Kyle Shaffer acquired his drivers license around the same time the early Fast & Furious movies came out, so it was only inevitable that he would own something Japanese and modified. Thinking of those two words, it’s hard not to conjure up the image of a 240SX, and that’s exactly what Kyle found himself in, initially an S13.
As time went on he acquired a few more, ultimately SR20-swapping his original S13. Eventually he moved on to the S14 chassis and realized he vastly preferred it. Long story short, Kyle again swapped an SR20 into his car — and a 5-speed manual gearbox too since it was an automatic — although this time it was a turbocharged setup good for 350 horsepower at the wheels.
From the sound of it, the SR20 didn’t last long, so Kyle picked up something a bit… bigger. Along the road to the current engine swap, Kyle updated just about ever other aspect of this car as well.
We’ll dive into the details in a minute, but it’s worth knowing that Kyle works at Z1 Motorsports, a Nissan aftermarket powerhouse just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
Kyle says that growing up loving cars in the thick of the F&F era “only meant I was going to end up with an iconic car like the Nissan 240SX.”
Coupled with the shop space at Z1 and the knowledge he’s picked up working there, Kyle was able to build a car rife with family-correct improvements. From the engine bay to inside the wheel wells, this S14 is still through and through a Nissan.
We’ll start outside the car where you see a 240SX that’s relatively reserved from an aesthetic standpoint. It’s not too low, not too wide, and has sensible aero for a car that sees the track.
Vertex bumpers and side skirts are used around the car, and it’s obviously been converted to the late ’90s kouki facelift style. The big wing out back is an APR GTC-300, while the front splitter is a custom item.
The exterior look is finished with Work Meister S1Rs measuring 17×9.5-inch on all four corners, wrapped up in Bridgestone Potenza RE760 tires.
Beyond the parts that first catch your eye, though, this S14 has a few secrets under its narrow bodywork…
When I initially asked Kyle what’s unusual about his S14, he thought for a minute, laughed, and said “it’s not a drift car.”
He isn’t wrong, but he’s also being a bit modest, because under the hood things start to get serious. Very serious, actually, and it doesn’t stop there.
Kyle has opted to swap in an RB25DET and its corresponding gearbox for just a bit more oomph. But this alone wasn’t quite enough for his liking, so Kyle upgraded the inline six with Manley rods, CP forged pistons, Tomei cams and valve springs, ARP head studs and main studs, a Nitto crank collar, HKS timing belt and exhaust cam gear, and the list goes on…
Custom piping draws fresh air through an HKS Super Power Flow air filter and feeds it into a GReddy intercooler before it enters the intake via a Q45 throttle body. Wasted fumes find their way out of the engine through a Raw Brokerage twin-scroll turbo exhaust manifold where a T4 Precision 6262 turbo is spooled up.
Kyle also made use of TiAL Sport wastegates and a custom-made down-pipe (as well as wastegate dumps) to button up the exhaust.
Out the other end, the RB’s presence is proudly announced with a GReddy titanium cat-back exhaust, a system which is quite nice on the ears. Click play and have a listen.
Fuel is handled by a Walbro 485lph pump and is ultimately delivered with Nismo 740cc injectors. The setup is managed with a Haltech Platinum Pro ECU, which was tuned in-house at Z1 Motorsports by Kyle’s friend and co-worker Jon. The result of all this is just under 500 wheel horsepower.
Power is sent into the RB25 gearbox, which is stock besides the addition of an Exedy Hyper Single clutch. The wheels are spun up thanks to an R200 differential (with GReddy cover) which has been poached from an S13 and upgraded with a Nismo GT 2-way LSD with a 4.08 final drive. The setup uses J30 axles.Finding A Balance
To keep the vastly more powerful car balanced and planted, particularly at speed, Kyle went for a Ksport coilover setup. Up front he’s also running a Whiteline 27mm sway bar, along with a custom power brace, Cusco carbon strut tower bar, and Tein inner tie rods paired with Touge Factory outer tie rods. Out back an Eibach swaybar is used along with a Ultra Racing c-pillar brace and solid subframe bushings.
Stopping power is unsurprisingly upgraded as well with Z32 calipers front and back. Kyle used Z1 Motorsport relocation mounts for Brembo rotors meant for a 350Z in the front.
Meanwhile, over the rear axle you’ll find a Royalty relocation mount coupled with Z1 Motorsports G37 sport rotors. Furthering the Frankensteining, a Z32 parking brake is used with cables stolen from an R33. Fluid is smashed through a Z32 master cylinder and Z1 Motorsports stainless steel brake lines for firmer pedal feel.
Inside the car Kyle has kept things simple with the main addition being the Bride seats. I actually prefer it this way, as it’s a nice balance to the swap up front. Not to mention, the interior with factory trim intact is a perfect throwback to the ’90s where this otherwise heavily modified Nissan came from.
At the same time, it’s almost comical to consider the experience of driving a near-factory example of an S14 when you compare it to the extreme feel that this car delivers on every front.Fast & Furious
Although Kyle does take the S14 to the track a couple times a year, he admits that he doesn’t drive it as often as he should. Still, it’s refreshing to see a built car like this actually putting all of its upgrades to use in an environment where they can be pushed to the limit.
Kyle’s feeling about not taking his car out enough, even on the street, drives home a good point though. I just sold my track car — sorry, hairdresser special — and I wish I had hit up the backroads in my Miata far more often than I actually did. My Mazda was nothing special, but it still delivered a satisfying driving experience every time I took it out.
Kyle says this car means a lot to him and I’m hoping this feature lights the fire under him to go out for a drive. In fact, I hope it motivates everyone to hop in their project and hit the open road.
Sure, you might have to shuffle a few cars around to get it out, you might have to order a couple little parts that have been keeping the car from running right, your defroster might not work, or it’ll just use too much fuel. Or maybe all of those things.
But do make it happen. Because you never quite know what you have until it’s gone.Nissan Only