Looking at some pictures I took last week, I figured an update on my old Nissan was overdue. Those new Type R’s make for great pictures.

My buddy bought a Civic Type R. Gotta take pictures.

It has been a while since the last post about my old Nissan, and for good reason: I used to post when changes were made to the car. Over the winter, I had a revelation: make it run, then stop changing things. That means no problems, and no post.

Using my new approach, I was able to drive the car for thousands of nearly trouble-free kilometers after getting it tuned back in May. Talk about a change, considering the car spent all of August 2016 at the shop.

The experience was nearly trouble free, so here’s what I’ve been up to with that 90's masterpiece:

Call me pampered, but I do like my luxuries in cars, so the sound system was in tragic need of help. Apart from a pair of JBL speakers, I’ve added a subwoofer to the equation. I wouldn’t say installed, as velcro, a bungee cord and zip-ties don’t really qualify as an “installation”. See for yourself

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During the installation. A bungee cord between the two shock towers is currently holding the subwoofer box.

I didn’t go for the pro install because I still have to make a hatch floor out of plywood. I also decided against a fancier setup, because the car is so loud it’s not even worth it.

I also had to chase down some abnormal smells, as in gasoline and burnt oil. The burnt oil was an easy fix: remove the extra 355ml from the oil pan. If 355 seems like an oddly accurate number, it’s because I used a beer bottle to measure the oil I was draining. 355ml (or 8 oz) did the trick. As it turns out, I overfilled it once last year, had to do the same thing to get rid of the smell, and overfilled it again this spring. Not my greatest moment.

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The gas smell was trickier. I thought it was normal, as it was an old car with nearly all the emissions equipment missing. My brother being a mechanic by trade, and the guy who put the car together in the first place, did not share my opinion. Within seconds of popping the hood, he tracked down the issue: an incorrect hose clamp on the fuel line. Easy fix then.

Incorrect hose clamp directly below the pressure gauge. Notice the dark spot below it.

Within 5 minutes, I had the clamp out and the one in. The thing is: it didn’t quite fix. It was an improvement, but I kept looking. As it turns out, the fittings on the fuel pressure regulator weren’t tightened properly. Not the roomiest spot in the engine bay, but every was tight within minutes.

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Next up for me was some wiring. The fuel pump, the amplifier for the sub, and a trickle charger are wired directly to the trunk mounted battery. The catch is the battery terminal can only fit 2 ring terminals. After spending 15 minutes trying to wire the trickle charger, I gave up and jumped on Amazon (yay Prime!). I decided on some decent bus bars to clean up the wiring mess on the battery terminals:

New bus bars, with questionable wire management

I know it looks janky, but both bars are solidly mounted with good covers to prevent short-circuits, with locking washer on all the terminals. The mess of wires at the bottom is used to connect the fuel pump to the battery using the original power wire to trigger the relay. It’s a necessity on those old cars.

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Two major things still need fixing:

1. The transmission is still garbage. The syncro rings are still thrash, and it still requires shifting at a very deliberate pace. Luckily, I bought an Infiniti G35 transmission from a recycler, and I am waiting for my parts to arrive at the shop to begin the conversion. It’s an expensive conversion, but I like to believe that the transmission can be reused when I decide to change to a different engine.

The G35 transmission I got is Nissan’s famous-for-tuners CD009, with its seriously overbuilt internals good for up to 800hp, according to the Internet. Plenty for my 288 whp SR20DET.

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Beefy, new-for-me transmission, from the recycler.

As a side note, according to some totally reliable internet math, 288 wheel horsepower on a Mustang Dyno converts to around 380 crank horsepower. I doubt it, but it’s still a badass power figure. 

2. Bodywork. I’m not sure yet with the color. I think I’ll have enough race-car money available to get the car painted before it’s time to store it for the winter. As I write this, my mind is captivated by this color:

Looks cool on modern curvy cars. Not sure how it would turn out on a flat, 90s car with amber turn signal lenses.

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As always, I’m open to your opinions, especially when it comes to colors.