Text By Evan Griffey
[Put into HTML format by Dan Thompson]
This article originally appeared in the Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance August 1998 issue and was reprinted with permission. For more info on Turbo Magazine check out their website.
What is an NX2000 anyway? The NX2000 was an off-shoot of the 1991 to '94 Sentra SE-R. The NX is a hatchback, not a sedan, but sports the same engine, driveline and interior layout as the Sentra. The NX2000 is motivated by a 140-horsepower SR20DE four-cylinder while the other NX, the NX1600 is powered by a tamer 1.6-liter engine, the GA16DE. The NX was an eclectic car with an even more exclusive (read: smaller) following than the SE-R.
Building Blocks Of Power
The SR20DE is a stout foundation for performance, as illustrated by our Serious Sentra and a number of other fine examples on the road. Ron Bennett, a friend with in-depth mechanical experience, was put in charge of readying the SR20 for boosted operation. Ron fortified the internals of the SR20DE with a set of JE slugs and Crower connecting rods. The rotating assemblies were balanced and blueprinted before installation to ensure extra durability under pressure. To provide the pressure, a Turbonetics T3-based turbocharger with a Super 60 compressor wheel is regulated to a maximum manifold pressure of 17 psi via a Deltagate wastegate and Blitz boost controller. Fuel for the fire is provided by 50 lb/hr MSD injectors housed in a custom Jim Wolf Technology fuel rail, the stock pump and a Bosch adjustable regulator. The ignition side of the combustion equation is handled by a MSD 6AL ignition box, NGK plug wires and NGK plugs. All ignition timing and fueling events are under the command of a Jim Wolf Technology-programmed ECU. The program is a direct descendant of the one currently controlling our Serious Sentra project car. The ECU receives signals from a larger-capacity Hitachi Mass Air meter and at the max boost setting both the turbo and the fuel pump are at maximum output. A high-flowing turbo and bigger fuel pump will be needed for more power. Dependability is further ensured with the employment of a front-mount, air-to-air intercooler, which fights off detonation by cooling the combustion charge. The intercooler also allows more power to be generated because a cool, dense charge will contain a greater mass of air and, when matched with the proper proportion of fuel, will produce more horsepower. When fabricating the intercooler and intake piping, Ron added a Jim Wolf POP Charger air filter assembly and a bored-out throttle body to expedite air flow into the engine.
With turbo-enhanced power on tap, Ron needed to adjust the manner in which the Nissan related to the road. To bring the NX2000 closer to Earth a set of Bellingers lowering coils were installed. The coils work in conjunction with Tokico Illumina gas-charged struts to provide enhanced dampening. Contact with the pavement is maintained via Yokohama performance rubber wrapped around Axis Tuning 17x7.5 Super Advans wheels. The tri-spoke Advans sport a black finish with a blue lip that ties in nicely with the exterior of the car. With the increased acceleration capabilities of the turbocharged SR20, braking system enhancement was a logical modification. Cross-drilled brake rotors are teamed with Axis Sport Tuning stainless steel lines and Performance Friction pads.
Just as the Nissan's engine spins the dyno at fever pitch, its interior is primed to impress even the most seasoned of show judges. The interior of the NX2000 lends further credence to the car's "balanced attack" philosophy as the seats have been upholstered in blue and white leather. The cockpit has been color-changed to blue throughout and a lot of work was put into the center console and gauge placement. An Auto Meter Pro Comp Ultra-Lite boost gauge is joined by a Camden Superchargers air/fuel monitor, GReddy Turbo Timer and Techtom MDM-100 engine monitor.
The MDM-100, available through G-Force Engineering, will not alter any of the programs in your ECU - you cannot erase or misprogram anything. To bring the MDM-100 on line, find your fuse box and remove the cover. Locate the diagnostics port and plug in the MDM-100. Start your engine and the MDM-100 will come to life. The unit allows viewing of two parameters at a time (the exact parameters and the manner in which they are viewed are outlined in the chart found by clicking on the image of the Techtom). Pushing the Select button will display an arrow next to the upper readout. Pushing the Select button again moves the arrow to the lower readout. Pushing it a third and fourth time allows the user to add or subtract from the readout's contrast and dimness. With the upper readout selected the Up and Down buttons allow the user to scroll through the parameters. The same parameter cannot be viewed on both readouts.
While Donald's NX2000 offers a balanced attack of detailed and highly-potent mods, we liked the fact that the Nissan pumps out the power like a race car and looks like a trailer queen show car but is used as a real-world daily commuter. Most of all the NX proves that, with attention to detail and proper tuning, a balanced attack is unbeatable.