Mike's s14 Kouki build

edited November 2013 in Builds and Projects
Hey Everyone,

My name is Mike and here is my introduction and build thread for my 98 240sx. I have been into cars as long as I can remember but didn't start racing autox until January 2012. I didn't know about the pad in pitt meadows until late 2011 when a friend of mine convinced me we should do it so with some peer pressure I signed up and became hooked after just one event. I tried balancing bike racing and autox when ever I could in between last year and loved every minute of it.

Here is a history of my car.....
I purchased the car in February 2009 as a pretty much stock automatic with 75,000km

I had some parts left over from my previous s14 so I put those on these included 350z wheels, eibach pro kit springs, hks hi power exhaust, and took out the double din for a single din deck. Here was the end result I thought I was a pretty cool cat at this point haha

I was very slowly picking up 5 speed parts to do the swap but along the way I also picked up some other things. The stock brakes felt under powered to me so I stumbled across a pair of z32 26mm callipers so I picked up those, Powerslot slotted rotors and Hawk HP+ pads, and PDM stainless conversion lines

Next up I had to repaint one of my side skirts due to previous owner chipping paint off, and my dad figured we could do it. So I also picked up a JDM rear bumper and painted that at the same time. I ordered a set of JDM valances as well but they took a lot longer to become in stock and shipped out.

That was pretty much it for 2009, I went to a few meets and tried some pretty basic work on my car. In 2010 I decided springs wouldn't cut it I wanted to be able to adjust damping and my ride height so next up came a set of Stance GR+ coilovers.

My valances came in so I test fitted them
I also picked up a USDM front lip

That was pretty much it for 2010 I spent most of the year traveling for bike races and working/school the rest of the time. In 2011 I was pretty bored of the auto/na and I had the chance to own my dream car, I bought a r32 gts-t. It wasn't a gtr but man it was fun loved that car. I sold it this year after 2 years of ownership. Owning 2 cars was just impractical for me. Near the end of 2011 I finished the 5 speed swap. I also picked up a set of circuit sport adjustable RUCA, and Toe arms and had an alignment done by Don at PDM.

Here is where it gets more interesting. January 2012 my first autox I learn't a lot mostly that I drive very slow haha. It was awesome to get to drive my car on a track!

After doing a few events I started to learn how to drive better and some of the weak points on my car. Biggest one was my head being on the roof, I am over 6"2 so I had no room in my car. I picked up a set of Nams super low rails and a replica bride vios iii seat.
I also noticed I was rubbing up front under hard cornering unless I ran my coilovers on full stiff so I upgraded to a set of ST sway bars. BEST mod I have ever done to my car it made the car handle so much better and I can run my coilovers on full soft and still no issues with rubbing. Bang for buck I wish I had gone with sway bars much earlier.

During the summer I was away racing most of the time so I really didn't do much driving. I raced in T-town for the fist time (incredible) before getting sick and missing BC super week. That was a major bummer but things worked out in August when I won BC champs match sprint tournament I am the one in the center.

October I had a hectic weekend. Some of you may remember me from autox 101 and the race the next day. I crashed in training the day before and had to get some stitches. I cut across my eyebrow and gave myself a large black eye. After waiting 5 hours for a doctor to see me I was stitched up and on my way. I spent the rest of the night icing my eyebrow hoping my eye wouldn't swell shut and I would be able to put a helmet on. A friend of mine also delivered my new wheels to me after I got out of the hospital but more on that later. Autox 101 was awesome I learn't so much and had a blast doing it. I got some funny looks the next day racing and tried explaining to people I wasn't in a bar fight. This photo was the night of the accident the next day looked much worse.

I didn't change anything on my car but regular maintenance stuff during the semester just did 1 or 2 events and kept training. In December I had another brutal crash which resulted in me going over the bars at 50+kph and taking out the race officials table. The next 2 months I couldn't do much just tried to get over my concussion. My brother and I came out and shot some photos at a slush event during my recovery time, and even raced one event once my symptoms had gone away.

Next up I picked up a set of circuit sport traction arms to complete my set of rear arms (I didn't get around to install these until end of may you will see why a little later)
My dad and I (mostly my dad) welded up the holes on a stock trunk and I pulled out a K's wing I had from my previous s14 (I still need to paint these)

I was on the road again in February training down south in California for the upcoming season when I had another crash, this time it was very serious crash. I ended up going over a guard rail and fracturing my c7 vertebrae. I took this the night after I got out of the hospital.

So I have been out for a long time it took weeks for VGH to receive my information and a doctor to look at me. I spent 2 months in that thing! But I am very lucky and fortunate that I can still walk or do anything for that matter. As I completed my rehab I also got to work refreshing the 240 for this season. The old boots had disintegrated so I replaced them and re greased everything.

My next big project was refinishing the wheels I picked up in October. I wanted to go wider with my wheel set up so when a set of Impul r5's went up for sale I snatch them. Next up I stripped and sanded all the paint off the faces, repainted the faces and polished the lips up. Here is the finished product ( I lost track of how many hours I have put into these wheels but the end result was pretty good)

I also replaced my replica seat with a Cobra Imola pro, my other seat felt good but I was worried about what would happen if I actually crashed. The difference in quality was expected but I am super happy I upgraded.

Here is my car as it sits right now

I am still working on rehab for my neck/back but I can drive again. My Physiotherapist told me August I am able to go to autox again so I am excited for that. It is pretty cool to look back at the work and see how much I have been able to learn the last few years. The only thing I have had some one else do after all these years was the alignment and having tires mounted/balanced.

My to do list now is
-install carbon cooling panel
-paint/install trunk and k's wing
-install z32 rear brakes
-get an alignment

Thanks for reading!
1998 Nissan 240sx- STX


  • edited November -1
    Looks awesome mike! Any more detailed pictures and information on the wheel restoration? They came out really well would be cool to see the process.

    Also forgot about your black eye event haha, you sorta stood out :P
    Kevan Cote - black 1991 Civic si SMF
  • edited November -1
    You definitely knew how to make a first impression with that eye shadow going on haha.

    Such a clean 240 though (rare to see). Definitely looking forward to seeing you back out at AutoX and more of this build!
    Graeme Adamson
    1992 Nissan 240sx - SM
    1990 Nissan GT-R - SSM
  • edited November -1
    haha you can say that! I can post up photos of the process when I get a chance.
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
  • edited November -1
    After reading your story it seems you and your bike have a bad history together.. haha.. Time to stick with cars, they seem to treat you much better...

    I cant wait to see you bring the car back out... I love nicely done up S14's...
  • edited November -1
    Yea in the last year I haven't had the greatest luck with crashes just seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time... Kevan I can't find all the photos I had taken. Here is a shortened version of what went into these wheels.

    Here is what my wheels looked like when I recieved them. They had dull/pitted lips and the faces had multiple coats of paint.

    First step I tried on the lips was a Mothers polish, it worked but not as well as I would like. The lip still looked dull but it took off some of the pitting. (you can see it if you look closely at the photo. This photo is much more flattering than they looked in person.

    Next I tried using a large buffing pad and a white buffing compound. This worked much faster thanks to the high speed of the grinder. All the pitting disappeared and the lips polished right up. I didn't feel it was worth sanding the lips down since the polish came out pretty well.

    At this point I had reassembled these wheels countless times due to wanting more shine and buffing the lips a few more times. Next up I needed to get off the old paint at first I made the mistake of just trying to sand it all off....... took way to long. After getting through one face I tried using an aircraft stripper and that sped things up a lot. I took all the paint off including the original Impul silver. Here is a shot I took during the sanding process. This was the longest process by far.......

    Here are the faces as I laid primer on 2 of them, the other 2 are just sanded here.

    After sanding out imperfections and getting the primer even I cleaned the surface and laid a single stage paint on

    I waited a few days since I was busy and wanted the paint to harden before assembling the wheels. I was excited to see the wheels together for the final time so I put a couple bolts in and snapped a few photos. Here is one of the almost final product

    And done on the car

    The wheels came out pretty well for my first time and I did learn a lot. If I had to do it over again it would take much less time, this quick write up doesn't show how many hours it took to get rid of all the old paint. Thanks for reading
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
  • edited November -1
    Dude you need to give up biking and get into a safe sport like bullfighting, motorcycle racing, heli-skiing, or basejumping.
    Mark Uhlmann, UBCSCC Ex-Pres
    BM #51: 2004 Stohr WF1
    STX #67: 2011 BMW 128i (sold 2019)
    DSP #67: 1997 BMW 328is (sold 2012)
  • edited November -1
    haha thats funny your not the first person to say that to me
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
  • edited November -1
    So I have made some progress on the car and figured I would share it here. First up I modified and got my cooling panel to fit pretty happy with how it turned out.
    Next up I took care of some maintenance stuff so I swapped out the haggard old air filter for an apexi one, and changed my power steering fluid
    I had been getting an annoying clunk under really slow speed braking or when turning and backing up again slow speed so I checked everything on the front end of my car and found my sway bar bushing on the passenger side was toast. The other side was showing some wear but not nearly as bad, so I swapped in some energy bushings. Problem solved and the car feels great again.

    I also did my first event since January this past weekend which was a lot of fun and great to be back driving. Car felt really good so next thing I need to address is tires since mine are getting pretty low on tread. If anyone took some photos of my car I would appreciate seeing them, I have not seen it doing anything but park with the new wheels haha as always thanks for reading
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
  • edited November -1
    Update time

    I was able to attend my first event since my accident last weekend which was awesome. Luckily a member on here got a picture of my car hope he is cool with me posting it
    This week one of my rear callipers decided it was going to retire so I finally got around to swapping in the z32 set up with pdm stainless lines and r33 oem e-brake cables.
    Here is the difference in rotor size 240sx is 10.2 inch while the z32 set up is 11.6 plus I went from single to double piston and a vented rotor instead of the non vented 240sx set up.( I cleaned up the rotors before installing them)

    Thanks for reading
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
  • edited November -1
    Small stuff has been happening lately with my car so I figured an update was in order. Passed aircare for hopefully the final time, replaced a bunch of wear items, and picked up an oem K's wing.

    Ordered up new tires and got them mounted. I went with BFGoodrich g-force comp 2s the online reviews seem to be good and for the money I figured they would be worth trying.
    I noticed my adjustment knobs on my coilovers kept spinning so while check that out I realized the knob had snapped. From online reading it seems to be a very common problem with stance coilovers. So I replaced the knobs and started playing with damping the car feels much better with it being softened
    Next up I put a set of SPL Urethane subframe spacers in. I had Uras ones on my r32 and they seemed to tighten up the car a fair amount.
    This is how my car is sitting currently awaiting the next event I can do.
    1998 Nissan 240sx- STX
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