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Author Topic: IanC 1988 S12 build.  (Read 2783 times)

Offline IanC

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IanC 1988 S12 build.
« on: 10:28:03 PM / 25-Feb-12 »
Picked this 88 S12 hatch with a CA20E and a 5-speed on 2/24/2012. I'll be updating this thread as I progress through the build. Goal of the build is going to be good handling for the East TN backroads and a enough power to get out of the turns with some gusto.

Here she is as I got her.











Overall she's in semi-rough shape. The engine has no power what so ever. It gets you from point A to point B but you aren't going to be getting too excited doing it. The suspension is most definitely shot and will be getting a lot of TLC. The body is ok with a few dings, dents and such with a very dead paint job. Somebody carbon fiber wrapped the spoiler and while it's a nice idea and all they had no clue what they were doing so that will be removed. Interior...well we'll be replacing most of that. Speedometer doesn't work so until I get a new cable I'm using my GPS. Tach works if you tap the cluster so there is some short back there I need to find. Oil pressure gauge is in-op so that's a little scary but the engine doesn't knock or tick. The exhaust manifold needs to be replaced as it has a large hole in it that someone tried to fill with a bolt, washer and safety wire. Lift supports for the trunk are trash.

First thing's first, any new to you car needs a total tune-up because you have no clue when and what was done last. So today I picked up new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, fuel filter, oil, oil filter and valve cover gasket to replace one that's leaking. I'll be doing that over the next day or two. I also ordered a complete Z31 Prothane suspension bushing kit and a set of SSC/Canuck springs. Loads of PM's sent out to people with stuff for sale in the F/S section of the forums too so we'll see what happens with those. A new paint job has already been arranged and a buddy and I will be converting my garage or workshop into a body shop/paint booth soon to get to work on that. Ordered new lift supports and an oil pressure switch as well.

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Offline sideways_s12

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #1 on: 11:36:37 PM / 25-Feb-12 »
Did someone really wrap the wing in carbon fiber

Offline Slip n Slide

Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #2 on: 12:08:51 AM / 26-Feb-12 »
Yeah, the guy that wrapped it posted pics in his intro thread. If you search 'Tennessee' in the welcome section his username is Nick... something. haha

Wow, you get stuff done quick. If you ever need a hand or just wanna see another S12 (or two) gimme a shout!

Offline Arro

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #3 on: 12:11:21 AM / 26-Feb-12 »
Yeah rough is the word... CA20E's only positive feature is that it gets great gas mileage once it gets a tune-up and the timing is set properly.

If you install the prothane kit, you might consider NOT installing the rear semi-trailing arm bushings. If you ever decide to do the camber slotting modification, you will want to keep normal rubber bushings there as the urethane ones will probably shear. New rubber replacements for the semi-trailing arms are cheap. Also, if you are going to run the Canuck springs, you will need to replace your stock struts with something stronger than OEM spec tube inserts (think Koni's) because the valves will blow in very little time. Another thing to keep in mind is that Canuck springs were designed with the SE version in mind; the VG30E S12's weigh more in the front than the CA20E S12's do, so your car won't see much lowering in the front with Canuck springs and you might be a bit disappointed if you are expecting the advertised drop. I speak from personal experience as I had a set of Canucks on my CA20 car. Even after the KA24DE swap, it sat a little higher than the SE cars with the same springs. I switched to coilovers because I wasn't satisfied with the height looking nearly stock.

As far as the other things go... the oil pressure is either the sending unit gone bad or the connector to it... more often than not it's the connector wiring. With the speedo, sometimes the cable breaks, so replacing it as you planned may solve that. Also if you have a digital dash, the cluster is known to sometimes have a problem with this... are you digital or analog?

Sounds like you have the right idea tho about how to get it into shape quickly... good luck!
-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance

Offline IanC

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #4 on: 12:38:25 AM / 26-Feb-12 »
Been doing a lot of digging around and may not do the tune up and instead use that money in the engine swap fund. I already plan on swapping it and after I spend all the money on getting this thing running right I'll have half a KA24 or SR20 anyway. To save myself some more searching as my eyes are starting to cross as it is what all is involved in the KA24 swap? I've already looked into the SR20 and it looks like a pretty straight forward job. Will the KA bolt up to the S12 tranny or will I need the tranny as well?

As far as the ride height I'm not super concerned. I mainly just want to get it handling well. I may eventually go with a coil over set-up but don't want to spend all my play money (5 cars, 7 motorcycles, a wife and a baby on the way have to share my funds lol) on just a set of coil overs.

Offline DirtyGaze

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #5 on: 10:51:22 AM / 26-Feb-12 »
5 cars, 7 motorcycles, a wife and a baby on the way have to share my funds lol

Thats a lot to deal with, lol.  So why the S12?  I like the project, Im curious what youll be doin to her.

Offline IanC

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #6 on: 11:17:45 AM / 26-Feb-12 »
Thats a lot to deal with, lol.  So why the S12?  I like the project, Im curious what youll be doin to her.

I have a love affair with 80's hatches. Owned 2 Merkur XR4Ti's, 2 300ZX's and an AE86. Saw the 200 on Craigslist and it looked like fun so here I am.

Post Merge: 12:57:13 PM / 26-Feb-12
Just got a KA24 complete with tranny, harness and ecu. Runs like a top.
« Last Edit: 12:57:13 PM / 26-Feb-12 by IanC »

Offline Arro

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #7 on: 02:55:51 PM / 26-Feb-12 »
Once you enter swap territory, it's far more fun than the 8-6... KA24DE or SR20DET are the way to go. KA24DE is nice because it gives you a good bump in power, and parts are available new from local retail outlets. What they don't shelve they can get in a day or two, and the parts aren't expensive.

KA24DE will bolt right to that transmission with a bellhousing swap. That's the advantage of the Mark II S12. The beautiful thing about SR and KA swaps is that they are literally bolt-in, as long as you go with the mounts from whichever engine you decide on.
-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance

Offline IanC

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #8 on: 04:49:10 PM / 26-Feb-12 »
Just picked up a KA24E, tranny, ECU and harness for 500 bucks. Just the single cam sadly but it'll be better than the ratty CA20 that's in there now. And it's guaranteed good. I'm pulling it out of the runner car now so he can drop a CA18DET in.

Offline IanC

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #9 on: 10:52:17 PM / 27-Feb-12 »
Coming out of the 240SX...


Viola! Coming soon to a S12 near you.


Be spending the next few days pulling my engine, cleaning the engine bay, pulling the fenders (getting the body work to those done while off), tucking wires, wiring for electric fans, cleaning the engine, on and on and on. Then the best part, putting it in and trying to make everything work. The only thing we're worried about is the Stanza ECU I got for it requires a speedo signal or it goes into limp mode. Since my car is analog (cable) speedo we aren't sure if this will work. I don't want to swap to digital and I'd rather not have to make a custom cluster at the moment so I'm hoping even the cable operated speedo sends some sort of signal. We don't know and really haven't dug too deep into it yet.

Offline Arro

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Re: IanC 1988 S12 build.
« Reply #10 on: 01:05:24 AM / 13-Mar-12 »
You will like the S13/S14 trans, not only are the gears solid, the shifter is relocated back more towards the driver making the reach for it more comfortable.
-Jason Arro


'85 Nissan 200SX (KA24DE)
formerly,
'85 Nissan Silvia RS-X - FJ20 w/ dual Weber carbs
'84 Nissan 200SX Turbo
'85 Nissan 200SX Turbo
Drive it like you stole it, and work on it like you married it - self quote
Quote from: ka-t.org
Hella flush and all associates should be gunned down for brainwashing people into thinking a 225 and lots of camber is proper wheel fitment. THAT IS EASY, anyone can camber a skinny as tire till it dosnt rub. Now fitting an 11 with a 315 on stock fender with reasonable camber, that is fitment. And looks, and performs better than both.
i dont own a s12 at the moment but trying to acquire one to get rid of my s13 hatch
Quote from: SHOUTBOX
[27:54] zastaba: I had a friend touch the contacts on his distributer once
[28:04] zastaba: He did the super jumping up and down pain dance