Ownership Verified: Multi-Motorsport / Daily Driver B13 SE-R (and B14 SE-R DD / Ice Racer)

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
I started RallyCross in 2011 with a B12 Sentra and had an absolute blast. Bought it for $300, put new cooling system components in it and drove it daily alongside racing it for an entire year to complete the 2011 NER Championship.
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I was originally planning on getting a B13 SE-R right after that, but ended up deciding to give AWD a try for 2012 with a Subaru Impreza and had a ton of fun!
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Last August, I managed to find a solid, complete and stock 1991 SE-R on Craigslist out in Pennsylvania. It was a second-owner car since 1996 and used as a commuter. With 212k on the clock, the owner thought he would be proactive and install a lower-mileage SR20 and found a junkyard unit with "114k". He got it put back together just enough to start it, and found that the bottom end was gone. At that point, he decided it was time to cut his losses and get a new car. It worked great for me as it was a very cheap deal, with a solid transmission and a strong LSD. I towed it 400 miles back home and got to work.
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I got the car up on jack stands and prepared the engine for removal. A fellow racer helped me with the pull, and we had the engine / transaxle on the ground in 3.5 hours.
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A new SR20DE was sourced via an import company on eBay for $525, with a listed 30k miles. When it arrived, I swapped over anything I needed from the old engine and installed numerous new parts (alternator, water pump, power steering pump, starter, etc) to ensure reliability. I also ordered a new Exedy clutch kit and machined the flywheel. It was nice to see that the new engine had an automatic flexplate on it, so I knew it more than likely wasn't abused or over-revved! I installed the components and mated the transaxle up with the new engine.
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At this time it was time to install the engine! The engine was installed and attached to all mounts in under three hours, with a lot more time spent connecting wires and buttoning up the engine bay afterward.
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As this was my first engine swap, I spent quite a bit of time sorting out the car and troubleshooting no-start / high idle conditions, but it was a huge learning experience. Eventually I had a running and driving car!
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At that point, it was time to refresh the brakes and suspension. I installed new axles, new KYB Excel-G struts and new brake components all around.
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I mounted the new Nokian Hakkapelitta 7 tires, swapped some better quality oil into the engine, put my plates on and started driving! I put 400 miles on it over the course of three days without any issues or drama, some great scenic routes as well!
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By the end of that three days, it was already time to drive down to Connecticut for my first RallyCross with the new car! Packed up my gear and reserved a motel room for a two-night stay in Stafford Springs! Our first event of the year consists of a two-day event at Stafford Speedway, each day being a separate Championship event connected by a "Stafford Springs Snowdown" consisting of the lowest cumulative time for both entire days!
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What a successful weekend for the new car! 2nd place yesterday and 3rd place today, but my consistency throughout the weekend actually netted me the lowest cumulative time in Stock FWD throughout both race days, therefore I am this year's Snowdown Champion!
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I made it back home without issue, and I can tell this is going to be one awesome car for a long time to come.

NER@NED RallyCross - 2/2/13

I am in love with this car! Had an awesome day at what marks the start of my third full year running RallyCross, NER@NED 2013. Site conditions held up despite the lack of snow, and I managed to pull off a win! Ten entries in Stock Front today, including a RallyCross National Competitor / Team O'Neil Rally School Instructor, so I'm extremely happy with today's results! I'm also off to a great start in this year's points race.
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At this point, I signed up for some Street-Legal Class, wheel-to-wheel, road-course style ice racing in New York!
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Got the Hakka7s mounted and my fire extinguisher installed, and some nice green duct tape for my temporary door numbers.
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In a nutshell, my experience with the A.M.E.C Ice Racing club was some of the most fun I've ever had in a car. I love grassroots motorsports! $50 got me a solid hour of seat time - high-speed, road-course style, wheel-to-wheel seat time in multiclass competition! I was in SLS (Street Legal Studded) which runs Hakka7s, and at the same time there were other studded and non-studded Street Legal Classes on course! Speeds upward of 60mph and wheel-to-wheel action on the ice can't be beat! Three heat races of roughly 20 minutes - on the first heat they gridded me in the wrong class, so no results there but it was AMAZING fun! Second heat I managed 2nd place! I would have even won 1st but another driver passed me and a different class car under yellow and didn't get flagged, but still awesome results on my first time out! On the third heat, I was shuffled into the back but managed a respectable 4th while having as much sideways fun as humanly possible! I will definitely be back next year for some more fun on the ice!
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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Thank you very much! :D

Now, an aside:

When life gives you lemons...you make lemonade.

Conversely, when life gives you a trashed Nissan SR20DE engine, you make a coffee table. Previous owner inadvertently installed a blown engine into his commuter-use B13 SE-R and promptly gave up on it. I pulled the engine to swap in a 30k JDM unit, and just stripped the old engine down to its base components, cleaned everything up and created this! I cut the head and valve cover in half to create a semi cross-section kind of deal. I'm pretty happy with the result overall!

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Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
6,372
Location
Finland
Car(s)
Passat Alltrack
:thumbup:

Also, I didn't know you were able to get (or use) studded tyres over on your side of the pond. I know these things can vary by state, but still.

Good choice though. I have Hakka 7's myself and noticed the familiar tread pattern. :p
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
:thumbup:

Also, I didn't know you were able to get (or use) studded tyres over on your side of the pond. I know these things can vary by state, but still.

Good choice though. I have Hakka 7's myself and noticed the familiar tread pattern. :p

I don't know the routine for all states, but in the Northeast they are completely legal either year-round or with seasonal restrictions. In New Hampshire, there is no such restriction at all. The Hakka7s are definitely a great snow tire and proved their performance out on the ice!

Finally got my "rough cuts" video to upload from last weekend's ice race!

Glad I had some wheel-to-wheel experience from running LeMons late last year!
 
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Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
DONOR
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
17,023
Location
Four from the top and two from the third row, UK.
Car(s)
'12 MX-5 PRHT, '02 Freelander, '90 Disco 1 Bobtail
Love the coffee table, how heavy is it? I had similar thoughts about my old engine, but it was considerably bigger and the stripped block still needed a crane to lift it. I don't think it would've ended well.
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Love the coffee table, how heavy is it? I had similar thoughts about my old engine, but it was considerably bigger and the stripped block still needed a crane to lift it. I don't think it would've ended well.

With the SR20 being aluminum, stripped down to the block it's actually fairly light. Definitely helps that the head is cut in half! The whole engine centerpiece as a "unit" is actually fairly easy to pick up and carry. The entire coffee table is also easy to transport, I finished it up at my work's office, loaded it up into a van in three pieces (frame, engine, glass) and brought it home!
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Some more great shots by R. Cresci Photo!

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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
What a day! Extremely muddy but fun as always - I made a gamble on running Hakka7s and lost, but switched to Winterforces and managed to claw back a 2nd place in Stock FWD. It's been awesome to take home a trophy at each event so far this year!

Great shots by Jeff Hall, Christoper Barnes and Mike Gale!

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JimCorrigan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
4,117
Location
Pacific Rim
Car(s)
HMCS Velvet Glove; The Last Samurai
I never knew Howard Wolowitz drove a Nissan. :p

In all seriousness, props to you. I have endless respect for people who not only race, but also wrench themselves. A swap is no mean feat.
 
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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Was on the road all day yesterday to get this all done!

New NX2000 wheels are awesome and even have so-so tires I can drive around on until I get some better street rubber. Got to really toss her around on pavement yesterday for the first time and finally got to see the famous handling! Holds the road on crappy tires better than anything else I've owned.

Thanks to Jesse Carr?, my stop-sign skid plate is an absolute success. Always trust an engineer, he did this properly the entire way through. Created a solution that not only does the job, but is easy to remove/install and with steps taken for rust protection and to increase durability. He drilled out two spots in the crossmember and welded nuts in place, which means there are no exposed bolt threads to get damaged. He even welded a support beam from the skid plate over to the front subframe for extra support. When I bought that stop sign at a yard sale several years ago as a room decoration, I never thought it would end up like this! Raven is looking good and ready for whatever grassroots motorsport throws at her.

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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Successful day yesterday at my favorite site in the NER calender, Rochester Fairgrounds! We utilize a massive stonedust horse track and infield, for some of the longest and most complex courses of the year! I took first place in Stock FWD, this has been a very successful year in RallyCross so far with a first place or podium trophy at each event so far!

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Along with the first place, I was also given my award plaque from my 3rd place in last year's Championship in Stock AWD. What a cool looking award!
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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
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Looking over my car, it looks like I need to accelerate my ambitions for it. I cannot daily-drive it another winter if I expect it to survive, as I'm already finding stuff that wasn't there when I bought it. I will continue running Stock-class stuff with it for the year, but I really should consider finding an indoor workspace of some sort for the winter where I can strip it out and get everything fixed up for my Stage Rally aspirations. Perhaps a roll cage in the spring of next year. But no matter what, I need to get a winter beater or a new permanent DD if I want to keep this car alive. Driving it next winter is driving it into the ground.

RallyCross National Challenge is in two weeks in Central Square, NY! Looking forward to my first "National" RallyCross event in Stock FWD.
 

ChrisSRT4

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Messages
396
Location
Key West, FL
Car(s)
ST Neon
Nice car! I use to have one these years ago with some new struts, springs and rear bar. It was a blast to drive!
 

ChuckMoritz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
774
Location
Bavaria, the middle of nowhere
Car(s)
W124 230E
That is one of the most awesome projects here! :thumbsup:
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Thank you very much for the words of support, it means a lot to me! This has been an extremely successful project so far!



Showing how much fun A.M.E.C Ice Racing is, as a way to get used to my new video software!

Just a very basic highlight reel created as I familiarize myself with Sony Vegas Studio. Can't wait to get new footage and create more advanced editing!
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Northeast National Challenge Champion in Stock FWD, and I also got a medal for 3rd fastest OVERALL time behind a stripped, turbocharged AWD Audi with gravel tires! I?d say this has been a successful weekend! Between the racing success and the successful 650 mile round-trip there and back, once again this car never ceases to amaze!

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Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Another win yesterday at Okemo RallyCross, and all of the effort I put into finding and fixing up Raven has payed off in a huge way. I've had over 7,000 miles of reliable daily driving with minimal issues, worked a TSD Rally and plan to actually run a TSD one of these days, had a successful debut and ABSOLUTE BLAST Ice Racing, along with some extremely fun and memorable RallyCross drives with lots of hardware taken home! All in a car that I was once standing inside its empty engine bay for the quintessential engine swap photo. I'm so glad I went with my heart and got the exact car I wanted!

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