Nissan 240SX Turbo Kit Guide

by Staff | Last updated 18th June, 2021 | Posted in Guides

Looking to add some boost to your KA24DE? We tell you everything you need to know with our 240SX turbo kit guide.

240sx turbo kit

Truth be told, when the 240SX came out in 1988, the out of the box performance was average at best.

The 240SX was initially marketed as a luxury sports coupe but it became a popular option among drifters because it was built on the S13 chassis.

Besides that, it was one of the cheapest drifting cars back in the day.

At first, the 240SX was fitted with a 2.4-litre single overhead engine with 3 valves per cylinder known as the ‘KA24E’ that only produced 140 hp.

However, Nissan went back to the drawing board and improved the engine with a dual overhead camshaft and 4 valves per cylinder. Henceforth, the updated engine was known as “KA24DE”.

Despite its new engine, the 240SX was still lacklustre.

Sure, the 2.4 L KA24DE engine could deliver 155 hp and 160 lb-ft of peak torque but it still lagged compared to other performance engines in the scene.

So what should you do about it?

What Are Your Options?

The best bang for the buck? It’s simple; just turbocharge it and surprise everybody else on track.

Thanks to the top-quality turbos currently available on the market, you can tune your 240SX to over 400whp.

If you’re worried about the engine blowing up, you can use the latest advanced engine control units (ECUs) to help reduce the chances of something going bang.

Of course, you will also need to upgrade your stock engine with a high-flow fuel pump, sports exhaust system, air intake, a front-mounted intercooler, and a set of high flow fuel injectors. Cooling mods like upgrading your stock radiator would also be a good move.

But if you want to go the whole hog and achieve over 400whp, you can forge the internals; specifically, the pistons and rods. Remember that the stock clutch is not rated anywhere near this torque level, so a nice positive organic upgraded clutch should also be on your shopping list.

If you’re curious, here is a cool video series detailing how to turbocharge your 240SX:

What about an SR20DET engine swap?

A stock SR20DET is a great out of the box engine for a 240SX, and is more potent and tuneable than a KA24DE engine. However, times have changed, SR20DET’s now change hands for a lot of cash and with the modern turbo kits available it’s now possible to tune the KA24DE engine and make it more powerful and responsive than the SR20DET engine.

What’s more, the KA24DE engine is almost bulletproof since the cylinder blocks are molded out of cast iron.

Not to mention, the KA24DE engine has a bigger displacement than the SR20DET.

Then again, the SR20DET engine is lightweight and provides a better balance for the chassis. Also, the SR20DET engine is reliable with more aftermarket parts available.

In a nutshell, if you want to make the most of what you have, stick with your KA24DE engine. If you want the true JDM experience, the SR20DET engine will always be a good option.

Want to know how far you can get push the KA24? Check out this 600hp turbocharged KA24DE engine:

240SX Turbo Kits

Let’s have a look at some of the best KA24DE turbo kits on the market:

Tomei MX7960 Nissan KA24DE Turbo Kit

  • Manufacturer: TOMEI
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Value for Money: 4/5
  • Check out this turbo kit

Our Comment: If you’re aiming for about 400hp on your KA24DE engine, this Tomei MX7960 turbo kit is a good option.

It’s made out of aerospace-grade material which makes it more durable and lightweight than most turbochargers on the market. The best part is, it comes with everything that you need for installation and if you’re stuck somewhere, you can refer to this KA24DE turbo installation guide from Tomei.

Manufacturer description: “CNC Billet Compressor Wheel:
Dramatic improvement from conventional cast wheels.
Increased intake volume from thinner blades with larger surface area design.
Improved initial turbo spool by weight reduction.
High rigidity and weight reduction is achieved from adoption of aerospace quality materials.
Multi-rated billet actuator:
Forged billet large capacity reinforced type.
Six types of springs included, achieving fine boost settings.
Swivel type nipple allows for improved degree of freedom for hose attachments.”


ISR KA24DE Performance Turbo Kit

  • Manufacturer: ISR
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX 91 to 98
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Value for Money: 4/5
  • Check out this turbo kit

Our Comment: This ISR KA24DE Performance Turbo Kit is rated at 380 hp. Sure, it falls a little bit short on the horsepower compared to a Tomei turbo kit, but this smaller turbo will give you a quicker spool.

Besides the turbo, the kit is packaged with a front mount intercooler kit, downpipe, intake kit, turbine 02 housing, and a bottom mount turbo manifold. This makes the ISR kit fantastic value for money compared to the other kits in this guide. As it is a budget kit, you may still need to purchase a few aftermarket parts to install it.

Manufacturer description: “Please note that this kit is not 100% complete. You will still need to get your oil feed and drain lines taken care of. We do not have a line kit for the KA as of yet. You will need the S13 SR20DET Hotpipe and BOV Flange made by ISR if you plan to use a BOV.

When doing a bottom-mount KAT, the downpipe will be very close to the floor board. You can either clearance the downpipe and floor board, or purchase Xcessive KA lowering brackets. This Nissan 240sx KA24DE turbo kit does not come with a blow off valve flange; please call if you would like to have one added.”


TOMEI BX8270 Nissan KA24DE Turbocharger

  • Manufacturer: Tomei
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Check out this turbo kit

Our Comment: If you’re an enthusiast that is willing to go the extra mile and achieve 450 hp, you should consider the TOMEI BX8270.

Even though it will be a little laggy, it will keep the power consistent at the redline; perfect for drag racers and high-powered setups.

What’s more, it’s made out of the aerospace-grade material that Tomei uses to make its turbochargers lighter than the competition. However, with the 450 hp it can deliver, we recommend you upgrade the pistons and rods.

Manufacturer description: “Significant improvement over traditional compressor wheels. Machined from aerospace grade materials, these highly durable lightweight compressor wheels feature thinner blades with a larger surface area for significantly improved airflow and turbo spool.”

“Large capacity, reinforced forged billet construction. Includes a total of 6 springs for fine boost adjustment. Swivel type nipple allows for greater freedom when routing hoses. Combine up to 3 springs to find the perfect set up. 6 springs included.”


Garrett GT2871R Top Mount Turbo

  • Manufacturer: Garrett
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Check out this turbo kit

Our Comment: The Garrett GT2871R turbo delivers solid power, a good balance between response and turbo lag while looking very cool packaged on a top-mounted manifold.

Besides looking cool in the bay of your Nissan 240SX, it’s possible to achieve 400rwhp+ with the right support mods.

Surprisingly, this is one of the cheapest turbo kits on the market for the KA24DE engine.

Manufacturer description: “This turbo is ideal for a Top Mount SR or KA, most top mounts have a T3 flange so you can make the most of a top mount setup. But those GT3071R are a little laggy. I wanted to offer you a quicker spool, more efficient power, and a beast turbo and this is what it features:
Complete Garrett GT2871R CHRA
ATP Compressor Housing .60 A/R 3″ Inlet 2″ Outlet
ATP Turbine Housing GT31 for GT28 T3 Inlet .63 A/R 2.5″ V Band Outlet
ATP Oil Restictor .035
ATP V Band Clamp 2.5″ (3.1″ OD)
ATP T3 Inlet Gasket
ATP Turbine Housing Clamp and Bolt Kit
ATP Compressor Housing Clamp and Bolt Kit
ISR GT Oil Drain
This turbo comes assembled. This is not an off the shelf unit and some parts may be specially ordered.”


Tomei B/B BX7960 Turbocharger Kit

  • Manufacturer: Tomei
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Value for Money: 5/5
  • Check out this turbo kit

Our Comment: This is another Tomei turbocharger kit for the Nissan 240SX but the slight difference with the MX series is the ball bearing configuration.

In other words, this is a ball-bearing KA24DE turbo with less power and faster response.

However, it has a higher price tag in contrast with the Tomei MX series. Response or power, the choice is yours.

Manufacturer description: “Significant improvement over traditional compressor wheels. Machined from aerospace grade materials, these highly durable lightweight compressor wheels feature thinner blades with a larger surface area for significantly improved airflow and turbo spool.”


What 240SX Turbo Kit would we pick?

Our Winner

If we had to choose the winner based on quality, upgrade potential, price point, and popularity, we would pick the TOMEI BX8270 Nissan KA24DE Turbocharger.

For starters, Tomei is a reputable brand that manufactures top-quality turbo kits. Not to mention, TOMEI BX8270 Nissan KA24DE Turbocharger can potentially boost your Nissan 240SX to achieve 450 hp.

But if you want a cheaper alternative, we recommend the Garrett GT2871R Top Mount Turbo.