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Author Topic: Street Weapons S12 Demo Car Build  (Read 3144 times)

Offline Thatmint200

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Street Weapons S12 Demo Car Build
« on: 11:36:17 PM / 08-Mar-19 »
Street Weapons S12 Build
1987 Nissan 200sx Equipped W/ CA20E, True Base Model, Factory manual, with 0 factory options, No A/C, No extra trim.

The S12 as photographed by the previous owner

In early 2018 I had sold a Suzuki Samurai I was in possesion of to buy a 1989 Nissan 240sx in true mint condition. Automatic, 78xxx miles, very clean!
Unfortunately, due to an accident, it ended up getting totaled out, even though there was no frame damage. Luckily for me I had a friend who wanted it, and he paid me 500$ for it (2x what I paid for it! Don't ask how I got such a good deal lol). While I was dropping off the car I noticed he had an S12 and began to look at it and inquired about him selling it. He said he was going to fix it, but it continued to sit for a while.

Fast forward a few months and he bought everything needed for a manual swap. He offered me cash to swap the 240 he bought from be, but I asked if he would trade the S12 instead and he was definitely down to do it!

So I show up, begin the 2 day swap, and at the end of it, I have a (new to me) S12!

Unbolting the DriveShaft

Making a prayer sacrifice to the Transmission Gods

The 1987 200sx and the 1989 240sx on the Day of the Swap

The Cons:
The S12 was not running, had *reported* rod knock, no brakes, flat tires, locked steering, bad clutch fan, no fluids in any reservoirs, needed every brake component replaced, and had a damaged interior.
I later found out that the car had been previously stolen from the previous owner but recovered. They had ripped off the door panels to get to the speakers as well as broke all the radio trim to get the radio. There was no headliner, and my friend had covered the roof and extremely cracked dashboard in anime stickers, most of which featured prominent, large breasts of anime females. On top of all this I was about to run into a SHITLOAD of problems I did not foresee.

The Pros:
It had all original motor and trans, was factory manual, only had 90,xxx miles, and had a good service record according to CarFax.
The body was completely rust free (being from California, not surprising) and all the suspension components were fully functional, most of the bushings were good as well.

The Engine as it sat the day I began working on it

Getting To Work
The first thing I did was load it up onto a AAA trailer and haul it the 2 hours back! I had fully expected the engine to have rod knock and need replacing, but I figured I would give fixing it a shot.

First things first I removed the hood and began looking at the engine. I wasnt sure why I wasnt getting any starting at all, and knew most likely the battery was dead, but upon a previous inspection I had noticed many vacuum leaks and blown fuses. I decided my first step was replacing all vacuum hoses as well as fuses, then replacing the battery.

As it turns out a section of the harness needed to be rewired (simple for me considering I am an electrician by trade!) and I decided to throw the battery in the trunk since I was doing all the work anyways.

Ignore the Audio cable, it was temporary, as was this ground

Once I got the engine to fire, I noticed the really bad "knocking" noise that my friend had mentioned. I shut the car off and set some papers from a factory service manual on the engine and took a beer break. Once I got back I decided to fire it up and see if I could get the engine to blow just by flooring it (Had planned to swap a KA anyways)
I turn the engine on and notice the papers get violently blown away from the intake/injector side of the engine. I thought that was super strange and turned the car off right away.

After some more research I had discovered that someone had forced a badly threaded spark plug into spark plug socket #6 (3rd cylinder, intake bank of plugs) and that it was cross threaded and leaking compression. I removed all 8 spark plugs (first time I've ever seen 8 plugs on a 4 cylinder) cleaned and re-tapped the threads, used a magnet to get any junk out of the cylinder head, and threaded all the plugs back in.

With a hopeful heart i fired her back up to hear NO KNOCK SOUNDS AT ALL!
All that was left was a slight lifter tick from lack of oil. I was very happy to not have to replace the engine yet.

I decided to do regular maintenance and tune-up on it and get it ready for the long road trip I was planning.

Preparation for the Cross Country Road Trip
I had decided about a week after getting the S12 that I was going to move from California to Illinois to start my new business. I didn't want to leave the new S12 I had got, so I decided to take the long, 2k mile drive with it! I was nervous, but I knew if I did the proper maintenance, it would be reliable.
So I got to replacing things:
Replaced Brake Cylinder with 240sx ones
Replaced rear brake calipers
Replaced all rotors and brake pads
Replaced master and slave cylinder with 240sx ones
Repaired MAF and Resealed it
Extended MAF wiring
Modified exhaust bank of spark plugs to fire at the same time as corresponding intake spark plug for extra spark

240sx Master and Slave I Used   

Bench Testing 

Repairing my MAF

I then replaced the Distributor which took me a week to get the right one ordered, theres 3 possible distributor models for CA20 and I had the rarest one of course. Ended up having to take my VIN to the Dealership to look up which company made my original Distributor. After I got the right distributor and cap and rotor figured out, I then kept getting weird rev issues. Turns out my Rotor bolt was backing out and my rotor in my cap was not spinning properly, apparently this is a common problem but a dab of loctite fixed that right up!

My VIN Plate                                                                                        2 of the 6(!) Rotors I ended up trying
Heres a Test Drive video, I wish I could embed it but I guess I cant.

Next up I had to fix the AWFUL exhaust leaks and the massive gaping hole in my O2 sensor bung area where someone had tried to install an O2 sensor with an axe of some sort based on my best guess ?!?!
I could not for the life of me get the O2 bung adapter out of the headers to repair the headers so I decided to find a new set.

After looking for a whole week for a CA20 near me in a local junkyard, I was walking my dog on my girlfriends grandparents property when i stumbled across AN R31 PINTARA CA20 MOTOR COMPLETE in their backyard! I have no idea how they got it, why they got it, or how it ended up in their backyard but i was EXCITED to say the least! It had a perfectly good exhaust header and parts I could use for my engine.

R31 Pintara(I think) CA20 I snagged parts from

Removing the old O2 sensor was a BITCH

My old headers with a GIANT crack on the side

Once I had the exhaust leak fixed and all the brakes and important systems, it was time to start working on the little things.

My fuel gauge wasnt working so i popped open my tank and fixed the sending unit, it had gotten stuck on the internal baffle.
Next up none of the internal lights were working, even with all the fuses replaced. I went through and redid every ecu and body ground, as well as re-soldered some wire connections in the dome light. Now my Cluster lights, center lights, dash lights, and roof lights all worked!
My headlights were an issue though. The motors worked and they flipped up and down, however only one would turn on at a time, and it was random which one it was. After much troubleshooting and rewiring I decided to run a New relay, bypassing the factory one, and rewired the new relay to the headlight switch, giving me functionality of the headlights again.

The last thing to go of the important items, was my windshield! It had gotten a huge crack in it from when I accidentally dropped a tool on it. I called up Safelite, and they came to me and replaced it for 200$ flat. It was very very nice!

Now that everything is fixed, I can begin the roadtrip!

From that point forward I filmed everything for my youtube:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3-5:

Day 6:

Once I got there, it was a bit too cold to continue working on the car for a while!
But I eventually took all the Plastidip off the wheels to find out they were chrome underneath! Cool.....I guess? Im not really a chrome guy TBH.

I was able to grab a MK.2 front end as well as a new driver door and some mudflaps too!

My Mudflaps

Stock Ugly Front End                                                                              New Fancy Front End!

Just purchased 2 KA24E's 2 weeks ago and once the snow goes away for good Im swapping that in. Ill include interior pictures soon as well.
« Last Edit: 11:12:22 AM / 09-Mar-19 by Thatmint200 »

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Offline CzechSilvia

Re: Street Weapons S12 Demo Car Build
« Reply #1 on: 01:33:00 AM / 09-Mar-19 »
Sweet, another S12 build, welcome!
But what do I know? All I know about cars I learned from youtube...

Offline rednucleus

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Re: Street Weapons S12 Demo Car Build
« Reply #2 on: 10:20:09 AM / 09-Mar-19 »
Welcome to the show!

Offline seishuku

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Re: Street Weapons S12 Demo Car Build
« Reply #3 on: 07:33:35 PM / 29-May-19 »
Pics of the dash? Asking for a friend... :innocent:

Looks like a good start though, I miss my s12... Just can't afford another project.
Matt W.
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