Through the ownership of the red S14 I couldn’t kick the soft spot for naturally aspirated builds. I always thought to myself if I had the chance to do it all over again it would be an all motor project. I looked into different paths I could take even while I owned the red S14. My mind was set, I wanted to do an Autech engine build.
For those unfamiliar with the Autech version S15 in particular, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I won’t go into too much detail in this post however they are popular in the Australian market due to their driving restrictions. The Autech S15 has a 147kw enhanced SR20DE engine; this is equivalent power to the Australian and New Zealand delivered turbo S15’s. Autech take the Spec S S15 from new and drop in all the Spec R goodies besides the turbo engine (6 speed gear box, turbo brakes, LSD differential, Spec R bracing etc).
I had been looking for either a crate engine, front cut or crashed vehicle for some time… and quickly learnt that these are quite rare to come across, I personally have only seen one Autech S15 out of town at a meet a few years back and one front cut on Trademe. I received a notification from a friend on Facebook bringing a complete Autech Version S15 to my attention. I viewed the car that night and ended up driving away with it, fully equipped with a warrant of fitness, registration and a low mileage of 290,000 kilometres. Yes 290k, despite the high mileage this thing was smooth, dropped out clean fluids throughout and packed a lot of aftermarket goodies. This car will later prove that mileage is just a figure if your on top of general maintenance, over all a really good donor car.
I was already itching to get stuck in to this project. I took the car out for a proper drive to get a feel for what I was up against and had general interest in how well the car would perform, I must say I really enjoyed the drive especially the sound, it put a smile on my face and knew with even a freshen up we were looking at some decent power gains. An hour or so later I got stuck in to pulling the car apart, being a complete car I was able to recuperate some money in the part out process.
In no time I had removed the front and rear complete subframes, five stud conversion and turbo brakes, drive shaft, engine and gearbox, wiring and the ECU. The rest of the car was parted out and later a friend came to collect the bare shell. With a time limit on our hands we got the car back on four wheels and was A framed away.
To be continued…