Facts You Should Know About Nissan KA24DE Engine

Various Nissan cars and trucks is utilized with Nissan KA24DE Engine series. It is a 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine that uses an iron cylinder block with an aluminum cylinder head. The KA24DE is the engine that almost all Nissan 240SX series used in America.

If you have been around the drifting field especially in the US, well then you’ve probably familiar with the Nissan KA24DE engine.

KA24DE History

Nissan KA engine first introduced in 1988 as a replacement for the outdated Z24 engine. There were 3 engines in the Nissan KA series.

  • The KA20DE
  • The KA24E
  • The KA24DE (had the most power)

The KA24DE was introduced as an upgrade to the KA24E engine, boasting a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) and 4 valves per cylinder, a departure from its predecessor’s single overhead cam design. This modification paved the way for larger inlet valves, improved knock sensors, and a revised oil pickup system. Consequently, the engine’s redline surged to 6900 rpm from 6500 rpm, offering better performance.


One of the remarkable traits of the KA24DE engine is its tuning potential. Car enthusiasts can explore upgrades, including turbocharging, to squeeze out more horsepower. This makes it a budget-friendly option for those exploring the drifting scene.

Comparatively, the KA24DE holds its ground against other engines like the SR20DET, thanks to its sturdy build and tuning flexibility. The engine’s strengths lie in its robustness and potential for modifications. At the same time, its weaknesses are seen in its somewhat heavier build, primarily due to its initial design for trucks and SUVs.

KA24DE Engine Specifications

The breakdown of the KA24DE engine code is as follows:

KA – Engine Family

24 – 2.4 Liter Displacement

D – DOHC (dual overhead camshafts)

E – Multi Point Fuel Injection

The KA24 engine is crafted with shaped iron block and an aluminum head. The valvetrain for this engine, is dual overhead camshaft. This 4 cylinder engine has a total amount of 16 valves, with 2 intake and 2 exhaust valves every cylinder.

The KA24DE engine is very similar to the KA24E, but you will find a few fundamental differences that separate these kinds of engines. The only major change is the cylinder head design. As the KA24E has a Single-Overhead Cam (SOHC) with 3 valves per cylinder, the KA24DE has Dual-Overhead Cams (DOHC) with 4 valves per cylinder.

Other development changes include the use of a knock sensor, oil injection at the base of each piston, and top-firing spark plugs.

ManufacturerAguascalientes Plant
Yokohama Plant
Also calledNissan KA24
Cylinder block alloyCast-iron
4 valves per cylinder
3 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch)96 (3.78)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch)89 (3.50)
Compression ratio8.6 (SOHC)
9.1 (SOHC)
Displacement2389 cc (145.8 cu in)
Power output99 kW (134 HP) at 5,200 rpm
103 kW (140 HP) at 5,600 rpm
105 kW (143 HP) at 4,300 rpm
110 kW (150 HP) at 5,600 rpm
114 kW (155 HP) at 5,400 rpm
Torque output209 Nm (154 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
206 Nm (152 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
208 Nm (153 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm
208 Nm (153 lb·ft) at 3,600 rpm
217 Nm (160 lb·ft) at 4,400 rpm
Redline6,000 (KA24E)
6,500 (KA24E)
6,100 (KA24DE)
6,400 (KA24DE)
6,900 (KA24DE)
HP per liter56.1
Fuel typeGasoline
Weight, kg (lbs)167 (370)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for Xterra
12.4 (19)
9.8 (24)
11.1 (21)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption , L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 0.5
(1 qt. per 1200 miles)
Recommended engine oil5W-30
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.)4.1 (4.3)
Oil change interval, km (miles)5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

300,000+ (180,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss



In addition to the increased power and torque, the KA24DE engine has a slightly wider power than the KA24E. These engines have already been proven to be quite tough. In turbocharged form with stock long block 500+ whp has been achieved but short lived and 1000+ whp fully built.

There are a variety of stock block 300+ whp daily driven KA24DE-T’s. This engine has pushed into the 7 seconds in the 1/4 mile in some Nissan 240SX’s. With their large stroke these engines are well known for getting low revving torque monsters considering the torque numbers have already been known to stick to or even higher than hp outcome.

Cars That Use the KA24DE Engine

Nissan set the KA24E and KA24DE in their various car production series. Some engines were destined for light duty pickup or trucks and SUV series such as the Nissan Hardbody or Nissan Xterra, but the nissan KA24 engine is best known for its appearance in the 240SX. It makes sense just to adapt the engine for multiple platforms rather than creating an all-new engine.

KA24DE engine is installed inNissan 240SX
Nissan Altima
Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan Xterra
Nissan Bassara
Nissan Bluebird
Nissan Caravan
Nissan Hardbody
Nissan Navara
Nissan Pintara
Nissan Prairie
Nissan Presage
Nissan R’nessa
Nissan Serena
Nissan Stanza
Nissan Terrano II
Ford Corsair

KA24DE Engine Reliability and Common Problems

Since its introduction, the Nissan KA24DE engine, a 2.4-liter inline-four engine, has been a reliable power plant for various Nissan vehicles. Its cast-iron block and durable design have earned a reputation for robustness among automotive enthusiasts. However, like any engine, the KA24DE has its share of common issues, often minor and manageable with regular maintenance.

Reliability Attributes

  1. Durable Cast-Iron Block: The cast-iron block of the KA24DE engine is known for its durability and toughness, providing a solid foundation for stock and modified applications​​.
  2. Maintenance-Friendly Design: Its design facilitates ease of maintenance, contributing to its longevity. The engine’s reliability is further enhanced when maintained properly, including timely oil changes and adherence to service schedules​​.
  3. Timing Chain Over Belt: Unlike engines with timing belts, the KA24DE employs a timing chain, which has a longer lifespan and requires less frequent replacement, provided it’s maintained properly​​.

Common Concerns

  1. Valve Cover Gasket Failure: A typical issue with the KA24DE engine is the failure of the valve cover gasket, which can lead to oil leaks. Replacing the gasket is a straightforward fix for this problem​​.
  2. Faulty Distributor: Distributor problems are common, leading to starting issues or erratic engine behavior. A replacement distributor or repair kit can resolve this issue​​.
  3. Timing Chain Rattle: Particularly in high mileage engines or 1st generation models, the timing chain may exhibit a rattling noise, often described as marbles in a jar during idle. This is more of an annoyance than a serious problem. Still, a timing chain guide or tensioner replacement can help alleviate the noise​.

The Nissan KA24DE engine has a couple of known problems that are common. The manufacturer is known for failing on earlier versions of the KA24 engine. Another typical KA24DE problems is a rattling timing chain, which occurs when the timing chain gets loose from age and begins to rub against the timing chain cover.

It’s advised to maintain KA24DE engine periodically and buy only high class engine oil. Oil pressure on front-wheel drive cars can decrease if to press oil pan slightly. In this instance, it’s necessary to remove oil pan to examine the condition of oil receiver pick up pipe. You can easily destroy the engine if you using low-quality engine oil. When timing chain begins to work too noisy, the process of motor destruction has already started.

Nissan KA24DE engine production stopped in 2004 due to the release of more advanced 2.5L Nissan QR25DE.

Widley known for having great endurance and reliability, Nissan KA24DE engine doesn’t require any special care. Yet KA24DE engines have high fuel consumption (do not be surprised with it). But in total, KA24DE engine is a secure and durable motor.

The journey of the KA24DE engine from a basic utility engine to a drift enthusiast’s gem showcases the boundless possibilities within the automotive tuning realm. The tale of the KA24DE is an inspiring narrative for car enthusiasts on a budget, proving that with the right modifications, even a humble engine can roar to life on the drifting circuit.

What vehicles come equipped with the KA24DE engine?

The KA24DE engine was used in several Nissan models, including the 240SX, Altima, Frontier, and Xterra.

What makes the KA24DE engine reliable?

The KA24DE is renowned for its cast-iron block, maintenance-friendly design, and a timing chain instead of a belt, contributing to its longevity and reliability.

What are some common problems associated with the KA24DE engine?

Some common issues with the KA24DE engine include valve cover gasket failure, faulty distributor, and timing chain rattle. However, these problems are relatively minor and can be resolved with standard maintenance and repairs.

How can I increase the performance of my KA24DE engine?

Performance can be enhanced through various modifications such as turbocharging, upgrading the intake and exhaust systems, and tuning the engine management system for better performance.

Is the KA24DE engine good for turbocharging?

The KA24DE engine is considered a good candidate for turbocharging due to its durable cast-iron block and other robust internal components. With the right modifications, it can handle increased power levels.

How does the KA24DE engine compare to the SR20DET engine?

Both engines have merits, but the KA24DE is often appreciated for its larger displacement and torque. At the same time, the SR20DET is known for its higher performance potential, especially in turbocharged form.

Is the KA24DE engine suitable for drifting?

Yes, the KA24DE engine is popular among drift enthusiasts, particularly when installed in the Nissan 240SX. Its robust nature and tuning potential make it a budget-friendly option for drifting applications.

Where can I find parts and upgrades for the KA24DE engine?

Parts and upgrades for the KA24DE engine are available from various aftermarket suppliers, auto parts stores, and online platforms specializing in Nissan or performance parts.