I'm noticing some Pulsar NX love on today's Answers of the Day. I posted a couple pics of my Pulsar and it's getting some attention, so I thought I'd make a post about my car instead of hijacking the AOTD comments.

So, here's a post about my 1987 Nissan Pulsar NX.

I first spotted this car for sale in late 2009 and was forced to drive past it over and over again. It was in immaculate condition for this part of the country.

A little money came my way in January of 2010, so I bought it. The guy wanted $3000 but after about 30 minutes of butting heads I got it for $2500. I still think I paid a little too much but I loved the car and I knew I'd never find one like it again, so I paid up. He had the Sportbak hatch for it too but wanted $500, and at that point I wasn't going to pay that much for it.

Here it is shortly after bringing it home:


This one is the SE model, with the peppy (but I wouldn't say fast) CA16DE engine and 5-speed manual.

The clearcoat on it is basically shot, and keeping it shiny requires religious waxing- but when it's cleaned up, boy does it shine.


Remember the Sportbak I mentioned? I let the guy sit on it for a couple months knowing full well he'd have no use for it without the car. I went back with a printout from car-part.com showing prices of "sport" hatchbacks for the Pulsar and offered him $200 for it, and he reluctantly accepted.

Here she is all shined up with the Sportbak attached.


It came with a set of 14" Enkei wheels, which look to be of similar vintage to the car. I remember seeing similar ones for sale in the ads in the back of Car & Driver in the early 90's. I found a surprise the first time I had them off- they're directional. Look at the photos above. On both sides of the car the spokes are pointing in the same direction. Neat! And unlike most aftermarket alloys, these have actually been taken care of and are damn near immaculate. The car itself isn't perfect, there's a small rusted area on the driver's rocker panel and a crease on the passenger door, but considering I'm square in the Rust Belt it's in amazing shape for its age.


I'm feeling the need... the need for tweed. Yes, the seats and door panels are done up in actual tweed. The 80's! On a junkyard run to grab a few interior bits that were missing I grabbed the steering wheel out of a '94 240SX convertible. It's leather wrapped and feels a lot nicer to hang onto vs. the worn out urethane of the stock wheel.


The turn signal lenses are the same as those out of a D21 Hardbody so I grabbed some aftermarket clear lenses.

Never did get around to detailing the engine bay.

In the summer of 2010 the Pulsar started having hard start issues. The spark plugs I'd put in just a few months prior were fouled already. I replaced them and she started running fine again, but the hard starts came back within a few hundred miles. I started investigating further and found out the crankcase had a ton of gasoline in it.


Knowing it wasn't going to be so simple but hoping for the best anyway, I checked the fuel injectors hoping to find a leaky one. Of course they were fine, so I prepared myself for the worst and performed a compression test.

She's dead, Jim. No compression in the #2 cylinder.

A week after this grim discovery, I closed on my first house. I limped her across town and parked her in the garage, hoping to replace the engine soon.


It hasn't happened yet. That was 4 years ago in September.

First the house took priority. When you buy a house, plan on spending a certain amount of money for repairs/furnishings, then quadruple it. I learned that the hard way. Car repair money? Gone.

Then came tough times at work. My income dropped significantly. We were barely able to pay our bills for a while, then learned how to budget and just squeaked by. But a weekend car was a luxury we just couldn't afford, so the car fund stayed empty.


Now I'm in a better job position. I got myself a pretty decent promotion with potential to earn quite a bit more money. But first we've got to dig ourselves out of the hole of debt and deferred home repairs that we fell into during the lean times.

Maybe next summer?

Until then, she still sits, and I daydream about whether I'll throw another CA16DE in just to get her on the road easily and quickly, or save a little longer and work a little harder to buy myself a CA18DET and make the car REALLY fun.


I miss driving you, Pulsar.