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180 SX Tuning

"Tuning the Sexy Nissan 180"

Nissan have a pretty good track record when it comes to making cool cars. The 180 SX is certainly no exception. The S13 has the lower powered CA18DET 1.8 Turbo engine but is still a pretty potent performer and just crying out for more power.

The 180 SX is also known as the S13 and also the S110 Silvia depending on the locality you are in. The pop up headlights are peculiar to this model but we have seen an S13 front end on the S14 and S15. It was also badged 200 SX in some areas so can get confusing. We shall base this article on the CA18DET engine but you can read the other Nissan tuning articles for options on other engines.

Some 180 SX owners have managed to get engine swaps including the twin turbo unit from the 300ZX, the 2.4 NASP lump from the US 240 SX, the SR20DET engine and even the impressive Skyline RB25 block.

The 180SX is a brilliant fun sports coupe from Nissan and also makes a practical daily run around.

The single turbo 1.8 engine still manages to put out 173 which actually compares favourable to modern cars and with its light weight and rear wheel drive makes it into a fun track day car.

A turbo swap or even a hybrid turbo is an option for those wanting to get larger power gains. The standard block can reportedly handle power gains upto 250bhp with more on offer if you are prepared to do some strengthening mods.

Either remap the engine or fit a boost controller to fully realise the power you have on offer.

When it comes to tuning the 180 SX, the brakes should be fairly high up on your priorities. The standard brakes prove to be pretty capable but with a set of good fast road pads you dramatically reduce your stopping distance and increase car safety. Upgrading to larger vented disks and a 6 pot caliper will really enable you to stop almost dead from any speed in next to no time.

Suspension mods are many and varied. The 180sx is popular for drifting although as a result of this a lot of 180's have parts and even body panels from the S14 and S15 fitted to them. We recommend  a suspension drop of no more than 40 mm for best results and would advise you to keep the rim size to 16 inches.

To get better mid range and peak power you could add an induction kit with a cold air feed and a full performacne exhaust with a sports cat. Add to this a fast road camshaft and you have a potent track day weapon.

Why not join us in our forum to see what our other 180SX/s13 owners have done to their cars and swap tuning tips with them.

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Please use the forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

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