Words: Gregg Bucell & Wooley // Photos: Iggy McCarthy

For most people, a car is nothing more than a tool.  An object that they use to complete their day-to-day life.  Going to work, running a few errands, and then going back home.  Outside of that, it never enters their thoughts.  But thankfully – there is a movement of us out there, who see it differently.  And for us, a car is a sense of identity.  It’s our escape.  It’s our key to freedom.  The Collective says that in a lot of ways, true freedom is simply the ability to go where you want, when you want.  And we recognize this.  It’s what we see & feel when we go to the garage, flip on that light, and see our ride sitting there waiting for us… like a trusted war horse.  We don’t plan our errands for the day.  Nah.  We plan our circuit.  We choose a restaurant based on the roads that lead to it.  We’ll take a longer way home, if we know there’s a twisty stretch of road nestled somewhere along the way.


And it doesn’t matter what you call yourself: a gear-head, an enthusiast, a ricer… we are those people.  Through our eyes, we see cars differently from the masses… and we see them differently from one another.  Our spirits command more from a vehicle, than just transportation.  Mere transportation is not enough.  ‘Transportation’ makes it sound like we’re cattle… getting corralled into our fences.  Like we’re nothing more than goods & commodities… being transported around our vast network of interstate systems.  What WE want – is performance.  Performance is life… whereas ‘transportation’ is only existence.  We want thrust.  We want our eyes sharpened.  We want our hearts involved.  We want grip.  We want energy.

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And when all of that comes together… even if it’s just for a short sprint… it’s one of the most satisfying parts of our day.

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And thankfully we have people like Brad in our corner… to keep pushing the movement.  Brad is one of those guys that just could not be happy enough with whatever stock-options he was offered.  He didn’t want to be yet another 240sx owner in the drift scene… as his heart naturally sat with the BMW E30 chassis.  But he recognized and appreciated the SR20DET for all of its many benefits.  Unwilling to compromise on either end, Brad finally saw that there was no other way but to join the power plant he really wanted, with the chassis that he loved.

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When I was presented with this feature car, I jumped on my computer and began to do quick research on some forums… to find out a little more info for this swap.  I knew it had been done before by one of my friends in Chicago.  But I still didn’t know exactly what labor was involved.  The first thread I came across was titled “E30 SR20 conversion guide”.  I figured I’d be able to learn everything I need to know once I clicked on that link… but I could not have been more wrong. All I read was NEGATIVE comments talking down to the idea of this conversion.

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“Unless you have a ton of money to throw at the car, then you should not entertain a Nissan powerplant.”  That’s one of the first replies I found… shortly followed by, “It would be a lot of money, a lot of fabrication of parts. How many car conversions have you done? Do you own a shop? Are you rich and unemployed, with no school or kids?”

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I could not find one true piece of credible information to my questions about the swap… just a bunch of naysayers.  And that got me thinking: Brad must have, at some point, gone online in search of the exact same info… read through all the negative responses of the swap… only to ignore them all and do the swap anyways.  And that made me laugh with respect.  Because when you stack up some of the facts of the car chosen and the engine chosen, it kind of makes no sense at all in joining them.

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I mean – if you are going to drift the car… just go with what’s proven, right?  A 240 with an SR swap.  And that’s true.  But then again… pushing that mindset onto others who may want to try something different… well that kind of mindset is a little too similar to – ‘it is just transportation’.  And we have to steer clear of letting that kind of stifling evil creep in.  We’ve got to keep this heart-felt… not necessarily just economical.

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Nissan SR20DET swap, Custom rack with Kazama motor mounts, Custom transmission mount with Nismo bushing, Brian Cower H-beam rods, Wiseco 9.25:1 pistons, ACL race bearings, ARP main studs, ARP head studs, Cosworth head gasket, Brian Crower 264 cams, Supertech dual valve springs, retainers, and valve seals, Circuit Sport rocker arm stoppers, M&B mild port and polish, M&B valve job, GReddy intake manifold, GReddy aluminum pulleys, Moroso aluminum oil pan, Custom boost pipes, ARC blow off valve , Precision GT2871R turbo with 86 A/R housing, Dif steel braded turbo lines, DC Sport equal length turbo manifold, Megan stainless steel turbo elbow, Custom oval exhaust to ‘round’ shotgun exhaust, Aftermarket oil cooler and relocation kit with Aeroquip steel braded lines, Mishimoto E30 M3 radiator, Mishimoto electric fan , Modified Cilton filler tank, Nismo thermostat, PBM high mount intercooler, Custom high pressure power steering line, SARD fuel pressure regulator, DeathchWerks 810cc fuel injectors, Aeromotive stealth 340lph fuel pump, PSI Custom oil catch can with Aeroquip lines, S14 SR20det oil pickup, Stance oil block adapter, Apexi Power FC D-detro, AEM tru boost controller, Custom made clutch line with remote reservoir, OS Giken twin plate clutch, Custom 2-piece drive line, 4.10 locked rear end

Late model plastic bumper conversion, Custom fender flares, Custom side skirts, BMW fog light deletes, Modified VW MK3 front lip, Euro smiley headlights, Xenon Hid kit, BBS trunk lid spoiler, Aero Catch hood pins, Custom roof rack

Stripped except for essentials, Sparco Corsa bucket seat, Nardi classic steering wheel, Techno Toy Tuning 6in steering wheel spacer, Lowered steering column, GReddy turbo timer, AEM digital gauges: tru boost, wideband, oil pressure, Autopower tach converter, Modified K-Sport hydraulic hand brake, Patron tequila cork shift knob, JVC stereo, Infinity speakers, Rockford Fosgate 8in sub

Custom rack with Kazama BC Racing coilovers, 17×10 Keskin KT1 Klassics, Mc Motorsports hub centric 1.5 adapters, 225/35R17 Yokohama S-Drive, Brembo rotors, Hawk hps pads, Remote brake fluid reservoir, SLR V2 super angle kit with adjustable front arms and tie rods, AKG adjustable front arm mounts, AKG adjustable camber and toe kit for rear trailing arms, AKG solid rear sub frame raiser with solid differential mount

Feature from back issue No. 26 – Pick up this issue and other back issues or subscribe today in our store!