Ultimate KA24DE Turbo Kit Guide

5th December, 2018 in S13 Tuning

We review the best KA24DE turbo kits available on the market today. This is the ultimate 240SX KA24DE turbo kit guide.

ka24de turbo kit


In a hurry? Here is our KA24DE Turbo Kit summary

Budget Choice Drifted Choice Premium Choice
isr ka24de turbo kit tomei 1 ka24de turbo kit greddy ka24de turbo kit
ISR KA24DE Turbo Kit Tomei ARMS KA24DE Turbo Kit (turbo only) GReddy KA24DE Turbo Kit
$1,834.86 $1,449 $4,417
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We recently had a Drifted fan ask us whether it’s worth heading down the turbo kit route with his KA24DE 240SX. As usual, we tried to dive into the web for guides, but to our surprise, there was very little recent information out there.

It’s no real secret that the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated KA24DE is a little, well, anemic at best. It’s a low revving, low redline engine which, let’s be honest, also falls pretty low on the excitement aspect too.

This is where we introduce one of the kings of automotive tuning, the much-loved turbocharger.

Check out this awesome Formula Drift spec 240SX with a 600hp KA24DET burnout to see the potential of what a fully-tuned KA is truly capable of:

We would like to point out that when we mention “KA” in this guide, we are not referring to the earlier-model KA24E engine. For the single slammers out there, I’m afraid to say that we’d highly recommend upgrading to the dual cam KA or an alternative powerplant to get the best power gains.

One of the main questions when it comes to carrying out a KA24DET upgrade is, “Why not just swap out for an SR?” Well, SR’s aren’t exactly the perfect answer either. They too can suffer from reliability issues and not everyone wants to carry out an engine swap when they’ve already got a perfectly good KA sat in the engine bay.

Not to mention the scene tax which is not only being piled onto the SR which makes it an even more expensive option than ever.

Confused with which forced induction option is the right fit for your project? Our Turbocharger vs Supercharger guide was written for you.

If an SR is the route you’d prefer to go down, then sure, it could well be the easiest method for you, and let’s not forget that it’s an engine which Nissan built for this chassis on the JDM market. However, it is worth remembering that the KA can actually provide more torque than the SR if you’re willing to put the time and effort in.

Sure, the SR is higher-revving and the convenient solution, but there’s something a little bit special about having a different engine to the masses. For now, we’ll put the SR20DET to one side and focus on the task in hand, turning your KA24DE into a turbo-powered KA24DET.

Back in the early 2000s, owners were building their own DIY turbo kits to help the KA24DE achieve its maximum potential. There are still several guides online that explain exactly how to do this, but we prefer to take the less-risky alternative of simply buying a tried-and-tested off the shelf kit with the proper research and development carried out.

With a lot of the older forums and website links now down, or images lost in the Photobucket fiasco, we decided it would be a great time to revisit this subject and update it with the latest turbo kits for your KA24DE.

ka24de turbo kit

Turbocharged KA24DE’s, also known as the KA24DET, have been known to handle 10-12PSI without even breaking a sweat on stock bottom ends. If you go far beyond that, then you’re potentially risking an almighty ‘KA-boom’. A typical boosted setup can keep you in the upper safe region of around 250whp, and sure, your buddy might have achieved 400whp+, but we’re talking long-term reliability rather than impressing on the dyno.

As always with forced induction, it’s a good idea to ensure you have a healthy, well-maintained engine as a base. Carrying out a compression test will give you a good idea of what you’re working with and give out early warning signs it’s plagued from the start. There’s nothing worse than throwing big money at a tired engine.

While the KA bottom end is ‘overbuilt’ for naturally-aspirated needs, this is a blessing in disguise for those going KA-T. The downfall, is that unlike the SR, it’s pistons are designed for NA, and NA only. This is fine for those going for a basic KA-T setup, however, if you’re hunting down big power in excess of 1 bar, you’ll want to look at upgrading pistons and rods to forged aftermarket units.

For this guide, we’re going to keep things simple and look at a sensible-powered, off-the-shelf kit to give your KA24DE engine the kick up the ass which it should’ve come with from the factory.

Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck took on the task of doing a KA24DET build and turned it into a series, check out the first episode here:

It’s always important to remember that you can’t simply bolt a turbo to a car and expect huge performance gains. You’re going to want to consider additional costs that come with these kits. Some won’t provide fuelling or engine management.

Chances are your cooling system will need some upgrades. An uprated radiator alongside the front-mount intercooler will be ideal to compensate for the increased engine heat. Oil cooling is also ideal to keep on top of this, and a relocation kit could be a great investment.

The final consideration is, have you got an adequate exhaust? You’re going to need at least a 2.5″ setup to expel the additional gases which are being generated, but we’d generally recommend going with a 3″ to be on the safe side.

Now that you have a little more of an understanding with what you’re taking on, it’s time for us to show you how to wake up your KA24DE and unleash the power it should’ve left the factory with!

Let’s take a look at our KA24DE turbo kits

To read more about any of these products simply click on the turbo kit name or photo.

TOMEI KA24DE Turbo Kit

tomei ka24de turbo kit

Our comment: TOMEI has put a huge amount of R&D into their new ARMS turbos. With their typical high-standards, they bring a stunning bolt-on kit to the KA market. Their goal was to provide torque, response, and usable power all into a single convenient package.

They have given owners two choices for turbos. Firstly, the M8270 is made for big horsepower and can handle over 450hp. It begins to kick in a little later, but then continues to provide an impressive amount of power all the way to the redline. More suited for drag racing and high powered setups. If you’re using it for drifting, be prepared for sudden surges of boost.

The M7960, however, is designed to provide more low to mid-range torque, and is more suited to over 400hp. This turbo provides much more bottom-end response on a lower-powered car to achieve the maximum potential possible. This is more ideal for drifting, auto-x and street/track use with its more linear power curve.

Although this is a turbo kit which comes at a great price, it’ll only provide the basics and you’ll need to consider basic additions such as a manifold, cooling, engine management on top. With that being said, it’s still a fantastic package.

Tomei have gone out of their way to provide you with each and every part you’ll need to turn your KA into the perfect package in their KA24DET turbo guide.

ka24de turbo kit

Manufacturer description:The new Tomei ARMS MX-Series Turbocharger improves upons Tomei’s original M-Series turbocharger design with the inroduction of a new lightweight billet wheel, multi rate billet actuator, and the very same ARMS technology Tomei is known for!

With over 20 years since it’s initial debut Nissan enthusiasts are continuously looking for high quality performance parts to tune their KA24DE. At TOMEI, we wanted to see more users enjoy tuning their engines, so we continued development on new products. After many years of testing and production Tomei now has all components available to turbocharge your KA24.


GReddy KA24DE Turbo Kit

greddy ka24de turbo kit

Our comment: As you can see, there’s a pretty large price difference between these two JDM tuning legends, however, there is quite a bit of difference between the two kits.

TOMEI provided the basics with their kit, where GReddy have concentrated more on the fueling and engine management aspect, providing you with a pre-tuned ECU.

Although it’s at the higher price range, you’re not going to need much more than a front mount intercooler to begin shredding the streets.

Given that the front mount intercooler is rather expensive, we’d recommend sourcing an alternative front mount and piping, as you can usually trust the cheaper kits on the market to provide a decent solution.

Manufacturer description:GReddy Turbo Kits for naturally aspired motors provides instant horsepower gains with less time and money while still providing room for upgrading for even more power! GReddy turbo kits are specifically designed for optimal response and performance while maintaining daily drivability, comfort, and reliability.

Each GReddy turbo kit is designed based off of a completely stock engine so each kit will come with all the necessary basics such as manifold, turbocharger, downpipe adapter, piping, hardware, and heat shields. Some kits even include pre-tuned piggy back ECUs or fuel pressure risers.


ISR (Formerly ISIS) KA24DE Turbo Kit

isr ka24de turbo kit

  • Manufacturer: ISR (Formerly ISIS)
  • Fitment: Nissan 240SX
  • Turbo configuration: Single turbo
  • Price: $1,834.86
  • Drifted rating:xxxx
  • Purchase link: Buy the ISR KA24DE turbo kit here

Our comment: ISR were previously rather awkwardly known as ISIS before another group decided to take over the name. Thankfully, they came to their senses and rebranded as ISR. They bring a fantastic all-round package to the market at a very reasonable price.

With that being said, it comes with a turbo which is probably a bit on the large side for the engine. This means that not only is it a squeeze in the bay, but also has more lag than the previous offerings.

There are mixed opinions out there on the quality of their turbos, so it may well be worth discussing with Enjuku about alternative options. Perhaps you could buy the actual kit without the turbo and find a more suitable one for your needs?

This will need a MAF, oil feed and drain lines, injectors and and an ECU, but it does come with a manifold and an intercooler kit. On the whole, it’s a great kit for the money.

Manufacturer description:Finally an Inexpensive KA-T kit! The Nissan KA has become a wildly popular engine for turbo upgrades. This is due to the engine’s heavy duty iron blocks and 600cc cylinder size, which provides robust torque. Plus, the KA is a lower-priced engine. With the Nissan 240sx KA24DE turbo kit, you’ll get a dramatic boost in engine power without having to break the bank.


Full Race KA24DE Turbo Kit

full race ka24de turbo kit

Our comment: There are many variants to the Full Race kit, and if you begin adding up the options, you’ll see the price inflate pretty quickly! With that being said, their kits are a work of art and quality certainly comes at a price.

If you’ve got big bucks to spend and you’re looking for a serious twin-scroll setup which can be customized to maximize the potential of your needs, you’ll want to get in touch with Full Race to see what they can offer.

Manufacturer description:Full-Race Engineers designed the Twin Scroll RWD Turbo Kits to deliver power levels normally seen from moderate-large turbochargers, but with drastically improved throttle/boost response, earlier spool times and significant power/torque gains.


CXRacing KA24DE Turbo Kit

cxracing ka24de turbo kit

Our comment: CXRacing show their hand with an extremely reasonably priced product. CXRacing state that this kit keeps the stock fuel injectors and ECU and allows you to boost at 7psi with around 230whp.

They’re undoubtedly proud of their fit-and-go style kit, but we would recommend at least considering upgrading some simple parts like injectors and an ECU to get the most out of the setup and reach around 350hp.

Despite the setup not being the highest quality in our guide, it certainly has the potential to build from. If you’re looking to go for a DIY build, it’s worth getting this kit without the turbo and wastegate (an option on their website) and using some higher quality items. This will give you a great value for money kit.

Their manifolds have been known to crack with prolonged use, so if you were to go over some welds and maybe add bracing and better gaskets, you could well be on to a winner for a bargain price. A great cheap and convenient base for those that don’t want to spend huge money.

Manufacturer description:This is a Bolt on kit, from manifold to Downpipe, Catback, intercooler, Piping. Not like other kits offered, they are just parts and have not tested. Our kit was developed in the US and fully tested, bolt on fit.


XS Power KA24DE Turbo Kit

xs power ka24de turbo kit

Our comment: XS Power have turned up with the cheapest product in our various turbo kit guides, but unfortunately they we seem to get the same, mostly negative, feedback each and every time!

Their reputation certainly isn’t the strongest, but many owners have purchased this reasonably priced option and ran it without any issues. Others have reported problems within a few hundred miles. Maybe they’re pushing it too hard, but it seems more like a quality control issue.

For the money, we would advise going with CXRacing, as they have a better product with a better reputation and many happy owners.


Our winner

Our winner is the TOMEI Turbo Kit.

To pick our winner from this choice of KA24DE turbo kits we looked at a number of criteria; quality, popularity, upgrade potential and price point.

Based on these criteria we have chosen the TOMEI Turbo Kit to be our winner.

Tomei ARMS KA24DE Turbo Kit

tomei 1 ka24de turbo kit

TOMEI really have gone above and beyond to deliver the ultimate product for KA24DE owners. The level of R&D they put into such a niche product is extremely impressive, and although it might not be the cheapest, you can count on it being impeccable quality and providing fantastic reliability.

Sure, you’ll need to fork out on some additional parts to go with this basic kit, but we have no doubt it’ll serve you extremely well long-term.

Full Race and GReddy are two brilliant alternatives in the upper price range, however if you’re looking for a cheaper setup, we highly recommend checking out what CXRacing has to offer.

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