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"Case Modding" a Nissan Sentra 422

Lawrence Person writes "Given all the interest Slashdot has shown in casemodding as of late, I thought they might be interested in an extreme "casemod" of a Nissan Sentra, turning it into a lean, mean race machine! Emphasis on the lean part..."
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"Case Modding" a Nissan Sentra

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  • Yes but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by gmby ( 205626 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:47AM (#5715010)
    Does it run LINUX?
    • /. News for Nerds (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      stick to actual /. worthy material

  • by jerryasher ( 151512 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:50AM (#5715020)
    But I had to tell the insurance company a different story.
  • ... why they're frequently called "case ricers".
  • Umm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:52AM (#5715028) Homepage
    where's the computer? Oh... no computer :( ...

    let's see .... Does it run Linux? (obligatory joke) ... ok ... kinda reminds me of the golf cart the school monitor used to chase me in when I ditched class. Seriously, this guy would chase you around campus with a damned golf cart. Once, I got him to chase me all the way to McDonalds (about a mile away on foot for me - funny as hell though, cuz he got busted for driving his golf cart on the street)

    • This Sentra case mod (Nissan suck for their bullshit against Uzi Nissan re: btw) is kind of the automotive equivalent of running a PC as a motherboard stuck to the wall.

      Good case airflow, sort of :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is just a silly article from Sport Compact Car []. There are a lot of great sites out there for mods, some of them ridiculous, such as a Delorean pick up. I just found out someone from in a forum I attend that they have a Ford Focus running 436 hp at the wheels. Another person got a s2000 down to 2400 lbs, giving them a 10 lbs/HP ratio with a different air filter being the only power mod. I appreciate the effort but slashdot has never been a great place to talk about cars. It's not hopeless, though. Write
    • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:05AM (#5715062)
      436Hp at the wheels is kind of insane, not as insane as the Hennesey Viper but still crazy. I mean the Sherman tank is only powered by a 400 horesepower engine and it is 32 tons!
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:11AM (#5715078)
        the sherman tank also does 0-60 only when falling out of a plane.
      • 436Hp at the wheels is kind of insane, not as insane as the Hennesey Viper but still crazy. I mean the Sherman tank is only powered by a 400 horesepower engine and it is 32 tons!

        A lot of people don't realise it's the torque in a tank/truck/train engine that's the important factor, not the horsepower. A car engine that makes around 100hp will make around the same amount of torque (lbs ft). A large diesel engine will make at least 3 times as much torque as hp. The larger the engine, the more torque is produ
        • torque is something directly related to horsepower/rpm, and can be made with gearing from hp, so diddidy daa, hp is all that matters for getting it from place a to b, hp is supposed to measure absolute POWER available to MOVE the thing, torque just tells how much power you got at certain rpm(approx HP = Torque x RPM ÷ 5252,

          400hp sounds a bit small for tank engine though, very small actually, considering that t72's (6td-2, multi-fuel diesel, ie will burn just about an
    • Write up something on the Lotus Elise when it arrives in the U.S. and I'll be pleased. :)

      Bah. I'm waiting for Koenigsegg [] to come to the U.S. It's a sexy transformer [], even just sitting around. The website claims it's the fastest car in production, but I don't care, because I'd never drive it 1/3 that speed. It's just the kind of thing that makes you realize that Ferraris and Porsches are boxy and swollen, and that you don't have to give up the dreams about cars you had as a boy.

      It's a freaking super-sized

    • Write up something on the Lotus Elise when it arrives in the U.S. and I'll be pleased. :)

      How about a Caterham? Even crazier power:weight, and it has the added geek angle of building it yourself.

  • Awesome (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sialagogue ( 246874 ) <`sialagogue' `at' `'> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:54AM (#5715032)

    This is the coolest thing I've ever seen.

    I paid a stripper in Florida to do something similar once, but it turned out that even without all the exterior parts a lap dance still took two songs.

  • '86 econobox (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dpille ( 547949 )
    I suppose the effort should be admired, but I was really hoping to see something like a 1986 Nissan Sentra [] modified. There's just some beauty lost in making a sporty-looking car go faster when imagination begs that you make a clunker rip down the road.
  • by owlicks58 ( 560207 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:55AM (#5715038) Homepage
    I would take a wild guess, and say not many slashdotters are into imports, but that was an article from Sport Compact Car from 2 years ago. It was actually supposed to be a joke, but a good amount of people took it seriously at the time. Sport Compact Car got a lot of hate mail the month after that was published, hah.

    • I was lucky enough to have worked a few saturdays with an editor of SCC on his project car. He showed me to a few of their cars and said something interesting. They don't own them, they are special liscenced with the auto manufacturers. This is true with their WRX and Sylvia and others. Its one of the ways they get around smog restraints.

      I'll have to ask him if this was one of those cars, but it sounds like when the lease expires they are supposed to trash the car. What a way to go...

  • Bah, it's not a case mod unless you use Neon, and a blue-LED fan in the shape of a biohazard symbol...
  • DUCT TAPE (Score:5, Funny)

    by mesach ( 191869 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:00AM (#5715050)
    I am sooo glad that the only thing that they seem to have ADDED for some stability somewhere on the car, was done with DUCT TAPE!
  • by Snarfvs Maximvs ( 28022 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:01AM (#5715052)
    They ripped all that off the car and it still tips the scales at over 1700 lbs??? That engine must have a cast lead block or something.
    • I was kinda pissed that they had the Sawzall out, and all they could hack off was the trunk and the roof. Jeez, c'mon! 1 driver don't need all that floorboard. And why keep the fenderwells there. Such a lack of effort on their part.

      Granted, anytime you see a ricer cut apart, always puts a smile on my face.

      • I was kinda pissed that they had the Sawzall out, and all they could hack off was the trunk and the roof. Jeez, c'mon! 1 driver don't need all that floorboard.

        Given that there's no frame to which everything is bolted, you wouldn't be able to take much out of the floor without having it crumple up. Hell, it's a bit of a wonder it didn't start sagging when they popped the roof off.

        Granted, anytime you see a ricer cut apart, always puts a smile on my face.


        (Anyone else notice the similarities bet

        • ... or they buy turbos. You were saying?
        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @05:14AM (#5715528)
          Well there is some difference. In many cases, case modding is about making your computer look good. There is nothing wrong witht hat, jsut liek there is nothing wrong with modding your car to make it look good. Maxing your gear look good is a fine goal. What is stupid about ricing is it is about making your gear look FAST. Many (most even) rice boy mods look retarded, they are just to give the impression that the car can go fast. Well that is dumb. Modding your car to make it go faster is cool, modding your car to make it look better is cool, modding it to look faster (and dumber) is stupid.
          • by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @06:37AM (#5715621)
            Yeah, the best parts of this article for me were definitely when the crew cut 3 tenths of a second off the quarter-mile time by simply swapping 15-inch wheels for those 19-inch penis magnifiers the owner had on, and when they removed those ridiculous spoilers/air dams/etc. You might have to worry about aerodynamic drag and downforce at Indy or an NHRA dragster event, but street racing in a sport compact? As these guys demonstrate (by taking it to its absurd limit), in that situation, you'll want the lightest car with the most powerful engine.

            The next time I see some idiot motoring down the street in a riced out 4-cyl. with a giant aluminum rear spoiler, glasspack muffler, "blackout" or clear polycarbonate head/tailights, 3cm of ground clearance, tires that belong at Indy, and decals for products the owner is not paid to endorse (and are probably not present in the car), I will remember this article. And then I will laugh.

            • Agree completely with what you're saying - but I would like to add a note about downforce and drag. They can and do have an effect even under mere street/highway-racer speeds. Drag in particular is apparent on a straight highway where max speed is all that matters. My extremely (for a sporty car) un-aerodynamic trans am gets drag-limited at around 160mph on the highway, with plenty left on the gears (good luck redlining 6th ...). Downforce is a bit harder to argue for, but I'm sure any hard curves or co
    • They ripped all that off the car and it still tips the scales at over 1700 lbs??? That engine must have a cast lead block or something.

      That was with Cowboy Neal behind the wheel! ;)

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:07AM (#5715070)
    Reminds me more of those people that just take off the outside of the case completely []!

    Then again should help them avoid overheating. Tell me what engine is the equivalent of an AMD?

    • You;re right about overheating, but did you know if you take the cover of a VW bug, ethat will cause the engine to overheat? Same with the VW Thing.
  • While I found the article incredibly interesting, it is not really /. material. That said, I enjoyed looking through the piece; it was well thought-out and I certainly thought the pictures were a nice touch. The end result was a spiffy-looking frame (for those of you who didn't bother to follow the link) lacking only in long as you're used to riding a horse and buggy. The final product seemed to be overly square and didn't really strike me as the speed demon it was purported to be.

    Of cours
    • Hmm... I disagree - I think it IS slashdot material.

      News for nerds... that doesn't necessarily restrict you to PC nerds, but also engineers, etc.... this article was about a bunch of car-geeks who thought they'd take the principle of weight reduction to the extreme and see what happened.


      Just a different class of Nerd/Geek thats all :)

      smash(Nissan SR20DET 180sx Driver :).

  • by Shant3030 ( 414048 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:17AM (#5715092)
    Interesting that one of the hottest hobbies, took this long to make a slashdot discussion. Modding cars is become such a big thing amongst people with all types of cars. From Neon's to bimmers, people do pretty cool thing to enhance the appearance and performance of their cars. Not all look, perform or sound too hot, but some can be better than any factory car you can get.

    Its also a great way to actually learn about how cars are made and produced.
    • I can't say it any better than this guy [] did.

      Go someplace else if you want to talk about cars.

      Here [] is a start.

    • People's case mods don't make a fucking racket when they drive down the street.
    • Personally I enjoyed this but thought it didn't particularly fit slashdot. Maybe if /. had a car geek section with its own icon so people who think cars are just transportation could ignore it more easily? Now if /. wants to have some articles about cars on here, something on OBD-II and CAM would be a good start, right? Or some breaking news on one of the various open source engine management systems in development, or really spiffy automotive technology being developed - oh wait, there was that thing on th
      • That would be cool, but it's covered elsewhere better than here on /. .. for instance, newer model BMW's (from about 1995 onward) have all kinds of neat data buses that you can patch into, and they have been almost completely reverse engineered. You can, for instance, use it to build an MP3 player that uses your steering wheel buttons to change/select songs and prints the display onto the dashboard :)
    • Interesting that one of the hottest hobbies, took this long to make a slashdot discussion. Modding cars is become such a big thing amongst people with all types of cars. From Neon's to bimmers, people do pretty cool thing to enhance the appearance and performance of their cars. Not all look, perform or sound too hot, but some can be better than any factory car you can get.

      There's no accounting for taste, but most [] of the mods are total crap. Double-bookshelf wings on FWD cars, ugly bodykits that add an

  • by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:18AM (#5715095)
    Why spend all that money hopping up a cheap little econocar?

    Kind of like buying a $200 aluminum case for a 486.
    • Look again! They claimed to have a budget of US$0, and from the pictures, that's probably not far off. You'd have to consider the tools though, I think the $0 budget thing shouldn't be taken quite so literally. If the weight of a computer had anything to do with it's performance, using your anology, it'd be like taking all the internals of the 486 and hooking them together on a tabletop in the open. That's not practical, but neither is the end result of these folks' experiment.

      What I want to know is, where
      • there's a good philosophy, 'way of the joke'(poor translation) which allows you to do _ANYTHING_ as long as it's a joke(hitting your friend with hammer to his foot & etc, _AS_ long as it's just a joke and not a revenge, anger hit or anything, it wouldnt be funny then), of course, according to this philosphy you can't get angry for anything that was a joke either.

        anyways.. some other poster said that it was from some import car magazine 2years ago, the joke goes a bit over the top but that's what makes
  • Better with a beetle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:25AM (#5715111) Homepage

    I did this about 10 years ago with an old VW Beetle that a friend and I bought for $250. Here's the only picture that I have of it: []

    We removed the body, then welded a small frame for the steering column, and used duct tape to attach the speedometer. We welded on a battery holder, and I screwed the voltage regulator, an on/off switch, and a start button to another plate. The gas tank was simply a two gallon plastic tank that we ran the hose into. (not recommended) The last mod was welding the seat to the bottom of the unibody, we didn't bother to add a back, a fact which made driving it a bit more difficult.

    Anyway, it's the same idea as this article. My friend and I were going to build a really fast go-kart, and we actually started welding one together. We had an engine, but when we started to buy parts to finish it out, we realized that it was going to cost another few hundred dollars. I decided that it was worthless, since we could buy an old Beetle for less and just remove the extraneous parts.

    I personally topped the speedometer out (85MPH) with this configuration, the wind was difficult to deal with since I had no seat back. The acceleration was great, with the extra weight gone it was incredible. Dumb as hell, but incredible. Funny thing was, when my friend and I finished, his father admitted that he'd done the same thing 20 years earlier.


    • My dad did the same thing around 30 years ago. "Dune buggy" conversions were pretty popular at the time.
    • Heck, old beetle's have great acceleration without any mods. They'll beat anyone across the near-side crosswalk. =-)

      It almost made me sad to see that picture. I really loved my '72 beetle. It crossed Snoqualmie Pass (not huge, but big enough) on 3 cylinders -- maybe two, but that seems unrealistic. When I took the distributor cap and spark plug wires off to see what was the matter, one wire burst into a cloud of blue powder and another was coated with white.

      My '72 beetle always got me where I was goin
    • My GF had an old beetle when she was in highschool.. forget which year.. but her dad (a mechanic) had it suped to hell and back and it would do 120 routinely, and probably close to 145-155 top speed.. Course, it had a different speedo in it :)
  • Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flikx ( 191915 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @01:25AM (#5715112) Homepage Journal

    Add ~200 lbs of steel bumber, and another 100 lbs of re-bar inside the fenders, and my rust bucket Mopar with a 383 stroker still pulls low 14s on a bad day. Those hopped up go-carts are worthless junk IMO.

    • The best you can do with an engine that probably gets you about 17mpg freeway and 12mpg in town is low 14s? There are plenty of stock japanese cars that get 35-40 mpg freeway and can do that, and they can go around corners at a good clip, too.

      My first car was a 1960 Dodge Dart (Phoenix, the two door) which I loved. It had the old-school "B" block 318, and a 650 cfm carter carburetor. Something like 240hp, 340ft-lb. I loved that thing, but I love my '89 Nissan 240SX more. It doesn't have anything like the

  • Is Michael [mailto] the only one working today?



  • So, but cutting down and removing parts of the car until it's basicall useless, they can make it do 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. Why bother?

    First, the thing probably isn't legal for any sort of competition now. Nobody would let you race this thing, It's too dangerous. What if it rolls?

    Second, it's "fast" but it's not that fast. Why not put all that effort into making a car that already a little fast, go really fast? You can buy a car that does 0-60 in 5.8seconds, and we're not talking a Ferrari either.

    • I am seriously tempted to carry around a couple of grapefruits in my bag, just so I can stuff them into any exhaust tip that looks big enough to hold one.
      "Cat back? No, I don't allow animals in my car."
    • "I get really sick of seeing hondas with huge wings on the back and coffee can exhaust pipes. There are people out there that will till you adding a big exhaust TIP will give you like 5hp! WTF? What's wrong with these people!?"

      I agree! I'm getting really sick of having to waste these retards w/ my Mustang GT every damn day. Although they usually give up once the glasspacks start roaring and i'm 80 feet ahead of them in a couple seconds :-)

    • Why this is funny. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:09AM (#5715340) Journal
      You have to understand the culture of car modding. It goes counter to everything that people commonly do with cars. It's making fun of people who install crazy body modifications without doing anything to affect the performance or handling of their cars.

      To put it in computer terms, these guys took dual pentium 2.5 ghz with a raid 5 scsi array and 4 gigs of RAM and laid out all the pieces on some blocks of wood to make fun of people who put a pentium 150 with an old ide drive and 32 megs of RAM into a chrome case with a window and flashing neon lights inside.
      • by Zakabog ( 603757 )
        Actually if you want to put it in computer terms, they took a completely modded e-machine, ripped off all the mods and made it super ventilated and over clocked it alot so it can compete with a dual 2.5 ghz pentoontium. In modding the mods would have to make the case hotter for this analagy to work, in the car mods they made the car heavier so it couldn't go as fast.
  • by aiken_d ( 127097 ) < minus author> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @02:01AM (#5715186) Homepage
    My goddam fat pig of a 99 Trans Am convertible -- 3800lbs w/o driver -- pulls low 12's. That's *with* air conditioning, 1000w of bass power, and full leather, spare tire, trailer hitch, and body panels. And all for probably a comprable cost.

    Sentras are nimble cars... they'll often kick my ass in an autocross, if the course is tighter and slower. But getting 14's out of a sentra is like gleefully reporting overclocking a 500mhz Duron to 700mhz. There may be some technical merit there, but neither the starting product nor end result is particularly impressive.

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @02:06AM (#5715201)
    I don't get how the 'case' on this thing was modded.

    More like 'removed altogether', thus reducing a car into a go-cart.

    But who am I to judge? I used to get my kicks. . . Well, actually I never got my kicks doing anything even remotely similar. Or expensive. But whatever.

    Oh! I thought of one! I thought the Phantom Edit was cool idea. And Guerilla Advertising. That's sort of the same; taking post conusmuer idiocy and restructuring it so that it becomes something equally ridiculous, but which satisfies the male need to tinker with things and thereby stamp some sort of individuality upon pre-fab nonsense.

    People are funny that way. It's how you avoid gazing into the void to face your ultimate aloneness. It's much easier to pull apart flashy consumer junk, feel self-congratulatory for no good reason, confuse your girlfriends, and say, "Cool" a lot with your buds.

    When playing that game finally fills you with nausea to the point where you start wishing for death, you're probably 75 years old, and nobody cares what you think at that point anyway.


    -Fantastic Lad

  • Original Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @02:33AM (#5715264)
    Here is the original article []
    from SportCompactCar magazine. It is in print in the August issue from 2002.
  • by strider3700 ( 109874 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @02:36AM (#5715271)
    Before anyone gets too mad about them hacking up a perfectly usable car, this car had to be destroyed anyways. It was a preproduction vehicle. After one year they all must be crushed due to regulations. I personally think this is a pretty cool way to finish one off. I also would like to see a demo derby of them. You can't tell me you wouldn't love to see what happens when a viper hits a vette on purpose.
  • by kwiqsilver ( 585008 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @02:55AM (#5715307)
    My Porsche 944 Turbo has mid 13s, and it's street legal, and it's comfier, and it corners well, and it was cheaper, etc.

    But if somebody wants to destroy a Sentra to give me a laugh, okay.
  • why the hell....i bought a car that would run in the 13's stock...image if i cut a shitload of weight off my car too...i'd be in the 12's

  • by MsWillow ( 17812 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:17AM (#5715349) Homepage Journal
    Many moons ago, I bought an old kit car. It was already built, a "Kellison GT", supposed to look like something between a Ford GT-40 Mark 1 and Mark 2. The basic car was a '65 VW flootpan and transaxel, with a 1964 Porsche racing 356SC engine bolted on. 110 cubic inches, 120 horsepower.

    It leaked like a seive, when you turned the wipers on, the left turn signal came on, it beat voltage regulators to death in less than 24 hours. The steering was beefed up - 3/4ths turn lock to lock. The suspension was stiffened - drive over a cigarette butt and you felt it. It could hit 120mph before redline, turned on a dime (and gave you 8% interest!), and ran on regular gas. I even, once, push-started it by myself, *up* a slight hill. It was *very* light :)

    I really miss that car. It used to destroy pressure plates and clutches with great frequency, and the last one I put in was a Kennedy Racing 1800-pound pressure plate. Even with that, the clutch was starting to glaze, just before the pedal broke. The idiot who was driving it at the time just gear-jammed it all the way home, destroying it utterly.

    I really miss that car. It had more spirit than any car I've ever had, before or since. I'm glad to see a story on /. that's about a rather different style of "hacking", even though it's not quite what most /.ers are expecting. Thanks for showing us that not only silicon can be cool :)
  • someone showed you a real modded car:

    And It sounds like a freakin' car, with power, not some bottomed out lawmower.

    I blame the Gas crisises of the 70's for the crap that people seem to be doing to there car. Its like the era of economy cars cause a generation to be raised that didn't know anything about cars, power, and speed. so now there kids are trying to do it and failing miserably.
    Yeah, I've gone to the show and have taken a look at what is supposed to be the best, and it was hard to stiffle a ya
  • The setup is, this kid writes in that he has blown all his money on cool looking body mods for his crappy little subcompact car, but he still can't win races. So the editors of the magazine decide to help him out, for free. They have a budget of zero, so they can't buy any of the things that could have unlocked the potential of even this crappy little subcompact car, all they can do is remove stuff to make it go faster. In the end, they help the poor schmuck go faster by chopping his beautifully styled c
  • by ross.w ( 87751 ) <rwonderley@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:58AM (#5715406) Journal
    Minis (the original kind) have a front subframe that holds everything and unbolts from the body in one go. I used to compete in Motorkhanas (in a complete mini) against these two guys who had attached enough framework to an old mini subframe to gve them a place to put a seat, and strong enough to provide two wheels at the back to keep it off the ground. That was it. Would have been good for drag racing too if they hadn't locked out all the gears except 1st, 2nd & reverse (selecting 4th by mistake can cost precious seconds when you are trying to garage at the end of a test)
  • All these geeks on slashdot drool over stories of people encasing their computers in some kind of goo that hardened just for the hell of it, or overclocks with liquid nitrogen just cause they can. Pretty much anything that makes a slow old computer faster or as fast as a fast new computer (with little or no cost) gets a spot on slashdot. And now there's a story about someone who took a riced out car and RIPPED OFF THE RICE, they didn't add more, got it to perform like a $40,000 sports car (Nissan Sentras
  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @05:03AM (#5715514) Homepage
    For some truely pointless "case mods"... fins, wings, air dams, mirrors, neon, spoilers and lots of silly stickers... head to []

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling