my beaters au naturel ('90s Japanese Performance Red Edition)

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
A couple of things: Everybody always takes pics of their cars just after they've been washed and waxed, while mostly they're not very gleaming in real life, day to day. This thread's slightly different, since the cars are unwashed here. Also, since both of these cars are very boring by themselves, I have to put them together to reach a bearably interesting level.

2072iwj.jpg


x6k00o.jpg


2ebxwuf.jpg


25p3cz7.jpg


jz7ehx.jpg


So, the first to go is the 1990 Nissan Sunny Coup? I got my hands on when I got my licence. I still drive it every now and then, even if it's now registered to my brother. It's the regular, 12-valve 1.6-litre with 94hp, and its Achilles' heel is it's automatic. It's done 184 000 km, and it's slightly worn and bubbling around the edges. The underbody's solid, though, so a respray and the tiniest bit of welding would make it a winner. Mechanically it's in full working order, and the tests they run at inspection show the engine's working very cleanly for its years, so it's got to be tough as nails. Especially if you consider it's been beat for years; even the autobox still shifts tidily. It's never failed its inspection, either. Bad points? It's very harsh and jittery to drive. I hate the suspension and the squeaks it makes, and a regular 5-speed manual would rock mine and everybody else's socks with that engine, compared to the crippling 3-speed auto. The speakers suck, too. I love the looks, though, and the summer tyres have 5-spoke alloys that suit the car very well. What I would love to do/get done would be to strip the whole car, get the body fixed, throw the autobox in a bin and either hook up just a manual or to do a SR20DE(T) swap. I've seen it done, and I would love to turn it into a factory job -looking special that would stand out in the sea of dodgy E36:s and Calibras. No glassfibre, no candy paint, no silver paint in the dash, no extra weight from the ICE, just period everything with a kicking powertrain.

[YOUTUBE]8MFE9y8PQ_o[/YOUTUBE]

Youtube video of the Nissan's acceleration and the autobox's shifting.

vy9its.jpg


2cot0li.jpg


b4ta3q.jpg


2d80rpc.jpg


The other one is my 'proper' car, the 1993 Mazda 323 HB with a fuel injected 1.3-litre 16-valve engine. It's actually quite perky, especially if you're not carrying your friends around. It's been rustproofed several times, so it's only got a couple of bubbles and the odo's not yet reached 170 000 km. There are a couple of small dings, but no accident repairs and the log book's very good. It's got absolutely no equipment whatsoever: no power steering, adjustable steering wheel, no tachometer; I'm amazed it's got a starter motor. The stereo in it is a Panasonic RDS + 12CD changer combo I salvaged from a burnt-out storage hangar (paid 20 euros) and while it's old tech, it's got an auxiliary jack so I don't need to get a USB head unit. The car's actually quite nice to drive for what it is, since it feels very light and chuckable, and it's a good daily driver since it's pretty economical as well. It uses a lot less fuel than the carburetted, autoboxed Nissan, too. I have 14" Melber alloys for it (from a Volvo 460, and they were on a Vectra before that so they've probably done hundreds of thousands of kms), but one tyre's apparently got a puncture so I'm rocking the 13" steelies for summer as well. At least they're not as rusty as the winter ones. I spied an original factory/dealer body kit for sale the other day, which is even the right colour, but I'm probably going to skip that.

So, what next? The Sunny's probably going to be driven to the ground by my brother, unless it's going to be retired to wait a future tidying-up. The Mazda's for sale (with the just-after-wash pics in the ad, of course), since I'm working to graduate by summer and won't really need a car then. The other option would be to get something more interesting to replace it, but it would have to be '80s-'90s, rustproofed, Japanese and red.

14ya4k3.jpg


Bonus feature: Here's the 1988 Nissan Bluebird I had before the Mazda. It had done 250 000 km when I traded it in, and while it had some rust, it was in good, useable condition and it didn't burn a drop of oil between services. It also had the red car + tow bar combo, which really grinds my good friend's gears.
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Personally I think they're very interesting! Especially since they have nothing like that Sunny coupe over here in the US. I used to have an auto 323 myself, they're not bad cars. ;)

Although mine was a bit of a beater, for $300 it did the job. Some stupid kids (although my age) had their way with it before me, hence the white double-blade wipers. :rolleyes:
DSCF6253.jpg
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
Actually that Sunny is closer to the US Sentra line-up than the Euro N13 Sunnys, and I'm pretty sure you got it as the predecessor to the NX. Or did you just have the Pulsar EXA (a car I would maim for)?

Your 323 looks a bit punch-drunk without the plastic strip under the headlights :)
Nice Protege wheels, and those US bumpers give the rear a sort of a Gremlin look. I'm not trying to dish out back-handed compliments, honest :lol:
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Actually that Sunny is closer to the US Sentra line-up than the Euro N13 Sunnys, and I'm pretty sure you got it as the predecessor to the NX. Or did you just have the Pulsar EXA (a car I would maim for)?

Your 323 looks a bit punch-drunk without the plastic strip under the headlights :)
Nice Protege wheels, and those US bumpers give the rear a sort of a Gremlin look. I'm not trying to dish out back-handed compliments, honest :lol:

Yeah, that Sunny you have seems pretty unique to me, though. Haven't seen anything like it around here. Yeah, I looked up "Pulsar EXA" and found that it's the "Pulsar NX" or "Nissan NX" or whatever it's called here. There's one of those I used to see around town all the time, I think the kid wrecked it. Either way, those are some nice cars you have. ;)

Funny you mention that, a lot of people said my old 323 looked like a Gremlin. That car was the epitome of beaters. It was obviously in an accident with the replacement fender. The wheel stuck about a half-inch out on that side and about a half-inch in on the other side. Right front caliper was useless. No radio, speakers torn out. Steering wheel sat at a 45-degree angle when the front wheels were straight. Those horrid, yellowed crosseyed headlights flopped around all over the place. Windshield was improperly installed and had a nice whistle at high speeds. Missing trim. Holes in the down pipe and muffler. Bad tires. Tail light fuse liked to fail weekly. Battery terminals were backwards. (Red = negative, black = positive) Bad ground somewhere, it'd give you a little static shock if you touched the hood after driving. Wheel bearings were bad. (Fixed those) Horrid double-blade wipers. Holes in the headliner that my friends stuffed with garbage. Rear shocks were going. Automatic transmission was horribly wonky.
0319080715a.jpg

All things I could have fixed, really. But, it somehow passed inspection, and that motor ran and ran since at least I took care of it. For $300, it had heat, and it got me through the winter. Then some guy bought it for $500.
:mrgreen:
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
Which engine did you have, the 1.6? I don't think you got the 1.3-litre there, while it really suits my needs perfectly well. I have 75 horsepower, and the engine feels like most of them are still there.
I should probably replace some bushes, but otherwise there's nothing really wrong with the car. It was driven by an older lady before I got it; either I had gotten used to the 2.0 Bluebird too much or then it was completely clogged by slow driving, because it felt woefully slow at first. Luckily some right-foot therapy seemed to cure it and it now feels positively perky.

I just kind of crave for something lower and preferably with pop-up lights, but most of the 323F:s and Preludes around here have been devoured by road salt. The DSM I checked out wasn't rusty, because it was a German import, but it was still dodgy.
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Which engine did you have, the 1.6? I don't think you got the 1.3-litre there, while it really suits my needs perfectly well. I have 75 horsepower, and the engine feels like most of them are still there.
I should probably replace some bushes, but otherwise there's nothing really wrong with the car. It was driven by an older lady before I got it; either I had gotten used to the 2.0 Bluebird too much or then it was completely clogged by slow driving, because it felt woefully slow at first. Luckily some right-foot therapy seemed to cure it and it now feels positively perky.

I just kind of crave for something lower and preferably with pop-up lights, but most of the 323F:s and Preludes around here have been devoured by road salt. The DSM I checked out wasn't rusty, because it was a German import, but it was still dodgy.

I'm pretty sure mine had the 1.6. It wouldn't have been so bad, but I can't stand automatics in cars with low power. Every hill was a symphony of a loud buzzing engine and transmission trying to find a gear. "WAAAAAAA-woooooooooooo-WAAAAA-wooooooo-WA-wooooooo."
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
I'm pretty sure mine had the 1.6. It wouldn't have been so bad, but I can't stand automatics in cars with low power. Every hill was a symphony of a loud buzzing engine and transmission trying to find a gear. "WAAAAAAA-woooooooooooo-WAAAAA-wooooooo-WA-wooooooo."

Yeah, that's exactly the main bugbear with the Coup?. Especially on colder mornings it's really eager to drop down at the slightest over-pressing of the gas, too.

The other thing is that when you crank it to life that cold morning, the choke starts upping the revs kinda high, so when you have gone back inside to finish your coffee and left the car for a quick idle to have it heat up, it's going BAAAAAAAAAA in the middle of the parking lot when you come back.
 

Bubs360

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
Car(s)
'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
The other thing is that when you crank it to life that cold morning, the choke starts upping the revs kinda high, so when you have gone back inside to finish your coffee and left the car for a quick idle to have it heat up, it's going BAAAAAAAAAA in the middle of the parking lot when you come back.

Ah, that reminds me of the joys of a dual-carburetor car - that Prelude I owned. Something was up with the choke so it would idle at around 2,000 rpm cold and 1,500 rpm hot. So damn irritating, along with surging when I would upshift. I was going to look into fixing it but there were so many vacuum lines I'd have to remove to even access the carburetors that I just didn't bother.

Exactly the same thing when warming it up. Sitting out in the parking lot going BAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Also got rid of that thing because it only got 21mpg, pathetic for a compact car that I rarely drove over 3,000rpm.
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
The Coup?'s really the most reliable car that's ever been in the family, though. It originally replaced a '86 Micra nine years ago, and since then it's really only needed oil changes, tyres, a couple of batteries, brake pads and a new exhaust, and the sills have been repainted black. It's a love-hate relationship, really :) If it had an overdrive, half of the hate would be gone.
 

frankiess

Wankel Wanker
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
2,858
Location
Travelling Europe!
I love the video when you shift down for second, give it a bit of gas and you can just hear the turbo squirreling while you drift onto the fairway..

No wait.
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
I love the video when you shift down for second, give it a bit of gas and you can just hear the turbo squirreling while you drift onto the fairway..

No wait.

It's kinda like that vid where H?kkinen comments about hearing the turbo whistle on the McLaren F1, which is naturally aspirated. :mrgreen:

Edit: Can you see me not drift? :lol:
 
Last edited:

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
[YOUTUBE]KpDSyHhCPqc[/YOUTUBE]

A little video with some Dutch pop playing, you can see the lovely grey Finnish countryside as well. :)
 

Twerp128

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
3,662
Location
Indiana
Car(s)
'91 Miata, '09 Street Triple
[YOUTUBE]KpDSyHhCPqc[/YOUTUBE]

A little video with some Dutch pop playing, you can see the lovely grey Finnish countryside as well. :)

You couldn't possibly be in Finland, I didn't see one rally jump.
 

h4nsm0l3m4n

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
Car(s)
1974 Datsun 260z
I like the Sunny, the color and dark wheels suit it very well. I find it interesting that it looks very similar to a first gen Legacy made around the same time. SR20DE would definitely liven it up quite a bit. Although I prefer a KA24 engine myself, but I'll leave that for the SR20 vs KA24 debates most Nissan owners have read through :)
 

public

Captain Slow Charging
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
12,201
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
Atomic toaster
Thanks :) I've seen some examples for sale with a SR20DET swap, and hatchback versions too. KA would probably be a bit heavy?

The Mazda's now rolling on similar bitchin' 13" black steelies since I now bothered to change to summer tyres.

http://img126.imageshack.**/img126/2471/kesarengastus.jpg

I might get the punctured tyre on my 14" set fixed sometime, but since the steelies are better balanced I'm not very eager to get that done.
They do look like spare tyres : p
 

h4nsm0l3m4n

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
Car(s)
1974 Datsun 260z
I'm not an expert on the KA24 or the SR20, but I would say weight all depends on what you compare it to. NA the SR20 will be much lighter. Turbo SR20 and NA KA24 would probably be reasonably close, since the intercooler, piping, etc. will even out the weight. Turbo KA24 will weight quite a bit more for the same reason.

I like the NA KA24 swap since theyre easy to get here (in the US) and have good torque. Run that a bit, then turbo it would be my plan... Still, for a FWD car SR20 might be the best choice as weight up front is a killer, should be fun no matter that you do though!
 
Last edited:
Top