Project Refresh.

Started by Jsvob03, 08:55:55 PM / 01-Sep-11

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It's been a while..a very long while infact, but I am the new owner of an 88 SE, formerly owned by Xano. It took over two weeks, and no joking 20 phone calls, but its here.

As you can see, there are no pictures at the moment. Time, isn't something I have a whole bunch of at the moment as im getting married in one week, and work is just takin up every other minute. That being said, pictures of the car in its current condition will be up within a few days. Here's whats needing done thus far...

Man, its a bit rough. Not a bunch of rust, rather the rear bumper was pushed in at some point, left front was hit at somepoint (it has an mki fender...), and the whole car has been flat-blacked. While the flat black fits the look/feel of the car...its not for me. I like my cars shiny and pretty, so i've got some work to do.
Ugh.  Screws through multiple panels, multiple panels missing (or at least not attached.) it smells, but that was kind of expected for a car thats been sitting for a bit. It's dirty, but Im not afraid of that. No radio, random toggle switches.
It does run, but is said to have 5th gear issues. plans are to pull the engine & trans after initial diagnosis. likely a re-gasket & clean of the motor, and a rebuild (or replacement) of the trans. Rear unknown, but it rolls so it can't be that bad?
-Suspension. I don't know yet. It appears to have new rear shocks, but there is a hellatious knocking noise under power (when letting the clutch out) in the rear. I drove it 25 feet into my garage more to come here. Its got aftermarket wheels..Not my style, but functional-ish (leaky).   

Again, there's more to come. I need to spend a few hours and go over the car with a fine tooth comb and make a list.

What are my plans? ? The short of it so far..
Back to Stock with body/sheetmetal, etc. Just make it look as its supposed to.
For now, Just get the VG running properly, with bolt-ons where possible (intake, exhaust, ignition, etc)
Make it handle!! Im workin my list, but im probably going to get the CM springs (worked great on my last SE), but this time get the proper struts/shocks. Poly bushings everywhere, other goodies.
Give it some braking power. My last one did good, I want better (cause i can..). I've already got some of the z31 front end stuff for brakes.

Ultimately, its just gonna be a leasure car. If i could get it to 250 whp, (ka-t..?), carve corners (my last one did, this one will be better), and look pretty..I would be happy.  Time will tell. Next update will be w/ photos, and inspection report.


i just went from canucks to coil overs and i am not sure what to do with my springs to be honest...i might keep them for a couple of weeks just to be sure i dont want to go back...but...maybe we can work something out. I am glad this thing is in good hands though!

Dave Coleman for President of Earth!!!!
Build Thread Hatch CA18DET Eventually a Track Whore
Build Thread Notch KA24DE Daily Driver

Quote from: Kustamogenhaha me modding would be a disaster.....Id get all power hungry and  demand n00dz from everyone. Then make all the canadian s12er's come here  and massage my feet and make me jello pudding.

Actually....mod powers plz?!?!?!  0:)
Quote from: Shark808 on 02:17:44 PM / 13-Dec-11
Tedious?  This coming from a person who uses the word twice in a sentence?  I laughed repeatedly...


Got some pics taken/uploaded.

A view from the front. Tested the headlights out after this pic. WAY up at the trees. If you look, you can see some body alignment issues.

Couple more body alignment issues can be seen here, as well as the MKI fender.

Front of the fender is mushed in a bit here, and the hood as well, should be able to be repaired though. pass side door handle is broken.

Missing some paint (not a worry), what you can't really see, is that the rear bumper support is pushed in. hey, the tail lights look good. just need to clean up the center piece.

Inside. every single dash vent is mising. poop. driver seat torn, and not very supportive on the bottom. original floor mat on this side.

Look at that steering wheel. still not sure if its staying though. 

Rear area. Missing a few little pices, but mostly there. not great condition, but ok for now.

Hey look, an engine. Its got lots of tears in the vacuum lines, a rusty air filter, and OEM ignition wires? any confirmation on that? they have the numbers printed on them.

Electric cooliong fans. I just need to make them temperature switched, not manually switched. easy peesy.

Still no time to fully check out the suspension/brakes. I can tell it needs some work, but the underside is pretty clean. both rear quarters need some attention, as the sunroof drains caused some small rust, but otherwise thats it. some surface rust on the rear crossmember, but again nothing major. It's cleaner underneath than my 2004 malibu, due to ohio salty winters.


He still owes me for that MKI fender too.
(I'll bet you he's forgotten)
And one of the door windows too.
(I'll bet you he's forgotten)

Quote from: David Bi like gay porn. but i dont post that in my sig links.


black on that color is so fine , l hope your S12 SE goes as well too

Nissan 180zx, Silvia, Gazelle , S12 CA18ET


I'm still up in the air as to what i will paint it. Heh. I'm not actually painting it, as I can't do that.

I'm leaning away from black, as i'm too particular, and all the littlest flaws would stick out. My last one was red, and thus far thats my color of choice. I've even though about doing a silver/black 2 tone, except switch the colors from OE, as in the silver for the upper, and black for the lower. But, a solid color is likely less expensive.



Don't hint at a KA swap in a thread with an SE... People around here get bitchy about that sort of thing. :P
Matt W.
Daily: 2015 Ecoboost Mustang
Previous Daily: 2011 Camaro V6 (tree fell on it)
Previous previous: 2013 VW Jetta TDI super polluter (got bought back)


Quote from: seishuku on 10:59:02 PM / 08-Sep-11
Don't hint at a KA swap in a thread with an SE... People around here get bitchy about that sort of thing. :P
I can remedy that REALLY quickly.

Fuck VG's

Quote from: David Bi like gay porn. but i dont post that in my sig links.

Wolf Dilworth


Hey, everyone has their own opinion about this motor in this car blah blah blah.

It's my car, therefore I'll do what i want. ka's are a dime a dozen (along with their parts) last time I looked around, So it just seems to be the way to go, should I decide I want a turbo'd 4 banger.

As much as i want to keep the SE in its oe form as far as the driveline goes, If there's an option that just works better, I'll do that. At this point, it's looking like a regasket of the stock motor, but thats pending a passing compression/leakdown test. If it doesn't pass...I'll cross that bridge when i get there.


Wolf Dilworth

Obviously, some did not get the/my humor...  Oh well fuck it all.   >>>>LOL<<<<


"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right."


I have a boner.....sorry


Abandon all Hope
Project: Battle Fairy
QuoteNow, I won't be a dick like Battlefairy was.......


Continuation of a dream is better than squashing it, good luck man!
'84 SRA VG Notch

Quote from: sam31183 on 07:14:51 PM / 11-Feb-11
yah, camber city called, they want you to run for mayor.
Quote from: jphillips on 04:13:34 PM / 30-Mar-11
Canyon go. Faster. And faster. And faster. And then youÃÆ'Ã,¯Ã‚Ã,¿Ã‚Ã,½re simply existing above an asphalt adventure.


1. Knocking noise is the rear subframe bushings, replace them with the Polyurethane ones I gave you from the Z31 shop. 
2. I do apologize for the shitty look, i had to daily drive this, it was my only car at the time :(
3. Rear springs and shocks are 6 months old.  Brand new front springs and shocks are somewhere in the mass of parts and stuffs I sent with it.
4. Probably OEM wires, I never touched them.
5. Go KA with it, that VG was slightly misfiring/would idle down and die at stoplights when I bought the thing.
6. I put 15k on a 500 dollar car, I'm content with what I got out of it.
7. Keep me in mind if you fix it up real nice, I may pay you 10x what you paid to get it back :P

I think my problem was, i ran out of time, and money, and space, and burned myself out due to working on my first VG as much as I did.

Colonel Gustard

dont you dare swap in a KA instead of that VG, last guy that did had his blow
"Certified Member of SoCal Parts Alliance."

Quote from: SlickS12 on 09:47:21 AM / 08-Mar-11
what the hell is camber?

Quote from: Prolowtone on 11:26:43 PM / 27-Oct-11
I thought about my s12 and the parts i want to put in her :P

Quote from: SchizophrenicMC on 03:11:12 PM / 02-Dec-11
Obviously, you have yet to meet Colonel Gustard.
Quote from: Ghetto Jack on 03:15:17 PM / 02-Dec-11
I saw some of his posts, he seems like more fun than a barrel of hookers.


Quote from: Colonel Gustard on 01:23:16 AM / 17-Sep-11
dont you dare swap in a KA instead of that VG, last guy that did had his blow
Well yeah, Cuz he boosted it without a proper tune, and really not knowing what he was doing. Ignoring EVERYBODY'S advice.

Quote from: David Bi like gay porn. but i dont post that in my sig links.


^^^ I remember reading through that. I however, am no fool. I know my way around a car. Moving on..

Thanks ben for the tips. I laughed my ass off when i saw the RTV/epoxy for subframe bushings. they do make noise, but the bigger noise is the exhaust. One thing. This one won't be sold. I'll be buried in it, lol. I should transfer the title.. (dont worry, its in a garage at the back of my yard.). The shocks/springs that are on it now aren't what im looking for, in terms of performance.

Spent a little time with the s12 today. wow. I still think the body work will be the most expensive part of this, largely due to the fact that i don't do well with bodywork, and can't weld for shit. I've got a partial list of what I need to do. here we go..

Exterior Bodywork
-Needs both front fenders
-Needs both exterior door handles
-Pass front window run channel (weatherstripping)
-Front bumper (may be able to get just the lower support and be ok)
-Both front marker lamps.
-LF inner fender liner
-Pass front window exterior trim (adhesive on it, ruined.)
-rear quarters need patched. (rusted)
-Lf corner pulled.
-Lf mirror housing
Interior Stuff
-2 complete door panels preferred, but driver side is workable
-driver window switch(works, but have to press hard, maybe rebuildable)
-passenger side window switch. (gone)
-carpet (not necessary, but something to get)
-all dash vents.
-steering wheel w/horn.
-rr ¼ window handle
Front suspension/brakes/steering
-Tension rod bushings
-stabilizer links and bar bushings
-cm springs
-tokico illumina(280zx) strut inserts
-bump steer spacers (280zx)
-z31 front brake conversion (already have calipers, hubs en route)
Rear Suspension
-cm springs
-tokico illumina (z31) Shocks
-subframe bushings
-brake pads n’ rotors(stock for now)
-rear e-brake cables.
-diff carrier bushing
-drop fuel tank, find leak (can smell it)
-Determine cause of cyl 1 misfire.
-replace rotted vac lines
-clean/repair/remove electrical harness(s)
-convert electric fans from manual to temp activated
-remove remaining a/c components (evap can stay in dash, unless dash is removed)
-replace exhaust from y-pipe back. Ceramic coating for manifolds, y-pipe?
-oxygen sensor.
-install pcv breather catch can, or back to stock.
-maintenance (T-belt, fluids, etc)
-install PS belt, does it work?!
-Why is 5th missing? (no engagement, but does grind)
-get rid of the clutch damper
-replace slave cylinder (just cause)
-evaluate clutch/flywheel when trans is out
-short/cut shifter. New knob.

This isn’t a complete list. I’ll say 90%. There’s still a few things I need to sort out. I think the rear hatch release cable is stretched as it won’t open without help. I need about 1000 screws, fasteners, and clips. So many are missing. I need to remove the stuff that’s attached to the interior plastics. (cup holder, fan switch, etc.) and have it repaired (I have someone lined up already, she does amazing work). So yeah. Off to the grindstone I go.

Once I get the misfire/rough run determined, I’m going to pull the front fenders, bumpers, remove the engine/trans, and get to work on the transmission. Hopefully is as simple as replacing a shift fork, or the synchros, and its game on. I expect to replace the clutch and reface the flywheel. From there, re-gasket the entire motor, pending no mechanical problems. Then off to the body shop for pulling, cutting, welding, and paint. (that’s gonna cost quite a bit). Then, do up the suspension, and hit the road. My goal, is late spring  but mother nature plays a big role in that. depends when the thaw happens . Time and money are the holding points. Not to say I’m rich (cause I’m far from it), but time is more the factor that money, so I’m confident I can hit my mark if I can make the time.