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bluej Dork
3/11/12 9:32 p.m.

Time for a build thread!

This weekend I got the plates for my 87 Nissan 200sx SE. Bought it for $200 from a friend in NH last spring and kept it at my parents till about a month ago we drove it down here to DC to start the build. 25 years old means I get HMV plates and only need to do the initial emissions inspection (passed easily actually). So now I'm free to keep re-registering it without going through emissions again, woo!

We live in a 900sq/ft condo converted row house with no parking. This poses some obvious challenges. I'm determined. Still trying to find an appropriate place to rent to work. Figures you have half a dozen promising places on craigslist ready and then as soon as you get the car here, everything is gone. I will find something. I figured it could be interesting to see what you can do even if you live someplace like I do.

Goal is to just enjoy building a car I like that I can use for autox/trackdays. The 80's-tastic styling has drawn me in.

Wanted to start by getting input on making sure the $200 is a fair place to start for the price. Pics to come, but this car is no cherry. It was a 1-owner car in north-eastern MA for all those years. It has rusted accordingly. My friends family garage had been maintaining it for the guy for years (used as a bomber/dump runner) until it got to the point that the rust in the rear was too much to pass NH inspection. He ended up signing it over to them for $1. My friend kept the car for a couple seasons to maybe build. I told him if he ever decided to get rid of it, to let me know. He decided he wanted to pass on it after all and let me know. I knew I wanted to build it for the challenge so I just told him to shoot me a price he felt was fair and go from there. Based on the condition (ok drivetrain but body needs lots of rust work) I agreed. The part that gets me is that it was never available to the public at any price. Hard to say if he could have gotten more. I think the price matches pretty closely to scrap value. Trying to find similar cars in similar condition has proved challenging.

what say ye?

mw HalfDork
3/11/12 9:54 p.m.

Post some pics of the rust. If its as rusty as it sounds, that price seems reasonable.

irish44j SuperDork
3/11/12 9:59 p.m.

sounds fair to me, but what do I know....

bluej Dork
3/11/12 10:16 p.m.

need to get some better pics but these are what my friend took back when he first got it:

It's got close to or over 300k on it. the cable has been busted for a while.

these are the "frame rails"

what I don't have a good pictures of yet are where all the cladding on the sides, skirts, and spoiler have rusted out the body as well. It's lived its life in a salted road area and it shows.

Donebrokeit Reader
3/11/12 11:16 p.m.

Yep, looks like a $200 car to me. Have you looked for a shop in Southern M.D? Rent should be cheaper.

Good luck. Paul

AngryCorvair SuperDork
3/12/12 1:53 p.m.

i agree, $200 seems like a reasonable FMV.

mndsm UberDork
3/12/12 2:41 p.m.

I'd call it 200$.

Pete240Z UltraDork
3/12/12 4:03 p.m.

Here is a photo of my 1985 - I guess these were taken around 1991. MIne got crunchy rust and wasted door panels over time too. The 4 cylinder had 3 fan belts that I still get upset over the thought of changing them. I have some cool pictures from the JCCS. Should I post them?

bluej Dork
3/12/12 4:36 p.m.

Pete, post away!

Thanks for the input, fellas.

poopshovel SuperDork
3/12/12 4:56 p.m.

I don't think $200 falls into 'sweetheart' territory. Your peers are in agreement!

Pete240Z UltraDork
3/12/12 5:13 p.m.

Have fun! The first one is a funny looking 200SX.

ValuePack Dork
3/12/12 5:49 p.m.

Looks like scrap value to me. That said, I'd buy it in a heartbeat to daily.

sethmeister4 Reader
3/12/12 8:16 p.m.

That first white car is a Celica, not an sx, right? Maybe that's why he captioned it as a "funny looking 200sx"...sorry, I'm just thinking out loud here.

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
3/12/12 9:09 p.m.

Yeah it's a 3rd gen Celica.

cutter67 None
5/14/12 6:53 a.m.

hows your build coming i have 3 200sx se same color as yours i am just outside of beltway

wheels777 Dork
5/14/12 7:33 a.m.

Free cars are still out there. $200 is not an issue.


4cylndrfury UltimaDork
5/14/12 10:05 a.m.

I hart this thread...moar pix please!

bluej Dork
5/14/12 12:43 p.m.

I have been taking pix but nothing very exciting yet. ended up finding a ratty single stall garage for the low monthly sum of $200/mo. The fiance is splitting it with me as long as we can use it for storage as well, so first step was building elevated storage. Thats done and everything is in there so i've started tearing into the car. Step one was assess how (un)healthy the motor is. It's getting a v8 at some point, just need to figure out this year or not. I'd like to keep motor/trans and add a turbo for now, focusing more on fixing/building the chassis/suspension this year.

I started with a compression check. Still in progress. This thing is FILTHY! So much crap settled in the engine bay, i've only been able to get to one plug so far. 140 cold :( jumped to 175/180 with a little oil. Not really surprised at over 300k. If the rest are close, i'll just live with it for now.

Pics later when not posting from my phone!

cutter67 New Reader
5/14/12 1:25 p.m.

i started to put titan 5.6 in one but have decided against it because the car was two nice to cut up. adding turbo is a little tricky because the there is not enough room to run the 300zx turbo manifold so everything has to be fab. suspension you can either upgrade to a z31 (300zx) or go with front s13 (240 sx) and the rear z31. meagan racing makes a coilover kit but you have to run the s13 front.

bluej Dork
5/14/12 3:39 p.m.

I was thinking I'd start by seeing what the packaging looks like if you go to electric fans and use two stock ex. Manis flipped around to put the turbo up front with a cross pipe.

It's been interesting trying to cross reference whether a 4cyl s12 or z31 is a more appropriate reference depending on what you're doing.

Any idea what spoiler/skirts are going for? Figured they might be the most valuable parts to recoup.

cutter67 New Reader
5/15/12 7:23 a.m.

the SE package is spoiler/skirts and front lip $200.00 plus. i would buy it. but i would hate to see that car taken apart. the SE model was only made in 87 and 88 and only 5000 of them were built each year so nissan would qualify for the ralley series. if you ever want to sell the car i would be interested in it

evildky Dork
5/15/12 1:25 p.m.

gotta love some S12

cutter67 New Reader
5/15/12 2:10 p.m.
evildky wrote: gotta love some S12

a lot of people dont the S12 is the ugly stepchild of nissan people think..thats if they know what it is

cutter67 New Reader
5/16/12 6:29 a.m.

if you are set on doing a 200sx for the challenge. i really hate seeing a SE chopped up for this. i would be willing to trade you a 1986 200sx turbo model this car does run but not well but there is no rot at all so no rust issues it is a washington state car.

bluej Dork
8/5/12 10:22 a.m.

Bump. Not much time to update because I've been busy working!

Short story is that last weekend I procured a new engine and the old one is coming out today. A lot went in to the decision to do a swap instead of forced induction build but I'll catch up on that later. I'll toss up a few pics in the next post once they finish uploading.

In the mean time, if anyone capable wants to move this to the new subforum, please do! I may not add much till after the challenge, but I'm documenting as I go for the challenge writeup and to update here later.

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