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Old 05-06-2017, 01:47 AM   #1
Foul_Mouth
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Default Don't Kid Yourself: These Trucks Are Not the Next 240sx

Yeh I said it and if it hurts your feelings too bad.

The Hardbody is not a 240SX and never will be so let's not kid ourselves. Wagon coach rear suspension and torsion bars? Bleh! You can run that if you don't mind being embarrassed at the autocross like I am every time I roll my truck out to an event. So you see pics and vids of D21 trucks hanging the ass end out and going through the cones? The secret is the owners spent a lot of money and time to get them to do that. In my educated opinion the D21 on the track is a novelty item, if you approach it like that you might have some fun. If you are trophy hunting, you bought the wrong vehicle.

As for the claim the D21 is the next 240sx, there are only 4 things these trucks have in common with the 240SX and here they are:

1) They were both made by Nissan. Ok, that does nothing to make the D21 anywhere near a 240sx in terms of handling but I thought I would start with the obvious. Yes, they share the same Nissan logo.

2) They both had the KA24e engine at one time or another. I am talking USDM spec only here...(we'll leave out the ozzies with their ugly flatbeds and the JDM spec 180sx stuff for this article), the 240SX and the D21 shared variants of the KA24e engine. There are differences between the two and the 240sx got the sportier of the pair...if you can even call the KA sporty. I personally think it is a windbag of a motor designed to bring home bags of mulch for your wife's front garden, not smoking cars at the track. So if you think you are going to go play with the Miatas in a stock (or even a moderately modded D21) and come out on top...forget it. On the track the D21 is a joke at best. The 240sx had more sports car DNA with its overall lighter weight, better coilover suspension and lower stance. The D21 with torsion bars and leaves might as well been a horse drawn cart. In its stock form the D21 is just the wallflower leftover at the school dance after all the hot chicks have left with their boyfriends...the only reason anyone would consider these for drifting or autocross is because all the 240sx cars are pretty much used up, or in my case...dumb with my money.


3) They were both front engine and rear drive design. Big deal, that's the same as saying a Sumo wrestler and I have arms and legs in the same places. The D21 could have been right at home as a front wheel drive and I bet no one would have batted an eye. It sure feels like one with its under steer in the turns. Apply any power when the front wheels are turned and the D21 converts into a good plow, the only way to counter it is to lift and once you do that the Miata you thought you were going to beat is gone. Doesn't matter what tires you run; r compounds, junkyard take offs, those brand new BF Goodrich tires you couldn't wait to upload to your Facebook page...none of them matter. Nothing says sports car handling like a high ratio steering box which requires multiple turns just to make minor inputs. People laugh when I tell everyone at autocross events "it handles like a B17 bomber, you turn the wheel and 30 seconds later it starts to turn". Recirculating ball steering is not sporty in the least. Go ahead and convert to a manual steering box for even more turns lock to lock if you like.

4) They shared the same model transmission but once again...same not same. The 240sx transmission has a different housing and shifter location. The gearing is also different internally with the advantage going to the 240SX. Swapping a 240sx transmission into your D21 will not make it a 240sx.

After years of building and racing my D21 I decided to share my thoughts on this now that the minitruck/drifter craze is knocking on our door with videos about the subject being posted on YT more and more by bigger and bigger names. If you go out and buy yourself a D21 you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. You will be required to open your wallet even wider to make it handle. It cost me a couple thousand dollars in mods just to make my truck handle and stop less like diaherria and more like a solid turd, still shitty.

If you really want you can take it to the next level by opening your wallet and fabricating. Things like the rear subframe section with independent diff and control arms from say...A 240SX!...can be installed. You can ditch the torsion bars in favor of coilovers. You can ditch the KA in favor of a more capable power plant. Don't stop there! Don't forget upgrading brakes and fabbing in a rack and pinion steering system while you are in there. The fact remains, the more bolts you turn and more stuff you add the less of a D21 it becomes and at some point you need to ask yourself, "should I have just paid the drift tax and bought myself a real 240SX?". Well, only you can answer that. Hopefully this little rant helps persuade you not to waste your time because unless you plan to go all the way the D21 will never, ever be the next 240SX. The bottom line is the truck is a truck and just because a drifter on YouTube makes a video about it does not change the fact that in order to make the truck handle you have to pour huge money into it to basically turn it into the 240sx it never was.

Thoughts?


Here's the list I have so far.

Same:
-Both Nissan Built
-Both KA24e
-Both Front Engine Rear Drive Config
-1st thru 4th gears same
-Significant Racing History with Official Sanctioning Bodies.


Not Same:
-(s13) (d21)
2680lbs curb------------- roughly 2800lbs curb
-IRS --------------------- Live Axle
-Struts ------------------- Torsion/Leaf
-R200 w/4.083----------- H190 w/3.545
-0.759 O/D--------------- 0.838 O/D
-Unibody------------------ Full Frame
-Horizontal In. Plenum--- Vertical Throttle Body
-Aerodynamic------------- Box
-Rack and Pinion---------- Recirculating Ball
-Cam Valve Lift= 10.4mm--- 9.86mm
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Last edited by Foul_Mouth; 06-17-2017 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:00 AM   #2
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As you touched on it, for novelty purposes? hell yeah, as long as you don't expect to win and do expect to have a fun time.
Taking yourself seriously? No, just spend the money on a car designed to go around corners OR spend lots of money. Personally I love seeing people do things with vehicles not designed for it but not from people who pay a shop to do the work for them. "yeah here's 10 grand make my jeep cool"

In my personal opinion, if I could actually have a 2wd D21 to start with the last thing I would do would be autocross. I'd like to put a big block in the bed and make the thing wheelie at the drag strip haha. (Mazdarati??

I feel you bud, here where I live it's common for people to buy the cheapest possible subaru and then expect it to be exactly the same as an STI.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:14 AM   #3
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I still love my D21 and shower it with parts all the time. But I am a special breed of stupid who enjoys building it and I do love when people come up to me at an autocross asking me all kinds of questions about it.

Still that does not make it the next 240sx. I may have thought that even up to a year ago but now that the world is now looking at them because of that vid on YT I am going to change my answer and say no way!

All the successful drifters on this site gutted their trucks and are running LS motors, SBCs and Toyota I6s with fully independent suspensions with rack and pinion steering which proves my point, you have to take the D21 and turn it into something else to make it drift or race. But the other side of that coin is that the D21 can be shaped into those kinds of rigs and that's what I like about them.


How far are you willing to go to make them race/drift like a 240sx?
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:14 AM   #4
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You're so wrong. I put stickers and 15x10's on mine and it's straight up drift truck yo.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:17 AM   #5
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Interesting post, lots of good insight. I can understand the appeal of a mini truck because they are easy to modify compared to a lot of other vehicles but you are absolutely right. Every 4-cylinder truck I've ever driven (especially mine) has been downright gutless and handled like the tin cans they are. Still, I think small trucks are some of the most underrated vehicles out there. Ever since I was a kid I wanted a small pickup truck and was given the opportunity to buy one on the cheap a few years ago. The rest is history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synbiotic12 View Post
I feel you bud, here where I live it's common for people to buy the cheapest possible subaru and then expect it to be exactly the same as an STI.
Man we could almost be neighbors lol. Lots of base trim imprezas around here with the telltale rims, blacked-out windows and fart cans.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:22 AM   #6
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Don't forget the RallyArmor mudflaps.I have to laugh when i see those and I am driving my versa. I have won two season trophies in my local SCCA RallyCross program while most of those subs have never seen a dirt track yet there they sit next to a trophy winning rallycross driver in a Nissan Versa not even knowing it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
You're so wrong. I put stickers and 15x10's on mine and it's straight up drift truck yo.
Shit, this man has opened up his wallet wider than a backdoor whore's buttcheeks. What's everyone else's excuse?
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:36 AM   #8
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You need this 240SX Silvia for drifting.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122451064492

Just bad to the bone.

Pic, for when the listing expires:

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Old 05-06-2017, 02:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foul_Mouth View Post
All the successful drifters on this site gutted their trucks and are running LS motors, SBCs and Toyota I6s with fully independent suspensions with rack and pinion steering which proves my point, you have to take the D21 and turn it into something else to make it drift or race. But the other side of that coin is that the D21 can be shaped into those kinds of rigs and that's what I like about them.
It's essentially the same thing I see when people talk about "how can I make my truck better offroad?"
Uhh, well start by cutting the entire front end off and welding a completely different suspension to it. There's nothing worse than people who don't understand how much modifying it really takes to do things right. It's the kind of people with deep wallets who watch too much TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBJ View Post
I can understand the appeal of a mini truck because they are easy to modify compared to a lot of other vehicles but you are absolutely right. Every 4-cylinder truck I've ever driven (especially mine) has been downright gutless and handled like the tin cans they are. Still, I think small trucks are some of the most underrated vehicles out there.
Even my 2004 frontier was an absolutely gutless, not great on gas, poor handling, rough riding piece of crap. However it lasted me 5 years with almost 200,000 miles and it never failed to bring home way more weight than it was rated for.

Then again that's exactly why I love my truck, it's different! I can't go to a gas station without being stopped by someone who wants to know all about the thing. But the people who know what it really is understand that I have literally thousands of hours dumped into this thing and that it would take someone years to copy the things i've done to it.
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Old 05-06-2017, 03:43 AM   #10
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i like the article, but i wasnt so sure about the dig at the aussies!
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