You’ll Never Guess The Engine In This S14…

I still can’t believe it, but the last time I covered Rev Speed magazine’s Hyper Meeting at Tsukuba Circuit was way back in 2010. It was around this time that interest shifted to the Exciting Car Showdown in Nagoya on the same date, which I began covering religiously as it gave us a taste of tuning culture from the far corners of the country. Unfortunately, that event is no more, which is why I found myself back at Tsukuba in the weekend for the third time in as many weeks.

With Ron having attended the Hyper Meeting over the past couple of years, we’ve discovered that the event’s initial focus on the Impreza, Evo and Legacy has evolved to include a wider variety of makes and models. For 2018 its scope became even larger, but before I touch on that in my main coverage, I want to share a few cars that really caught my eye, starting with this Nissan Silvia S14.


This Yajima Jidousha build surprised me in a way I haven’t been surprised in a long time; it actually made me pause for a second and utter out a “WTF?!”


An S14 powered by an old L28? On carbs no less? OK, you got my interest.

Seriously though, isn’t this technically the reverse of restomodding? It may be, but it’s also genius. Let me explain why…

What makes this swap really interesting is that you are adding fun and uniqueness with a hefty dose of simplicity. No forced induction, no wiring harnesses, no complexity. If you’ve ever experienced a decently tuned L28, you’ll know what a good old motor it can be. This one is stroked to 3.1L, has a hot cam and oversized 50mm Solex carbs.


It makes decent numbers, features a strong and torquey mid-range, and most importantly of all it has a shit-load of character. The engine sits in a shaved and tubbed bay and is backed up by a 5-speed gearbox from an HR32 Skyline.


The build is based on a naturally aspirated kouki S14 Q’s and I love how the exterior has been kept pretty much stock, save for the rear spoiler being removed and the addition of a front bumper lip.


The detail that really did it for me was the set of SSR Formula Mesh wheels, something you’d expect to see fitted on a older Nissan powered by an L-series motor. Spot on indeed!


Inside, things have been kept mostly stock. The car still has air conditioning and an audio/navigation system too.

The vintage Datsun Sport inspired leather bucket seat is a nice touch, but I feel proper replica without the headrest would have looked even better.


Hiding behind the Momo steering wheel is a custom dash featuring Defi gauges with a larger tachometer right smack bang in the center.


Impeccable execution and an even more interesting approach. Maybe this reverse-restomodding might catch on?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Very cool swap and have thought about it myself. My only reservations would be the weight upset. But I don't know much about the L series

Wirenfeldt1990 .

Iiiiinteresting.. i can't help but wonder though.. what are "decent numbers" in this context, and what is the weight of the thing?


A tricked out high compression L28 with SUs can make 170-200hp depends on the airflow and the cam choice. The real problem is Nissan's poor choice of having intake and exhaust on the same side. Which you can't fix unless you spend big money for a TC24 or a OEM racing crossflow (YL head) or a lot of engineering swapping a RB20 or 30 head on it. But then it's not different than a na RB30.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

250-280 depending on the level of work on the engine itself. Sure a tad nose heavy


Weight is about 400-450 without a ps pump or A/C. Decent numbers at the wheels could be anywhere from 190 to 300 hp depending on how much money he has sunk into it. if he's getting 100 hp per liter he's doing great for a street car on carbs.

Александр Трофименков

I remember a feature of an s13 with an l28 swap


Heh, I guessed it. Chocolate fish for me please. :P


Devil S!


Not so devilish though, but still a good one

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha good one


very weird, very homebrewed lol


Hahaha this is great. See much FJ20 swaps around Dino? Or are they becoming too rare?
I know the "GT-R" tax is being applied to RB26's these days, so alternative engines is a good idea for some.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Can't recall ever having seen an FJ swap no.

Matthew Burgess

Not sure if links are permitted by there's one on Driftworks :) "backyard Build FJ S13"


Looked at the first picture guessed it right away, and I don't event know that much about the L28.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well that's because you can see the engine haha


naturally aspirated L28, I guess around 250 hp?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

3.1L stroker so bit more than that

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

While it is difficult for me to understand why would people swap in some engine from yesteryear into a rather modern car, there's is no denying that it makes this build unique.

Carb'd 4A-GE in a Toyota 86 anyone? XD

Matthew Burgess

ITB 3SGE would suit it :)

Dino Dalle Carbonare

The shop called it a new revolution. I guess it's because everything else has been tried ...


I can't help but think the owner had a Datsun that had rusted or been crashed and they have found a decent chassis that would be good for all the salvageable parts from the previous build. That would also explain the 4 stud conversion on a normally 5 stud car...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Possibly. Q's were 4 stud


Silvia Q's are a 4 stud hub from OEM, so nothing funny going on there I suspect.


I can't help but imagine this with one of those beautiful OS Giken motors...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh my God! Now that would be insane!!


That's going to be the best sounding S14 around. Well, except for a particular Kiwi built one with twice the cylinder.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Sound is pretty badass


when i think simplicity i think of tuning and synchronizing 3 two barrel carburetors.


Very cool car. The L28 up front seems so in conflict with the air-con and modernity of the interior, but if it works, then by all means do it. Honestly it's the same principle as opting for a small block Chevy as opposed to an LS for an american build; it's simple and effective. Seriously, though, this car just gives off a fun and exciting aura.


At least it's not an LS, very cool swap


Is... is that retromodding?


Yeah, it's different alright and I can appreciate that. It's not something that I would have chosen to do, but I guess it's been done because it can be done. What I can't agree on, is the simplicity aspect. In my experience, once you've set up a nice tunable engine management system on your fuel injected engine, there's no going back to carbs. Carburetors are cool, but simple (to tune and get working in all conditions) they ain't. There's not a whole lot going on in a fuel injected street car, when it comes to wiring and sensors.


That's refreshing ! I would totaly do that !


Go back to regular titles. Fuck Jalopnik titles


You can get 300hp out of an L28 bored out with a diesel Maxima crank, custom pistons and head work. You also need triple carbs or ITB's with FI. Expect to spend $15k to get 300..

I love this build! I was going to do this with my Z31 but after I ran the numbers for the cost of the engine build, I opted to build an N/A stroker RB instead. Lance hit the nail on the "head" in regards to the crossflow. But yes, an OSGiken head would take care of that in this car! ;)



Fraser MacDonald

This is sick. I have a proton satria (1.3 carb, cheap transport here in malaysia) and im looking at swapping a 4g93 sohc and converting it to run on twin webers


I see "Retromodding" here. Interesting build!


Reverse restomodding has been going on, with 2JZs being swapped into newer models lol


While its unique and I love it. It's no different than muscle car guys putting engines from the 60's and 70's into late models. It's a tried and true hot rodding method.


Very unique. Thumbs up


this is so fucking back wards its not funny, hey guys lets chuck the light dohc motor out for a heavy sohc non cross flow cylinder dinosaur motor
get speedhunters feature T_T
this is why we cant have nice things


So this is pretty much the opposite of Larry's Ol'Orange Bang haha!




lol I was half expecting a BMW S14 engine, done just so he could say he put an S14 in his S14.