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S15_BEY's pearl white, redtop SR20DET S15 (on air) build thread/photo dump.

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So after two years of ownership I'm finally getting around to starting a build thread!


I'll start back in May 2015.. After a few years of my S13 constantly breaking down, I finally came to terms with the fact that I was fighting a losing battle against rust.. I decided it was time to break her for parts and upgrade. I'd wanted an s15 for as long as I could remember so I started hunting the jap auctions. Unfortunately my funds were limited at the time so I planned on buying an auto Spec S and using the SR20DET and gearbox out of my S13 to convert it.
Conveniently for me, A friend of mine had recently imported a pearl white Spec S manual which I promptly made an offer on. It was a little more than I was planning on spending but I decided it was worth it as it had a good manual box, coilovers and a set of wedsports.


This is how she looked when I picked her up -













Yes, the previous owner had drifted it around Essex arena haha!


After removing all the stickers and giving it a wash -










I was instantly in love.
I drove it like this for a couple of months while I planned the turbo conversion. Thought I may as well upgrade a few bits on the SR20DET while I had it out of the s13 so I bought a new turbo (Kinugawa td05 18g), z32 afm, 550cc injectors, an Apexi Power FC and a full japspeed shotgun exhaust.







Once I had everything I needed I parked her up next to my old s13,which was now looking very sorry for itself, and proceeded to start taking them both apart.
























Here's what the s13 used to look like incase you were wondering haha!


 
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Had a few alternator related issues to start with but eventually got it running and mapped. Was mapped on the road by a friend so no dyno printout but was predicted to be around 320 bhp. Unfortunately the clutch started slipping during mapping so we turned the boost down a little.


Next thing on the list was a new set of wheels. My buddy Thierry from 7Twenty hooked me up with an awesome deal on a set of their 18x9.5 et 18 7Twenty Style 49s in hyper black. With them fitted and the coilovers dropped she started to look half decent.










Some time passed in which I accumulated an origin roof spoiler, dmax rear lights, and a personal plate - S15 BEEEEEYYYYYY.













At this point I really liked the way the car looked but I wanted it to be a bit more aggressive. I've always been a firm believer in the lower and wider the better.. So I dropped down a tyre profile all round, lowered the suspension as far as I could without the car constantly dragging the exhaust. (Unlike with my s13, I wanted to make this car to look good WITHOUT destroying it haha!)
And I fitted an integra splitter.





 
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At this point I absolutely loved how it looked! But there were downsides.. The coilovers were now so stiff that it was horrible to drive. I mean, i'm used to stiff suspension, I've always had low cars.. But the ride was so hard and bouncy that I just wasn't enjoying driving it (It was my daily after all).. I was also constantly getting stuck on things.
So I decided I needed to find a way to make the car ride and drive better, without sacrificing the way it looked. A few friends of mine suggested I should look into air suspension. At first I laughed as i'd always been against air ride, but to be honest I really knew nothing about it. They explained to me that kits nowadays are much more advanced and in most cases, as capable as decent coilovers. I didn't really think much of the idea at first as I didn't think I could afford it. But then I stumbled across a kit for sale online at a third of the price of a new setup. I thought it had to be worth a punt at that price, I figured if I didn't like it, I'd just sell it on.


So a few weeks later I had air suspension! And to be honest, it's great! I have it set up pretty damn low still, the regular ride height is the same as I had it on the coilovers, but the ride quality at that ride height has improved 10x! And of course I have the option to raise it up a little for country roads or speed bumps etc.


PHOTO DUMP WARNING!



































 
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This is regular ride height -

















So that's basically where it's at right now. Well.. Right now it has no front end and the engine is completely dismantled.. But I'll update with all of the details of that when I get a chance haha!
Anyway, Let me know what you think! I know air suspension on jap cars really divides peoples opinions, So it would be interesting to hear what everyone thinks. In my opinion it's perfect for maintaining both function and form with no real downside. Obviously I wouldn't suggest it for designated drift or track car, but for an every day fast road car, it's awesome.
 
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Mike.

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Aryt mate,

Glad you've started up a build thread now (I think I've spoken to you about your air set up before on some form of social media).
Your car looks spot on! Makes me want air ride on mine so badly if only it wasn't so expensive haha


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How do you find driving hard /spirited on them dude ? I have always been put off due to the handling difference between coilovers and bags hence why I'm looking at a happy medium /air cups . Does look proper cool though for sure


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Nice car man, looks really sweet.
Bought myself also a K-sport airride system.
Waited for it untill i got the green light the newer version came out though, and took the "Gold" version which includes height sensors.
My car currently is still being build, so i have no clue how it handles.








 
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Aryt mate,

Glad you've started up a build thread now (I think I've spoken to you about your air set up before on some form of social media).
Your car looks spot on! Makes me want air ride on mine so badly if only it wasn't so expensive haha


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Haha cheers man! Yeah the price is the only real downside. I would never have bought it if I didn't get it cheap
 
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How do you find driving hard /spirited on them dude ? I have always been put off due to the handling difference between coilovers and bags hence why I'm looking at a happy medium /air cups . Does look proper cool though for sure


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Unfortunately the kit I bought currently only has 'two way' management, front and rear adjustment. This means that around corners, air can pass between the bags which makes it roll and lean a lot around corners so it's pretty terrible. This is and old design and is the reason it was so cheap.
I will be upgrading to 'four way' management as soon as the engine rebuild is finished. This will have separate adjustment on every corner and will not allow air to pass between the bags and should be MUCH better. Most modern systems claim to be as good as coilovers, I will report back when I have tested it myself

The air cups seem like a good idea, although I saw someone price them up a little while back and it ended up costing as much as full air suspension!
 
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Nice car man, looks really sweet.
Bought myself also a K-sport airride system.
Waited for it untill i got the green light the newer version came out though, and took the "Gold" version which includes height sensors.
My car currently is still being build, so i have no clue how it handles.
Kit looks good man! The struts look identical to mine, your management looks much nicer though haha!
 
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Unfortunately the kit I bought currently only has 'two way' management, front and rear adjustment. This means that around corners, air can pass between the bags which makes it roll and lean a lot around corners so it's pretty terrible. This is and old design and is the reason it was so cheap.
I will be upgrading to 'four way' management as soon as the engine rebuild is finished. This will have separate adjustment on every corner and will not allow air to pass between the bags and should be MUCH better. Most modern systems claim to be as good as coilovers, I will report back when I have tested it myself

The air cups seem like a good idea, although I saw someone price them up a little while back and it ended up costing as much as full air suspension!
Top man , thanks for the response
Yeah tbh I'm still swaying towards cups but they are rather expensive ha ha I guess because you still need all the associated tanks /lines etc it's going to cost a fair bit ! We shall see
I may just end up going static and repairing it all the time cars looking well though man


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