Oh how we love it when a plan comes together. When North Carolina-based Affinis Motorsport owner John Markadakis sent the TimeattackR.com team through images of his gorgeous RB-powered Nissan Silvia S14 facelift, we had to know more. A few in-depth emails later, and John had sent through the required specs, images, and information for your viewing pleasure.
It’s funny; if you told us you had an RB-powered Nissan Silvia here at home in New Zealand, we would have told you to get in line. The drool-worthy swap is done on a regular basis in the land of the long white cloud, but not so much in the United States of America. We love it when international enthusiasts reach out to us, and John Markadakis is a hardcore Japanese performance car enthusiast with his very own performance parts business in North Carolina, named Affinis Motorsport.
Originally starting out his modifying days in Texas, it was Hondas that first drew John into the modifying realm. After modifying a Honda Prelude Type SH for some time, John’s ‘90s Nissan obsession was starting to create an annoying itch — the only problem, though, was that it was a Skyline that he was after. And, if you’ve heard about the excessively strict import laws with the most-wanted tuning platform, you’ll know that was never going to happen. The natural progression was to an S-chassis, and with 240SXs in a strong abundance John managed to find an already RB-swapped Silvia S14 facelift. With the graceful, highly tunable chassis of the S14 paired with the beating heart of John’s dream car, it was all was coming together, or so he thought…
Purchased with known problems – all fixable in John’s eyes – he set to work ordering performance parts for the build, however, it was all extremely short-lived, as the discovered internals of the RB25DET NEO engine John had inherited would soon rain on the parade. No, RB26 pistons and crank are not compatible with the NEO head, which unfortunately for John, meant completely replacing the motor.
Not a bad thing though, as what was learned from this experience was that if this build was going to stand the test of time, time must be the sacrifice. As John’s business developed, and several cars came and went, the project sat dormant, waiting for when the influxes of the highest level components arrived. “I always had this magic number of 500WHP in mind. I went though several turbo setups, using what I could afford at the time. I ran into turbo reliability problems with Precision, and Holset, and had bad boost creep due to cheaper manifolds I was using. I eventually learned the hard way that good parts are worth saving and waiting for,” John told us.
As the engine sits now, it’s a 372kW (500hp) R34 RB25DET engine, force fed by a BorgWarner EFR 8374, which is internally gated and sits on top of a billet twin-scroll EFR manifold. After binning the A’PEXi Power FC that came with the build, the swift switch was made to an AEM Infinity unit which harmoniously tunes the Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors with the onslaught of boost pressure the RB now handles.
Backing the RB engine is an R34 five-speed gearbox, Nismo G-Max twin-plate clutch paired with a Nismo G-Max flywheel. As no factory diff was going to provide any sort of traction or reliability, a KAAZ Super Pro two-way clutch-type was installed. Once the mechanical differential outputs the power, the final deliverance makes its way to the tarmac via 18x11-inch Rays TE37SL wheels shod in 315/30R18 Falken RT615K track tyres. Front end grip comes via an array of braces, arms, FEAL coilovers, and 18x10.5-inch Rays TE37SL wheels with 265/40R18 Falken RT615K tyres.
So, we now know how this highly-tuned S-chassis makes, and gets the power down, but as you all know that’s only the beginning with a time attack vehicle as the aero is one of the most vital components. John’s S14 now runs a wide range of GP Sports best gear, including the front bumper cover, side skirts, and rear bumper cover. A Yashio Factory hood protects and vents heat from the engine bay, while the Chargespeed 20mm front and 50mm rear overfenders allow the much needed tyre space. Instead of opting for a common Voltex wing, John decided upon the Sard GT 1700mm unit that tie in beautifully with the RIZE Japan carbon fibre canards. Front-end downforce has been taken care of with a Anointed Aero carbon fibre front splitter.
“The biggest challenge to date was hunting down someone who could take care of the body work the right way. The car sat for a year with its aero kit unpainted because I kept running into body shop hiccups. I’m grateful that Eastern Wake Collision in NC took care of the project and did the job extremely well,” John explained to us.
John plans on running the Silvia in basic HPDE events so he can further develop and get a feel for the car. With the current build quality as it sits, John’s passion for the time attack racing scene, and a drive to build a highly competitive well-sorted race car, this is one build we will definitely be following in the future.
“The car has been great to me and has definitely taught me everything I know today about building cars. We’ve been through a lot — she’s on motor number four now, has had four turbo setups on it, and two different engine management setups. I love the evolution and constant change as the car gets better and I’m glad I can finally get to enjoy it,” John tells us, concluding his story.
A HUGE thanks to Final Form USA for the imagery!
- Vehicle: Nissan Silvia 240SX (S14)
- Engine: R34 RB25DET Neo 6 Turbo, four-inch Carbon inlet w/AEM Dryflow filter, BorgWarner EFR 8374 w/internal wastegate (.92AR) T4 Divided turbine housing, Raw Brokerage Billet twin-scroll EFR turbo manifold, Turbosmart twin-port wastegate actuator, Turbosmart BOV cover for EFR, Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors, AEM fuel pressure regulator, Walbro 485 in-tank fuel pump, Radium fuel rail, -8AN / -6AN Aeroquip lines, Custom three-inch downpipe with flex elbow, three-inch custom exhaust system with Reinhard Ti Muffler, Griffin Radiator, Nismo thermostat, Flex-A-Lite dual 12-inch pusher fans. Setrab Oil Cooler, Grex cooling adapter, AEM Infinity 6, Wiring Specialties pro harness customized to include; oil pressure, oil temp, air temp, wideband, boost control, fuel pressure, CAN bus for Race Capture Pro MKII data logger/telemetry with android tablet for dash display/lap time, HKS timing belt, R33 front subframe, Syko Performance mount kit
- Driveline: R34 RB25DET Neo five-speed gearbox, Nismo G-Max twin-plate clutch (pull type R34 GT-R), Nismo G-Max flywheel, KAAZ super pro 2-way clutch type, Driveshaft shop aluminum driveshaft, stainless steel braided clutch line, brake lines, billet differential bushings, Energy Suspension; subframe/steering rack bushes, Peak Performance poly transmission mount
- Suspension: FEAL Suspension/Megan Racing race coilovers, Voodoo13 billet front tension rods, Voodoo13 billet rear upper control arms, Voodoo13 rear toe links, Voodoo13 billet rear traction rods, Peak Performance inner tie rod, GKTECH outer tie rods, SIKKY RB-swap front sway bar
- Braking: Project MU front brakes, Z32 two-piston rear brakes, Z32 master cylinder
- Interior: Recaro SPG seats, Momo MOD70 steering wheel, Autosport Labs Race Capture Pro MKII , Nexus 7 Tablet, BadFish Performance rollcage, BadFish Performance rear fender mini-tubs, BadFish Performance sheet metal Interior panels, Pride Motorsports/Robot Racing dry carbon dash, Takata six-point Profi harnesses , Street Faction front & rear bash bars w/tow strap mount, Street Faction heel-up plates, Cusco steering wheel hub, carbon radiator cooling panel, Aerocatch Hood & Trunk Latches, K-Sport air jack system
- Body: GP Sports G-Four front bumper cover, GP Sports G-Four side skirts, GP Sports rear bumper cover, JDM OEM S14 Kouki headlamps, URAS Type 1 grille, URAS bonnet/hood spoiler, Ganador powered side mirrors, Yashio Factory carbon hood, ChargeSpeed front wide fenders (+20mm), ChargeSpeed rear wide over fenders (+50mm), CAR SHOP GLOW Hand Made LED tail lights, SARD GT 1700mm Wing, Anointed Aero carbon fiber front splitter, RIZE JAPAN carbon fiber canards
- Wheels and Tyres: (F) Rays TE37SL (18x10.5-inch +15), (R) Rays TE37SL (18x11-inch +18), (F) Falken AZENIS RT615K (265/40/18), (R) Falken AZENIS RT615K (315/30/18)