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Sam's D21 Daily


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I've had this piece of shit for something like 2 or 3 years now. I wasn't going to make a project thread for it, but I've grown very attached to it, and there are now plans for future resto/modernisation. Don't expect anything too soon, at the moment it's all about rectifying the mistakes made by a previous owner. It's like a how-not-to on car modification.


About a year after buying it I'd decided it had a leaking head gasket. Na uh.





So I put in a new old engine. It's better, but I have no history on it, it leaks oil from quite a few places (like 1/4 as many as before though), and it's running worse and worse. It has fairly bad blow by, bad valve stem seals, and I've just discovered that it's worn a hole in the side of the dizzy, from the inside. Currently returning 6 km/L and slow af. Blame this when the oil runs out.

I'm currently trying to decide whether to start spending money fixing this engine, with the intent to do a turbo with blow through carb/efi conversion in the future, or whether to keep patching it up until I can do a D22 KA24de conversion.   (<----- Opinions plz!)


Other upcoming jobs:

Rebuilt the exhaust - It's currently one piece from engine to (side exit) tip, hard mounted to the chassis, with no flexi.

Helicoil exhaust studs - See above

Replace plastic vents - previous owner broke the clips on the scuttle vents and bonnet vents, then glued them on the no more nails. All the glue failed within two weeks and the grilles fell out.

Small rust jobs - nothing major, just the odd bubble.

Repaint - Looks good from far and in the rain (as per pic), but is an off white enamel with copious runs sprayed over original cracked paint.

heaps of stuff


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wow, a+ previous ownership! Seems they knew just enough to be dangerous?

i have a ka24de in my hightop LWB Caravan, goes hard for what it is etc even with a 4 speed auto, so will be uber sweet in a smaller lighter vehicle that has aerodynamics slightly better than a comedy sized washer dryer combo

I think in the states they have a bit of a drift following as a underdog 'truck motor' that came in some S chassis cars, so there may even be some after market parts too? 

(honestly not trying to push you into going overboard on the engine swap so i can live my turd polishing dreams vicariously)

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That exhaust stud repair is great.

I like d21s I've had a few of them.. 

Sr20 is a bolt in if I remember correctly with some combination of nissan Lego mounts and maybe some fuckery with the sump.

I put a 1uz in one of mine, and a 3.8 VN motor in another. Bit of work though.

Ka24de would be a good bolt in conversion especially with a turbo on it. US silvias were called a 240sx so there's aftermarket stuff available for them


Or a td27 turbo for a cheap to run daily

Td42 turbo for max towing /deez skids

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Yeah, I actually met a cool girl at a party 6 months ago with a SR20 d21 kingcab daily and some sort of Torana project car. Would definitely have smashed. The point being, the SR swap looked pretty easy. I'm not that keen on shifting the power band up to 4000+ rpm, but it would be nice to actually have a power band. I think it's currently between 2400 rpm and 2403 rpm. I did look into a dez conversion too, but the engines cost heaps more than petrol. A d40 YD25 would be pretty rad, 450 nm, 140kw, and not too heavy. 

The KA is pretty much the spiritual successor to the Z24 that's in there now, the max power/torque is relatively low down. Plus it has the same bellhousing bolt pattern, and as you guys have said is actually pretty well supported. At the end of the day, I don't want a race ute, I just want to do 110 up hills. Then I can change my mind later and put in a VH41.




turd polishing

Whatchu tryna say, pal?


I've also thought of more things to do:

Replace gearbox - whines on decel in 1, 2, 3 & whines on accel in 4, 5

Find LSD rear end - Self explanatory

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Just bought some exhaust parts from China, will see how good/shit they are when they get here.


It's going to be quite a while until I start the engine swapping. Grandma just moved into a home, so I've lost the use of her garage, plus I've got two cars to finish so I've got something to drive in the meantime. I might fix this engine up anyway, got a mate with a 910 bluebird SSS with a Z20 in it, Z24 might be a decent upgrade. 



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