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Old 03-19-2008, 09:11 PM
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Default Aftermarket parts, suggestions

This is a repost of an older post of mine on other Nissan forums, but of equal value, and with a few updated annotations:

Brands: JWT, Crower, 240SX exhaust for intake swap
Notes: JWT's duration and lift is just slightly more than that of a Crower stage2 cam. Crower's stage 3 cam recommends aftermarket valve springs and retainers, so it suggests JWT's is really pushing what stock springs can safely do. In fact, Brian Crower's website says the max lift on stock springs is .380.
BrianCrower.com - Brian Crower - BC - Nissan 240SX - KA24DE
JWT specs: .390" Lift / 275 Deg. Dur.
Crow S2: .375" Lift / 264 Deg. Dur.
Crow S3: .401" Lift / 272 Deg Dur.
Recommendation: whatever suits you. Crower's the best bang for buck. There's been some talk and rumor on other sites of their cams snapping, but that was in the past and I havent seen much to support it's still a problem.
Prices: JWT - ~$500 Crower - ~$315 for any set
Update: cheapest place to get these: Race Engineering, Inc When I called Brian Crower, they actually referred me to these guys. You can actually cryo treat these and they'd still be cheaper than JWT's - but JWT is tried, true, proven, and has a long history with Nissan motors. If you have the $$, JWT, if you're pimping on a budget, BC is probably fine.

Valve springs
Brand: Brian Crower, Supertech
Notes: safe to more HP than any of us are going to do
Price: BC $384 for springs + retainers @ nopi online (this price tends to be going up?)
Supertech: $375 for the whole kit, and they have a trued track performance in 500+ WHP builds
Automoto Sports Copyright&copy AMS 2006
Recommendation: Supertech

Brands: Injen, AEM, Weapon R, Custom cheap
Notes: It seems the custom cheap crap doesnt perform that much worse than a $200 Injen. People have insisted WeaponR outperforms the rest and TPR magazine reported the same.. not enough evidence to support. From dyno and 240sx/altima owner feedback, CAI tends to outperform WAI almost across the board with our cars, despite the whole "wai = throttle response" arguments.
Price: $40 for custom cheap crap up to $220 for Injen/AEM
Recommendation: for turbo's, CAI - less heat means less risk of detonation, everybody else - battle it out, this isnt a religious discussion as most intake discussions tend to be. It's a ****ing pipe.

Brands: Numerous, make sure what you buy isnt a remarked Delphi when you could just buy Delphi for cheaper. My mechanic said he's had great results with Venom, Asleep uses MSD, others I know use MSD. I'm about to test Detschwerks despite the fact they're reworked/redrilled injectors. MSD, Precision, Nismo, Tomei, Delphi.. all good names. Detschwerks is the most questionable, but other people I've seen online honestly PREFER them. I'd say if you insist on redrilled, dont go with anybody else, otherwise, stick to the above as they can usually be found around the same price anyway with less questionable engineering.
Notes: get 370cc minimum.
Price: $50-500, depending on flow/requirements. Look at your BSFC and try to calculate from there. Fuel Injector Calculator from WitchHunter Performance

Brands: JE, Arias, Wiseco
Notes: Our standard bore is 89mm. This is important to know while shopping for them. .020 bore is 89.5, .040 is 90mm, and 60 bore is 90.5mm. Doing anything over a .040 bore you damn well better know what you're doing, and/or plan on making the car 1 run at a time. .020 is pretty standard and safe, and good for an additional 6-12hp. .040 is good for 10-20 roughly, and 060 is higher than I'd like to think about boring anyway so who cares. All 3 piston brands seem to be reasonably well tested and none appear to offer a clear advantage over the other, all things equal. Please correct me if im wrong on that.
Price: $500 everywhere I look. Includes rings + bolts. Boring: $100'ish
Other notes: Might as well have the engine balanced while doing this, and port/polish the intake and everything while you're cracked apart. Girls like it when you polish the intake.

ARP bolts
Notes: I wont even look at anything other than ARP. They make the bolts for the pistons and head, expect to spend $75-300+ on the full set. Worth it for any serious build up. If you say anything else works, you're going to Hell.

Fuel pumps
Brands: Venom, Walbro
Notes: Venom has a cool name, decent track record.. Walbro has a near religious following and I've never heard anybody say it doestn work. Not sure which I'd recommend considering the minimal price difference ($80'ish). If you want to go buckwild 98altimaic is building a setup around a 700hp Aeromotive pump.
Price: Walbro - $100 everywhere, Venom - $175 @ nopi online

Fuel Rails
Brands: JWT, Phat Ka-t, who else?
Notes: I know JWT works with ours, I was told JGY wont directly drop in. Bear in mind the use of a top feed or side feed injector is dictated by what fuel rail you use. The two reasons you'd want to change your fuel rail are (primary) increase maximum potential fuel flow and to change from the factory side feed to top feed injectors.
Recommendation: factory up to 600cc, then JWT

Brands: Hotshot, Stillen, OBX
Notes: 4-1 and 4-2-1 options exist from all 3 names above I believe. General argument again is that 4-1 prefers higher RPM's/higher HP, and 4-2-1 treats lower revving engines/lower RPM's better. Feedback appears to be mixed, but more responses/logic seem to suggest the 4-2-1 is the better setup for the ka24de.
Prices: $50 used up to $500 for new coated, ranges too much to say
Update: Stillen closed their doors. It's OBX or custom now.

Cat-back exhausts
Brands: OBX, custom, few others
Notes: No matter how you cut this, I'll never stand behind anything other than doing this yourself. I almost bought an OBX one for my car, but we decided against it. You can really get a better bang for the buck, better size, and better performance out of having this one made yourself. Beware the downstream o2 sensor. MIL it out, or plan on a headache making it fit or having it trip codes on custom catbacks. It's worth noting as well that the downstream O2 being MIL'ed wont gimp the ECU/effect mileage as long as the upstream is ok.
Price: $200'ish, sometimes more sometimes less, never over $300 for this age of a vehicle
Recommendation: Custom, all the way. For the same price, you dont pay shipping, you have a person you can strangle, and you can hang out with people in their shop instead of hoping to god UPS doesnt mix up your exhaust with your neighbor's psychotropes down the street.

Throttle Body Spacers
Brands: Eccho & Ace Precision & OBX
Notes: while its a given that on a carbeurated engine this will work wonders, the jury is somewhat out on why exactly this would improve power/dyno numbers. Ace did provide a rather impressive dyno comparison with his Nissan Enthusiast Forums - Include , however, showing the low end of the power band starting an incredible 10-20hp above baseline, smoothing out to 2-3hp gains across the rest of the powerband. No independent 3rd party verification of this exists, but feedback is positive?
Price: $40 to $100
Recommendation: not enough evidence out there to support it truly matters. I bought the Ace Precision more because he went on a limb for a rarely modified car and built us a part.

Drop springs
Brands: Eibach, H&R, Intrax, B&G, Sprint
Notes: With my own experience, various mechanic's input, and even the shops I've bought springs from, it has been largely agreed that the order of quality here goes in the order I have them listed above. Most people (and you can verify this googling it) will state that the sprint, intrax, and b&g springs will sag a lot after a few thousand miles. Eibach and H&R are commonly used on much higher end vehicles and are often used as the baseline comparison spring.
Price: $200-250 shipped
*Other notes: you probably dont want to do this on stock struts, and probably want a camber kit ($30'ish an end). The bigger the drop, the more negative camber, the more you want the camber kit unless you enjoy eating tires. Your car basically goes into "holy shit im in a constant mode of cornering" state with an incredibly amount of negative camber. Good for cornering. Bad for daily driving/eats tires quickly. You'll see a lot of Honda's looking like they're overloaded, bouncing around like clown cars when they have bad struts and insane cambers.

Brands: Monroe, Tokico, KYB, Konig
Notes: for daily driving, any of these are fine. Monroe is honestly more comfortable than the other two for daily, but really, if you're reading this, any of them are within the realm of acceptably comfortable. Tokico is best bang for buck. Tokico is arguably the best of these three.
Price: $150 - $400 depending on where you shop
*Other notes: If you havent used a spring compressor before, dont start here. At least not without help. Buy them and have them installed by the cheapest shop you can that you trust - there's really not much to it. Do it yourself if you have your will made out and peace with whatever God you worship.

Last edited by eclypse; 03-19-2008 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:12 PM
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Motor mount inserts
Notes: while those other than Taz's might exist.. I had trouble finding them. Just buy Taz's. Even per Taz's recommendation, if you're in an auto and get the race inserts, wear a cup and mouth guard before getting in.
Price: $30-50
Update: you can actually make these yourself, and for about the same price. Look for 80 shore urethane. Shore is how urethane measures its stiffness. It ranges from 30 or something, to 100. Most mounts are around 60, 80 is pretty stiff, and 100+ would probably crack. Plenty of links available if you google for "DIY motor mounts" or "make own mounts urethane" etc.

ECU piggy backs (Fuel management)
Brands: Greddy, AEM, Megasquirt, Tec-II
Notes: I didnt include JWT because if I drop $500 on an ECU, I want to be able to control/program it myself. Still researching this, but here's what I've come up with..
Greddy emanage ultimate: reasonably robust, wide range of compatability, reasonable user base. $500-600 for ECU, harness, software, and USB if you shop for it.
AEM: costs more than any of us are going to spend on a damn Altima.
Megasquirt: looks like it could do everything you can do with a Greddy, but unless you're an EE with hardcore experience, you'll end up spending just as much as you would on the Greddy anyway.
Tec-II: not much info available on this guy..
Recommendation: Greddy

Shift kits (auto's only)
Brands: Transgo Transgo Performance Shift Kit - Nissan Automatic Shift Kits
Notes: Only transgo seems to make one for us. Hope it works! The numbers your'e looking for are:
1st gen: RE4FO4A
2nd gen: RE4F04B
Update: There's other options, but they're f'ing expensive. IPT Performance and Level Ten both have options out there for us:
Toyota Lexus Honda Nissan Mazda Acura Performance Transmission Systems Clutches Bands Seals
Transgo Performance Shift Kit - Nissan Automatic Shift Kits
IPT Performance Transmissions Torque Converters and Transmission Parts for Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Import vehicles

Brands: too many to bother, Apexi N1 is unique however
Notes: just expect to spend $50+ on one that doesnt suck. If you spend less than that, proceed with caution. It can be done, but be careful.
Prices: $50-120 (anything over $120 I'd be skeptical of justifying it)
Note: the Apexi ATS system is the only truly unique thing I've seen done with exhausts in a while. There's butterfly valves that can be controlled in-cabin for closing the exhaust up some, but Apexi's method is much more automatic. The ATS (expensive, fits the N1 only, or others if you're lucky/creative) is a spring loaded silencer that can be forced open at WOT. I bought one for one of my cars, and it works pretty surprisingly well.

Brands: several
Notes: our stock rods are forged. Several people have basically confirmed that they're good to more than 300whp, but while you're tearing the whole block down, it doesnt hurt to replace them with light weight ones. Can shot peen the factory ones to strengthen them as well, for far cheaper than new ones.
Price: $500
Recommendation: Eagle. Use em in V8 dragsters, use em in 4 banger whatever you call us wannabe dragsters.

Brands: Clevite
Notes: My mechanic and the most respected engine builder in Mobile, AL (Vern somebody.. if you live in Mobile and drag race, you know his name) both are telling me to stick with the factory bearings unless changing out the crank. Seeing as how only BC offers an aftermarket crank for us that I've seen, they told me to stick with the factory bearings, otherwise the factory crank will **** up the after market ones. Hey, doesnt seem to make sense to me either, but these are two guys who build 1000hp engines in their sleep.

Brands: Cometic, SCE, Mr Gasket, Felpro
Notes: I spoke to my mechanic as well as tech people @ SCE and Jegs for these. Turbo240.com has a mr gasket copper exhaust gasket listed that I couldnt beat the price on (which is surprising cus they're a small shop), but the head gasket I was able to find @ Jegs. The SCE gasket comes in varying thicknesses, so if you head to their website and search, you'll see the first one with their part # of 829-91662, and it ascends from there up to 829-91669. The ascension is going by thickness, which the website doesnt tell you. The higher the serial # (and price), the thicker the gasket. Basically the 91669 is enough to run anything mankind can do do a ka24de. Cometic is highly recommended, and it's what I use in my V8 dragsters. Felpro seems to have as much of an online following as Cometic does the real life following I've seen. Seems any of these would be safe.
Notes: Copper head gaskets require the block be o-ringed. Consider this if you have your block at a machine shop for anything. If you go with a copper head gasket, MAKE SURE you or whoever else arent doing this for your first time, as they're the easiest to screw up. Asleep informed me to be aware of the thickness of the headgasket changing your compression ratio. Something boosted people might want thicker on, and something NA folks might not.

The last thing I have to research is stand alone fuel management. Haltech, AEM, Megasquirt, and at least 2 others I've seen.

Last edited by eclypse; 03-19-2008 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:18 PM
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Great write up.
The Alt.™
1999 Nissan Altima GXE

The Garage:

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Old 03-19-2008, 10:42 PM
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Koni struts, not Konig's
And just to nickpick again, Koni doesn't make off-the-shelf struts for the Altimas, just their Yellow inserts are available custom-made.

Great info!
Maker of High Performance Nissan parts
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:28 PM
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I didnt even notice I did that. Yea man any typos, errors, criticisms, please throw it out there if its beneficial to people. I dont take it personally. I have no vested interest in the above products or anything, just a car hobbyist that gets as deep as I can on every car I build My time with these is wrapping up and I'm starting to get into the VW we're gonna do next. You'll see me on thesamba.com a lot soon!
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