Minty Smash: VK56 S13 Build Update #1

Greg has been updating the progress of the VK56 S13 build on a few local and national forums, but it is high time to get the blog updated with the build as well! Things are really taking shape and many of the hurdles are getting ironed out. The goal from day one has been to produce a COMPLETE swap kit that will make the swap a bolt-on, drop-in affair…and I’m excited to say we are nearing that goal!

My car Minty came into my possession less a motor. Since then it has had two engines in its bay: an SR20 – Failed, and the current KA-T – Awesome. Well as with all good things, they for some reason or another come to an end. This story is no different. Around this time last year my brother and I were discussing motor swaps, and Steve brought up doing a VK56 with a z33 trans behind it. Initially we were thinking we would find an S13/14 shell and use it to perfect the swap, but current living arrangements and transport of the cars made it a silly venture. So what do you do, you use what you have. So for the third time in its brief history my car will go back under the knife for the sake of awesomeness! Cue 1980s jumping high fives!

Some of you maybe wondering what will become of the KA-T, no fretting needed. A few months back Steve and I purchased a motorless S13 shell with the sole intent of it becoming “have fun/don’t care/missile car”. Lets face it, Steve and I need something we can care a bit less about in terms of body condition. We have both owned beaters which we quickly did body and paint work too. So to all you newb drifters, leave that wreck haggard, and have fun with it – my 2 cents. Anyway the turbine housing will be swapped for a faster spooling unit which will put it down in power, but should make it fun like the Matsuri car we both enjoyed to no end.

Enough about that sweat heap, lets get on back to the reason I am even posting. Finding a motor and trans with ecu, a/c, p/s, intake, and all the rest of the necessary bits for a motor swap took about a month. Not to say you couldn’t find one faster but I really didn’t want to buy a good motor knowing I would be cutting, grinding, and welding around this motor. The motor we found came with low mileage and a knock. The gentlemen at the Joplin, MO, wrecking yard said he had seen the rods bend in roll overs and as time would tell he was right. No harm done though, this was the perfect price for what we wanted upon initial investment. This left me to start pulling out the old and trial fitting the new.

As I began this endeavor, and endeavor is the correct word, I began to wonder why I do this to myself. I honestly do believe I just like to be busy, enjoy fabricating and furthering my abilities. On that note —> Roll that beautiful bean footage:

On the way back from Joplin, MO questioning if this is a smart move:

Rolling home from last event Minty ran:

Out with the old KAT in with the “new” VK56:

Testing the adapter on the block:

Then on the CD009 Transmission:

Unsuspecting KAT about to get the boot:

Dropping the new hotness:


No surprise, intake manifold will have to get redone later:

H/I-beams ain’t got nothing on the new “S” connecting rod:

Where the knocking was coming from:

3 replies on “Minty Smash: VK56 S13 Build Update #1

  • Cory

    Very Nice on the build progress so far. How well do the CD009 Transmissions hold up, or what are they rated to lb/ft wise?

    If plan on still retaining stock intake manifold..possibly thru the hood lol, check out the 90mm manifold conversion that I did.

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