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Old 09-19-2017, 06:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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88 samurai engine swap - Nissan KA24DE

Hello all! Recently got an 88 samurai and its pretty fun, however more power is desired. Instead of doing the "usual" 16v or diesel swap, i decided to go with a nissan KA24DE engine from a 240sx. Going to be a lot of work, but I think I can get it done.

This was the samurai before I removed the stock 1.3L



This is the KA I picked up



This is the trans



And here is possibly the worlds smallest driveshaft



The trans is actually an early 80s nissan pickup truck trans, but it has the same bolt pattern on the bellhousing for the newer KA24DE, so it should bolt right up. it is considerably shorter tha nthe 240sx trans, but is still about 5-6 inches longer than the samurai trans. Hence the tiny driveshaft. But, that will probably have to be lengthened anyways. Might have to make my own or find a CV joint to lengthen the driveshaft just right.

In order to mate the nissan driveshaft flange to the tcase input flange, I had a buddy machine out the counterbore in the tcase flange to accept the nissan flange, and match drill the bolt holes. I should be picking that up later today.

Once I get the engine and transmission in the samurai, and I know it will fit up, I will be going through the stock wiring harness and removing anything having to do with the old engine/carb/ECU to clean it up and simplify the wiring some.

Will try to post new pictures and info as I go, but I am also in the middle of rebuilding my enclosed trailer, and that takes precedence so I can get it done and out of the middle of my driveway!

Stay tuned!
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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One question I do have, does anyone have experience with cutting the stock transmission crossmember and making it so its removable? I will have to do this in order to fit this new engine/trans combo. Looking for any insight, or else ill just climb under there and see what I can do!
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wasn't familiar with that engine, so had to google it. 155hp and 160 ftlb!!! That is almost triple the stock 1.3 motor, LOL! I'll be watching this thread.

Could you not use the 240SX transmission? Too long?

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Old 09-19-2017, 11:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah, thats what I said. ive already acquired my engine and transmission, wire harness, ECU, etc, and im still hundreds of dollars cheaper than JUST a swap kit for a diesel or 1.6 swap. 155 hp in the samurai should be a lot of fun! and also have plenty of power on the trails when/if needed.

correct, the D21 truck trans is about 5-6 inches longer than the samurai trans, and the 240sx car trans is about 6 inches longer than the D21 trans.

Luckily i have years of experience with nissans, so i figured a cheap, relatively reliable, and powerful engine swap I could do is a KA and use a shorter truck trans. I actually found this transmission for just $50. an SR20 (turbo nissan from japanese cars) powered samurai would be awesome, but theres even more space needed because you need to find room for the intercooler, turbo, etc. and I figured a 150hp KA making triple what the samurai engine makes would be way more than enough for this.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i will be following for sure. I have thought about this swap before, the biggest drawback is the iron block, which makes the engine heavy. IIRC they are rather tall as well. Not much difference than swapping a a 22r in though, except more power.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll be watching this too. I love it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah another consideration I had was the weight. I believe the "fully dressed" ka engine weighs almost 380 pounds, versus the samurai's 130 pounder. pretty big difference, but i do want to get new springs anyways.

I will also be re-doing all the brake lines, taking out the OEM junction points/P&B valve and putting in new lines and a new proportioning valve.

I think one of the hardest parts of this swap will be the fact that I have to make a custom rear sump oil pan. I am picking up a hardbody truck rear sump pan soon, and I will have to cut its flange off, and weld it to the KA24DE flange so it will bolt on, as well as lengthen the oil pickup to reach the back of the engine instead of the front.

I didn't get any work done yesterday because I was working on my trailer. But, I did pick up the machined tcase flange this morning. its perfect!



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Old 09-20-2017, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Didnt get much done on the swap today. Was working on that trailer tear down/rebuild. This is what im dealing with right now:



3 projects!!! starting to think I have a bit much on my hands, but the 240 is the lowest priority since the other racecar is still running and all.

Anyways...I did make a power steering pump delete pulley the other day. works great! allows me to tension the OEM belt, without worrying about de-powering the pump and running fluid so it doesnt burn out or anything. also saves a little weight!





I also ordered all new Ujoints for my driveshafts, and those came in today. also on order are a bunch of small brake parts, as well as a new clutch master and slave cylinder. Already have the holes in the firewall drilled for the master, just have to wait for it so I can position the plunger in the right spot and weld on a bracket to the stock clutch pedal.
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Old 09-23-2017, 04:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Got a lot of work done yesterday and today. I got the custom oil pickup tube and rear sump oil pan made, lots of work on those parts! Also got new front and rear main seals, new exhaust manifold gaskets, and made the trans crossmember removable so its a lot easier to get the longer nissan trans in and out.

Here is how I made the crossmember removable:





P.S. its so nice having your own lift to work with!



Here is the custom oil pickup tube. I used a hardbody pickup, cut it, and added an extension tube I had laying around.



Here is the beginnings of the oil pan build. What I had to do was actually get a hardbody rear sump pan and cut the flange off. Then did the same with the 240sx front sump KA24DE pan, except leave about an inch of material to weld the hardbody pan to. started tacking it in place, cutting, hammering as I went to make it all fit. In order to minimize metal warping, I screwed the pan down to my welding table when I was welding anywhere on it, to keep it all in place.



all welded up:





The engine as it sits now - oil pan painted and sealed, I also added a dipstick provision so I can check my oil level..that might come in handy

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Old 09-23-2017, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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also, i have no idea why the images are showing up so big......anyone have any idea???

Edit: fixed it. IMGUR links were messed up
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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got the hydraulic clutch setup installed. I made a bracket that i welded onto the stock suzuki pedal, and am using stock 240sx master and slave cylinders.





You can see I also moved the fuse box lower, to get it out of the way. fits like a glove down there. I also put in a "stopper" (huge bolt) behind the pedal on the firewall, so the pedal doesn't depress too far. This is so I dont over exert the master cylinder rod when pushing it in. In case anyone is wondering, this is the "clearance" when my foot depresses the pedal all the way down:



Still plenty of room so I dont accidentally kick the fuses, no problems there! Also got the trans mated to the engine, one step closer to first test fit!

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Old 09-27-2017, 06:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I got the engine in for first test fit last night! It actually fit pretty nice, i had to just "massage" the trans tunnel a bit for some extra clearance, but not too much. I also got started on motor mounts last night. There is about a 12 degree angle difference between the KA and samurai mounts, so angled mounts should do the trick.

However my first fear came true last night...the "driveshaft" has very little room with the engine positioned where I would like it, so im going to have to run the "worls smallest driveshaft" (see first post) and see how that goes. That should be my only concern with this swap though, so I guess that's not too bad?? we will see how it works out. Unless anyone knows of a very tight clearance/slim CV joint on the market?? I could try making my own by welding 2 u joint flanges together, but not sure if it would be small enough.



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Old 09-27-2017, 06:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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just ordered Trail Gear solid tcase mounts, so that should help with the tiny driveshaft that I'm using. There should be no play between transmission and transfer case after those are in.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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the KA and trans are now in their final resting spot as of last night! Here are the custom motor and trans mounts:



I also figured it would be good to show the new shifter position....not too bad! it sits further back, but also is more vertical than the OEM shifter, so it puts the knob in just about the same place as stock. And the boot and retaining ring actually fit quite nice! I made an aluminum plate to cover the hole for the OEM shifter, easy peasy.



Have an external fuel pump on the way and some wiring to do. Still need to order a radiator. Will need to take some more precise measurements now that the engine is in for good and I know my clearances wont change. Also will need to get the front section of the exhaust redone of course.

Cant wait to get this thing running!
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So I am now away for work for a couple weeks, but here is how the engine sits as of now. Got the intake tract on, exhaust fabbed up and complete, and the engine wire harness on. I also took out the OEM suzuki engine wiring, and will get some split loom to cover it all. I have my fuel pump waiting for me when I get back, as well as the clutch line and solid Tcase mounts.



The suzuki throttle cable almost fit perfectly. I had to get a new bracket on, and slightly drill out the hole that the end of the cable slides into in the throttle wheel. But got it looking good!



The spot with the tightest clearance I think is the PS bracket to the steering shaft. I couldnt get a good angle for this picture, there is actually about 3/4" of space between the 2 items, so this pic is a bit deceiving, but you get the idea.



I have about 2.5" between the WP pulley and the back edge of the rad support. I ordered a 3-row civic radiator and hope that it will fit in there if I lean the bottom edge forward some so help with clearance. I will also be using a pusher fan instead of puller.



no clearance issues on the passenger side



clearance of the custom exhaust manifold. also pretty tight spot. I had to beat the "seam" from the firewall to the tunnel up and slightly in.



Oil pan clearance. plenty of room, especially once I get new springs on this thing!



Here is how the suspension currently sits with the added weight. For reference, with teh OEM samurai engine in, the leaf was pretty much sitting flat. SO, question for everybody, since I am new to 4x4/offroad/lifted stuff. I would like to go back to a shorter shackle (I got the samurai as it is now, I haven't touched the suspension at all from the previous owner) and actual lift springs, instead of hue shackles with oem springs. In order to lift it about 2" from THIS position it currently sits, what shackles should I get? stock shackles with 3" lift springs? Will I need slightly bigger than OEM shackles? OEM shackles with 1.5" HD springs? What is the best option for me? The rear shackles are the same as these. I plan on upgrading the front and rear at the same time.



Cant wait to get back from my trip so I can get back to work on this thing (and also finish my trailer work)!
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I believe most ppl here would recommend going to YJ springs, if you are changing.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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what does that require, besides the YJ springs and new shackles themselves? dont want to spend a fortune
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Definitely go to YJ springs. You will need new shackles and to make relocation plates for the fixed mount. You can buy a kit or make it yourself, it's not really hard at all.

I'm surprised that you didn't go ahead and use that power steering pump and put PS on your rig. You'll be back in there doing it eventually . Are you in that Alabama Zooks group? If so, we have probably wheeled together before . Build looks good, keep us posted!

Check these threads for YJ info
Yj kit templates???? - Zukikrawlers

DiY Yj swap 101 - Zukikrawlers
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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meh, honestly id rather keep "stock" samurai stuff. i do plan on off-roading, but no serious flex stuff like rock crawling or anything. some buddys and I went up a mountain that took us about 3 hours and it did very well. mostly just mud. maybe in the future if I have the samurai for long I can do the YJ swap, but for now I want to stay samurai stuff.

and as for the power steering it will be alright. based on those clearances shown, i dont think the PS pump would have fit.

and no I am not part of any groups. I just got the samurai about a month ago, and have literally never off-roaded before this lol
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:38 PM   #21 (permalink)
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so in saying that ^^ what would be the best samurai spring/shackle combo for what I am trying to achieve?
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Even if you are planning to just street drive it, the YJ springs are a considerable upgrade to the stock suspension. They ride and handle much better in all conditions vs the stock springs.

if you want to stay sami, I would suggest RUF swap: http://bbs.zuwharrie.com/content?topic=31360.0.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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ok well lets say I went with YJ spring swap.....would i need to get lifted yj springs, or stock yj springs? could I switch to shorter (but modified) shackles for this, or would I need long shackles still? I guess I can make the non-shackle side relocate plates pretty easily, I actually have some large 1/4 steel plate in my shop.

it seems all the info for YJ spring swaps are assuming going from a bone stock samurai with no lift and the lightweight 1.3L engine. So im not sure what I would need in the way of an actual lift to return my samurai back to how it was before I put the heavy KA engine in, maybe 1" higher. That is why I was considering going back to OEM shackles and 3" lift springs, or 1.5" HD springs, I wasn't sure.

all the info I have found online about swaps still doesnt help out my particular samurai. I want it to sit level when everything is said and done.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by yitzac1990 View Post
all the info I have found online about swaps still doesnt help out my particular samurai. I want it to sit level when everything is said and done.
Say you buy a YJ "kit" and you get it all installed and the front is lower than the rear, you can always get a longer shackle to help level it. Or you can add a rear bumper with tire carrier and a spare to add some more weight in the rear.. There are plenty of ways to tweak it

I believe, that stock YJ springs, spring under nets you 2-3 inches of lift.. I could be wrong though
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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i want to stick with spring over, because that's how it is now, and more lift.

also I know this isn't a hot rod, but id rather not add even more weight lol
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