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Author Topic: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch  (Read 5117 times)

Offline dustins12

[FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« on: 01:46:50 AM / 14-Apr-15 »
To start off my little build project, I'm gonna give a little bit of back story.

I've always been a Nissan fan, ever since I first got into cars. My brother was the main reason. I'd wake up for school, and my brother would still be wrenching on his 240SX from the night before. It always inspired me that my brother would work so hard for something, even if the result was not what most people would deem as successful.The dedication is what drew me in. Anyways,a few years down the road, my brother sold me that 240SX for $300 bucks (Back in those days, that was pricey for a 240 lol) Not long after, I blew the car up due to lack of inexperience with wrenches and lack of the world wide web.

We're now gonna skip ahead a few years to when I had my next 240SX. This one was a Silver Green Metallic (seafoam) coupe that I also acquired for $300 from my brother. It had working HUD, uncracked dash and mint interior, and not only that, it had matching GREEN interior. Some of you will say, "oh, that doesn't exist" but I can assure you, it did. So rare in fact, that you probably can't find an image on Google of green interior. But old school guys will tell you the truth of it. Anyways, this car is what skyrocketed my interest in cars, and it ran amazingly...for awhile. I learned most of my basic wrenching and diagnostics on that car, but I never got it running again. Again, lack of hands-on experience hindered. I eventually sold the car where it was then sold again, taken up north, stripped down and put in the crusher  :glarestraight:If I knew then what I knew now, it would have taken just a few tools and a timing light to fix that car. In my time owning that car, is when I learned what an S12 was and my infatuation with nerdy 80's hatchback cars came along.

Okay, now its a few years ago and I own a 1985 Toyota AE86 GT-S hatchback. (Pictured)

When I first got it:



End result of all the years of experience catching up.



Well, I had moved to a completely new city, and I had trouble finding a job. So to mak ends meet, I had to sell the AE86  :sick: I ended up selling my AE86 for $6,300 dollars. I ended up getting $500 more dollars than my asking price on Craigslist because I told the guy I was thinking about not selling it anymore and he wanted it badly. It wasn't until after I sold my AE86 that I heard about Initial D and then I realized why people were willing to pay money for the cars.

After selling my AE86, I actually went out two days later and bought a pristine 1988 Mazda RX-7 SE. This thing looked like it had been sitting in an old lady's garage since she bought it (it pretty much had been). Got the car for $2,200 and I loved every bit of that car. A week later, I had new sway bars, and an exhaust on it, and I was just bombing around town in it.





On the way home one day, a few houses down from my place, I glanced over and just happen to notice a car sitting behind someone's house. I couldn't see much of it, but I could tell it was 80's by it's tail lights and it was a blue hatchback. I stopped, and decided to knock on the homeowners door and ask him about it. He said it had been sitting back there for roughly 4 years because the transmission went out and he couldn't find replacement parts. After a little while of talking to him, he took me around back and showed me the car. It was the first time I had ever seen a S12 in person. Even under the years of leaves, pine needles, pine cones, dirt and yard trash, the car still looked amazing to me and I could see instant potential in the rear-wheel drive hatchback. So I asked him if he would sell it, and he didn't seem like he wanted to. But after awhile of nudging and then him remembering me in my AE86, he knew it was going into good hands. So, he said he wasn't looking for much for it, since he thought I was crazy for wanting a car that he couldn't find parts for (he had never heard of you savages over here on CS12, or even Facebook). I gave him $50 bucks (that's all I had in cash on me) and towed it down the road to my house, and this is where my story of the Blue Bomber Project begins.

side note- I did actually sell the S12 to a guy for $600 bucks, after losing my job, but soon after got it back after some trading.

The day I first bought the car:



The day I got it back the second time:



The only real issue it had after the transmission got rebuilt while I didn't own it for that short period:



Picked up some SE/MK2 tail lights from a local friend, not even sure if I'm going to put them on, but its nice to have the option:



Picked up some new goodies for the S13 Coilover Conversion. That new part excitement:



Just picked these up today. Seem to be a damn good replica of Volk Racing Mesh wheels:





I'll hopefully be installing the S13 stuff this weekend. Gonna be rocking the stock S13 struts and springs for now until I can get the coilovers. Gotta pick up a few small parts and fluids before I start. I'll post more of that up as it happens.


« Last Edit: 08:01:12 AM / 24-Jun-16 by dustins12 »

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Offline WIGGLS

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Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #1 on: 04:42:04 AM / 14-Apr-15 »
very nice car and great back story, can't wait to see this progress. Someone correct me if im wrong but i am quite certain that the stock s13 struts/springs will not work as they are too wide for the shock tower, meaning you'll need to jump straight to coilovers
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Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #2 on: 11:28:58 PM / 22-Apr-15 »
Someone correct me if im wrong but i am quite certain that the stock s13 struts/springs will not work as they are too wide for the shock tower, meaning you'll need to jump straight to coilovers

I did discover that the S13 stock struts and springs do NOT work, not because they don't fit, but because of how the strut/springs is designed. Unlike the S12, the S13 OEM strut/spring is offset. So the strut/spring will fit in the shock tower (just barely), but because the top hat is offset, when you turn the wheel, the spring hits the inside of the shock tower. So, you could run the stock strut with a semi-progressive lowering spring and it would work. A member on the CS12 Facebook page said he's using S13 struts with H&R Lowering Springs and he hasn't had an issue at all with them. But, I probably will just jump straight to coilovers instead of spending the money on lowering springs and going through the hassle.

I did get more goodies today. Prothane Bushings for my Rear Subframe and Rear Lower Control Arms that I ordered from Acadiana Sports Car Orphanage. Love that site, and they have free shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states:



Not sure when these are going on, but hopefully in the near future since the clunking in my car is getting progressively worse. Better to have them now instead of later.

Also, ordering a new Rack & Pinion for the car when I get the chance. Wanna do that before I do the S13 Coilover Conversion so I can do all that stuff at the same time. Looks like I might as well buy Experimental Engineering's Passenger Side Solid Steering Rack Bushing as well.
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Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #3 on: 06:03:57 PM / 28-Sep-15 »
So, it's been a little while since I updated this and there are quite a few things to add, but for now, I'll stick to the more important details. I picked up another S12 (true financial mistake  :laugh:) The car is an original Turbo model shell, that has great interior (as in, its all there and all the vents are actually intact and its not stained or faded in any way). Along with the car, it came with a CA18DET that needs a rebuild. So, now I'm trying to decide which car to work on first. I have a slew of parts for the S12 chassis, and two cars to choose from. Anyways, now its time to share some photo's.

Pic of both of my S12's. Recent purchase is on the left.


here she if in all her...er...glory?


Interior Shot


Digital Cluster with it's baby boost gauge


Shot of the engine bay. Looks like the CA was already in this car at one point


And, a shot of the CA18DET head


So, the plans at the moment are to acquire coilovers to finish what I need for the S13 suspension conversion, then I'll start the rebuild on the motor and pick up a few other miscellaneous things on the way.
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Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #4 on: 09:37:04 PM / 28-Sep-15 »
What's the plan for that janked-up transmission?

Man, I wish people would coat machined steel in cosmoline when they plan on leaving it in the weather for any period.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #5 on: 09:10:20 AM / 19-Nov-15 »
What's the plan for that janked-up transmission?

Man, I wish people would coat machined steel in cosmoline when they plan on leaving it in the weather for any period.

I'm planning on taking the transmission out and giving it a look over of sorts. I haven't looked at it close enough to tell which transmission it is. But, once it's pulled out, it will most definitely get a coat of something on it to keep it from corroding like it is.

UPDATE: I have been on a bit of a hiatus with car projects due to being in between jobs. I recently started working at the local Nissan Dealership though, and I'm excited about that for two reasons. 1) I've always wanted to work for a dealership, and since I've been a Nissan Enthusiast for as long as I can remember, this is perfect. Luckily, Nissan also pays for all of my Certifications (ASE's, Masters, Specialist Training). 2) I get access to their whole catalog of OEM Nissan Parts at a discounted price being an employee.

With that all being said, the S12 will be transported to my brothers house where we will be doing the rest of the build, since my landlord is giving me issues with my "junk car" being in the driveway. Time to start collecting parts again ^___^
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Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #6 on: 03:56:01 PM / 20-Dec-15 »
Updating the build thread a little. My Blue S12 took a dookie on me, so I've been messing around with that trying to get it going again. Turns out that I'm tearing a lot of stuff out and redoing a lot of things (EGR Delete, S13 Radiator Conversion, Electric Fan, etc.) While I have both S12's down, I needed to get a car that was a relaibale daily. So I bought something that I knew I would not get the urge to modify in any way. A 2013 Chevy Cruze LS, 1.8L Naturally Aspirated, 6-Speed M/T. It's a dad car, gets great gas mileage, and I find it to be very adult  :laugh: but, I am enjoying the nice A/C and P/S and the feeling of stock suspension and I know I won't get in trouble in this car.

But for now, work on the S12's is starting up again, slowly but surely. Some pics.

Tearing into the blue S12. Removing the radiator, water pump, and timing belt stuff to replace it all. Also, gonna get rid of some of the clutter while I'm in here.


Had this laying around in the garage from my brothers old RB setup in his S13. Gonna throw this in the S12 as well. OE radiator was stacked full of dirty bits and rust.
« Last Edit: 03:57:09 PM / 20-Dec-15 by dustins12 »
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Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #7 on: 03:52:29 PM / 20-Feb-16 »
UPDATE:

So I've been staying busy lately with work and planning my wedding at the end of this year. In my spare time, I've been researching mostly, collecting small parts here and there. Still haven't fully decided what my end result needs to resemble. Been looking for inspiration in car related places. I also picked up another CA18DET motor from my brother that he gave me for free. So if my blue S12 keeps acting up, I may just rebuild the stock CA18DET motor and throw that in there. We'll see how things go in the near future. I've also been spending more time rebuilding my tool collection (was robbed a few years back and never got around to fully getting it all back together). Might as well get the right tools to attack any engine swap properly.

I'll be posting up more pics soon to satisfy the people who just browse though and look for pics and start reading there lol

Anyways, until the next update, stay classy fuckers!
« Last Edit: 02:54:02 PM / 27-Feb-16 by dustins12 »
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Offline iceageg

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Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #8 on: 05:46:19 PM / 20-Feb-16 »
While my beard may have class, i most certainly do not.  I will just have to wait.
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Offline dustins12

Re: Blue Bomber Project
« Reply #9 on: 01:08:56 AM / 10-Jun-16 »
Woohoo! UPDATE time!

So, yet again, I've still been really busy with work and the wedding that is now 5 months away, but I've still managed to get quite a few things done  :yay!:.

I was able to convert my car over to the S13 radiator like mentioned before, and yet again, my awesome brother hooked me up with a dual electric fan and shroud that mounts perfectly in there. I just need to wire them up how I want, and that'll be set. I also pulled the rear end out of my car, and finally swapped in the new Prothane bushings for the subframe and rear control arms. That was quite the task -____- I also managed to mess with my engine harness. Found some questionable exposed wiring in there, so I had to fix that. Anyways, onto some pics for you folks!

So, here is the rear end after I had just removed it. Only took about an hour, and it came right out...a little too easy if you ask me.


Face down, ass up, that's the wa---NO!


So, this was the culprit of my clunking in the rear-end. And yes, this literally just fell out as soon as I removed the rear end.


Popped the new subframe bushings in, since the old ones did all the work for me...


Got the lower control arm bushings in and put it all back together...


Slapped the rear-end back into the car, and it's back on the ground.


Okay, so that's it for now. The updates should come more frequently now though, but may slow down around November. Ordered my driver side solid steering rack bushing today. Once that comes in, I'll be pulling my rack out and converting it to a manual thanks to the info provided here on CS12. Until next time, well, figure it out yourself...
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Offline dustins12

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #10 on: 08:30:03 AM / 24-Jun-16 »
UPDATE

Small update. I sold my other S12 (the red one). I honestly hadn't touched it since I brought the car home months ago, and I was getting the itch to own a different car since I already have a S12 that I'm investing so much time in. So I sold the car to another local S12 owner, and I'm glad I sold it to him. He's gonna put the car to use more than I did. So I sold him the car for $400 and my spare CA18 for $200.

So, I wanted a different car that would bring me back to my 'roots' so to speak, and this car popped up at just the right time. It belonged to a friend of mine, and I've been trying to get it off of him for a long time now (literally, sine the day he bought it a few years ago). The car is a 1990 Nissan 240SX rolling shell (it was perfectly running and driving when he first bought it. Motor blew in it though).

Anyways, here are some pics:

Here's how it sits now, in the back of the dealership that my buddy works at.




Also, got my solid steering rack bushing in from Experimental Engineering


Still have to yank the rack out of there, and convert it to a true manual rack. Also, hoping to get the S12 back up and running here again soon. I really miss driving it and I'm itching for that 80's nostalgic feeling when I drive it. More updates to come...
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Offline dustins12

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #11 on: 01:55:21 PM / 01-Feb-17 »
Another UPDATE!

So, it has been quite awhile since I've updated and since I've done anything to the s12. But, I recently started working on it again.

I got most everything back together and I got the car to start. Mostly. It runs like poop, but it'll stay idling sometimes, and other times you gotta hold the gas a little. Pretty sure it has to do with the original 80'S intake piping couplers. They have huge cracks in them, hard as a rock and it's held together with electrical tape at the moment. So, I need to sort out a new intake pipe and some couplers. Gonna have to be custom job, but we'll see how it goes. Other than that, I need to put the rear sway bar and links back on, reattach the e-brake cable (lost a small part while doing the sub frame bushings), fix the wipers, replace front pads and rotors, make a custom top radiator hose to fit the S13 RB Koyo radiator, wire the fans and change the fluids. Probably gonna need to replace my tires as well.

More to come soon, as well as some pictures.
« Last Edit: 01:57:34 PM / 01-Feb-17 by dustins12 »
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Offline dustins12

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #12 on: 11:54:41 AM / 22-Jan-19 »
Wow, so its been almost a year since I have updated this thing. A lot has gone on in life since then, including cars and family stuff.

Anyways, the only thing to really update about this car, is that I still have it, I still daily drive it, and I've just been maintaing it mostly. But recently I made a big purchase to  start things up again. I bought a SR20DE from an importer in New Jersey. Very clean and came with the 5-speed trans, engine harness and ECU. I'm pretty much just doing simple stuff to it to make sure that it runs healthy once I put it in the car. Keeping it simple stupid. I always loved NA cars and I plan on keeping it that way. I need it to be reliable and still be a daily driver, but able to have fun with it when I want to. Anyways, the motor will hopefully be going in, in the next few months and hopefully I can make it as smooth and as easy as possible 😎😎😎😎

I'll update again with pics, once more stuff has been done and more progress has been made.
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Offline iceageg

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Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #13 on: 02:55:17 PM / 22-Jan-19 »
Welcome back, and good luck!
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Offline dustins12

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #14 on: 09:27:13 AM / 26-Mar-19 »
Quick question to anybody reading this. What are you guys using to convert your photos? The site I used went to shit =/
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Offline CzechSilvia

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #15 on: 04:17:05 PM / 26-Mar-19 »
Quick question to anybody reading this. What are you guys using to convert your photos? The site I used went to shit =/

I use Dropbox but people here give me shit for that, lol
But what do I know? All I know about cars I learned from youtube...

Offline weitrhino

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Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #16 on: 12:25:40 AM / 29-Mar-19 »
I use Dropbox but people here give me shit for that, lol

Not giving you any shit although your pics never show up in Safari. Just blank.

I now host pics at Imgur. It's free and allows you to choose which size image you want to hotlink to this site.

Anyway, Please post your SR20 conversion process and welcome back.

Offline dustins12

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #17 on: 12:14:15 PM / 10-Jun-19 »
Alright, alright, alright  :cool2: it's time for a pretty big update, and since I'm too lazy to go back through and read what I've last posted a few times about the car, I'm gonna just show whats been happening the last few months or so and try to go as in-depth as my mind will let me, and try use pics as I can to help tell the story where they can. And I'm now using imgur for my pic hosting so I shoupd be good to go!

Anyways, I now only own one vehicle and that is the S12. I do not drive it at the moment, but we will get to that later, and you'll see why. Over the course of daily driving the S12, small problems started to occur (as with every 30+ year old car), and I was fixing them as they started to occur, and then I was having issues with electrical stuff (went through 4 alternator in a year), and then finally, the starter died on me. On November 15th of 2018, I received a motor that I had order from an importer located up in New Jersey. It's a late model NA S13 SR20DE w/ 5- Speed transmission, and its in IMMACULATE shape!






Right off the bat, I was criticized for buying a NA SR20 motor lol which I had expected to get some. But, in my head, it was very justifiable. First off, NA SR20's are substantially cheaper to buy than their turbo counterparts. Secondly, chances are, these motors have probably seen even less abuse in their lifetime. Thirdly, since this motor shares literally everything the DET has (besides the obvious things), if I ever decided to run a turbo setup, I have a great foundation for it already. So, I bought an NA setup because I like NA motors, its simple, its cheap, its reliable, and its an upgrade over the stock CA20E that came in our cars to begin with.

Aaaaaand at this point I wanted to see how clean the motor was, while at the same time, start buying the obvious parts to go ahead and replace and give it a refresh while it was out of the car. Water Pump, timing chain kit, thermostat, yada yada yada...







And the only damages I noticed on the motor were from shipping. Everything else was in tip top shape. The inside was really clean. One of my most favorite purchases was a Wiring Specialties harness for this swap. I hate wiring and the cleanliness of these harness just makes everything so much easier.




Here's some random shots of the motor as I was taking things apart, putting them back on, checking stuff out, and who knows what else.





Put some Nismo Rocker Arm Stoppers in there


Found this DET cover to sand off the lettering, the dremel out some holes for the spark plug wires to go through, just to give it a little bit of a sleeker look when I'm fully done with it.





Getting the motor yanked out of the S12 finally!







And that's kind of where we're at as of right now. Im sure I've missed quite a few small things obviously. There's a lot that goes into swapping a motor. I'm gonna try and stay on top of the forum posts, and not just the social media stuff, because I know the forum provides a lot of info so we need to try and keep it alive. Until next time folks  :cool2:
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Offline CzechSilvia

Re: [FL] Blue Bomber- 1986 Nissan 200SX S12 Hatch
« Reply #18 on: 12:55:27 PM / 10-Jun-19 »
If I were to build an SR s12, I would probably go NA as well
But what do I know? All I know about cars I learned from youtube...