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Kevin Skene Build Thread

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Old 04-03-2018, 11:05 PM
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Kevin Skene
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Decided to make a build thread so that all my issues can be contained.

Quick recap:

Here's the car as I bought it for $3500: 128k, stock but had 10.5" wide 19s and an ebay exhaust. Wheels would rub the fenders on a hard pull. So ghetto.


I don't have documentation for everything. But first thing I wanted to do was rid the car of oil leaks. So I changed out the valve cover gaskets, cam sensor o-rings, and the oil cooler gasket. It worked! No leaks. Then I went to switch the oil pressure sensor...

Cracked the pan and refused to pay a shop 1200+ to replace it. So I tried having it welded. Didn't work. Swapped the pan out and after 20+ hours of work, I put the car on the ground and realized that I pinched one of the "half moon" seals. Soooo I had to drop the upper pan again. Fun stuff.

Finally got everything back together and my coils, adjustable arms and angle kit had come in the mail!
PBM angle kit, lower parts only, s14 extended tie rods cut down, BC ES (formerly DR) true coil overs, and SPL titanium camber arms and toe rods. This car is being built for drifting, so I got rid of the 19's and my friend gave me some stock EVO X wheels. They're enkies and pretty light.



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Old 04-03-2018, 11:12 PM
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Stripped out the rear interior to save some weight and go full party in the back and obviously added the most important modification, a fire extinguisher


Now that the car was sitting right, I took it to an alignment shop and wen't flat and straight in the rear, with -7 in the front with .3 toe in
The dudes at the alignment shop hated me because they kept having to remove the front lower control arm to adjust it. I tipped them well.

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Old 04-03-2018, 11:16 PM
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The ebay exhaust that was on there had holes all over it and all the bolt flanges were welded shut. It was sketchy. So I made my own.


I was down the street from Megan Racing, so I picked up their non-resonated test pipes, an HR Y Pipe and picked up some cheapo 3
aluminized steel from an exhaust shop and hacked away.

I never thought a car could sound so terrible.

I don't have photos of it, but I ended up adding a Vibrant Ultra Quiet Resonator. It helped a little.

I wanted to be a hotboy and made the exhaust stick out the rear bumper quite a bit. Big mistake.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:20 PM
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Next up: Quick release and steering wheel.



Then shortly after: PBM Inline-Hydro and added a cheap amazon mountain bike hand brake to it. I had to remove the factory headunit to get it to fit cleanly. Though I don't care much about audio so I may either replace it with an aftermarket one or just throw gauges in that space.



Oh and i added some 100% legit, authentic Bride Taiwan Seats with Buddy Club Sliders


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Old 04-03-2018, 11:24 PM
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When I bought the car, the coolant over flow container was cracked. So i bought this.....
https://www.amazon.com/Mishimoto-MMRT-CAWRD-Wrinkle-Aluminum-Reservoir/dp/B00V5R2ZDW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1522826555&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=mishimoto+coolant+reservoir&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/Mishimoto-MMRT-CAWRD-Wrinkle-Aluminum-Reservoir/dp/B00V5R2ZDW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1522826555&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=mishimoto+coolant+reservoir&psc=1

Took the car out and drove it hard for the first time. Blew the engine. I blame myself for not watching temps and knowing how much of a pain in the *** it is to bleed the coolant system on these cars, but I also blame using a small, pressurized reservoir.

So...time for a new engine!!


Picked up a DE, JDM imported engine from a company here in southern california. Same place all the youtubers pick up their 1Js and 2J. Must be reputable.



Thinking I should have built my BRZ instead of the Z...nothing but issues. Here's what my lineup could look like if the Z wasn't spending it's life on jackstands..

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Old 04-03-2018, 11:36 PM
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Spent the weekend taking out the old motor, swapping over all the goods from my old one to the new one. I didn't include it in the posts so far, but i was having mis fires and such, so my old motor had new plugs, coil packs and a few other goodies that I moved over to the new engine.



2 days later, the car was ready to start! Only...it didn't start. I didn't have any codes, couldn't hear the fuel pump turn on and the plugs weren't getting a spark. The motor would just crank and crank and crank.

Had it towed to the dealership to have them scan it: Verdict? Misaligned flywheel *rolls eyes* ...never knew I had to align it.



That night I dropped the trans and got it all done. Only took 3-4 hours to get it all done and back together. She fired right up and drove strong! (Don't ask about the RTV)


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Old 04-03-2018, 11:42 PM
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For the next 2 weeks I was dealing with bleeding the coolant system. Ended up breaking the OE breather and picked up one from Z1 as well as a knock sensor harness.

Drove the car to my first drift even and the moment I got on the premise, mis fires and surging. Turns out that 3 of my coil packs went out and/or foul plugs. I couldn't be bother to find out which it is, so i just put in new plugs and went through the pile of 18 coil packs I have now until i found one that works and wasn't covered in oil.

Once again....she starts, but because there is an inordinate amount of oil in the plug tubes (so much that after 20 minutes of driving, the plugs fouled) I ordered new covers from Z1.

I hear of people using maxima covers, but I don't plan on putting many miles on this car, so i'm sure a new set of z33 ones will be fine for now.

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Old 04-03-2018, 11:47 PM
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If anyone has any questions, i'll be happy to elaborate, take more pics if necessary.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:49 AM
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for the rear main seal, did you install the RMS as you were doing the 2nd install of upper oil pan? or did you install upper oil pan then slid in the RMS and then RTV? how much of a pain was it? notice leakage?

and also the area where you added the RTV, is that commonly where a RMS leak would come from? I most likely have a RMS leak and doing clutch flywheel job. i am not sure how it looks and wondering if i should either A: buy RTV and just cake it on or B: buy new RMS , pop out the old one and HOPEFULLY install the new one correctly then RTV the way you did.

sry if i am not making sense, food coma kicking in.

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Old 04-06-2018, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bak3rme View Post
for the rear main seal, did you install the RMS as you were doing the 2nd install of upper oil pan? or did you install upper oil pan then slid in the RMS and then RTV? how much of a pain was it? notice leakage?

and also the area where you added the RTV, is that commonly where a RMS leak would come from? I most likely have a RMS leak and doing clutch flywheel job. i am not sure how it looks and wondering if i should either A: buy RTV and just cake it on or B: buy new RMS , pop out the old one and HOPEFULLY install the new one correctly then RTV the way you did.

sry if i am not making sense, food coma kicking in.
I haven't done the rear main seal. When dropping the upper oil pan, you can leave the transmission mounted to the block. I had noticed a few drops of oil coming from the RMS and opted to not tackle it this time around because, being my first motor swap, first clutch, first flywheel...i didn't want to take on any new firsts, plus dropping the trans only takes an hour, so i'm not too worried about doing that in the future.

If you're going to be dropping the trans, you should probably do it.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 PM
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Was at Formula Drift in Long Beach this weekend. Pretty rad.

Anyways. Valve covers came in. Was really, really fun getting off the RTV off the entire perimeter of the valve covers and spark plug tubes. Way back when, I cut holes in the 'firewall' blocking the battery and brake master. Makes getting to those bolts a hell of a lot easier. Made bolt on covers so I can still pass tech and not catch on fire.

Letting the RTV sit overnight before I start it.

Probably going to stop updating this thread because I can't be bothered.



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Old 04-14-2018, 09:12 AM
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Putting some work in, I like it! When my motor was out of my z, we did the pathfinder cooling mod. I've found that helps keep temps down on the track. (as well as mishimoto radiator, but many z owners recommend Koyo if possible)
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jellofuel View Post
Putting some work in, I like it! When my motor was out of my z, we did the pathfinder cooling mod. I've found that helps keep temps down on the track. (as well as mishimoto radiator, but many z owners recommend Koyo if possible)
Yeah man a lot of people on forums tend to not like mishimoto and frankly any part that isn't the best of the best. I'd run it though. Lifetime warranty even in an accident...? Yes please.

Haven't heard of the pathfinder cooling mod till now! Looks pretty interesting. Maybe next time the motor is out. Thanks for enlightening me on it.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:47 AM
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Got my new crankshaft position sensor pigtail soldered up. Now I don't get a code, but when the motor is hot, it still takes a few seconds to crank over. Kinda odd.






Anyway. Threw the old motor on an engine stand, time to let it collect dust and not touch it....at least it's on wheels now.


Last night I put about 50 miles on it and she's running really well. About half way through i got a CEL.

Pulled codes for P1564 and P0500

"Manufacture control" - probably because I don't have a stock steering wheel or radio
"Speed Sensor" - probably because I cut the abs fuse and unplugged the vdc module.

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Old 04-14-2018, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevin Skene View Post
but when the motor is hot, it still takes a few seconds to crank over.
you may want to check your coolant temp sensor - may be easiest to simply replace it.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bealljk View Post
you may want to check your coolant temp sensor - may be easiest to simply replace it.
What makes you say that
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:12 AM
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If your ECU is getting a bad engine temp reading than it's going to use that bad value to calculate fuel & ignition required to start the engine.

manufacture control...ekkk

it's would scare the shizzle out of me to cut the ABS & VDC! Can you repair that connection and pull the fuse when you are drifting?
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bealljk View Post
If your ECU is getting a bad engine temp reading than it's going to use that bad value to calculate fuel & ignition required to start the engine.

manufacture control...ekkk

it's would scare the shizzle out of me to cut the ABS & VDC! Can you repair that connection and pull the fuse when you are drifting?
cool thanks, Iíll pick up that sensor today and install it. As far as the abs and vdc, the car is only used for drifting, so no reason to fret. I donít daily it at all
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:25 PM
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Took my Z out to the track. Didn't swap out that coolant temp sensor yet....

Car ran like butter. I was so excited after shredding the first set of tires. Here's a quick clip of an entry.

No issues with the car. But when loading up on the trailer, I noticed that some of the diff was saturated in fluid...could be the breather, could be the seal on the...(forgot the name) part the axel bolts to.




Anyways, first great day with my Z


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Old 04-15-2018, 07:55 PM
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looking good Kev - keep up the lords work...
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