When modifying a car it always pays to have a plan
that you stick to. It’s all to easy to keep buying bits an’ pieces here and
there and, before you know it, your car becomes a mishmash of different styles
Well, Andrew Hawkins is a man who knows where he wants to go and how to get
there. So when he decided to push the standard S14a turbocharger and
internals as far as they could go that's what he did - no distractions.
In the first round of modification on this ’98
Nissan 200SX, Andrew gave himself a budget of AUD$10,000. With this, Andrew
invested in a full-length 3 inch exhaust, a Hybrid front-mount intercooler, HKS
Super Sequential blow-off valve and a pod filter with a new pipe to the
compressor. The fuel system was accordingly upgraded with 550hp fuel pump,
Malpassi regulator and an A’PEXi Super AFC (to adjust mixtures). A heavy-duty
clutch and custom pressure plate were also added to ensure the new-found grunt
made its way to the bitumen – or the rear tyres, at least...
With boost pressure set to a maximum of 18 psi, Andrew's 200SX asserted
itself as a 12.8 second quarter mile machine and cranked out some impressive
power numbers. Depending on the dyno, the car generated between 178 to 204kW
at the wheels (we're inclined to believe it was in the higher end of the
The S14a panels were given a completely new lease on life with a Vertex
body kit as well as some eye-catching chameleon vinyl flames. The body was
also brought down to a more appealing ride height using lowered springs with
Monroe dampers. A front suspension tower brace adds to the improved
handling. The polished rims seen in our pics are 18 inch AVS Model 5s
measuring 18 x 8 and 18 x 9.
Inside, the lame factory sound system was ripped
out and replaced by a Kenwood head unit wired to a high-power amp, front and
rear 6 ½ inch splits and a 12 inch sub. Nothing over-the-top – just something
that lets you enjoy your favourite beats.
By doing the vast majority of the work himself, these modifications came in
comfortably below the AUD$10,000 budget. Andrew was more than happy to drive
the car in this configuration for more than a year - having previously
driven Subaru WRXs, he couldn't believe how fast the 200SX felt with
relatively limited mods. This is when he decided to aim for maximum power
from the standard turbo and engine internals - just as a personal
The next items to make their way under the bonnet
were a tuned length exhaust manifold (which was purchased second-hand and
rejuvenated), a custom screamer pipe, a GReddy Profec B electronic boost
controller, an A’PEXi Power FC with a Z32 300ZX airflow meter and 740cc
With the stock T28 turbo now spinning on a tuned
length manifold, the car cracked the 300hp at the wheels barrier. With some
toluene added to the tank, Andrew saw up to 315hp (235kW) at the wheels. This
was with boost set to around 19 psi with a mid-range spike up to around 21 psi.
At this stage, Andrew added an upgrade front
swaybar, some high-performance bushes (including a rear cradle mount), oil
cooler and gauges for boost and oil pressure. Both of these will come in handy
as Andrew is an unstoppable motorsport junky – drag racing, drifting, you name
it, he’s into it.
Having achieved what was widely thought impossible with the 200SX, Andrew
then proceeded remove that stockie turbocharger (which was still performing
well after 115,000km and plenty of abuse) and turn up the heat with a Trust
T67 25G 8cm turbine kit (including manifold, dump pipe and 48mm external
wastegate). At the same time, the top-end of the engine was freshened up and
treated to HKS Stage One cams, a mild porting, rocker stoppers, ARP head
studs, adjustable cam sprockets and a Grex 1.2mm metal gasket. Aside from an
electric water pump, the SR20DET bottom-end remains standard - for now. A
surge tank and Bosch 044 fuel pump have also been added.
With the latest engine set-up, Andrew's S14a makes more power at less boost
- but where's the fun in that? With the boost properly cranked up to 20 psi
Andrew has seen 351hp (262kW) at the wheels. And you can expect that figure
to increase further when he installs a Haltech ECU, bigger intercooler,
throttle body and a gives the bottom-end a rebuild
With several sponsors now onboard (including
TurboSmart, AutoBahn at Capalaba and Millenium Motorsport) Andrew will commit to
the show circuit and every driving event he can get into. He’s already got a
Monza harness for the driver’s seat, all he needs is a half cage and he’ll be
ready to fly.
Oh, and the brakes might need an upgrade soon as
well - perhaps Andrew’s next mission is to see how fast you can go while
retaining the standard brakes!