL HANDBRAKE!!! try guess what hes been doing lol


at first i was like "BOOOOORING" then i read the article and i was like "nice car, dude"





ditch the funky side skirts, get some that are parallel to the ground.

other than that you're golden. swap in some deviant Koni 8611/8610 setup ( and that beast will be complete!

wilwoods for the win on high level braking for cheap! gotta love those rotor prices :) :)


Its a perfect one in my world ) 10 of 10!


Nissan with a Chevy V8 engine. Boring.


Why do you guys keep ruining a perfectly good car with those american LS engines?? Noob




100% beautiful right there, nice work and so refreshing to see a monster powerhouse of a car kept looking very mild and being a joy to drive on the streets. This really gets me hyped, awesome feature!


lol Oh JDM fanboys. Ls1 swaps are a very good choice for reliability and gaining power. You can fix the engine with a hammer and add horsepower by just staring at it. Much more reliable than an SR or RB and smog legal at that.


in nz put some drift teks on it litle bit lower and no one would be the wiser.

P.S. my sis boy friend has a VQ43 cefiro been for ride that thing scary


Wallpapers PLEASE!


probably the most boring 240 ive seen ever


This is great build! I love the clean sleeper everyday look with tasteful visuals. Seems like a very fun DD. Once set up, the maintenance doesn't seem like it would be terribly expensive. I'd love to know how the motor is mated to the car; along with if you needed a custom bracket for the gear change. Stock rear end ok with the power? Not actually looking for answers (I'm sure you don't want a bunch of these running around). Haha. Great job in a very, very clean execution of a sleeper.


Looking good as always PT. Can't wait to hopefully check it out this weekend and get some snaps of the cars together!


Ruining cars with an american v8? thats because its the best of the best. Coming down to fuel consumption/power to weight ratio/ bolt on power gains/ pricing. Anyone who says an ls1 is n00b is in fact a huge n00b themselves. Go play with your SiQ b16 BrOoOo.


not really much of a "moar lows" guy, but i gotta say, it is riding pretty high


still with abs?baller


If I could have one car to live with, this would probably be it. DD worthy, but able to piss off just about anyone that messes with it!


Nice build. Any other links on the build? The one provided doesn't seem to be working.

Did the car go though BAR? Has docs and everything for smog?


@jay dub


How is it 4x4? this is a perfect functional ride, no stance bullsh*t here.


the wheels are too big and I would never mount fiberglass parts to a car but a clean well done car otherwise


LS conversions - like retards on viagra, they'll stick them in anything.


Next time you shoot the interior, clean the damn floor first. I see your passangers like eating orange things.


nice....very well put its a blast to drive


Very nice :)

Subtle but good looking.


Perfect sleeper. I always enjoy what Peter does with his builds.


why would you ruin such a nice lookin RPS13 with a manky LS V8? nice job though, i love the sleeper style,absolutely smashing!


Alright, a couple of replies here...

>I'm sure he knows what he bought, so I'm sure when he purchased the aero it said "type x." Try googling it, I'm sure it looks all the same.

>To anyone saying this is a boring or bad build: You've obviously never driven a V8 S-chassis. If you had, you'd never be an SR/KA fanboy ever again.

>Saying Enkei NT03's are the worst wheels ever is blasphemy. What would you perferr? Rota's? Sportmaxx 002's?

This build is incredibly practical, but I'm sure this car is brutal with a lead foot driver. A+


this is classy not boring.


Lol @ all these guys telling Peter Tarach how to build a 240. Y'all must not know who he is... haha. He achieved his goal perfectly. Doesn't need to change a thing.


I don't think this is legal here in Cali, you can do engine swaps as long as the engine is the same year or newer with all requisite emissions equipment and it's the same make. Otherwise a very clean car!


Very well executed build. Hopefully the next issue of Modified will have a piece on this build explaining in more detail what was done. I've been following the previous build segments on the magazine and I must say the result is amazing! A Kouki lip and spoiler would add a bit more flare to the car but I would understand if it was kept the way it is...after all, it is a sleeper. To everyone that's hating on the stance, its because of the wheel and tire sizing. Most S13's running this kit have 17" wheels up front and thinner profiles, allowing the car to sit lower.


Hope you didn't fill up at that gas station, PT :)


a well thought out project street sleeper. love it!


Tony - Go read his build thread (that link at the bottom of the post). He specifically talks about this car being CARB legal because of the engine used. Seems like thats why he chose this swap.


wooooo POS chevy pushrod v8 in a common s-shassis. never seen that before! chalk me up with the rest who have no admiration for this cheap, lame, pathetic, unoriginal style. put in a stock ka24 and this would be a cooler car. thats how lame a POS chevy engine is in a japanese car.


saw this a while back on 'buildthreads' read the build guys. This car was driven from L.A. 2400 miles to Canada, basically right after he built it.. He worked for modified so naturally he can write. His build is well documented and well written which makes it that much better. Because the idea of an ls3 in a 180 that PASSES smog test and looks rather tame isnt sweet enough.


How do you get that giant V8 to fart out of a single-sided exhaust? Put some side pipes on that monster!


THANK YOU!! i get so f'en tired of seeing ricer coffee cans on the ends of 240's!


Go for a drive in an LS powered S-chassis and you will change your tone. Im a hardcore turbo 4cylinder guy but a big displacement V8 provides instant response and torque that no turbo-four can match. Plus there's no worry of overheating, breakage and so on. There's a reason why most of the Formula Drift cars are going to V8's.

It doesnt matter though, build whatever you want and run whatever motor you please but don't knock something until you've driven or owned it.

@Alex - What part of the car is fiberglass??? That kit hes running is all urethane, the same material most stock bumpers are made of. Get your facts straight before chiming in.


this car is the perfect definition of sleeper... nice job


i read your whole thread on the build for this car on im glad you got it up on here this is by far the best looking sleeper i've ever seen. good job


Ever since i was my first LS swap i was hooked because it was different. Super dope. And thats one menacing sleeper look.


That 240sx is a beauty.


This just ruin the build up of reading the articles in Modified. Way to go Peter...


Well..It's all matter of taste...when i think of ls engine or v8 engine sounds,i can only imagine chevys,dodge etc..Imagine that.You're walking down the road,u hear a v8 sound coming closer closer,you turn around aaaaand that's a nissan??????

Who dont want to hear turbos,externals and 4-cylinder engines sounds like bikes?

And more important who doesnt like a 6 cylinder ( 2jz or RB) with a big big turbo??


the ls3 e rod is a full legal complaint swap in California as he said retaining oe gm cats and charcoal set up. as for importing the r34 and s15 to the states and doing the swap is non legal swap. the cars are not legal here due to the safety standards supposedly. i am not sure if it is just safety or there may be other reasons the s15 and skylines are not legal here. feel free to critique the car all you want we all have the freedom of choice. also i think the previous poster meant 4x4 due to the car seems to sit high up due to rim size. i like the rims but the height of the ride looks weird. but as i said we all have our own opinions, but peter tarach does build very nice and clean cars. that is a proven fact no matter what your preference on what it looks like.


RiceFed - Really? He says the CARB went out the window in the second paragraph because of headers. The erod will pass a sniffer test, but not a visual.


ok well apparently carb has yet to approve the ls3 erod as a viable swap in california


@Tony- Did you even look at the build thread?? The headers are stock man! Read it and you'll see that the car had problems passing visual with an adjustable FPR but he has since changed the fuel system.


Absolutely beautiful sleeper. What kit did you choose and why? Im wanting to go V8 and have been doing research, just wanted more info on what u chose and why.


The only problem I see are the negative comments on another mans dream. Great job!


What is up with these stupid kids thinking a usable and practical height is 4x4, talk about being misinformed with terrible taste LOL...

Slammed FTL.

This car is an example how a subtle drop, genuine rims, and a lack off stickers can make a beautiful and classy ride.


It also helps that this car will see some track time too.


Nice car, end of story!


It looks fantastic the way it is, wouldn't change a thing : )

Function=FIRST Form=SECOND


haters gon' hate, sick build


ditto tenku... no noob in this build. I'm not a jdm+american v8 enthusiast myself, but I appreciate it for what it is. nice build brother, keep that rubber on the road.



As long as there is a ricey stance movement, I'll hata hate hate on it. Gotta educate the kids, that STANCE IS GAY ALL DAY!

This car however has a functional ride height and looks classy while kicking ass at the same time, can't beat that combo.