How to: Build a KA24DE


Hey guys I put this guide together to help people who want to build there own motors. Its great pics that if used along with a FSM will get you though the build.

This pictorial guide will help you to assymble a KA24DE motor. It is to be used in conjuntion with a Factory Service Manual to guide you through your building experience.

First Make sure you have a nice clean area to work in. Cleanlyness is very important since any debris can cause problems at start up.

The block was bored and honed at the machine shop and hot tanked and is pictured with 1/2 of the crank bearings in and the main studs. (I got 3 main studs that were wrong so those are not pictured. Torque should always be done to manufactures specs.) The oil squirters have also been installed.

Here is the plasti-gauge on the crank bearing. You need to put one peice on each bearing and then install the crank and the girdle. (DO NOT SPIN THE CRANK AT THIS POINT.) ( I only used 4 bolts to torque the crank in. YOU MUST USE ALL BOLTS WHEN YOU TORQUE THE CRANK DOWN.)

After you have torqued the crank in place to factory specs remove all the bolts and carefully remove the crank making sure you do not spin it. The flash on the next picture blanked out the plasti-gauge mark so I drew it in. You compare the thickness of the line it leaves with the marker pictured to see if it is within factory specs. Mine as you can see is .002 which is perfect factory specs. If your out of factory specs the block will need to be line honed and over sized bearing will need to be used.

Now that we know the tolerances are good we can lube the crank bearings and re-install the crankshaft.

Again my crank is picture with 4 bolts only. YOU MUST USE ALL 10 WHEN TORQUING THE CRANK IN.

Now that we have the crank assymbally in we are ready to move on to the pistons and rods. I have also studded the top of the motor as you can see in the picture.

Now the first thing that needs to be done is the rings need to be file fit. This is a very tricky part and should be done with caution. Both the top ring and the second rind must be file fit. On turbo motors typically the top ring gap is .0017 and the second is .0019. You need to have at least this so the ring (under heat expansion) does not butt ends causing a piston to crack. You dont want to over size the gap either since you’ll lose compression and start to blow oil.

Set the ring into the cylinder it will be installed on. Using the piston that will be installed into the cylinder your working with push the ring into place with the piston down to the wrist pin. Remove the piston and check the end gap with a feeler gauge as pictured. This is a trial and error thing where if filing by hand you will have to file a little re-fit the ring than keep checking the end gap. WIth a ring filer you can watch the gauge and get it exact. When your block gets bored you can have the machine shop do this part aswell if your not comfortable doing it.

After doing all 8 rings in each cylinder its time to put the rings on the pistons and the pistons on the rods. The rings all have to face a certain direction too which can be found in the FSM.

After piston/ring/rod assymbally its time to drop them in the motor. Using a ring compressor compress the rings down and slide the bottom skirt of the piston in the block. With a rubber hammer handle (works the easiest) tap in the ring compressor than tap teh piston down into the block making sure the rod is lined up with the crank

Once the piston is down and in its time to plasti-gauge the rod bearings just like the crank bearings as pictured above. Install the bearings into the rod, lay out the plasti-gauge and torque the cap on. Remove the cap and measure the mark just as before. If its within the specs, clean the plasi-gauge marks off lube the rod bearings and assymble to spec. (as you can see with ARP rod bolts the torque specs are 45 ft/lbs.

So now after many repetitive steps your short block should be all together and next youll be ready to get the timing chains on and the head. Those pics will be coming soon.

So now with the short block together its time to get the timing assymbally in as well as get the head on. In the first pic you will see the tensioner is bolted on and the left and right guides. ****ONLY USE OEM NISSAN GUIDES. AFTERMARKET ONES WILL BREAK!!! (The right guide is a new updated guide so when buying a kit from Nissan DONT FORGET TO GET THE NEW GUIDE BOLTS.) Make sure all the timing marks mate up on the crank and the idler pulley.

So now with someone holding the idler pulley remove the pin holding the tensioner back (green in pics above) and let the tensioner take up what slack there is. Be very careful not to slack the chain since this will cause the chain to jump teeth making you motor out of time. Carefully while still holding the idler pulley apply RTV to the front cover and install. While still holding the pulley (yeah i know it sucks) put the head gasket into place.

Once the gasket is lined up its time to put the head on. It easiest if you install the head bolt/stud washers before the head goes on to the motor. Install the washers quickly cause your friend is still holding that damn pulley up and will need a beer very soon. Slide the head down on and take the pully from your friends. Install the bolt for the pully on to the head so now it can hold itself. Next its time to torque the head on. This is another fun and repetitive task. Using the FSM in numerical order torque the bolts down to 20 ft/lbs then again to 59ft/lbs. In order loosen all the bolts. This procedure stretches the bolts so you won’t lift the head under mega boost load. Then again torque the bolts down to 25ft/lbs in order than 60ft/lbs. All of these values are using ARP moly lube. Spec will be different for Oil and grease but moly-lube is recomended.

I sent my head out once it was off to be decked and cleaned so I removed the solid lifters. Before removal they were all lettered and numbered I1-I8 for the intake side and E1-E8 for the exhaust.
Here they are in the motor and lubed up awaiting a cam.

This part kind of sucks. I was very hands on and moving at this point so its kind of like TV magic cause BAM the cams are in and the timing gears and tensioners are on. To do this it is easy though. Install the intake and exhaust cams by the FSM specs and torque all teh caps down. Remove one of the cam gears (I always do intake for some reason) and install the chain with the mating marks matching up. Next install the tensioner and the right guide. Finally install the intake cam gear by sliding it under the chain and into place. The cams will need to be turned slightly to get the gear on and off and if its your first time doing one you’ll be stumped for a bit. Dont worry you’ll get through it.

Last but not least install the front cover using RTV and now you have a completed long block.


pretty pics move it to the FAQ and sticky i think.


pretty please can you put the pictures back up?



Awesome write up, its going to come in handy for me in the next little while. I wont post whore this thread with questions. Ill just PM you when I have some.


That link is to the ka-t build up since the pictures are missing, i believe they are the same thing.


What the hell are you talking about^^^^^