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89’ 240SX, lots of owners, more miles, all the mice


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Look, I’d LOVE to say this is the “cherry” S13 I wanted.  However, this is not the case. This “barnyard find” outta the dry side of the Evergreen State.  
 

I’ve been working on the process of this mess since Nov 21’ and I honestly have trouble sorting through it all.  I’m going to leave all of the strange circumstances off the board, but many drinks were had. 
 

this is what I got. Like I said, she’s in rough shape.

 

 

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14 hours ago, KELMO said:

Well, at least she looks complete.


there’s a few missing interior pieces missing, but such is life. Besides, I totally don’t care.  Since the body is rough I’ll be doing more a drift car inspired build.  I have too many head injuries to go back to drifting at 41.

 

14 hours ago, datzenmike said:

Automatic? Always liked the look of the E engine. Just a sucker for large valve covers.


Yep, ideally I can rebuild it to pass state title inspection and then swap the KA24E into my 620 with the auto.  I know, it’s not “cool” but I was shot in the leg a few years ago and I have some bad left leg days. Ideally I’ll find a decent KA24DE to turbo and put a manual in here. 

 

13 hours ago, ]2eDeYe said:

Nice score. 

Thanks!

 

Ok, now to today’s update. 
 

over the last 17 years the ground has shifted and a ton of sand settled around it.  So… I had to dig her out. I’ve pulled the tires/wheels to get new rubber on her to be able to load her up once I secure a trailer.

 

Long and emotional day between me and the now previous owner. Lotta history here and I hope to make them proud.

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2 hours ago, datzenmike said:

Automatics get less abuse. Pretty safe to say it was never drifted or got the shit pounded out of it.


As much as I enjoy disagreeing with you buddy, you’re totally right. This one has had “minor damage” to both rear quarters. I knew this going in, and since I’ve always wanted to wide body one. 
 

I had a chance to buy a very clean, nearly perfect red 1991 240SX. As my “dream build” was a wide body, I passed. I wouldn’t feel right doing that to a pristine example.  Had I not bought this, she’d have just rusted away here. At least with me she’ll be a fully operational garage trophy and cruiser. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Car’s been parked since I think 2007.  Those antennas were a “thing” when I was in the Air Force, so were the bras. 
 

It’s crazy to think this car was made 34 years ago… my first car was an “old” 79’ Civic I bought with lawn mowing money in 1995.  It was only 16.  But I was 14, so you know how that goes.

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On 8/11/2022 at 9:20 PM, Soundline said:

Any tips to avoid the pitfalls?

 

If you plan any upgrades (turbo, injectors, etc), try to do them when you do the swap, not later. Get a really good clutch, so you only have to do it once. I would suggest a new engine harness, not cheap but totally worth it. 

 

My biggest issue was the snowball effect of doing the swap. I limited my engine upgrades to the basics...

 

Ball bearing S15 turbo

Z32 MAF

Big front mount

Bigger injectors

Good boost controller, set to 10psi

 

This made an honest (and very fun) 230-240hp. When I bought my car it was a fun project that started out with some basic suspension and brake upgrades. Then after doing the engine swap, that spun out of control into spending many thousands on coil-overs, bigger brakes, etc. 

 

S13s aren't unlike 510s in that it's really easy to turn a $5k project into a $15k project. 😋

 

I don't regret doing the swap, but I also kept the mods list short, and was not chasing 400hp (great way to regret doing the swap). My SR-powered G20 made almost 400hp and ran the 1/4mi in the mid 12s. And it was a total pain in the ass. 😁

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The engine finally showed up from Canada.  
 

A bunch of life crap came into play that I’m not boring you with. But, I’m still working on my shop to hopefully get ready to start working on cars this winter. 
 

I really wanted to seal my shop up due to rodent issues so I decided to teach myself how to do concrete work.  I’ll end up finishing this whole parking area with concrete eventually.  I definitely have some lessons learned from this experience.  Also, the small area between the sidewalk and my slowly creeping patchwork pad is an 18 inch deep French drain setup for our spring rains and rapid snow melts to discourage water from coming into the 50+ year old building.

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I did finally get the stars aligned to bring it home today.

 

it was sitting on the frame rails in eastern Washington sand for 17 years. I think I need to encase it in the sand based on how clean the underside is. But, we’ll find out next year when I strip it. 
 

Also, it was rough when I got it so I don’t feel bad about making it mine. 

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