1989 Nissan Silvia (S13)
ENGINE: Mazda 13B, 1300cc, twin-rotor; S4 RX-7 block, 3mm slotted S5 rotors, unbreakable apex seals, extended ports, T4 turbo, 60mm wastegate, custom manifold, 50mm BOV, Bosch 044 fuel pump, four Injector Dynamics ID1000 fuel injectors, Aeromotive fuel-pressure regulator, Microtech LT10S, Bosch coils, Microtech ignitor, alloy V-mount radiator and intercooler, Gizzmo boost controller, K&N pod filter DRIVETRAIN: S5 RX-7 five-speed, Exedy five-puck clutch, Cusco mechanical 4.1:1-ratio LSD, R32 GTS-T four-pot front calipers, R32 GTS-T two-pot rear calipers, hydraulic handbrake INTERIOR: Sparco driver seat; Recaro passenger seat; Momo steering wheel; Auto Meter oil-pressure, water-temp, volt, and boost gauges EXTERIOR: Nissan 180SX front bumper, Origin Labo 55mm 180SX front guards, Origin Labo 55mm rear guards, Origin Labo 180SX bonnet, ducktail wing WHEELS/TYRES: (F) 18x9-inch (+20p) Arrow Enterprise Gewalt Mesh, 215/35R18 Achilles ATR Sport; (R) 18x10.5-inch (-15) Arrow Enterprise Gewalt Mesh, 235/40R18 Hifly SUSPENSION: Tein coilovers, modified knuckles, extended lower-control arms, Hardrace caster and camber arms, Parts Shop Max toe arms, front and rear strut braces
NZ Performance Car : Hi, Jody. Is that a rotang we spy through the bonnet vents? Jody: [Laughs] Yep. I’ve had the engine and gearbox for a while, but it was meant to be for one of my Corollas — in the end, I decided [that] I didn’t want the headache of modifying the Corolla to handle the power I was aiming for, so the Silvia conversion was put into effect.
It’s an out-of-the box conversion, that’s for sure. Being a welder/fabricator, did you do most of the conversion yourself? Yeah, I started the build myself and pulled the running gear out, then modified the sump pan, made new engine mounts, gearbox cross member, etc. The idea was to keep everything pretty standard, but I needed to make a new exhaust manifold, and, I thought to myself, why go to all the effort just to fit a standard turbo? So, a big turbo and wastegate were fitted, and then that equals bigger injectors, a new ECU, BOV [blow-off valve], intercooler, etc. — the snowball effect started. How did you find the change switching from old ’rollas into the Nissan Lego-parts world? I had never played with Nissan stuff before. Upgrading the brakes, diff, hubs, axles — it was all so simple. My partner had an CA18DET S13, and, at the time, I was still playing around with the Corollas. I thought, this thing drives great, handles well with the power it had. When the opportunity came up, I switched tack and bought a stolen and recovered S13 for the right price — even though I really wanted a 180SX. Luckily, the parts swap over so easily, and a friend had spare 180SX front parts laying around, so the Onevia conversion took shape. A few years’ difference in tech there to help out, too. We understand it sees a fair amount of sideways track time? Definitely. I always wanted to give drifting a go, and this was the perfect thing to do it in. After a couple of Drift School events at Ruapuna [Mike Pero Motorsport Park], I started getting the hang of things and went along to a few more of the regular drift events hosted there — it’s great fun learning new ways to better your driving skills. After it got a bit rough, I whipped up a roll cage and put some bucket seats in, fitted the guards, and gave it a coat of paint. But now, it’s time to save some money for tyres, and go out for fun at the local. Nice! Would you do anything differently a second time around? I probably wouldn’t change the way I built it, as it was built with a budget in mind, and I intended to use it. But, if I [had] had the funds, I would have started with a 20B turbo instead — dreams are free. Either way, it’s a unique weekend warrior. Thanks for the chat, Jody.
Name: Jody Thompson Age: 28 Location: Christchurch Occupation: Welder/fabricator