ETS Drift Ute – From here on in


Top Gear Weekend was a blast, it was my one commitment in the 180SX for this year, now that its over the cars been put in storage and now the next drift car i drive will be of the Hilux variety.


With the build just clicking over 2.2 years i am now at the point of pure focus. Andre and Ben from STM NZ have their flights booked, every single part till completion is either sitting in the shed or in transit and now im starting to really get down to the last items on the list.


There has been that many distractions over the last 2.2 years that this build has purely been a “when i get time” thing, if it had been done any faster then things just wouldnt have turned out as nice as they are. Not to mention my brain has taken the 2.2 years to compute the 1000’s of things i have learnt during the build.


Tonight i started making all the fuel, power steering and oil lines, these are made from Earls Pro-Lite 350 Nylon braid hose and Auto-Crimp fittings and collars, these are dead easy to make and ill be using this stuff from now on, it beats the hell out of working with Stainless braid.


I have been getting my fittings from Summit Performance in the US, 99% is from Earls, i estimate that ive probably spent close to $5,000 plumbing the entire car from scratch, not a single factory line or fitting has been used in this build anywhere.


Fittings like this make working on the car a breeze, everythings easy to remove, easy to refit and best of all problem free, i have a -3AN dry break valve in my clutch line as i want to remove the motor and box without having to rebleed the clutch.


Possibly the most annoying thing has been the mix of metric and imperial, the factory parts are metric from japan and the aftermarket parts like wilwood pedal box are all imperial from america.


Speaking of America, i picked up this AEM 5 bar Map sensor to run on my ecu, i hate zip tieing a pressure line to the normal map sensors, its far neater and trouble free to run a 1/8th NPT map sensor like this one.


Notice something different about my Cam Angle Sensor? Well thats something i just finished with the help of Martyn from VE, ill go into more detail soon about this but its one thing i was dying to simplify and am quiet stoked with the results. It took nearly 2 weeks of measuring and designing and about 2 hours to make, its little things like this that take up most of my time.


Nest on the jobs to do list is to make a swirl pot for the coolant to circulate and have a fill/ bleeder high point in the system.


Ive never been a fan of thermos (see what i did there) but these two 10″ fans should do the job, ill probably remake the shroud as im not real happy with it.


Out the back things are basically finished, add some fuel pump and tail light wiring, fuel and diff oil and we are ready to go.


Possibly the most special parts will be added last, the inlet manifold has been scrapped and started from scratch, this time with a lot of planning and drawing from Martyn to make the end result something that both looks and works amazingly well. You may see the oil filter on the drivers side front support, this all gets removed with the front end structure and has dry break fittings onto the motor for a simple solution to a messy job.


Im going to remake the rear end frame a little more simple than this one, it dosnt need to be anything special and i dont want the frame ruining the view of the rear end. Speaking of body work i have moulded the front guards and bonnet so i should have some FRP panels to show soon.


So once the swirl pot is done ill rip the motor out, fit the clutch, finish the plumbing, bleed the brakes, oil the diff, fill with fuel, then wait for Andre and Ben to weave their magic with the LINK ECU and drive this thing! Cant wait…………


  1. Cant wait to see it finished! I wanna hear her roar! Haha Exhaust looks siick!

  2. Have you weighed the car yet Nigel? It would be interesting to see how much lighter it is than a factory car. Great build btw!

  3. Down hill from here. Can’t wait!

  4. travail de qualité

  5. Do you have the part number for the -3AN dry break valve fittings? Earls? I put an aeroquip AN-4 fitting on my clutch line, but I need some AN-3 for the brake lines.

  6. I noticed on all your SRs you have modified the valve covers to have the 2 fittings for a catch can. What is your recommendation for a proper catch can setup for SR20?


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